Welcome to Part 3 of How to do SEO. This is the post on the concept that started it all. As I mentioned in Part 1, this whole idea started when a copywriter asked me what she should be worried about when it comes to SEO. Though we've take a look at what Designers and Developers should be doing, we will now get to look at what Copywriters should be doing.
Though, I'm sure you're tired of it by now, I feel I should remind you that SEO is really not about climbing the search result ladder. It's about better serving the client. Doing this will require both personal and technical processes. Think Amazon! I'll explain.
Once upon a time Amazon.com had a team of book-loving people who would personally write up descriptions and suggestions for users. If you were interested in a book by H R Rookmaaker, they might suggest a book by Francis Schraeffer. They would tell you about it and why you might like it. The system worked pretty well and added a much needed personal touch to the internet upstart.
However, it wasn't enough. The personal touch was limited to personal experience, and Amazon (as it's name suggest) already offered an ENORMOUS selection. And they offer more than books too. Someone buying an H R Rookmakker book might be more in the market for a Louis Armstrong CD ... or a trumpet!
So, Amazon turned to algorithms to figure out what to suggest, but it didn't try to apply the concept to the entire market (like traditional advertising). It was applied specifically to individuals based on their shopping history. When Amazon.com communicates to its clients it does so both technically and personally.
You should do the same. Look at keywords, frequent search queries and words that generate clicks. However, don't forget that there are people on the other side of those clicks. Be interesting, compelling and personal.
Maybe not the first, but definitely the foremost thing a copywriter should do is post. Your site should have a blog, and that blog should have posts—multiple—lots of 'em. Your posts should be frequent. They should be helpful. They should be interesting. And they should be too long for the average visitor to read to the end.
This the most important thing that a copywriter can do for a website because it packs a mean punch. Blog posts (or updates) that meet the above criteria give key indicators to Search Engines, establish the company as the expert, simultaneously intrigue and help the client.
A few blog topic ideas:
Though posts are the foremost, page titles are actually the first first thing that copywriters should do. Though this is often implemented by the developer, the copy (the actual words) is often provided by the copywriter. Don't forget the Amazon model of being technical and personal. Use words that will interest, help and compel people.
Having a good page description is sort of like a secret weapon. It is something that most people DON'T do, but it is one of the more helpful things to do when trying to generate clicks. A post (or page) with a good meta description is more likely to generate clicks simply because it has a better opportunity to speak to the searcher. If a searcher is able to confirm from the snippet in the search result that this page has the information they need, they are more likely to click on it exclusively!
In everything that you do use keywords. (See definition here.) However, don't forget about the long tail of SEO either. I'll go back to Amazon for this point. Most companies seek after the hottest, most popular items. They compete with 80% of the the industry over 20% of the sales. Amazon.com however focuses their efforts on long tail. Sure, they've got the hot items, but they have every other item under the sun as well. They fight 20% of the industry for 80% of the sales. Genius!
In everything that you do be compelling. Yes, you need to use keywords and pay attention to analytics, but at the end of the day what matters is how much you've helped your clients. What matters is how likely or unlikely they are to use you again, to encourage others to use you, to become not just a client of your business but an evangelist for your business. Don't seek to sell a product. Seek to help your clients.
Well, we are quickly approaching the last leg of this series. Next week we will tackle what a business owner really needs to know about SEO.