seo 5 Tips for SEO

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					5 Tips for SEO & User-Friendly Copy
Posted by CT Moore on Mar 10, 2011 | 15 Comments
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You hear it time and time again: content is king. It‟s king because it‟s
what users want, and it‟s king because of SEO – i.e. if you don‟t have
good content, you‟re not going to rank.

Of course, not all content is created equal. While over-optimizing
content for search will make it less than user-friendly, focusing too
much on usability can compromise its searchability.

So how can your content walk the line between SEO and usability? Well,
there are 5 easy tips you can follow when trying to walk your content
down that fine line between SEO and usability.
1. Length of On-Page Content

The ideal minimum length of page copy for SEO purposes is 250 words. So
where your user experience permits, you should have 250 words (or more)
of actual inline content – i.e. not headers, not sidebar content.

That being said, 250 words is just a minimum. As a general rule, the more
content the better. In fact, I‟ve personally noticed that when a page has
1,000+ plus, it has a much better chance of ranking for the keywords that
it‟s optimized for.

Of course, there are pages where it doesn‟t really make sense to have so
much content. In such cases, 250 words of content would disrupt the user-
experience and push interactive features below the fold.

Some examples of this are a category pages on blogs or ecommerce sites.
In these cases, you might want to optimize the categories for a certain
niche/vertical of keywords, and added 250 words of text at the top of the
page would help.

But from a usability standpoint, categories exist so that users can
navigate/browse products or content within a category. So adding 250 word
of text would disrupt the user-experience by pushing those
product/article links below the fold.

A decent compromise in such cases is to insert a bit of static content at
the top of main-content area of your category pages. Generally, 300
characters (about twice the length of your page‟s meta-description) is
enough to (1) get some descriptive keywords on the page, but (2) keep the
category links/listings well above the fold.
2. Scanable Line Paragraphs

Knowing that you want at least 250 words on each page, how do you make
that content as usable as possible? That is, how can you make it scanable
so that users are not deterred from actually reading it?
As a rule, you should aim for 3-4 line paragraphs (2 sentences). Of
course, in some circumstances, a paragraph warrants more than 2
sentences. But by keeping paragraphs within 3-4 lines (5 lines max), you
can create a text-experience that users can easily scan, making them more
likely to actually consume the content.
3. Headers

Now, what do you do if you have more than 250 words on a page? If you‟re
talking about more than one product or service? How do you keep the user

Well, you do that by structuring your content. Basically, you should
section off your content using header tags (e.g. <h2> and <h3>). This
will create a break in the content that (1) makes it seem easier (i.e.
„not as long‟) to read, and (2) provides visual cues to pull the user‟s
eye through the content.

From an SEO perspective, moreover, the keywords in headers help you clue
search engines into what your content is about. For example, three
headers might tell search engines that three different (but related)
topics are being discussed on the page.
4. Keyword Density

Keyword density is how often a keyword appears on a page. Depending on
who you ask, the ideal keyword density is anywhere from 2%-5%.

The only problem with this is that even at the low-end, this can make for
unnatural prose. For instance, if a keyword makes up 3% of all words on a
page, the user will probably notice that that keyword appears quite
often. In fact, it will make your copy seem robotic, non-compelling, and
generally spammy.

Where you can fit in these extra keywords, however, is in your header
tags. Indeed, by using keyword variation to draw up optimized header
tags, you can gain an extra 1% of keyword density without making the
actual copy seem contrived and unnatural.
5. Bullet Lists

One of the biggest copy tradeoffs between usability and search is bullet
lists. While bullet lists help make content more scanable, search engine
regard them as “broken content” – meaning that they don‟t quite count as
much as other page copy when it comes to their keyword density. There are
two ways to get around this.

First, you can use a bullet list at the top of the page to outline the
page‟s content. This will help cue the user into what they can expect as
they read through the page, which will help them better navigate the

If you do go this route, however, make sure that   (1) you have 2
sentences/3 lines preceding the bullet list, (2)   you have another 2
sentences/3 lines following it, and (3) there is   a minimum of 250 words
of “unbroken” content on the page. This will not   only put the bullet list
in context for user, but it will help ensure that search engines properly
index the page.

Alternatively, you can simply place a bullet list further down in the
content, as part of the one of the subsections. If sufficient content
precedes a bullet list, that bullet list is less likely to factor large
into how that page is indexed.
Content: Kings & Jesters at Court

A general rule to mitigating tradeoffs between search and usability is
developing content for humans, not for search bots. After all, at the end
of the day, search engines are out to provide users (real human beings)
with the most relevant content available.


If you take every possible step to optimize your site for   search, chances
are you‟ll produce some rather non-user-friendly content.   And the paradox
there is that the less user-friendly content is, the less   engaging it is,
and the less likely it will be to attract backlinks or go   viral.

So you should always think of the user before you think of the search
bots. But always keep in mind that there are some elements you can add to
a page that both increase usability, and help optimize your page for SEO

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Description: So how can your content walk the line between SEO and usability? Well, there are 5 easy tips you can follow when trying to walk your content down that fine line between SEO and usability. 1. Length of On-Page Content