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Mount Royal SEO Copywriting Presentation
 

Mount Royal SEO Copywriting Presentation

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Presentation by Louise Desmarais of Mud Creative (mudcreative.com) on SEO copywriting to my Mount Royal University CMA eMarketing class, Spring 2010.

Presentation by Louise Desmarais of Mud Creative (mudcreative.com) on SEO copywriting to my Mount Royal University CMA eMarketing class, Spring 2010.

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    Mount Royal SEO Copywriting Presentation Mount Royal SEO Copywriting Presentation Document Transcript

    • Mount  Royal  –  E-­‐marketing  Certificate   SEO  Copywriting  presentation   When  Doug  asked  me  to  talk  to  you  today,  he  said  a  number  of  you  expressed  an   interest  in  knowing  more  about  SEO  copywriting.  I  was  very  happy  to  hear  that   because  all  too  often,  SEO  copywriting  is  an  afterthought.  People  will  spend   thousands  on  a  website  and  then  think  “oh  no,  we  forgot  the  copy  –  quick  -­‐   somebody  write  something!”   But  in  the  world  of  search  engine  optimization,  content  is  actually  one  of  the  most   important  considerations.  Without  it,  your  optimization  efforts  could  well  be  an   exercise  in  futility.   So  ….Two  things  must  be  in  place  for  your  site  to  prosper.  You  must  have  traffic  –   qualified  traffic.  And  you  must  have  copy  that  provides  the  solutions  your  visitors   are  looking  for  and  causes  them  to  take  action.     While  search  engines  provide  the  first,  they  have  absolutely  nothing  to  do  with  the   second.     The  second  is  up  to  you  (or  your  seo  copywriter).  If  you  get  too  carried  away  with   search  engine  optimization  and  stuffing  your  website  with  keyphrases  you  hope  will   bring  your  site  to  the  top  of  Google,  you  could  be  losing  the  other  half  of  the   equation  –  your  clients.  And  when  was  the  last  time  Google  made  a  purchase  at  a   website?   In  order  to  create  site  copy  that  is  appealing  to  the  engines  and  your  site  visitors,   you  have  to  take  the  needs  of  both  parties  into  consideration.  You  have  to  find  that   balance.     That  said,  before  we  get  into  SEO  copywriting,  let’s  start  with  talking  about  the   principles  of  writing  a  website  for  your  human  visitors…..  
    • Principles  of  solid  web  writing   • Avoid  the  online  brochure  at  all  cost  –  (don’t  upload  your  brochure  copy  to   your  website)  People  read  differently  on  the  web  than  they  do  in  print.  They   are  drawn  to  images  in  print,  while  on  the  web,  it’s  the  headlines  and  copy   that  grab  their  attention  first.   • Talk  to  your  visitors  in  a  language  they  understand.  Industry  jargon  isn’t   always  appreciated  by  your  customers.  (Listen  to  this  -­‐  We  utilize  the   knowledge  repository  to  develop  a  company’s  blueprint  for  inducing  optimal   work  efforts  and  achieving  long-­‐term  sustainable  growth.) You  only  have   your  visitors  for  a  short  time,  and  if  they’re  baffled  by  the  lingo,  they  will   move  on.   • Avoid  starting  your  copy  with  “Welcome  to  Company  X.”  Your  visitors  have   landed  on  your  site  because  they  were  searching  for  something  specific.  They   only  want  to  know  if  you  have  it.  Only  after  they’re  satisfied  that  you  do  will   they  care  what  your  company  name  is.     • Don’t  “we,  we”  all  over  the  place.  “We  are  a  leader  in….”  “We  use  a  customized   solution  to….”  When  visitors  arrive  at  your  site,  they  aren’t  asking  the   question  “What  can  you  do?”  They  are  asking,  “What  can  you  do  for  me?”   • Benefits  first,  then  features.  Benefits  are  statements  that  solve  problems.  “Be   pain-­‐free  fast”  is  a  benefit.  Features  are  the  characteristics  of  your  product  or   service.  “Advil  is  available  in  200mg  strength”  is  a  feature.     • Engage  them  in  conversation.  Start  the  dialogue  by  asking  a  question  of  them   or  identifying  a  challenge  they  are  having.  This  shows  immediately  that  you   understand  your  customer,  and  you  know  why  they  have  landed  on  your  site.     • Avoid  a  sea  of  words.  A  lot  of  content  on  a  website  is  a  very  good  thing  for   search,  but  it  can  be  deadly  for  your  visitors  if  they’re  confronted  with  reams   of  copy.  Instead  break  up  your  story  into  manageable  chunks  of  information   using  subheads  and  bullets.  And  make  sure  that  every  page  has  a  specific   purpose.  For  example,  don’t  have  a  product  spec  sheet  on  your  About  Us   page.  
