SEO - It's (almost) all about the copy....

s a web developer, I’m often asked ether by a client, on an online forum or a network about SEO. It is one of the most talked about issue for website owners – how can I rank better on Google (or any search engine). 

As a business owner you are probably bombarded by emails / calls from SEO providers promising Google 1st rank. Before you do anything such as paid SEO or Google Ad Words make sure you got the basics right as this on its own might improve your ranking enough and will save you $$ 

The single most important element to look at is your website copy. Search engines crawl and look for copy that is relevant to the search inquiry and brings it up (it is a bit more complex than this but this is a short explanation). 

So, before you do anything else such as linking, blog, meta tags, social media, directories etc., make sure you got the copy right: 

SAY WHAT YOU DO: 
Your website copy should be relevant to your business and explain in plain words what you do and offer. Don’t use complicated marketing jargon – make it simple for search engine to pick up on. 

USE YOUR KEY WORDS: 
Make a list of your key words that you would like to be found for. Brain storm with your staff, your clients (put yourself in their shoes). Make sure these words appear on your website copy as otherwise search engines will not pick up on them. If you service a local community, don’t forget to include the locality your are targeting (for example ‘Bayside Melbourne’ instead of ‘Melbourne’ 

AN IMAGE SAYS A 1000 WORDS?
True but not for search engines as they cannot ‘read’ an image. If using images, make sure you include ‘alt’ test which describes the image and works for your benefit. For example if you sell cakes and have a cake photo, instead of saying ‘chocolate cake’ say chocolate cake by…made in our cake decorating class’ 

FIND THE BALANCE: 
Great looking sites have nice imagery and less copy but you need copy to be found. Find the balance, use a great image / slide show followed by an intro text down the page. 

LESS IS MORE? 
True in design but if you want to be found you need to elaborate about what you offer. If you offer a few services, don’t just list them all on one page, create a page for each service, include an intro, list what you offer within the service and a relevant testimonial. 

USE SMART HEADINGS:
Headings (h1, h2) help search engine determine what the content of the page is. Instead of just saying ‘about’ say ‘about our pet clinic in Mentone’. A good copy writer can help you find the balance between sounding ‘daggy’ and being search engine friendly. 

A good SEO provider will look at your copy as a first step anyway, so by looking into this when you build your site, perhaps pay a copywriter to help you, will already improve your position and save $ on SEO. If you are a niche market this will probably be enough but if you have competition look into targeting your SEO and used paid ad words.

Meirav Dulberg