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.
Organic search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so it ranks as highly as possible in the organic search results.
Also known as natural SEO, when done properly, organic SEO is an incredibly effective means to increase search traffic to your website from Internet users who are interested in your product or service. Earning high rankings from an organic search strategy is a process that can take several months to accomplish, but the dividends from making this investment are substantial!
In a nutshell, natural SEO works to build rankings for your website by using a mixture of on-site and of-site optimization techniques. The on-site search optimization strategies include making your website more relevant for highly searched keyword phrases that users are searching for online. Off-site strategies work to build your website as a credible source for information on the keyword phrases users are searching for.
On-site and off-site strategies work in synergy to move your website up the organic rankings all while increasing traffic to your website and providing you a great return on your investment.
Below you’ll find several organic search strategies – both on-site and off-site – you can use to help boost your relevancy and authority for your website.
On-site Organic SEO Strategies
- Optimize Your Meta Tags to include your targeted keywords. These Meta Tags include your Title Tag, Keyword Tag and Meta Description Tag. Each of these tags is significant in its own way because they tell the search engine spiders what the web page is about that they’re crawling. These tags also have a similar use for searchers, as they navigate the search engine results page (SERP) to find the most relevant content for their search. Getting your targeted keywords in these tags is essential for your organic strategy.
- Strategic Use of Keywords throughout Your On-Page Content. By using a professional SEO copywriter to develop the content on your web pages, you’re setting your website up for maximum organic SEO value. A seasoned SEO copywriter will know how to strategically utilize your targeted keyword phrases throughout your on-page content. Your copywriter will use your targeted keyword phrases in your header tags (h1, h2, etc.) as well as in the main body text so that your web copy flows and reads well for both search engine spiders and for site visitors.
- Use Search Engine Friendly URLs With Keyword Inclusion. Page URLs that are optimized for organic search will also include your keyword phrase targets. For example, if your web page was targeting they keyword phrase “organic SEO tips” you would want to use that as your page URL: yourdomain.com/organic-seo-tips. This helps boost relevancy and triggers your keyword phrase to display as BOLD to users as they look at the SERP.
Off-site Organic SEO Strategies
- Intense Keyword Discovery through Research: This is actually one of the very first steps you’ll need to make to ensure your organic SEO campaign is optimized for success. Identifying the most relevant keywords to target for your organic campaign by utilizing Keyword Research tools such as the Google Adwords Keyword Research tool will help your campaign target the most profitable and beneficial keyword terms that users are searching for. Your keyword targets can be on a general or local segment, where you may have geographically specific keyword terms such as “Atlanta Real Estate” rather than simply just “Real Estate.” When conducting your keyword research, two key factors to consider are the exact amount of searches done for that keyword phrase each month and how competitive that keyword phrase is. Selecting the most competitive, highest volume keywords isn’t necessarily the best strategy for your organic campaign, as it will be very difficult to achieve success. Choosing keywords that have nice volumes with moderate/low competition is usually a better strategy, especially when you’re just starting out.
- Devise a Diverse Content Marketing Strategy. Content marketing is an essential ingredient for a successful organic SEO strategy. But what’s even more key is creating great content. Content that is compelling. Content that users want to read (and share!) The content you produce for your SEO strategy should be diverse and utilize many different channels including videos, articles, press releases, infographics, podcasts, etc. The better your content strategy, the better your chances of getting links from other sites, and the better your chances of achieving top rankings.
- Share Your Content Socially, Consistently. Social media has greatly increased its importance in organic search success. Google’s algorithm now incorporates social media signals into its ranking equation for organic search. So it’s highly important to share your web content on a variety of social media outlets including StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Google+ because once you share your content it’s far more likely to be re-shared by other social media users (especially if it’s great content!) This increases the social value of your content, and increases the likelihood of another user linking to your content which boosts your authority (and rankings.) Aside from manually sharing your content on social media, you can also integrate social sharing icons on your website so others who are reading your content can easily share with their personal network.
About the Author
Chris Everett is the Principal of Captivate Search Marketing, an SEO firm based in Atlanta, GA. Chris has over 5 years of experience working in search engine marketing and Internet marketing. As a SEO consultant, he is most passionate about local and organic search optimization strategies.
