Here are five things that make your content easy to digest for search engines so you can rank as well as possible.\r\n\r\n1. Title Whether you optimize up-front or later, you at minimum need to know what keywords you\u2019re targeting and include them in the title of your content. It\u2019s generally accepted that the closer to the front of the title your keywords are, the better. But the key is that they appear in the title somewhere. \u00a0It\u2019s important that your CMS or blogging software allow you to serve an alternate title in the title tag (which is the snippet of code Google pulls to display a title in search results) than the headline that appears on the page. If you use WordPress, Thesis builds this and many other SEO functions directly into your posting interface, in addition to all its design controls. \u00a0So, let\u2019s say I decide that the most compelling headline for prompting readership, sharing, and linking for an article is: \u00a0Five Areas to Focus On for Effective SEO Copywriting That title contains my keyword phrase (SEO copywriting), but they might not be in the best location for ranking or even for quick-scanning searchers compared with regular \u00a0readers. By using an alternate title tag, I can enter a more search-optimized title for Google and searchers only, such as: \u00a0SEO Copywriting: The 5 Essential Elements The emphasis on keywords in the title makes practical sense from a search engine standpoint. When people search for something, they\u2019re going to want to see the language they used reflected back at them in the results. Nothing mysterious about that. \u00a0Having keywords in your title is also important when people link to you. When your keywords are there, people are more likely to link to you with the keywords in the anchor text. This is an important factor for Google to determine that a particular page is in fact about a particular subject. \u00a0You should try to keep the length of your title under 72 characters for search purposes. This will ensure the full title is visible in a search result, increasing the likelihood of a click-through.\r\n\r\n2. Meta-Description SEO copywriting is not just about ranking. It\u2019s also about what your content looks like on a search engine results page (SERP). The meta description of your content will generally be the \u201csnippet\u201d copy for the search result below the title, which influences whether or not you get the click. \u00a0It\u2019s debatable whether keywords in your meta-description influence rank, but it doesn\u2019t matter if they do or don\u2019t. You want to lead off your meta-description with the keyword phrase and succinctly summarize the page as a reassurance to the searcher that your content will satisfy what they\u2019re looking for. \u00a0Try to keep the meta description under 165 characters so the full description is visible in the search result. Again, you can create a meta description in WordPress right in the posting area with Thesis and other themes and plugins that add SEO functionality.\r\n\r\n3. Content Unique and frequently updated content makes search engines happy. But you know that. For search optimization purposes (and just general reader-friendliness) your \u00a0content should be tightly on-topic and strongly centered on the subject matter of the desired keyword phrases (this goes back to the spoon feeding analogy). \u00a0It\u2019s generally accepted that very brief content may have a harder time ranking over a page with more substantial content. So you\u2019ll want to have a content body length of at least 300 words. \u00a0It might also help to bold or italicize the first occurrence of a keyword phrase, or include it in a bulleted list, but I usually don\u2019t get hung up on that. It\u2019s also debatable whether including keywords in subheads helps with ranking, but again, it doesn\u2019t matter \u2013 subheads are simply a smart and natural place to include your keyword phrase, since that\u2019s what the page (and each section) is about. \u00a0Which brings us to . . .\r\n\r\n4. Keyword Frequency Keyword frequency is the number of times your targeted keyword phrase appears on the page. Keyword density is the ratio of those keywords to the rest of the words on the page. \u00a0It\u2019s generally accepted that keyword frequency affects ranking (and that makes logical sense). Keyword density, as some sort of \u201cgolden\u201d ratio, probably doesn\u2019t. But the only way to make sense of an appropriate frequency is via the ratio of those keywords to the rest of the content, so density is still a metric you need. \u00a0In other words, the only way to tell if your repetition of keywords is super or spammy is to measure that frequency against the overall length of the content. A keyword density greater than 5.5% could find you guilty of what\u2019s called keyword stuffing, which tends to make Google think you\u2019re trying to trick them. Bad idea. \u00a0Just keep in mind that you don\u2019t need to mindlessly repeat keywords to optimize. In fact, if you do, you\u2019ll probably get the opposite result.\r\n\r\n5. Linking Out Linking is the fundamental basis of the web. Search engines want to know you\u2019re sufficiently \u201cconnected\u201d with other pages and content, so linking out to other pages matters when it comes to search engine optimization. \u00a0Here are some rules of thumb for linking based on generally accepted best practices: \u00a0\uf0b7 Link to relevant content fairly early in the body copy \u00a0\uf0b7 Link to relevant pages approximately every 120 words of content \u00a0\uf0b7 Link to relevant interior pages of your site or other sites \u00a0\uf0b7 Link with naturally relevant anchor text \u00a0\u00a0Again, these are guidelines related to current best practices. Don\u2019t get hung up on rules; focus on the intent behind what search engines are looking for \u2013 giving those human searchers quality results.