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Writing web copy for SEO

Speaking their language.

These recommendation are purely speculative and based on reviewing content that marks well. It is impossible to determine the specific criteria as it’s obviously a closely guarded secret but we can consider, in a logical way, how Google might be assessing your data.

Titles
Titles are key. It’s relatively well known that the title will weight the page in favour of the title term. Keep this as undiluted, targeted and concise as possible to match your chosen term. It is far easier to target and rank highly for a niché term like ‘Blade Runner showings in Cardiff’ than a highly-competed term like ‘Blade Runner’. However using this as a title will generate significantly less traffic than a broader term and it may also prove restrictive in future if you plan to expand this page into new areas outside of the niché term.

For our example we will be looking closely at a highly-competed term in Google that is likely to generate a lot of traffic.

‘Blade Runner’

When looking at the number 1 ranking page in Google, which happens to be a Wikipedia page, we find that the title is simply ‘Blade Runner’. This is the closest possible match to our inputted term.

SEO content example

Placement of the word in the paragraphs
A lot of high-ranking page examples that we review repeatedly feature the key-term at the start of 1/4 of the paragraphs that make up the body text. It suggests to us that the positioning of the word, in relation to the paragraph, plays an important role and emphasises the importance of the key term. Simply put – try and place your key term at the start of the paragraph.

Word relationship
Google needs to analyse large sets of data and claims to award sites favourably that are an ‘authority in their field’. OK – how might it know that you’re an ‘authority’ in your field?

A programmatic approach for handling masses of data and assessing strength of quality is likely to come from the evaluation of copy, measuring and cross-reference word relationships that Google likely has stored in their servers. In essence – we need to be speaking their language.

e.g ‘Blade Runner’

Objective field relationship words for ‘Blade Runner’:

Harrison Ford, directed, science-fiction, Ridley Scott, replicants, critics, film, screenings, digitally re-mastered, sequel, plot, cast, narrative

Subjective field relationship words for ‘Blade Runner’:

Neo-noir, burnt-out, polarised, influential, aesthetically significant, portayal

Optimum Paragraph Length

80-140 words

Avoid:

  • General, loose and generic terms like: ‘we have what you need’, ‘browse our range’, ‘to suit every case’. Always try and link your phrases back to the targeted term. General terms like these will do nothing except dilute your quality content and most probably bore your users. You could do more harm than good by including these.
  • Keyword stuffing – Don’t overuse your targeted words but do include simple variants wherever possible e.g ‘bake’, ‘baking’, ‘baker’ and ‘baked’ .

Article Relationship
Does the page contain funnel points to other articles that relate strongly and that are relevent to the target term field?

e.g ‘you may also be interested in X’ ’Source: Blade Runner on IMDB’.