The recent Google Panda updates have made it impossible to get away with duplicate content. Google and other search engines consider duplicate content to be Black Hat SEO, and your website can be penalized as a result.
Google will diminish the keyword rankings and organic SEO value of pages that have duplicate content. You should, therefore, avoid these issues if you want a high ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages). Another reason to get rid of duplicate content is that it brings you out as being unoriginal to visitors to your website or blog.
Duplicate content includes duplicate web content, canonicalization issues (when two websites have different URLs that point to the same place like http://domain.com or https://domain.com, mirror sites, and descriptions of products from a manufacturer.) So, how can you become an expert about warding-off duplicate content for better organic SEO results?
1. You could avoid duplicate content by ensuring that your products have a single URL. Products that are accessible through two or more categories, including when you have a product in the main category and the same product in a “special offer”, will appear to be duplicate. This perhaps the most common method used by most organic SEO experts.
2. Noindex tag: The addition of Meta Noindex tags is important because it ensures that Google does not index your Web pages. Duplicate content problems start when Google indexes Web pages that have duplicate content. Use the Meta Noindex tags on the specific Web pages or folders that serve up search results. Most eCommerce organic SEO experts will include such pages.
3. Writing short descriptions of what your different categories helps visitors in their search leads to greater leads conversion. It also helps in search engine optimization. If, however, you have a website that has different products under the same category, you will be forced to distribute them over different Web pages.
As an example, if you have an electronics website, the category “Television” may see URLs looking like ‘/televisions/’, ‘/televisions/?page=2?, ‘/televisions/?page=3?, and so on. When you have “paginated” Web pages that have different products, ensure that the category description is only on the first Web page of such a category since this is considered to be duplicate content, albeit a duplicate form of the same.
4. Instead of using a conocial tag, just go to Google Webmaster Tools and ensure that dynamic parameters are not included. As an emerging organic SEO expert, you could exclude such specific parameters as “filter” and “sort”. This is indeed safer than the use of canonical tags for organic SEO. It is, however, important to note that some parameters have obscure names and you should therefore be careful when choosing what to exclude.
5. Do not rely on the product description that is given by the manufacturer or supplier of the product/s you are selling. Almost any organic SEO expert is aware of these common issues. This is because such descriptions are given to multiple eCommerce sites and you will be accused of having duplicate content.
Rewrite product descriptions and check them for plagiarism. There are several online tools for doing this. Note that it is much more difficult to change descriptions that are generated by feeds from product manufacturers, which is why only few organic SEO experts pursue this route. In such a case, write a unique description and make sure it appears before the description from the manufacturer.
This article was contributed by Tyler Tafelsky, an organic SEO expert at Top of Mind | Traverse City SEO. Tyler has been a professional organic SEO expert for almost 5 years, and he offers a wealth of experience in the search marketing industry.
The most traditional, deep-rooted form of search engine marketing is Organic SEO, which is a highly effective method of increasing a website's visibility in the search results by boosting its relevancy for targeted keywords through both on-site and off-site strategies.
This post discusses on-site and off-site Organic SEO Tips for Beginners that work together to make a website more valuable and trustworthy to the search engines and helps lead to higher rankings that are built to last.
On-site Optimization Strategies
On-site optimization techniques are just as they sound. They are tactics you can execute on your website to make it more suitable for ranking on your keyword targets. On-site strategies help build keyword relevancy, all while increasing the conversion potential of your website with site visitors.
Moreover, these tips can help you identify what resources you need to look for in an organic SEO company that will help your business achieve its organic SEO objectives.
Optimized SEO Copywriting
The first on-site optimization tip we have is making sure your website copy is both well-optimized and well-written by a professional SEO copywriter. Your organic SEO marketer should have a stable of talented SEO copywriters who write keyword-rich, easy-to-read content that converts users and promotes top rankings in the search results.
A professional SEO copywriter will know precisely how to structure the content for your webpages so it's highly optimized for maximum SEO friendliness. Your SEO copywriter will develop each webpage on your site to be focused on one primary targeted keyword phrase that has one or two closely related variations of that keyword throughout the page content.
Keeping your webpages focused on one specific topic or set of related keywords is one of the most important organic SEO tips you can utilize because it leaves no doubt in the "mind" of the search engine spider about what your web page content is about.
