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SEO Copywriting Checklist: Are you writing content “for Google”?

Write SEO content for your readers, not for GoogleGreetings! Welcome to another installment of the SEO Copywriting Checklist series. Today, Heather gets back to the basics in discussing whether you’re writing content “for Google”.

The idea that you need to write content in a particular way for it to position well in search results is a tenacious misconception. It’s also an unhealthy one, both in terms of search engine appeal and user experience.

Tune in to hear what Heather has to say about writing “for Google” and how to correct for this stubborn tendency in your own SEO content:

“Gift Baskets” Is Repeated 9 Times!

So here’s an example of what writing content “for Google” can mean, where the term “gift baskets” is repeated nine times within a teeny-tiny block of copy!

I’m sure that the person who wrote this content didn’t do so thinking “Im gonna try to spam the engines and get up to the top results!” But the problem is that a lot of folks still think this kind of keyword stuffing is the way you write good SEO content.

Relax! Google Wants You To Write Good Content

So if this has been your mindset – that you have to write separate pages “for Google” or stuff the page full of your keyphrases in order to get a good ranking – you can relax: Google wants to you to write good, quality content. Really!

– Never write copy “for Google”. Write it for your readers.

Instead of hanging onto the notion of writing your content for Google, think about writing for your readers – always focus on their experience!

You don’t want to include a keyphrase so many times that it becomes distracting. People may well bounce off your page and out of your site to find another source of information that sounds more reputable, and offers content that is easier to read.

Additionally…

– Keyword stuffing won’t help your SEO.

Google has closed that loophole. Once upon a time, sure, jamming your copy full of keywords might’ve worked – but not today. So there’s no reason to do it!

– Unsure if you added too many keyphrases? Read the copy out loud.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ve been heavy-handed with the use of keyphrases in your content, sometimes the best thing to do is to just print that page and read it aloud.

The same applies if you’re a site owner working with a copywriter: when s/he submits the copy, read it out loud. That way you’ll hear if the keyphrase has been used too many times.

– Think quality – not quantity.

When thinking about your content, it’s always best to think of it in terms of quality.

It’s not about how many pages you can kick out so Google starts thinking you’re an authority on “X”. It’s about how many good pages you can write for your readers, so you attract more traffic and build your brand that way!

Thanks for joining me for this week’s video! As always, if you have any questions about today’s post, or anything else for that matter, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me directly at heather@seocopywriting.com, or find me on Twitter @heatherlloyd.

image thanks to warrantedarrest (Tomas de Aquino)

Learn how to build a happy, healthy freelance copywriting business from 12 of the world’s leading experts! My next Copywriting Business Boot Camp starts June 3rd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 signs that your SEO copy is over-optimized

Greetings!  Today’s SEO Copywriting video tip addresses the three telling signs that your web SEO copy may be over-optimized.  Yes, there is such a thing, and it happens when you’ve geared the copy so heavily towards the search engines that you’ve forgotten about the user experience.

Join Heather as she discusses the three telltale signs that your web content is over-optimized, and the three ways to fix the problem:

1) Too Many Keyphrases on the Page

  • Pages like the one shown are easy to spot: it is pretty obvious that the keyphrases are New York City and gift baskets.  But for the folks who are trying to read the page, and determine whether or not they want to work with this company, it’s flat-out bad copy:
  • User experience = bad. Too much emphasis on SEO: There’s nothing in the copy for the reader, and there’s nothing that speaks to benefits. Plus, the copy is so hard to wade through that anyone reading the page would be tempted to bounce out and find another site.

In trying to achieve ranking, the writer has created a user experience that is so bad that it’s actually hurting conversions.

  • The fix?  Reduce keyphrases: You have to pare down the keyphrases in the copy.  In some cases, this might mean that you have to re-write the page altogether.  But when you do that, and bring focus to what you’re doing, you’re going to see a huge jump in sales.

