Three Keys to SEO: Keywords, Google Bots, and Moderation
Kelowna Search Engine Optimization Through Keyword-Rich Web Pages
Website copywriting plays a big part of your website. Not only does the text have to convey information clearly and effectively, you also have to write it so that different search engine bots can understand what your web page is about. These web bots will pick up certain keywords in your web copy, which allows for search engines to rank how relevant your website is to what is being searched for.
This is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. Need more of an intro? Read our article: Does Google Like Your Company?
We've put together a breakdown of how to optimize your copywriting to get the big search engines serving your website up as a preferred source of information, as well as how to keep visitors on your website for longer once they're there. There are many notable search engines out there (example: Yahoo!, Bing), but we'll focus on the most popular one: Google.
Copywriting for Websites vs. Offline Publications
We've long evolved beyond reading on physically printed mediums--newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, etc. Nowadays, hop on your computer, or pull out your phone, and you can access a world of information. Best of all, you can simply type in what you're searching for and you'll get a list of relevant sources to peruse.
Wouldn't a search bar have been handy back in the day of trying to look up a term or quote in a hefty encyclopedia? While website copywriting has to be informative, it has to be easy to follow along and understand. To do that, you need to offer your information in the most digestible form possible. You'll want the following:
- Bold and italics
Your goal is to shift from one form of content delivery to another before someone gets bored of your format. Seinfeld has a great quote that still applies to the web: "This whole idea of an attention span is, I think, a misnomer. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them." -Jerry Seinfeld Varying your delivery entertains readers who may otherwise be turned off just by looking at a page. You can't vary useless content and keep someone's attention, though; you still need to offer valuable information, and you'll need the SEO to get readers there in the first place. Both are covered below.
What's a keyword?
A word or short phrase people type into a search engine to find something. For example, "Kelowna marketing" would be a keyword.
What's a search engine?
Software that tries to keep track of the billions of pages on the Internet and displays the most relevant pages on the search engine results pages (SERP). Fun fact: half of everything read on the Internet begins with a search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing! Google is beginning to behave more and more like a person, which, believe it or not, is making SEO easier in Kelowna.
To achieve strong Google rankings, you must think about how everything you do provides value. First though, you'll need to choose your keywords. Think of the your main products and services and write a list. Ask your customers what they would type into Google to find you (if they didn't know your business name). An SEO company in Kelowna can also check the search volume of your keyword list for you and come up with other popular keyword ideas. The key word here (excuse the pun) is "popular"--ranking number 1 for a phrase nobody searches for isn't going to do much for your business! It's very difficult to rank just one keyword at a time.
If you're local and looking for Kelowna SEO as a hairdresser, the keyword "haircut" is in high competition, not just in Kelowna but everywhere. You'll get hair salons in New York or Greece in your search results. With this in mind, you'll need to look at expanding to keyword themes. You'll want to add qualifiers, like a location. "Kelowna haircuts" will rank better for your target audience. But still you're competing with a lot. So is your hair salon competing for children's haircuts? Refining your keyword phrase to "Kelowna kids haircuts" is going to be even easier to rank for. In that example we used a location and a service qualifier, but you can use a variety of others as well. There are keyword tools to help you out here too: Try WordStream or UberSuggest .
Writing keyword-rich web pages
Once you've chosen it, take that keyword theme and use it a few times through a page. Don't overuse it though. Google is a firm believer in moderation. Make yourself a shortlist of related keywords and keyword themes, and then sprinkle those in; also in moderation. If you were to read through your list of keywords, you should be able to gather an idea of what the post is about without even reading it. But stick to a limited number or your post will start to sound robotic. And that's not providing value to anyone. Another consideration is the depth of your content. Google's bots are always checking to see how relevant your content is to searches. So the deeper and more meaningful analysis you can provide into a subject, the more likely you'll pop up on searches. To follow with the hair salon example, Google may expect your post to include popular hairstyles for kids and other similar subjects.
Avoid keyword stuffing
A cautionary point here: more keywords don't equal more depth. Google has matured to cheap tricks like keyword flooding. Google is a machine, but it's getting closer and closer to how humans would look at pages, so if you aim to be useful to people then Google is going to recognize that. In this sense, SEO is getting easier. Simply write good stuff that people want to read. Try too hard and Google will punish you, sometimes to the point of never being listed in the search engine results again!
It's usually good practice to have the main keyword that you're trying to rank for in the title since it helps Google decide what your page is about. It's also a proven successful format to use the "how, what, why" format for headlines: "How Kelowna SEO works", for example, or "Why web design in Kelowna is taking off". You can also use a number format, like "20% of your readers can easily be turned into subscribers". If you can reward readers with useful content, it's worth drawing them in with what may sound like a gimmicky title.
This is another form of varying your content. If your title catches someone's eye, the subheader will drive it home with concise information that is useful to them, in a varied format that directs the reader's eyes down the page.
Think of internal links as giving Google a helping hand. Your content is meaningless if Google can't find it, so you want to direct it by creating hierarchies within your website that link between themselves. If Google finds more links, it will explore them, which gives them a better chance of showing up in searches. It's generally okay to have 100 links or less on a web page (this includes your site navigation and footer links), but be careful with putting too many links in a single blog article. Not only will it be hard for visitors to read your content, but Google may also consider them spammy and devalue your website.
The effect of good visuals cannot be understated. As always the rule of value should apply here: does your image add value or is it just there for the sake of having one? Original images are best - even the average graph that you can make yourself helps. Infographics, by the way, are an amazing way of delivering content, if you're able to make them.by Dave Nixon