Developing website copy for SEO and visitors

If you know a thing or two about website development you’ll know that now, perhaps more than ever, the content you place on your website is vital for getting good search engine rankings.

If you want to get good rankings on search engines, there are a few things you’ll need to focus on when developing your content, particularly your textual content.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to know the keyword phrases people use to search for the products or services you sell. This process is a key part of any search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign and it might seem simple but it’s often not. While it’s outside the scope of this article, when researching keywords you should take into account aspects such as competitiveness of the keywords, search volume and relevance. You also need to understand that you should never focus on too many keyword phrases – one or two a page at most.

Once you have decided on the best keywords to focus on for your business you then need to weave these keywords into your content. So if one of your developing a page on SEO copy and one of your keywords is ‘SEO Copy’, you should include this phrase in the main content as well as headings, internal links and bullet points, as well as other key areas of your website.

Another absolutely vital point to make is that when developing content for your website, search engines shouldn’t be your prime target; visitors are. The reason for this should be obvious: if you’re content isn’t well written it doesn’t matter how many visitors you get, no one is going to take further action.

That’s why developing winning website copy needs to be done in two steps:

  1. Develop copy that gets visitors to your website through higher search engine rankings.
  2. Develop copy that informs, interests and engages your target customer, so people want to stay on your website and follow through with your preferred action, whether it is purchase a product, contact you, leave their details or some other action.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t overuse keywords. Using our previous example, just because your keyword is SEO Copy doesn’t mean you should use it 50 times on the one page! Keyword stuffing, as it is often referred to, is usually obvious and detracts from visitor experience. Generally you should aim for a keyword density of between 2 – 4%.
  • Only use keywords that apply to a page. If your page is about SEO Copy then don’t use keywords that having nothing to do with SEO Copy.
  • Choose keywords that you can easily incorporate into text. If you’re finding it difficult to use a keyword you’ve chosen, generally you’re best to find another keyword that’s easier to use.
  • This one is a personal one: don’t use incorrect spelling. Let me give you an example. The keyword plumber has an enormous search volume but it’s also highly competitive, so you’re unlikely to rank well if you focus on it. So why not use plummer? It has high search volumes and is nowhere near as competitive. The reason I don’t advocate incorrect spelling even though many people do is that it’s unprofessional. Remember, your main target is visitors not search engines. You may get away with it with lesser-known word but generally I believe you shouldn’t risk it.

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