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In a bid to make their results more useful, search engines are placing an increasing value on the actual content of your web pages, as opposed to the "meta" keywords that can be nonsensical. This is a simple guide to writing content that works for your visitors and your search engine ranking.

One search term for each page

You should have an idea of which search terms you want to target, and it's better to have a single page that reflects each term. It's not about an endless list of keywords but sensible content that expands on that search term. If you want to attract people searching for "web design Cheltenham", then that's what you should write about.

Create the right pages

If your potential customers are searching for more specific search terms, for example including their industry or a specific application, then create extra pages to match them. This is not just about performing on search engines, but also about providing your visitors with the content they want.

Highlight your search terms

Put your search terms - and other relevant phrases - in sub-headings or emboldened text. Search engines will value this kind of content more highly, and visitors will find it easier to scan the content and find what they're looking for.

Put visitors first

There's no need to compromise between sensible, useful content and good search engine presence. Finding the right search terms will help you understand your customers and communicate in the right way, so you can write content that genuinely responds to their search terms and their needs. Once you've got the visitors to your website, this approach will reassure them they're in the right place, and help turn visitors into sales or leads.

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