There are no secrets to optimising content online but there are some basic rules you might want to consider, as well as some mistakes you should avoid making.

  1. Content is King. NOT keywords

The first mistake in SEO copywriting is putting too much effort in to on-page optimisation and too little in to copywriting, the persuasive content that is supposed to answer questions and influence visitors to take a decision.

SEO copywriting is attractive content that generates links and promotion from its own visitors thus increasing the authority of the website as well as the ranking on certain keywords. This means that you can benefit more from a natural link –  a recommendation from a happy user that visited your site – than if you were to stuff your content with keywords. Most users have come to realise by now the difference between quality content and content written specifically for search engines.

  1. SEO Copywriting is about conversion. NOT Google Ranking

Ranking well on search engines does not guarantee conversions. Optimised content might get the user’s attention thanks to the top position in Google, but it might as well lose the SEO advantage if it doesn’t accomplish its goal, which is to convert!  Then the user goes back to the search page and clicks on the following links until he finds what he needs.

  1. Optimising a web page does NOT equal keyword stuffing

There’s no reason to stuff your web content with keywords to make it rank well. Why not just use the ones that are relevant to your site? Your strategy can be to include the main keywords in the title of the page, as well as in the first and last paragraph; make the URL SEO-friendly by including variations of the main keywords, optimise the H1, the ALT (the description text for the images) and use specific tags. These are the essential optimisation elements that can help you rank well in search engines and, at the same time, it informs visitors on what your site is about. Now that the SEO part has been taken care of, you can focus on copywriting for your web page.

  1. Measure quality content through links and bounce rate, NOT traffic

What does “quality” content mean? It’s that content that readers promote through links, discuss through social media, come back regularly to or are influenced by to take action according to the site’s goal. Quality content keeps readers on your site and makes them visit more pages, which decreases the bounce rate. In some way, it manages to engage the user and make him part of your community. Quality content isn’t measured by its traffic because SEO spam also brings traffic.

  1. Internal and external links do NOT affect from a SEO point of view.

The key here is moderation. Internal links are welcome as long as the anchor text shows natural in the page and the information is relevant. External links are also ok as long as you don’t:

  • Overdo it and include more than 100 on a single web page.
  • Include irrelevant information, stuffed with keywords.
  • Link to sites considered spammy or with no connection what so ever with the on-page content
  • Include paid links without marking it with a nofollow tag
  1. Focus on the customers. NOT your company

No one cares about you or your company.  Visitors want to know how they can benefit from your product and why they should buy it. There’s a very cool copywriting tool on the web that’s called We We Calculator and you can use it to make sure your copy is customer oriented. Basically, what is does is clean up your text from all the “we”, “me”, “us” you’ve included and remind you to replace it with “you”.

Did I miss anything? Let us know in a comment below.


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3 Responses

  • Dave

    Your notes look good and advice seems sound.

    Is it a good idea to put links that go somewhere – or go to the info you really want them to go to rather than a dead / 404 / or error page?

    Take for instance your paragraph above “No one cares about you or your company. Visitors want to know how they can benefit from your product and why they should buy it. There’s a very cool copywriting tool on the web that’s called We We Calculator and you can use it to make sure your copy is customer oriented. Basically, what is does is clean up your text from all the “we”, “me”, “us” you’ve included and remind you to replace it with “you”” in which you insert the link to the wewe calculator.

    At the time of writing this link goes to an “Oops – nothing found!” statement on the 123-reg site (http://www.123-reg.co.uk/blog/top-6-lists/6-mistakes-in-seo-copywriting/www.futurenowinc.com/wewe.htm)

    Whereas, the link really needed to go to:
    http://www.futurenowinc.com/wewe.htm

    Correct and good SEO, good content and good keywords are great – but nothing loses visitors like badly formed links that lead nowhere, they can weaken other credible statements by the writer.

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    August 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm
  • Tim

    Thanks Dave. Every now and then one slips through and we are grateful for your spot.
    Hopefully all working now.

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    September 1, 2011 at 9:52 am
  • HairstylesAddict

    Actually badly formed links and 404 errors are bad but they rarely happens.

    In addition it isn’t an art to make sites without dead links – it is art to make a persuasive content and it is more fun as well as difficult.

    I really love book Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini.It is great for any copywriter.

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    October 17, 2011 at 4:18 am