Three steps to address before optimizing for search engines

Before we get to incorporating keywords in your copy…

A search engine will never buy a product from your site. Only people will buy.

So while every page must address the priorities of search engines, the primary purpose of the text on every page is to help, engage, and sell to your visitors.
Keep that sense of priority in mind. Pages that are written with search engines as their primary audience do not work well with real people, and they convert very poorly.

Keeping in mind that our primary audience is prospective customers, here are three steps to address.

Step 1: Make your text helpful
A website is a hard place for people to find what they want. In a physical store, you can usually take in the whole place with a single glance. With a catalog, you can leaf through the pages from beginning to end. But on a website, you have dozens of pages linked together, you can see only one page at a time, and it’s much harder for people to find what they want.

Keep that in mind and write text that helps people find what they are looking for. Anticipate what kind of help your visitors want. Figure out what three or four things 80% of your visitors will be hoping for. Then make those three or four topics prominent on your homepage and write text to take visitors by the hand and walk them through a simple pathway of pages that culminate in the order page.

Step 2: Engage your visitors and help them to like you
If your visitors quickly come to like you, they will feel more comfortable. They will feel safer and will be more likely to buy – not just once, but many times. In your case, you already have a likeable subject…dogs.
So write in a style that will make vegetarian dog owners feel comfortable. Write to them in the same tone as you would speak to them over the kitchen table, sharing a cup of coffee together.

And don’t forget your great-grandfather! How wonderful to know that the roots of this vegetarian dog food business lie in the work of your family from three generations before. Do you see how well that ties in with the fundamental values of a vegetarian?
Write a whole section and use multiple pages to address the history of your business. Show your visitors how your values as a family and as a business tie in with their own beliefs and priorities.

Step 3: Make the sale
Once you have helped people find what they want, and made them feel comfortable about buying from you, now is the time to make the sale. Don’t be shy. When you get people to the sales page, you want to maximize conversion rates. Write copy that sells.
How do keywords figure into all of this?
Once you have your complete site figured out, and have outlined pages that are designed to attract, engage, reassure, and sell to your human audience, it’s time to optimize those pages for the major search engines.

Pages that are written with search engines as their primary audience do not work well with real people and convert very poorly.
Look through the subjects of the pages you plan to write, and use Wordtracker to find the best keywords for those pages. Make a note of the best keywords for each page. Pick a secondary keyword…and also make a note of related keywords.
Now comes the interesting part. Now we are going to set you apart from people who write their pages for search engines instead of for humans.
It isn’t hard to find keywords with Wordtracker. Mostly it’s a matter of putting in the hours. What is harder is to incorporate those words and phrases into a web page without compromising the message to your human audience.

How to use your keywords without spoiling your copy:
If you want the “secret” to incorporating great keywords into the flow of your content and copy, here it is: forget about the search engines.
I mean it.
This is where most people stumble in their efforts and produce second-rate text for their pages.
People think they are including the keywords for the benefit of the search engines. They are not.
Sound confusing? How can a search engine have a preference for a particular word or phrase?
So banish the search engine spiders and bots from your mind. These great keywords Wordtracker has found for you are valuable hints as to what and how your prospective visitors are thinking. They give you clues about what people want and the kind of language they are using.
Identify keywords that are frequently used by your prospects but are yet undiscovered and unused by your competitors.
Finally, it’s time to write.
Use the keywords as your guide to writing pages that meet the interests of thousands of prospects. When you include these words or phrases in your page titles, headlines, sub-heads and text, it’s not to “please” the search engines, but to say to each reader, “Yes,  you’re in the right place. This is where you’ll find what you’re looking for.”
In other words, with every step, you are writing the text to please, help, and serve your human readers.
You are writing pages that are intensely relevant to your prospects’ interests. And when you do that at every level, including the addition of those phrases people are using in their searches, the major search engines will reward you.
Why? Because, to serve the needs of the people who use them, search engines look for pages that are highly relevant to people’s searches.

In conclusion…
Simply use the keywords as part of the process of writing content and copy that helps, engages, and sells to your visitors.

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