A long-term client once called with an uncommon request. She asked me to help her write an ad for a personal dating site; I accepted. Marketing is marketing, and that tiny copywriting/editing gig illustrates my approach to SEO as well.
Whether you’ve launched a personal ad or a company website, capturing the most views or “eyeballs” can be an empty achievement. Sure, scattering a popular message across a broad population may get the attention of your target audience, but if your copy is written without a strong view of who you are as a person and/or as a business, well, that’s not how solid personal or business relationships are built. Confusion creates frustration, and frustration bounces searchers off your site and onto the next. To create a sticky web experience, underneath all the copy and graphic design, before thinking about SEO, apply some parental, first-day-of-school wisdom: Be Yourself.
SEO copywriting is fun for me because it’s a blended recipe of science, art and romance, and the SEO world is full of facts, educated theories and wild opinions. I didn’t know much about the topic four years ago when a consultant on a project team handed me a stapled list of exact-word phrases and keywords to insert into a client’s website copy and meta-data. The ever-changing SEO landscape and rules were different back then, and today, I would look more closely at the competition for those keywords and phrases. I’d ask the clients whether they felt all the phrases were authentic to their business, and I’d suggest starting with a shorter list. We’d also shop from a broader selection of SEO tweaks from gentle adjustments to their anchor text to a review of inbound and outbound links, etc.
Writing original content is the key to executing any effective SEO strategy, and although most of my business comes from existing clients, referrals and face-to-face contacts, I love learning about SEO. I also know a few full-time specialists who can help my clients with deeper diagnostics.