Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO
When writing copy that is going to be published anywhere it’s important to consider the basics- correct spelling, language, grammar, structure, organization, etc. However, writing for the web and more specifically, for SEO purposes, is a different kind of writing that requires additional thought.
Here are 3 important SEO copywriting rules to follow:
Incorporate keywords as appropriate
One of the primary ways that people find content online is through the search engines. The search engines deliver results that are relevant to a search query based on the keywords that were searched for. While keywords are often incorporated into content naturally when writing, it is especially important to pay attention to when writing for the web. Conduct keyword research in order to find out how people might be searching for the kind of content that you are writing. The Google AdWords keyword research tool is a free and valuable resource. Of course, the first priority is always the reader. You never want to make it obvious that you are targeting a specific keyword by adding it in too many times. The reader will have a bad experience and it raises a red flag to the search engines that view “keyword stuffing” as a spammy approach.
Links are still the “bread and butter” of SEO. The search engine spiders crawl the web from link to link and links are what help determine the authority of a website and the relevance of website content. When writing offline content this obviously isn’t something that you need to think about, however it’s extremely important when writing for the web. The ultimate goal of website content is to get readers to click over to your website for more information. If your content is great and gets shared and linked to, you are missing out on a huge opportunity if you don’t include links back to your site within the content. For example, if you publish a guest post on another blog, link back to your own blog somewhere within the post, even if it’s in an “About the Author” section. This will improve your link portfolio and generate traffic back to your site. It’s also important to link to outside sources when necessary. Instead of simply quoting a reference, link back to the web page where the material appears. The webmaster of that site will appreciate the mention and link and may return the favor someday.
There is plenty of low quality web content out there and much of it was “scraped” from other sites. The search engines favor original, quality content and penalize sites that include duplicate content. While it may be difficult deciding on content topic ideas on a regular basis, never copy something that you find somewhere else- even if you give credit. Instead, use that as inspiration to create your own content. The search engines, and consumers, appreciate thought leaders and those that create original content. If you are simply sharing the work of others you aren’t really forming any kind of identity or establishing trust.