Entries Tagged 'search engine optimisation' ↓

Why Page Rank Changes Over Time

This is What Matt Cutts Has to Say

How often do you check your rankings?

There are some people who are so obsessed by their rankings that they check them daily.

Personally, I think that’s madness. You’ll run the risk of sending yourself potty over the slightest fluctuations and I’d much rather spend that time generating content, working and networking and keeping myself 100% focused on my business goals.

A lot of people are noticing at the moment that their content is ranking really well to start with, but then takes a nose dive.

This latest video from Matt Cutts explains why this happens to your content.


Hopefully, that video will answer a lot of questions for you.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd

Why Title Tags Are So Important

Of all the aspects of search engine optimisation, the importance of the title tag has remained constant and yet it is all too often overlooked.

This simple line of code packs a mighty punch because it:

  • Highlights to Google and the other search engines the relevance of your website in relation to a keyword
  • Makes you stand out from everyone else
  • Attracts potential customers to your website

In fact it is one of the single most important ranking factors.

For those who are new to all this stuff, let’s take a step back.

Where is your title tag?

As I mentioned earlier, your title tag is a simple line of code.

It sits near the top of your web page’s source code and looks something like this:

<title>Copywriter | freelance copywriter | copywriting services<title>

(That’s one of mine that I’ve used as an example.)

Every page of your website should have its own unique title tag.


Because every page of your website is indexed by the search engines, not your website as a whole. So by using different title tags for each page you increase your chances of being found in the search results for a range of different keywords.

Now that doesn’t mean to say you’ll instantly appear at the top of Google, the rest of your web page also has to be optimised too, but getting your title tag correct is a step in the right direction.

How do you write it?

Before you allow your creativity to run away with you, Google only allows up to a maximum of 70 characters for your title tag, so you don’t have a lot of room to play with.

It’s important to use your keywords, but make sure your tag is meaningful, especially when selling a product.

For example if you’re selling designer dog collars, make sure that goes in your title tag, if there’s room why not add a price too?

If local search is important to your business adding in your location will also be of benefit. As for your company name, it’s not essential it’s there, but if you’re a well-known brand or your company name is synonymous with the product you’re selling, it would be good to include it.

Your title tag is basically a signpost telling Google what your page is about and the content of your site should back that up with relevant, high quality writing. Working together they will help your website become more visible in the search results.

SEO Copywriting Had Changed Not Died

For many years now, businesses have turned to their trusted copywriter to create their website copy.SEO copywriting is dead


Because they knew that the way their content was written would have an effect on their search rankings, in other words they needed SEO copywriting.

Now for me ‘traditional’ SEO copywriting is no more, especially in light of Google’s recent algorithm changes that has put more emphasis on good quality writing as opposed to that which is over optimised.

Let’s face it, that’s not a bad thing as finally, we might be able to say farewell to those awful web pages that are completely incomprehensible because they are stuffed to the rafters with keywords.

So are copywriters now redundant?

Far from it.

Google adores good quality content. That means stuff that’s:

  • Well written
  • Adds value to the reader
  • Interesting and relevant

And that means it should still be written by a professional because they do it every day and therefore are really rather good at it.

You see the misconceptions that SEO copywriting is all about including your keywords at least 15 times in your copy, or stuffing them all within the first few lines of your page, or just getting copy out there that the search engines read because people don’t read it anyway are exactly that, misconceptions.

SEO copywriting is and always has been about writing good quality content that’s focused on the reader and communicates with them in a conversational, simple to understand way.

Basically, the copy should always be written for the reader and not the search engines. Google or Bing aren’t going to come knocking on your door, credit card in hand, looking to buy your products or services so why write for them?

If you produce great content that entertains, educates and engages then customers will walk through your door because it shows that you ‘get it’.

Sadly, SEO copywriting has a long way to go before the myth of keyword stuffing is debunked for good. In fact, I was working on a web copy project recently for a client who, unbeknown to me, was working with some ‘marketing experts’ to get his business on track. He’d asked me to produce his web copy, which I duly did, focusing on the benefits and reader. After reviewing it and agreeing it, he then sent it to these ‘experts’ who came back saying ‘this is not SEO copywriting, there is no optimisation…’

Was I fuming or what?

After explaining once more about SEO copy and offering to send his ‘experts’ some information from Matt Cutts that backed up my work, they went quiet. It’s a shame, but that just goes to show how indoctrinated people are about SEO copywriting.

Over to you

I could bore for England on this subject, but rather than do that how about having your say?

Whether you’re a copywriter, marketer or business owner, what are your thoughts on this?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your views.

Negative SEO – Matt Cutts Tells All

What is negative SEO?

Well, you know what SEO is, right? It’s a way of optimising your website so that appears in the search results.

Negative SEO is a way getting your competitors websites penalised by Google by various means, including poor or downright bad links.

Since Google’s last updates (Panda and Penguin), the search engine has been placing more emphasis on the quality of links pointing to a website. So, in theory, it’s possible to get sites penalised by creating loads of ‘dodgy’ links.

Before you start having sleepless nights, here is a video my Matt Cutts to put your mind at rest.



Sally Ormond – Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd

Website SEO – Structure

Over the years I’ve written a lot about search engine optimisation (that link will take you to a series of posts covering everything from keywords and on screen optimisation to link building and dodgy SEO practices that should be avoided), but mainly in relation to on screen SEO copywriting.

This post looks at the other side of SEO – your website’s structure.

As this also plays a vital part in your ranking success, it’s about time I gave it some coverage. However, a word of warning, I’m not a web designer or coder, so this is all stuff I’ve picked up along the way (i.e. it won’t be really technical).

I guess a good a place to start is your website’s navigation.


Q: What is the purpose of your site’s navigation?

A: To help your visitors find their way around your site easily and for the search engine spiders to crawl your site easily.

Did you see that? The word ‘easily’ featured twice in that sentence – that should give you a clue as to where this is going.

There are 2 main things to say here: the first is that your navigation should be coded in such as away that it’s easy for the spiders to crawl it (i.e. not in Flash or JavaScript); secondly, think about how deep your website is.


Depth is basically a measure of how many clicks people need to make to reach the inner pages of your website. The more layers they have to click through, the harder it is for them to navigate.

People (and search engine spiders) like to find the information they need quickly and easily and don’t take kindly to having to dig deep to find it. So, if possible, make sure your website only has a maximum of 3 clicks to find the information needed. This will help your rankings (in conjunction with your other SEO activities) and reduce your bounce rate.

That’s why it’s vital you plan your website’s navigation and structure from the outset rather than just letting it evolve.

Internal linking

The depth of your site thingy is OK if you’re a relatively small company, but what happens when the size of your business demands a big website?

That’s where good internal linking comes in to play.

There are 2 types of links relevant to SEO:

  • External backlinks – those than point to your website from one unrelated to your site
  • Internal backlinks – links that connect pages within your own website

Why is it important to link between your own pages?

Well they have a number of SEO advantages: such as decreasing the number of clicks need to access information deep within your site (benefiting the spiders and readers); giving you the opportunity to use keyword rich anchor text links; improving user experience.

So, whenever you add a new blog post, page or article to your website, make sure you use relevant anchor text links to link it to other related information within your website.


The last item on my list is your URL structure.

Using your keywords within your URL structure will definitely help your SEO, so make sure all your sub-pages use keywords relevant to that page.

Not a lot more to say about that one.

Over to you

That’s a very quick, non-techy perspective on website structure and search engine optimisation.

So come you on techies out there, what have I missed out?

If you can offer some nuggets of wisdom, leave a comment below and enlighten the masses.