SEO: Search Engine Optimisation
With SEO an ever-changing landscape, nobody expects you to become an expert overnight - but there are some simple SEO basics that are fairly static and should be employed across your web content to help your pages to get indexed and recognised by Google (and other search engines).
While SEO in a broader sense can be fairly involved and complicated, some of the basic principles in regards to onsite best practice are pretty easy to implement and they’ll add real value to your website too, so let's take a look…
5 Top Tips for Writing SEO Content
- Choose the right keywords – before you even start creating your copy, you'll need to ensure that you're optimising your webpage for the right keywords or phrases – here’s a basic guide:
- Write a list of search terms you think people may be using to search for products or services like yours and look at competitors’ sites for ideas too.
- Using the Google Adwords keyword tool, collate the average search volumes for your potential SEO phrases.
- Choose 1 or 2 phrases per page; where possible choose those that have the highest traffic volume and the lowest competition levels.
- Ensure that the phrases you choose are relevant to the content on that page.
- Page title – This is (usually) the first line of text that shows in the search results just above the website URL. If you’re going to take any SEO copywriting tips onboard, make it this one! Keep your meta title to around 65 characters (including spaces) and make sure you use your main key phrase in it too. If you’re targeting several phrases, you can split them up like this to make things clearer for both human users and the search engines:
Key Phrase Number One | Phrase Number Two | Your Website Name
- Meta description – This is the couple of lines of text that shows in the search results under the meta data and URL. This is your 'hook' to visitors but also needs to be optimised. However, don't feel you have to replicate your key phrases exactly here – as long as the message is clear and relates to meta title, that’ll do just fine. If it makes sense and reads naturally to repeat the exact phrase though, that’s fine too – just keep the text to 155 characters or less (including spaces).
- H tags – These are the headings and subheadings on your page; usually, you should format your main heading as a H1 tag, the first subheading as a H2 and so on. However, when using the dotAdmin system, the CMS template has already been set up to make optimal use of your main heading – so we recommended starting with the H2 tag for your headings and working your way through in numerical order as per these guidelines. If you can use your main key phrase in your first heading, great – or a close permutation at least.
- Keyword density – The number of times your keywords/phrases appear in your text has lost some of its importance over the past few years. Where recommendations used to be for a specific percentage of the overall content, nowadays it’s more important that the copy is informative and of real value to visitors. Ideally you should aim to have one ‘exact match’ key phrase in the text, with similar phrases and synonyms used throughout. There is still some evidence that using your key phrases in the first and last sentence of the main copy has some SEO value, so you can try this as long as it fits in contextually and naturally.
By using these SEO copywriting tips, you’ll be able to gain some search authority for your web pages – but remember this is only basic SEO so if you’re operating in a saturated industry, it will take more than just onsite best practice to get those high positions on page 1.
If there’s one final basic SEO pearl of wisdom we can offer, it’s to make sure that all of your content is fresh and unique – any copy that’s duplicated from another website will bring you a penalty and reduce your SEO value. If you need help, you can always ask an experienced SEO copywriter to help.