Effective Search Engine Copywriting
The Foundation of Website Success
There are but two purposes of a website. Branding an image, cultivating
customers or both. Success requires a continuous flow of qualified
traffic that is convertible to action. Since 80% of websites are
initially discovered through search engines, prominent positioning
in the natural (free) search results should be a priority. Leads
referred by a search engine are highly qualified since they are
preconditioned for some type of action.
Therefore, the simultaneous role of website copywriting
is moving human emotion to your revenue advantage and optimizing
copy messaging to positively impact search engine ranking criteria.
No matter how compellingly powerful, motivating and persuasive web
copy may be, if your targeted keywords are not strategically placed
where they are impressive to search engine ranking algorithms….your
web pages will never be highly ranked…period.
Optimized content by itself will not get your site
to the top of the search results. But well-prepared content is the
base foundation that permits all other ranking factors to perform
in-unison. Since our customers’ success is our priority focus,
we’re going to give you the basic fundamentals of writing
website copy that will gain meaningful prominence across the major
First and foremost, ranking criteria is all about
satisfying relevancy to a particular search query. Those websites
that best satisfy relevancy according to the scoring standards of
each unique search engine will be rewarded with the highest ranked
positions in the search results.
What’s most important is what works and not
why. Therefore we’re not going to confuse you with theory.
What is known about proprietary ranking algorithms is
complicated stuff much to lengthy to discuss here. Besides, the
engines continually modify the criteria to improve search results.
Engines Do Not Read Graphics
This fact is important to web design concepting and message presentation.
Search engines read html content and not graphical type or images
although naming those images with keywords adds scoring value. Design
esthetics must be balanced with html readable words. Use graphics
sparingly and only to package the content and to add attention-grabbing
impact to important points. Simplified source code is a ranking
Keyword Selection Process
This is where is all begins, well strategized copywriting requires
identifying your most valuable and productive keywords. We offer
an affordable Keyword Research and Analysis Report that will help
you select targeted keyword phrases that will be most productive
to your objectives.
- Generally, people search for specific information,
solutions and products. Therefore, they enter multiple-word search
queries. Your targets for ranking should be multiple-word phrases
and not single keywords.
- Your traffic objective is reaching audiences that
are preconditioned to act on your services, products and solutions.
Higher conversion rate is the goal. Therefore, choose phrases
that are most productive towards moving customers to action.
- Frequently it’s wise to target “less
competitive phrases”. It’s easier to achieve higher
ranking with more narrow search phrases simply because there are
fewer websites competing for those terms.
Here’s an example. Targeting
the single word “website” would be highly competitive.
If you were to get ranked highly for that one word, it would only
bring a lot of “junk traffic” that is likely “unqualified”.
The multiple two-word phrase “website design” would
be less competitive with an enhanced degree of qualification. However,
focusing on “Phoenix Website Design” is
even less competitive and hones closer to a more desirable lead.
Traffic volume would be lower, but conversion rate would be typically
Here’s another example. “hotels”
versus “Sedona hotels” versus “discount
hotels in Sedona Arizona”. I’m sure you get the point.
Notice in the above examples that “Phoenix Website
Design” and “Sedona Hotels” are direct links to
other web pages. One internal to this site and one external to a
third-party site. That’s called “anchor text”
which uses keywords to describe what a surfer will discover at link
destination. That contributes ranking scoring value for both the
“sending” and “receiving” web pages. Keywords
used in anchor text are significantly valuable to higher ranking
potential. The engines give even greater value when other keywords
are used “around the anchor text”.
Writing Page Headings
Website visitors typically scan headlines looking for clues to satisfying
their interests. They want to know what content is about before
wasting time. As well, search engines want to discover quickly what
the primary subject is about to rapidly establish context match
to a search query. Therefore, greater scoring value is given to
page heads and sub-heads that contain keywords. Making those heads
larger and bolder than text areas delivers benefits. Applying the
header codes <H1> through <H41> in tiered order of importance is
an advantage. Helpful hint. Do not use more than one <H1> header
Main Text Copywriting
First and foremost, write compelling copy that flows smoothly in
natural form. Use keywords and keyword phrases where they make sense
to a visitor and add impact to messaging. Don’t be concerned
with ratio of keywords to the total number of words. Use your primary
keyword phrase a couple times and “sprinkle” supporting
and trailing keywords reasonably throughout web page text. Keyword
stuffing could result in over-optimization scoring penalties. Write
for the benefit of your visitor and make sure your targeted keywords
are viewable by your audience.
A few high points:
- Keywords near the end of content provide advantage.
- Try and include anchor text keywords within text
that link to internal and external web pages of similar and compatible
- Bold and italic keywords
score value versus regular type. Avoid overzealous treatment however.
- Apply “alt attributes” to important
graphical elements that accurately describe the element. Keywords
in alt-attributes of linked graphics are important, but accurately
describe what the user will discover at the link destination.
Make them brief and do not overzealously try and use the attribute
to “stuff keywords”.
Writing Web Page Title Tags
Search engines read page title tags and meta descriptions first
to determine what a web page is all about. Your web page is not
likely to be ever highly ranked unless keywords are contained in
title tags. The title tag is the linking anchor to your web page
in the search results. Therefore it must be compelling enough to
entice click through. Limit the tag to about 80 to 100 characters
and include an exact match to your primary targeted search phrase.
Use trailing keywords to widen the potential of ranking opportunity
for other “stemmed” phrases.
- The earlier keywords appear, the better.
- Including your company name consumes valuable space.
If you must use it for branding, place it at the end of the title.
- Create a unique title tag for every web page to
cover a wider-range of keyword coverage.
- The engines are not case-sensitive. Consider
using both singular and plural word forms and synonyms…(car)
Writing The Meta Description
The same basic principles that apply to the Title Tag, also apply to
the meta description. Make it compelling, integrate your targeted
keywords and limit its length to about 25-30 words. Some engines
will use the meta description in the search results to describe
your web page while other engines will “snippet” portions of
page text, or both.
You can often “force” an engine to display
your meta description with this approach… Include your primary
keyword phrase within a continuous sentence. This gives you the
potential of delivering a more compelling enticement to the surfer
versus page snippets that sometimes form unintelligible “gibberish”
as a description.
Sculpting Meta Keywords
Meta keywords provide miniscule value to ranking potential. However,
always include important keywords in the tag. Separate keywords
with commas and include multiple keyword phrases. Avoid excessively
repeating keywords. Do not use keywords that are not related to
Value of Theming
There is evidence that some search engines reward topic-theming
across on entire website with extra scoring value. The subject of
what constitutes and creating theming value is complex. However,
here is a basic approach to help gain potential…identify your
three or four most valuable keywords and try and incorporate them
into the important locations previously discussed across all web
Phoenix Arizona Web Design, Graphic Design,
Internet Marketing & Search Engine Optimization