Copywriters: Make Friends with Search Engine Optimization
I don't know about you, but I felt a lot of internal resistance when it was first suggested to me that I write 'for' the search engines.
Years of training and habit, and a lot of pride, turned me against the idea of adjusting or changing my copy to suit 'spiders'. It's about the reader, not some computer. Right?
The whole thing smelled of compromise to me. And as us ego-driven writers all know, compromise is not something we like.
Well, I'm pleased to say that my pride finally shuffled off to one side a bit and allowed me a more objective look at the whole thing.
And now, well, I'm something of a convert. I have been for quite a while now.
Not because I have made that 'compromise'. But because it became evident to me that both spiders and readers are looking for exactly the same thing...
Spiders are becoming more and more sophisticated in determining the relevance of a page when matched to a keyword or phrase that is typed in by the user. In short, pages that are most likely to satisfy the needs of the reader are being delivered first.
The spider looks for relevance. And the reader hopes for it.
And that's where the writer comes in. Using Overture's Search Suggestion tool, or something a little more sophisticated, like Wordtracker, you can research which words and phrases are being used most frequently by people in search for your kind of page. These are great resources for writers, allowing us to drill right down to the words that our prospects and customers use.
And how better to make them feel they have come to the right place than to greet them with the exact words and phrases they are looking for?
And once you start getting really serious about being relevant to the needs of your visitors, the implications begin to snowball. Not only do you start writing in a very relevant way, but it also makes you start thinking about more fundamental issues - like the structure and architecture of the site in general.
Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, speaker and advocat of good writing. You can access all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and writing for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and resources on how to make money as a freelance writer at his Freelance Writing Success site.
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