Keyword phrases are one of the central pillars to developing high search engine rankings and valuable web site traffic. But that doesn’t mean you can simply pepper your copy with keywords and expect high rankings to materialize.
The content must achieve the dual purpose of containing keyword phrases people use to search for you AND be valuable to the reader as well. Simply stuffing your copy with keywords will appear as an obvious ploy to your readers and the search engines.
So how can I maximize the amount of keywords without destroying the flow of my copy?
Continue reading for 11 steps you can employ to maximize the number of keywords in your copy without your readers even knowing it. Search engines, though, will pick up on those keywords and rank your site accordingly. Remember, you should only optimize a page or article for 2 or 3 keyword phrases. Any more will dilute the focus of that page.
1. Break keywords up into different sentences and/or paragraphs
Search engine spiders, those computer programs that read and index a website’s content, do not pay attention to punctuation, bullet points, line breaks, etc. A search engine only sees letters so a phrase can be broken by a comma or a period. Readers will not pick up on the keyword phrase but search engines will, boosting your chances for high rankings.
Example: Increase your bottom line by creating valuable content for your website. Copywriting helps inform potential customers about your products and services and the problems they help solve.
2. Form quotes from “personal” keyphrases
These are keyword phrases stated in the first person but are difficult to work into your copy because they’re simply not natural. Phrases like optimize my site are not natural for a website copywriter to use – optimize your site would be a more natural phrase for the writer to use.
Get around this by forming quotes around the key phrase. Example:
“How can I optimize my site for the search engines?”
3. Develop more effective bulleted lists
Bulleted lists can be very effective since they make reading and scanning much easier. They naturally draw a reader’s attention. But much of the time, opportunities for strong keyword placement are missed. It’s pretty easy to add keywords into each bullet point so don’t miss this great opportunity to boost your rankings (not to mention, search engines place a premium on keywords in a bulleted list). Just be sure you’re blending them well so the bullets don’t become repetitive.
4. Break copy into sections
Search engines will find keywords wherever they are on a page. Articles like this are not the only way to get keywords out there. In fact for ecommerce and other graphic intensive sites, simply having a bunch of keywords stuffed into one place will just overwhelm readers.
Instead, break copy into sections – place keywords in a headline and a few sentences at the top, under your bottom navigation or in the sidebar. In other words, break copy up so it looks natural to the reader but like a keyword treasure trove to the search engines.
5. Offer a “more information” link
At the bottom of your page, have a “more information” link where you can add more keyword instances. The link will actually be the same page but to the reader, the original page will look short and concise. To learn more, the customer will have to click a link at the bottom for the rest of the content to appear.
6. Include “opposite” key phrases
There may be great keyword phrases that don’t necessarily apply to your business but are very valuable nonetheless. For example, “cheap site optimization” may be a valuable phrase but isn’t something you want to be known for because the word cheap doesn’t imply a good price but poor quality instead.
To get around this, write a landing page or article warning about the dangers of “cheap site optimization”, for example. This lets you get that keyword into your copy and rankings but also builds credibility for your firm.
7. Consider “stop” words in choppy phrases
Some keyword phrases are incomplete thoughts without stop words like “of”, “the”, “a”, “for” and so on. Include stop words like these to make them complete. These words are so common search engines completely ignore them, much like punctuation elements outlined in step #1.
8. Create keyword specific pages
You may have multiple keyword phrases to use on a single web page but none of them are related. Besides, including too many keywords on a single page will dilute the focus of that page.
Get around this by creating keyword specific pages where you focus on one keyword phrase. It will look natural to the reader but as a wealth of keywords to the search engines.
9. Combine key phrases
Using some keyword phrases by themselves can make copy sound repetitive and impersonal. But it’s possible to combine some keyword phrases to make copy sound more natural and personable. Search engines will see two keyword phrases while your readers will only pick up on one.
Example: website SEO copywriting, SEO site optimization
10. Add words
A lot of the time, keyword phrases need some help to sound natural to the reader and work well for the flow of the copy. Standalone keywords can make copy clunky and difficult to read.
Add words to the beginning or end of a keyword phrase to make it sounds more natural. You can add descriptive phrases like “experts”, “agents” or another term that would apply to your business.
Example: site optimization experts, SEO professionals, search engine marketing agent
11. Use keyword phrases in testimonials
Another opportunity to place good keyword phrases is in a testimonial from a customer. Most likely, they’re not familiar with keywords for marketing your business online. Testimonials usually refer to the name of your product or “it” or some other generic phrase.
Replace these phrases with your keyword phrases, with the customer’s permission of course.
These are just a few ways you can work in more keywords naturally, without destroying the flow of your copy. Customers searching online for the types of products or services you offer are using these words, so having a strong presence for your phrases is an important step in bringing in high-quality traffic for your site. Following the steps outlined above will ensure you maximize the amount of keyword instances on your page without creating copy that sounds repetitive and boring.
About SEO Advantage®
Led by Stone Reuning, SEO Advantage®, Inc. is an online marketing and search engine optimization firm that helps businesses turn their web presence into a powerful revenue generation medium. Our clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services implemented by a multidisciplinary team of SEO engineers, copywriters and web designers. You'll find us referenced in books such as "Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale" and the BusinessWeek bestseller "The New Rules of Marketing & PR," as well as the popular ebook "The Small Business Blogging Blueprint." Find out more today by calling us at 1-800-366-1639 or email us here.
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