2) Too Many Hyperlinks on the Page

Sometimes copywriters pepper the page with hyperlinks for the perceived SEO benefits, thinking all those hyperlinked keyphrases will automatically get the page top ranking.  Others overdo it with the hyperlinks because they want to give their readers lots of choices, so they end up giving them all the choices and assume the reader will pick one.

  • Again, the user experience = bad.  Too many choices cause overwhelm.  Plus – what’s in it for the customer?

From the search engine perspective, hyperlinking users all over the place is not going to help you in your SEO ambitions – it’s not going to help you increase your rankings. From the users’ perspective, they are overwhelmed with too many choices and they find it difficult to make a decision.

  • The fix?  Focus on your conversion funnel

What you want to do in this case is to think about what’s in it for the prospect — the customer benefits – and then focus your copy around that.  On a landing page, narrow down the decisions facing the reader and hone it to a few educated choices.

In removing the “overwhelm” factor for readers, you’ll see a higher conversion rate as you help move the prospect along the conversion funnel:  you’ll achieve an increase in ROI.

3) “Fluffy” SEO Copy

  • The content is longer than it needs to be, so it loses conversion flow
  • Local pages and e-commerce product pages are typically the worst offenders

“Fluffy” SEO copy is often a result of the writer or site editor being instructed to conjure 500 words for a web page in order for it to be recognized by the search engines.  This 500-word rule has never been true – it’s a tenacious misconception.  So the writer ends up trying to say something in 500 words that may ideally need only 250 words.

The result is that the content is not only too long, but that it really isn’t written for the readers.  Instead, it’s stuffed with fluff to meet a mythical search engine wordcount.

  • The fix?  Write great sales copy and weave in the SEO elements.  Not the other way around.

This requires a change in thinking.  Approaching your web page copy this way, you’ll have really good, tight, benefits-oriented copy that will not only help folks to take action, but you’ll have what you need for the search engines too.

Thanks for joining us for this week’s SEO copywriting video tip!

Do you have an SEO copywriting or content marketing question for Heather?  Fabulous!  Zip it on over to her at askheather@seocopywriting.com, and you may well see it answered via next week’s video!   See you then.

 

 

 

 

Want to be an SEO copywriter? Here’s how to do it

Welcome back!  Today Heather answers a question from her SEO Copywriting Facebook groupHow do I become an SEO copywriter and get clients?” In a two-part answer to this loaded question, Heather first addresses how to go about learning SEO and direct response copywriting before you start working with clients, and then what to do once you feel ready to work with clients.

Ready? Then get set: Here’s the word on how to become an SEO copywriter and land those clients!

A lot of folks decide to enter into an SEO copywriting career because they not only love to write — blogs, short stories, poetry, etc. – but also want to make it pay.  Does this sound like you?  If so, then here’s how to do it!

Before You Start Working With Clients…

  • Learn everything you can about SEO and online writing: If you come from print, you’ll be taking the same set of writing skills and applying them just a little bit differently when you write online.

There are a few critical differences between print and online writing that you’ll want to master. And while it may sound really technical at first, and there may seem entirely too much to read on the subject, it will serve you well to wade through a few lessons.  The more you know about SEO copywriting, the better you’ll be able to help your clients.

  • Want to write to sell? Learn the direct response writing basics: Writing to sell involves a whole different set of skills.  You will want to learn as much as you possibly can about direct response copywriting basics. This will help you write online content that is engaging and converts.
  • Consider taking a copywriting course: Many freelance writers report that they’ve successfully used copywriting courses as a “jumping off spot.” This is a great way to get all the information you need at once from a trusted source before moving on to the next level.  Recommended resources are AWAI Online and of course, the SEO Copywriting Certification course.
  • Start your own website. Put what you’ve learned into practice: This is a fantastic opportunity to play, by taking what you’ve learned and testing it on your own website. Are those techniques and best practices you’ve studied working for your own site?

Ready to Work With Clients?

