Avoiding The Perils And Pitfalls of Online Copywriting

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Web content should appear natural to an actual reader. An active voice will present reasons for viewers to go on reading. This may include tutorials, how-to guides, or other tips and tricks. Content quality also depends upon proper grammar and spelling. But is that all? Not exactly …

Your audience includes more than actual readers — search engines are perusing your site, looking for clues to help them place you in the rankings, but also looking for ways to exclude your content for breaking the “rules.”

Here are some proven techniques to produce high-quality web content, increase readership, and build an authoritative web presence.

1.  Keywords And Key Phrases

Keywords or key phrases are used to enable better search results. The main keyword is the focus of content and should be in the title. This main term should be used in the title, and the first heading. It should also appear in the first and last sentences of the text and within the body, ideally near the middle. At least 100 words must separate appearances of the main keyword.

2.  Keyword Density And Semantically Related Words

If you are writing for a client, other keywords or key phrases may be requested for the content body. Terms should be used once per heading, but not more than one term per heading. Keyword stuffing is to be avoided – a  2% density is a safe way to go. For content of 500 words, this is no more than 10 appearances.

Semantically related keywords should often be used as part of the document. These terms are frequently used terms for searching on Google.

Synonyms may be used, but moderation in needed to keep density low. Other related terms may also be used, but take care not to bore readers. The content should be interesting, intriguing and original!

3.  Number Of Characters For Ease Of Reading

Structured limits on the length of sentences and paragraphs tailor content for accessibility and ease of reading. Sentences typically should contain no more or less than 60-70 characters each. Each paragraph should have at least 135 characters, but less than 210.

Character length is ideally between 180-210 for each paragraph. This includes punctuation and keyword use for every sentence. Sentence structure should reflect an active style that is easy to understand.

4.  Headline Lengths For Ease Of Reading

Headlines must be in active voice, and invite readers to continue to read. This is often done by giving them a preview of the content via subheadings.

Headlines should stay between 45-64 characters each and be creative.

5.  Can Near-Duplicate Content Harm My Site?

Near-duplicate content is content that is nearly identical to another. This is often the outcome when the original text is edited or altered. These near-duplicates may be created by hand or through the use of software that spins text. This means that many new copies are created from one core text. Copies may not make coherent sense when compared to professional copy.

In many cases, near-duplicates are used to submit to the same site. This can harm a business when it is used to populate for searches. In some instances, content may be rejected from from websites like blogs or article directories.

Search engines such as Google have taken measures to to avoid indexing such copies. When near-duplicates are found, they may be ranked lower than others, or not indexed at all.

Conclusion

Writing optimized copy for a website can be a complex undertaking, but every business will enjoy far greater success by creating high-quality original content. The welfare of your business relies on employing good web copywriting strategies.

About the Author

John S. Britsios (aka Webnauts), founder and CEO of SEO Workers and Webnauts Net, is a Technical Search Engine Optimization & Social Semantic Web Consultant, specializing in web content accessibility, usability testing, oblique search engine optimization, social media marketing and conversion rate optimization.

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