In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to incorporate your keyword research into your site so that it helps both a user and Search Engine rankings.
It’s really important to remember that you are FIRST AND FOREMOST writing for your user.
Write for a human visitor not a bot...
Google is continuously updating and teaching its bots to understand pages as if it were a human. It’s therefore not surprising that if you are writing naturally about your product, it should follow that you instinctively use the appropriate ‘keywords' in your copy, headings, images and when linking to more information. For example, let’s say you are an accountant, your pages will talk about the accountancy and book keeping services you offer. You will probably have headings on the page outlining these services which may also include a further level of information accessed via a link to another page. You are also likely to have images on your page too helping you to paint the picture of what you can deliver for the customer. It makes sense therefore that Google bots will also look at this on-page information - headers, images and links - as key indicators for the topic of that page.
Show the reader your expertise
Another really important consideration when writing your copy – again proving where customer experience and Google search criteria go hand in hand – is to provide the customer with evidence of your expertise, authority and trustworthiness
(known as E-A-T).
What does that mean?
When writing your pages, describe to the reader why they should believe what you are saying. Tell them about your experience and expertise, so they can see what authority you have to be making these statements. If you can, give scientific stats or proven evidence for what you are saying – such as other articles / research from academic institutes, trusted news sources etc. A link to and from your industry’s Governing Body also instils reassurance of your trustworthiness. All of the above are good for the reader and are also indicators to Google of E-A-T for your page
How do I get started?
Personally, whilst I have the keywords for the page in mind, I tend not to focus on them too heavily as I begin writing, so that the copy is as natural as possible. This way I will automatically use the most appropriate terms and keywords, often interchanging them, so it makes sense to the reader and reads easily. I start writing thinking about:
The customers’ needs - what information they are looking for?
Tone of voice and language for the page - e.g. am I presenting a professional but friendly company? Are my audience familiar with this subject? Should I use or avoid the industry ‘lingo’
Keywords - for that page (as a steer on its focus)
E.A.T - how I am going to evidence my expertise or authority for the information I am providing within my copy including; where might I link to, internally and externally, and which industry stats I might reference
The intended customer journey - how each page is going to have a logical process taking the customer from initial interest to taking action.
The SEO check
Once the copy is written, I compare my page to the elements in my SEO worksheet (below). I look to see where I can make natural enhancements to include keywords in my headers or alt tags, where I may use internal linking or look for more external links, and which words I might use to link. But in doing this final check, I ensure that I am avoiding two things – firstly making the page read awkwardly or repetitively for the consumer and secondly avoiding keyword stuffing which is a big no-no for Google.
Remember - always focus on the customer - their needs and experience of your communications
In addition, when you are writing and possibly agonising over the terms to use, remember that Google is using AI to teach the bots to understand relationships between keywords. [This was known as the BERT update] which is now further improved through the MUM update.
So just as you would talk naturally about your product or service area using interchangeable words, you should do this in your copy writing.
The worksheet I use can be downloaded below and provides a reminder about each element and a worksheet on the second ‘tab’ so you can enter your information and check character limits where appropriate.
Once your page is written, don't forget to...
Write your Meta information
My meta-what? When you do a Google search you will see a series of results (known as SERPS - Search Engine Results Pages). These results include: a title, a URL and a short description. The combination of which allows you [as the reader] to decide which of the Google returned results you are going to click on. It’s important you set this information to give yourself the best chance of attracting the attention of the person, so that they click on your link. For example, which of the two options below are you going to click on?
But there’s more to meta data. As well as informing the reader what your page is about so they can make their selection from the results, the meta title (aka page title), is also visible in the browser. If you have multiple browsers open - particularly on your phone - the meta title is a useful reminder about what is on that particular tab.
Furthermore, if your page gets shared on Facebook or LinkedIn, through the use of open graph code [seen as og: on your page’s html] your Meta title and description also appear on the social pages.
Finally, the meta data gives further indications to Google and other search engine bots what your page is about, and the more relevant your meta information to the user’s search the greater the chance your page will be returned.
Ready to get writing your meta information?
There are a couple of things to note then before you get writing:
Your Meta Title should be a maximum of 70 characters. This is all Google allows space for so beyond this the reader won’t see the words and you will just see “…”
If you are targeting a local audience, it helps to include your town. E.g. Affordable Book Keeping Services | AT Financial, Mark, Somerset.
Again, Google only allows a maximum of 165 characters for this section.
It's worth noting that Google does not use your description to rank, but this IS the wording that the user sees so you need to make the messaging compelling to drive a click through to your site.
Since Google DOES recognise clicks as an indicator of your site meeting the searchers requirements, more clicks = better ranking.
Shorter URLs are easier for people to remember. There have been studies that suggest shorter URLs potentially also rank better than longer – suggesting a target of around 50-60 characters max.
Things to remember when setting your URL:
DON'T USE CAPS
Avoid using numbers e.g. W3bm0ney.co.uk - [this is seen as spammy]
Aim for around three to five words per URL - domain/about-our-services
Use a hyphen not underscore e.g. 'about-us' not 'about_us'
Don't use characters like & ! ~
Open Graph protocol - Which image do you want to show with your page?
Have you ever shared your page to your social pages in FB, Twitter or LinkedIn and seen a random image selected from your page to accompany your post? Well you can actually determine which image is show through the use of OG: information.
In our worksheet we have created a row for ‘open graph images’ as a prompt for you to think about the image you want to use to accompany your page. Applying this image to each different CMS system works slightly differently. But if you need help, we are happy to provide more detail.
Make sure you use a different page per image and that it’s something enticing for the reader, so not just your logo.