The copy on your website is the single thing that the Search Engines give the most weight to when ranking your site. Now, there are a lot of elements that the Search Engines consider when placing your site. In this post, I’ll be talking about the major things that you can do to your body text on your site to make sure that the Search Engines have some solid text to work with. There are more specific tactics that you can use with other areas of the site, but these will give you a good start.

  • Plenty of copy: Website copy is one case in which less is not more. You may have noticed that the copy on the average website is getting longer and longer. This is because it works! The more copy you have, the more often you can use keywords and improve your ranking for certain topics, without making your text look too repetitive. And, website visitors are more and more willing to read more text on a site these days – especially if that text is presenting valuable information instead of being blatantly promotional.
  • Keyword strategies: If you write long website copy, but you’re not strategic about the words that you use in the copy, then there’s always a chance that even the longest of copy won’t work well to raise your ranking. To explain why, let’s take a (simplified) look at how the Search Engines read and evaluate your website copy.
  • The Search Engines have little robots, called spiders, whose sole job is to crawl around the web (meaning, to go out and visit lots of web pages, which they find by following links) and examine the copy on websites. They look over the site, and first they’ll discard the common words – a, and, the, they, he/she,… words like that. They’ll sift through all the words on the page, looking for the most specific words that they can find.

    These specific words are referred to as keywords. The Search Engines place a lot of importance on keywords from two angles. First, they’re the words that they examine your site for and base your ranking on. Second, they’re the words that Search Engine users will type in when they’re starting their searches. So, when you’re creating your keyword strategy, and planning the keywords to use in your site, you want to consider both angles.

    The Search Engines look at your content for keywords, and they rank you based on the frequency with which those keywords appear on your site relative to your other text. This is referred to as keyword density.

  • Articles and information-rich text: This is one other powerful technique for getting both a lot of keywords and a lot of information that visitors will want to read into your site. When you write articles and informative text, there’s a natural reason to include your keywords in the copy frequently. And, using keywords frequently in this context tends to look natural to your human visitors as well. So, this is a good technique to increase your keywords and make your text compelling and interesting for your visitors at the same time.
  • How to code your text: It’s a common website beginner’s mistake to create their first website in a Search Engine unfriendly way, such as making the site entirely in Flash, or designing important text information on a site, like the home page text or headlines, as images. While it might look a bit nicer to be able to use a less generic-looking font, the Search Engine’s spiders can’t read text that’s formatted in this way, so you’ll be making a strategic mistake if you take that route in your design. It will also make your site’s text more difficult to revise.