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Search Engine Optimization - The Down and Dirty Details

By Jon Wuebben, Professional Website Copywriter
Wednesday, May 25, 2005; 11:00am EST

Today, being on the first page for your most popular keyword phrase is like having the most memorable prime time television commercial in 1973.

Essentially, that's where the power of advertising is going. It's all about Search. And Search is only going to become more important over the next ten years. If you can get on that coveted first page organically, well then, more power to you!

I know you probably have read other articles about writing SEO copy and how it relates to achieving high search rankings, there are plenty of them to go around. But some of the articles are complicated; some are too long, others boring. Still others don't explain that great SEO copy is rarely effective just on it's own ' in order to get those high rankings (which is the goal after all), you have to do other things too. So, we decided that what most people really needed was a 'down and dirty', easy to understand, ten step method. You ask, and we deliver. Here are the official ten steps in order:

1) Check your Competitors
Who are your competitors? Do you know? If you don't, you may want to go online and do a search for your product or service. Who is on the first two pages? That is your target. Those are the companies that you want to compete with. Because right now, they are getting your customers. Take a look at their website. Notice the copy. Analyze their business. Are they successful? What are they not doing right? Look for the holes. You're going to meet the needs of their customers (that they are not fulfilling) so they become YOUR customers.

2) Research your Keyword Phrases
Remember, Keyword Phrase research is critically important. It can also be a little tricky. Do you know what keywords or keyword phrases your customers search for when they look for you? Are you sure? See what your competitors are using. You can do this by right clicking on their home page, selecting 'View Source' and then checking their keyword meta tag. Next, go on to Overture.com (Now Yahoo), click on 'Visit the Advertiser' section, and use their Keyword Selector Tool. Its great ' and its free. You can also use Wordtracker.com, but it does cost $7.50/day.

3) Write Good Copy
Now its time to start writing. Or re-writing. And if you can't write, you can hire a website copywriter to do it for you. The bottom line is to write about benefits, not features. Don't tell them how great your company is. They will discover that for themselves when you overwhelm them with your service and deliver the perfect product that meets their every need. Make the copy to the point and snappy. Make it sure it has impact, and asks the potential customer for their business.

4) Integrate Your Keyword Phrases
After you figure out which keyword phrases you want to use on your site, you need to integrate them into the copy of your site. Think Home Page and Services page as the most important pages to use them on. Essentially, you want to them to make up 5% of the total words on the page. It's not that hard actually. Just don't use them all over the place like some stupid copywriters do ' you could get de-listed from the search engines. Definitely use them in your headlines and sub headlines. That will get you extra points, so to speak.

5) Check your Links, Build if necessary
Do you have any inbound links pointing to your site? If not, no amount of awesome copy is going to get your site high rankings. Links are very important. And even more so for Google. Go to linkpopularity.com and see what you have. Also check your competitors. If they have more than you, you need to get some high quality links. You can either do that yourself or hire someone to do it for you. It can be time consuming and expensive. But you gotta do it. It makes you look important to the search engines. A good way to do it is to make sure you are listed on directories, including DMOZ and industry related sites. Go to incominglinks.com to see which ones you should be listed on. Then write articles and submit them to article submission sites. That could potentially give you hundreds of links for free.

6) Use Go Rank's Analytical Tools
GoRank.com is a fantastic free resource for SEO. They have a Keyword Density Analyzer, Link Popularity Analyzer, Top 10 Keyword Analyzer, Research, News and lots of other great stuff. It's a great tool and something I use every day. It will help you in your SEO copy efforts.

7) Submit to the Search Engines
After you've ensured that your website copy and all the other important SEO considerations have been completed, it's time to submit to the Search Engines. Do it manually. Go to the search engine and do it yourself. Definitely don't pay someone to do it for you. You may have to resubmit a few times, but eventually, your site will get noticed.

8) Tweak the Copy as necessary, Add New Content
After your site has been up for a while, go back and take a second look. Ask friends and customers what they think of it. Can anything be improved? You'll be surprised what you may hear. If something isn't working, fix it. Make it sound better. The other thing that you should also be doing is adding content regularly. Build free resources into your website. This will make your customers and potential customers happy, and it will make you appear to be more important in the eyes of the search engines. Adding articles to your site is a great way to give your customers new, free content. Write about things that they would find interesting.

9) Partner with a Great SEO Firm
You may want to also consider partnering with a great Search Engine Optimization firm. There are probably a hundred very good ones out there. There are also 1000 bad ones. For the good ones, check out topseos.com. and marketingsherpa.com. They both list reputable firms. Whoever you go with, make sure they have a list of client success stories complete with stats to back it up.

10) Measure Your Success!
Finally, measure your success. (or progress) Get a software program that will provide you with some web metrics as it pertains to your site. WebTrends and Statcounter are great ones. There are quite a few others as well.

As you can see, Search Engine Optimized copy is only part of the overall SEO story. There is a lot to it, so make sure you cover every area. After all, we want to get your web site to the very top!

About the Author
Jon Wuebben is a professional Website Copywriter, SEO Copywriter and Advertising Copywriter with 10 years experience in B2B & B2C copywriting and marketing. He can be reached at (909) 437-7015, or online at http://www.CustomCopywriting.com for any copywriting project you may have or if you would like more articles or a Complimentary Website Copy analysis.

Need a custom newsletter or e-zine article written? Call Jon Today at (909) 437-7015 or email jon@customcopywriting.com for a professional Website Copywriter, SEO Copywriter, or Advertising Copywriter.

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