Welcome to the forth installment of our SEO workshop series. Today we will guide you through the world of writing good body copy in order to both satisfy your visitors and the Search Engine Crawlers you are viaing for the attention of. Before you start working on your body copy make sure your site is first optimized for the human experience, you have your most important keywords in hand, and you have dedicated your most gallant effort in prose to the headlines of your page.
In the online world, the selling process and buying process must be integrated. In order to be successful, you must sell in the same manner that the visitor is buying.
Although the Internet is the most common place people go looking for information, you must not overwhelm your visitor with content. The valuable information you are offering your visitors must also have a persuasive purpose. One of the biggest mistakes web sites make online today is that they introduce their products/services through ‘we-we’ copy. How many times have you heard a service touted as ‘the best in the business.’ What does that really mean and why should you care?
Visitors do not want to hear about how you’re ranked number one in your field, they want to know how you can make a difference in their lives! Focus less on make yourself look good and more on how your product or service will make your visitor look/feel/be good—it’s about the customer’s needs and wants. Answer the “What’s in it for me,” question that every visitor asks when arriving at a new page. This isn’t always easy, so refresh your copywriting knowledge before you dive in.
Develop a consistent personality throughout your web site. This will generate trust with your customer, as this will help them develop a coherent image of who you are and what you represent.
How long should a page be? As long as you need it to be! Unlike your home page, which is best at 3-6 paragraphs, your Keyword-Focused Content Pages are flexible works of “word-art.” Paint a masterpiece! As you write content and you find you are moving away from the topic of focus, develop another page for new content. This strategy will help expand your web site with very acute content on every page for the benefit of your guest, as well as your search engine rankings.
Write conversationally but with a purpose. Determine the goal of each specific page and write to that purpose. Whether you want someone to make a purchase, sign-up for a newsletter or download a white paper, make sure your content is aimed at the pages specific conversion event. If you are selling software that identifies birds by uploading images, one of your goals might be to get someone to participate in a free trial of your software, an event in which your visitor gets to have one bird image identified for free. You can create a content page that expounds on how to differentiate between different humming birds. Someones keyword to get to your content page may have been, ‘what kind of hummingbird has a green throat?‘ Your page should discuss how to identify different hummingbirds by how they look and encourage the visitor to upload a hummingbird image for free to confirm its identification.
If a page has a different most wanted response, then write according to that.
Paragraphs should be no more than 2 – 4 sentences. White space is good.
Think like a Search Engine. The nearer your specific keyword is to the beginning of your content, the higher the engine scores it. So include your primary keyword in the opening sentence of your opening paragraph. Use your primary keyword a bit more, too, early in your body copy… and also in the closing paragraph of your page.
Your “scatter pattern” should look like an hourglass… bigger (i.e., more frequent) on the top and bottom, and less (but still present) in the middle of the page.
Weave your primary keyword (the keyword that this page specifically focuses upon) throughout all your text, but not to the point that is beyond reason. The engines look for excessive use as a sign of “keyword spammers”.
Include your primary keyword a bit more than “good writing” might normally dictate. In other words, look for ways to repeat it slightly more often than you would ordinarily.
Start blending in your primary keywords, so that you can score for Word Combos. A Word Combo happens when a searcher enters both a primary keyword and a General Keyword for a search. For example you could have a keyword combo if you combined the keywords What kind of hummingbird has a green throat? and Identify Hummingbird to get a great SEO combo: Identify what kind of hummingbird has a green throat.
You’ll never win the Search Engine war for General Keywords by themselves — you don’t really want such non-specific traffic anyway. You will score big for Word Combos that contain your specific primary and general keywords. Your combos will bring excellent, highly targeted visitors.
Stick to the theme of the page. Do not, ever, get off-target. Keep each page focused on material related to your Primary Keyword. Never, never, NEVER introduce a second theme to a page — NO mixed messages. Each page focuses purely on its “primary keyword topic”. The more you laser-beam on a single theme, the better you’ll do with the Search Engines.
One final tip… Change your approach somewhat from page to page. Experiment with different numbers, frequencies and patterns of keywords until you find what works best for you. If you get a chance, share your strategies for SEO body copy with us, or see how we can help you develop a money making SEO blueprint.