Web Design: Tips for Effective Copywriting For Web Sites
This article focusses on effectively optimising your copy to get it noticed in the search engines. Everything starts with thinking about KEYWORDS – ie What people are searching for. If you have written your content without considering target keywords and phrases then you will probably need to re-write it to focus on the keywords that are important to your audience.
A web page cannot be optimised for keywords that are not included in its copy.
Optimising your copy for search engines is primarily about:
- Making sure keywords and phrases appear prominently in important places on your web pages such as Title, Description, H1, Sub-headings and Link Anchor Text.
- Influencing how your web page is presented in the search engine results listings.
‘Title’ has 2 meanings in respect of web design
To most people – Title in general terms means the Title or Headline of your article or document. In terms of reading a web page most people (who are not web designers or SEO specialists) would normally think of this as the first major heading as seen on the main body of the relevant web page. To web designers this is likely to be thought of as H1 or Heading 1.
To web designers and SEO specialists – Title is an additional line of information in the Meta Data of the web page. It is slightly more important than H1 in SEO terms and it is partially visible in the very top left of your web browser. Importantly it is also often the first line used in search engine rankings page (SERPs) listings so is partially visible at this point. So your web page has 2 titles and they are both of vital importance.
2 Titles = 2 Bites of the Cherry
- The always visible on page title or Header or Headline (coded as H1) which should be written for people but relevant to the search engines. Constructed a title to appeal to people including Keywords/Phases for the search engines.
- The meta Title can be written more from the search engine perspective but should still be relevant to people. 60 characters is often quoted as a guide to maximum length. Put the most important Keywords and Phrases near the beginning.
They should reinforce each other but should not be exactly the same.
Meta Description as seen in the SERPs
If you include a Meta Description in your web page that is clearly relevant to your web page it is likely that the search engines will use this text in the “snippet” (second and third lines of text) shown in the Search Engine Results Page entry for your page.
So this is an opportunity for you to present summary information about your web page to searchers and encourage them to visit your website rather than the others presented.
Note: there is no guarantee that the search engine will use your Description as the snippet they show in the SERPs. If they do they may use up to 165 characters that they feel is most relevant. If you do not include a Description or your Description does not seem relevant the search engine is likely to choose text from elsewhere on your web page that.
How many times should I use Keywords in my copy?
Keyword frequency influences your position in the search rankings – not at all = no ranking, not enough = low ranking, too many (key word stuffing) = low ranking, so how often?
The most important point here is that web pages are written for people so keywords should appear as often as sensible within the natural flow of your text.
It is also very helpful to include synonyms to reinforce the idea that the text is on subject to the search engines.
Where else do I put Keywords?
As well as in the natural flow of your copy there are more important places to include keywords such as:
- link anchor text
- urls (folder-and-page-addresses, use hyphens)
This PDF document gives my own interpretation of the most important places to put keywords in your copy. It provides relative scores to give a rough guide – it is not definitive.
You may also like to read:
- How to Write Appealing Copy.
- 10 things to write content about for your website
- What can you do with your website?
We aim to be friendly and informative, providing all the support and guidance you need to steer you clearly and effectively through the web design process and ensure that you end up with a great website.
If you need help with your website please feel free to give me a ring. Regards
Michael Spencer, Web Designer and WordPress Specialist.
firstname.lastname@example.org – 01263 722058
Epsilis Website Designers – Mundesley, Norwich, Norfolk and Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire