Search Engine Copywriting At PubCon

    November 16, 2005

Lots of great information floats around at conferences, particularly good ones like PubCon. Our editor, Mike McDonald, attended the seminar on writing copy for search engines and picked up some great tips to pass along in order to help get the most out of copy when building your Internet strategy.

Dana Todd moderated the session and the panel includes Heather Lloyd-Martin, President of North American Division SuccessWorks, Ted Ulle, partner of the MEWS Group, Jennifer Slegg, President of Jensense and Byron White, Founder and President of The session focused on content, copyrighting and search engine friendly design.

The general theme of the seminar was connecting with your readers/customers while providing quality content and then many other things would take care of themselves. Find the passion within your customers and make your content matter to people first. Subject is really secondary.

Then, when you’ve got the subject, examine the big picture. Look at the larger issues and the more important concepts of your subject matter first, then once that’s established, work on the keywords. Don’t hamstring yourself by obsessing over ultra specific key words either. Once you’re connected to your users, then you can go back and tweak a bit.

Like any project, research is a key. Consider the keyword density reports and keyword popularity. Find some categories using word tracker and use them as road map. These aren’t necessarily good strategies but are a starting point. Remember to focus more on the buzz and future looking track reaction to your content, conversions, downloads, etc.

Heather Lloyd-Martin had some best practices she went over. First, a tactic of shoving as many keywords into the copy as possible to get the higher rating is a bad idea.

The first key was savvy key phrase choices. She said finding phrases that people use. Include specific legacies, buzz and general key phrases. Make sure there are not misspelling or grammatical nightmare and that the writing flowed smoothly.

Next was longer text is good text. She said 250 words or so is a good sweet spot. The advantage is it can be easier to maintain and include key phrases meshed in with your marketing messages.

Finally, she said choose 2 or 3 key phrases that are targeted for each page and grammatically correct. Then include the key phrase 3 or 4 times in the copy. This will allow the copy to reinforce the message in the user’s mind.

All in all, this was an informative seminar. One constant being hammered for the blogosphere is quality content. This speech just reiterates connecting with your users through quality content.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.