Social Media Copywriting Best Practices


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A presentation given by The JAR Group providing copywriting best practices for online content editors. This presentation was given in consideration of specific client needs and geared towards an audience of traditional marketers that was relatively unfamiliar with search.

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Social Media Copywriting Best Practices

  1. 1. Copywriting Best Practices How to Write for Maximum SEO Benefit Presented by The JAR Group, 01.25.08
  2. 2. Regardless of how talented your authors, how ground-breaking your stories, or how innovative your ideas, if your writing is not optimized, how do you know your audience will find you?
  3. 3. Overview Optimized copy is not just important to your website’s effectiveness and credibility, it is equally important to search engine visibility.
  4. 4. The importance of copywriting for search <ul><li>Provide Value First: Your users will find more value in the content that is written for your audience first, then let us help you get your article found through search </li></ul><ul><li>Better Rankings: Search engines place a great deal of importance on unique, relevant content </li></ul><ul><li>Get Found: Search engines will index your content and display it within their listings based on your relevancy to what your audience is searching for </li></ul>Example: When searching Google for “Diet Danger Zones”, the article on is result #2. Were the content and title more optimized, the article would be able to gain the #1 spot.
  5. 5. Keywords Including in your article, the terms that people use to search for information will drive highly qualified traffic to your content.
  6. 6. Keyword Research <ul><li>What does your article discuss? Analyze what you article is about and gather the words and phrases that best describe what you are describing </li></ul><ul><li>Watch your competition: Look at the terms your competition is targeting by analyzing their titles, meta tags, and body copy </li></ul><ul><li>Find Related Terms: Tools such as Google Suggest will help find keywords relevant to your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Find Derivatives: Find terms that are based on your main keyword. Use The JAR Group’s keyword research tool to help determine the right keyword to target </li></ul><ul><li>Determine Search Volume: You should determine if a keyword is worth targeting based on the amount of search volume a term gets in relation to another term. </li></ul>Example: “Lose Weight” vs. “Weight Loss” “ Lose Weight” is searched about 24,000 times each month. “ Weight Loss” is searched over 135,000 times each month.
  7. 7. Google Suggest What is Google Suggest: Google Suggest works much like Google itself, however it adds suggestions that you can use when determining your keywords. These suggestions are based on what Google deems as being the most relevant derivatives of a term. Visit Google Suggest Here:
  8. 8. JAR Words What is JAR Words?: JAR Words will display derivatives of any term you type in that others have searched. You will also find the “EMS”, or estimated monthly searches of each derivative. These keywords can be downloaded into a spreadsheet for your convenience. Visit JAR Words Here:
  9. 9. So what do I do with my keywords? Start simple: Do the keywords you’ve researched, work in the article you’ve written? If so incorporate them into the body of the article and include them as your “tags” of the article. Then as you walk through the article optimization efforts, include the keywords as appropriate. Does the research suggest terms that are different form the brand usage? Don’t blindly follow the research, decide if your keyword research can be used in other ways in the article rather then simply replacing the brand usage. Does the keyword research not fit what your are talking about? Don’t worry. You are writing for humans, not search engine algorithms. We’ll get the search engines on the other articles! Remember , we are always there to offer help and we will be reviewing all content created for opportunities to enhance the article’s search equity
  10. 10. Article Level Optimization It is vital to ensure that your keywords are being used properly in the elements you can control that are most heavily weighted upon by the search engines.
  11. 11. The Title Tag The Title Tag is one of the most important things, after the actual inclusion of your keywords in your article to actually have impact on how well your article ranks on Google and the other search engines. Length: Search engine spiders will index the first 80 characters, but only the first 63 will show up in the search engines Keep it Relevant: Use the relevant keywords you found in your research, at the beginning, when possible as it is the most heavily weighted portion of the title Branding: Branding should be kept to the end of the title, after the main keyword or article title Our suggest format: <title>Main Article Concept: Article Section: Making Life Better: Unilever</title> or… <title>Chicken Recipes: Healthy Recipes: Making Life Better: Unilever</title>
