Getting to know what SEO keywords are
More than sixty thousand searches go through Google every single day. I- and others- cannot stress enough the importance of SEO. Without it, you are basically invisible.
Google has an algorithm that it uses to rank pages and websites that are searched for. Updating your website to please this algorithm is this fabulous marketing practice that we call SEO!
Understanding the exact mechanics of the algorithm is for the aficionados (which is mainly trial and error as Google is not very forthcoming with the exact algorithm facets they focus on). But there are some general guiding principles that you can work with to ensure that you’re in the game. And I can promise that if you’re not even covering the basics, then you are not even in the game, let alone have a chance against your competitors.
Perhaps the easiest and quickest strategy is to have a look at your words. Do they match searchable content? Have you done your SEO keyword research to make sure you are optimising your website for keywords that actually gets searched for?
Are you making use of semantic and longtail keywords as well? Keyword search terms are becoming more complex. Recently at least half of search terms are four words or more, making longtail keywords become increasing important. That means it’s more important for me to optimise for a longtail keyword phrase such as ‘hiring a great copywriting service’ as opposed to ‘copywriter’.
It’s important to strategically base your content (written and images) around your primary keywords and other relevant key terms as much as possible without making the content sounding naff. But make sure you don’t overdo it with keyword stuffing or keyword cannibalization. Search engines will recognise this and will not rank your site. It’s quite the precarious balance!
Modern SEO best practices places more of an emphasis on quality of a website, rather than quantity of keywords. This means it’s more important to have relevant and useful content on your site rather than a lot of “spammy” content and sites linking to yours.
Keywords are a major ally in boosting your SEO. What words will people search with to find you in the chaos that is the internet? These are the words that you will use that sum up what your website is all about. It’s a good idea to create a list of these words with a reputable keyword planner. I love SEMrush, even though it's expensive it's definitely worth it for searching keywords, content and outreach ideas and seeing how you rank for certain words.
Once you have your keywords identified, you have a base from which you can work and build your static website writing around, plan your webpages, know what images you should upload and what your blogging topics will focus on.
Want someone to search keywords for you?
Three top keyword tips for blogging:
Keyword tip 1
Having a blog helps particularly if it is part of your website. Ranking is affected by how recent the content is and with a blog you are updating your content frequently.
Keyword tip 2
If you are a location based service, rather than just existing online, make sure you use your city and/or state as one of your most prominent keywords. This will help when people are searching. For example, someone may type “robes Hobart” to search for a robe in Hobart. If you sell robes and are located in Hobart or online, you should definitely utilise these keywords.
Keyword tip 3
Make sure when you upload your images, you are including keywords in their image names and titles as well as their “alt titles”. If you are using WordPress you’ll have both of these fields to fill in when you upload your images. The word must pertain to the image; otherwise you are in violation of Google’s policy. If you violate too many of Google’s rules you are at risk of being penalised by having poor rankings and nobody wants that!
This post contains affiliate links which I genuinely do recommend.
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You may also like... SEO content writing articles
Below is a boilerplate template you can use to map out your content article. Once you've written it, using this content article template, you can add all the SEO features and juice.
This has to be incredibly attention grabbing and hook the reader in. I recommend leaving this until the very last, after you have written your content article and can sum it up in a few words. Here's how to write a heading.
Not always necessary but often used if there is some additional information that doesn’t work within your really catchy heading.
Add your "lead sentence" and summarise the story or post (this is where you can use the six questions that you'll find in the Writing Great Content Articles course). If the reader cannot understand what the topic is about from the first sentence, then you need to tighten it. The key topic needs to be in this paragraph and it needs to continue the reader’s interest from the headline.
You might also like Three SEO Writing Secrets Revealed.
Include more details to flesh out the topic that you outlined in the first paragraph. Details that are relevant here might include statistics or secondary information that is not as vital as the first paragraph yet is still supportive of the overall message. This can have a lot of “why” focus, so emotive language or the reason why an event is being held or a new product or service is launched or why you are writing about a certain topic.
Quotes from someone relevant to the story and the more credible or senior the person is, the better. Each quote should make one point and a few sentences is more than enough. It should be memorable and punchy.
Any additional relevant information. This is a good place where you might like to reflect on past occurrences of your topic or you can talk more in depth about the organisation that you’re writing about.
Tie off your post with a sentence or two and connect back to the original topic. For example...
And there you go, that's your content article template in a nutshell.
If you want to deep dive into writing better, check out my Writing the Perfect Content Article course.