There are several organic SEO strategies that your SEO copywriter should implement in order to optimize your web copy for the search engines. Some of those are:
- Utilizing your targeted keyword phrases in your page title tags
- These keyword phrases should also be utilized in the page's Meta Description tag so it stands out to users
- SEO Copywriters will also include the targeted keyword phrase in the appropriate page headers (H1, H2, H3)
- For maximum on-site optimization benefits, SEO copywriters should intersperse the keyword phrases throughout the page content so that it reads well, but has an appropriate keyword density to increase relevancy
- Sprinkling in em and strong tags on targeted keyword phrases lets the search engines know that these words are more important than other words on the page, thus increasing relevancy for that particular keyword phrase
You might think to yourself that you can write your web content on your own, but trusting a professional copywriter to help can have many benefits because of the knowledge and expertise they have in their field. They know what it takes to write web copy that ranks well in the search engines, but also captivates site visitors, leading to an increase in conversions.
Internal Linking for On-site Optimization
One of the simplistic organic SEO tips that gets underutilized is internal cross linking. Cross linking is the practice of linking related pages on your website with each other. This is an easy on-site optimization technique that makes it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your website, but also makes it easier for visitors to find related information that could be beneficial to them.
One of the benefits that can come from executing this is that two closely related pages that are cross linked together can appear as a "double stack" or even sometimes a "triple stack" (results on top of one another) on the search engine results page (SERP).
When performing cross linking strategies, be sure to use optimized anchor text for your cross linking.
To further illustrate, if you have a page on your website that's topic is all about Local PPC and another page on your site that talks about the benefits of Local PPC for small businesses, it's a good idea to link those two pages together with the anchor text "Local PPC" or "Local PPC for Small businesses"
This strategy can make a huge impact on increasing the visibility of your website in the search results!
Optimized Sitemap Organization
A website's sitemap is the index listing for your website and is the second most important page on your site (other than your homepage.) Your sitemap links to every page on your website and can provide a valuable boost to the overall topical relevancy of your site to the search engines. Here are some tips you can use to make your website's sitemap further optimized for the search engines:
- Include a couple of paragraphs at the top of your sitemap page that discusses what users will find when they surf your website. This content should come directly underneath your H1 tag.
- Separate your sitemap into themes under specific headers. For example, if you have a set of pages that discusses Content Marketing, utilize content marketing as the header and then list the specific set of subpages under that topic below the header.
- Constantly update your website and your sitemap with fresh content that will boost topical relevancy for your site
- Your up-to-date contact information should be included on the sitemap including your phone number, email, fax and address
Off-site Organic SEO Tips
Boosting Relevancy & Rankings Away from Your Website
While on-site strategies are powerful, it's arguable that OFF-site strategies play an even more significant factor in achieving top results in the search engines. Off-site optimization techniques work to develop more authority and significance for your website with the search engines. The most significant off-site optimization strategy is developing links . Before we get into how you can build links back to your website, you must first understand the difference between the types of links because not all links carry the same weight.
- Do-Follow Links - links from other websites that factor into the overall search rankings
- No-Follow Links - Links that are not used to factor into how well a site should rank in the results
For the purposes of organic SEO, you might be wondering why you'd ever want to use a no-follow link back to your website. Here's why. Search engine giant Google rolled out some significant algorithm changes in 2012 that essentially penalized websites that had a "spammy" or unnatural profile of links back to their site.
Websites that were penalized were using unnatural methods of building links such as subscribing to SEO services that published thousands of links on non-valuable spam websites that for a short time produced high rankings. When Google discovered this black hat SEO technique was starting to decrease the value of its search results, it released the Panda and Penguin updates, which relieved these websites of their high rankings, and in some cases booted them out of the results all together.
Because of these significant Google changes, it's critical to generate a natural link profile that features links from both high-authority do-follow links, as well as links with a no-follow tag applied to them. When you invest in SEO services, striving to have a natural link profile will keep your website from being penalized for "over optimization," and will keep your website in good graces with Google.
Part of linking naturally is to have a balanced usage of anchor text for your links. An excessive amount of links on the same anchor text can negatively affect your rankings.
