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Organic ranking (not paid ads) on Google can make or break your business. High ranking on page 1 for your main keywords generates loads of FREE traffic to your website, which translates into leads and sales. A ranking on page 2 or worse means that you’d better have an alternative way of getting people to your website and finding new customers.
If ranking on Google is that important, how do you go about getting it? How do you achieve search engine optimization (SEO) for your website?
While it’s not easy to do, the means to obtain ranking for your website is simple: give Google what it wants. And what Google wants, as most SEO copywriters can tell you, is good factual content.
Let’s turn this question around. What do you want when you use a search engine? Most likely you’re looking for a website with quality information that answers your questions, even better if the information is comprehensive, well organized and easy to understand.
Google tries to give you want by delivering the most relevant, current and informative sites to you in its results. So if you’re the owner of a website, what can you do to give Google and visitors what they most want? Here are 10 tips from SEO copywriters:
1. Provide good information on every page of your website. Pictures aren’t enough, no matter how pretty. You need text, and that includes your home page.
2. Include content that isn’t just sales copy. If you’re a San Francisco realtor selling homes, for example, don’t just include information about what a great realtor you are. Also give some useful facts about San Francisco neighborhoods, local businesses, schools, etc.
3. Keep your website current. No longer can you write your website and then let it stand as is for months or years. You should constantly be updating, adding to and improving it.
4. Use headlines and subheads. These titles break up lengthy copy into easy-to-read chunks of text. Google values the headlines as clues to what you’re copy is about, so make sure they include your keywords. Also, for the reader, headlines and subheads make copy scannable, which is how many people like to read online text.
5. Compose good title tags and meta-description tags. These are the items that appear in the search results. They not only tell Google what your site is about (again be sure to use your keywords) but they also tell searchers its focus. They’ll help you “get the click” instead of some other site that also comes up in the search results.
6. Use pictures but include captions with them or use alt tags. Pictures will help make your pages more attractive and engaging, but unfortunately, Google doesn’t know what’s in the pictures unless you tell it. Use captions and alt tags.
7. Don’t try to fool Google. If you’ve ever had someone suggest that you should pack your pages with your main keywords over and over, or worse, put your keywords in white type so visitors can’t see them but Google can, you don’t want to take that advice.
As any ethical SEO copywriter will tell you, Google frowns on deceptive SEO practices. At best, they will help you get ranking in the short term. At worse, you will get penalized by Google, and your site will be sent to Siberia in the search results.
8. Develop a linking strategy. Have incoming links to your site, which you can obtain by writing and placing articles on article directory websites and blogs. You can also get links from sites that benefit from your information such as a tourism site linked to from the Chamber of Commerce.
Provide compelling content that others want to link to.Outbound links don’t affect your ranking, so don’t spend time on them. Plus, you don’t want to send visitors away from your site; they may not return!
9. Internal links are important too. In addition to having other websites link to your site, you want to also make use of internal links. These are links within the body of your site as opposed to items on your menu.
So, for example, if you have a page on growing flowers and you have a different page on growing roses, you might want to link from the flower page to the rose page because that might be of interest to your visitor.
Be sure to use the keyword phrase as the link, in this case “growing roses,” as opposed to “click here,” which doesn’t include your keywords and therefore won’t help your ranking.
10. Hire a professional SEO copywriter. Unless you’re a skilled SEO writer, your copy probably won’t be as effective as it could be. A good SEO copywriter makes you money by composing copy that gets you to the top of the search engines and also converts visitors into customers.
The online world has become a crowded and competitive place. The spoils go to the companies that rank highest on Google. And there are only 10 organic (non-paid advertising) spots on page 1.
You can try to save a buck by becoming a do-it-yourself writer or by hiring a cheap, inexperienced writer, but that’s not how you plan for success.
SEO copywriting is both a talent and a learned skill. SEO copywriters study their craft, practice it and stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry. It’s a profession of specialized experts who can be a wonderful resource in helping your company thrive.
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