Here are some examples of my content articles that I have written for my copywriting clients:
93 per cent of all website visits, searches and shopping begin with a search engine.
You may have come across the term “onsite optimisation” in regards to the SEO process and wondered what it meant. At first, it may seem like a technical term that doesn’t apply to you and best left for your website developers. Not true! If you have a website, you should be prioritising onsite optimisation and your SEO- always!
‘57% of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative.'
Below, you’ll find what you need to know about onsite optimisation and how to start applying it to your website today.
What is onsite optimisation?
Onsite optimisation is one of the key factors that make up Search Engine Optimisation (also known as SEO). It is the process of optimising your website by adjusting certain elements to make it search engine friendly.
The following are common steps to take when optimising your website for search engines. Not forgetting all these steps need rigorous SEO keyword research undertaken to make sure you are actually optimising your site for words that people will actually look for.
Optimising your page titles and descriptions (keyword optimisation)
The first thing a search engine analyses when crawling your website is the page title and description. The general rule is, make the title length up to 60 characters and the description below 150 characters.
Ensuring that your website is mobile friendly
Most people who visit your website will do so from a mobile phone. In fact, more than half of the people reading your websiteare viewing it on their mobile (or tablet). So it is a great idea to make sure your website performs well (and looks good) on mobiles. You can make use of Google’s mobile-friendly testto analyse your website’s mobile friendliness. This tool will grade your website and offer avenues for improvement.
Setting up internal links
Internal links allow users to navigate your website and if they are not well set up, your page visitors may not get to see all the juicy resources and information you have to offer. As well as your services or products that you have that solves the very problem your viewer has come to your website for. It is no longer enough to have links in the main navigation, internal links can also be used to link readers to relevant blog posts and pages on your site.
Optimising your page speed and trust score
A faster website boosts user experience and page speed is a major factor in onsite optimisation. You can make use of Google’s page speed insightsto find out how to speed up your web pages. Images need to be the right size and not delay loading time.
Publishing SEO blog posts regularly
Updating your blog regularly encourages people to visit and boosts your index rankings. People won’t come back to your blog/website if there is nothing new for them to see. Your posts should prioritise SEO but also written in a style that your readers enjoy. Some people say you only need to blog four times a year for Google to recognise you post fresh content but I’m a firm believer in posting two to six times per month.
What is offsite optimisation?
Search engine optimisations that can be performed away from your website are known as offsite optimisations (or off page optimisation). This is a blanket term that refers to actions you take to promote your website online asides from advertising.
Offsite optimisation is comprised of three major factors of importance: authority, trustworthiness and relevance. Here is a useful diagram on the sorts of things that Google supposedly bases their ranking algorithm on.
This usually involves:
This is the process of increasing your website’s trust level by having links pointing to your website from other notable websites. You may also see this referred to as backlinking. As a copywriter, I don’t offer this sort of technical or backend SEO so it’s best to work someone who looks after the technical aspects AS WELL AS nailing your onsite optimisation.
Social media marketing
Posting updates on social media and building a following who are then directed to your website.
Which is more important?
Ideally, you’ll need both to rank high in search engines. However, you can start out with onsite optimisation which is considered the foundation before progression offsite. Remembering that 75 per cent don’t scroll past the first pageof search engines when Googling something.
Is a SEO copywriter right for onsite optimisation?
Whilst not all copywriters are trained and experienced in SEO, I definitely am!
We’ve covered the importance of publishing SEO blog posts regularly, however, this is easier said than done. Trying to do the whole work yourself can lead to mental fatigue and you may end up publishing posts that turn your readers away. Plus, it’s one thing to write but it’s quite another to apply SEO best practices to your writing without making it sound clunky and keyword stuffed. Professional writers know how to make your content SEO friendly; flow smoothly and still sound fantastic. They also make sure that your content is well researched error free and optimised with the right H1 and H2 values.
Here is what my onsite optimisation packages generally include:
Great content articles begin with a content audit
Have you been blogging for a year or more? Or have outdated website copy?
A content audit is very important to make sure that you always have fresh content, that it’s performing as well as it can and that you’re refreshing your SEO activities regularly.
Furthermore, your editorial planning will become a breeze and a content audit is well worth the time and effort.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is a structured process of reviewing your website’s content with the view of keeping a record of what you have live, how it can be improved and what function it serves. Broken down, that means going through every single blog post that you’ve ever published and keeping a record of it.
