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Copywriting for Online Visibility and Findability

Search-engine friendly copywriting is more than keyword selection and placement. Both users and technology should be able to determine aboutness from both content and context.

Content and copywriting image

The term "SEO copywriting" is a somewhat misleading term, as it implies that one is writing website content purely for search engines.

In reality, "SEO copywriting" should mean that content is written for people who use search engines. People do not locate and discover desirable content via search engines only. People also browse...clicking links from web page to web page. And people ask their social network (both online and offline) about topics and things of interest.

Nevertheless, many website owners overlook the importance of search engine optimization. You don't have to sacrifice a positive user experience (UX) to have a search-engine friendly website.

Keyword placement

To get optimal listings in search engine queries, keywords and key concepts must be placed strategically throughout your web pages. To summarize, keywords can be placed in:

  • Title tags
  • Meta-tags (keywords and descriptions)
  • Headings and subheadings (if used)
  • Content
  • Images (if used): headings, captions, and alternative text in graphic images
  • Videos (if used): headings, captions, and metadata

Of course, we do not recommend that keywords be placed in every single place on a page. That might seem too unnatural, and might be considered a form of search engine spam called keyword stuffing.

From a usability standpoint, both users and technology should be able to determine what your content is about by quickly scanning the page.

Good web copy should:

  • Accurately reflect the web pages' content
  • Use the user's language
  • Be based on a web page's topic
  • Contain well-researched and varied keywords and key concepts
  • Be scannable

Sales and advertising "fluff" should be used appropriately and not dominate page content.

Minimize sales "fluff"

Here's a real example. One of our colleagues has an accounting website. He advertises his site with the words, "Service that is second to none."

A search engine's analysis?

  • Service is a generic word in some search engines and might be ignored in a search query.

  • Second to none: How many people do you know really search using that phrase? Any keyword research tool will show you the search frequency. (Try Google's or Bing's tools.)

What our colleague did not do is specify the types of services he offers. We like to use the question, "What kind of __________?" What kind of accounting services? Business accounting? Tax accounting? Financial advising?

When searchers are looking for desired content on the web, they are going to describe the type of product or service they are looking for, not sales and advertising "fluff."

Web copywriting should contain user keywords and key concepts without most of the "fluff." Web copy has to flow (i.e. be natural). Keywords should be emphasized to communicate aboutness.

We are not saying not to use sales and marketing content to assist the selling process. We are just saying that the emphasis in content should not be on those words and phrases...unless users are genuinely searching for and responding to those words.

By communicating aboutness, potential and current customers will also appreciate being able to find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible.

Good copywriting is a necessary element of both online and offline marketing. If you do not have experience in writing good copy for the web, we recommend that you hire an online marketing consultant to initially write the copy for you. Then you can learn from the copy you paid for.

The more practice you get at web copywriting, the better you will get at it.

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If you have any questions about Omni Marketing Interactive's search engine optimization (SEO), website usability, information architecture (IA), or web design services, please call us at 847-426-4256.

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