16 July 2009

Search Engine Optimized Content

We have all heard the phrase "content is king," and unique content indeed reigns supreme. However, beyond the mantra of writing highly unique content, exists additional SEO copywriting secrets. Some of these "secrets" are simply SEO guidelines that simply get neglected from being applied to the art of copywriting. Let’s look at some applications of SEO in generating search engine optimized content.

1. Including Target Keyphrases

Apart from achieving a moderate keyword density for your target keywords, you should be including your target keyphrases as well. (You should be doing this concurrently). Your title and header tags need to include your main keyphrase, which should also be sprinkled throughout your content. Other ingredients to your search engine optimized content cake are variations to the main keyphrase, along with secondary target keyphrases.

Note: It’s perfectly alright to deviate slightly to secondary keyphrases, as well as overlap keyphrases between pages on your website. If anything, this will make your entire website more relevant and help maintain authority.

2. Optimal Content Length

Writing search engine optimized content also involves having an optimal content length (word count). There should be enough textual content there for spiders to crawl and find useful, but not to the point of losing usability to your visitors. A rule-of-thumb is to have about 250 words per page, which is approximately half a page of text.

I personally believe that a few paragraphs up to a page is sufficient, and the nature of the page needs to be accounted for too.

For example, certain online commerce pages should only have two paragraphs max (if even that). On the other hand, it would be appropriate for more technical or literature-based websites to be lengthier. This common sense mindset plays into the "usability" factor mentioned earlier.

3. High Quality Content

If content is king, then great content would make for a great king. Quality writers who can actually write at a high level will be in demand, and this ability will become essential to the success of next-gen SEOs. The basis for high quality content (other than the betterment to user experience) is the likability factor.

Whether search engine optimized in the traditional sense or not, well-written content lends itself to being respected and thus linked to from other sources.

4. Clickable Titles

Remember that our endgame is to get visitors onto our website and following through with our call to actions. Getting to this point will require searchers to click our titles. This means that the title and content snippet (description) that shows up in SERPs should be considered as advertising copy.

We can apply this consideration by also thinking of our ad copy as a call-to-action in itself! Include benefit statements around your content and in the title. Give a sense of urgency through time-sensitive messages. The key is to get that click-through to your web pages. Unique titles for each product page helps as well.
contributed by, Abhishek

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