Here's a lesson in SEO linkbaiting from the Guardian, whose popular fashion and consumer culture journalist Tanya Gold shows an impressive grasp of the basic power of keywords, encompassing keyword density and search-friendly URLs.
Writing on the subject of the Tatler most invited list, Gold manages to cram her article with repeated references to the Tatler most invited list, as typified by this passage:
“I don't trust the methodology of the Tatler most invited list. If I were compiling the Tatler most invited list, I would take Elton John and David Furnish hostage, and make them show me their invitations."
The emboldening is ours. What is notable about the piece is that it manages to drop repeated references to the keyword phrase while at the same time making the process seem entirely natural: not once would the average reader, apart from perhaps during the section above, sense that the text was keyworded.
Blending keywords into copy in this manner is great SEO practice, and a technique that good SEO copywriting companies such as theEword employ in their work. Keywords are vital in proving a site’s relevance to Google, but more important is that their use is presented in as natural a way as possible, so as not to detract from the user experience. Readers are, after all, our primary concern.
So Gold’s piece is Good for Google, but what makes it linkbaiting? Apart from the use of keywords, look at the URL: /tatler-most-invited-list, it reads, in all its easily searchable glory. The subject matter, too, while not one that sets our own pulses racing, is one that could conceivably attract clicks.
If someone were to type ‘Tatler most invited list’ into Google, a la the image below
It’s not hard to follow the logic by which the Guardian arrives at topics for its linkbaiting news and blog posts: choose a subject that it believes people will search for on the internet, find a writer to do discuss it, then tailor the content – paying particular attention to keyword density, anchor text and a search-friendly URL – to give the resultant article maximum visibility to search engines.
The benefits are two-fold. Search users get to find the information they want more easily, while the Guardian gets more traffic to its site. When you put these two things in a commercial context, say, with someone who wants to buy a table being directed to a furniture website, the results could be hugely profitable.
For more information on linkbaiting, keyword density and SEO copywriting, see theEword website.