Need easy SEO tips on how to write better product and service copy? Here are some helpful writing tips I received from Dutch SEO trainer Bob van de Vooren. This article handles the building blocks of good web copy. Much more is involved in writing for the web, but these tips will get you started.

  • Start with the most important message first
  • 5 Ws and how
  • Mobile friendly: fewer words and characters
  • Keywords: less is more
  • Create an informative title
  • Each subject should have it’s own paragraph
  • Start with the most important message first
  • Use lists and charts
  • Highlighted words
  • Informative links

Start with the most important message first

Exactly where do you begin? Your most important message is the first message to get across. Visitors are impatient; their eyes begin at  the top of the screen and then travel downwards. Important messages at the bottom may never be read.

5 Ws and how

Begin with an introduction of 50 to 70 words in which the 5 Ws are mentioned (where, why, what, who, when and don’t forget how). Describe your product or service’s benefits by illustrating ‘what’s in it’ for the customer. Use these 5 Ws to do so.  

Mobile friendly: fewer words and characters

Mobile devices are used more often when searching the web. All the more reason to pay attention to the number of words in a sentence. The maximum being 15. Of course, this optimal word count is a rule of thumb. Sometimes longer sentences are needed to express an idea.

Keywords: less is more

The days of adding numerous keywords are over. The maximum keyword density is now three percent. So use synonyms instead of the same keywords.

Take mobile users into consideration by limiting your title characters to 40. The same goes for your meta-description; keep it down to 117 characters. And make sure your alt text is short and relevant.

Create an informative title

Create a catchy title summarizing the essence of the story. A good H1 title (header tag, often the titel of a page or post) is essential.

Each subject should have its own paragraph

Make it easy for visitors to scan your copy. Create informative subtitles that describe the main idea of the paragraph (what it’s all about). In general, your text should be approximately three to four paragraphs long. Each paragraph should be no longer than five lines in total. Add a link ‘Read more’ at the end for additional information.

Use lists and charts

Lists and charts make it easier for your customers to absorb information. It’s faster than reading an entire paragraph. A chart offers your customers a quick overview of complex data. Wheelhouse Advisors’ infographic on marketing predictions for 2015 is a good example.

Highlighted words

Another way to break up copy into legible chunks is by highlighting a word in bold. Sparingly, otherwise this handy tool will defeat its own purpose.

Informative links

A good link tells the reader what the subject is. When possible, it’s better to explain what the link refers to instead of using ‘Read more’.

Building blocks in place

These are just some ‘nuts and bolts’ useful in structuring online copy. Once the groundwork has been laid, other best practices can come into play.


Copyright image: ‘How to seo a website’ by SEOPlanter

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