The process of writing web copy for Google is tough. You need to spend time analyzing your own search habits and consider how others might use similar keywords and phrases. Google is only a computer and it can only work from the user’s input. But after enough time and effort it will be easy to pick up on the most common solutions for ranking in Google.
I want to share just a few best practices when writing your own copy on websites. Traditionally the header and body text should contain a number of repeating keywords and phrases which relate to the long-tail curve. This is focused on the 70% of search queries which are longer than just a couple words.
Recently there was a link on Hacker News talking about the quickest wins in SEO. A major piece to this strategy is writing copy related to long tail keywords. Or rather, keywords that are only searched by a few users each day but ultimately retains a longer visit to your website. You can see the illustrated graphic originally posted onto Search Engine Land.
People are using Google because they need to find out some piece of information. This could be a historical event, a recipe, tips for playing poker, or a new leaked movie trailer. Some of these events will return different forms of traffic because larger events naturally pull larger audiences.
It is important to first define your website and what type of content should appear. Keep yourself on top of new and important events which you may be able to publish better than other websites. Filling a need is all about the presentation of information, along with a catchy headline which invokes a sense of “correctness” with the user.
Let’s use the example of straightening/curling your hair. People may use a whole number of different long tail keyword phrases every day. If you are able to catch most of these, visitors may often convert with a stronger percentage because the information is deeply relevant. Here are just a few examples of possible search queries:
- how to straighten my hair
- hair straightening faq
- make hair straight myself
- process to straighten my hair
You can see that all of these are very different searches, but with similar keywords mixed into the phrase. There is no official guide to search Google and the creativity of people will always flourish. I recommend making a list with even more examples than mine and reach for targeting as many phrases as possible.
Write for Different Ideas
Having the ability to actually write for different phrases is a lot tougher. Because everything will appear natural and organic in the Google results pages, so you need to have a great description and title tag. The big blue text at the top of your page is what will separate your website from the others.
One of my favorite tools is the online resource called SEO Bin. The site has a live demo where you can enter your target title and description meta details, then it will show you exactly how this would look in Google. It is a nice feature and I personally love the attention to detail. Anybody who is serious about capitalizing on Google SEO rankings should check out their website.
Rules of the Road
The best advice I can give is to just keep practicing. You will not post articles or pages which always pull in massive bouts of traffic. Be sure and check Analytics reports as well, because one of the most informative metrics involves average length of time on your site. When somebody clicks through from Google and spends 5+ minutes going through your page(s) and reading content, it should imply that you have written good webpage copy.
After you perform this task enough times you will begin to recognize what your audience is looking for. This will be completely different from a TV show database, recipe listing, or eCommerce handbag shop. Different niches and topics will require different forms of content and this can only be learned through practice.
Ultimately you want to chase long-tail for your website because it is more likely that you can get a ranking. If you compete for the most typical 2-3 keyword searches then you may rank on the first page, but it is a difficult competition. Usually websites will rise into the top ranks for these fewer keywords as time passes and your domain gains retribution.
Focus on the long tail and you will see a much larger initial source of traffic. These visitors will also be more interested in your pages because they directly relate to their own queries. You are providing very specific information and your website is gaining a solid reputation. The strategy will take some time to understand but shoot for the higher-quantity searches and gauge the results.