How to integrate keywords into your website copy
By Kalena Jordan email@example.com
8 November 2002
If you’re reading this and your web site doesn’t contain any
body text on the home page, give yourself a good smack and go to your
room without supper. When you’re ready to behave and design your
site with the search engines in mind, come back out and read this article.
The simple truth is this: search engines read text and not much else.
You absolutely, positively need to use text on the pages of your site
that you want indexed and ranked highly. Not graphical text that you created
in your fancy design software, but actual, visible body text. Not sure
if your site uses graphical or body text? A good rule of thumb that I
learnt from search engine guru Danny Sullivan is to try and highlight
the text with your mouse. If you can drag your mouse over the text when
viewing it in a browser, chances are this is body text and the search
engines can read it.
Ok, so you’ve created your body copy and your site pages are loaded
with good old-fashioned text. But your job’s not over! Now you need
to get targeted. Search engines aren’t going to rank your web site
about socks highly if your body copy talks about foot sizes. You need
to get specific. If you sell socks, then for heaven’s sake, make
sure your site copy has plenty of references to the word socks! At the
risk of sounding like Dr Seuss, if you want to be found for, big socks,
small socks, cotton socks and wool socks, then mention them all. Better
still, sort your copy into categories based on your products and services.
If you sell blue socks AND red socks, then have a page dedicated to each
kind. This allows you to target niche keywords within your copy and meet
the relevancy guidelines for logical search queries.
It sounds so obvious, but I’m constantly amused by the number of
web sites I see selling particular items without once making reference
to those items in their body copy. For example, there are thousands of
sites on the Internet promoting web site design services right? Next time
you see one, take a look at their body copy. You’ll be surprised
how often you’ll see flashy looking sites without a single mention
of the phrase “web site design” in their page copy. Instead
they’ll use fancy all graphic pages or Flash movies. Or if they
do use body text, it might include cryptic jargonised language like “Internet
Solutions” or “online brand building”.
What the heck does this tell a search engine about their business? Absolutely
nothing. Are these sites going to be considered a relevant match for search
queries about “web site design”? No way! The creators of these
sites might think they’re being clever, but they are really missing
the boat entirely. What’s the point of having a web site if you
are going to sabotage its ability to be found?
Anyway, back to you and your web site. So now you’ve added plenty
of text to your pages and the copy flows well for the reader. You’ve
researched your keywords and phrases using WordTracker
or something similar and now you’re faced with the dilemma of integrating
the keywords into your carefully written copy. So how do you satisfy the
search engine’s craving for keywords without interrupting the copy
flow for the reader? The answer is: very carefully.
Let’s take a look at a practical example. We have a client that
specializes in luxury adventure travel. Before I optimized their site,
part of the home page copy read like this:
>> "We specialise in providing vacations for people who
want a personal service. We bring to our efforts a fanatical obsession
with quality and exclusivity. We also bring a freshness, an outward-going
passion for discovery which justifies our growing reputation as one of
the world's top travel providers. We can put together packages that include
all adventure activities, accommodation, transport and food”.
keyword research for the client had determined that the home page should
target the following key phrases:
· adventure travel
· best adventure vacations
· tailored travel
· overseas adventure travel
· luxury travel packages
So taking our original home page text, the challenge was to integrate
these keywords carefully and naturally so as not to disturb the logical
flow of the copy and lose the interest of the visitor. Here’s how
I did it:
“We specialise in providing the best adventure vacations
for people who want a personal and tailored travel service.
We bring to our efforts a fanatical obsession with quality and exclusivity.
We also bring a freshness, an outward-going passion for discovery which
justifies our growing reputation as one of the world's top overseas
adventure travel providers. We can put together luxury
travel packages that include all adventure activities, accommodation,
transport and food”.
Note that the key phrase “overseas adventure travel” accommodates
the phrase “adventure travel” too. Voila! The search engines
are happy because the site contains text content relevant to related search
queries, the client is happy because we were able to integrate the keywords
without distracting the visitor and I’m happy because I know the
site is going to rank highly for the client’s target search terms.
Now go and apply the same principles to your own site...
* Please note that web site content quoted in this article
uses British English so what you might think are spelling errors are actually
|About the author
Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization
experts in Australia and New Zealand, who is well known and respected
in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running her own
SEO business Web
Rank, Kalena manages Search
Engine College, an online training institution offering instructor-led
short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine
Optimization and Search Engine Marketing subjects.
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