Any self-respecting SEO consultant will know the true value of informative, vibrant content. It seems that Google is placing more importance on this kind of copy now, too. While there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the latest algorithm change from Google HQ, nicknamed ‘Panda 2.5’ by serial bloggers, it seems that the developers behind the search engine are incredibly keen to penalise any sites that could be considered content farms or are seen as completely irrelevant altogether.
This is nothing new, but it seems that if you’re going to step up the pace and stay one step ahead as far as the SERPs are concerned, it may be time to take a step back and remember the bare necessities of good, quality copywriting and their relevance to the modernised Google that we’ve come to both love and hate (depending on your stake in the SEO industry!).
Whether you’re writing for your own site or work as a professional copywriter, here are some points that you may need to bear in mind while writing for today’s contemporary web pages.
- Simplify your aims. If you’re working for a client, speak to them about their mission as a business and look to incorporate two or three key ideas into your main chunks of content. From a human user point of view, consumers don’t want to be put off by a load of waffle and want a concise, clear description of what the particular site is offering. And for the bots, you need to make sure that your intentions are clear, otherwise search engines will have trouble determining the relevancy of your website and it will rank lower as a consequence.
- Choose your keywords carefully as part of an intelligent SEO campaign. And if you’re keeping an eye on your keyword density, aim somewhere between 1.5 – 3.5%. Gone are the days when keyword stuffing went by unnoticed. These numbers aren’t set in stone and it’ll be interesting to see how Google approaches this density figure with regards to future updates.
- Make sure your content and meta data matches up. Eradicate any keywords in your titles, headers and descriptions that might be misleading. Promising users something that you can’t deliver will result in low SERPs!
- Write content that users will want to share amongst themselves. You should already have the main social networks integrated into your page, so make sure that you’re continually writing copy that people will want to read. Now that your content is so readily available, you’re essentially advertising your site every time you write. Take a look at your homepage – is the content written for your audience, about your audience or to benefit your audience? If it does neither of these things it’s time for change. The same principal can be applied to internal pages.
- Make sure that there is more text on your page than HTML code. This is a common error that’s often overlooked by web designers getting ahead of themselves. Although the actual percentage is more or less irrelevant, the amount of HTML on your page will affect load speed, which is an important factor.
- Video has allegedly fared well this time around so look to spice up your text with either an informative presentation or a comedy sketch that emphasises your point – anything that will engage the reader and offer up something a little different from the norm.
SEO consultants are barely getting to grips with one Panda update before another comes along and shakes up the system even further. So what’s the best advice for DIY copywriters? Keep yourself (and your clients) up to date with the latest opinions and suggestions from some of the world’s leading search engine optimisation bloggers and monitor the impact that your modified content is having on your site in the next few weeks or months. If your sites experience a SERP drop, don’t be afraid to re-draft until you start seeing an improvement.