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Thread: SEO Copywriters what do you do in this situation??

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    Default SEO Copywriters what do you do in this situation??

    I've been a business writer for a while, but when I went freelance and people started asking me to do their webpage copy, the first question that comes up is "can you do SEO copywriting?" Well, as a predominately offline (print) writer, this was never something that concerned me before. I was hoping to get some clarification from the SEO copywriters on this forum:

    I understand that keywords are very important for ranking. This makes sense, as search engine spiders determine what your site is about via the text. However, my questions is: how much weight do keywords REALLY have for overall search engine results? And what are copywriters supposed to do about the multitude of other influencing factors?

    I know there is a WHOLE lot more to ranking than just keywords. And I can write the best copy in the world with the perfect keyword density, but a client still may not rank.

    Many of my clients do not believe me when I say this. They merely think that by "stuffing keywords" they'll rank higher automatically. As an SEO copywriter, how do you really help your clients rank higher? Does the copywriter also create link building campaigns, clean up HTML to be spider friendly, etc? Or do they refer the client to an SEO expert after the copy has been completed?

    Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated
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  2. #2

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    I'll just make one quick comment. There are others far more knowledgeable here to give you a good answer.

    Learn SEO. That includes what is built into the code, link building, social networks etc. The reason for that is you can see what a site has been doing for SEO, say in code, and write your copy to complement that. Even though your customer says the page is optimized for X, it may actually be optimized for Y in the code, incoming links, etc. It will also give you ammunition to tell a customer what the copy should be if he disagrees with what you write.

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    I tell my clients that I write for people first, and that SEO is something that should integrate seamlessly into the writing...nowadays the focus for my clients is not on SEO but rather on social media outreach and attraction anyway. Really the key is to educate your client in terms they can relate to and understand...if you know what you are doing you'll be the obvious first choice. Remember it is okay to say I don't do that and send them to someone who can deliver what they want or think they want than to deal with unrealistic and impossible expectations.

    Hope this helps.

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    Hi! I am an SEO with some experience in seo copywriting. The key to good seo copy is to include as many keywords (and close variations) in the content without compromising on its quality. You must also take into consideration the location of the keyword phrases (headline, opening sentence, closing sentence), the styling of the keyword phrase (bold, underline, italic) and keyword density (the frequency of the keyword phrase in the content). FYI i dont think keyword density has any effect on ranking but some seo's do advice on maintaining a 1-2% keyword density in the copy.

    In fact repeating the same phrase over and over again might negatively affect the search rankings for that keyword. I therefore recommend targeting 5-10 closely related search terms and their short-, mid- and long-tail variations within a single page. Keep in mind that most web copy will use images/videos. This provides additional opportunity to include keywords in image alt tags, captions and descriptions.
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    I'm of the opinion that, in the face of competition, keywords do almost nothing for rankings.

    That doesn't mean you don't need them - you do. But they only get you entry into the game - for the most businesses, everyone is generally using the same kewords.

    I generally chase off clients who expect my writing to shoot them to page 1. Not my kind of cat.

    Like Patrysha said - I write for people first. For just about every business, the keywords/phrases just come naturally when I do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by christinagilman View Post
    Many of my clients do not believe me when I say this. They merely think that by "stuffing keywords" they'll rank higher automatically.
    If it really was that easy, everyone could be on page 1.

    I'll second what Patrysha and Dan said about writing for people first. In addition, Google has gotten pretty good about recognizing keyword stuffing and good content from bad. The evidence suggests that they pay close attention to bounce rates as well. If too many visitors using a certain key phrase quickly return to click on the next result, it becomes obvious that the page is not relevant and could slip in the ranking they cheated their way to achieve. You can then tell these clients that keyword stuffing will have the opposite effect they think it will.

    If you write to cover a topic, Google will figure out what the page is about. The page copy is only a small part of SEO. Any client who thinks web copy alone will work any special magic will be very disappointed. Good copy is VERY important, but it is not a stand alone method of success.
    Steve Chittenden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Furman View Post
    I'm of the opinion that, in the face of competition, keywords do almost nothing for rankings.

    That doesn't mean you don't need them - you do. But they only get you entry into the game - for the most businesses, everyone is generally using the same kewords.

    I generally chase off clients who expect my writing to shoot them to page 1. Not my kind of cat.

    Like Patrysha said - I write for people first. For just about every business, the keywords/phrases just come naturally when I do that.
    I look at keywords as telling G what the page or site is about. So I think having the keyword or phrase in the title tag or url can be important. Don't make G guess. They do guess wrong a lot. So I do think they frequently dramatically affect rankings. Where I see the glaring errors in the google SERPS is when I search for a specific item, say a John Deere lawn mower blade and I get a page on lawn mowers that doesn't include John Deere or or replacement blades.

    I would guess that one of two things is happening here. One thing could be that G doesn't like the site selling just the lawnmower blades so doesn't place it well in the results. The other option would seem to be that the lawnmower blade site doesn't really tell G what their site is about.

    I also would be willing to bet that if I came to you and asked you to write a call to action page for a page on my lawnmower blade site that sold John Deere blades, the keywords would find their way into the text.

    But this post is about keyword density. If it is clear to G what the page is about, keyword density becomes moot. What will take you to the top at that point is a quality site and quality content.

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    Thanks everyone for your advice. I definitely agree that having quality content is really what matters in the end. Ranking high on Google means nothing if a website viewer just hits the back button once they click to your site because the site does not have something interesting or useful. I just have to figure out a good way of explaining this to a client...or as Patrysha said, just tell the client I can't help them. Thankfully most clients understand.
    Copywriting Services at www.inkstonecommunications.com
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    Christina, if a client asks you to write "SEO copy" you might simply have to use the n-word on them ... "Next." If they are using the term SEO they may well have little understanding of what is actually involved. As Patrysha said, you may simply need to refer them elsewhere.

    You should be in the position in your writing to specify TITLE, DESCRIPTION, and KEYWORD TAGS in the HTML, (or at least know what they are or will be) so that your copy and those TAGS are integrated. Though there is evidence that Google and the other SEs place less emphasis on keywords now than they used to, keywords are still important and should be no more than 2-3% of the copy. You should target no more than 2-3 keywords/phrases per page so you don't confuse the G-machine.

    The spiders apparently weigh the words in H1 and H2 TAGS more heavily than those regular text.

    As azafar mentioned, another part of what you can do is add/specify pictures with the alt-text and videos. If you include internal links to other pages on the site and links to outside pages on other sites the SE spiders will like the page more. None of these things by themselves is the be all and end all of SEO. In fact, SEO should be viewed as a longterm project that extends well beyond the scope of skillful copywriting. Be sure your clients understand that from the beginning of your relationship with them.

    Suffice it to say, that you can easily make the transition from print copy to good SEO web copy with the simple addition of a few easily mastered skills. I did.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul Elliott; 01-14-2012 at 03:41 PM.

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    Hi Christina!

    You're right about what you said about writing a copy with a perfect keyword density but still it might not rank high on the SERPs. This is because keywords aren't the only ranking factor that search engines look at when ranking a page or a blog/article for that matter.

    Let me give you a list of how you can SEO-optimize your content:

    1. Make sure the copy you're writing tackles a relevant topic that people will find useful.

    2. Meta data is vital. When you upload your copy make sure you provide a Meta title and Meta description. See to it that it isn't too long so it won't get truncated on the SERP.

    3. Use SEO tools such as Semrush and Google Webmaster Tools to help you look for keywords that have good search traffic and low competition.

    4. When you find a workable Keyword, make sure that the keyword you chose is seen in your copy's title and on the meta data.

    5. Don't overlook the importance of adding internal and external links. - Putting links that redirects to other pages in the website can help search engines understand your page more. On the other hand, when you create external links, make sure that the website you're redirecting to has value. As much as possible, try to link to authoritative websites so that you can take advantage of the value in - value out aspect of link building.

    6. Of course, I'm sure you provide a featured image for your content as well as supporting images in the blog's body. Before uploading the images on the CMS you client is using, see to it that everything is optimized to ensure a fast load speed. Double check the images' file size to make sure it isn't too large. Aside from this, optimizing images for SEO is also important so that web spiders can crawl and understand it. Optimizing images for SEO is easy. All you have to do is put a short but descriptive file name before uploading it. Let's say you have a picture of a dog eating, your file name can be something like "dog-eating.jpg" DON'T use spaces. Use "-" in separating words instead. Finally, when you upload the images on the CMS, also provide an alternative description of the image.

    Those are what you need to do to ensure an SEO optimized copy that has a high chance of ranking on the SERPs.

    I hope this helps.
    Account Executive/Web Content Writer at Redkite Digital Marketing
    Never Stop Being Awesome!

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