Once you’re confident you’re ready to work with clients, you’ll want to:

  • Make sure that your own site is perfect: If you don’t have a website for your own business, then now would be the time to create one! Why? Because your prospective clients are going to ask you if you’ve a site to check out. If you don’t have one, well…it’s gonna look pretty weird if you call yourself a website/online/SEO writer, and yet not have a website of your own!
  • Optimize your website for your name, as well as for your main keyphrases: This piece of advice comes straight from Richard Hostler, the senior SEO copywriter from Brookstone (via an SEO Copywriter’s Certification call):  he routinely evaluates new copywriters he’s considering to hire by doing a google search for the applicant’s name. So be sure you’re there in search results when you are being considered for that copywriting gig!
  • Consider offering your services for free or low-cost to get your foot in the door: Sure, we’d all like to make money right out of the gate, but it does take a while to ramp up your copywriting career. Providing your services at zero to little cost for a non-profit or small business is a great way to prove your value. In return, they can provide you with testimonials, clips, and everything else you might need to cultivate even more clients… that you can charge for your services!
  • Consider working as an SEO copywriting assistant to gain experience: Folks who have pursued this route have reported great results from being able to work one on one with an established pro. Granted, while you may not be making that much money when you’re working within this kind of relationship, the long-term benefits do make it worthwhile. You’ve an expert in your pocket to help you with questions and otherwise guide you on your way.

Thanks for joining us for this week’s SEO copywriting video how-to! Do you have a question to ask Heather? Great! Please zip it on over to her at askheather@seocopywriting.com and she’ll be sure to answer it, very possibly in next week’s video post. See you then!

5 steps to great content for readers and search engines

Kristi Hines

One thing that has become evident in the post-Google Panda world is that if you want to ensure that your site doesn’t lose rankings, you will need great content!

Not simply search engine optimized content, but content that both search engines AND visitors will enjoy alike.

Everyone’s content development process is a little different.  Today I’d like to share mine with you, particularly when it comes to writing.

1.  Figure out your target keywords

Sure, most people know a few keywords that define their site.  But chances are, they are not enough keywords to generate writing topics around.  In some cases, your keywords might be general enough that you can narrow them down into more specific topics of focus.  In other cases, your keywords may be so specific that you need to broaden your horizons in order to find topics to write about.

Keyword suggest tools are the best way to go for finding keyword phrases that people search for often. When you start typing in a keyword on Google, for example, it will start suggesting related search terms:

Google isn’t the only suggest tool out there though – be sure to check out Bing, Yahoo, Blekko, Topsy, Wefollow, Delicious, and YouTube for additional keyword ideas.

The best part about the latter four is Topsy and Wefollow will tell you what keywords are popular on Twitter, Delicious will tell you what is popular in articles that are frequently bookmarked, and YouTube, of course, will tell you what is popular in video content.

2. Generate some content ideas based on those keywords that people will want to read

Once you have a great list of keywords, the next step is to create headlines that will appeal to readers.  The best way to generate some great content ideas is to use proven headline formulas, such as those given in the free guide, 102 Headline Formulas by Chris Garrett of Authority Blogger, and plug those keywords into the headlines in which they fit best.

For even more ideas, don’t miss Copyblogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines, which is an 11 part series on writing better headlines in no time.

3. Forget the SEO and write your content

Here’s what I consider the fun part.  This is where you forget about SEO for a while and just write your content.  Instead of thinking about optimization, think about the content – articles, blog posts, magazine pieces, etc. – that you have really enjoyed reading and write your content in that manner. Make it enjoyable, valuable, and exciting for readers!

I would also suggest during this writing spree to hold off on the editing as this can slow down your writing process. Let the ideas flow from your mind to your keyboard, then take the editorial run through to check for spelling and grammatical issues.

4. After your article is written, then you can work on the search optimization.

Now that you have a great piece of content that people will love to read, you should go back through and add the optimization features that will make the content easily searchable and targeted for your keyword phrase.  This includes the title tag and meta description, header tags (H2’s and H3’s especially), and optimization of your images (including the  ALT description), and a proper file name with keywords.

5. Get out and promote it!

Last, but not least, once that awesome piece of content is written, optimized, and published online, you will need to go out and promote it.  Content is not something where you create it and your audience will just naturally flock to it (unless you’re Mashable and already have a monster audience).

You will need to promote your content through social media, your mailing list (for those especially awesome pieces), instant messenger, forums, blog comments, and any other form of getting the word out in which you can participate.  Only then will your content be a success!

I hope these steps help you balance the fine line between SEO friendly and reader friendly content development when it comes to your blog posts, articles, and page content.  What additional tips would you like to give writers who have to develop content for both worlds?

Kristi Hines is a blogging and social media enthusiast.  She has also written an extensive guide on blog post promotion which will help you increase the traffic, social shares, and comments you receive for every article you write!

 

 

 

SEO keyword density: lose this relic and adopt best practices

Greetings to you! With today’s video post, Heather hopes to put to rest that chronic, persistent “keyword density” question: “What’s the best keyword density for my site?”

Having been around the block a time or two for nearly 14 years, Heather has encountered this question time and time again.  Her short answer: there is no such thing anymore!  Here she expounds on why this is so, giving her insight into the history behind the whole stubborn keyword density concept, and how to move beyond this antiquated mindset to relevant SEO copywriting best practices for keyword and keyphrase use:

What’s the best keyword density for your site?

From the beginning of SEO time, this question has refused to go away.  The reason that people think that keyword density is important is because they believe that it is the key to good search engine rankings.  While this was once the case, circa 1999, it is no more.

But before getting into all that, for those who are unfamiliar with the “keyword density” equation:

How to calculate keyword density?

Count the number of keywords/keyphrases on a given page, then divide it by the total word count.  Voila:  keyword density.  For example, a 500-word page with 10 keywords/keyphrases =  a keyword density of 2-percent.

You can party like it’s 1999, but don’t write SEO copy that way!

Back in the (pre-Google) day, that 2-percent keyword density would have been shy of the 5.5-percent we were all striving for to get the top rankings via the (now extinct) Alta Vista search engine. It’s an understatement to say that much changed since then (i.e., Google arrived), and search engines of the day are now looking at other ranking factors and signals, such as social and links.

So there’s a whole host of other things going into the search engines’ algorithmic soup, and far more important things to focus on both for search engine relevancy and user experience.

What you want to do instead – SEO copywriting best practices:

Hope this helps clarify the whole keyword density question for you: in short, it’s no longer a viable question!

Thanks for tuning in! Do you have an SEO copywriting or content marketing question for Heather?  Wonderful! Shoot it on over to askheather@seocopywriting.com and she will answer it – perhaps via next week’s video blog post!

 

 

 

 

5 post-Panda strategies for optimizing your e-commerce site

Welcome back! In this third post of her Q & A video blog series, Heather addresses the oft-asked question:  How can I make my e-commerce site better for the search engines? Many smaller to mid-sized e-commerce companies are now striving to make their sites as good as they can possibly be, after suffering the fallout of Google’s Mayday and Panda/Farmer updates.

Over the past financially-stressed year, many e-commerce companies simply lacked the resources needed to produce high-quality, original content.  So they’ve been hurt by Google’s Mayday and Panda/Farmer updates.  But there is a shiny silver lining to this setback, as Heather explains:

Common E-Commerce Issues:

  • Mayday Update: Many SMB’s without the financial resources to invest in content generation were “downgraded” by Google because they simply duplicated the product descriptions from the original manufacturers of the goods offered.
  • Farmer/Panda Update: Those businesses without the money for content creation were also hurt due to “thin” and/or “low-quality” content.  These folks may have tried to build out keyphrase-laden pages to drive traffic, or were stuck with the same old products pages with no fresh or original copy.

Whatever the circumstance, these smaller e-commerce companies are at a huge disadvantage right now.  But the silver lining is that this setback presents a fantastic opportunity for these businesses to give their e-commerce site a complete “make-over.”

