One of the important pieces of building high search engine
rankings and driving traffic to your website is keyword phrases. In the old
days of SEO, you could simply pepper your web pages with high value keywords
and the search engines would rank you right up there with the best of them.
But with today's more advanced search engines, content on
your site has to achieve more than that. Not only does it need to contain
keyword phrases people use to search for you, it also must serve to inform the
reader and offer some value as well. In other words, simply stuffing content
with keywords just won't cut it anymore...search engines like Google will flag
your site and perhaps penalize you.
Not to mention, most people won't give it the time of day.
So what can I do to
get more keywords into my copy without sacrificing its flow or getting me in
Below are 11 ways you can maximize keyword exposure without
your readers picking up on it. And search engines will credit you with having a
strong keyword presence without sacrificing the quality of your content.
Remember, only optimize a page or article for 2 or 3 keyword
phrases...any more dilutes the impact each keyword has on your rankings.
11 ways you can maximize keyword exposure without
sacrificing content include:
1.Separate keywords into different sentences
Search engine spiders, or computer
programs that read and index a site, do not register punctuation, bullet
points, line breaks and other things when deciding on where your site should be
ranked - they only see letters. Therefore, keyword phrases can be separated by
a comma or period.
Your readers will think it's just
the natural flow of your copy but search engines will see keyword phrases, in
turn, boosting your ranking potential.
See this example:
revenues for your small business today by investing in SEO. Content creation, crawlable site architecture and SEO design
elements all work together to increase your site's exposure and position in the
2.Create quotes for "first-person" keyword
Keyword phrases stated in the first
person are very powerful but hard to work into any copy because they're simply
not natural. Keyword phrases like content
for my website
are not natural for any web copywriter to use - content for
your website is a more natural phrase.
Instead, put the keyword phrases
into a question and put quotations around it, like this:
can I create valuable content for my
website that gets me high rankings in the search engines and increases my
3.Make your bullet lists work harder for you
From a strictly content position,
bulleted lists are great because they make reading and scanning much easier,
naturally drawing the reader's attention - a missed opportunity for many web
copywriters unfortunately. Adding keywords into each bullet point is pretty
simple though but be sure you don't become too repetitive, blend them in well.
4.Split your copy into sections
Search engines find keywords on any
crawlable place on your website. Articles or landing pages are not the only
ways you can get more keywords out there. You can break copy up so it looks
natural to a reader, like placing some in a headline and a few sentences on the
top then some in a sidebar then more at the bottom of the page underneath some
The search engines will see a
keyword goldmine...your readers will only see great, informative content.
5.Include a "more information" link
Another way you can get more
keywords into your page is to include a "more information" link at the bottom.
This link will in fact be the same page but your reader will think they're
going to another page since they will have to click a link...in essence, it will look
short and concise to them but offer more information if they choose to go
6.Include keyword phrases that are "opposite"
of what you are
Some strong keyword phrases in fact
state the opposite of the image you're trying to convey. For instance, "cheap
online marketing" may be a popular phrase but isn't exactly a reputation you
want to convey.
Get around this by writing a page
or article warning readers about the dangers of "cheap online marketing." Not
only will you get this popular keyword phrase into your copy, you will also
build credibility for your business.
7.Try and use "stop" words in choppy phrases
Without stop words like "of", "the",
"a", "for" and so on, some keyword phrases are incomplete thoughts. Including
stop words like these makes them more complete. Since these words are so common,
search engines choose to ignore them...much like punctuation and line breaks
8.Have keyword specific pages
Especially if you're an ecommerce
site, many keyword phrases are unrelated. And including too many keywords on a
single page dilutes the focus of that page. So create keyword specific pages
and focus on one or two keyword phrases per page. Doing so will make the copy
look natural to your readers but make the search engines drool at all of the
naturally fitting keywords.
9.Combine keyword phrases
Using some stand-alone keyword
phrases too much makes copy sound repetitive and impersonal. But you can make
your copy sound more personable and natural by combining some keyword phrases.
Search engines will see two keyword phrases but your readers will only see one.
website SEO content, SEO site optimization
10. Add other words
Many keywords by themselves sound
unnatural to someone reading a site's copy. Standalone keywords can make copy
clunky and difficult to read. Sometimes they need some help to make them sounds
To make these keywords sound more natural, add words to the beginning or end of a keyword phrase. Descriptive phrases like "experts", "agents" or another term that applies to your business are great candidates.
Example: content creation experts, web copywriting professionals, online marketing agent
11. Include keyword phrases in testimonials
Testimonials offer a great way to not only provide potential customers with others' prior experience with your company, they offer a great opportunity for keywords as well. Much of the time though, a customer writing a testimonial will not use keyword terms someone may use for a search online...they will simply name the product or say "it."
With their permission, replace these phrases with your keywords for even more ranking opportunities.
These are just a few, but effective ways you can work more keywords into your copy without sacrificing its quality or flow. You want to include keywords in your copy because that is how people find you online. Having a strong presence of good keyword phrases is a major step in bringing high-quality traffic to your site.
Following the steps above will go a long way toward maximizing the amount of keywords on your page without creating copy that's repetitive, boring and gets you penalized by the search engines.
August 9, 2010
Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.
Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.
You'll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.