When it comes to writing web copy you are writing with two audiences in mind.
The first one is the readers of your website and you will be concerned with whether or not the content is easy to read, entertaining, interesting, factual and useful. The other audience who you are writing for is the search engine, making sure that you have the idea word count and that your keyword has been inserted the right number of times for an optimum ratio. This ration should be somewhere between 1-5%, with 2-3% being the ideal.
However, sometimes it can be a struggle to find the right balance between keyword ration and readability. A piece of web copy might have the keyword repeated frequently enough for SEO purposes but when it is read by a human it sounds unnatural and awkward. When we speak or write naturally, we don’t usually repeat the same word or phrase so many times in a row!
It is a difficult art, but it is possible to write web copy which has a good keyword ration and yet is also natural-sounding to your readers. Here are some tips for turning up your keyword ration without dialling down your readability:
Insert Your Keyword into the Page Title
Take a look at the title tag which is within the Meta data of your site page. Does it include your keyword phrase? This is a great way to increase the keyword density of the page without having to even touch the copy. It will also help to communicate what the page is about when it is seen on search results. In Google, the relevant search terms in your title will be bolded with the user’s search query.
Add Some Headings
Have you used your keyword phrase in the headings of your web copy? This is especially useful because search engines consider words within heading tags to be more important. If your web copy does not have headings, consider adding some for this reason. It will also help to divide up larger blocks of copy and make them easier to read.
Don’t Forget Your ALT Tags
Another way that you can add another keyword into your page without having to change the copy is to insert the keyword into the ALT text of any images on the page. The search engines will pick this up and count it towards your keyword density. Also, if for some reason your users have trouble loading the image, the ALT tag will let them know what it is supposed to be.
Use Different Stop Words
When a search engine is reading through your site to determine keyword ratio, keep in mind that it skips over small and frequently used words such as “and” “the” “of” “at” and “but”. These are known as “stop words”.
By varying the stop words that you use, it is easier to slip the keyword into your copy multiple times without being too repetitive. For example, the phrases, “Restaurants on Gran Canaria”, “Restaurants of Gran Canaria” “Restaurants and Gran Canaria” and “Restaurants in Gran Canaria” are all the same to a search engine but they offer different ways to incorporate the words into your writing.
Use Shorter Keywords
It is much more noticeable to the reader when a phrase of four, five or six words is repeated in a text, since by its nature it is much less flexible. Stick to phrases of about two or three words which will flow more naturally within the writing.
These are just a few ways that you can increase the keyword ratio within a page without making it unreadable and awkward for your visitors.
Here are some tips for writing web copy with an optimal keyword density which is still readable to the user. If in doubt, hire a Digital Marketing Agency for some expert help with your web copy.