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Seven More Tips for Boosting Your Company’s Search Engine Rankings

by | Dec 11, 2009 | B2B Copywriting, Online Mktg. and Copywriting, SEO Copywriting, Website Copywriting | 0 comments

In last month’s article, we discussed five essential tips for boosting your search engine rankings through search engine optimization (SEO). But SEO copywriting is a complex subject. So today, I’d like to give you seven more tips for effectively implementing your SEO strategy.

1. Optimize pages for multiple keyphrases

According to Andy Mindel, co-founder of Wordtracker, one of the biggest mistakes companies make is limiting their focus to a single keyphrase.

Think about it. Is it likely your prospects will all use the same terms to search for your products or services? Then why offer them a single path to your door when you can have a whole system of highways pulling them in from all directions?

With good SEO copywriting, a single page can position well for several keyphrases.

I mentioned last month that the outcome of your keyphrase selection strategy should be a list of five or six targeted keyphrases for each page. Aim to include two or three of them at least three times in the body copy. Then try to include others once or twice – if you can do so without hurting readability. If your keyphrases are closely related, you may rank high for the less frequent ones as well.

The vast majority of web pages, especially in B2B, aren’t optimized for even a single targeted keyphrase. So optimizing for multiple keyphrases can easily multiply your online visibility.

2. Create longer copy

Some of your staff will balk at this one. Maybe even your boss. “Nobody wants to read online,” they’ll scream.

But consider this: If you’re optimizing for three keyphrases, you need each to appear three times on the page, minimum. That’s 27 words. How can you get your marketing message across in 75 words, if 27 of them are dedicated solely to your targeted keyphrases? It’s impossible.

So, how much copy do you need? SEO specialist Heather Lloyd of, author of Successful Search Engine Copywriting recommends 250 words. “It may seem like ‘a lot of words’,” she says, “but a 250-word count for each optimized page exactly balances search engine and reader needs.”

A longer page makes it easier to include your keyphrases without degrading readability or your marketing message. And as I mentioned in a previous essay, business readers will read long copy, as long as it engages their interest and addresses their needs and concerns.

Bear in mind, also, that if a search engine encounters a high frequency of repeated phrases, combined with a low word count, it may flag your page as spam. Providing plenty of information that’s valuable to your reader keeps the search engines happy, as well.

3. Don’t put your message in Flash or graphics

Splashy graphics and Flash animation may win awards for your graphic designer, but they won’t help your search rankings.

That’s not to say that Flash and graphics aren’t effective web marketing tools. They are. It’s just that a search engine can’t read them. Search engines need HTML text to identify words and phrases. So be sure your marketing message and keyphrases appear as such.

By the way, if you’re unsure whether displayed web page text has been rendered in HTML or in a graphic format (jpeg, gif, bitmap, etc.), there’s an easy way to check. Just hit CTRL-A. HTML text will be reverse highlighted; text captured in graphics will not.

4. Highlight your keyphrases with formatting

When we want to emphasize a key point on a printed or electronic page, we typically alter the typesetting in some way. We use formatting – boldface, italics, underlining, etc. – to draw the reader’s attention to important information. Search engine spiders know this.

Search algorithms give added importance to emphasized text. This means we can get the search engines to weigh our pages more heavily against our targeted keyphrases if we call attention to those keyphrases with formatting.

Obviously, you don’t want to underline your keyphrases each time they appear. But looking for appropriate ways to make them stand out for the reader – italicized pull quotes, bolded subheads, etc. – will make them stand out for the spiders, as well.

5. Build Inbound Links

Every major search engine has made link analysis one of the central pillars of its ranking algorithm. That’s because it’s very difficult for webmasters to “fake” good links, the way they might manipulate words and coding on the page. Link analysis compares the content of the linked pages and takes into account the traffic received by the linking page. In addition, sophisticated filters screen out “artificial” links designed to boost rankings.

As a result, building links to your optimized web pages is one of the best ways to raise your search profile.

Look at the websites of your key customers, suppliers and partners. Do any of them have content related to your products and services? Can you think of ways to draw a connection between some of their content and one of your keyphrases? If so, approach them about exchanging links. Suggest a link from their site to your site that includes your keyphrase. And invite them to do the same.

Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Strategies suggests using the search engines to find linking partners. Type in your keyphrases and look at the high-ranking pages. Companies who don’t directly compete with you will often be willing to trade links.

“By searching for your target keywords,” says Sullivan, “you’ll find the pages that the search engines deem authoritative, evidenced by the fact that they rank well. Hence, links from these pages are more important (and important for the terms you are interested in) than links from other pages. In addition, if these pages are top ranked, they are likely to be receiving many visitors. Thus, if you can gain links from them, you might receive some of the visitors who initially go to those pages.”

6. Build out additional pages to tighten your keyphrase focus

If your market is highly competitive, a good strategy is to build separate web pages and keyphrase lists for different segments of your product line.

Let’s say you make data bus analyzers. The keyphrase ‘data bus analyzers’ is very competitive. To gain high rankings, it makes sense to optimize for keyphrases that are more specific. You can achieve this by building separate pages for each segment of your product line – MIL-STD-1553 data bus analyzers, ARINC 429 data bus analyzers and AFDX data bus analyzers, for example – and optimizing for keyphrases that match each segment. You’ll cast a wider net by optimizing across a greater number of search terms. And you’re likely to rank higher on each of those more specific terms than you would on the more general, more competitive keyphrase.

In addition, if your market segment keyphrases contain a more general keyphrase, you may find that your home page or product page gets a rankings boost for that general keyphrase because of links to your market segment pages. Links to ‘MIL-STD-1553 data bus analyzers’, ‘ARINC 429 data bus analyzers’, and ‘AFDX data bus analyzers’, as in our example, would give you three instances of the keyphrase ‘data bus analyzers.’

7. Let your rankings build

Don’t expect to be #1 on Google overnight. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.

Once you’ve got all your keyphrases and exchange links in place, give your site a rest for about three months and let your rankings build. Resist any temptations to modify your optimized pages. Otherwise, the search engines will be constantly re-indexing them and you’ll lose credit you for the traffic you’re receiving.

If you want to help things along during this period, concentrate on building additional inbound links with content marketing. Create white papers, case studies and other user content related to your keyphrases. Host these externally through syndication services, blogs, social media and other external sites, and link them to your optimized pages.

Chances are, you’ll start to see an increase in traffic and rankings within a month. But if you’re not seeing results after three months, it’s time to take action. Re-evaluate your keyphrase strategy, your title and description tags and your optimized copy to try to see where you’re missing the mark. Then make changes accordingly.

Take-Away Points

Here are today’s seven tips in a nutshell.

  1. Optimize your web pages for multiple keyphrases. You’ll multiply the chances your prospects will find you when they search the web for your products or services.
  2. Use longer copy. Prospects and search engines both crave information. A longer page makes it easier to boost your rankings through SEO…and capture leads and sales.
  3. Search engines can’t read Flash and graphics. Put your keyphrase-laden marketing message in HTML text.
  4. Search engine algorithms give greater weight to emphasized text. Where possible, use formatting to draw attention your keyphrases.
  5. Link analysis is a major factor in ranking algorithms. Build inbound links to your optimized pages from related sites.
  6. Tightening the focus of your keyphrases will reduce your competition and make a Page 1 ranking more likely. One way to do this is by building separate pages for your various product lines or service categories.
  7. Once you’ve optimized your pages, let your rankings build for about three months before making any changes.

A Little Extra Added Value

If you want to learn more about search engine optimization without buying a book, two great sites are Search Engine Watch ( and Search Engine Guide (

And if you need keyphrase-rich web content to implement an SEO strategy, I can help. Call me at (+39) 011 659 4951, or drop me an email at Or, you can use the form on my Contact page. I’ll get back to you promptly.

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