    • • Speaking  of  About  Us  –  show  your  visitors  that  you’re  human.  Listen  to  this   example  from  a  Corporate  Overview  page  and  see  if  you  can  guess  the   company:  “Company  X  has  remained  faithful  in  its  commitment  to  producing   unparalleled  entertainment  experiences  based  on  its  rich  legacy  of  quality   creative  content  and  exceptional  storytelling.  Today,  Company  X  is  divided   into  four  major  business  segments…each  segment  consists  of  integrated,   well-­‐connected  businesses  that  operate  in  concert  to  maximize  exposure  and   growth  worldwide.”  Did  you  guess  the  company?  The  company  is  Disney.  Not   very  warm  and  fuzzy  is  it?  If  site  visitors  go  to  your  About  Us  page,  it’s   because  they  want  to  get  to  know  you  better.  Don’t  be  afraid  to  show  them   your  human  side.   • Earn  the  trust  of  your  visitors.  Let  them  know  that  you  know  what  you’re   doing  through  the  use  of  testimonials,  case  studies,  white  papers,  press   releases,  a  rich  portfolio.   • Avoid  the  dead  end  page.  Visitors  don’t  always  get  to  the  bottom  of  your   page.  They  may  have  clicked  on  links  in  your  copy  or  elsewhere  on  your  page.   But  if  they  do  get  to  the  bottom  of  the  page,  don’t  leave  them  hanging.  Ask   them  to  contact  you,  or  learn  more  about  you,  or  sign  up  for  your  free   newsletter.      
    • Principles  of  SEO  writing     Now  that  you  know  how  to  write  solid  web  copy,  let’s  talk  about  the  principles  of   solid  SEO  writing.     • First  and  foremost,  you  need  to  do  keyword  research.  There  is  little  point   optimizing  site  copy  for  keyphrases  that  nobody  is  searching  for.     • Focus  on  keyword  “phrases”  rather  than  a  single  word.  (ELF  example  –   “bilingual”  “curriculum”  “French”)     o Single  keywords  are  too  general  and  won’t  bring  you  the  highly   targeted  traffic  and  sales.     o It’s  next  to  impossible  to  get  top  rankings  for  a  single  keyword  –   unless  you’re  Pepsi  or  Toyota.     o Try  to  make  your  phrases  more  specific,  thus  narrowing  the  number   of  potential  searches  for  it.  For  example:  instead  of  “hotel,”  you  might   say  “four  star  hotel  in  Calgary”   • By  the  way,  don’t  forget  to  optimize  with  local  keyphrases.  If  your  product  or   service  is  relevant  to  your  local  market  area,  be  sure  to  consider   geographical  keyphrases  such  as  “Calgary  obituaries,”  or  “insurance  broker   in  Ardrie.”  Local  keyphrases  are  very  powerful  for  attracting  your  local   audience  and  they  make  it  much  easier  for  you  to  rank.     • SIT  AT  COMPUTER  –  ask  for  examples  from  class  
