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Old 17th March 2008, 10:10 AM   #1
amichalski
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Default Web Copy And Search Engines

Not sure whether this question belongs in this forum or one of the SE ones. Feel free to set me straight if it's misplaced.

I am doing some writing for a client. He will be posting the copy on the company Web site. His tech guy advised that the copy should be optimized for one particular search term, which for the purposes of this post I will identify as "City, State, widgetology." It is a particularly unwieldy term that doesn't drop in easily as my former clients' keyword terms have.

Now here's what I'm not sure about. I managed to work in that term, exactly that way, only once in the 450 words of copy. It does not flow nicely without screaming "key words." I mean, how often does a person refer not to his city but his city, state? I did, however, get it in once more in a two-sentence combination, where the words follow each other exactly if you ignore the punctuation, kind of like this:
Quote:
Content content content content City. State widgetology content content content content....
And I also got it twice more as part of whole paragraphs, where the individual words of the term are in the correct order but are separated by other words, kind of like this:
Quote:
Content content content content City content content. Content State content content content. Content widgetology content content......
So that's a total of four times in the copy itself--not a bad saturation level. I also advised the client to use the whole term in an <h1> header and incorporate the whole term into the page title.

In my experience as a search engine user, I have observed that the two examples above do appear in SE results. They just don't list as high as whole-phrase results or header/title results. However, this term is uncommon enough that when I ran it in Google and Yahoo, both SEs returned that type of result starting with the sixth and seventh listing, so it seems even more reasonable to me to go ahead and use those methods. I'm just not sure my observations are entirely accurate. I'm by no means an expert on this SEO stuff--I'm just the hack who cranks out the writing.

So, let's hear it from all of you: am I on the right track, or would I be better off sacrificing a little natural readability to get the client better results?

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Old 17th March 2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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Based on what info you've posted above, I would probably have done it the same way you did. Especially if this is not the most competitive phrase in the world.

You've gotten it in as-is and also backed that up with individual instances of the words in their correct order. AND, most importantly, you've paid attention to how it sounds and reads so as not to screw up the natural tone of the copy.

Other places to consider... ALT/image tags, photo captions (which aren't always written in complete sentences), breadcrumb trails (if any are on this site).

I think you're good to go!

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Old 17th March 2008, 03:31 PM   #3
amichalski
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Thanks, Karon! I've been staring at the same copy for too long, and I needed the reassurance that I'm not completely on the wrong track.

You know, the site probably won't use captions or bread crumbs, but I had completely forgotten about alt tags. The content really lends itself to photos, so that's a particularly relevant tip. I will definitely pass it along.

I appreciate your help!

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Old 17th March 2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Default Another aspect that helps

If this is not the home page, you can have the keywords in the Anchor Tag pointing to the page.

And then you can use some more of that copywriting genius to create a sort of a summary with those terms.

Hope this helps.
Deep Janardhanan
Marketing Coach From 0 to 7 Figures.
www.nobleriver.com/services

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Old 11th May 2010, 02:57 AM   #5
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one of my friend works in copy writing company but i don't know how to do, i read your post and nice to see this post.

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Old 11th May 2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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I'm a huge fan of writing naturally.

Some of the patents filed by the search engines discuss statistical analysis of words and phrases used on a page. They take into account not just your exact phrase, but whether you are using other terms and phrases which they would expect to occur in concert with your key phrase.

Writing the same word many times will make it clear to the search engines what you are writing about - but is going to turn off readers, could be interpreted as a signal of spam, and is just not all that necessary.

If want to dig into it - this is a bit technical, but really interesting: http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=413

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Old 11th May 2010, 09:49 AM   #7
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You are correct. Bill has an awesome blog, but it is a little technical.

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Old 19th July 2010, 12:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallBizShift View Post

Some of the patents filed by the search engines discuss statistical analysis of words and phrases used on a page. They take into account not just your exact phrase, but whether you are using other terms and phrases which they would expect to occur in concert with your key phrase.

Writing the same word many times will make it clear to the search engines what you are writing about - but is going to turn off readers, could be interpreted as a signal of spam, and is just not all that necessary.

If want to dig into it - this is a bit technical, but really interesting: http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=413
True, but a note of caution: note the date of that article. According to my research, Google frowns on keyword stuffing. On the other hand, it likes the long tail--those keyword phrases that are longer and more specific. I would be very careful about salting in too many keywords in an unnatural fashion. Not only does it make for stilted, self-conscious writing (hence a poor read), but because Google takes into account related words and phrases, there's no need to "stuff" keywords. Write about the topic in natural language with a mind to mentioning keywords only four or five times in a given 500-ish word article.

I've written hundreds of articles for the massively profitable article mill Demand Studios, and this is exactly what they have us do. In fact, they don't even mention using keywords four or five times. The official word is to just write naturally. If you write to the title they assign you, you're A-OK.


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Old 19th July 2010, 06:47 PM   #9
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A good rule of thumb to follow is to use your keywords naturally once per every 100 words of copy. Write for the end-user, more than the search engines.

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Old 19th July 2010, 09:52 PM   #10
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Totally agree.

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