This is a new series. I will run out of useful topics fairly quickly (it may have happened already), so I will either stop or move onto more frivolous subjects. Only time will tell.
To begin, I will distil everything I have learnt about writing content for websites into a series of blogs. Or just one if I hit the bottom of the well too
So, this is everything I know about…
Writing Search Engine Optimised Content – Part One
Search engine optimised (SEO) content is writing that is designed to target specific markets, regions or people. Generally this means your home page, contact page, about us and product pages, but also landing pages.
A quick note about landing pages because they’re important but not everyone will understand what they entail.
Landing pages are exactly what they sound like. A place for a user to land on your site and are a key element in
Landing pages enable better segmentation and targeting of specific words and phrases while adding depth to your website and giving search engines more content to crawl. Landing pages must be unique, just like all the content on your site. but they will usually be about the same things over and over again, with different suburbs or services used alongside the core phrases. This presents a challenge to write the same message, in a consistent tone of voice, but without writing the same page again and creating duplicate content.
Ok, on with the show….
Structure your page and use heading tags to direct your readers – human and algorithmic
SEO writing isn’t like writing a story. There’s no point having a big finish because no one is going to read that far. When reading online web content, people start by skimming. There is more content on the internet than anyone could look at in two lifetimes, so people take a moment to see if the content is interesting to them before fully committing. This makes it important that your pages are easy to read and have eye-catching headings.
Headings are vital to break up large pieces of writing and guide both the reader and the search engine crawlers through your content. Websites use HTML tags to designate the style of a heading and these tags are read by search engine bots to determine the page’s content. The bot will read all the content, but they place particular emphasis on the heading tags. As they ascend in number – H1, H2, H2, H4 – they become less influential.
Your H1 tag is the subject of the page
In the search engine hierarchy of headings, the H1 tag is used to hold the main keyphrases and tell the reader what the particular page is about.
The key phrases you’re targeting might be something like:
- Residential plumbers Richmond
- Commercial plumbers Richmond
- Residential plumbing services Richmond
- Commercial plumbing services Richmond
For this landing page, which is focussed on a specific suburb, the H1 tag could be:
“Richmond’s Trusted Plumbers for Residential and Commercial Services”
Under this heading, I would write a general description of the business.
H2 tags are used to support and give detail to the H1
An H2 heading should contain the keywords, but also add some detail about the business.
A wide range of plumbing services for homes and businesses in Richmond
Experienced plumbers for expert commercial and residential services
Experience and expertise from Richmond’s trusted team of local plumbers
You get the picture. They’re a bit looser and more natural sounding than the H1 tag.
I look for ways to incorporate the phrases in different contexts by splitting them up and using synonyms, such as “homes and businesses” in place of “residential and commercial.”
I generally aim for two H2 headings on a single page, but I will go to three depending on the length of the content – 400-500 is considered standard these days, while 700-800 would warrant a third H2 in my opinion. Well-crafted headings will point out the important elements for your visitors, however, use them sparingly because if you claim everything is important, then nothing is important.
An H3 is a little push in the right direction
Finally, I will add a call to action at the end of the page with an H3 tag. Usually, it is simply a place to put contact details and prompt the visitor to make contact in some way. The H3 tag is a variation on something like:
Get in touch today to find out more about our services
Speak with our team today and discover what we can do for you
Pick up and phone and give us a call today for further information
Discover what we can do for you by getting in touch today
I have a million of these.
It’s simply a prompt to the reader. They can read the paragraph to find the contact details, but generally, anyone who is going to contact you will do so long before they read the content at the end of a landing page. The heading should be direct and attempt to push them into action.
H3 tags are also good for super long pages. If your page is at 1000 words or more, you still want your H2 tags to be within the first 400 or so words. However, you also want to break up the rest of your text with headings. The H3 is often pretty close in appearance to the H2, and if it isn’t then it can be adjusted to match the font, size and weight, and will prevent you over-using the H2 tag.
Check back for more of what I know
With any luck, I know more stuff. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed.