Writing good copy and building links to raise your website’s profile is a delicate balancing act. First and foremost, web copy needs to be engaging and informative for its human readers. But it also needs to register with some very non-human search engines to reach the widest possible audience of people looking for similar goods or services.
It’s easy to tell when the balance isn’t right. We’ve all come across websites that aren’t much more than dozens of keywords strung together in a cynical attempt to rise up the rankings.
But like many web users themselves, Google has had enough of such attempts to game the system. It has recently updated its algorithms and guidance for webmasters several times to favour ‘natural’ text over keyword chaos, all the while reminding us that the internet is for humans – not robots.
Here are Inspire’s tips for building links and creating engaging copy – while staying on the right side of the algorithm:
- Don’t overuse exact match anchor text: in other words, don’t use your main keyword (‘flowers’, ‘bridal flowers’, ‘wedding flowers’) too often in your text. Even though they might describe your business better than anything else, overuse looks unnatural, creates awkward sentences and really annoys the algorithm
- Use your keywords in phrases or sentences (‘the best selection of wedding flowers in town’) but again, not too much
- Use synonyms as much as possible (‘bouquets’, ‘floral arrangements’, ‘posies’); choosing different words that say the same thing increases the chances of your website being ranked, and in more than one category. As with the ‘exact match’ anchor text, don’t rely on one term too much.
- Use your brand, shop or business name (‘Inspire Floral Designs’) as a key word – and use it a lot. Use your name on its own, or as part of a phrase (‘Choose Inspire Floral Designs for stunning bouquets’)
- Use your URL as anchor text too
- Don’t forget about ‘generic’ anchor text (‘click here’, ‘for more information’, ‘contact us’); these calls to action are natural, helpful for readers and handy to use in sections of text where other types of anchor text can’t be used
David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot- Computer Society. He is also active within BNI Fair City (Perth), Business for Scotland and the Entrepreneurial Exchange.
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