So you’ve vetted several SEO companies and hired one to create content for you. This is an important part of your online campaign, and it allows you to take advantage of several opportunities. But what if your confidence suddenly disappears upon reviewing the first batch of content? If the sentences read unnaturally, then it’s time to take a look at the approach used by the agency to communicate your brand message.
Consider the Copy’s Function
You won’t write a landing page the same way you’ll write a long, descriptive travel piece. Keeping that in mind, think about the copy’s function. Why are you writing it, and what is the action you would like users to take after reading it? In the case of the landing page you want users to quickly respond to your offer. With the travel piece you may be setting the stage for trust by subtly communicating to the reader via your in-depth article, that your site is the place they can find the best travel content. Each of these types of content will involve specific keyword placement.
Now let’s review how to position keywords so that they inform users and signal search engines.
The Days of Keyword Density
For years many SEO companies believed (and sadly, some still do) that optimized copy has to be saturated with keywords. They worked from some established formula that said one had to insert 7 repetitions of the keyword for every 400 words of copy, for example. What these formulas fail to take into account is the human factors involved. People search for answers to their questions using search engines. They want details, a how-to, descriptions of experiences like theirs, and they want unique content that isn’t the same old re-hash that so many article sites present. Following a keyword density formula is not a user-centric method of creating optimized content.
How to Involve Keywords in Copy
Keyword stuffing is out; natural keyword placement is in. Or better put, this should have always been the case; and it has been with the best SEO companies. Place keywords in the article headline as close to the beginning as possible. Then they should be placed within the first paragraph, and maybe two or three times within the body copy. Supporting keywords can be sprinkled throughout the copy, but only if they are highly relevant; this practice is not the same as keyword stuffing.
Calls to Action & Keywords
Calls to action are great spots to place keywords. But again, don’t overdo it. The copy’s function will dictate how you use this tactic. Have your agency vary the format of your calls to action. Instead of always writing ‘Contact us for *keyword,’ have them write calls to action like this:
Remember that there are only 5 days left until Christmas Get your blue widget now!
Travel with your pet – it’s easy. Read our e-book that shows you how!
In the above examples, the calls to action are the answers to the users’ problems. They want answers and you have them; these should be your calls to action.
Read the Copy Aloud
Here’s a tip that the best SEO companies use – they teach their writers to read the copy aloud before declaring it ‘finished.’ Google has declared that user experience is more important than ever. Top agencies have always skewed their copywriting to the user base, and reading copy aloud can help identify weak sections of the article, and especially segments that are keyword-stuffed. As the client, when you review copy, give it the ‘read aloud’ test. If it sounds stilted and awkward, then ask your agency to re-work it. No one wants to read keyword stuffed copy and pages like this can contribute to a higher bounce rate.
Insist on Excellence
It may very well be that your agency will push back on their copy; they will tell you that the copy has to have a certain number of keyword placements to rank well. Insist that it be rewritten if it sounds too awkward. One way of compromising on this is to place keywords in subheads; this allows for users to more easily skim the page, and allows for an extra few keyword instances without upsetting body copy that may be highly technical in nature.
Perhaps your search through some of the leading SEO companies in Knoxville has left you a bit unsure as to who you should select as the best agency for your needs. Looking for a digital agency that understands how to write not only for search engines, but for people, too? Organically can create a custom content marketing campaign that drives targeted traffic to your website. We serve the Knoxville area plus we create campaigns for clients nationwide.