How to Write Website Content for Top SEO Rankings
Top search engine rankings through SEO optimized web page content is explained here in detail. Top rankings are achieved through both on-site SEO optimized content and off-site backlinking practices. If you drop the ball on either then you will not get the results you want – which are rankings in the 1 – 3 positions of the search engine results pages (SERP). These top 3 positions represent 80+% of all organic clicks, so not being there severely cripples your website traffic and potential for sales.
Note that a lot of the content below is specific to WordPress websites. After building websites with many other tools through the years (we’ve been doing it since 1996, we were founded as a software development company in 1993) like Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, Ektron, Dreamweaver, and so on and so forth, the websites we build are content distribution engines and distribute your content to tens of thousands of sites by simply publishing your blog post. WordPress is the only content management system (CMS) platform we currently support due to it’s compelling capabilities.
Before beginning writing your article content you need to ensure you get the best SEO value out of a pages content resulting in the best and most relevant traffic. To ensure this start with keyword analysis.
Keyword analysis should be done in 3 steps:
- Determine Latent Semantic Indexing keywords
- Deeper Keyword Mining
- Analyze and prioritize all keywords
Once you have completed your keyword analysis by following the steps below, you need to determine the single main keyword phrase you’ll use on any particular page or blog post. Select one primary keyword to optimize for and a few or several more secondary keyword phrases that are thematically related to the main keyword. We usually use the Yoast SEO plugin. It allows you to enter your main keyword, save your WordPress post then see what you need to do to optimize your article for it.
Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI
Keyword phrases that are contextually relevant to your main topic are called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords, and are an attribute of current search engine organic ranking algorithms. This tool will quickly provide you with the top keywords used on the websites ranked in the top 5 or 10 positions for your desired keyword: http://lsikeywords.com. Think about it. This tool shows you what words you need to include in your pages in order to get ranked for your primary keyword. Why wouldn’t you use them?
Deeper Keyword Mining
This will tell you what kind of traffic to expect when your rankings come in, and what dollar income you can expect. The Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a great free tool that gives you number of monthly searches, the amount of competition and more. Just add your seed keywords then it will give you many related keywords.
Here is a screenshot of the results of seeding with wellness and healthy diet:
Nothing like getting it straight from the horses mouth. Google is literally telling you what keywords are relevant to those you seeded with. You’ll need to login to a Google Adwords or GMail account.
Analyze and Prioritize All Keywords
Market Samurai is a tool that shows you the actual dollar value of the keywords you want to rank for. Just add your keywords to the software then select the parameters you want to pull then run it and you have all that you need to make decisions as to what keywords to rank for. In short, you want those with the highest relevancy to your article, the highest dollar value, the least competition and the most traffic.
Properly Optimized Keyword Density (Old Concept)
Keyword densities are no longer a factor in top search engine rankings. You should bold your keyword at the beginning of your content, include it in your page title and include LSI keywords in the article, but don’t worry about including your main keyword in every single component of your article.
SEO Warnings – Beware of These!
Double Check When You Copy Content from Word Docs
Use the Paste from Word icon on the toolbar, but check the code in the HTML tab to make sure it isn’t bloated with a ton of HTML at the bottom.
Fair warning! If your content has all of the Word HTML then it will be unmanageable in WordPress!
Do Not Copy Content from Other Websites
WordPress comes with a tool called Press This. If you use it to copy content from a different website then paste it into your website then you stand the risk of getting banned from the search engines for having duplicate content. We have seen it happen before. Don’t do it.
Keyword prominence refers to where the keyword appears within any important section of a page. In general, to show importance you should place your targeted keywords at the beginning of all sections of your page listed below like the main body content, title tag, description meta-tag, etc.
Keywords At Top and Bottom
Make sure to start your body content with keywords, and end them with the same targeted keywords. This tells the search engines your intent that these keywords are important.
Solve a Customer Problem
If your content is valuable to others because it solves their problems then you can expect more interest and traffic. Content that focuses on only you and your company tends to get lower interest. Blog posts in particular should be focused on problem solving or providing illuminating information. An example would be timely information regarding industry breaking news like Apples press conference about iPhone 4 problems.
Write for the Internet User
Internet users are reluctant to read long passages of text. Limiting your paragraphs to 4 or 5 lines and bulleting out your main points increase the probability of your visitors reading what you write.
