By Karon Thackston © 2009
As a copywriter, I’d love to tell you that every site on the Web needs tons of copy. However, the simple truth is not all do. Many sites simply produce better sales when they use more graphics than words. Since search engines are hungry for text you have to use copy if you plan to get ranked high. Quite a dilemma, isn’t it?
So what do you do if you operate an ecommerce site that uses more pictures than copy? Don’t despair. There are some strategies that can help you reach a happy medium satisfying both your visitors and the engines.
1. Use Captions – Place keyword-rich descriptions under each image on your pages. Just a sentence for each one can add up and help define the purpose and topic of your page.
2. Break the Copy Into Sections – Instead of having a large block of 250-350 words of copy in one place, break your copy into small sections. For example, place a headline and three sentences at the top of the page, a few words above your bottom navigation bar, and a short paragraph above your “Order Now” link. The engines will find the words regardless of where on the page they are, but your visitors won’t be overwhelmed by seeing all the copy in one place.
3. Don’t Neglect ALT Tags – Don’t abuse them, either! ALT tags (technically known as image attributes) are designed to give short descriptions of graphics on your page. They are voiced to those who can’t see well through the use of special text-to-speech software. Abusing ALT tags by stuffing them full of arbitrary keywords or extremely long descriptions is frowned upon by the engines. However, feel free to assign a short keyword-rich phrase that accurately describes each graphic on the page.
4. Go Below the Fold – Copy can always be placed “below the fold.” This term is used to describe the section of your index page that is not visible when the page first loads. In order to see it, the visitor would have to scroll vertically. If you’ve designed your index page to be fully visible without scrolling, consider using the space below the design to insert your copy.
5. Use the Sidebar – If your site design uses a sidebar for the navigation links, use the empty space for short bits of copy. Even the statement “Order ________ Now” will give you one more instance of keyword placement.
6. Create Bulleted Lists – Many people don’t perceive lists as copy. For this reason, you can use bulleted lists (or numbered lists) where traditional “sentence” copy wouldn’t work. Tip: Instead of creating a list that reads:
We meet all your ____ needs by:
- offering the lowest price.
- providing first-rate service.
- shipping your order in just 24 hours.
Create a list that reads like this:
At ABC Company, we offer you:
- the lowest price on ______.
- first-rate service. Ask us any questions you have about ____.
- shipping of your _____ in just 24 hours.
See the difference?
If you use a little creativity, you can get enough keyword saturation in your copy without it cluttering up your site. This is sure to please both the search engines and your site visitors.
Copy not getting results? Let Karon write targeted, natural-sounding search content for you that ranks high and converts. Visit her SEO copywriting site at http://www.marketingwords.com for more information.