SEO copywriting is the foundation to the organic SEO process. The aim of a SEO copywriter is to properly keyword optimize each page in the proper places.
In this blog post, we are going to outline the most essential HTML tags for SEO copywriters, along with some copywriting tips on how to keyword optimize each of them.
1. Page Title Tags
The title tag, as the name suggests, is simply the main topic of the webpage. For this reason, you'll definitely want to keyword optimize this HTML tag with your primary keyword target.
Title tags should be concise (typically under 70 characters is ideal) for most search engines only display so many characters. And because the title tag is what shows in the search results as the main headline of the listing, it's important to get a little creative and write a compelling title that also respects keyword inclusion.
Tips for writing optimized title tags:
- Always include most of the primary keyword target (if not exact phrase match) in the title tag. Only add secondary keyword variations if they make sense.
- Each page should have a unique title (duplicate page titles can hinder SEO performance.)
2. Meta Description Tags
The Meta description tag is an embellished version of the title tag. This description also appears in the search engine results right below the title tag. Most search engine will display about 160 characters of the Meta description, so here you have more room to write and compel searchers to click your listing. Get creative with your Meta descriptions and really test your copywriting skills. Be sure to also include your primary keyword target early in the description to establish greater keyword relevancy for the page.
Tips for writing optimized Meta descriptions tags:
- Try include the exact phrase match of the primary keyword target as early as possible in the Meta description. Try using a secondary keyword variation toward the middle or end of the description, if it's logical.
- Like titles, each page should have a unique Meta description. • Use action-oriented words that call users to take action (e.g. 'Discover, Explore, Uncover')
3. Header Tags
The 'h' tag, or header tag, is like the title of your webpage. Here you'll want to use your keywords strategically by using at least one h1 tag, along with h2 and h3 sub-headings. The idea is to organize your content by topic and break apart each idea with various headers. Although you can use h1-h6 tags on a webpage, h1's-h3's carry the most weight.
Tips for using header tags:
- Use the primary keyword target in the first h1, and use secondary keyword variations in h2's and h3's down the page
- Apply CSS for styling so that it headers look the way you want them throughout each page of the website
4. Italics and Strong Tags
Rather than using a simple 'b' or bold tag in the copy, always use the strong tag, for this offers more weight to search engine spiders. Strategically strong tag your keyword targets throughout the copy to help establish greater keyword relevancy.
Also use italics around keywords or phrases where you want to express emphasis. Although these text styling tags offer minimal SEO weight, these SEO copywriting techniques help to enhance the copy of your pages.
Tips for using italics and strong tags:
- Only use strong tags or italics per each keyword (avoid strong tagging every reference of a keyword phrase.)
- Be creative and use these text styling elements to enhance the readers' interaction with the page.
5. Image Alt Tags
The image "alt tag" stands for "alternative text." In rare instances (such as an old computer or web browser) when certain images cannot be render, alternative text will be show. This text is crawled by search engine spiders, so it's important to keyword optimize this text when appropriate.
The keyword is "when appropriate." You'll only want to include keywords in the alt tag only when it truly reflects what the image is about. For instance, if you have a picture of a family at a park, but your alt tag is keyword optimized for "hair loss treatments," the alternative text will not make much sense. Tips for using image alt tags:
- Keep your alt tags relevant and concise
- In addition to the alt tag, try including your keywords in the actual file name of the image
- Also see if you can add keyword references in the image properties, such as the summary, description, or image tags
There are several factors that determine on-page SEO authority. Using these five HTML tags is one of the most effective ways to optimize your website for greater keyword relevancy. Just be sure that you do this ethically and avoid keyword stuffing. Overusing keywords can have adverse results, for Google now targets and penalizes websites that have way too high of keyword density.
Write with a purpose and write righteously. Rank on, my friends.
About the Author
This article was written by Tyler Tafelsky of Top of Mind, a Traverse City SEO and social media engagement firm. Tyler has been a professional organic search marketing expert for over five years. To learn more, you can connect with Tyler on Google Plus.
A solid web design is the basic necessity for any business looking to increase its online exposure. Whether the website of a business functions as a presentation of services, an infomediary, or an online store, an SEO-friendly web design is essential to maximize its marketing potential.
Without SEO, even the most visually-appealing, creative, and content-rich websites will not receive the amount of visitors it deserves. For this reason, SEO-friendly web design is critical during the initial stages of development. Below we underscore some of the crucial steps to creating a good website by using the best practices of SEO-friendly web design.
1. Thorough Keyword Research
Any search engine operates on the basis of indexing and searching keywords present on many different websites. Finding the right keywords for any venture and focusing on them in the content means that the search engines will more easily access the site and then more often present it in their search results.
