Many people assume that creating copy for a website is the same as creating copy for other types of media such as print, radio or television. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact Search Engine Optimization (SEO) copywriting is a unique subset of copywriting. It requires a specific set of skills. The end product, or copy, is content written to attract users as well as abiding by the rules set forth by search engines.
Perhaps the most important criterion for SEO copywriting is the use and placement of keywords. Keywords are nothing more than the words or phrases used by the searchers in order to find a specific website or product on the Internet. The most qualified SEO copywriter has the ability to seamlessly include keywords into a piece of content. This makes the copy perfect hunting grounds for spiders but also appeals to the human reader.
Keyword density used to be very important from 1999 to 2004, however user interaction and how your copy reads is much more important than keyword density. Each of the major search engines looks for keywords as part of their formula for determining page rank. It isn’t enough, or even recommended, to simply pepper your copy with keywords. In fact, copy with too many keywords is often ignored (or worse) by spiders as it violates the ‘word stuffing’ guidelines. The key is to create copy with the proper density of keywords and content that is readable by users. This is nothing more than a simple ratio.
The nuts and bolts of search engine optimization copywriting may be keywords and density, but the ‘flair’ is defiantly the ability of the writer to create intriguing and informative copy that is purposeful. Whether you are seeking to educate your viewers or to convince them to take a specific action, your copy should be written with specific goals in mind. Most online business owners consider ‘call to action’ content the most crucial and they are probably right. Much like the sales letter of yesteryear, the call to action is the single piece of content that convinces your readers to make a purchase, sign up or take any other action you wish. This content should be persuasive and well written.
Finally, SEO copywriting demands perfection in one crucial area: language. While copy written specifically for search engines will not be grammatically correct, truly well written copy is grammatically correct and written by a native speaker. A brief perusal of content throughout the web will tell you why: humans simply do not read the way search engines do. While the sentence ‘Dog grooming Brooksville, Florida is readily available’ may ring bells with the spiders, human readers will quickly X out of your site. A higher SERP is never an excuse for poor grammar and poor copy.
Rule of thumb for Search Engine Optimization Copywriting: Write for human beings and stay relevant to the title of the article. If your title is based on good keyword / phrase research, the SEO will generally take care of itself. This is particularly true if you / your SEO Company are prepared to professionally syndicate your content to generate great backlinks.
Including good content on your website means writing content that is geared towards both the search engines and humans. SEO copywriting is the best way to do this.
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