Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been a buzz term in the online marketing world. For those of you unfamiliar with this marketing method, SEO is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website by increasing the site’s rank in popular search engines. Unlike Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which generally involves paying to appear in search results, SEO copywriting targets natural or organic optimization which is unpaid. The higher your site lists on a search engine results page, the more likely a person will be to click on your listing and visit your page.
In the beginning of the Internet age, optimizing web content was pretty straightforward — simply slap a few descriptive lines of HTML into your website’s code and you were off to the races. Much has changed since the early days of the Web. The introduction of social media and the rising popularity of mobile devices have caused many industry leaders to question the effectiveness of traditional SEO copywriting. Luckily, there are still a few proven optimization techniques available to small businesses.
Five Major Elements of Effective Search Engine Optimization
“There are five key elements to remember when optimizing a website for search engines,” says Sandra Dugas, Partner and Creative Director at ZOO Media Group. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a blog, online press release, or text for your website – you can benefit from paying close attention to these important strategies.”
1. Web page Title:
Always, always, always include keywords in your web page titles. If you can put it at the beginning of the title, that’s even better. When people are searching for a specific topic, they want to see the keywords they used reflected back in the search engine results. Try and keep your title around 70 characters long. Search Engines only show 72 characters in their search results. If your entire title is visible, it will increase the likelihood of a click-through from the search results page.
2. Meta Description:
It has been debated whether the keywords in your meta description actually influence rank. Either way, it’s still vitally important to include this information in your site as it helps with the overall presentation and of your content in a search engine. The meta description is generally displayed below your page title in search results, and can thus influence potential searchers to click on your page. Remember to keep your description under 165 characters so the full snippet is visible in search engine results.
3. Keyword Frequency and Density:
When creating content for a website you must keep your targeted keywords in mind. These words and phrases should describe what your content is about and appear frequently throughout your copy. But don’t just repeat your keywords mindlessly in hopes of attracting an engines attention — you’ll do just the opposite. Instead, focus on using your keywords naturally and in relevant context throughout your article. Aim to include your key phrases between three to five times in your copy, or until you achieve a density of about 5% (density is the ratio of keywords to the rest of the words on the page). Anything more could be considered spam by search engines.
4. On-topic Content:
Unique and frequently updated content is what search engines crave. For the sake of search engine optimization, it’s important that your content sticks to the topic at hand. Try and include keywords related to your topic in subheadings and in bold text. This will help both your reader and the search engines to stay focused.
5. Show Some Link Love:
The Internet is all about connecting people, that’s why it’s called the World Wide “Web.” So naturally, linking out to other pages matters when it comes to search engine optimization. When crafting content for a website, remember to link to relevant interior pages of your own site, as well as relevant external resources to help improve the article or company write-up. Always remember to use naturally relevant anchor text with your links as well; not only will this help with the flow of your content, but it will add some context to the link.
These five elements are just a few optimization techniques that can help improve your website’s rank with the major search engines. To learn more about effective optimization for online success, contact the SEO experts at ZOO Media Group today!