An introduction to Writing for Search Engines

writing for search engines

Writing good website copy is more than just writing a coherent, concise, interesting article, we are also want our page to look good to Search Engines! Before we even put pen to paper and start writing our article we first want to visit the Google Adwords Keyword Tool ( https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal ) to do some keyword research. Using this tool we will enter a few article keyword’s that we may want to write about and see what kind of results google will give us. What we are looking for here is a keyword that has a high search volume but not much competition!

Once we have our high ranking keywords from Google’s keyword tool we want to actually visit google and type in our keywords within quotes. For example if your keyword was “Dog collars for Shih Tzu’s” you would type that into google with quotes and take note of the returned results. Typically anything under 5000 results will be reasonably easy to rank for, the more results Google returns then the harder it will be to get your article ranking.

Once we have found a good keyword with not much competition we can construct our article title and then chose 2 or 3 other related keywords to be reused throughout the article that you want to rank for. Your keyword should be in your article title and then throughout the article you will want to use these keywords once every 100 words. We don’t want to “keyword” stuff our content; it should look natural for the sake of your readers and also search engines. Technically speaking you want to keep your “keyword density” between 2% and 5%, for shorter articles aim for around 5% but with longer articles aim for about 2%. This makes the keyword use look very natural to search engines!

writing for search engines

The length of the article is also important. It is common practice that each page you add to your website should have at least 250 words of unique content. In practice however I would recommend 300 to 500 words so you can add some real value. Don’t let this restrict you though, as long as your article is interesting it can be as long as you like!

Break up your article with a picture! It is hard to read large slabs of text on a page and it can be quite off putting to a reader even if your content is really top notch. I like to put my images in the article around 2 paragraphs in. Give the image a caption and also include an “alt” description on the image, for eg:

<img src=”green_parrot.jpg” width=”400” height=”150” alt=”Green Parrot” />

Search engines won’t see the image but they will read the alternate text and the file name of the image. This will help with regular search engine rankings but it will also help with image searches which can be another fantastic source of traffic as well.