It helps you go through your existing content to see which pieces meet your marketing objectives and which don’t. It will also provide an opportunity to see what content is missing and any gaps that need to be filled. It will also help immediately identify the strengths, weaknesses and challenges in all the existing content.
Ideally, a content audit should be performed regularly, such as every six or twelve months, depending on how often you blog. Given that SEO best practices can change quite frequently, it also helps you to keep on top of them and position yourself well.
How to do a content audit
Firstly, start with a spreadsheet of all the posts ever published. The spreadsheet should contain title, topic, keyword, URL, external links, internal links, category, what type of content it is (eg evergreen, listicle, time sensitive etc) and include a section for actions required.
Although it depends on your business goals and marketing objectives, here are some basics to look for when conducting your content audit:
Benefits of a content audit
Having a content audit and being able to clear see what content you have, will be useful for getting the whole team on board and utilising the content. For example, if you have a series of blog posts that answer some of the most frequent questions that your sales people have to answer, you can save your employees time and resources. This is such a prevailing step because a lot of content gets lost and not used to its full potential. ‘SiriusDecisions estimates that 65 percent of B2B content ends up languishing unused.’
Taking inventory of your blog posts will also provide an opportunity for you to view potential curated posts. As I did in Best five copywriting posts of 2018, you can see your top performing posts and curate them into one post for the ease and benefit of your readers. Be sure to write original blurbs introducing each post, rather than cutting and pasting from the original posts, to avoid Google penalties.
Using Google Analytics and your website’s own data, compile a list of the top ten (or whatever number) best performing posts. Performance can be determined in alignment with your marketing and business objectives, eg are your performance metrics based on how many people read it? Or how many conversions (eg how many buy a product from your site)?
Analyse the top performing posts and work out why they performed so well. Did they receive better attention when it came to spreading the word? Did you write about something unusual and unique? Or was it directly written to what your audience really wanted to know? One of the keys to a great performing website is to repeat what is working well.
Similarly, you can identify which content can be repurposed easily. A lot of existing content is often ripe for repurposing, not just as content articles but other forms of content (such as downloadables, ebooks, videos etc).
Having this bird’s eye view of your content will supply an easy and thorough opportunity to create recommendations for powerful content going forward. Here are some examples of content recommendations that I posed when undertaking a recent client content audit:
Recommendations to capitalise on these posts include:
As a bonus, you might rediscover content that you had forgotten about. This forgotten content can be added to your social media strategy, outreach or PR campaigns.
Although it may fill you with dread and seem like it will take ages, the amount of effort and time you invest in doing a content audit each year will save you time in advance by making your content articles more useful, targeted and usable.
Here are some top audit tools to help with your blog audit.
My content writing strategy offers a thorough and actionable content audit as part of the package.
Free SEO writing course
Do you want to dive right in to effective SEO writing?
Sign up for my FREE three day SEO writing ecourse. Just by popping in your details, you'll be emailed three easy but potent lessons over three days on how to improve your content articles, blog posts and website copy with foolproof SEO writing tips and techniques.
The three lesson ecourse will teach you about:
And yes, it's completely free! But don't delay, it's only free for a limited time so it's best you take advantage of the offer ASAP.
In today's world, SEO writing has become such an integral aspect of modern marketing that the growth of businesses of all sorts (and all industries) depends on choosing SEO over other marketing strategies. Marketing is itself tough enough a task— digital marketing even more so. The complex nature of SEO can make it seem like the most gruesome method for marketing your business online. However, this doesn't have to be so, because when done right, there's no better strategy for growing your business organically.
Created by professional copywriter and experienced SEO writer, Vanessa Jones, this easy to follow SEO writing ecourse will have you uplevel your knowledge in just a few days.
How to write a great SEO article
Sure, you have to be creative when it comes to SEO article writing. But there are also also handy tricks and tips that you need to keep in mind when writing for SEO.
This SEO article will cover:
Put your readership (which is your target demographic) first. Write how they want to hear things and solve their problems. Straight up give them the information they need, that they are searching Google for and that will generally make their lives easier.
The guru of SEO, Neil Patel, says ‘Your content needs to accomplish two goals: first, appeal to the end-user (customers, clients, prospects, readers, etc.) and second, solve a particular problem.’
For example, you’ve most likely come to this content article because you’ve searched how to write a SEO article. And I’m spelling it out as best I can and lay out all the right information you need to write an epic post.