    • How  to  use  your  keyphrases  to  capture  the  attention  of  the  engines:     A)  Title  tag  –  What  are  they?   www.comfycouch.ca   www.canadasguidetodogs.com/grooming.htm   Two  reasons  not  to  ignore  the  title  tag   1.  The  title  tag  is  the  most  important  location  for  keyphrases.  It’s  where  the  search   engines  look  first  to  find  your  highly  targeted  keyphrase  –  and  it  sets  the  tone  for   your  entire  page.   2.  The  title  tag  is  usually  the  blue  underlined  heading  for  each  listing  on  the  search   engine  results  pages.  It  carries  considerable  weight  in  convincing  searchers  to  click   on  your  listing.   The  title  tag  might  say,  “About  Us  –  Company  X.”  Or  it  might  say,  “family  doctor  in   Winnipeg  –  Dr.  John  Horton.”  Which  one  is  more  descriptive  of  the  content  on  that   page?     Keep  these  things  in  mind:   • The  title  tag  should  contain1  -­‐2  keyphrase(s)  that  indicates  the  content  of  the   page  –  with  the  most  important  keyphrase  at  the  beginning  of  the  title  tag   • It  isn’t  necessary  to  put  your  company  name  in  the  title  tag.  Chances  are  your   company  name  is  unique  or  has  very  little  competition.  It  will  show  up   naturally  in  your  body  copy.  So  save  the  prime  space  for  those  keyphrases   you’re  targeting.   • The  keyphrase  in  the  title  tag  must  also  appear  in  the  on-­‐page  content     • Each  page  should  have  a  unique  title  tag   • The  ideal  length  of  a  title  tag  is  65  to  70  characters  
    • It’s  also  a  good  idea  to  use  an  action  word  at  the  beginning  of  a  title  tag  such  as   “Find  a  family  doctor  in  Winnipeg  –  Dr.  John  Horton”  to  further  encourage  a  click-­‐ through.   B)  META  TAGS   (I  understand  that  you’ve  covered  meta  tags  in  this  class  already?)   What  are  they?   While  meta  tags  may  be  bordering  on  the  geek  side  of  things,  they  are  important   components  of  every  successful  website.  The  meta  tag  includes  the  meta   description,  meta  keywords  and  the  title  tag.  To  “see”  a  website’s  meta  tags,  you   have  to  look  in  the  source  code.     Next  to  the  title  tag,  the  most  important  meta  tag  is  the  meta  description.   Here’s  why:   • The  meta  description  is  often  –  but  not  always  -­‐  the  copy  that  appears  under   the  blue  heading  for  each  listing  on  the  search  engine  results  pages.     • It  generally  describes  what  the  visitor  will  find  on  that  page  should  she  click   through.     • Like  the  title  tag,  it  can  carry  considerable  weight  in  the  customer’s  decision-­‐ making  process.   Keep  these  things  in  mind:   • The  meta  description  should  contain  1  -­‐2  keyphrase(s)  that  indicates  the   content  of  the  page   • Each  page  should  have  a  unique  meta  description   • The  ideal  length  of  a  meta  description  is  175  characters  or  less   You  also  want  to  make  the  description  engaging  to  the  reader  to  encourage  them  to   click  through.  Treat  it  like  a  mini  ad  or  an  elevator  pitch.  
