SEO is constantly changing and reinventing itself.
Tried-and-true techniques are always up for reevaluation, shedding old favorites in favor of new policies and guidelines. As common practice outsmarts search algorithms, search gets even smarter. Staying on the cutting edge becomes a constant tug-of-war. However, with so many opinions on what the cutting edge actually entails, it may be hard to select the best route. That’s why there are so many contradictory opinions out there about SEO copywriting elements such as length and structure.
Talk about a moving target!
One of these tactics is to implement keywords as part of SEO copywriting. Keyword research is a must for any project. It’s a benchmark conducted so content creation is well-informed and ready to rock the moment it rolls off the presses.
Or so we thought.
An oft-repeated keyword weaved throughout SEO copywriting (really, all writing online should be SEO copywriting) sends a signal to the search engines to classify that page under that keyword. That helps to improve your rankings. So it was a little surprising to see that SEO leaders Moz recently wrote that keywords may not be as effective as once thought.
What do you mean that this essential tool may not work anymore? Does this mean we have to change our strategies again?
Thankfully, that’s not actually the case.
A closer look reveals that Moz isn’t actually trashing the use of keywords — it takes offense to the lack of good content. Only caring about keywords can actually damage the “marketing” half of “digital marketing” because it ignores one other important element of SEO copywriting — getting people to care about what you wrote.
Content writing and SEO copywriting: a marketing crossroads
To sum up the general direction of SEO copywriting in six words, it’s this: value the human over the algorithm. Clearly, formulas and the like are still important, but a person, not a robot, will be moved to act at the end of the day. Why did that person click to buy now? Will that person be impressed with what they read?
Bad copy won’t convert anyone from a browser to a believer, even if you have the best organic search team in the world. That being said, SEO copywriting is not a magic pill. There are many elements to the winning formula, but the copy is the best opportunity to actually influence someone.
Tips for using keywords while preserving the writing quality
What’s a business owner or marketing manager to do with so many moving parts? Start with some basic tips that will put you, and your content, in the right direction.
- Don’t just plop keywords into your text. It’s not enough to “thesaurus-ize” your text. Don’t swap out a word for a similar-meaning keyword and call it a day. Think about what you’re trying to convey while writing your copy. Does the keyword make sense in context? If it doesn’t, keep writing and rewriting your blog post until it works. (Not that easy, is it?)
- Consider the topic. It’s good for search if you have an optimized blog post or webpage, but it’s even better if your writing has something to offer. Have you seen 400 posts which detail five good reasons to hire a plumber? It’s a good idea not to be the 401st person to write that post.
- Don’t overstuff the turkey. Keyword stuffing is when a webpage is overloaded with targeted keywords. This practice is known to damage rankings, since Google reads it as a deliberate attempt to fool its algorithm. They’re not wrong. A little goes a long way on the page, so don’t attempt to throw all the spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
It’s a jungle out there, and we’re here to help you clear through the brush. Contact us with your SEO copywriting questions!