First time visitors to your website often come from the Search Engines after they have carried out a search query for the information, product or service that they require. If they don’t find the information they are searching for after arriving at your site, chances are they will leave as quickly as they arrived. Ensuring that the copy on your website is aimed at your target market is a crucial point in retaining visitors on your site and of course, in ensuring that they come back.
In terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and copy, think of the copy as Search Engine ‘spider food’. Making it keyword rich, therefore, helps to determine a site’s relevancy to a searcher’s query. Although there is no exact measure of how much or how little copy you should have, a minimum of 150 – 200 words per page provides a reasonable amount of text to help the search spiders determine what your web pages are representing and allows for their delivery in Search Engine results pages relevant to a particular query.
In terms of making your copy keyword rich, you do need to ensure that it is not overloaded with keywords just for the purpose of Search Engines. As mentioned above, copy needs to be targeted to your users – giving an accurate description of your offering and ensuring that it is suitable for your audience.
Unsure where to start with regards to writing the copy for your website? Firstly, it helps to find out what keyword phrases people are using in searches. Keyword Research using tools such as those provided by Google, Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery, for example, will help you to identify keyword phrases relevant to your website and can assist you with your SEO copywriting.
What about E-Commerce Sites? How Can I Incorporate Copy?
You may find that your site structure or access to your site limits you but by using subtle optimization techniques, there are ways to ensure that your site has the relevant information on it for the Search Engine spiders to crawl. If you are using a Content Management system, then consider asking your developer to allow for a field on each page that you can populate with copy relevant to a particular product that shows directly below the product title.
A trap that many e-commerce sites fall into is combining their products into broad areas rather than splitting them into specific areas. For example, having a page which has specific copy about product ‘1’, rather than generalizing by also including products ‘2 & 3’, ensures that users are offered a themed page which is more likely to be relevant to what they are searching for. Considering the structure of your sites and applying standard usability techniques such as this provides a much improved user experience and aids in truly effective Search Engine Optimization.
What if I have more than one site? Can I apply the same copy across all of them?
The answer is no. If you have several sites which are replicas of each other then it’s definitely time to consider writing unique copy – even if each of your sites are targeting different geographical markets. Again, the copy needs to be written primarily for your target audience if you wish to entice, retain and keep them coming back. This does involve a lot of work but if you don’t, you risk alienating your target market and your site could quite possibly be filtered out of Search Engine results on the grounds of duplicate content.
About the Author
Karyn Ogier specializes in search engine optimization and marketing. As co-founder and Operations Director of Apex Internet Ltd, Karyn now has ten years experience in optimizing and promoting websites and has a wealth of knowledge in the industry.