If you type “wedding planner” into your favorite search engine, thousands of results will be generated, with links to everything from wedding consultants and e-books to gift registries and bridal boutiques. Only ten or so of these Web sites will be listed on the first screen. If you want more options, you have to click to the next screen.
How did those few lucky Web sites, competing with thousands of others, make it so high in the search results?
A major influence on search engine rankings is what is called SEO (search engine optimization) copywriting. This is simply a technique of finding and placing certain words and phrases in your copy that will help push the Web site to the top of the heap whenever someone types in a particular search phrase.
SEO techniques also include strategically placed text within the HTML code (the underlining code used to create most Web sites).
The Words Are the Key
One of the most effective techniques in SEO copywriting is integrating certain words and phrases into the text. This is called keyword placement. This sounds technical, but it's really quite simple. For example, when writing a Web site to promote your freelance copywriting services, it's a no-brainer that you'll have to use the term “copywriter” somewhere in the copy. Otherwise, people looking for that kind of service will never find you!
Search engine companies use software programs called spiders to regularly crawl the Internet and analyze Web sites. Spiders glean information from each site visited, making judgments about the content and determining how best to categorize and describe the Web site in search engine results. This is the data that search engines use to rank a Web site.
SEO copywriters take this idea a lot further. They make sure that the most popular words and phrases typed into search engines by people who are looking for copywriters — or whatever product or service that is being promoted — are mentioned in the copy. To optimize a copywriter's Web site, you would have to integrate the following words into the text:
Take a look at this example for DH Communications, the Web site of B2B copywriting and SEO expert Dianna Huff. The words are italicized only to show you the keywords. These are not italicized in the original published copy.
Let's face it — hiring an “unknown” B2B marketing communications copywriter can be tough.
Especially when your important projects and reputation are on the line.
I'm Dianna Huff and my job is also my passion — making you look good. And I do that by helping you achieve results with your B2B marketing communications (marcom) projects.
If you've been let down in the past by freelance copywriters who produced shoddy copy, missed your deadline, or simply didn't understand your B2B marketing objectives, you can rest assured that won't happen when you work with me. (Check out my client testimonials for proof.)
You want to look good — to your boss, to your audience, and maybe even (a little) to your competitors. And that's my job, to make you look good, and to help you achieve B2B marketing communications results like:
Copy that drives sales leads — Online and off
Proven B2B marketing strategies that work — From e-mail to Web to print
Less wasted time — You won't be sending my copy back for endless rewrites (or doing it yourself because it isn't up to snuff)
Worry-free “vendor” relationship — Project work delivered on time, every time
Take a look at my B2B marketing communications Copywriting Services and Success Stories pages to see how you can put my award-winning B2B marketing writing expertise to work for you.
How do you determine which keywords to use?
There are a number of free and paid services available that will give you insights into which words and phrases people are using to search for information on search engines. SEO copywriters typically pick the most popular words and phrases to integrate into the copy.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Notice how the writer in the DH Communications example was able to integrate all the keywords, in some cases more than once, without making the copy sound convoluted or nonsensical. This is a real challenge in SEO copywriting. The text has to read smoothly and persuasively, without seeming like it's obviously stuffed with specific words and phrases.
Keywords alone can never replace the principles of persuasive copy-writing. The keywords may help your prospects find the Web site, but it's your compelling messages that will make the sale.