So here’s what to do (over) if you find your e-commerce site hurting from Google’s algorithm changes:

1) Figure out what’s working, and what’s not: Seize this opportunity to delve deep into your analytics and look at things like bounce and conversion rates. The information you glean can provide you with a road map as to what to do next.  For instance…

2) Are you using the right keyphrases? Upon entering the e-commerce world, you may not have completely understood what keyphrases were or how to work with them. Or your original keyphrases may have brought in traffic at the start, but may be not the best, qualified traffic. Again, this is a great opportunity to go back to the beginning and re-evaluate.  You may well discover other keyphrases to focus on and leverage for SEO.

3) MessagingDo you address your prospect’s primary question of what’s in it for me (WIIFM)? Revisit your benefit statements: do they explicitly tell your reader what’s in it for them? Are the tone and feel of your site targeted to your perfect customer? Are you bringing out the best benefit statements that you can? This is a golden opportunity to make your site as tight and wired to your customer as possible.

4) What else can you “tweak?” Consider what other elements could be improved to help make you money.  For instance:

  • Do you need to change your page Titles? Probably. See what you can tweak to increase both your ranking and conversions.
  • Could you add customer reviews? This is a great way to build out original content on your products pages.
  • Can you build out different types of content (video, podcasts, other types of descriptive content)? Ideally, your product page content should be unique – not just a reiteration of the original manufacturers’ copy.
  • How can you leverage your blog to help you with sales? Your blog presents an ideal venue to “soft sell” and link to your site’s product pages.  It doesn’t have to be “sales-y,” and in fact shouldn’t be. Written deftly, your blog content can go a long way towards supporting sales.

5) Checking your analytics, determine what your top-performing pages are and start re-writing those first. Look at the top 20-percent of your site’s highest-performing pages, and begin your copywriting do-over with these.

Yes, this website “do-over” does mean an investment of time and money, but the silver lining is that once you’ve gone through the process — taking the time to do it right — then everything else will fall into place:  your site will be well-optimized for the search engines, will better serve your customers, and you’ll see a greater return on your investment!

Thanks for joining us! Do you have a SEO copywriting or content marketing question? Zip it on over to Heather at: askheather@seocopywriting.com, and she may well answer it with next Monday’s video post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to turn a boring FAQ page into a sales star

Welcome back! Glad you’re checking in today, as Heather is wrapping up her video blog series on how write a killer website.  If you’ve been following her weekly web writing how-to series, you’re already familiar with how to write an optimized and conversions-driving:  home pageecommerce product page, services page, and about page.

Today, Heather addresses the often-neglected opportunity and unrealized potential of the FAQ page, the second unsung hero of search engine and conversions optimization after the About Us page.

Take a few minutes and learn how to transform those typically dry, administrative-dull FAQ pages into web copy that both sings to your reader and calls to the search engines:

The poor, ignored FAQ page is yearning to be optimized for both search engines and internal linking/conversions.  Like the proverbial ugly duckling transforming into a majestic swan, there are definite steps to this web copy transformation.

Here’s How to Do It:

1) Group FAQ’s Around Keyword/KeyPhrase Themes Whenever Possible (vs. Long, Untargeted FAQ Pages)

Grouping your FAQ page categories around keyword/keyphrase themes is much easier than it sounds.  Simply check your analytics for guidance.

What you want to avoid is talking about everything on your FAQ pages in a disjointed, rambling way, from products to shipping and returns policy on one page.  Split out these disparate subjects and organize them by keyphrase theme.

2) Match Your Site’s Tone and Feel  (vs. Boring, Administration-Sounding FAQ Pages)

While your FAQ page isn’t a sales page per se, try thinking about it that way: match your site’s tone and feel in your FAQ page.  While you may have to tend to necessary administrative details here, you can infuse them with the personality that you’ve honed in your other pages.  (But still take care to separate those administrative FAQ’s out from products/services FAQ’s, as noted above).

