SEO Copywriting: What Really Matters
SEO copywriting can be confusing, with one guy telling you one thing and someone else telling you another. Despite the conflicting advice, there are at least five elements that appear to show up on most everyone’s radar when talking about optimizing your web content for SEO purposes.
1. Title. The title is the most important place to use your keyword, as it’s both a major factor for search engine rankings and the first thing readers will see. It also helps you with links, since people are more likely to anchor text similar to the title you use in your piece. Keep it under 72 characters (some say, 60, but 72 is usually safe) for brevity – very important when showing up in listings.
2. Meta Description. See that snippet of text below the title of a page in search engines? Most of the time, that’s taken from your meta-description. Keep it under 165 characters to keep it visible in the results, in case the algorithm decides to pull up the meta-description.
3. Content. This is probably where the bulk of on-page SEO tips center. As a rule, very short content will have a harder time beating a page with substantial content in ranking, so always look towards having at least 300 to 500 words of real content per page. Use bold and italicization to your advantage, using it to highlight the first occurrences of your major keywords.
4. Keyword Frequency. You don’t need to repeat keywords mindlessly to do effective SEO, but using it several times (along with synonyms) wouldn’t hurt. It only makes sense that it affects ranking too. As a rule, try to have your primary keyword appear both on the first sentence and on the last one, along with two or three more times in the main body (the frequency should depend on the length of your copy). Avoid excessive use of keywords. To judge, try reading the piece. If the keyword gets in the way of the flow (sometimes, to the point that your writing improvement software will flag it), then you’re using it too much.
5. On-Page Links. Links are the main currency of web pages, so don’t hesitate to give credit to relevant content, provided they won’t hurt your rankings. As a guideline, make sure you only link to reputable pages, with naturally relevant anchor text. Don’t be shy about linking to content in your own website too.