Posted on May 6, 2010
When developing content for your web pages it is important to have well written articles that are concise and engaging. If you are selling products or services you may also want to include calls to action that will help you maximize conversions. For individuals with a marketing background this may all sound very familiar to you.
However, since you are writing content for websites you will not only have to cater to potential customers but also to search engines crawlers that are trying to index your pages in order to rank them on search engines.
Search engines match a user's search query with keywords found on your pages in an effort to display the most relevant search results. Your web page will definitely not rank if a user query on Google does not match keyword phrases on your pages. Effective SEO copywriting requires the right combination of compelling content and pages that are optimized for search engines.
It is generally a good idea to start your SEO content writing process with a comprehensive keyword research. This will give you a good idea as to which keyword phrases are relevant and should be targeted during your content writing process. Google offers a free Keyword Research Tool. You can also use this Geo Specific Keyword Tool if you are targeting local keywords. Copy/Paste your list of keywords in a spread sheet so you can refer back to this list as you write content.
Organizing Your Content
It is a good idea to develop articles that target no more than three related keyword phrases. With this strategy you make it easy for search engines to understand what the particular page is all about. Plus, you avoid having multiple pages on your site compete for the same keyword. (Keyword Cannibalization) Many websites solve this issue by creating a resource section that targets specific keywords assigned to individual pages.
Optimizing Web Pages for Search Engines
Developing optimized web pages is not complicated. However there are a couple of elements that need to be address in order to give your pages the best chance to rank well on search engines:
1. Page Title
Page titles are the most relevant tags on your entire page and will significantly affect the ranking on Search Engines. Use these guidelines when developing effective page titles:
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2. Meta Description-Meta Keywords
Meta Descriptions will not help you with rankings. However they are often used as the description for your webpages on search results. Therefore write a meta description that matched you page content. Each page should have a unique meta tags and meta keywords. For your meta description use between 20 and 30 words.
3. H1 Tag
Include your keyword phrase in your H1 tag. This will further help search engines understand what this page is all about.
As you develop content be mindful of the keywords you are targeting for a particular page. Refer back to your keyword research spreadsheet and list the various pages that you have optimized for specific keywords. This way you know which keyword phrases are missing a corresponding page.
Don't stuff your page with keywords. Start by writing for human consumption first and make your content compelling and concise. As you start editing, see if you can include keywords in to your article in a way that sounds natural. I suggest you try to achieve between 2-5% keyword density for your any given page. I use SEO Quake's Firefox Plug in to check the keyword density on web pages.
Content Development Based On Existing Rankings
If your website has been online for some time there is a good chance that some of the keywords you are interested in already rank somewhere in the top 10 pages on Google and other search engines. If that's the case it probably makes more sense to optimize pages that already rank using the guidelines mentioned above. To quickly check rankings of a site I use SEO Books' Ranking Checker. The tool will tell you which keywords and pages are ranking.
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