How Bad SEO Copywriting Flow Is Ruining Your Business (And Why SEO Is Good For Humans)

How Bad SEO Copywriting Flow Is Ruining Your Business (And Why SEO Is Good For Humans)

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series SEO Series

There’s one thing that could be ruining your online business…

….And you may not even be aware of it.

In fact, many female entrepreneurs don’t even do this.

What am I talking about?

SEO Copywriting. To be more direct, bad SEO copywriting flow on their website.

Let me explain.

When you write your title tag and meta description tag, you need to write them as if it were a paid advertisement.  You want people to click through to your website.

The problem is that many people choose keywords that are not relevant to attracting their ideal customers.

The title tag ends up being stuffed with keywords that people aren’t searching for and the meta description does not compel people to click through to their websites from the search engines.

You Need To Create An SEO Flow Pathway

First, I need to credit expert SEO copywriter Karon Thackston for introducing me to the concept of SEO copywriting flow.

When someone enters a query into the search engine box and reads your search engine listing on the search results page (SERPs), you goal is to get people to click your web page.

To do that, you need to create a pathway for people who are searching for your product or service on a search engine.

Karon says, “this path is to lead directly to your website.”

Let Me Walk You Through A Real Life Example

You type in a keyword phrase into the search engine query field box. Let’s use the keyword phrase “landscape garden design.”

Search engine query

SEO copywriting flowSEO copywriting pathway
This is the search results page for this keyword phrase. You’ll notice the keyword is in bold and underlined. (Based on google.com.au results).

Scroll down the page and there are listings that read:

  • Secret Gardens of Sydney: Sydney Landscape Design
  • Peter Fudge Landscape Design
  • Outdoor Landscape Design
  • Jenny Smith Gardens
  • Garden Design, Landscape Design, Landscaping

These are pretty boring page titles and aren’t encouraging me to click on the links. There’s no real point of difference between them.

The SEO copywriting process starts at the title tag.

This is the first impression people have when they come upon your website from a search engine results page. Not only is the title tag relevant to help identify to the search engines what your web page, it’s also important to entice people to want to click on your web page.

How To Create A Title Tag

Let’s look more closely at the title tag with one I pulled out of the results page.

page title

 

This title tag doesn’t do anything for me. It just has a keyword phrase and a company name. Pretty boring and not very compelling.

This is the most important tag when it comes to search engine optimization. Google gives it a lot of weight when deciding if your web page is relevant to the searcher’s query and determining what your page is about.

You need to write a unique title tag for every single page of your website.  It’s not your website that gets ranked; it’s each individual web page.

That means you need to optimize each web page individually.

Including keywords in the title tag helps searchers understand what your site is about. But that doesn’t mean you stuff it with keywords. It is still a piece of copy that needs to be compelling and to persuade the searcher to click through to your site.

Your title tag can be any length but only about 60 to 65 characters of that will show on the search engine results page. That means you need to ensure your most important information appears within this limit. When you see an ellipsis, such as in the title tag above, it means the title tag was cut off.

The search engines will still read whatever you put in the title tag so you could write a paragraph or more if you want to. But to compel your prospects to click on your site, you want to include your most important information in the visible section of the title tag, which is before the 60 to 65 character mark.

Unless your company is a recognizable brand that people are searching for, I would encourage you to put the name of the company at the end of your title tag. Google gives a lot more weight to the first couple of words at the beginning of the title tag, which means these words should be keywords you want to rank for.

Karon says “the important thing to remember is to be consistent with the topic of your title tag, the topic of your description tag, the topic of your headline and the body copy on your page. That’s what the flow of SEO copy is all about. Step one is the title tag and you guide your prospects through to the call to action, which will be on the web page itself.”

How To Create A Description Tag

The meta description tag is your prospects second impression they will have of your website.

SEO Meta description tag

As you can see, the keyword phrase is highlighted in bold in the meta description tag.

The meta description tag is NOT used for ranking purposes. It’s not an SEO device but rather a persuasion device to convince your reader to click. My only suggestion would be to start with your keywords and not at the end as in the example above, so the first few words stand a good chance of being bolded.

Due to readers’ tendency to scan in an F-shaped pattern, this is far more likely to draw the reader’s eye if the keywords are in the first couple of words of the meta description.”

- Glenn Murray, Divine Write Practical SEO Copywriting (affiliate link).

Even though the meta description tag is not used for ranking purposes, whenever you see the keyword phrase “landscape garden design” appear in the title tag and the meta description tag, it is bolded. This helps the searcher identify the keyword phrase and further validate what they’re searching for.
The search engines will only show about 150 characters of the meta description on the results page. That means you need to write your most important information above that cutoff point. Similar to the title tag, the meta description will be cutoff with an ellipsis.

Remember, SEO is as relevant to search engines as it is to help people identify and understand what your web page is about.

How To Continue The SEO Flow

To continue the SEO flow, the key is to be consistent with the topic of your title tag, description tag, headline and copy in the web page.

I’ve included a great example of consistent SEO copywriting flow. (This example also appears in Karon Thackston’s fabulous SEO Copywriting Flow kindle book). 

The keyword phrase entered into Google are “copper letters” and “copper sign letters.”

SEO copywriting flow tag set

 

SEO copywriting pathway finished tag set

You can now see the keyword phrases are in the title tag and the meta description tag.

Not only that, the keyword phrases are carried through in the heading and the body copy. When a searcher reads the title tag, the description tag and then clicks through to the website and see the keywords in the headline and body copy, there’s a consistent flow of SEO copywriting that is likely to result in you attracting more of your ideal clients.