To further illustrate this point, say you're optimizing one of your web pages for the keyword phrase "Atlanta Bankruptcy Lawyer." Instead of continually using the anchor text "Atlanta Bankruptcy Lawyer," be sure to mix in variations of your keyword such as "Bankruptcy Lawyers in Atlanta" or partial linking anchor text such as "Bankruptcy Law."
To build on this introduction to off-site optimization tips, below we offer more in-depth tactics on developing links and content marketing strategies.
Linking Techniques for Organic SEO
To avoid the over optimization penalty, generating a natural link profile is critical to achieving top rankings for your website. Below we highlight some strategies you can use to develop natural links back to your website that pay major dividends for your organic search campaign.
- Anchor text utilizing your main targeted keyword phrase (i.e. Laser Hair Removal)
- Variations of your targeted keyword phrase (i.e. Laser Hair Removal Treatments)
- Partial linking to your web page (i.e. Hair Removal)
- Linking your domain name back to your site (i.e. www.yourdomain.com)
Topical relevancy is also an important aspect of building a natural link profile. For example, if your website is undergoing an SEO strategy focused on ranking highly on keywords related to "Running Shoes," you should work to gain links back to your website from sites related to running or sporting goods.
When it comes to organic SEO tips that have the most significant impact on achieving higher rankings, links would be toward the top of the list. Keep in mind, though, that linking must be done ethically to ensure maximum optimization for your site.
Content Marketing Strategies
The final off-site optimization strategy this post is content marketing. Content marketing is the practice of distributing valuable content throughout the web in various platforms. Content marketing promotes an increase in branding visibility for your website, but also works to develop natural links back to your website. Below are some of the avenues you can use in content marketing to bolster your organic search efforts:
- Content marketing through building an continually updating an off-site blog.
- Offering Guest Blogs to other websites in your industry (they get your quality content, you get a backlink and increased brand exposure)
- Utilizing article marketing websites (Ezine, Go Articles, etc.) to distribute your content to
- Video marketing and video SEO on YouTube, Social Cam and Vimeo
Content marketing is an incredibly effective strategy for building trust with the search engines and in turn developing top rankings for your organic search campaign.
Organic SEO Tips in Summation
We hope you've uncovered some beneficial tips that you can implement in your search strategy. With the continual evolution of search engines, it's important to stay on top of the most recent and impacting organic SEO tips that will keep your website ranking toward the top of the search results.
Be aware of any changes that the engines are making and always be making strides to increase the quality and relevancy of your pitch to both consumers and search engines. Feel free to share your Organic SEO tips and strategies below in the comments section of our lens!
This post was written by Chris Everett, Principal of Captivate Search Marketing. Connect with Chris on Google+
Content marketing is an effective communication strategy that involves the creation, sharing and publishing of content, for the primary purpose of increasing a brand's visibility as well as to build a brand's reputation and web presence.
When done correctly, content marketing can lead to an influx of high-quality inbound links as well as an increase in organic traffic as well. Let's take a look at how content marketing can help to increase organic traffic and some tips to utilize when it comes to formulating an effective content marketing strategy.
Said in simple terms, once you understand what the key components of content marketing are, you will be able to see how it can help to increase organic traffic. You can also leverage content marketing to support various aspects of your SEO strategy, social media marketing efforts, and the optimization of your web presence. Therefore, let's take a look at 5 basic steps that an ideal strategy should consist of.
1) Create An Audience Persona
The first thing you need to do is to create your audience personas. This is due to the fact that your content needs to be about things that your ideal audience would love to learn about. As such, before you even contemplate the possibility of creating your content, you need to figure out who you target buyers or audience is. Basically, what kind of person do you want to read your content?
2) Define Your Personas' Common Search Terms
Once you have created your buyer persona, or in essence have gained a good perspective of the type of people that you want to read your content, you need to create a SEO-focused keyword list that is based off your audience's common search terms. Why? Because optimization of your content (or SEO) is how you get organic traffic from content marking. A good rule to remember is this:
- Your target demographic searches for something.
- You create content for which your target demographic is searching.
- With SEO best practice, you brand can get more organic traffic.
