As we mentioned in a recent post, a little search engine optimization (SEO) goes a long way. Yet many smaller B2B companies pay little or no attention to writing for SEO. If you haven’t given much thought to search optimization in the past, you should. Even basic SEO copywriting can help your company rise to the top of search results.
SEO isn’t voodoo. There are straightforward things you can do to improve your search results as you write your web copy. Any competent designer will be able to tag the copy you provide. Of course, the best results come from melding an expert touch for SEO copywriting with the more technical aspects of building a search optimized site. But here is the ultra-skinny way to get started:
- Pick two or three keyword phrases that typify what your company does (or will do), and that are unique to your business. Think: “If my ideal customer were doing a Google search to find exactly what we do, what would they type into Google?” Try to go beyond general terms. Let’s say you sell picnic tables. What makes your tables special? The phrase “handmade cedar picnic tables” will likely yield better result for you than just optimizing around the words “picnic tables.”
- Try your phrases in Google and peek at your competitors’ sites. Effective keyword phrases will be in use, but not so popular that your site won’t be able to rise to the top. If all your best keyword phrases are heavily used, consider getting expert help sooner rather than later.
- Once you’ve chosen a short list of keyword phrases, weave them into your web copy. But don’t overdo it. Use each phrase about 2-3 times per page. Aim for a keyword density of less than 10 percent keywords per page. Avoid having too many pages with very little content (under 150 words). Search engines want to send users to pages with substance.
- Then, write your title tags. The copy in the title tag is what gets displayed at the top of the browser. For example, the title tag for this page is “Content Bureau Blog for Word-Loving B2B Marketing Professionals.” In writing title tags, try keep them under 65 characters. A good title tag can help you entice people to visit your site—it’s linked text in search results.
- Write meta descriptions for each page. The meta description is the page summary displayed in search results; it describes the page’s content. Think of it as a one sentence synopsis of what’s on the page. Use the same keywords featured on the page in the meta description, and make the description less than 155 characters long. Stay tuned for an entire Content Bureau blog post about writing meta descriptions.
- Turn your search optimized copy over to whoever is building your web page. Provide your list of keyword phrases too. Ask your designer or production artist to use the phrases as Alt tags for images, as appropriate.
- Enjoy googling for your keyword phrases—and seeing your company’s results improve.
SEO experts may read this and say—“You forgot X, Y, and Z!” And it’s true. I not only left out X, Y, and Z, I simplified A, B, and C. The steps outlined above are just the tip of the iceberg, but they work. More importantly, you can apply them as your write your website without getting mired in technical details.