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Although decent organic search engine optimisation (SEO) continues to rely hugely on content, the standard of copy needed to work effectively continues to rise.
It used to be that some fairly horrific keyword stuffing could see a website soaring up the rankings, but fortunately now the portals look for ways to assess copy's popularity and usefulness.
This is primarily done by assessing the number and authority of any links pointing viewers to a page, and this development is really how Google seized its position as a market leader.
However, for a web page to rank well, it still needs relevant copy on it. Without targeted use of keywords, search engines cannot know whether or not a page is relevant to a query.
A number of websites struggle to find ways to present such copy without looking contrived. The visitor experience is paramount after all, you can rank as highly as you like but unless your pages appeal to readers, there is little point in driving traffic to them.
How can a corporate website fill its pages with such valuable, keyword-rich copy? Here are a few simple solutions.
This is a great way of providing really targeted content. If your firm regularly blogs about its goings on and any sector news or developments, it will naturally use a number of the words and phrases that relevant searchers are likely to be looking for.
As an added bonus, authoritative, useful and interesting blogs will often attract inbound links from sector-specific bloggers, which will do wonders for your ranking.
Blogging is also a good way to break down that formal barrier between you and your consumers. It can help communicate with them in a much more informal setting and build relationships.
It can be difficult to create regular posts and devote the time needed to such endeavours. Try and set yourself a target number of posts to create each week and stick to it.
Product and service descriptions
Each and every time you describe a product or service on your website, you should do so using new words. If service X gives a customer A, and service Y gives them A and B, a webmaster should use new ways to describe A and not simply copy and paste the previous terminology.
This increases the relevant and unique content on a site, which is of great interest to search engines.
All copy on a website still needs to appeal to human readers and should be exciting and engaging.
While rising in the search results is good, it is not an end in itself and your content must be targeted towards encouraging sales, sign-up, or whatever the action is you seek.
Many companies put out press releases quite often and many more should. There are so many bloggers and industry-specific publications out there that it just makes sense to offer up releases for publication.
If you have conducted some market analysis which is interesting, put out a release. If you have poached a major player in your industry from the competition, put out a release. If you land a major new client, they will probably want the coverage too, so get some quote and put out a release.
By archiving these releases on your pages as well, you offer up yet more consumer-relevant material to the search engine spiders.
Publish these releases on your own website before sending them off to the various distribution networks. You want to be seen as the original source for the release before it is published throughout the web.
In some industries, it is appropriate to publish guides and these can be a really useful means of adding popular, static content to your pages.
Creating such content does not mean you have to give away your hard earned knowledge or sector secrets, you just have to offer information which may be of use to your target consumers and which contains highly relevant words.
So, a puppy coach could offer a guide to grooming a pooch, a price comparison site could offer a guide to credit cards, an SEO firm could offer advice on creating cracking corporate content...
This kind of information can help fill your pages with really relevant and keyword-rich copy, as well as offering visitors valuable advice.
It is important to make such advice timeless where possible. If your guides become dated or worse, incorrect, you look weak to your customers.
These can be really tricky to build a following for but really effective. If you can encourage clients and visitors to take part in a forum then you gain relevant content.
One good way of encouraging participation is an 'ask the experts' section. Here, one of your own staff can respond to people's queries and questions, offering insights and tips.
By taking the time to participate yourself, you really up the chances of your forum being used.
If you are unable to maintain the momentum, your forum will be fairly pointless and rarely visited. It can be a bit of a catch 22 situation; in order to attract visitors and enthusiasts, your forum needs to be filled with visitors and enthusiasts.
By posting yourself and encouraging staff to take part, at least in the early days, you increase the chances of your board taking off.
Not all the ideas listed here will be relevant to every business and it is important to use methods which match your company image. Give careful thought to how you present yourself online as that is how a huge number of customers will form their first opinions of you.
There are many other ways of building decent content, beside those noted here. Feel free to list a few more if you think I have missed any!
Kevin Gibbons is Director of Search at SEOptimise .
The views of the author do not necessarily represent those of the publisher.