So, I’d like to focus here on the prime importance of relevant content – and how you can effectively ‘kill two birds with one stone’ with this approach…
Are you detering your website visitors?
As a general rule of thumb, you should keep your focus firmly fixed on writing engaging and benefit-led copy aimed at your specific target audience. Only once you have written compelling copy for your audience should you then revisit it to integrate ‘keywords’ (ie specific search terms used by your prospective customers) – whilst ensuring that the flow, tone and style are not compromised.
As I mentioned above, ‘overly-optimised’ pages will instantly turn-off visitors due to the unnatural repetition of the search term they entered. However, if you take the time to clarify your keywords before starting to write the copy, you will find that you will usually naturally include them in your customer-focused copy anyway.
The ‘customer first/ Google second’ approach usually provides the best of both worlds.
Customer focus first, Google second
In order for the search engines to more easily recognise that you are providing relevant content, try the following six tips:
- No more than 7% of copy should be keywords - This is enough to register with search engine ‘spiders’. Use a range of different variations rather than just repeating the same keywords several times over. Going over a 10% keyword density will mean search engines will often view this as ‘keyword stuffing’ and could penalise your website in their search rankings. More importantly, over-use of keywords looks odd and unnatural from a user perspective, disrupting the natural flow of the copy.
- Always keep keywords relevant - otherwise you risk being punished for ‘keyword dilution’. Your copy is serving a certain purpose and it all too easily becomes clear to the visitor if you are using irrelevant keywords just to be seen via Google search.
- Keep content fresh and frequent - regular updates improve the perceived relevancy of your website. Easy ways to do this are via frequent blog updates or by regularly adding useful ‘How to’ guides or news sections. As above, just double-check that any new content contains your most important keywords.
- Consider your video content - Looking at YouTube specifically, this is treated as a search engine in its own right and of course is also owned by Google. This platform can help achieve better rankings by improving perceived relevancy in the same way as above. Think about the titles and subtitles you give your videos and take special consideration when everything you put online is reflecting on your business.
- Think about the time of year/day - Remember that prospective customers will most likely use different keywords at different points in time – for example seasonal, monthly and weekly variations and even differences relating to the time of day. Your site needs to reflect these changes in order to be perceived as being relevant.
- Research trending topics - Even better if you can incorporate relevant content and keywords that tie in to current trends, popular events and prominent individuals. As above though, your site will be heavily penalised by the search-engines if your content is not deemed relevant – if it is perceived to just be riding on the back of any search-terms that are currently popular.
Hopefully this article has provided you with some tips on how to use relevant content to optimise your search results – rather than making the mistake of just writing for ‘Mr Google’. What about you – do you have any other tips on how to use relevant content to boost your search results?
If you’re interested in exploring this area in more detail (together with relevant examples), you might like my recent book ‘Successful Marketing Communications’.
For more articles like this one, please visit my blog.