Tips for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Copywriting
The world of search engine optimization (SEO) changes very rapidly. Techniques that worked in the past might not work today. For example, in 2019 Google updated its algorithm 3200 times. That’s a lot of updates to keep on top of. Yes, not all those 3200 updates were major changes, but every time Google makes an update, it changes something, and SEO providers have to stay up-to-date with and adjust their client strategies accordingly. Among these updates are often changes in how Google reads and interprets website content. With each new update, Google has improved on how well it can understand not only the words on a website page, but more importantly, how well it understands the context of what is written on a particular page. Therefore, when copywriters are crafting page content, new rules have to be followed. But they aren’t as hard as you might think.
Years ago, making sure you added a certain amount of keywords to a page based on the total number of words on the page would greatly increase the chances of ranking well. This is called ‘keyword density’. Today, if you follow these rules, the content could sound clunky and unnatural, because adding in keywords for the sake of keywords doesn’t make for quality content. Quality content is what really matters not only to Google but more importantly to your audience. Write content that adds value to your audience, so they keep coming back.
Writing Lengthy Page Copy
One of the questions that we get asked the most is “How long does a page need to be?” Our advice to clients is, as long as it needs to be. What we mean by that is that, depending on the content, some topics need more explaining than others. For example, if you are writing a tutorial about how to make a bed hotel-style, the content is going to be shorter than if you were explaining string theory. You don’t need to unnecessarily pad the bed-making post or conversely chop the string theory post. Quality content is king. Google will reward your website for quality. When Google servers boost up their recommendations in the search results, they do their best to show relevant quality answers to your customers’ types of queries. If you provide a quality answer, no matter the length, Google will keep showing your page and it will rank higher because of its popularity, not because it was 1500 words.
Issues with Duplicate Content
As a general rule, Google doesn’t like duplicate content, neither duplicate content within the same site nor, and especially if, the content has been scraped from another site. The last one is considered plagiarism and should be avoided at the best of times. Having said that, having some duplicate content is acceptable in certain circumstances. A couple of examples for when duplicate content is tolerated would be technical specifications that repeat over multiple product pages or when referencing quotes from other sources.
The main takeaway when writing any content is to create quality, not quantity. Write content that will engage your audience, not Google. Google algorithms will keep changing, but the quality of your content should hold its value over time.
bOB HOmer is the Co-Founder and Digital Marketing Director of Lethologica. bOB’s artistic vision extends across all media and reflects his art school training. His superior knowledge and ongoing education in all things web- and SEO-related affords him the expertise to be lead on all web projects, making him your best resource for inbound marketing excellence. bOB has been bringing his unique vision to art and the web for over 20 years