SEO Copywriting: Write For People, Optimize For Google.
Effective SEO Copywriting is about finding a balance between creating content for your website that both people AND Google will love.
SEO copywriting for small business websites in Toronto and Durham Region can definitely be challenging. Your website visitors want what they want when they want it and they’re really not interested in
They typically don’t want to mess about looking for what they want and they have come to your website with the expectation of finding their information. If they don’t, they will leave. And leave quickly.
Sounds harsh, I know. But that’s how it is.
Gone are the days when you could string together a keyword-dense but relatively uninformative page of text that may or may not have any benefit for anyone. Nope, now you have to be unique. And accurate. And to the point.
Actually, let me back-up a bit here and qualify something that seemingly contradicts the above statement.
Why crappy, keyword-stuffed websites continue to rank.
There are still quite a few keyword-stuffed websites out there that rank well enough, and this is something that bothers most of us in the SEO-biz. On the one hand, we’re being told by Google that creative, original, well-thought-out and informative content will do well and on the other hand a lot of crappy websites continue to rank. So what gives?
I mean, why bother putting together lengthy and even expensive content if you can just spam the search engines with repetitive content, right?
As of 2016, I can come up with two answers that are probably more true than not:
- All things being otherwise equal, quality content will beat-out crappy content.
- Google hasn’t figured out how – or isn’t in any rush – to penalize ALL of the offending websites.
The Google “Panda” and “Farmer” updates were the first attempts at clearing some of those types of websites out of the search results and there have been many other updates since then.
The problem continues, however, and anyone who has had the displeasure of searching for a locksmith or landscaping company (just two examples of many) will recognize what I’m referring to. Those are the types of websites that consistently repeat their keywords and normally have less than 300 words on a page, so it reads something like “Landscaping Oshawa, we are the Oshawa landscapers in Oshawa”.
And they get away with it.
The good news is, if I were doing the SEO for a local landscaping company that had a business address listed, I would create great content (aka SEO copywriting) and optimize the website in such a way that the spammy websites wouldn’t have a chance of competing. In that sense, the offenders really are doing you a favour because all you have to do is put together a proper website. This really should be the standard and in time it will be, or at least I’m hoping it will be.
At some point, Google (and the other major search engines) will have a better handle on this issue and all of the crappy websites will die the slow and painful death that they so richly deserve.
OK, so let’s get back to what you really should be doing when it comes to your SEO copywriting.
The content on your website needs to be fresh, informative and have the ability to help the person reading it. Many businesses think that simply providing you with plenty to read is good enough, but it really isn’t. These days, people have become more sophisticated with their online experiences and know when you’re not giving them what they need. Don’t miss the mark by falling into this trap.
If you are going to write your own website content, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Do some research.
It probably goes without saying, but you should really know what you’re talking about before you start to inform others and you should always aim to teach them something they weren’t aware of when they came to your website in the first place.
Important info comes first.
Like pricing, payment and contact information, for example. Try not to make people dig for anything. If you sell a product, have the descriptions, prices and shipping information handy for them. A good rule to keep in mind is that people don’t have to be on your website. They are choosing to be on your website and will leave if you aren’t giving them what they want.
Keep it simple.
No one needs ten-dollar words and technical jargon unless you are writing technical content. People aren’t looking to obtain a degree online when they come to your website, so keep it simple and save them the time and energy. They’ll appreciate it.
Date your articles.
Too often I’ve come across an article only to find halfway into it that it was written five years ago and doesn’t apply any longer. If they had dated the post, I would have known this right away and looked for more recent content. The fact that my time was wasted only increased the chances that I would deem that website to be ineffective, which I did. And I do. And so you do you in all likelihood.
Try to engage the reader.
Try to think of yourself as a visitor to your website, and not the website owner or writer of the content. What would engage you? How much text would you be willing to read before you gave up? Or what kind of information would you be expecting to find right away? Putting yourself in their shoes will help you to create content that relates to your intended audience.
Another important point about engaging readers relates to analytics and specifically how long people stay on a page. This type of metric tells Google that hey, people are staying on this pahge for an average of 3 minutes, so it must be a good page. If people land here, read a sentence or two and bounce, Google will probably interpret it to mean that your page, well, sucks.
Give them something to share.
Part of your Off-Page SEO strategy is to get people to link to your content, or to somehow share your content through Social Media. This isn’t an easy task, and it’s one that will take a lot of effort from you to achieve, so be sure to think about what you’re writing and why someone would want to send it to someone else.
Need help creating some strong content for your website?
Give me a call before committing to any contracts or other SEO companies. I’ll assess your website and let you know what can be done so that you can start attracting and converting the right kind of traffic into actual sales.
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