Keywords, keywords, keywords…. Everybody says it, but hardly anybody understands it!
Fact is in our business I STRONGLY discourage our customers from “adding” keywords to their pages. I really have a fair and just reason for this. When shop owners set out to “add” keywords to their product descriptions for example, then end up shooting themselves in the foot… Most times. How? I’m going to tell you why.
First of they end up stuffing that key phrase “green bananas” in to their content an obscene amount of times… Making truly terrible copy, a poor shopper’s experience and inevitably screwing themselves out of a ton of very effective long tails. No gripe to the shop owners at all, its very challenging to create content with is both optimized and user friendly. As human beings we tend to have a one track mind… So concentrating on both is like a interior designer telling the HVAC contractor how to plan the duct work.
There are many ways to do both more effectively… Things like usability studies and deep effective long tail keyword research will yield far better results. However, the short and narrow of it is to create usable content. Other wise you might win the battle and lose the war!
I am going to give you some nuts and bolts common sense tips for optimizing your content without “shooting yourself in the foot”. At the end of the day, no ranking metric matters if you cannot convert a sale in your online store.
Common Sense Tips for Writing SEO Copy
Remember that search engines see pages as pages… They are not necessarily ranked as a “whole” site so to speak. Keep your pages (no matter what page) targeted and on track. Optimize your content for 1 keyword phrase and it’s variations (long tails). The broader your page’s content the more difficult to rank the page…. Every page counts!
One you have chosen your key phrase to optimize for (YES that phrase, not keyword), then you will want to determine the stemmed keywords and phrases for this key phrase. For example, if we choose the key phrases “fresh green bananas” we know that using other variations like “green bananas”, “bananas”, “fresh bananas” and such will build the relevance and strength of the key phrase. When I explain this to a customer I use a pyramid to explain how the longer related key phrases (long tails) actually support and build the “bigger box” or higher volume target phrase. The image below may give a better understanding.
You will honestly be created page content to target only 1 keyword phrase. The other long tail phrases are used to built the supporting relevance for the main target. Many times there will be phrases that do not even contain the exact targeted words that will be used to support the main phrase. For example, if you are targeting “Zen Cart SEO”, you will also be using phrases like: