Natural Writing vs. SEO Copywriting – Who Wins?

by admin on December 30, 2008

While it’s well known that someone has to write the copy, there’s always been a question of whether SEO copywriting or natural writing is more effective in getting conversions.  I, for one, am torn between the two, and I say that as a confident SEO copywriter and specialist.

The problem is that SEO is theory – not fact; witness the many conflicting tips, tricks, hints and information on the subject.  For instance, one SEO guru may extol the virtues of keywords in the Meta tags, while another may tell you to forget the keyword tags all together.  

In copywriting for SEO purposes, keywords “seem” to be the most important thing about the content.  As you read articles on the Internet, you’ll find keywords that jump out at you; unnaturally placed, redundant, oddly written, some misspelled.  Is this natural writing, written badly?  No – it’s SEO.  Written badly.

Now, we in the optimization game know that SEO works.  We prove it when our clients reach the first page of Google on a strong search term and their traffic and conversion numbers rise.  What often happens, however, is what I call the “vitamin” effect.  You take a lot of vitamins and you feel better, but you don’t know which ones are working and which ones aren’t so you keep taking them all.

While we may not know everything that works versus everything that doesn’t, we do know that key words and phrases are effective.  So perhaps it isn’t the use of the keywords; perhaps it’s our implementation of them.

SEO copywriting, among other optimization techniques, will get you seen and visited.  Natural writing however, which may not be best for SEO purposes, has the possibility of getting better conversions.  So, the question for any SEO copywriter worth their salt is, “How do I merge natural writing and SEO copywriting so the content will appeal to both the search engines and the visitors?”

Relativity

Here is my hypothesis, my theory, my personal SEO heresy.  Using Best SEO as an example, it goes something like this:

Best SEO is a business offering SEO copywriting services.  Because of this, my key words and phrases for web content, blogs and articles should center on SEO, copywriting and other topics of relevance.  If I keep my content relative to the website like a good SEO specialist, wouldn’t those keywords show up naturally in the writing anyway?  

In other words, why force harmless words to jostle together in unfit ways?  What did they ever do to you?   For that matter, what did the reader ever do to you, that you would subject them to unnatural and crude writing?

Plain and simple, I firmly believe that if you have to force the words into content for your client, you’re doing that client a disservice.  Most likely, you’re either using the wrong keywords or trying to fit your content around them.

Instead, take the time to find out about your client, their business and their audience.  The more you know about the subject, the more natural your writing is and the less your keywords stand out; the law of relevance strikes again!

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