How is writing for SEO (search engine optimization) different than how we learned in English Language Arts? Some of us paid attention to grammar and punctuation, and others, well not so much. Writing for web algorithms (spiders) is not the same as writing for people.

A website is your businesses cornerstone of information on the web. Anyone from around the globe can find you and your product and/or services. Or can they?

I can build websites for my clients all day, but a website won’t do them any good if the copy on their site is written for people. You see, the spiders that go out and search for content on the web don’t look for the same things that people look for. Remember the adage, “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it”? If you are still writing web content for people, then you are doing it wrong. The spiders will completely ignore copy written for people.

If the spiders ignore you, you won’t get found by the people who need your business. If your website can’t get found then your browser ranking won’t improve, and you will be buried on page 10 of a Google (or any other browser) search. Nobody searches 10 pages of results. If you are not on page 1, then your business doesn’t even exist on the web.

So how do you get noticed by spiders?

Determine your key word or phrase. Some words are too generic so using a long tail key phrases work better.

Outbound links: At least 1

Internal links: At least 1

Keyphrase in introduction:

Keyphrase length: 4 words optimal

Keyphrase density: 2 times is perfect, more than 4 is too much

Keyphrase in meta description: Put keyphrase or synonym in the meta description.

Meta description length: This is the description of your website that shows up in a Google search right under your SEO title and website name

Previously used key phrase: Use this keyphrase on only one page of your site. Each page has a different keyword or phrase

Image alt attributes: Give your images Alt names with keyword or phrase in them and a description of what the image is about

Text length: The text needs at least 300 words

Keyphrase in title: The exact match of the keyphrase needs to appear at the beginning of the SEO title.

SEO title width: About 6 words

Keyphrase in slug: This is your page permalink

To write for spiders I use Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is an open-source web plugin. You get more options from Yoast Premium, but the basic free plan is excellent too. You know you have done a good job when all the indicator lights turn green. In my next blog post, I write about website readability scores. Yes, folks, Yoast scores your website copy on ease of reading too. I know it is a lot to learn for some of us, but well worth the learning curve to build our businesses. And isn’t that what we are here for?