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Use Words on Your Site Correctly: The Complete Guide

When optimizing your website, it is generally expected that your pages need to have certain keyword density to be ranked with the search engines. While it is a good idea to have at least one keyword on the page, you also need to remember that real people will be reading your pages, so you need to also write your text for the people.

What words to use?

Search engines try to view websites like people to better understand what the sites are about, how relevant they are to the search queries, what the intent is behind them and so forth. It means that you need to make the site relevant to your target audience, which will also help the search engines.

To use words naturally, you need to know your audience by:

  • talking to them, if you have an office or meet your customers face to face
  • visiting the websites they visit and read what they read
  • use various keyword research tools, such as WordTracker, to determine which words and phrases are more popular
  • read the news about the industry to gather the widely known or new phrases
  • be an expert in the industry your website is about, so you'll know not only your audience, but also competitors, products and so forth

In terms of making the website relevant to your customers, you need to know their needs, values and what words they use, when thinking and talking about your product

Where to place the keywords?

To create the website and pages that your visitors will understand, you also need to place the words where the visitors will see them, such as in the:

  • page titles (the title tag)
  • page headings (the h1 tag) and subheadings (h2-h6 tags)
  • text body (paragraph tags, lists, data tables, etc)
  • internal link text that you can control (from your other pages)
  • URL (the file name, file path, even if was created by a content management system)

If a page has the keyword you are targetting in all of the above points, then the visitor will understand that the page is at least related to it or maybe even about the subject. So will the search engines, which will drive targeted traffic to your website.

How to place the keywords?

Once you know the words you need to use and where to place them, you can get to work:

You simply need to write for the people, about how easily they'll get what they came for and how to get it. The search engines will follow.

You may wonder, "Why should I write for the people, not for the search engines, since they rank the websites?" That's a good question. The thing is, that though the search engines index and rank websites, people choose which website to visit by checking the page title (tag) and the snippet they see underneat (taken from meta description or from the page), so you need to make the page human friendly.

Also, it is humans who pay your bills, and you need to make sure that visitors actually convert to customers and you can only do that with human and value focused approach. Remember: the search engines follow how humans view and value websites, not the other way around.

Use the words right

But simply having the words your visitors know and can relate to doesn't end what you can do to help them find what they want on your website. You can also use:

  • words to create the information scent for your visitors (so they follow the words that interest them)
  • call to action to motivate people do certain things they want on your website, such as 'get more tips by subscribing to the newsletter'
  • points of resolution (actions that lead to the final conversion) to make the process of moving down the buying process easier

In essence, you need to use the words to inspire people action that interests them and where you can assist them. Of course, you need to have the udnerlying offers, technologies and content to make this possible, but this is another topic altogether.

Rounding up

Generally, the whole optimization thing is about making it easy for people to find what they want. If you provide what people want and make it easy to find it on your website, you've got a conversion or even a sale. Using words that your customers use is just one of the tactics to make this happen.

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Comments

I have lived by this concept for years. It makes me laugh when I see a clumsy four-word phrase that someone is bound and determined to insert four or five times into a 500 word article.

I always felt like I should write what comes naturally, and that the context of what I write about will help search engines help find the visitors that will ultimately appreciate the article (isn't that called 'LSI' nowadays?).

Hello,
What you have written in your article "Writing for the people" is a perfect description of how to write page copy. I wrote my own copy for my website and based it upon what the user of the website needed to know. Amazingly, Google recognized the warmth, genuineness, and empathy of my website and has provided me with a fourth place in less than seven months. The search engines can definitely figure out if a website's motive is to generously help people or to make a profit. I can only agree with what you said and from experience add to say 'be yourself' in your copy.
If you would like to see an example of what has become a successful website in the not for profit community services industry then, please view www.onefatherslove.com and if the website can be of assistance to anyone, please feel free to use it as you want. The only membership requirement is to want to willingly help yourself of others.
Victor Stark,
OneFathersLove.com

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