SEO copywriting is a knock-down, drag-out fight between readability and searchability.
In one corner is your audience.
Impatient. No desire to wade through cruddy, repetitive copy. If you
don’t knock them out with a one-two punch of zingy writing and useful
information, you can kiss readers goodbye.
In the other corner is the search engine. Reigning
heavyweight champion of the internet. Hungry for keywords, keywords and
more keywords. But if you try to hard to satisfy that hunger, you may
end up with unreadable copy.
Can’t we all just be friends?
Yes, we can.
It is possible to write keyword-heavy, search engine–optimized copy without insulting your audience’s intelligence.
Rewrite, Don’t Edit
So you’ve chosen your keywords and you want to put them to work.
Fine, but keep this in mind.
Inserting new keywords into old copy is like eating
that fourth helping of Thanksgiving dinner—you’re going to end
up bloated and sleepy.
If you want your page to be readable, you need to rewrite pages so your keywords are a natural part of your text—not something crammed in at the last minute.
Don’t Front-Load Your Keywords
Don’t annoy your readers by stuffing keywords into the
first paragraph of your page—"Get your dog tiaras today! Dog tiaras,
now on sale. If your dog doesn’t have a dog tiara, your dog needs a dog tiara."
Sure, if your key phrase is "dog tiara" (and they do exist), you should use it.
But treat your keywords like salt—sprinkle them throughout your page.
Don’t just dump them on top.
Make Your Headlines Work
Emphasized text, like headers, stands out for search engines.
So include your keywords in your headlines.
You’ll make it easier for both search engines and your readers to scan your page.
By writing descriptive headlines, you’ll be free to write
readable content—without worrying about cramming "dog tiara" into every
Link, Link, Link
Always work your (meaningful, readable) keywords and phrases into your links.
Many search engines rely on link analysis to determine a page’s relevance.
Plus, readable links make your copy more scannable.
Want more tips for readable, searchable writing? Learn how to write compelling copy with our free 25-page e-book, Breakthrough Web Writing.