Writing Effective Content

Once a set of keywords and keyword phrases have been identified, the content of the website can be developed.  Keyword and keyword phrases will be one of the biggest factors that influence the search engine ranking of a particular page.  Once a website is indexed by a search engine spider or robot the keyword and keyword phrases included in the content determine the general topic of the site.  Effective content is also used to rank its importance for that topic.

Writing effective content for search engines is much more than writing keywords and keyword phrases throughout the text of the website page.  In fact, the search engine algorithms are sophisticated enough to detect “keyword stuffing”.  Keyword stuffing is considered to be an unethical search engine optimization technique where keyword and keyword phrases are constantly repeated throughout the content.  Most of the major search engines will impose penalties on the page, thus reducing the overall ranking of a “stuffed” page.

Keyword density becomes extremely important when writing website content.  Keyword density is the ratio of keyword or keyword phrases in relation to the total number of words on a page.  While the search engines do not publicize the ratio it is recommended to keep the keyword density between 4 and 8 percent.  For example, in a 500 word article for a website, it would be acceptable to include 20 – 40 keywords spread throughout the entire article.

When developing content for a website it is important to keep the writing as natural as possible.  Writing content that appears to be written simply to include keywords will make reading the page difficult.  Visitors to the website should not have to struggle reading and interpreting the content.  As a general rule of thumb, never sacrifice clarity to squeeze in extra keywords.

It is important to keep in mind keyword proximity as well as keyword density when developing website content.  Keyword proximity is exactly what it sounds like and refers to how close target keywords are used together in content.

To understand the effect of keyword proximity, consider the search term “internet marketing strategy” and the sentence “An effective internet marketing strategy will help improve visibility of a company online.”  This sentence would rank better in the search engines for the keyword phrase than the sentence “To improve the visibility of a company on the internet, businesses must rely on an effective marketing strategy.”

The keyword proximity in the first sentence is much better than in the second sentence and in theory, the first sentence should rank better for the chosen keyword phrase.  However, other SEO factors, both onsite and offsite factors influence the overall ranking of a page.

Develop a writing style that will utilize both keywords and keyword phrases throughout the content while paying attention to both keyword density and keyword proximity.  Writing should appear natural and relatively easy for readers to follow.  Use clear and concise sentences that are well structured and free of both spelling and grammatical errors.

Incorporate the top keyword or keyword phrases near the top of the page.  Where possible weave them into the text between four and six times in the first several lines of text.  Some search engines have a tendency utilize the first three to five sentences when ranking the content on an entire web page.  Writing content to take advantage of this can improve the overall optimization of the page.

Look for opportunities to include keywords or keyword phrases at the beginning of paragraphs and at the beginning of sentences.  Properly utilizing this will improve the flow of the entire content as well as provide better keyword proximity.  Plus, as search engine robots index content on a web page, including keywords at the start of paragraphs and sentences presents and appearance of importance for those words.

Throughout the entire content development process, utilize opportunities to include keyword and keyword phrases as page and section headings.  Bullet lists also provides similar opportunities.  Each of these creates the perception of importance for the items being highlighted.  Search engine robots will take this into consideration when indexing a page and determining the jest of the content, as well as the important keywords.

Pay particular attention to how other keywords and phrases are included throughout the content being developed.  If an article must include secondary keyword and keyword phrases make sure that these do not have the same keyword density as the main ones being used for page optimization.  Do not confuse the search engines by including too many secondary phrases.  Those secondary keyword and keyword phrases that are sued should be directly related to the top keyword phrase being optimized.

No one said that making money online is going to be easy.  Developing properly optimized keyword rich content is time consuming.  However, the benefits realized through writing effective content will guarantee continued organic traffic from the major search engines.

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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2 Responses to Writing Effective Content

  1. Luana says:

    Loved this article 🙂 Thank you for sharing, Barry.
    I also wrote something about keyword intensity on my last n0t.info post directed to advertisers. I hope I can get some feedback on that article (my site is still new though..).

  2. Ninah says:

    I used to write articles for clients with 4% keyword density or higher. These days though it seems lower densities work equally well. It helps when you know where to put the keywords.

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