September 29th, 2005 by Bob Bly
?SEO (Search Engine Optmization) copywriting? requires that the copywriter concern himself with strategic placement of key words within his Web copy to optimize search engine rankings of the pages he writes.
The problem is that to create really powerful copy, you have to have a single core audience in mind ? and concentrate all your effort on writing to that one audience.
When I write copy, that audience is the prospect ? the potential buyer of the product I am selling.
But with SEO copywriting, you are pandering to another ?audience? ? the search engines ? and not the reader.
And by creating copy that?s optimal for attracting search engines, you are, to some degree, weakening that copy?s power to sell ? diluting its strength ? because you are worrying about two audiences: the reader and the search engines ? instead of focusing every word on the customer.
And that?s not how to write copy that sells.
I think the best approach is:
1. Write the strongest selling copy you can aimed at the human reader ? and forget the search engines.
2. Once that copy is finished, go back and check to make sure key words are appropriately placed, but?.
3. Never change a word of strong selling copy if that change will make it even one iota weaker ? even if SEO best practices would endorse that change.
In other words, write for the customer ? and not SEO.
My small poll of top copywriters ? writers with a proven track record of writing winners ? agree.
?I?d rather invest my time and energy in [writing] interesting, informative, and fact-filled copy,? says Gary Bencivenga.
Parris Lampropoulos doesn?t even think about search engines when writing copy:
?When I?m writing the copy, I?m working at one task and one task only: to get whoever is reading it to place the order.?
To which I add: Right on!
Of course, I?m sure you have your own opinion on SEO and copywriting. So: what say you?