    • C)  Meta  keywords  tag  –  This  tag  is  not  used  by  the  major  search  engines  any  longer   –  but  there  are  still  secondary  search  engines  that  use  it.  For  this  reason,  don’t   overlook  it.  You  can  add  your  keyphrases  in  here.  This  is  also  a  perfect  spot  to  add   misspellings  of  keywords.     Why  are  misspelled  words  important?     • There  are  many  common  misspelled  words  that  people  will  use  to  search.   For  example:  menapause  instead  of  menopause.     • Most  of  the  time,  these  misspellings  are  overlooked  by  your  competitors,   which  means  that  it’s  easier  for  you  to  rank  for  them.     • Obviously,  you  don’t  want  to  use  misspelled  words  in  your  on-­‐page  copy   so  the  meta  keywords  tag  is  the  perfect  spot  to  use  them  to  snag  some   extra  traffic.   Now  let’s  look  at  the  placement  of  keyphrases  in  on-­‐page  copy:   o H1  and  H2  tags  –  these  are  your  headlines  and  subheads.     o Bulleted  lists,  italics  and  bold   o Hyper-­‐links  –  the  links  in  your  website  that  take  your  visitor  from   page  to  page.  Instead  of  saying  “click  here”  –  try  “see  prices  on  digital   cameras”   o The  navigation  bar  –  instead  of  saying  “Products”  for  example,  try   “anti-­‐aging  products”   o Testimonials  –  I  always  make  a  point  of  asking  new  clients  for  a   testimonial.  Sometimes  they  ask  me  to  write  it  myself  and  run  it  by   them.  This  is  a  perfect  opportunity  for  me  to  tie  in  keyphrases  that   I’m  targeting  for  my  site.  If  testimonials  are  provided  without  your   input,  see  if  there  are  spots  where  you  can  add  keyphrases,  and  then   run  the  changes  by  your  client.  I  promise,  more  often  than  not,  they   won’t  mind  at  all.     o If  you  have  images  on  your  website,  you  can  place  keyphrases  in  the   Alt  Tag.  The  Alt  Tag  is  the  little  description  that  appears  when  you  
    • point  your  mouse  at  a  photo  or  graphic  on  a  web  page.  Think  of  it  as  a   caption.  So  if  you  had  a  photo  of  a  dog  wagging  his  tail,  the  alt  tag   might  say  “dog  grooming  services  in  Calgary.”   o This  also  leads  into  the  next  point  about  using  keywords  –  has  anyone   heard  of  the  long  tail  keyphrase?  It’s  a  tactic  to  turn  your  keyphrase   into  a  longer  secondary  keyphrase  to  capture  more  traffic.  With  the   phrase  “dog  grooming  services  in  Calgary”  –  we  actually  have  three   keyphrases:  dog  grooming,  dog  grooming  services,  and  dog  grooming   services,  Calgary.     • Keyword  density  –  there’s  a  lot  of  talk  about  keyword  density  –  what  is  the   magic  formula?  Ideally  you  want  a  3  –  5%  ration,  which  is  using  a  keyphrase   3  –  5  times  every  100  words.  And  that  includes  every  instance  of  keyword   placement  where  the  engines  would  search  –  alt  tags,  title  tags  etc.  But,  only   if  this  doesn’t  sound  forced  or  disruptive  to  your  copy.     • What  not  to  do  –  As  custom  silver  jewelry  makers,  we  design  and   manufacture  custom  silver  jewelry  to  your  specifications.  This  includes   custom  silver  jewelry  rings,  custom  silver  jewelry  bracelets  and  any  other   type  of  custom  silver  jewelry  you  can  think  of…you  get  the  picture.     • In  other  words,  don’t  sacrifice  natural  sounding  copy  for  the  sake  of   keyword  density.  Not  only  is  this  an  unpleasant  experience  for  your  visitors,   it  can  get  you  penalized  by  the  Search  Engines  too  –  and  you  want  to  go   there.  
    •     Now  let’s  take  a  look  at  a  few  other  websites/this  website.     Control  F  –  highlight  keyphrases  tool     I  hope  that  you’ve  learned  a  few  things,  and  will  go  home  with  some  tactics  that  you   can  implement  right  away  to  improve  your  site’s  content.  We  don’t  have  time  for   questions,  but  you  can  send  me  your  questions  in  a  email,  and  I  will  try  to  answer   them.  Also  if  you  send  me  an  email,  I  will  send  you  a  special  report  with  10  free  SEO   tools  and  instructions  on  how  use  them.