SEO-Optimizing Individual Page Components – In Priority Order!
Start With SEO Optimizing Your Main Body Content
Write the main body content first with keywords from your keyword analysis. Details of factors to consider and places to put your content are described below.
Once you complete this section summarize it for your title and keywords below.
SEO-Optimizing Page Titles
The most important SEO component of the page is the page title between the <title>Your Title Here</title> tags. It is what shows up in search engines as the link to your page. When someone searches for your money keywords and the keywords are in your title then the user sees that link as relevant. You want it to be 65 characters or less, to start with keywords and be persuasive enough to draw a click.
SEO Optimizing Meta-Description
The description meta tag <meta name=”description” content=”Your description here.” /> should be 150 characters or less. This is the amount of text shown in the descriptive part of the SERP under the title link. If the search engine finds the keywords used in the search on the page then they’ll show an excerpt of the page content. If the keywords are not found on the page then the search engine will show the meta-description information. For this reason you want to make it persuasive and about the page content so it will draw a click, and when the visitor arrives the content will be about what they searched for.
SEO-Optimizing Page URL (Address)
When you create your page make sure you create your page address using the most important keywords in a natural way that doesn’t look like obvious keyword stuffing. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator (???) and represents the text string that appears in your browser’s address bar for every page you visit. In WordPress the URL address is defined in the Permalink at the top of the page or blog editing screen. Here is an example of a URL that uses keywords effectively: http://www.21stsoft.com/denver-seo-company/. Keep in mind that you want the URL to be relevant, but not too long. This will trigger the search engine spam filters and possibly get you banned. Watch out for pages with parent pages. Parent pages URL’s are placed in front of your new page and can make your final URL too long and spammy. Make sure your final address is of reasonable length. Also, do not use words in your URL like ‘the’, ‘and’ and other words that provide no meaning to the page. Here is a URL that is too long:
Anchor Link Text
A very important ranking factor is the placement of text links on your pages and blog posts. Make sure to use keywords in the anchor text, use a full URL (http://www.21stsoft.com/web-development-blog/) instead of a relative link (about-us.php), and lastly make sure that the target page for the link points to a relevant page all about the keywords in the anchor text. For example, here is our search engine optimization (SEO) page.
Header (h1, h2…) Tags
Using a proper hierarchy of header tags starting with your important keywords is another important attribute used in ranking algorithms.
Keyword Bolding and Italics (Emphasis)
As you can see from this article, the important keywords are in bold and italics. This separates those words and signals importance to the search engines. Note that underlining text that is not a link is a usability problem because Internet readers expect links to be underlined. Don’t underline text that isn’t a link.
Image Alt Tags
The image alt attribute is important for both SEO and accessibility – for visitors with disabilities that use readers to scan and read web page content for them. Make good use of these tags and make them both descriptive and keyword oriented for the search engines. You should also set the title attribute for images so browsers can show the text to site visitors.
SEO Optimization Specific to Blog Posts
Consider the categories as the major list of topics you will be writing about throughout the entire breadth of your blog posts. Think of the tags as individual keywords you’ll write about in each particular blog post.
That being said, each blog post will have one or two categories and 3 – 10 tags that you should specify for each post.
In WordPress, adding a category and tag to your post creates separate pages that lists all posts that use that category and tag. This is great for your SEO rankings.
Select an appropriate Category for the blog post. Ideally only one category per post because selecting multiple categories could trigger a search engine spam filter.
When you write posts for your blog don’t forget to add Tags for the main keywords in the content – 3 to 10 Tags should be fine. These same words can be bolded or in italics in the post content.
Your Resources, About the Author Box Section
This is your final and maybe the most important chance to draw a click to your website. Make it persuasive. Make it compelling. Make sure you have keyword-rich text with a link to your most appropriate page that will ensure a conversion when they click on the link.
About the Author
Michael Cordova is President/CEO of 21st Century Technologies, Inc., a Denver SEO Company that specializes in bringing relevant website traffic and maximizing conversions. He has been doing it literally since the beginning of the Internet. He founded 21st Century Technologies, Inc. in 1993. Michael strongly recommends HostGator as a solid web hosting company.
For a free initial website evaluation for traffic and conversions you can call Michael directly at (303) 744-2178 or contact 21st through our Contact Us page.