Engineering or Writing?

27 April, 2011

Copywriting, keywords, seo, web content

red robot - kids toyThe action of writing web copy can sometimes feel too much like engineering as opposed to writing– a natural language flow….

Any discussion of SEO can quickly sound as if there is less writing going on and much more “building” and “integrating” and “stuffing” and  attachment to measurables like keyword density. Let me grab my calipers and soldering iron….But seriously, it’s easy to get caught up in the calculation of producing search engine optimized page content. I recall once or twice feel totally exhausted trying to “engineer” a page.  But here’s the crux: it’s a page of words on a topic. And thankfully my clients have rarely bothered me with “keyword density” requirements, preferring instead a more organic or natural language way to SEO content.

I can’t say I know which performs better: content with a built-in keyword density or a keyword/phrase optimized page of organic content. But I do know which sounds better. And if the site is designed to engage human beings, I’d go natural 🙂

I still  wholeheartedly dive into the keyword and keyphrase discovery process whenever I can participate in that fundamental SEO discipline– and btw, Kate Morris over at Distilled has posted one of the best accounts of keyword/phrase due diligence I’ve read in a long time. But the beauty of the keyword and keyphrase discovery is the resulting range of closely related keywords and synonyms that provide a much wider range of voice and tone. I know I just waxed very writer-ly there, but at the end of the day, are we engineering a robot or writing?

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