  12. 12. The Meta Tags Meta Keywords: Include 3 to 4 of keywords (including derivatives), from your research, on each page, being careful not to use the same keyword too many times. These should be the same as the keywords you’ve chosen for your tags Meta Description: Write a clear concise 2 to 3 sentence paragraph of about 250 characters that summarizes the content on the page Example: The Meta Description shows up directly in the search engines. The copy that is written for the Meta Description should be optimized with the targeted keyword as well as captivating for users.
  13. 13. Other Page Elements Images: the image Alt Text should incorporate the keyword into the picture that is most pertinent to the content. Alt Text is intended for those who are unable to actually view the picture. Alt text should be a clear, concise phrase. Also, the image file name should use the main keyword describing the image. Heading Tags (H1): For your main heading, you want to generally incorporate your main keyword. Readers want to know what the page is about before going any further. This is the second most important on-page element (title is first) to the search engines. Sub-Headings (H2/H3): Multiple, specific sub-headers let the reader know what is coming next. The use of heading tags will draw more search engine attention and make the headline more apparent.   Search Engine Friendly URLs: As often as possible, use static URLs and the title of the article within the URL Example: Alt= “Beautifully decorated plate of Pan Seared Medallions of Beef served over asparagus” and pansearedbeef.jpg
  14. 14. The Writing Process Anyone can write copy that includes a keyword. It’s writing captivating copy that is effective to the engines and to the users that takes true skill.
  15. 15. Understand how your audience will find your article <ul><li>After you have optimized your on page elements for your article, social bookmarks and links to your content will drive how well your article ranks for the keywords you are using. </li></ul><ul><li>Know your audience: Always keep in mind any current reader base as well as those you would like to target. Is there a regional slang to describe what you are writing about? Do older people describe it differently, men vs. women? Ask these questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay on topic: Make sure that your writing is relevant to your website, your business, and your users </li></ul><ul><li>Be helpful: Readers love how-to’s, do-it-yourselves, and large amounts of information </li></ul><ul><li>Be original: Write about something that is not readily available elsewhere; If writing something similar to other works, add a new spin </li></ul><ul><li>People love lists: Where possible, write “Top 10” style lists to attract readers </li></ul>
  16. 16. Write an optimized article without sacrificing creativity <ul><li>Page Elements: Be sure to use the most important keywords in the title, heading, meta, and alt tags </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Friendly URLs: As often as possible, use static URLs and the title of the article within the URL </li></ul><ul><li>Use Short Paragraphs: You may have many of them but keep them short and to the point. Don’t use any words you don’t have to. Break up long paragraphs with sub-headers and bullet points. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Keyword Density Placement, Not Repetition: Use the targeted keywords 1-2 times for every 100 words. Excessive use is counterproductive and will only lead to ineffective copy. Creative Placement: Use derivatives of a keyword as a creative way to place that term throughout the copy. Example Keyword: “Weight Loss” Should be repeated throughout the copy using derivatives such as “weight loss plan”, “weight loss diet”, “easy weight loss”
  18. 18. Social Bookmarking Top Social Bookmarking Sites Benefits: Social book marking is a surefire way to gain a large amount of visitors, traffic, and exposure to your website. It is one of the faster growing influencers on a person purchasing decision making process. You will also gain valuable links from the book marking community including bloggers and other websites. Get bookmarked: We will be working with the tech team to add social book marking buttons to each article and ensure that they are submitted to the appropriate social book marking sites. Keep it fresh: Add fresh, new content everyday to keep users and the search engines coming back for more
  19. 19. Tagging Page Elements: Add tags to your website based on the content that will enable search engines as well as users to determine what your content is most relevant to. Base on Meta Keywords: Utilize the keyword research you have already done and use the meta keywords as the page tags. Tags: Beef Recipes, Pan-Seared
  20. 20. Production Process Ensuring a smooth content delivery.
  21. 21. Writing Content Write your articles with the key word research in mind and place them within a folder. Indicate the article’s file name within the Article_Tracker.xls, then continue adding the keywords, descriptions, etc. for all the other optimization elements.
  22. 22. What happens next? After the articles are completed and entered into the spreadsheet, they will be sent to the JAR group. We’ll look for any additional SEO recommendations or other ways in which they can be optimized. After this, they can be sent off to the necessary technical resources and pushed live based upon Brad’s publishing schedule. Congratulations, you now have a live article, now go get all your friends to visit the site and click on all the social book marking links!