Posts Tagged ‘strategy’
Any SEO copywriter will tell you keywords are important. And they are. High performance web content depends on good keyword choices. But your marketing message still needs to take the lead. Sometimes this gets watered down (or lost completely) because writers let SEO keywords direct the web content flow. That’s like letting the tail wag your dog.
Now, more than ever, businesses want effective online marketing. So keep your keywords on a tight leash by selecting and planning well. That way your copywriter will be able to create rich, engaging content to showcase key selling messages.
Pick your keywords well
In the keyword miniseries I talked about the ‘where to’ and ‘how to’ of keyword research. There’s a whole process around identifying where SEO opportunities might lie. But it’s also important to choose target terms that are a good fit.
Off message keywords or terms that don’t quite relate to your product or service will be:
- challenging to weave into your web content
- suffer from context overlap and attract the wrong traffic
- prone to interrupt the natural copy flow
- more likely to lead your web content off track
In one recent project the client supplied a selection of keyword terms. Their website promotes an executive rental property here in Melbourne. Among the keyword choices were terms like fully furnished, family home and relocation Melbourne. While these terms are descriptive, they’re clearly not ideal SEO content targets. The context is broad and likely to lead the copywriting astray.
Create a logical SEO strategy
Inserting keywords subtly is the SEO copywriter’s craft. But keywords can bite back too. There’s nothing like clumsy content to turn readers off and send visitors packing. If your SEO strategy sets unsound keyword targets, your copywriting may become awkward and illogical.
In every SEO campaign an online strategy should lead the way. No matter which way you plan your keyword application, try not to gnaw at bones with no meat. Make commonsense choices. If your content page is about business cash flow, don’t make tax planning the goal.
Plan your web content ahead
Writing SEO web content isn’t quite the walk in the park many people think. Top quality content takes time and effort. A writing plan puts great results within your reach. That’s because just going through the planning steps helps generate ideas and suggestions. With these in mind, it’s much easier for copywriters to retain natural content flow while harnessing keyword selctions.
Planning your copywriting is also the best way to keep the web content on target and on message.
Whether you or your SEO copywriter creates the writing plan, each page of your website should:
- relay its own lead marketing message
- contain a key idea within each paragraph
- include a rewarding call to action
Don’t let the tail wag your dog. Keywords are critical to SEO content. But a clear marketing message should be the hero.
3 take away tips
- Keep your SEO copywriting on message with the right keyword choices.
- Make logical keyword applications across online marketing and SEO strategy.
- Plan each page of web copywriting to generate ideas and retain natural flow.
SEO copywriters are charged with a delicate task. Keyword targets must be woven in throughout the web copy. At the same time, the online content needs to remain engaging and interesting to readers.
Poor quality SEO copywriting is easy to spot. Keywords are often placed awkwardly and with high repetition throughout the text. This disrupts the natural content flow and makes the copy uninviting.
So how should an SEO copywriter approach the task of keyword inclusion?
Create a network of relevance
The objective in any SEO campaign is to become a good match for keyword targets. Properly researched search terms are known to be part of your audience behaviour. Keywords are also an indication of how searchers understand your product or service. This can be helpful two ways:
- Readers tend to skim web content. Finding familiar terms suggests the page is a match for their search query.
- Improved search performance. Raising your level of relevance to target keywords helps search engines define what your site is about.
To create a network of relevance, your SEO copywriter will need to discreetly apply keywords across the web content. This is best done as per your SEO strategy, where the application of search terms to site content is mapped out.
SEO strategies can (and should) be expanded to include all online communication. This extends the reach of your network of relevance to include web content such as:
- Social media
- Blog entries
- Discussion Forums
- Online Articles
- Product profiles
Essentially, there are three different types of keyword match:
Both deliberate phrase and exact matching are effective ways pre-qualify website visitors. When preparing SEO content, it is important to realise keywords will achieve a match in various situations.
In this case, our target keyword phrase is property investors. While the best search performance is always achieved with the exact phrase, your SEO content is relevant using:
- Identical match
Sydney’s real estate growth has been a boon for property investors.
- Altered context match
Of the available alternatives, my preference is property. Investors are finding …
- Reverse match
For investors, property has proved over the years to be a solid and consistent performer.
- Long phrase match
Property is the preferred option for many investors.
Writing with keyword combinations
Once target terms are identified and selected through a keyword research program, even stronger more relevant phrases can be built using keyword combinations.
By applying keyword terms in various forms and contexts, it is possible to keep a natural text flow. This offers the advantage of keeping your SEO web content engaging for readers. And that is the whole objective of SEO copywriting.
3 take away tips
- Poor SEO copywriting is easy to spot by clumsy keyword application.
- Build a network of relevance to keywords across all web copywriting.
- There are 3 types of keyword matching: Broad, Phrase & Exact.
If you’ve been researching this space at all, you may already have come across hybrid tactics for spanning Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaigns. As Jacqueline Dooley explains in her article on Keyword Strategies for Hybrid SEO/PPC Search Campaigns, uniting these two tactics is a smart business move.
