Writing Content for Search Engines
How DO you write content for search engines?
Writing for spiders, engines and the like was not a class I remember taking at school. Nevertheless, it’s a necessary skill to have, if your website is to have any impact in today’s competitive search engine environment. Luckily, I’ve learned a thing or two since my school days, so here’s a few hints I can pass on to those of you looking to write your own site or blog copy.
Good news first!
Although search engine spiders crawl content for keywords and keyword phrasing, a significant amount of weight is now given to what you or your website developer does off the page. This frees you up to write for humans (I did go to that class!). Since the search engines value traffic and traffic is driven by humans – the off the page elements make the writing part so much easier.
Spiders follow people. Write your content for your human audience.
If your content isn’t good enough to attract natural links, it doesn’t matter how “optimized” that content is. If people believe your content is worth linking to – so do the search engines. Good writing requires you to focus on what your writers and visitors are looking for and communicate that in an engaging way.
Give each blog page or post a clear focus.
And stick to it. This makes it much easier to keep the technical bits like keyword density in check. Remember too, that while a human eye can infer meaning – a search engine can not. Keep your references to your key words full (no abbreviations) and consistent. If your keywords are “web marketing” – don’t switch to “online marketing” half way through. If you do – specify both terms in your off page key words.
A title and meta data for every page
This is the off the page stuff. Keep your most important keywords towards the front end of your page title and your meta data and you’ll be off to a good start.
It’s still important to reference keywords regularly in your copy – but don’t get so caught up in it that you end up using your keywords every other sentence! It will read oddly and deter the human!