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SEO Copywriting – It’s Not Just About Keywords

| February 10, 2012 More

“Write SEO copy? No thanks! I don’t want to corrupt my writing style for search engines”

Sound familiar? This is a complaint you hear regularly from people who think that SEO copy has to be keyword stuffed, unreadable drivel. Writers, bloggers, journalists don’t want to sacrifice their flair for the written word to accommodate the evil controllers at Google, Bing and the rest; they want to provide the ‘flowers and all’ approach that got them to where they are. And why shouldn’t they feel like that?

seo copywriting

Forget repetition

The truth is that SEO copywriting has moved on a lot in the last 5 years, hell, even in the last 2. No longer is it about getting a 5 word longtail phrase included in the copy 4 times and repeating your headline keyword again and again and again and again (sorry for the repetition, but I want this post to rank for ‘again’ ;) …). One occurrence of a keyword is plenty, though if you’re writing a genuine, quality piece then it’s more than likely it will occur a few times naturally anyway.


The real key to writing quality SEO copy is to make it engaging and interesting for your readers so they continue to the end and are left wanting more. If they liked it that much then it’s more than likely that they’ll share it with their friends and maybe even link to it themselves. Then they’ll come back tomorrow for the next instalment and, if you’re up to it, do the same again. This kind of ‘SEO copy’ gets links and social shares, it doesn’t just lever in keywords. And which approach do you think will perform better in the search engines, the page with lots of links and social shares or the one sitting dormant filled with keywords?

You & Because

Brian Clark recently wrote about the two, new keywords in town; ‘You’ and ‘Because’. He was writing about blogging in particular, but I think it applies across the board: address the reader, tell them what you want them to do and explain why. If your reasons are good enough then it’s more than likely they’ll do exactly as you ask. Nothing is more compelling than being given a good reason why you should do something.

This isn’t to say you should be throwing keyword research out the window and ignoring it all together, you still want your key phrases to appear in the copy somewhere, but the real success of your writing is in how well it engages the reader and what it makes them do. If you get that right, ranking success will follow closely behind.

Not interested in writing for search engines? Just want to focus on content users will love reading without worrying about Google? You sound like the perfect SEO copywriter…

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Category: SEO

About the Author (Author Profile)

Tom Mcloughlin works for The WebMarketing Group, a digital marketing company who produce compelling SEO copywriting for clients every day. He also works with Ingenuity Digital who create international SEO strategies for businesses worldwide.

Comments (22)

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  1. Pradosh from Blog For Blogger

    Really hard to write SEO optimized post. Better to stick with own writing style with some keywords
    Pradosh recently posted..And We Got Page Rank 2 In 10 DaysMy Profile

  2. Really great post. I think that one has to be careful when repeating keyword after keyword. Google is getting smarter, so soon they’ll be able to spot keywordstuffing.

  3. Andrew from Pencil Portraits says:

    I agree with you, the search phrases are occurring naturally anyway when you are writing the article.
    In fact, many times I’ve found myself writing a lengthy article and struggling to avoid or substitute the main keyword phrase so it wouldn’t look spammy to Google.

  4. Goa resorts says:

    Nice and useful tips to keep away from spammy list because now Google has become more smart than earlier.

  5. Persiv says:

    I think the key phrase for writing your content is: write your content and keywords for readers, but with Google pen!

  6. milkmen says:

    SEO copy writing to me isn’t about keyword stuffing or confining my style to a keyword. I decide a topic. Then I do some research to find the search phrases that are popular on the topic. That often helps me understand what the public is thinking and gives additional insight when creating my post.

  7. Dmitrik says:

    If you want to learn about your people need to use keywords without in any way, although they are not a guarantee of getting your articles in the top

  8. Carl

    It is definitely not about keyword and I think it haven’t been about that since the year 2000 probably. The idea is to write for people and for search engines at the same time, but as well properly link the pages.

  9. Mike Nicklas says:

    In my opinion, you should always write for the end user, not search engines. If you focus on writing to the end user, the people that will actually buy your products, than the overall success of your website will be greater. What’s the point in writing poor copy for SEO purposes to reduce your conversion rate? If you can convert 5% of your visitors writing for the end user, whys sacrifice that to rank better in the search engines and almost diminish your conversion rates?
    Mike Nicklas recently posted..An Introduction to Link BuildingMy Profile

  10. Vera says:

    Thats a great post – it is still common for people to really try and force keywords into a post and at times it works but its really not best practise anymore, sometimes it does still seem to be required to catch rank on a specific phrase but that is quite rare these days.

    Over time the ramming of keywords into a post has really reduced as engines have started getting better at filtering out overly optimized content and people who are still doing it should beware that they might hurt the potentia for their sites long term as filters improve still further.
    Vera recently posted..PC TV SoftwareMy Profile

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your valuable tips.

  12. Dao thi Uyen

    an article should insert the appropriate keywords, avoid repeating too much. I think that is the best way to avoid spam

  13. Mark says:

    Natural content is definitely the way forward. Just like keith says its quite difficult to write content with lots of keywords in it. It just doesnt read very well. As google gets smarter the people who have invested time in writing good quality content will be rewarded.

  14. Fiscias

    ouwww SEO is secret, only search engine know, but i think original content is very important, thx for sharing,,
    Fiscias recently posted..Checklist To Make Quality BacklinksMy Profile

  15. Google gets smarter day by day,the ones that take the time to write good content will be the winners.
    Custom Homes Calgary recently posted..The BarringtonMy Profile

  16. Richard says:

    I also believe that SEO today is not only about keywords. Google loves natural linking, people doesn’t need to spam their keywords just to rank them up. A little SEO optimization along with providing high quality content would be effective.

  17. sean from blogs with dofollow


    Great points. SEO content has become more than drivel and mixed in keywords. Articles like you said need to be engaging and be able to be read until the end.
    sean recently posted..New Listing in Admirals CoveMy Profile

  18. DiNaRa says:

    So we should be visitors oriented in fact and I think it is the right position as the main aim of any site is to please a visitor and make it buy something and get some profit in such a way. So that’s why everything looks quite logical to me.

  19. Alicia says:

    hmm… You make SEO copywriting sound fun and easy! Never thought of it being that simple…

    Thanks! :)
    Alicia recently posted..Whitelight – Best Portfolio Theme from WooThemesMy Profile

  20. I think there is a certain way to write seo articles using keywords. You just need to be creative to write impressive articles for SEO. Once you master the techniques, things will be done easier.

  21. Some businesses employ a SEO and a Copywriter as a separate entity which can have advantages and disadvantages to the business. Overall getting it right is a team effort

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