Writing content can be a frustrating process – doubly so when that content is not found by the search engines. Here are a few of our tips to making sure that your site is found by the right people.
Write your content in the natural language of your ideal audience.
There is a myth out there that writing your content so that it can be understood by the search engines will help your site rank better. Well, it is just that, a myth. All of the search engines prefer to process content in natural language rather than try to make sense out of pages crammed with keywords. The other major benefit to having clearly written content is that it is easier for your audience to understand and your site will make more conversions.
Once hailed as extremely important, there is no evidence out there to suggest that the search engines actually pay any attention to keyword density (i.e. the number of times a given keyword or phrase appears on a given page). The message here is the same, use clear, easy to read natural content with relevant keywords – this will help the search engines assign context to a given page.
Alternatives to keyword density
By way of an alternative to keyword density, we recommend using relevant keywords (in context) within your content. A great way to play on this, without stuffing your pages full of keywords, is to use synonyms or grammatical variations within your content.
What keywords should I target?
For a normal brochure site, target somewhere in the region of three to five keywords or phrases. These keywords should be in the language of your ideal customer, not necessarily your own (possibly technical) language. So get a cup of tea, sit back and think “If my ideal customer was to find me in Google, what phrase would they search for?”. When you have come up with three, check out the Google AdWords keyword planner and see if you can find a few related or alternate keywords.
Keyword length and the price:competition:return trade-off
For every keyword, there is a trade-off between the price per click (within AdWords), competition (i.e. the number of sites all competing for clicks) and return (the number of likely clicks). The holy grail here would be to find a cheap, low-competition, high traffic keyword – needless to say, it is very difficult to come across keywords like this (unless you have few or no competitors online). So we would encourage you to look for longer (aka “longtail) key phrases. So instead of trying to compete with thousands of websites using the keyword “Balloons”, try “Red Balloons” or “Branded Balloons”, “Custom Branded Balloons”. The longer the phrase, the fewer visitors are likely to visit your site, but this traffic will be more targeted (i.e. this traffic is looking for that phrase exactly).
We always type questions into the search engines. i.e. “How do I change a light bulb in a Ford Focus?” With this in mind, it is always good to answer (frequently asked) questions within your content.
Title Tags and Descriptions
Every page on your site should have carefully written descriptive text in both the title tag and the meta description. These are what appear in the google results, so they need to be short, to the point and attractive.
Of course, in the process of doing all of the above, make sure you don’t lose sight of what you are trying to say! There is no point in writing the wrong content or focussing on the wrong audience just to get higher rankings (which will ultimately be of no use to you). Remember, the goal is to get more of the right people (who are looking for your products/services) on your site.
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