Making the Change from Ordinary Copywriter to Online (SEO) Copywriter

Nov 23, 2004 - 9:48 am 0 by
Filed Under SEO Copywriting

At the WebmasterWorld conference I met an individual that just began writing for Web sites. He explained to me, briefly, how he has changed his writing style. He just thinks keywords, keywords and keywords when writing his page copy. He then asked me how do I go about it. To be honest, I said I really do not think about it. I said its really just how I write these days, I think keyword without having to think keywords. But I think almost any copywriter can easily transit from the old school offline copywriting to the new school online seo copywriting in a matter of a day.

A thread at HighRankings named When Does A Copywriter Become An Seo Writer?, where the member asks "how do you convert to an SEO writer?" Jill Whalen, probably the most well known SEO copywriter, responds with "Basically, for the copywriters I've worked with, I've just given them the keyword phrases, then they do their research on the topic as usual, and just try to write with the keywords in mind. It's often very difficult the for the first page, but after that they always pick up right up."

An other member offers the following advice:

I've been a copywriter for going on 30 years, writing for websites for about 7 and I still don't know whether I could call myself an SEO writer! I can tell you that I do apporach a few things a bit differently when I'm doing web work. I'm a tad more self conscious about defining the page structure and working from fairly detailed outlines into relatively short blocks of copy - partly to make the page more scannable and partly to guide the type spec more finitely: indicating H tags and bold type as appropriate to highlight the overal content and maybe attract a couple points from the SEs. Compared to print, I'm more goal-oriented for each page and para, knowing that, unless I keep the sign-posts to "what's next" in the foreground, the visitor is as inclined to click over to another site as to click through to my other pages for more info. I also find that SE 'bots aren't real clever about metaphors & jargon & such, either, so my copy tends to be a little more grounded and literal than it would be for print or video. For the same reason, where I used to use benefit statements as anchor text for links to deeper pages, I work a bit harder at mentioning the product or feature by name in the text so I can anchor my links to soething more like a keyword. That's a fine line, though, sinceit can get repetitive and spammy - I use go that way more often on top level pages that linking to fairly different topics. Meanwhile, I haven't done enough sites end-to-end to be sure whether the my approach is really helping or if I've just been lucky with the keywords I've gone after! As others on this forum keep telling us, just focus on writing for your customer/visitor/user and the rest is gravy.

This makes for a nice thread.


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