Web Content FAQs
Trying to keep up with the changing ways in which search engines analyse and rank websites based on their content can be very hard. On this page you'll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about website content writing and development.
Frequently Asked Questions About Developing SEO Content
- What keyword density should I be looking for in my web content?
No one should be looking at keyword density any longer. Integrating your chosen keyword occasionally and in the right places is still valuable, but today it can often be dangerous to try to use your keywords any more than you would naturally. If your keyword density is anything more than 1.5 - 2% then you're almost certainly going to find problems getting your content listed by the major search engines. Instead SEO content today needs to be about natural language, written for a purpose.
If you write relevantly about a specific topic then you will inevitably include vocabulary which relates closely to whatever your keyphrase is. Maximising this approach whilst integrating the keyword as sparingly as possible, yet making sure that whenever you do include it, it's in exactly the right places will be a much more effective and successful long term approach.
Today the only reason you might be thinking about keyword density is if you suspect that you have accidentally included your keyphrase too frequently, even though you were writing naturally. This can sometimes happen, in which case it's often best to think of alternative words and phrases which you can use to take the heat off your primary phrase.
If you're in any doubt, let us handle your web content writing as we can provide many years' worth of experience and expertise in getting the balance just right.
- Is there a difference between SEO web content and normal sales content?
Historically there has been a very distinct difference, but there's no real reason why there should be. Thankfully today the search engines are now smart enough to be able to spot content that's only been created for the purpose of optimising for the search results, which ironically often has the effect of lowering the position at which the website appears.
The problem is that if you create content which is specifically created to work as SEO content you will invariably find that it offers little or nothing to real visitors. Often it's difficult to read, sounds awkward, offers very little real information and sounds more as though a computer is talking than a real person. This will inevitably make visitors feel undervalued, and turned off.
Today the search engines are monitoring the behaviour of your visitors, and using their actions to help decide how good your website is. If you create content solely for the benefit of the bots and spiders then it's likely your visitors will leave pretty quickly. Visiting a website that's listed on the search results and then returning to the search results seconds later is called bouncing, and this is now likely to be very damaging to your rank.
It's critical therefore that today there is no difference between your sales content and your SEO content. Good SEO writers are able to create sales content and useful information in such a way that it also works brilliantly as search engine optimised text. Achieving this balance between the two doesn't mean you're watering down your SEO, but actually doubling up the chance of success as your visitors are now more likely to give the search engines a positive impression of your site by staying there for longer.
- How much text should be on each of my web pages?
Clearly this will vary depending upon the nature and style of the website, but as a general rule a minimum of 350-400 words is required for the text to be picked up by the search engines. You need to keep the attention of your visitors and so you don't want too much text either. A maximum of around 1200-1500 words should be considered.
If there isn't enough writing then there won't be a sufficiently broad vocabulary on which the search engines can judge the relevance and importance of the text. At the same time though it's important to break down large passages of writing. The use of sub headings is one way in which text can be structured to both help real visitors, and indicate the relevance of the content to the search engines too.
- Should all my web pages focus on the same keyword/keyphrase?
Ideally not. The best way of maximising the chances of brand visibility through the search results is to spread your bets and create a longer list of related keywords and keyphrases, with each web page focussing on a slightly different aspect of the overall subject. This isn't to suggest that each web page should focus on a synonym of your primary keyphrase, but a different sub category of the topic.
For example, if your primary keyphrase was 'electric lighting' you may have one web page focussing on light bulbs and one on light fixtures. Beneath the page on light fixtures you might have a dozen pages, each of which focuses on a different style or category of light fixture, such as chandeliers, spots, uplighters and so on. By sub-dividing your main category into related sub categories not only are you able to provide a better overall structure for people to find the information they need, but you're drawing them further into your website, as well as providing very good, solid SEO.
Remember that each page should include your primary keyphrase in the page title, in the descriptions meta tag and within at least one <H1> tag.
- I've heard that SEO content should be optimised for LSI - what is this?
The letters 'LSI' stand for Latent Semantic Indexing, which is a method used by the search engines to help identify the likely relevance of web content to the identified subject. So if your web content is all about electric lighting it would be reasonable to assume that your vocabulary will include a wide variety of words and terms related to that subject, such as fixture, cable, wire, bulb, power, shade and so forth. The search engines cross reference your content with known reliable, well written and trusted sources of information on the same subject, and identify whether the breadth and range of your vocabulary matches that which might be expected.
Poorly written, unreliable content, perhaps written purely as SEO content, might well include the primary keyword which makes the subject matter obvious, but if you are too concerned with including the primary keyword in your content you may well miss out a wealth of vocabulary which could significantly increase the perceived relevance of your website. This is why experienced, expert SEO content writers today use a wide subject related vocabulary in order to maximise the apparent relevance of the content, significantly improving the chances of it being listed higher up the search results.
If you write to a high standard, write naturally and keep your audience in mind this tends to happen more than if you simply focus on keyword density. By combining precise placement of the keyword with precise, structured placement of semantically related vocabulary SEO content developers can create web pages which not only sound natural and provide useful, valuable content for real visitors, but web pages which do extremely well in the search results too.
- What is the best way of approaching SEO web content development?
Obviously the first step is to have a clear idea of what your primary keyphrase or keyword needs to be. This gives your content a clear focus. The next thing you should do is to identify a purpose for your content. In other words, what is the point of having several hundred words on the page? Who will it be aimed at? What are you trying to provide them through your writing? What needs do they have which you feel you can fulfil through providing valuable, useful information? How will you structure it in a way that will encourage them to read it?
If all you do is start writing whatever comes into your head, forcing your keyword in wherever you feel you can get away with it then you'll very quickly lose your readers' attention, and they may well leave your website and head off to a competitor's site instead. This is not only a lost sale, but their behaviour will be noticed by the search engines, resulting in your site potentially being demoted, and your competitor's site promoted.
Having a clear idea of what information you want to convey, and why, will help you to create SEO web content which is natural, and includes relevant keywords in a way that's organic. If you write well and provide genuine value then your visitors are likely to trust you, to stay with you, and you may well gain not only their custom, but also their positive behaviour as far as the search engines are concerned.
SEO web content must be well researched, original, valuable and well structured, as well as including your primary keywords in very specific hot spots, and incorporating a wide variety of semantically relevant vocabulary. It's a lot to ask for, which is why so many businesses use SEO content developers such as The Mightier Pen to carry out this essential work.
- How often should I update/replace the web content on my pages?
It is important not to let a website stagnate, and including fresh new content fairly regularly is important. If you have a blog integrated into your website then this will help, as long as it is regularly updated. But the pages on your website should also be reviewed fairly regularly - certainly every few months. It's a good idea to create a schedule so that over the course of a year you review every page of your website.
If you have a site of just a dozen pages then this obviously means reviewing, adapting, tweaking or re-writing one page a month. If your site is considerably bigger then you may need to look at several pages a month, making fewer changes perhaps.
One of the hardest aspects of this process though is not so much knowing how often to review pages, but knowing what you're looking for. Understanding how the search engines have changed, what's now working and what isn't, what your visitors are looking for, how they're reacting to your content and how you could improve it is not easy, and often requires specialist knowledge. This is another reason why SEO content writers are often used by businesses to both review existing web pages as well as creating new, fresh content.
- Can I reuse web content in other ways, such as on my blog or for article marketing?
Most people assume that you can't reuse content from your website in your article marketing, or vice versa, because of Google's 'duplicate content penalty'. The truth is that Google has made it explicitly clear many times that they have never had any such penalty and do not actively penalise websites for having duplicate content.
Having said that, Google do still want to make sure that they are providing a broad spectrum of relevant results for their users. So whilst Google won't deliberately punish you for reusing content in multiple locations, it can still be a practice that backfires.
If you publish an article on your website, and then publish that same article on a high profile article directory, Google is likely to come across both examples of the article, and prioritise one over the other. This is usually simply a case of choosing the first version it comes across. This might be your website, but it might easily be the article directory, especially if Google has already made a note to scan that site regularly because of all the fresh new content being published each day.
That means that whilst the copy of your article published to the article directory is ranked well, the version on your website will be considered duplicate content - even if it was actually published first. Your website will therefore rank lower than the website where your article was first spotted by Google's spiders. So although you won't be actively penalised by Google, your website can still suffer.
Additionally it's worth noting that content written for a website is usually constructed in a completely different way from content written for publication on article directories. It's always best to determine where content will be published, how it will be used, who it is being aimed at and what it is trying to achieve before writing it, rather than trying to create a one-size-fits-all article you can spread around and re-use.
- How should I integrate SEO content into my web pages most effectively?
Well written, fully researched and expertly structured SEO web content will make a massive difference to the popularity of web pages both as far as real people are concerned, and with the search engines too. But it's important to integrate SEO content effectively, and this means topping and tailing appropriately. There are several key points to follow:
1. Include the primary keyphrase once near the beginning, or at the beginning, of your page title.
2. Make sure that every web page has a unique title (remember this is the most obvious element of your listing within the search results).
3. Include your primary keyphrase within a summary or description included in the page description meta tag.
4. SEO web content should include titles, which should include the keyphrase. Make sure these titles appear in <H1> tags.
5. If your text is very long, consider breaking it up with subheadings, and/or using expanded text sections, as on this page.
6. Include pictures where possible and appropriate. Remember to rename the image file so that it includes the primary keyphrase before uploading to the web page. Include alt text and a title for each image, including the primary keyphrase where possible and appropriate.
- Does it matter whether my text is at the top or the bottom of my web pages?
Yes it does. Google and the other major search engines tend to give more weight to text that appears in the upper part of a web page. The theory is that if it truly is valuable and relevant you'll want your visitors to see it, in which case you won't be hiding it at the bottom of the page where fewer people will notice it.
Years ago unscrupulous internet marketers used to create highly optimised, keyword stuffed content that was really quite appalling, and they knew it. This is why they hid it way down at the bottom of the page, often placed inside a fairly confined text area which meant that you had to scroll to read it all. Almost everyone ignored this text, which was what the developer wanted as it was written purely for the search engines, not for real people.
Today search engines penalise this sort of behaviour, and so they'll be looking for those areas of text which are most visible to your real visitors. If you need to include quite a bit of text and you're concerned that this will push the rest of your page contents down consider including just the title and a teaser paragraph, with a 'read more' link which expands the text, a bit like the method used on this page.