Click here to read about why you should use a copywriter for all your important content. Most of what you read there will be relevant here.
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a complex subject, with a lot of common myths. I hope to dispel some of those myths here, and make this whole process easier to understand. I hope you find it useful.
PROFESSIONAL COPYWRITING FOR YOUR WEBSITE
For most businesses these days, your website is your shop front. This is where people make a judgement about you – and where your potential customers are most likely to make their buying decisions.
I’d love it if customers spent time objectively weighing up the merits of the company – deciding with care and patience if you are right for them. But we know that they don’t do this. I know I certainly don’t.
If you’re lucky, they’ll spend 60 seconds on your site. How do you make sure you ‘sell’ them the benefits in that amount of time?
You use a good copywriter, that’s how. One who will get to the heart of the matter, and make them want to find out more. Clients who use my services often find their Google analytics reporting people staying longer AND visiting more pages once I’ve freshened up their web page copy.
I can do the same for you too.
WHAT IS SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Let me show you what is actually is, and why it’s important for everyone these days.
Think about what a search results page looks like when you search for something on Google:
The results on the left are called organic search results. The ones on the right (and sometimes right at the top) are sponsored search results, often called PPC, which stands for Pay Per Click. These people have agreed to pay Google if someone clicks on their search listing. It’s big money – that’s how Google got to be so rich!
But here’s an interesting stat: only 10%-15% of all searches on Google result in someone clicking on a PPC ad result. 85%-90% of all searches result instead on someone clicking on an organic search result.
Having better organic listings are therefore the key to attracting more customers who are interested in what you do.
HOW YOUR SITE ENDS UP ON THE GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE
There’s three steps to this:
#1: WEB CRAWLERS
Web crawlers sound like something out of a horror movie. They’re sometimes referred to as ‘spiders‘ or ‘bots‘. The one from Google, for example, is called the ‘GoogleBot’:
The GoogleBot is a search-engine automated program. It’s entire job is to search the web and figure out what each page is and what it is about.
So GoogleBot crawls through the web. He’ll start with the ‘seed sites‘ first. These are the main/major websites online.
He’ll then jump to all the other sites through linking (more on that in a second). He’ll slowly but steadily build up a list of all the websites and pages he can get to. He uses this information to create an index (or catalogue) of everything he comes across.
They use the links of the website (like this link for example, that sends you to my page about cost), to find and organise the entire structure of the internet. The GoogleBot is therefore capable of discovering pretty much EVERY public page on the whole internet.
This process works really well. Believe it or not, even the most obscure and remote web pages are usually just 3-4 links away from the most popular websites. The internet is remarkably well connected.
Once the GoogleBot had made his indexes of the entire web, Google just has to do the third and final thing:
#3: CALCULATE QUERY-INDEPENDENT METRICS
That sounds very scary and technical, but in English all it means is: your website (and each webpage) will be ranked compared to every other page.
This is where good copywriting can really help you.
Your page rank for any given search is based on:
–Relevant content (video, images, and well-written copy that uses the words and phrases that will be of interest to people searching for what you’re company provides. It’s also worth refreshing your written content too every now and then – Google considers a page that changes to be a more important page that remains static for a long time. For example, setting up a blog on your site and having a good copywriter produce content for it every now and then would do wonders for your SEO)
–Who links to you (because if your copy is well written and informative, not just a stream of incoherent keywords and garbage, more people willrecommend and link to you – possibly mentioning you in their blogs, or recommendation sites, etc).
–How many link to you (because, just like with the ‘who’, the total number of people linking to you matters a great deal – and the number will be better if you have well written, informative and useful copy and content.)
So with SEO, good copy is king.
And good copy, combined with the right keywords, can make your business a huge online success.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET THE ‘RIGHT’ OR RELEVANT KEYWORDS, NOT JUST THE MOST POPULAR.
Check out this graph:
As you can see here, popular keywords aren’t the most important thing with SEO. Of course, if you sell handbags, making sure the word ‘handbags’ is used is very sensible, rather than a phrase like ‘ladies shoulder-mounted baggage-carrying devices’, but without the special identifiers like “contemporary natural fabric handbags”, your site could be lost in the crowd.
In fact, as the above graph shows, most (70%+) of the searches are for the LEAST popular keywords and phrases.
Google say that even after all these years, 20% of ALL searches are from brand new keyword search combinations EACH MONTH! So one-fifth of all searches each month have never been performed before.
BUT IT’S NOT JUST KEYWORDS
I’ll be honest. Most SEO ‘experts’ are snake oil salesmen. They often aren’t copywriters of any significance. Be wary of anyone promising to make you “number one in Google” or other such nonsense.
No one can guarantee you “number one” status in your chosen company market. Not for long at any rate. And most of the ‘SEO experts’ just run the keyword number crunchers and ‘dump’ a load of words onto your site. But while this badly-written garbage might increase your Google ranking, it has the perverse effect of turning off anyone who visits your site. That’s NOT what you want.
This pyramid is used by lots of people in the know to identify the most important factors for SEO in your website:
This ‘SEO pyramid’ is based on surface area priority. Simply stated, the bigger bits of the pyramid (i.e. the parts at the bottom) are more important than the parts at the top.
So at the top, social media is beginning to play a small part in the process. Social sites like Twitter are index-linked into Google. All of the tweets are searchable through there. Eventually, people recommending you through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube (which is owned by Google), LinkedIn and all the rest, will help increase your search engine ranking. But for now, it’s a minor player.
Link popularity comes next. If you have good written content, more people will like you and more will link to you.
Moving down to the more important areas: If you know what keywords work, (i.e. what words people are using to search for things with) then shoehorning them in will certainly optimise your site for the search engines, but turn off your potential customers. Best to regularly update your site with well-written content that cleverly incorporates these keywords. This is where a good copywriter comes into their own.
And finally the most important piece of the puzzle: Content and Accessibility.
Accessibility is useful for the spiders (like GoogleBot) to access every page on your site and index it correctly:
And the one thing more important to search engine optimisation than ANYTHING else: make sure you have lots of good, well written content. Audio, video, and the written word.
Make sure it’s relevant, persuasive and updated frequently, and asuccessful online website is yours for the taking!
I’ve gone into a lot of detail there, but it’s far from exhaustive. If you have any questions at all, click here and send me an email. I’m sure I can clarify anything for you.