About SEO Copywriting and Content Development

The content on your website is the main communication medium between you and your online audience. Websites are the strategic vehicle for businesses to increase brand recognition and online sales through digital marketing. The content of your website plays a critical role in maximizing your marketing potential and communicating to your customers what your products and services are.  The main priority is to inform and please your website users. Search engines are the second priority as writing for search engines increases search engine traffic that drive the organic users.  That is where SEO Copywiritng comes into play.

Internet Marketing Inc. offers copywriting services and consulting on many levels.  We can provide content for website pages, blogs, articles for syndication, and even press releases.  Our expert writers not only have years of copywriting experience but also understand SEO content development best practices.

Writing for Your Readers

It is the readers you want to please the most, not search engines. They are the potential customers and should be treated with priority.

Web Copywriting Best Practices

The Title Tag:  The title tag is a special HTML tag read by web browsers where the content of this tag are placed on the application’s title bar. Depending on the setup of your website, some content management systems (CMS) may or may not give you the freedom to edit the title tag when you update content on your website. In some cases, the title of the page, the article, or the blog post, becomes the value of the title tag. When updating content for your website or writing new content, keep these guidelines in mind.

A title tag, being in the application’s title bar, has a very limited space. This can often be a short phrase or sentence yet it is still critical to write these in a manner that is very compelling and would entice a reader to read further. Often, users do not pay attention to the text on the browser title bar, although the contents of the title tag are also the primary title used by search engines and the title of the link in search engine results. This tag is also automatically pulled in on various social networking and social bookmarking sites when referring to another website. Thus a well written title should entice users to read further since this is what they see in search engine results and mobile results.

The Inverted Pyramid:  When a reader reads a magazines or a book, the expectation that the reading may take a long time is already set. But in the search engines, the expectations are not exactly the same. Web readers like to get to digest content quickly.  More people are on the go all the time, want information fast, and will jump from one page to another.

The inverted pyramid  , also called BLUF or Bottom Line Up Front  is a writing style where the conclusion comes first and the details follow. If the user will not be able to read the page completely, at least the main thought of the whole page was already read before the user may leave the page.

Headings & Subheadings:  Research studies by Jacob Nielsen , an authority in web usability has shown that users tend to scan a webpage before reading it. The use of headings and sub-headings help users in the scanning process, providing them with a good outline of what the whole page is all about. These headings should standout compared to the rest of the text, usually having a larger font size, and/or different color.

Bullets & Numbering:  When applicable, bullets and numbering serve a similar purpose as headings and sub-headings. Bullets and numbering segregate content into smaller chunks that also aid in illustrating an outline of what the whole page is about.  Short text items in bullets or numbers tend to be less straining to the eyes compared to looking at a list of items in a paragraph separated by commas. These also tend to be in more narrow columns which decreases left to right eye movement.

Long text items in bullets or numbers, where each item can have a paragraph or several sentences act like a progress bar, especially if the total number of items were mentioned early within the page content. For text content of this type, usability studies have shown the best number of items would be within 5 to 9 items.

Imagery & Necessary Captions:  Seeing a large amount of text on a page and nothing else may appear intimidating to the reader and may push people away when they see the “Great Wall of Text”. Headings and Sub-headings, Bullets and Numbering do a good job in breaking this monotony. Adding images are a great way to increase interest and make the page visually more appealing. This also gives the user visual time breaks giving the eyes time to rest. Just make sure the images and corresponding text captions or image descriptions used are relevant to the content. Not only does this help users, but this also helps search engines in understanding what an image is all about.

Top of Page & On Page Anchors:  This is not really a copywriting tip, but more of a text display tip for usability purposes. A good practice when creating longer pages with headings and sub-headings, after each section, a top of page on page anchor link can be added which will make the page scroll back up. But once it does scroll back up, it would also be beneficial to create on page anchor links that would link to each heading and sub-heading below to scroll back down. These on page anchors work better as smooth scrolling links than sudden jumps which is the default web browser behavior.

Pagination for Long Bodies of Text:  When text content tends to become very long, there are some people that scan a whole page and would scroll all the way down before reading a complete page. And there are some users that shy away from very long pages thinking it would take a very long time to read.  Adding some form of pagination will sometimes help as users tend to think a short page is a quick easy read and by the time they reach the end, they see a next page link, going to another short quick read. Eventually a user could have read several short pages that are the equivalent of a long page, but if they saw they whole long page right away, they might have not read it.  When applying this technique, always have one page build upon the other. Each page, before going to the next should have some form of one line teaser of what is on the next page to help increase the click-through rates going to the next page.

Information Scent & Calls to Action:  A website can always have many pages, which also gives you more opportunities for webpages to rank for various keywords. Although when you start to gain rankings in search engines for your targeted keyword, sometimes the ranking page is not your preferred landing page (PLP). This is where you have limited control over in organic search unlike paid search where you really control where an ad goes to.  With this in mind, when writing content for any page on the site, always bear in mind, to try to include some type of paragraph that talks about the product or service and where to buy/order/inquire and link to these pages. When done properly, if the search engines do not serve the proper PLPs for your target keywords, you still maximize your conversion rates by giving the path, or the information scent, to drill down to the main product details and where to buy, order, or inquire.

Writing Tips and SEO Content Writing Consulting Services

Internet Marketing Inc. offers both copywriting services and content writing consulting.  We can work directly with your in-house teams to develop content strategies, copywriting guides, writing tips and topics, and plans for content distribution through many online channels.

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