Some SEO Copywriting take-aways from the latest SEO Moz Report
SEO Moz have released a report that reflects the opinions of the top SEOs in the industry – the very brainy “analysis-ey” types who live, breathe and eat SEO 24/7.
The report is fairly lengthy and detailed and you’d need a statisticians’ brain to get your head around the data.
The top five trends that I think are most relevant to an SEO Copywriter are the following:-
1. Social Media is a rising factor. If you don’t have them already, get FB and Twitter accounts NOW
Not ground shattering news but it’s something we all need to pay more attention to. Any site I build for clients will always include a blog, FB like box and social media sharing functionality – stock standard.
If your boss is saying “social media is a waste of time” show them the report by SEO Moz – link below. As the experts predicted, the sharing of your content via social media channels is becoming increasingly valuable. It basically says to Google that what you have to offer is quality, relevant content that is worthy of sharing and hence worthy of high rankings. It’s something I admit to being slack with (no FB page yet!) but in the plans going forward after a phase two Loud Cow redesign:) Where is the tiiiiiimmmmme!
2. Exact match domain names. Not as valuable as they used to be.
I have used this myself with great success – do a bit of keyword research and determine a highly trafficked keyword term or phrase that has low competition and register the domain equivalent. I have a few domain names tucked away simply on the strength that this was a sure fire way to get a website ranking quickly.
Now, however, the SEO Moz report suggests that it is becoming less of a ranking factor. However, don’t fret if your site uses keywords in its domain – this will only apply to spammy sites – just so long as the content within the site is still relevant. That’s all that matters.
The short of it is, you may have been lucky/smart enough to nab www.highlytraffickedkeyword.com but it won’t mean you’ll be able to rank automatically for ” highly trafficked keyword” as easily as you used to prior to the latest Google algorithm updates.
How does Google determine what is a company/brand name versus what is a generic term via an algorithm? The mind boggles. My amateur guess is hyphenated domains and very long domains will be hit most.
God dang – there goes my www.buy-the-best-edible-undies-online.com e-commerce idea.
3. Google has only one thing on its mind – the experience of the searcher.
CTR and bounce rates are increasing in importance. If you’ve got heaps of 404s, duplicate content issues, a crap bounce rate and poor CTR (all juicy information which can be discovered for FREE through the use of google webmaster tools and analytics) Google will use this to rank your site. That’s fair enough. It’s why we all love it as a preferred search engine – the results they serve up are generally always clean with relevant information exactly relating to our search terms.
Check to make sure you’ve no broken links on your site. If you must change a URL use a 301 redirect. Bounce rates mean either the page the visitor landed on wasn’t relevant so they left instantly OR they couldn’t navigate your site to get to where they needed to go. So no point in whinging if we’re not serving up exactly what the searchers are looking for. We simply need to fix it…or lose rank.
4. On-page content is still important
There’s heaps of technical things that affect SEO – page speed and so on – but on-page SEO still has its place. There’s a fine line here. Page and domain level keyword usage is still very important but the old rule still rings true – don’t keyword stuff your page to smithereens. Write copy that appeals to the reader (getting it shared, linked to and read by real readers is your goal) instead of guessing what’s good for google bot.
There’s also a mention in the report regarding “too perfect” keyword anchor texts. Sheesh – so I suppose we just have to be semi-perfect:)
5. Malware will maul your rankings! Good housekeeping ensures your site is kept clean.
Although not entirely an SEO Copywriters’ responsibility, if you’re managing the web content for a client or for your business you need to be aware of external factors that could completely extinguish all the hard work you’ve done creating and sharing the content on your site. An easy fix is to employ a company like ‘Sucuri” – a monitoring company that checks your site for any changes or malware every 6 hours – 24/7. If you happen to be hit Sucuri cleans your site of malware – hopefully before Google notices and penalises you. There’s a WP plugin that goes with membership.
According to the SEO Moz report, the future of search and the way Google ranks your site is determined by the top following factors…
- Your site’s perceived value to users
- Social signals at a page level – i.e. pages in your domain that get shared and liked through social media channels
- Social signals at a domain level – you domain being linked to, liked and shared.
- Data from user experience – CTR, Bounce rates etc…
- Content readability, usability and design
So there you have it. If you want perfect rankings build a perfect website with perfect content that everyone will think is perfect…and then everything in your world will simply be…perfect.
I love this summation quote by one of the SEO Experts Julian Grainger…
” Google’s future is moving toward modeling human opinion. PageRank was a voting system for websites by websites. Now we are moving to a popularity system. Power to the people.”
Out for now.