It’s Not Only Search Engines That Benefit From SEO

When you insert relevant keywords in your meta tags and body copy, you are not only helping the search engines determine what your web page is about but you are also helping prospective ideal clients identify and understand what you are offering.

It’s people that buy your products and services, not search engines. The copper letters example above is a great example of SEO copywriting that is well-optimized for search engines but also relevant and persuasive to readers.

If you believe that SEO is not relevant to your online business, you are terribly misinformed. Ignore at your own peril.

A person who understands how search engines work will have a BIG advantage over someone who just hopes for the best. 

Help Me To Help You

If you have any specific questions about how to write web content that gets found on search engines and SEO copywriting flow, leave a comment below asking your question.

I hope you’re enjoying this series on SEO and are using these tips to attract more of your ideal clients to your website.

If you know someone who is overwhelmed and frustrated with trying to write web content that attracts both the search engines and humans and you believe will benefit from this series, then share this with a friend

(Here’s the first article in the SEO series, Why Females Suck At SEO Writing. Here’s the second article, 3 Ways To Get Romantic With Google. And you’re reading the third article).

In my next blog post in this series, I’ll show you HOW to find keywords that your ideal customers are searching for to find you. You can’t create a search-engine friendly website without first knowing what keywords your ideal clients are searching for.

Want the real story about SEO, marketing and web content writing without the jargon-y mumbo jumbo or the macho-man style delivery? You are in the right place.

Series Navigation << 3 Ways To Get Romantic With Google How To Choose Keywords For Free To Attract Your Ideal Customers (Without Pulling Your Hair Out) >>

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12 Responses to How Bad SEO Copywriting Flow Is Ruining Your Business (And Why SEO Is Good For Humans)

  1. Nicole March 7, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Thanks Sassy, you are giving me quite an education. I also feel empowered that one day I might actually be able to do this!!!

  2. claire gillenson March 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Brilliant! I had no idea about this! Ha, and I just wrote a blog post yesterday. Thank you, it inspires me to go back and correct the recent ones when I have time.

    • Shae
      Miss Sassy March 11, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Claire, let me know how you go. Glad it helped.

  3. Taryn March 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Wow this one article taught me so much! Thank you. My question ius this: when going through the SEO macinations in a WordPress theme it suggests to chane your URL to increase but I am unsure about this because I wonder if changing it makes it more difficult to find rather than one automatically generated? Do you recommend changing the URL and is there anything that needs to be done in addition to changing it?

    • Shae
      Miss Sassy March 11, 2013 at 9:13 am #

      Hi Taryn

      You need to be careful when you change any URLs after they have been published. You need to set up a 302 redirect. Before you publish any new posts, it’s best to shorten your URL structure. You control this and it’s a perfect opportunity to create a URL with primary keywords and to remove non-functional words such as “it”, “as”, “the”, “and” etc.

  4. Jeff George October 29, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi Sassy, how do you feel about interchangeable focus keywords? Do you think that Google would rank a post highly if it was written on the subject?

    • Shae
      Shae October 30, 2013 at 5:48 am #

      HI Jeff

      No problems about the multiple comments. I welcome them :)

      Yes I agree with you. Interchangeable focus keywords is important. It’s important because each page should have a unique title tag anyway. I recently finished up with a local SEO client. They’re a function venue targeting wedding venue terms in Melbourne. I could have created identical title tags for the homepage and the wedding page but I didn’t, There’s not a lot of difference between them but they use slightly different keywords.

      But I still created the SEO pathway from the title tag tag right through to the meta description and then through to the H1 tag on the page itself. The reader would clearly understand what page they’re on after clicking through from the search results page.

      • Jeff October 30, 2013 at 10:33 am #

        Thanks for the reply…

        Maybe I can explain this better. When I say interchangeable focus keywords, I mean…

        Let’s say you are optimizing a landscape company for the Bloomfield, Michigan area. You would first want to pick a good focus keyword and then build the title tag around that focus keyword.

        Here is an example of a well optimized title tag for a landscaping business that also does lawn care (like most of them) targeting the Bloomfield, Michigan area.

        Landscaping Bloomfield MI | Full Service Landscape Michigan | Lawn Care Company

        Notice how you can make the following keyword phrases out of the above title:

        full service michigan landscape company, lawn care company bloomfield mi, bloomfield landscape service, and etc.

        Now that I made it more clear, what do you think about this concept or technique and how would you think Google would rank a post that covers this?

        I started practicing SEO techniques in 1998. Since then, I have seen this way of writing titles used with other techniques put many websites either in the top 3 for their targeted keywords or rise in the ranks fast. Please understand, I am aware the title tag is just one small piece to the SEO puzzle. I guarantee page 1 results. However, prior to accepting payment or taking on a client, I do a thorough market analysis and keyword research. After all, If I don’t succeed, I have to refund my fees.

        • Shae
          Shae October 31, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

          Hey Jeff

          I love it. And clearly it works and is still very readable and probably provides a better user experience. That’s a technique I am going to start using on my local SEO clients. I must say I haven’t used this technique before.

          • Jeff George February 27, 2014 at 11:33 am #

            Sounds good, Shae. I’m sure you are going to find that it works really well. Reason being, is the robots read and incorporate every word in the title tag and then break these words down by noun, verb, location, etc. The more interchangeable all the words in your title tags are, the better you will do in the SERP for a larger variety of keywords also. I have tested this technique many times in the last 5 years and I have yet to find a good reason to not use it. The days of keyword stuffed titles are long gone. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me through my website. Have a great day!

  5. Jeff George October 29, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    I meant to include “when writing titles tags”
    Sorry for the multiple comments.

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