Rules, Regs, and Recommendations for Search Engine Copywriting
Copywriting is a primary factor when it comes to achieving good
search engine placement. However, many times all that is done is
to include keywords in the tags of a page and to include a few
keyword mentions. While not extremely difficult, writing for the
engines is a little more complicated than that.
Know Your Keyphrases Before You Write
It is much easier to create search engine copywriting if you know
which keyphrases you'll use before you begin to write. Going back
and editing existing copy to achieve higher levels of keyword
saturation is a challenging task that often ends in broken
sentences, confusing statements, and copy that sounds stiff or
If you know which keyphrases you're optimizing the page for, you
can create a more complete plan of action.
Let the Phrases - and Your Audience - Dictate Your Direction
You simply *must* know your target audience before you begin
writing. There's no way around it. It is virtually impossible to
write copy that will persuade a site visitor to buy if you have
no clue about his/her needs, wants, or problems.
Once you've taken time to investigate your preferred customer,
stop and do a little brainstorming. What are your customers
looking for? Can you offer solutions to their problems? As you
ponder, keep your keywords fresh in your mind.
As you come up with solutions for your customers, phrase them
around your keywords. It basically works as a puzzle. You know
your target audience; you know your keywords; now put the two
together to create compelling, search-engine-friendly copy.
Use Keyphrases in Your Headlines
Most search engines deem a headline as an important section of
the copy. That means the text included in headlines (and sub-
heads) carries extra weight.
When you create headlines for your copy, be sure to make them
keyword rich. Also pay attention to the HTML code for your
headlines. Making headlines bold and including them within <H1>or <H2> tags will help gain the attention of the engines.
The same holds true for sub-headlines. As you include additional
sub-heads throughout your copy, pay attention to the bolding and
coding for headline tags.
Include Keyphrases in Your Body Copy
As you begin to write, include keyphrases all the way through
your body copy, not just in the first paragraph. For best
results, focus your copy on only two or three primary keywords.
Let the keywords flow naturally as you write. don't try to force
it. Describe your products or services using keywords, include
keywords in photo or graphic captions, and use keywords in any
tables or lists you create.
How often should you use keyphrases? There is a "3% guideline"
that states 3% of your words should be keywords. However, this is
JUST a guideline. Don't kill yourself to achieve a 3% ratio.
Remember, your copy has to sell as well as attract the engines'
attention. Don't ruin perfectly good copy by forcing keywords
where they just don't fit.
By keeping these "rules, regs, and recommendations" of the search
engine copywriting game in mind, you're sure to create copy that
impresses both your visitors AND the engines.
. . .
Article by Karon Thackston - Copyright © 2003
Which specific words make *your* customers buy? Let Karon show
you. Boost your sales and your search engine positioning by
learning to write strategically created copy that hits a nerve
and makes the sale. Get the details now at
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