What I often do when writing an article or web copy that I want optimised, is to write it as natural and best fitting to the audience as possible. It’s only after I’ve written the article to the best of my ability do I insert keywords. I don’t include them arbitrarily but where they can sit naturally without damaging the flow of the writing. But don’t misunderstand me because with most content writing, the keyword will inform the topic that I write about, so it’s important to do your keyword research from the absolute beginning.
Title and headlines
You need to include your keyword in your page title and your heading, once only. These are two separate facets of your content writing. The page title forms one of your meta tags and your heading (or headline) is your <h1> or <h2> tags.
It’s often suggested to put your keyword towards the front of your headline but you still need it to be super catchy and natural sounding. How to write great headlines.
Use your SEO keywords in your body text. In the olden days of SEO (AKA ten years ago), keyword stuffing was a surefire way to make you rank better. These days you will stuff yourself up if you do so. Google will recognise when you are doing so and penalise you as such. Plus, your readers will just be left shaking their heads.
I can’t give you a magic number of times to use your keyword in one piece because I want you to focus on making the content article sounding natural and flowing. But if you’ve only included the keyword once in one thousand words and one semantic keyword, you might need to hire a SEO copywriter. Know any good ones? Kidding.
However, it’s purported that on page keyword usage is as important as 15.04 per cent of Google’s ranking algorithm. So that should give you an indication of the time and attention you should give just to your keywords alone.
It’s beneficial to include your keyword at the start of your article body. I aim for the first three words or the first sentence at best. Unless it sounds awkward and forced, then I forego it. Because great writing always comes first, right? ‘Quality has become the #1 ranking factor in Google, especially since the Google Panda and Penguin updates.’
Essentially, you need to write an entertaining and informative article. SEO writing is a little like juggling or doing a puzzle: each piece is as important as the other and they all need to fit together until it makes a whole picture.
In summary, here are the most important factors— or secrets— of SEO writing, particularly if you are new to it:
As part of your content writing strategy, you must have an editorial calendar so that you can plan out a year’s worth of content. Take a look here why it’s important to have a content writing strategy in place.
Download an editorial calendar template and plan your blog content out.
Not sure what you’re doing or too busy to plan? Book in for my content writing strategy now.
What are meta data descriptions and meta tags?
Meta tags and meta data descriptions are the summary of what your web page contains that is implemented at the backend of your website as part of your meta tags. This is the information that search engines (such as Google) uses to index your website and web pages and displays when someone searches for your keywords. You might also notice this information when you share it via your social channels, especially Facebook.
Meta tags consist of a title (page title), meta data description (a few sentences of description) and a slug (specific URL).
Although it can help with keyword searching (mainly in the title rather than description), it’s primary purpose is to encourage web searchers to click on the link and read your website.
They need to be cleverly crafted so that they appeal to both Google's robots and to human readers to improve your ranking/SERP.
Meta data descriptions are like a mini advert or sales tools. And it’s very short so it has to be super effective. Essentially, it has to contain the absolute perfect blend of sales copywriting and SEO text.
They are a vital part of your SEO strategy and plan. Perfecting meta data descriptions is a completely important part of your website's optimisation and it really does pay to get it right from the start.
A good meta data description could be the very reason someone clicks through to your website.
It is a unique blend of advertising and SEO and is one of the key factors in getting people to read your site. They really do need to be compelling and an accurate summary of the corresponding webpage. Each meta description needs to be unique and match the web page’s content. It's basically a summary of what the web page contains.
Neil Patel, who is considered one of the leading experts in SEO discusses why meta data description is so important.
Here are 33 examples of great meta data descriptions.
Here's exactly why you need a content writing strategy for your website
The purpose of a content strategy is to create thorough, enticing and meaningful content writing that draws in more website traffic and ultimately attracts the right kind of customer that sees you as the best choice when it comes to your industry.
Additionally, a content strategy will provide you with a sustainable way of creating and posting content without burning out.
‘Content strategy helps organizations provide the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons,’ Content Marketing Institute.
Content writing and creation is still super important to your marketing and SERP results. ‘57% of marketers rated relevant content creation as being among their most effective SEO tactics.’ If you’re investing a lot of time into content creation, it absolutely pays to get it right from the start and have an overarching long term plan.
Here are five reasons why you need to invest in a content strategy.
You won’t have to spend ages wondering what topic to write about
How long does it take you to come up with the perfect blog post topic? Five minutes? An hour? Twenty days? It can be either of these and if your content plan requires you to put out a weekly post, that adds up to about fifty hours a year that you spend tossing up what to write about. That’s fifty hours of the year you could dedicate to client service, meeting new clients or giving keynote presentations or completing an extra project.
