SEO Copywriting – Guesswork, luck or science?
Now about those 200 secrets.
That’s the estimated amount of secret SEO parameters used by Google to rank a page.
For an SEO trying to work out strategy, that’s pretty overwhelming.
But hey – if this were not the case, we SEO copywriters would whinge and scream when it was OUR turn to be the searchers.
Like everyone, we want the top 10 results to be clean and full of relevant URLs.
When I put in “a product that will make my eyelashes longer” I want nothing else other than “a product that will make my eyelashes longer”.
Relevant search results bring us back every time.
Although it makes SEO a difficult profession at times, the 200 factors are why we how-to-seo types always return to Google as our preferred search engine.
For any SEO then, getting a client in Google’s top 10 list is the cream of the cream.
But if Google keeps its ranking algorithms a big, fat secret (even the gift of my homemade Anzac cookies didn’t work), how can anyone REALLY be certain what improves SEO rankings?
Testing. Testing. Testing. Analyse. Tweak. More Testing. Testing. Testing.
Through a lot of tracking, testing and analysis we can feel quietly confident that our efforts will improve SEO rankings.
As long as we apply a bunch of the top on-page SEO strategies, we can get web pages to rank and get traffic.
What are the two BIG tickets?
Everyone in the SEO Copywriting world knows that the big tickets are:-
1. Relevancy – be a 3-star Michelin content chef.
Like the “product for eyelashes” example above, Google works hard to dish out the most relevant results possible.
So it’s up to us to make sure we cook up content that is relevant to what the searcher ordered.
Unlike those McDonalds-style content farms, we have to be careful not to appear as if we are stuffing our content with keywords. Nowadays, Google is way too clever for these sorts of black hat (and now VERY old hat) SEO copywriting techniques.
Want to know a perfect example of how relevant content alone can work wonders in the SERPs?
Let’s take a look at Loud Cow’s website.
Even though I know all the tricks in the book I’ve made it a personal challenge to do nothing else but talk about what I do as an SEO Copywriter plus rave on about other stuff that tickles my fancy when I have the time to do so. The content on this site is original and my own.
After just launching Loud Cow only 4 months ago I’m now in the top 10 for “SEO Copywriter” in .au searches.
To be honest, I’m still shaking my head, “Nahhhh…have I cleared history and caches? That can’t be right.”
I’m a new domain? Maybe the Google Gods give newbies a leg up for a while If so,- thanks Matt!
I wasn’t expecting visitors sooooo early – the rollers are still in my hair! I’m nowhere near finalising the design of the site and my logo is ho-hum – BUT the content is obviously relevant.
So despite the proliferation of content farms, good ol’ home grown, relevant content still has a chance of beating the big players that have oodles of time and resources to throw into fake content creation and SEO.
2. Authority – Power to the people. Getting “votes” for your content.
Link building is the biggest biggie when it comes to making your content appear important to the search engines.
The more quality links you get, the better it is for your rankings. A link is like someone voting for your site.
Again – this has to happen naturally.
Like the content farms, there’s a whole bunch of naughty link farms out there that promise you links to PR9 sites and so on.
DON’T be tempted. It may work for a while but like life, your past will catch up with you
So how do you create links naturally?
Ya gotta make people love you:)
Well – at least like your content enough to link to it.
Commenting on other blogs, social media and apps like Networked blogs on Facebook are great for getting your content out there. But you must make it engaging and valuable enough for people to link to it.
Link building is important but there’s always an exception to the rule.
Being the humble soul I am, I can’t bring myself to ask sites (strangers) with good PR to link to me (one link building strategy).
I’ve done NO link-building on Loud Cow but I’m still in the top 10 for my desired keywords?
Go figure. It’s the antithesis of best practice SEO.
The obvious takeaway here? Relevant content is your most important strategy.
(On this note I’m presently engaged in a hilarious SEO experiment that will prove you can rank for anything if your content is relevant enough! Results will be out in a week or so – Subscribe to Loud Cow’s feed so you don’t miss out…)
OK. You’ve read this far.
You deserve some FREE SEO tips!
7 Seven FREE On-page SEO Techniques
REMEMBER: Before you start, choose a keyword that has a decent amount of traffic. There’s no point in optimising for a search term that nobody searches for. And oh….ensure to check the competition for that keyword – you may be biting off more than you can chew.
1. Buy a domain name that matches your key phrase.
I know it’s not always practical and will sometimes conflict with branding needs but I’ve had huge success with new domains ranking well for particular search terms because the keyword was included in the domain URL. e.g. you want to rank for “sydney house painting”, have this, or a variation thereof, as your domain name.
2. Get your key phrase into the URL of the page.
If you can’t have your key phrase in your domain name (Loud Cow has nothing to do with “SEO Copywriting”) it’s not the end of the world but at least have it in your page URLs. You’ll notice on the Loud Cow site I’ve a bunch of premium WordPress themes I use to build sites for clients.
Here’s the URL. http://www.loudcow.com.au/premium-wordpress-themes Note it has the keywords I’m trying to rank for in the URL.
3. Make sure the keyword appears in the title of the web page and in the meta tags.
The title page of the above example is “Premium WordPress Themes | Loud Cow”. I’ve also added ‘premium wordpress themes’ to the meta description and thrown it in as a keyword tag as well for good measure. The latter (the meta keyword tag) is considered less important due to the old practice of keyword stuffing but I still always throw in a few just so long as they are RELEVANT.
4. Put your keyword into headings .i.e. Wrap them with HTML tags – H1/H2 etc
This is why I love WordPress for SEO! You can do this in a click. Don’t underestimate the importance of this. Like a good newspaper or magazine article, your page needs to have clear and relevant headlines and sub-headlines to guide the reader. The bots use the H1 and H2 tags to assess content from the most important to the least important. Adding H1 tags can really make a difference to your rankings.
5. Make the keyword you’re trying to rank for stand out by using text formatting.
Be bold! Use bold type, italics and underline. Again, this is a way search engines can decipher what is important on the page.
6. Don’t forget Alt tags for your images!
If you have an image on your web page, put your keyword into the ‘alt’ tag of the image. This adds a little bit of SEO weight. It is also increasingly important for image searches. I’ve a tourism client who is in the top 10 for loads of desired keywords but shows up no-where for all of their beautiful images – yet! We’ll be busy optimising the images in the next couple of weeks.
7. Make your keyword prominent in the first sentence and the last sentence of the text on your web page.
Just like a good article in a mag or newspaper there’s always a succinct intro of the topic and summary of same at the end. So it makes sense that the search engines would pay more attention to the content at the beginning and end of your page.
And oh….one more thing! Keyword Density….
Keyword density is usually measured as a percentage of the total words on a page. Too high a keyword density may get your page penalised by the search engines. So be careful not to stuff your page with tooooo many keywords. There are heaps of FREE Keyword density tools out there. I use Scribe.
Sound all too hard?
It doesn’t have to be!
And what the hey? It’s Sunday.
This Loud Cow needs to escape the paddock and run amok at the beach.
Time to forget about all this SEO stuff.
In fact, when it comes to writing for the web, that’s probably the best tip yet!
Out for now.
P.S. Don’t miss out on my funny SEO Experiment – proof you can optimise for ANYTHING! Subscribe to the Loud Cow blog now. The experiment will be complete in a week or two.