Actually, any SEO campaign should extend beyond the bounds of website structure to improve performance and extend brand reach across:
- PPC advertising
- Social media
- Content marketing
- Video & audio casting
But it is necessary begin somewhere. So today, I’ll briefly explore the development of a hybrid SEO strategy.
When to use a hybrid strategy
As we’ve already seen in networked and silo strategies, there’s an ideal application for hybrid SEO too. Not to say that any SEO strategy is misplaced. Of course, it’s possible to apply any tactic to any website. Hybrid strategies, however, work well where an overarching service category exists AND clearly defined core business operations.
A training company I recently worked with operates within the education sector. In a broad sense, they need to promote the quality of learning, certification levels etc. There was also a need to categorise different service offerings throughout the SEO and web content for:
- industry entry level
- skill consolidation
- professional development
How hybrid strategies work
Essentially, hybrid strategies use elements of both network and silo keyword application. What’s essential in this method is to hone keyword selection. That’s because a hybrid strategy will rely on application of a key selling message right through the keyword allocation and SEO copywriting.
So to begin with, a suite of network keywords is required. From that network, it will be necessary to select just a few keywords and phrases for site-wide application. The balance of network keywords is applied as usual across primary navigation pages.
Additionally, silo keywords will be called on. Silo application works in a similar way to a silo website strategy. However, it will be necessary to leave at least one secondary keyword position open across the site. Once keyword allocations are made, one phrase from the network shortlist is applied to each silo page.
In the case of our training company, all the primary pages (Home, About, Courses etc) target general education terms. Navigating to short courses or professional development sees visitors enter very specific keyword silos. But every silo subtly extends to those overarching network targets.
The hybrid strategy advantage
A hybrid strategy results in strong network relevance over primary navigation pages and casts an SEO net across the whole site. This tactic also offers the flexibility to add business offerings from time to time without disturbing the SEO balance.
From a copywriting perspective, hybrid strategies tend to be more content specific. This better connects the writing with logical page subject matter. Weaving keyword targets into web content also occurs more naturally.
This SEO copywriting style results in copy that’s more engaging and interesting to readers. In turn, good web content gives the site a higher visitor conversion rate. Which, after all, is what websites and SEO are all about.
3 take away tips
- Hybrid SEO blends keyword networking and silo tactics.
- A hybrid strategy can encompass website and PPC objectives.
- Add core business offerings without altering the SEO balance.
If it’s possible to visualise website navigation a little like a column graph, there’s a good chance keyword silos would work well. A silo SEO strategy is ideal for websites with several core business offerings or product categories.
Often the architecture of these websites is created in navigation categories, much as you might find and online store would use. The site structures lend themselves to SEO keyword silos because navigation is also in product groups.
What is a keyword silo?
If you think of website navigation in simple vertical columns, you’re part way to visualising a keyword silo. Imagine the column contains a number of web content pages, all relevant to the same product or service. It is therefore feasible for every page within the navigation silo to target the same keyword set or individual phrase.
I worked on one SEO project for a diamond jewellery seller. Now, the main focus of this business is diamond engagement rings. That online space is highly competitive and search performance is critical. There were also other products like diamond wedding and anniversary rings, diamond earrings, pendants and so on to showcase.
For this client a silo SEO strategy was perfect, because the site navigation is also in silos. With 5 engagement ring styles, it was possible to build relevance by targeting the diamond engagement ring key phrase on all those pages. There was also the ability to duplicate this approach in navigation silos for other products.
Keeping SEO web content quality up
When planning an SEO strategy, my preferred approach is to nominate two primary and two secondary keywords. When it comes to the SEO copywriting, this allows more freedom and natural flow in the development of content.
This is especially useful in a silo SEO strategy. That’s because, if each page of the navigation silo is targeting the same keyword or phrase, some flexibility remains open. So the resulting SEO web content doesn’t necessarily develop a sense of bland similarity.
The silo SEO strategy advantage
The value of this approach lies in consistency and strength. Unlike the network SEO strategy, where keywords and phrases are spread across the web content, a silo strategy creates strong keyword cores. Something like a forest of oak trees.
Each page of web content in a given navigation silo targets at least one of the same keywords throughout. Longer tail key phrases can then be introduced by the SEO copywriter. In the case of our diamond jewellery site that might look something like:
- Diamond engagement rings
- 3 stone diamond engagement rings
- Tiffany style diamond engagement rings
In each case, the diamond engagement ring keyword is the primary target. But the context and relevance changes with the individual web content page displayed.
The primary keyword is applied to every page of web content developed by the SEO copywriter for this navigation silo. The result is strong search term relevance that doesn’t detract from other navigation categories.
3 take away tips
- Sites equipped with vertical navigation categories lend themselves to silo SEO strategy.
- In a silo strategy, each page within a navigation silo targets the same primary keywords.
- One benefit of a silo SEO strategy is the consistency and strength of common targeting.