In this step of the web planning process, everyone must balance out the need to go global with the necessity of staying focused on a clear topic. A very broad website that features many different kinds of content will probably receive less attention from the search engines than a website which targets a clear group of topics.
2. Staying Accessible to Search Engines
Many times, a business will be offered a very dynamic and responsive web design, possibly through the use of Flash programing language. Although Flash offers this option, at the same time it brings many problems to the search engine bots (also called crawlers) which automatically index any new website.
If these find parts of the website inaccessible or unreachable (or even the entire website), they will simply leave it, which defeats the entire purpose of the endeavor. Instead, using regular HTML code, even the newer generations like XHTML, will not provide difficult a challenge for the search bots. Ensure your web design is SEO-friendly for crawlers, before having to either go back to the drawing board, or invest in website optimization services.
3. Being Accessible to the Visitors
In the modern world, only a fraction of visitors to any website come through regular desktop or laptop run browsers. A big portion of search engine queries comes from mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. In the coming years this trend will only continue to grow as more and more people start to use them. A website must be designed so that it takes this fact into consideration, and it should be easily accessible on any of these devices to boost its SEO-friendly web design.
4. Integrating Social Media
A modern SEO process must be aware of the incredible potential of the social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest and many more. A web page which was shared on these networks will also receive a boost in the search engine rankings due to the fact that it is clearly popular amount large number of users. Having an online infrastructure which easily allows sharing, tweeting or pinning is the necessary base for this important segment of any SEO-friendly web design strategy.
5. Incorporating Rich Media Content
A website is not only built from words. Any successful website also includes images, videos, sound files, or any other kind of rich media content. Although search engines cannot listen to podcasts or watch YouTube videos, they can read their titles, alternative text, links, and descriptions. These should be carefully written and they should also follow the same keyword optimization as the rest of the website.
Today, getting recognized and indexed by big search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo is of paramount importance. By using these guidelines, any website can greatly benefit from a design that is both appealing to the visitors and very SEO friendly to search engines.
An optimized web presence will produce many possible benefits while a weak one will only provide an illusion of owning something which doesn’t fulfill its potential. SEO is one of the key avenues, and a solid web design is the portal.
Schema markup is becoming quite the rage in the SEO community, as it's becoming an integral element to on-page SEO (even SEO copywriters are adopting Schema into their practice. In essence, Schema markup (which is standardized by Google, Yahoo, and Bing) has been developed to better communicate to search engines what the content of a webpage is all about. In turn, search engines can better understand and interpret the semantics of a page's content, more efficiently.
There are a variety of different HTML tags that make up Schema markup. To delve deep into what all the tags, types, properties, and other elements that encompass Schema markup, visit the official site Schema.org. Here you can learn the in's and the out's of how to integrate Schema for better SEO.
Example of SEO-friendly Schema Markup
The basis of Schema markup is the application of div and span tags, in addition to other specific properties that more precisely define the semantics of a page. Below is a general framework of how we might markup an author attribute or profile:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/CreativeWork">
<h1 itemprop="about">All About Schema for SEO</h1>
<div itemprop="Author" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Person">
Created by: <span itemprop="name">Billy Bob</span>
Born: <span itemprop="birthdate">December 4, 1986</span>
<span itemprop="keywords">SEO, Schema, Ranking Factor</a>
Although all this content is wrapped in these tags, the front-end appearance of this page will look like:
All About Schema for SEO
Created by: Billy Bob
Born: December 4, 1986
Topic of Article:
Diagram, SEO, Ranking Factor
This is can all seem a bit technical and. So it's important to examine each component in order to see how it works:
Itemscope is a shortcode for determining what sort of a thing you are examining about. It typically accompanies the itemtype shortcode which is for labeling your page/passage with reference to what it is about rather than the search engines relying upon the number and position of your catchphrases. In this case, we utilized the itemtype "CreativeWork" on the grounds that my web journal section falls under that class.
Itemprop is a shortcode for distinguishing the properties of that which you have determined an itemtype for. For instance in this code, I recognized what the properties of itemtype Creativework is about utilizing the itemprop="about". In English, we're telling the web index that this page is about CreativeWork and its regarding "All About Schema for SEO."
You could see a few itemprop codes inside this short set of words in light of the fact that we attempted to determine the properties the majority of the itemtypes to the extent that we could. We figured this may have a positive effect on web indexes. The more particular, the better. It's likewise more work. You can have countless itemtypes, itemscopes and itemprops.
Start Using Schema to Improve SEO
Schema can be integrated on online store product pages for better ecommerce SEO, as well as small businesses website for local SEO. The possibilities are quite limitless in apply Schema markup to your SEO practice.
Have you been using Schema markup for SEO? Have you noticed any positive changes in your keyword rankings?
Let us know in the comments section below!