Previously, I wrote a blog with some tips on how to write good marketing content. In that, I mentioned the importance of ensuring that your online content is optimised for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes, but being quite a weighty subject I felt it was better dealt with in a separate blog. So here it is!
SEO helps your website, blogs and other online content to be ‘found’ easily when people search on Google and other search engines. Indeed, SEO optimisation is considered essential to get your website ranking as high as possible, ideally on page one.
I don’t profess to be an SEO expert. But when it comes to copywriting, I do. And I know that people can worry too much about keywords and links. SEO is not the dark art that many people make it out to be, although Google seems to like keeping us on our toes by changing its algorithms annually, it seems.
SEO keyword list
So first, you need to make your list of SEO keywords to scatter throughout your content. You could ask an SEO company or agency if you want a guarantee that your website will perform at its best. But if your budget won’t stretch to that, I find that using a common-sense approach works. For example, brainstorm with colleagues for typical keywords and phrases specific to your business. Or use Google itself to create your keyword list; that can take time, but it works. Simply type in the most obvious keywords and then look at the end of the page to see what appears under ‘Searches related to…’ and list those out, clicking on them to find more keywords.
But there is a quicker and easier way, and that’s by using an online SEO tool.
SEO checker tools
There are both paid-for and free checker tools available, such as Ubersuggest, KWfinder or Keyword (this has a handy way of filtering and exporting your selected words into a document for you to store), all of which are easy to use.
Once your list of keywords and phrases is complete, don’t just cram them all in! Especially on web content, as your website may end up being penalised. Pick the best, most obvious and appropriate search phrases. Try not to repeat the same word too much, either, as Google may think you're spamming and penalise you. It’s important that the content is written to flow as naturally as possible.
Remember – keywords are more about semantics than density. Use them wisely!
November 2022 update!
Back in August, Google rolled out a new update called Helpful Content. The point of this new update is to stop people from writing content specifically for search engines. Instead, it wants to see content that informs, entertains and adds value to people.
Google wants us to have a people-first approach — something I'm always banging on about and have done for years. In other words, to write clear, interesting and helpful content that doesn't look or read like it's stuffed with keywords. And continue to follow good SEO practices.
As I always say, keywords need to be naturally scattered throughout your web content. Now more than ever. Because apparently some websites that don't do this will be stuck in Google jail for months.
To find out more about this update and previous ones, Natasha Ellard of Urban Element wrote this article.
Don't have time for any of this? Then I would be delighted to help. Drop me an email and let's arrange to have a coffee and a chat.