These SEO copywriting tips are designed to help you develop better copywriting skills and a firm understanding of the principles behind developing web copy that appeals to human visitors and search engines alike.
One of the fundamental elements of developing good copywriting skills involves targeting your copy towards a single audience of market segment.
The idea is, if you try to aim your copy at a very general crowd, you'll end up appealing to now one - so it's better to choose a narrower target audience and speak directly to them. The difference with SEO copywriting is that you have two audiences: one human, and one non-human.
So the key is to write copy that speaks to both. Remember, your human readers should always be first in your mind. There's no point in focusing on optimizing your copy for search engines if your conversion rates drop significantly as a result.
Your keyword optimization efforts need to fit in seamlessly with the persuasive purposes of your copy.
One of the lesser-known aspects of SEO is the importance of headline tags for indicating to the search engine spiders what the important topics of your page are.
Again, the primary purpose of a headline should always be grabbing and holding the reader's attention. However, it's good practice for SEO purpose to include your main keyword within the h1 tags in the first headline at the top of your page.
Try to use secondary keywords in smaller headline blocks throughout the page. If you can create headlines which include your keywords without losing any of their effectiveness in terms of reader reaction, you'll be on the path to writing excellent SEO copy.
Many business owners have taken to paying web developers thousands of dollars for Flash intros and sites full of frames. While these websites may look very appealing, they tend to suffer at the search engines because the spiders can't read and index the information contained within the web page coding.
This is why a very basic HTML site can perform much better in search results than an expensive Flash-based site. Remember: impressive designs are of little use anyway if your copy doesn't generate search traffic.
You're welcome to use flash and frames, but just make sure there is plenty of SEO copy outside them for the search engine spiders to sink their teeth into.
Here's another SEO copywriting tip - take a look at the source code for websites which are ranking well for the keywords you want to target.
To do this, just type in your keyword at Google and go to the number one result. Now use the View Source function on your browser - for Internet Explorer users, this is under the "Page" tab on the top right of the screen.
This will show you the actual HTML code of the page you're looking at. Take note of the Keyword, Title and Description META tags.
Also note if the filename of the page URL includes the page's main keyword, and count how many times that main keyword phrase is repeated throughout the text. Is the phrase used in a headline, and within a text link on the page?
Remember that there are many off-page factors that determine high rankings, but getting your copy in top shape is the first step.
If your copy optimization is not up to the standards of your competitors, you're giving them an edge over you. But keep in mind: never let the desire to win at the search engines get in the way of copy that speaks volumes to real, human readers.
Copywriting skills should take precedence over SEO - you need to be able to convert visitors once they arrive, otherwise your SEO is a waste of time.
Author: Tom McSherry
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