3)  Link to Products/Services Pages Whenever Possible (vs. “Dead End” FAQ Pages that Don’t Encourage Conversions)

The FAQ page can weave in little calls to action when answering prospect questions.  Using the example of an e-commerce kayak company, it smartly links internally to their product page by answering a common customer question (FAQ) with: “to learn more about our ‘Creek Boats’…”

Voila!  In simply answering a common question on its FAQ page and linking to its product page, this kayak company has gone from providing reader information to conversions – a very effective way to move your prospects along any given sales funnel.

Not so good is a “dead end” FAQ page with no links and therefore no option of click-through.  You want to encourage that conversion whenever possible!

4) Include Your Contact Information (vs. Making Your Readers Hunt for More Info)

Don’t assume your reader knows how to contact you, or will work to do so.  Be sure your contact information is front and center, at all times!

5) Highlight Overarching Company Benefits (vs. Hiding Your Benefits in the Copy or Not Mentioning Them at All)

When appropriate, try to highlight the overarching benefits of your company as well as those of your particular product or service.  Try to inspire company-level confidence.

6) Optimize the Title (vs. Writing a Non-Descript, Generic FAQ Title)

This cannot be over-emphasized:  a well-written title is as essential to the FAQ page as it is to any other conversions page on your site.  Assume your FAQ page title to be as important as that of your sales page.  Without incorporating a keyphrase, a FAQ page title is a “throw-away,” such as “FAQ Page.”

Thanks for joining us for this final post of Heather’s video series on writing a kick-butt website!  As always, we welcome your comments and questions!

And speaking of questions…do you have any SEO web writing questions for Heather?  Next week kicks off our SEO copywriting Q & A series, where Heather will be answering your Web SEO copywriting questions.  Please send your questions to Laura@SEOcopywriting.com — we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 sure-fire ways to create a killer home page

Greetings! Glad you’re here, because today’s SEO copywriting how-to video is about creating a killer home page.  However powerful your copywriting and skilled your SEO, if you’re making these all-too-common, conversions-killing mistakes with your home page copy, your business will suffer.  The good news is, bad as it may seem now, it is easily corrected!

If you’ve been following Heather’s weekly how-to video posts, you’ll notice the progression from the inaugural 3 skills every SEO copywriter must have to this step-by-step series, aimed at providing you with explicit guidance to creating a fantastic website.

Beginning at the beginning, Heather first addresses the home page: what you should include on your home page to serve both the search engines and your target audience, as well as what tactics to avoid.

So let’s review:

Why Focus on the Home Page?

Because the home page is the most important page on your site!  It is your second conversions opportunity following the search engine results page.

The Home Page:

  • Is the page most indexed by the search engines
  • Sets the “tone” for the entire site
  • Orients people: they know they’re at the right “place” and that you offer what they want/need

Your Home Page is Like a Funnel:

From a sales perspective, you should assume that your prospects are coming to your site directly from search engine results, a link, or an offline source.  Your objective is to first, immediately let these folks know that they’re at the right place and then second, direct them to exactly where they need to go next.

Your home page serves to segment your audience and then prompt them to move around your site. Your home page is a great “preview” of all that you offer, not an index of every single benefit you offer.

Tried and true strategies for writing a killer home page, whether B2B or B2C, are:

  • Use overarching benefit statements & general, overarching keywords/keyphrases

A well-written home page should serve as a “teaser,” offering a preview of the great benefits your company has to offer.  It isn’t the place to discuss each and every benefit you offer, or list each and every keyword or keyphrase in your arsenal.  It is the place to offer your readers a taste, then clearly direct them to exactly where they need to go for the full entrée.

Trying to say too much too soon overwhelms the reader, dilutes your message, and detracts from those keywords and phrases that actually apply to the home page.  The same goes for your home page footer:  jamming keywords and phrases into your footer doesn’t do anybody any good, period.  Don’t do it.

