SEO Copywriting For Top 10 Positions
By Karon Thackston ©
The wording of a web page can influence its ranking on the search engines. Copywriting
techniques, sometimes just involving one or two words, can have a dramatic effect
on SE rankings.
involving SEO copywriting recently.
Before I do, however, I want to make a couple of things very clear.
The outcome of this experiment will not be the same for every keyphrase on
every page of every site. There are too many unknown factors at play in the
SEO equation. Not to mention, all keyphrases are not the same, and all sites
are not the same. In addition, this experiment takes no account of link popularity,
which is a huge factor in achieving high rankings. With that said, let me show
you how I took the home page of one of my sites - that didn't even rank in
top 50 - and caused it to rank in the top 10.
First of all, I'm not a big
fan of checking rankings on a regular basis. I don't run ranking reports for
all my sites to be sure they are all in the positions I want them in for every
keyphrase. I'll do it from time to time just to satisfy my own occasional
curiosity. This experiment began when I noticed the home page of one of my
sites was ranking highly for a keyphrase that didn't seem to appear anywhere
text. Upon further investigation, I saw that the keyphrase was included in
the ALT tags (a.k.a. image attribute tags) and that it was also included in
I knew ALT tags previously carried a lot of weight with the
engines, but had been downgraded in importance because site owners had badly
abused the tag. Had ALT tags been reinstated in their level of importance?
decided to find out.
Keyword #1 was currently in the ALT tags and the
title tag, so I decided to eliminate the keyword in the title tag. This would
let me see if the ALT tags alone could hold the position in the search engine
results pages (SERPs). To make things more interesting, I also decided to
research and find a keyword that was a little more competitive and insert it
into the title tag. On the same day I removed Keyword #1 from the title tag,
inserted Keyword #2. My home page was not ranked in the top 50 at that time
for Keyword #2.
A few days later, the Googlebot came by and boosted my home
page to position #18 for Keyword #2. Not bad! The page fell one spot (from
#17 to #18) for Keyword #1 since the removal of the phrase from the title
Keep in mind, these are not the most competitive keywords ever
known. They each got between 100 to 200 searches a day. Also, the home page
of this particular site had been (and still is) well ranked for years for other
keyphrases and had a positive legacy with Google.
Five days later,
Keyword #2 was moved up three notches to a ranking of #14 while Keyword #1
stayed the same. Things remained in their status quo for roughly 10 days and
then began to shift again. Keyword #1, the original that was previously in
the ALT tags and the title tag, vanished completely. It was not found in the
top 50. Keyword #2, that was only found in the title tag and nowhere else,
to position #25.
Four days later, Keyword #2 was back up in the rankings
and was now at #16. To see if I could improve rankings further, I began to
make small tweaks to the page attributes. I added Keyword #2 to the ALT tags
the places where Keyword #1 had once been), and I also added Keyword #2 to
the body copy. The keyphrase was added to one, bold sub-headline and at three
within the body copy: none of which were above the fold. It was not added to
any primary headlines that used H> tags, and no keyword density formula was
followed for the body copy. No other pages on my site used this term as anchor
text in links pointing to the home page. That gave the page keyword placement
Seven days later, the
home page hit the top 10 for Keyword #2!
So, what does all this mean?
Simple. There is no single primary factor in search engine rankings.
It takes balance, testing and tracking to find out what works for your
pages. Your best bet is to do exactly what I did. begin one step at a
time and track
your progress. Did something cause a positive movement? Keep it. If something
causes a negative shift, take it out.
I'm not finished with this page
yet. I'll keep trying different things from time to time just to see
what happens. Maybe I'll add anchor text links from the internal pages
page. I might try writing articles with keyword-rich anchor text links
to help boost the rankings more. There are many acceptable practices
I can implement
this page (or any page) that will allow me to observe the shifts in
As the old saying goes, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." A
diversified approach to SEO copywriting that includes tags, copy and
links is always a wise
start down the road to top 10 rankings.