Combining the skills of a website content writer and an SEO writer

Almost all websites need search engine traffic, but few web content copywriters know how to combine SEO ("Search Engine Optimization") techniques with writing persuasively for humans. In other words, there is a special skill for writing for search engine traffic.

First think about what is at stake. Your site can be full of really useful and well-written content, but if people cannot find your site, they will never buy what you are selling.

The key is you have to write for both humans and search engines like Google, Yahoo, Lycos, or any of the other billion or so search engines out there.

I know this sounds like a difficult balancing act, but it can be done. Here's how:

  • Know the keywords you want to target. A "keyword" is something of a misnomer because they are often more than a single word. A helpful way to think about keywords is to equate them with "search phrases" that a person might ype into Google in order to find the kind of information you have on your site.

    I'll give you an example. The other day I did a Google search for, "how to get coffee stains out of carpet" (big stain - white carpet - I'll spare you the details). As a result of this search, I found several sites but the results on the first page all had content that used the phrase, "how to get coffee stains out of carpet" verbatum.

    So just remember, if you can identify the exact or closely related terms a searcher will type into a search engine to find information about your topic, put those terms in your site's content.

  • Longer search phrases, if they contain over four words other than null words like "and, the, or," etc. are called "long tail keywords."

    Long tail keywords are your SEO bread and butter, because these searchers are looking for highly targeted information AND these searchers have been shown to be more highly motivated to buy now.

  • Put your best keywords in your site's title and url if you are targeting this narrow niche and just building the site now. If it is an existing site or if this keyword only pertains to a subtopic, use the keywords on the title to this section.

  • Use your keywords throughout your text. Optimally, use them 4 to 5 times per 100 words. Don't go overboard because search engines (especially Google) will penalize you and demote your ranking. The reason is because to a search engine robot, too many keywords looks like a spam site.

COPYRIGHT © 2008, Charles Brown


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