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by Stephen Logan on 10th June 2009
On reading the headline ‘SEO Copywriting is Dead! Here’s Proof…’ this morning, I was understandably a little taken aback. As a copywriter working in the online marketing sector, SEO is invariably a large part of what I do personally, and of course what Koozai do as a company.
But behind the headline, there is in fact a very good series of arguments that suggest heavily optimised copy is no longer the force it once was. Whilst some of the points within this article may be stronger than others, the key message is one of quality above keywords.
In a post I wrote a while back entitled 5 Copywriting Disasters to Avoid, I talked about the need for accessible content in reasonable quantity throughout the site. Keywords should almost be a logical bi-product of writing in an informative and engaging style, not a pre-requisite that needs to be built around.
Copy needs to be targeted at the key areas that you’re looking to promote. If you’ve got an ecommerce site that needs to focus on a certain brand, product or range, then create pages dedicated to these key terms. It shouldn’t be about bulking up one page with thousands of words. Websites are malleable forums; they should be optimised in a way that will provide real value to your customers as well as to the website.
Writing copy for the web will always be different to any other form of copywriting, purely because keywords remain an intrinsic part of the process. As a copywriter, it becomes almost second nature to first spot and then use a keyword within the text automatically, so at no point do I have to consider dropping in phrases where they’re just not appropriate. But this has been the case for many copywriters, for many years; a focus on keywords just isn’t healthy.
In my view SEO copywriting is still far from dead. Whilst the argument of the article itself suggests that the search engines are intelligent enough to go into a site and extract the real meaning of copy, without being purely driven on the density of keywords; there will always be a necessity to refine and direct copy towards certain topics and phrases.
Copywriting is a strategic process. Take it lightly and you’ll have a website that has poor visibility and an unhealthy bounce rate. Do it properly and search engines will flock towards you and visitors will enjoy their experience. Balancing the needs of your site with those of your customers is always key. Quality in quantity will always be a huge stride towards success; just don’t go losing the keywords just yet.