How to Write Website Content for Top SEO Rankings

Posted on February 4, 2012. Filed under: CMS, mysql, SEO |

Top search engine rankings through SEO optimized web page content is explained here in detail. Top rankings are achieved through both on-site SEO optimized content and off-sitebacklinking practices. If you drop the ball on either then you will not get the results you want – which are rankings in the 1 – 3 positions of the search engine results pages (SERP). These top 3 positions represent 80+% of all organic clicks, so not being there severely cripples your website traffic and potential for sales.
Note that a lot of the content below is specific to WordPress websites. After building websites with many other tools through the years (we’ve been doing it since 1996, we were founded as a software development company in 1993) like Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, Ektron, Dreamweaver, and so on and so forth, the websites we build are content distribution enginesand distribute your content to tens of thousands of sites by simply publishing your blog post. WordPress is the only content management system (CMS) platform we currently support due to it’s compelling capabilities.

Keyword Analysis – It MUST Start Here

Before beginning writing content you need to ensure you get the best SEO value out of a pages content. To ensure this start with keyword analysis. This will tell you what kind of traffic to expect when your rankings come in. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a great free tool that gives you number of monthly searches and more. Nothing like getting it straight from the horses mouth.

Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI

Once you have completed your keyword analysis resulting in prioritized keyword phrases, you need to determine the single main keyword phrase you’ll use on any particular page or blog post. Select one primary keyword to optimize for and a few or several more secondary keyword phrases that are thematically related to the main keyword. Next you’ll need a list of keywords or keyword phrases that are contextually relevant to these keywords. This is due to the Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) attribute of current search engine algorithms. If you have a keyword density for your selected keywords and there are no other keywords that would fit into a normal conversation on the same topic then you will not get the best results. A good tool to find semantically related words is the Google Wonder Wheel. Just do a regular Google search then click the left-side Google Wonder Wheel link.

Properly Optimized Keyword Density

Keyword densities of 2 – 4% along with proper LSI content will get you top rankings. Keyword densities are just a rule of thumb to make sure you aren’t keyword stuffing and that you at least have a presence for your most important keywords. You can use this tool to test for your keyword densities: http://www.gorank.com/analyze.php

SEO Warnings – Beware of These!

Double Check When You Copy Content from Word Docs

Word has a very cryptic HTML that gets dumped into your WordPress page or post if you don’t do it right. If you paste Word content into your WordPress content then make sure you click the HTML tab to make sure there isn’t a ton of code you just dumped onto the page.
You can use the Paste from Word icon on the toolbar, but check the code in the HTML tab to make sure it isn’t bloated down with a ton of HTML.
Fair warning! If your content has all of the Word HTML then it will be unmanageable in WordPress!

Do Not Copy Content from Other Websites

WordPress comes with a tool called Press This. If you use it to copy content from a different website then paste it into your website then you stand the risk of getting banned from the search engines. We have seen it happen before. Don’t do it.

Keyword Prominence

Keyword prominence refers to where the keyword appears within any important section of a page. In general, to show importance you should place your targeted keywords at thebeginning of all sections of your page listed below like the main body content, title tag, description meta-tag, keywords meta-tag, etc.

Keywords At Top and Bottom

Make sure to start your body content with keywords, and end them with the same targeted keywords. This tells the search engines your intent that these keywords are important.

Solve a Customer Problem

If your content is valuable to others because it solves their problems then you can expect more interest. Content that focuses on only you and your company tends to get lower interest. Blog posts in particular should be focused on problem solving or providing illuminating information. An example would be timely information regarding industry breaking news like Apples press conference about iPhone 4 problems.

Write for the Internet User

Internet users are reluctant to read long passages of text. Limiting your paragraphs to 4 or 5 lines and bulleting out your main points increase the probability of your visitors reading what you write.

SEO-Optimizing Individual Page Components – In Priority Order!

Start With SEO Optimizing Your Main Body Content

Write the main body content first with keywords from your keyword analysis. Details of factors to consider and places to put your content are described below.
Once you complete this section summarize it for your title and keywords below.

SEO-Optimizing Page Titles

The most important SEO component of the page is the page title between the Your Title Here tags. It is what shows up in search engines as the link to your page. When someone searches for your money keywords and the keywords are in your title then the user sees that link as relevant. You want it to be 65 characters or less, to start with keywords and be persuasive enough to draw a click.

SEO Optimizing Meta-Description

The description meta tag should be 150 characters or less. This is the amount of text shown in the descriptive part of the SERP under the title link. If the search engine finds the keywords used in the search on the page then they’ll show an excerpt of the page content. If the keywords are not found on the page then the search engine will show the meta-description information. For this reason you want to make it persuasive and about the page content so it will draw a click, and when the visitor arrives the content will be about what they searched for.

SEO-Optimizing Page URL (Address)

When you create your page make sure you create your page address using the most important keywords in a natural way that doesn’t look like obvious keyword stuffing. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator (???) and represents the text string that appears in your browser’s address bar for every page you visit. In WordPress the URL address is defined in the Permalink at the top of the page or blog editing screen. Here is an example of a URL that uses keywords effectively: http://www.21stsoft.com/denver-seo-company/. Keep in mind that you want the URL to be relevant, but not too long. This will trigger the search engine spam filters and possibly get you banned. Watch out for pages with parent pages. Parent pages URL’s are placed in front of your new page and can make your final URL too long and spammy. Make sure your final address is of reasonable length. Also, do not use words in your URL like ‘the’, ‘and’ and other words that provide no meaning to the page. Here is a URL that is too long:

Anchor Link Text

A very important ranking factor is the placement of text links on your pages and blog posts. Make sure to use keywords in the anchor text, use a full URL (http://www.21stsoft.com/web-development-blog/) instead of a relative link (about-us.php), and lastly make sure that the target page for the link points to a relevant page all about the keywords in the anchor text. For example, here is our search engine optimization (SEO) page.

Header (h1, h2…) Tags

Using a proper hierarchy of header tags starting with your important keywords is another important attribute used in ranking algorithms.

Keyword Bolding and Italics (Emphasis)

As you can see from this article, the important keywords are in bold and italics. This separates those words and signals importance to the search engines. Note that underlining text that is not a link is a usability problem because Internet readers expect links to be underlined. Don’t underline text that isn’t a link.

Image Alt Tags

The image alt attribute is important for both SEO and accessibility – for visitors with disabilities that use readers to scan and read web page content for them. Make good use of these tags and make them both descriptive and keyword oriented for the search engines.

SEO Optimization Specific to Blog Posts

Consider the categories as the major list of topics you will be writing about throughout the entire breadth of your blog posts. Think of the tags as individual keywords you’ll write about in each particular blog post.
That being said, each blog post will have one or two categories and 3 – 8 tags that you should specify for each post.

Categories

Select an appropriate Category for the blog post. Ideally only one category per post because selecting multiple categories could trigger a search engine spam filter.

Tags

When you write posts for your blog don’t forget to add Tags for the main keywords in the content – 3 to 10 Tags should be fine. These same words should be bolded or in italics in the post content.

Your Resources, About the Author Box Section

This is your final and maybe the most important chance to draw a click to your website. Make it persuasive. Make it compelling. Make sure you have keyword-rich text with a link to your most appropriate page that will ensure a conversion when they click on the link.

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