Rule 1: Word Count
When you’re writing online copy, it is important to have a MINIMUM of 150-200 words per page.
This is very important for your SEO strategy. Though the number of words varies slightly depending on which search engine you’re talking about (whether it’s Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc.), unless a page has 150+ words, the search engines will not pull that page into competitive search results. Obviously, this is just a current benchmark. Let me be clear that writing more than 150 words is highly recommended.
For optimal results, follow these guidelines when writing copy:
Know your industry – the minimum is 150-200 words, but for ultra-competitive industries it’s important to have as much as possible. I’ve worked with some sites that needed at least 600 words to compete. Moreover, even if you’re not in an ultra-competitive industry but you have a major competitor with a ton of content, you’ll want to adjust your word count to exceed his. Find the word count necessary to rank for a particular keyword by typing that keyword into a search engine and averaging the word counts of the top 5 ranking pages. This will give you a ballpark to target when writing your content for that term.
Content should be unique – it’s a simple concept. Duplicate content gets thrown in a pile with every other site featuring the same content. When a person searches for that topic, only one of the pages with the duplicate content will be pulled from the pile. The more people duplicating your copy, the lower your chances are of appearing in search results.
Does not include links – links are not considered a part of the word count. If your paragraphs are riddled with links, be sure to include enough content to reach that 150-200 word minimum.
Rule 2: Keyword Density
Maintaining the optimal keyword density is crucial. Aim to place keywords 1 to 2 times per every 100-150 word block of text.
Say what? It’s really quite simple – “Keyword Density” is a term that refers to how often keywords appear in your text. If keywords are scarce, your body text may not show a strong enough relevance to that term.
However, if you have too many keywords, it looks like you’re “stuffing” or overloading text with keywords in an attempt to show up in search results. This is bad for SEO and usability. Our rule is typically a happy medium.
For example, this block literally contains about 200 words. When you’re optimizing for keyword 1, keyword 2 and keyword 3, you want to have each keyword mentioned at least once, but no more than twice, within each set of 100-150 words. Notice that keywords 1 and 2 were mentioned twice, but keyword 3 only once. That’s ok. Remember that when you’re adding keywords they should appear to be a part of the content’s natural flow.
People are often confused about why we use numbers in copywriting rules. It may seem arbitrary to a user, but remember that Google bases its ranking and decisions on calculations – so it’s the numbers that help you tell your story the best.
Rule 3: Prominence
Establish keyword prominence by placing keywords close to the top of the paragraph, organized from most important to least important.
When doing keyword research, the first step is to establish a hierarchy of keywords and order them from most to least important, like in the example.
When placing keywords in your body text, you want them to appear as close to the top of the text as possible, and the first time you mention the keywords they should appear in that hierarchical order. Thereafter, you may evenly disperse the keywords throughout the rest of the paragraph, and use them in any order that you prefer. For instance, notice that the first three keywords are all within the first three lines of text, and in order from best to 3rd best. Afterward, they are spaced further and out of order.
Why does this matter? When you establish keyword prominence, the search engines associate your page with the search terms. The assumption is that you want people to see that keyword early on the in the text because your page is actually about that topic. This helps the search engines weed out the deceptive pages trying to rank for the wrong keyword. Additionally, search engine spiders read text like you and me: left to right and down. In the event that the spider times out on slower loading pages, you want it to know immediately that your page is relevant for the search term.
For more information about web content writing, see my previous blog posts.
Still feeling a little overwhelmed? No problem! Exclusive Concepts offers a plethora of copywriting services to help you along the way. We call it Advanced SEO Copywriting, and it covers all the rules we spoke about today and much, much more. Go online or give us a call for more information.
Thank you and I hope you enjoyed today’s installment of Your Daily Concept. We’ll see you tomorrow for PPC Tuesday!