When we tell clients writing for a website is a lot different than writing for print, we can tell, at first, they're not convinced. But once we start telling them what's involved, they understand.
Below are the items we point out that relate to writing and good SEO. Look them over, then decide if you have the time, or inclination, to be writing content for your own website.
However, no matter who writes the copy for the website, we conduct keyword research beforehand, so we know what phrases to include in the content. Using Google's Keyword Tool, we start with the obvious options (ie: Columbus home builders), then drill down into more niche keywords (ie: custom luxury builders) , then long-tail keyword phrases (home builders in Dublin Ohio) to make sure we nail down the top 10 keywords to include throughout your website.
If your site has more services or products to it, we go further and find relevant keywords for those sections. And as your site grows we can investigate additional keywords to build on.
Eleven tips when writing for websites are:
- Have at least 500 words per landing page or blog. Why is longer better? Two reasons: Algorithms believe longer content is more educational, and if your blogs are good, people will spend time reading them. Which means they spend time on your website. Time spent on a website is called "Dwell time" and it is a Google ranking factor.
- Incorporate keywords into one headline, or subhead, when possible. Headlines (when tagged as H1 tags) are given more "weight" by search engines than other subheads or body copy. The H1 tag is used to determine the content of a website. Read more about H1 tags here.
- Don’t use more than 2 - 3 keyword phrases per landing page, or blog. Using too many keywords assures you'll be spreading yourself too thin for search engine's synapses to connect those words with your website.
- Don’t have more than 5% of the words on any page, or blog, be keywords. That's because if you use too many keyword sin a page, Google thinks you're trying to game the system. Here's why keyword stuffing counts against you.
- If possible, use a keyword in the first sentence. If that's not practical, at least shoot for having one in the first 200 words.
- Use a mobile-friendly writing style. Since voice search is rising along with mobile web browsing, there’s more and more voice-activated searches, which are often full sentences or questions rather than a string of keywords. So instead of the query like “U.S. citizen's test,” a voice search might be the phrase “What’s the best way to prepare for the U.S. citizen's test?” If you can incorporate those types of searches in your website or blog, all the better.
- Because we’re all members of The Short Attention Span Society, and because of more folks viewing sites on mobile devices, it’s good to use short paragraphs. Short paragraphs are between one and three sentences. Most newspapers and magazines have been using 1 - 3 sentence paragraphs for years. Also use bullet points, and subheadings to help readers scan the text. This is important, now that goldfish have a longer attention span than humans.
- Include cross links to other pages within your website, when appropriate. This article explains the benefit of having "internal" links.
- Include links to other informative websites, when appropriate
- When writing the text for the any actual links, it’s best not to use a simple phrase (ie: “Click here to learn more”). It’s best practice to use words that relate to the page you’re directing people to. As an example, if making a link to a "Benefits of CBD oil" page, have the text for the link read "Read more about the benefits of CBD oil here.” That helps search engines know that you're not trying to trick people with your links.
- End each page’s content with a call to action (ie: “To start the conversation, contact us today.” or “For more information, let’s talk.”) which should link to your website’s contact form.
Other SEO elements that need to be included.
We understand no one knows your company better than you. So while you have that critical knowledge, we know how to bring your concepts to life on your website, while incorporating good SEO.
In addition to just writing the content on the pages of your website, good SEO also consists of:
- Writing Page Titles, which are the first things search engines "read" on your site.
- Writing Meta Descriptions.
So you see, there's more to writing for the web than writing for print. If you'd like to learn more, or talk about how your website's SEO can be improved, feel free to contact us.