Search Engine Copywriting: Focus on One Topic

Perhaps the simplest of all the lessons I have learned about writing for search engines is to keep my pages simple. That is to say, whether I am thinking about my readers or about Google, there is a huge advantage to keeping most of your pages confined to a single topic.

There are three approaches I take to the creation of a page, and each has a significant impact on how high the listing for that page appears on Google.

>> #1 ? When I don't think about Google and cover multiple topics.

There are times when a page is put up simply for the benefit of my readers and, for one reason or another, covers a number of different topics.

A simple example of this would be a page in the Excess Voice newsletter archives. I archive all issues, so visitors can browse their way through previous articles and reviews.

From Google's point of view, these pages are very unfocused. A particular newsletter might include an article on one subject, a review on another and reader feedback on yet another. As a result, Google sees a mix of unrelated topics, gives a digital shrug, and rewards me with a horrible listing across a variety of keywords and phrases.

>> #2 ? When I do think about Google and cover multiple topics.

Let's say I am reviewing a service of a fairly general nature. As an example, we'll pick a site that offers a variety of marketing services for companies online. My review may cover search engine optimization, newsletters, buying AdWords, buying newsletter ads and banners.

In other words, by the nature of the services being offered, my review tackles a number of different topics. However, I'd like to get some Google traffic to that page, so I might even use WordTracker to find some good key phrases. Then I'll include that phrase in the page title, meta tags and in the headings and text.

Will that help me? Probably not. The problem is that Google will find my key phrase, take a peek at my text for related phrases, but then find a whole bunch of unrelated topics. The result? Page 10 on Google for my key phrase.

>> #3 ? When I hardly think of Google at all, but focus on just one topic.

This is when I deliberately confine my page to a single topic. Sometimes I give very little, if any thought to keywords or Google. I simply write a good page on a single topic. I write for the reader.

What happens? Quite naturally, I will find that my page title, meta tags, headlines, subheads and text all include a logical key word or phrase, and the text is filled, quite naturally, with related phrases.

Will this page do well on Google? That depends. If the topic is very general, like 'advertising', then probably not. But if the topic is more focused, within a smaller niche, like 'advertising in German ezines', then I'll probably do very well indeed.

>> Concluding thoughts

A lot of the time, trying to get a high listing simply by packing in keywords and phrases will do you very little good.

If I have learned one thing over the last few years, it is that if I want a high listing, I need to do just one thing:

- Write a simple, focused page on a single, niche topic

On top of that, if you use WordTracker or a similar tool to find a relevant and strong, high demand/low supply key phrase, you'll do even better.

Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, speaker and advocate of good writing. You can access all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and writing for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and resources on how to make money as a freelance writer at his Freelance Writing Success site.

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