Content article topics will be crafted to speak to direct goals and audience
Don’t spend six months writing about irrelevant things that don’t do anything for your website traffic or boosting your SEO. Get it right from the start.
A content strategy will also help you avoid writing about the same category of topics over and over again, ensuring there is an even spread throughout the year, in alignment with your marketing objectives, world holidays and celebrations and any industry relevant events.
Plus, a content strategy will break it down and inform exactly what each post needs to entail, the title to use and any relevant key points to cover. Each post will be keyword matched, ensuring you’re putting your best SEO foot forward!
Your content articles will speak to each other
Content articles and blog posts will never be an afterthought and you can link each post to other relevant site content, build on from other topics and create a solid online asset for your business. Relevant categories (that again speak to your keywords) will be set up and ensure there is adequate content for each.
Consistency and reliability
Picture this: you have some spare time to work on marketing in February so you post a great blog post every week for four weeks. Then the leads start coming in, so you are swamped with client work and neglect the blog content for another six months. The leads and enquiries via your website start to go quieter so you hastily add other short and poorly written blog posts that aren’t really that relevant but you couldn’t come up with a right topic quickly.
Now picture this scenario:
Your content strategy tells you exactly what to write and when for the rest of the year, so you have dedicated half a day per week (or similar) to creating the right content and publishing a regular post. Your website always has an abundance of content that is regularly updated and the leads and enquiries are regularly coming in each week. Your SEO is not only steady but it is improving with the fresh, well thought out content.
And because the planning has been taken care of and you know what research has to be done and what resources are required, the blog posts are well written and helpful for your target audience.
Furthermore, you’ve had time to carefully plot out a marketing strategy to share the regular content which means it reaches more people and a wider audience. Before too long, you’ve developed a reputation for providing consistent and reliable information that attracts regular readers back to your site.
You’ll always be clear on your why
It’s not uncommon to get so wrapped up in your next bit of creative content that you completely dismiss why you are doing it. It’s only after you’ve posted a two thousand word article on the importance of the colour blue you realise that it has nothing to do with your business marketing objectives of getting more clients interested in taking out home loans.
You’ll waste valuable time and confuse your existing audience. A content plan will list your objectives and your “why” and help you always prioritise your clear message.
'The moment we stopped saying, “We’re pool builders,” and started saying, “We are the best teachers in the world about Fiberglass pools and we just happen to install them as well,”… that was one of the most prosperous days of our lives.' Case study.
Content articles are one of the most pivotal parts of not just your content marketing plan but your overall marketing plan. Statistics show that the more content your site has, the more Google will rank your page.
Content articles are not only important for your SEO but for your customers and sales as well. 82 per cent of customers have a more positive outlook on a company after reading custom content. And seventy per cent of people would prefer to learn about a company from content articles than adverts.
Is it shareable?
Would you personally share this content? Or would the leader of your organisation share it with their networks? This simple test is often a quick objective way to determine whether the content is of good quality.
SEO content articles
Is it search engine optimised? Use this Yoast plugin SEO checker tool to check if your content follows best practice and is web ready.
Call to action strength
Does it have a strong call to action? Relevant and well placed calls to action has been shown to increase revenue by a whopping 83 per cent. Here's how to write call to action.
Content writing keywords
Include your target keywords in your heading, subheadings, first paragraph and throughout the article. But avoid keyword stuffing. How many times should you write your keyword?
There's no hard and fast rule but try to include it multiple times in your content article. But this should never be at the sacrifice of brilliant copywriting. If it sounds unnatural, then it will hinder SEO performance and turn away your readers.
Are there clear takeaways and action steps that you offer your reader? What do you want your reader to do exactly? Spell it out.
Include some tangible information. That means including statistics, facts, research and links to sources. This will add to the content article’s credibility and help convince the reader when they come to the call to action. Never sacrifice brilliant writing. The average reader only spends 37 seconds reading an article or blog post (NewsCred Insights).
End and begin well
Top and tail your posts really well. Write a clear and informative introduction and a succinct paragraph at the end of the article that provides them information about with what to do next.
Heighten your assets
Make your content articles part of your assets.‘Ninety two per cent of marketers said their organization views content as a business asset.’ Ensure your content writing is of a high enough quality to add value to your asset pool.
You might like to read more about content writing.
Did you know that 44 per cent of companies outsource their writing? Take a moment to get a no obligation, easy copywriting quote today.
Not sure what topics to write about? Get a content strategy.