3) Determine the Type of Content That Your Persona/Audience Loves The Most
Once you have determined some good topics for content that you can create that relates to your audience's most common search terms, you need to determine the best type of content to utilize to increase engagement. Remember, the type of content that you create should be based off the needs of your audience.
Meaning that, if your audience performs search terms that are related to installing a laptop hard drive, an article may not suffice, but rather a video. Alternatively, if your audience wants to learn about 20 different ways to increase their productivity, they may find an article that they can go back and re-read, to be more valuable than a video.
When it comes to determining the ideal type of content that you should be focusing on, some of the questions you should keep in mind, include:
- What is your audience search for through Google?
- What is your audience's intent behind their searches?
- What are the problems that they are trying to solve?
- Which type of content would encourage them to either, click, stop or consume?
4) Develop A Personality That's Attractive To Your Audience
Every successful brand has their own unique personality and style. If you think about it for a second, you more than likely gravitate towards people who are like you. In the same breath, people will gravitate towards brands, that portray a personality or style of their own.
As such, not only do you need to figure out what your audience needs, you need to figure out how they like it styled. This takes some content marketing creativity but will ultimately help shape your voice and tone in your work.
5) Demonstrate Some Consistency In Your posting Frequency
At this point, you have gained some perspective on who your audience is, what they want and how they are going to receive it. Now, you need to figure out how often this is going to happen. Some tips to consider when it comes to doing just that, include:
- Take a look at "Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid," it can give you some great insight as to how frequently you should be posting, based on your content type.
- Determine how frequently you should be posting based on your audience's behavior, i.e. when are they the most active?
- Create a calendar and schedule your posting.
Organic SEO is arguably the most powerful online marketing strategy being used today for most businesses. A successful organic SEO campaign needs to include a combination of various strategies and techniques, including building link popularity, publishing high quality content, establishing keyword relevancy, creating a social media presence, and other organic SEO methods.
Establishing Keyword Relevancy
The success of organic SEO depends on how precisely and strategically keywords are used throughout the site's content. Without unique and high quality content that's properly keyword optimized and geared to captivate your audience, it's not only difficult but aimless for a site or blog to rank highly in Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other popular search engine.
Keywords are basically the central focus in which web users submit to search engines to find a particular result. Search engines focus a lot on keyword relevancy and density when crawling, indexing and ranking a site.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure precise keywords are used on specific pages of your site, and in balance moderation or density. The right keyword density means a website will appear more natural and relevant to Google without seeming over-optimized. When selecting the relevant keywords, it’s a good idea to write down words that are applicable to a site and the related topics.
Creating a Social Media Presence
The benefits of social media have sky-rocketed these days and there is more that is expected with time. Social signals play a role in SEO and achieving a higher ranking and as a result, every business must employ the use of social media and social bookmarking.
Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and many others give webmasters great power to boost their search engine optimization efforts. Through sharing of blog posts across social media platforms, a business is able to gain quality social traffic to their website. If the readers enjoy the content , they can like and share it widely with just a click of the mouse. This increases the inflow of traffic which allows a site to climb to the top of search engine rankings.
Building Link Popularity
Perhaps one of the most effective organic SEO techniques is building and properly maintaining links to a site. There are many ways of achieving this with one of them being exchanging URLs through social media marketing and blogging. In fact, link building contributes more to page ranking than other factors considered by search engines.
Another worthwhile strategy to link building is writing and submitting informative and quality articles to article directories. The articles should contain the keyword and link back to a site’s URL. These are natural ways to generate link popularity for SEO while exposing your content to new potential clients. For instance, well optimized surgeons and medical professionals will often publishing in-depth articles related to their specialties and services to educate potential patients.
Optimizing the Website
This organic SEO method serves to increase a site’s usability. Through rearrangement a site’s architecture and links, pages within a website become easy to find and navigate. By doing this, users can easily find the information they need. Besides, search engines are able to crawl a site and find pages.
A website also needs to be optimized on mobile phones owing to the widespread use of smartphones. Websites that are usable on multiple devices stand higher chances of ranking higher than competitive sites.
Design a SEO-friendly Website
On application of effective organic SEO strategies, business owners will greatly benefit. However, it’s good to take note that these techniques keep on evolving on a daily basis. Ethical techniques generate the most positive results.