Integrating SEO: Quick Tips on Copywriting for Search Engine Optimization

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Integrating keywords into your online copy is more than simply plugging them in somewhere on the page. The point of optimizing copy is to boost relevancy in the eyes of the search engines and that in turn can boost rankings. The way to do that is to include specific keywords and phases in the follow strategic areas where possible starting with the meta data:

  • meta title — this is the area at the very top of a window with the title of the page. If you’re using Internet Explorer its a blue horizontal line with white knock-out type. If you’re reading this, look up to the top of the window you should see, “Integrated Marcom Minute Blog – Microsoft Internet Explorer”
  • meta tag “keywords” — this is where you place all keywords and phrases that your potential customers use to search for your products.
  • meta description — this is a brief summary of the content. Some companies use a sentence from the first paragraph of the body copy and add a brief call to action.
    (Note: Although meta data is not visible to visitors, the meta description is usually displayed by search engines beneath the hyperlink when organic search results come up.)

To fully optimize for search, you have to create relevancy between the copy in the meta data, and the body copy that follows:

  • h1, h2, h3…h6 headers — these are the html tags that wrap around the bold headers and subheads. For example, right click and select “view source” on this blog post. Notepad will pop up with a bunch of html code. Scroll down and to the right until you see the following header. You’ll see an h3 preceding it and a /h3 at the end.

    Quick Tips on Copywriting for SEO

    Note: If your just using boldface copy with no h1, h2 or h3 html tags, it’s not as effective in helping the crawlers determine page relevance.

  • body copy — this is the running text that you read

Here’s how writing for SEO works (all data is fictitious):

Let’s say I search for” discrete manufacturing software for automotive manufacturing” and one of the search results is ABC Company.

Meta data:

  • meta title — ABC Company ERP for Discrete Manufacturing in Automotive
  • meta tag — discrete manufacturing, automotive discrete manufacturing, improve cost-effectiveness of discrete manufacturing, ERP plus other relevant keywords and phrases
  • meta description — “Reduce automotive manufacturing costs and keep consumers happy with ABC Company ERP for discrete manufacturing. Learn how your automotive operation can operate more cost-effectively. ”

Body Copy:

  • H1 — Discrete Automotive Manufacturing Can Be Cost Effective
    Copy: Discrete manufacturing is great… it let’s your customers customize their ride. But discrete manufacturing can also be costly.
  • H2 — ABC Company ERP for Discrete Automotive Manufacturing helps you reduce automotive costs and keep consumers happy. (this copy taken from the meta description)
    Copy: I think you get the idea here…

See… it’s not just about sprinkling keywords throughout, it’s a strategy for placing them effectively in the right places. Search engines crawl a page hierarchy from meta data to header tags to body copy identify keyword matches. The more matches the greater the relevancy and the higher your search ranking.

Copywriting for SEO is really a frame of mind. You have think like a search crawler and write with that strategy in mind.

“Weasel Clause”: Good copywriting alone may not boost your rankings. SEO is about integrating relevant copywriting, along with other elements such as a linking strategy. There’s a synergy that takes place when all of these elements come together. The result… better rankings!

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Comments

2 Responses to “Integrating SEO: Quick Tips on Copywriting for Search Engine Optimization”
  1. Dani Nordin says:

    Great post. It really hits a lot of the points I talk with my clients about when we discuss their websites.

    Another quick point I’d like to mention is that pages that are built well (especially using web standards) often have a lot more Google juice than the old-school table-based sites. When I switched my sites over to standards-based layouts and stayed mindful of having appropriate link titles and alt text for images, their Google ratings shot up almost immediately. I wrote about it here (and mentioned your post): http://zenkitchen.blogspot.com/2007/01/seo-made-simpleish.html

  2. Joan Damico says:

    Thanks, Dani. Do you think we’re finally beyond the cat & mouse game of outsmarting the search engines and are to the point where the focus is on really good, relevant content.

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