It is better to sprinkle your benefit statements and related keyword/keyphrases throughout your site.  You’ve product/service pages to address specific product/service benefits, about pages to discuss your company and mission statement, etc., and to include the corresponding, relevant keywords and phrases for those pages.

  • Link intelligently from your home page to your product/services page

Again, your home page should serve as a funnel, directing your readers deeper into your site.  As with benefit statements and keywords/phrases, you want to avoid linking out to each and every product or service you offer.  It serves all concerned far better to link to main sections/categories of your site.

Far too often, otherwise well-written home pages go wrong with this “link-o-rama” (mal)practice, whereby your prospect is confronted with one big hyperlink.  It only sabotages your home page content to jam it up with numerous internal links.  For the reader, it is both visually overwhelming and psychologically overwhelming.  Easy does it!

  • Write copy that is focused around your customer persona

Write as if you were addressing an audience of one:  your ideal customer.  You want to reach and resonate with that one person.  Writing general, untargeted copy will get you general, untargeted results.

This is a great opportunity to change up your copy to increase conversions by honing your message specifically for your customer persona.  Even if you have multiple customer personas, you can readily structure your home page copy to address each persona and then direct the prospect to vertical-specific, niche landing pages within your website.

  • Create a fantastic, benefit-oriented home page title

We’ve already discussed the importance of creating compelling, “clickable” page Titles.  Far, far better to compose a powerful home page Title that couples one or two of the main keywords/phrases specific to the home page with a strong benefit statement, than to write a so-so title that is stuffed with keywords.  You want to match your targeted home page copy with an equally targeted, clickable page Title.

  • Get to the point

Stay on track and relay your message to your customer persona as succinctly as possible.  Ruthlessly edit your copy and strive for an economy of words:  if you can say something in five words as opposed to 25, do it.  Your home page isn’t the place for waxing poetic!

So, what information should you have on your products or services pages? Stay tuned, as next week Heather will discuss how to craft conversions-driving copy for your company’s products/services!

Thanks for checking in!  As always, your questions and comments are most welcome.

How to transform blah into bang with SEO copy editing

Welcome back! In today’s video post, Heather elaborates on SEO copy editing, specifically addressing how to edit your existing content with keyphrases to drive more search engine traffic to your website. As you may recall from last week’s discussion about SEO editing versus copywriting for SEO, keyphrase editing is a smart strategy for longer “information”-type pages that aren’t crucial to the sales process, such as articles, FAQ pages, old blog posts, and even press releases.

Listen in as Heather walks us through the how-to’s of SEO copy editing:

Did you get all that? Here are the highlights:

Most of us encounter content that isn’t necessarily optimized for the search engines when it was originally written and uploaded. Our job is transform that content with keyphrase editing to make it more specific and relevant, both for the reader and for the search engines. How, you ask?

Look for “opportunity blurbs” within the copy. A classic example is the common blurb on products pages that simply states: “All products will be shipped within 24 hours.” This is a prime opportunity to insert the keyword “gift basket” so that the copy reads: “Your personalized gift basket will be shipped within 24 hours.” Viola – the content hasn’t changed, the message is the same, but you’ve leveraged the bland copy for both search engine and reader appeal by adding the keyword.

An important side note is to avoid stuffing the copy with keyphrases while editing, just as you would if you were writing the original page. Read it aloud, and if you’re hearing “gift basket…” multiple times, that means you’ll want to tone it down a bit.

Specific guidelines for SEO copy editing are:

• Concentrate on two or three keyphrases per page of copy – it helps you to better focus and hone the content
• Be sure to use your keywords in the headline
• Consider using subheadlines containing your keyword/s, if the content is long enough
• Use keywords in your hyperlinks – liven up that generic “learn more” link with a keyword that naturally fits
• Use keywords when linking to related products and services pages – a FAQ page may link out to a blog post that goes into more detail about a product or service

And finally, don’t forget to create a clickable Title! That will be the subject of next week’s SEO copywriting how-to, so until then, thanks for tuning in and feel free to leave any comments or questions!