There has been countless posts on writing for the web, but it generally seems that copywriters (and designers, for that matter) know very little about SEO.

We’ve seen it many times: a company writes their own content or hires a copywriter. They might also hire a designer for a new site. Both the copywriter and the designer completely ignore SEO (or aren’t aware of it to begin with), and the client ends up with an incomplete product that will need to be optimised later.

At Morning Copy we offer SEO services for clients in all industries. However: onsite SEO is included in every design and copywriting project we complete – because there really is no point doing something twice!

We’ll revisit designing for SEO in the future, so here are some thoughts on SEO and copywriting.

1. Use headers just like these

Anyone that knows about writing for web knows to break up pages using subheadings but very often the writer will simply make the font bold and larger. Why not use a header tag? Your page title should be a h3 and the page should follow a tree format as below:

h3 Page Header

h2 Sub Head 1

h3 Point 1

h3 Point 2

h2 Sub Head 2

And so on. Basically, search engines place extra emphasis on header tags, bold and italic markup. Don’t go over the top, but certainly use each of these elements on your keywords.

2. Interlink

Keep them clicking! Interlinking your own content and providing external resources is essential on the web but it’s important to optimise each link. If we were going to promote our article on styling Google Forms, we’d link using the anchor text Google Forms, not like this: read the article here. I mean, who wants to rank for “here“?

This is a very common mistake and one of the things we often fix first when optimising onsite.

3. Use images correctly

Images are great, but get the most out of them! Firstly, host the image on your own site, if you can. That means the Google image bot can crawl your images.

Name the images with your keyword. DSC0097.jpg is useless. Morning-Copy.jpg is much better.

Then use the alt tag to describe the image again:

img src="Morning-Copy.jpg" alt="Morning Copy"

If every alt tag is unique you’ll get a double thumbs up from Google!

3 Responses to Writing for web and SEO

  1. Luke Latimer says:

    I didn’t realise the importance of italics! Good tip.

  2. Great article. I’ve written about all of these things on my blog since they seem to be ignored in many cases.

    People get all worried about keyword density which probably doesn’t help nearly as much as people make it out to. I tend to get the most search engine traffic for words that have header tags (like you mentioned) and from images that I have tagged.

    I look forward to more work from you :)

  3. Jaxter says:

    very nice tips for beginners! im still lost on few of them

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