Lianne Wilkinson asked:

Those new to the world of search engine optimisation could be forgiven for thinking that it’s all about links. There are many SEO companies and link suppliers that base their whole business model on buying and selling links to influence rankings, so believing that links are the most important thing with regards to your website’s rankings is easily done.

While links were once the be all and end all, times have changed. Google is now placing more emphasis on the actual content of the website, rather than focusing everything on the number of websites linking to it, when it structures its rankings. This means that what you have on your website, the web copy itself, is more important than ever before.

Before you start thinking that simply selecting a few keywords and cramming them into your website’s pages as many times as you can is the way to go, you need to instead consider the way the website’s pages actually read. There is no such thing as a magic keyword density for SEO and adding hundreds of keywords to a page, regardless of how they form a sentence, does not work for any period of time and can result in your site being penalised. Google has become more sophisticated than ever and the meaning behind the copy is taken into consideration, including the different words used and the semantic mark-up.

The secret to SEO copywriting for the web isn’t about how many keywords you insert into a page while attempting to maintain a degree of readability; it’s about the page’s worth to the user, how the sentences are crafted and even about how the code on the page is formatted around the content (for example, which words are bolded, italicised or linked to other pages).

Another important aspect of SEO copywriting is about how many keywords, or key phrases, you can optimise a page for. The truth is that you can actually optimise a page for a great number of keywords, but should you? As with anything in life, from the plot of a film to the nature of a business, the more you diversify something, the less focused it becomes – and SEO copywriting is no different. If you have a number of important products or services within your business, then you should have at least one page of your website optimised for each of them. This would include important elements such as the Title tag of the page, the H1 tag on the page and the anchor text of links pointing to that page.

Yes, you can insert more keywords, but for every keyword you add you’re reducing the relevance of the first keyword – it’s simple mathematics.

The most important secret of SEO copywriting, and this is often missed by most professional search engine optimisation companies, is to be natural with your web copy. There’s nothing worse than content on a website that reads poorly, or has been written in a clunky, stunted way in a bid to force in keywords that would otherwise not fit in regular sentences.

Google is looking for natural sounding copy, your customers are looking for natural sounding copy, so why offer keyword stuffed web copy?

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