Web pages must satisfy two types of users: searchers and search engines. It can be hard to satisfy both because they desire different things. Search spiders visit pages with the express purpose of identifying key areas on the page and indexing it for a search engine. Human visitors are usually looking for specific content, and many times they scan quickly until they find it. The intents are very different, and that makes good web friendly content tricky to write.
How to Write Content for Searchers
Website content should persuade visitors to take action on a page by stressing the best features and promoting them. All pages should be focused and treated as though they were the only thing the visitor will see.Here are some tips for writing content for users:
- Keep pages short with links to more information
- Write pages between 250 to 500 words long
- Use bold headings to break up white space and help users find what they are looking for.
- Use bullets and numbering for easy scanning
- Edit your grammar and typos.
How to Write Content for Search Engines
Your job is to interlace search phrases into the page content so that search engines rank your site for them. Since you have to use the search phrase several times on a page, it can seem be hard to do this without loosing the website style or seeming awkward.In many cases there will be more than one keyword phrase you will want to optimize for as well. Here are some helpful guidelines for writing keyword rich copy:
- Keyword Approach. Focus on the primary search phrase first, and then alternate the other keywords throughout the page. It is very difficult to optimize for more than three search phrases per page, so strive to keep pages focused, and add more pages if more keywords are desired.
- Length of Page Copy.Write about 250-350 words on each page. Search engines can easily discern page focus at this length.
- Titles & Meta Tags:Page titles should be 60 characters long “�” the same as a Google search title. Meta descriptions should be 150 characters.The meta keyword tag is optional, but many writers use it to keep track of the phrases they are optimizing for. This tag should be about 250 characters long with no duplicates.
- Links to Other Pages.Hyperlinks to other pages within the site should contain full or partial search phrases. These are important for search rankings.
- Where to Put Search Phrases:Title, meta description, meta keywords, headings, bold print, text links, first two paragraphs of text, last word on the page if possible, and alt tags for images.
- Number of Pages.Search engines like robust content on websites, and minimum content for a brochure site should be about 8 pages of optimized copy. Adding a blog really helps to develop additional pages and keep content fresh, especially if the blog is part of the website.
- Keyword Density.Writers should check their pages for keyword density. Here is a free keyword density tool for existing pages: Tools.seobook.com/general/keyword-density/ Here is a free keyword density tool for text: Textalyser.net Keyword density of the search phrases should be around 2-7%.
- Single and Plural Search Words.Using both singular and plural forms of the phrase will help in search optimization too. You should use the plural form in the first heading and then switch to the singular form.
- Vary the Words that Precede the Phrase.If you don”��t do this, the search engines will index the page using the word before the phrase too.This is not what you want.
By following these rules of thumb, and editing several times for both errors and clarity, you can develop user friendly content that is also optimized for search engines.
Sue McCrossin owns Boomtown Internet Group, and works daily to ensure search friendly web content. We offer a wide range of web design in Philadelphia including Search Engine Optimization & web promotion services. We specialize in customized Search Engine Optimization plans and work with every size business.