Helicopters, website navigation and SEO copywriting

I should have listened to the weather forecast this morning. But I didn’t, and halfway up the hill the drizzle was so dense that you could barely see across the valley. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of the helicopter through the gloom, a Sea King approaching slowly, just above the treeline, from over the village. For a moment I was back in the Rockies as Alpine’s Bell-212 approached our mountain eyrie… Then the yellow chopper circled slowly away over the escarpment and disappeared into the mist over the reservoir…

For the rest of my walk I thought about search engine optimisation. If we wanted to be found by a search and rescue helicopter we’d do all we could to make it easy: using hand signals, smoke flares or objects laid out on the ground. It should be the same with websites. Everyone knows the importance of keywords; but amazingly, as one of my SEO experts was saying just before I left the office, too many clients still don’t appreciate the importance of structuring their website (the hierarchy of pages, the site navigation and the consistent use of search terms) around identified search terms to lead humans and search engines to the content they want.

Too often, the site navigation is limited to ‘About Us’, ‘Services’ and similar terms that no one would ever search for. The clever people use a good SEO consultant to structure the site navigation around identified terms that searchers really use – then hire a skilled SEO copywriter to work their magic around ‘helicopter flight training’, ‘haulage contractors Cotswolds’ ‘copywriters in Gloucestershire’ or whatever’s appropriate.

It’s rather like standing in a big field, waving your arms at ‘Budgie’ and yelling ‘Come get me!’ We’d all do it if we really wanted to be found!

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