Rules, Regs, and Recommendations for Search Engine Copywriting
by: Karon Thackston
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
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 forced.
If you know which
keyphrases you’re optimizing the page for, you can create a more
complete plan of action.
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
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
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,
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 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
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.
|About The Author
Copy not getting
results? Let Karon provide search engine copywriting, catalog
copywriting, or other types for you. Just visit
. You can also learn to write your
own SEO copy that impresses the engines and your visitors at