In my geeky world, updates on SEO copywriting strategy are big news.
After all, Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms… Yet at the same time, my goal is to write website copy that’ll give my clients good results not just now, but in years to come.
I don’t believe in looking for Google’s loopholes (known as using ‘black hat’ SEO copywriting strategies), I’d rather focus on techniques that’ll give enduring results.
For that reason, I’ve always focused on writing content that’s good for human readers first and foremast, rather than doing weird and wonderful things with keywords.
And the good news is that writing reader-friendly content is officially the right thing to do!
In her excellent article ‘Matt Cutts Reveals Google’s Updated SEO Copywriting Strategy‘, Karon Thackston shares some excellent tips on SEO copywriting strategy that she learned from an email conversation with Matt Cutts.
Who is Matt Cutts?
Matt Cutts is a Google employee, who works with the Search Quality team on search engine optimization issues. He is currently the head of Google’s Webspam team, and he’s the one who kinda lets the world at large know what Google is up to with algorithm updates.
So any SEO copywriting strategies and tactics from Matt Cutts is like hearing it all directly from the proverbial horse’s mouth. 🙂
What does Matt Cutts say about SEO copywriting strategy?
The key takeaway for me from Karon Thackston’s article is that you don’t need to use all the words in a keyphrase together. This is good news if you’ve been struggling to write website copy with ‘unnatural’ keywords.
Let me explain with an example…
Say that you’ve identified “widget repair Auckland” as a keyword that you want to target.
Till now, many of us have struggled to write website copy that sounds natural with a keyword like that: “widget repair Auckland” just isn’t something we’d say or write!
Well, what Matt Cutts has said is that we don’t need to cram the words in they keyphrase together: the words can be sprinkled around your web page.
Yep, you can use “widget” and “repair” and “Auckland” separately… or put it in a natural-sounding phrase, like “widget repair in Auckland”, or something like that.
(I’ve had a hunch for a while that Google is smart enough to figure this out, but it’s great to hear it confirmed from The Guy That Knows.)
And there’s more good news…
Google now has synonym technology. (A synonym being a word with the same, or similar, meaning.) This means that search results can bring up web pages that use related search terms, whereas previously only exact matches were revealed.
(Using the example above for a web page optimised with “widget repair Auckland”, your page could also get found for searches with “widget repair service” or “Auckland widget repairs”, etc.)
Caution: Matt Cutts said to Karon Thackston:
“Keyphrases don’t have to be in their original form. We do a lot of synonym work so that we can find good pages that don’t happen to use the same words as the user typed.
In general, though, if the words are on the web page (not in a spammy way, of course), that makes our job easier because we don’t have to rely on synonym matches to find good documents.”
In other words: don’t rely too much on the synonym technology!
Optimise for more than one keyword per page
What you can do is optimise for more than one keyword per page. (I’ve always incorporated secondary keywords into client copy, which is why my copywriting customers get enduring results.)
Again, I’d advise some caution here: if you use too many keywords, Google could penalise you for “keyword stuffing”… after all, cramming too many keywords onto a page reads unnaturally and looks spammy. So focus on writing high-quality, reader-friendly content first and foremost.
Focus on writing website content that’s appealing to human readers (and don’t worry too much about the latest SEO fads).