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Effective Copy Writing Strategies for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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Having a site that is Search Engine friendly and programmed in a way that is search engine compatible in order to allow the web crawlers to easily crawl through your site and index all your web pages is the first step to ensuring that you have the ability to be found on search engines.

Essentially, the content within the site itself and the inclusion of relevant search terms that people are actively searching for will determine how Google ranks your content in relation to all the other sites that serve similar key word content.

Beyond key word content there are other external factors that contribute to your rankings – primarily, quality inbound links from reputable and established site as well as from other similar industry or product related sites that are relevant to your business. This is called building an in-bound linking strategy and is another topic and strategy unto itself that further helps improve your relevance and ranking. But for the purpose of building quality key word content within your website, we will focus on how to optimize your own website copy so that it is relevant to your target market – as that is the core of Search Engine Optimization and what you have most control over. It also ensures that you are building more value and relevance into your own web property, because ultimately the more relevant your copy is to what people are searching for, the better chance you have of generating real leads and converting those targeted leads into sales.

So where do you start?

1) Develop a key word list:

Start by writing out a list of key words that you think are most relevant and descriptive of your business, service or products. Be as general and as detailed as possible.

For example, if you are a jewelry company that focuses on selling silver necklaces, bracelets and earrings, then you want to cover terms such as silver jewelry, silver necklaces, silver bracelets, silver earrings?.

Then you want to get even more descriptive because the closer you are to exactly what people are searching for, the less competitive the space becomes and the higher your chances are of being found and being extremely relevant to the search?.

So start thinking of more specific details: geo-target, description of individual products etc.

Eg. Silver jewelry store Toronto, silver jewelry retailer Toronto, wholesale silver jewelry Toronto, silver necklace with heart pendant, silver bracelet with heart pendant etc.

Going after “jewelry” or “silver” alone is too broad, unfocused and too competitive to start with. The more detailed and specific – THE BETTER!

2) Do some key word research:

Once you’ve come up with your own list then verify if you are actually going after key words that people are actually using in their search terms. There are many key word tools available, but the most popular is the Google Adwords Tool. https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordTool>External

The Google Adwords tool is a free web based tool.

Just type in one of your most common key words that you plan on using and it will show you how many monthly searches have been done on that key word locally and globally. It will also show you a list of other related key words and how popular those phrases are, meaning how many people are searching monthly for those phrases globally and locally.

Review the list to determine which of those key phrases are truly relevant to your business, products and services and add them to your key word strategy.

Check out the competition for your key words:

To get an idea of what you are up against, plug those key words into the Google search engine itself and see how many websites are indexed for that phrases. Is it in the hundreds of thousands? Is it in the millions? Or is it in the billions? The more sites you’re up against, the harder and the longer will be your climb to the top.

As mentioned earlier, in order to rank sooner than later, go after key phrases that are not overly general and competitive. The long tail descriptive key words will give you a better chance of getting ranked sooner than later. Once you optimize well for those terms, you will have an easier chance of gradually capturing more competitive terms. If you are doing business within a certain geo-graphic target Canada, Ontario or Toronto, or even a district ie, Thornhill, Ontario, then attach that to your key phrases wherever possible for people who are searching for a business or service within your geographic area. If you are only a web based service or business, then add that to your key phrase eg. ‘Retail Silver Jewelry Store Toronto Ontario’ vs ‘Canadian Online Silver Jewelry Store’.

3) Once you’ve completed your key word list, assign 1 – 3 key word phrases to each page within your site. The simplest approach to optimizing content is focuses on 1 key word phrase per page, but it is possible to include up to 3 key word phrases per page if done properly and strategically.

An effective SEO copy writing strategy in its most basic form requires that you include your selected key words strategically within each page within the following format:

In your Title Tag – which shows up as a description of your page at the top of your browser

In your Meta description – doesn’t show up on your web page but Google reads this and plugs it into your search descriptions that come up on Google when your site is crawled and indexed

In your H1 Heading Tag – this is usually considered your headline above your body content.

Within your body content – this is the 1 – 3 paragraphs (or longer) that you would have below your headline to reinforce and give more information about what you’re saying in your headline

Within your text links throughout each page – if you have an opportunity to have key words link to other pages that also focus on similar key word content within your site, that also helps to increase your key word relevance for those terms.

– If you require a lot of information on one page, possibly consider breaking that page up into more pages to have the opportunity to focus on more key words on separate pages and keeping copy long enough for search engines but short enough to be concise and people-friendly. However, if a large amount of copy is required on one page, then break it up with H2, H3 sub heading tags – Those are sub headlines that you would want to include your key words in. Then you would want to further include those key words in the body content below those Sub heading / sub headline tags. It also gives you an opportunity to break up content within a page to make it more reader friendly and not overly heavy.

A final key piece of advice for writing key word focused SEO copy:

The reason you want Google to rank your site is so that more people can find your site, so that they can contact you and ultimately do business with you. While it’s important to follow SEO guidelines, ALWAYS keep the end reader in mind. If they like how it reads and they can relate to it, there’s a higher chance that they’ll contact you. If you’re only writing copy so that Google will rank you site, then you can rest assured that most people who actually find your site will leave it and go to the next site that they can relate to better.

Successful SEO copy writing is a combination of following best practice SEO guidelines and writing for REAL PEOPLE.

Good luck!
Esther Willinger
President
Eden Advertising & Interactive Inc.

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