It seems like a funny question to me, but it gets asked a lot. "Where should the SEO copy go on my Web page?" That question gets asked so much because there are several pieces of out-of-date information, rumors and myths with regard to text placement, when writing SEO copy.
For instance, many absolutely swear that the copy has to be as high up on the page as possible for the search engines to find it. Not true. The spiders will find the text regardless of where it is on your page. Others say all your text has to be in one block. Also not true. The spiders will find the text regardless of where it is on your page.
Other statements I've heard regarding text placement include:
· Your headline must appear at the very top of the page.
· Copy placed inside tables throws the search engines off.
· Copy must be positioned above the fold to be found by the spiders.
None of these are true. The spiders will find the text regardless of where it is on your page. (Or did I already say that… twice?) This is true in 99.9% of the cases, with only some very rare exceptions.
So where is the best place to put SEO copy on your Web page? Wherever it makes sense to the site visitor!
Spiders will find your text regardless of where it falls on the page. Want proof? Here's a test. Go to Google and type in any working URL. When the result comes up for that site, click on: "Show Google's Cache of…" In the box that appears at the top of the next page, click on this option: "This cached page may reference images which are no longer available. Click here for the cached text only." What do you see?
You see exactly what the search engine sees. If the text appears in this text-only cache, that means Google's spider can read it and index it.
Put Copy Where It Is Most Beneficial to Your Visitors
Since the engines will find your text regardless of where it falls on the page, your focus should be placed on the site visitor. This is where your focus should always be. The people who have the money come first; the search engines come second. :)
If it makes sense for your visitors to see your headline as the first thing on the page, then put it first. If a graphic design element makes more sense, then put that first. If you use photos or other images, include captions so your visitors understand what these photos mean and how they relate to the sales message.
If you have an ecommerce site, create pages for each category of products you offer in order to help guide the visitors' steps. Then add short copy segments that quickly describe what is offered for each specific product. Even though the copy is scattered all about the page, the engines WILL find it.
When it comes to copy placement on your Web pages, don't agonize over what the engines want you to do. Give 100% of your consideration to what would be most useful for your visitors and place your copy in those areas. The spiders will find it with no trouble at all.
by Karon Thackston © 2005