When I was a Senior in high school, I took creative writing. Mostly because I was out of fluff classes to take, but also because I liked the quiet, peacefulness that accompanied those rooms. It was perfect for napping.
By osmosis, I suppose, I actually learned a couple things in that morning class- and actually enjoyed the writing exercises.
I still use them – what I can remember of them – when performing SEO Copywriting. Especially this one exercise where we would get in groups of threes. One would come up with 3 nouns. One would come up with 3 adjectives. One would come up with 3 verbs. Then we’d huddled together and try to write an essay out of it. Very Mad Libs-ish, but brilliant. Though I’d always get mad when we got docked for using one of our “nouns” as verbs – and I think the teacher had a vendetta against Shel Silverstein.
How Do I use those lessons in SEO copywriting?
Hopefully, once you get to the copywriting stage you’ve already performed keyword and competitor research. Because then you have to take the words from that research and write, succinct, fluid, readable content based off this data. And when you start, you’ll have to write with words based from three lists:
- branded terms / phrases
- industry terms / phrases
- customer search terms / phrases
Should I Try SEO Copywriting?
I’ve seen arguments before and against attempting SEO Copywriting. Those in favor treat it like an art form. Those who don’t usually say, “write for the readers.” Being one in favor of SEO Copywriting, I will still admit that I support the argument, “write for the readers,” because that’s the key to all writing.
Not that I qualify, but I just those who favor SEO Copywriting have less of a vendetta against Shel Silverstein
Tips on SEO Copywriting
As I’ve said before, SEO Copywriting is an art form. And like all art forms, SEO Copywriting takes time to get going in the right direction.
Here’s what I try to focus on
1)Use Active voice - Search engines read left-to-right, top-to-bottom. Writing in active voice (direct action: “I kicked the ball.”) usually helps you get your keywords in earlier in the sentence.
2) Why Use a Pronoun when you can use a keyword? – Don’t go too crazy, but consider which spots you can sub out a pronoun and use another variation of the keyword.
3) Short, sweet sentences – Many marketers are often taught to to write at a 3rd grade level. It’s typically not because people only read that level, but because you don’t have much time to catch readers attention. Make it short and sweet.
And, don’t be afraid to be brilliant!
(photo credit: kevindooley via Flickr)