“There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts.”

– Voltaire (1694 – 1778)

In the first article of this series (“Creating An SEO Strategy, Part 1: What Is Search Engine Optimization?”) we talked about what search engine optimization means and introduced the three foundational elements of a great SEO strategy: content, coding, and community.

SEO Foundation #1: Content

Simply stated: Content is why visitors come to your website.
Oh, you may entice your visitors with your standards-compliant layout and shiny logo. But after these basic introductions content will make your site sticky, and it is often what attracts your visitors in the first place.

Writing good copy is essential. Well written copy adds to your site’s perceived credibility, satisfies your visitors, and is the professional thing to do.

At the end of the first article I asked you to make a list containing the following items:

  1. What do we do?
  2. Who do we do it for?
  3. How do those people find us? What words might they use?

What You Do

I hope the “what do we do” part was easy for you; the answer your wrote down may have come from your mission statement. Now, go back and re-read what you wrote and ask yourself “is it specific enough?” Here’s what I mean:

Example: We provide medical devices to charities
Keywords: medical, devices, charities

Better example: Miami Medical manages the supply chain between children’s charities and medical equipment manufacturers for respirators, tubing, and masks.
Keywords: Miami, medical, supply chain, children, charities, equipment, manufacturer, respirators, tubing, masks.

When you are more specific suddenly you’ll see more ways in which a potential visitor might find your site and thus produce more keywords you can use in your copy. And, later on when we talk about community, we’ll have some new avenues to pursue as well.

Keep in mind I’m not asking you to rewrite your mission statement (although you may consider doing that after this exercise).

Who You Do It For

There shouldn’t be much to do here because this should have been done during the discovery phase of your website project. The “who” of step two is exactly equal to the personas you created at the beginning of your project. Remember those folks? If you haven’t done this yet, or want to revisit them, look for an upcoming blog post about user personas.

How People Find Your Site

Step three is to take a look at each persona and ask yourself what this person might search for in regards to what you have to offer. For example:

If our persona is Brenda Jones, a 37 year old mother of two, we need to take it a step further and ask what Brenda could be searching for. For example:

  • childhood asthma
  • free respirators
  • asthma charity

What you end up with is more keywords. Keywords that you can use when writing your content. These key words can and should anticipate your visitors’ searches.

At this point the copy will virtually write itself. Your job is to prioritize your list of keywords and phrases and put the emphasis where you deem it necessary. Take the time and document what you’ve found. This list will be useful when you begin writing new content as well as acting as a “checklist” for auditing your existing content. It is a good idea to distribute this prioritized list of keywords to all your content creators and editors.

A general rule-of-thumb for keyword density is about two keywords for every 400 words of copy. A 7% keyword density is what most experts quote. This helps to keep the value of the content in proportion to the quantity. Key word density doesn’t mean repeating the same word over and over again, but using a variety of the keywords you identified throughout your content.

In Part 3 of this series we’ll cover Code (or Markup to be specific). You’ll learn how some tags are more important than others and how to use those power dynamics on your own site. This is another important piece that will support your content.

Read other blog posts in this series: