Writing For Search Engines
Writing for Search Engines: 5 Tips in Writing Online Copies
Writing for search engines simply put, means writing online. If you want to set up your own blog, or do freelance writing work online or you want to get an idea on how writing online differs from regular writing stints we do “offline,” here are some basic things you need to know about seo writing:
1. The Journalistic Style vs SEO Style
In news writing, you are required to have a certain kind of writing technique to formulate catchy titles and appealing sentences and capture your readers with your words or otherwise lose them in 5 seconds. But in internet marketing, you need FIRST to be FOUND.
Since the world wide web is composed of this vast cyberspace full of billions of webpages (that’s as far as I can count, but probably there’s more), your copy can easily be dumped and lost under its webby spaces and you will never be found. Ever again. Poor you.
But by simply “optimizing” your copy or your contents, spiders crawling around the web will find ya.
2. Optimizing copy
When writing for search engines, we need to maximize or get the most out of our copies. Let those spiders feed on your content and you’ll be happy. I’m actually telling you there are spiders and you need not be afraid of them.
In tech terms, they are called bots and they are exactly like spiders that crawl from one webpage to another and feast on billions of information they save in what they call data centers. Imagine like a lab and a highly enclosed facility hidden in an unidentified location so powerful and huge. Where people look so happy and they are all smiling because they work in Google. Yep.
Of course, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines have their own datacenters and set of terms they use. It’s GoogleBot for Google, Yahoo Slurp for Yahoo and MSNBot for MSN.
When writing for search engines, you are actually hoping that these bots or spiders will come and visit you and crawl your contents, not just once, but in a regular basis.
Optimizing your copies is the first thing you need to do, to make sure they’ll drop a visit. If they give you a visit, hola, YOU ARE FOUND. Finally.
3. Why Keywords are Important
When searching online, we usually go to a search engine, type in terms, phrases or keywords we think are relevant to what we are looking for and hit enter. Let’s say we use Google. I typed in, “seo hybrid” and hit search.
In the result, I am placed in the number two position. The result after every search is called, SERP or Search Engine Results Pages. And position of results is usually called search rankings.
Any idea why I’m on number two?
It’s because I used the keyword “seo hybrid” as the title of my blog. And GoogleBots think that the second most relevant to the “seo hybrid” keyword is my site, which is really what we are looking for here, and Google gave us the right information.
Why I’m not number one? That requires some other explanation but for now, I’d say, yey! I was found. =)
So simply put, if we placed keywords on the title, heading, subheadings of our webpage or copy, the spiders or bots will usually find us by those keywords.
Again to make it short, writing for search engines is based on targetted keywords, NOT necessarily UN-CATCHY titles but instead of writing “Movie Star to Speak Up in TV Show” it will be better to write Tom Cruise to Speak Up in Oprah, the exact keyword, than putting a vague description.
It’s OK if you prefer it that way, but optimizing copies will definitely make it easier for you to have readers drop by your site, because Google finds you relevant to show your webpage to searching users.
4. Keyword Placement
If spiders or bots finds you through keywords, why not place all the keywords you’d like to target on your entire copy? Not so good idea. Thousands of years ago, the emperor of Googleville found out that some webpages they crawl are only a bunch of spammers filling their content with keywords, over and over again. The Google emperor got so angry ang proceeded to create the “Google Algorithm.”
The Google Algorithm can’t be fooled. It won’t eat spam so spammers had to devise some other ways. The war is still on though.
So as not to be seen as a spammer, better place your keywords to the right places… (where it makes sense).
Place terms or keyword you’d like to target in the title of your copy, in the first sentence of your paragraph, you can italicize or bold it once or twice within your copy, and/ or add to your bulleted lists.
This way you are making a point, that your copy is about that “term” or “keyword.” I suggest you use your keywords 3 to 4 times within your entire copy, placing it to relevant places. If you used your keyword 8 times or more, your copy may be tagged as “spammy.”
5. Focus on Readability
It may be hard at first to write copies focusing on keywords but it’s actually easier. Writing online is way easier than news writing or writing feature articles on magazines etc. But it doesn’t mean you’ll write vague, unclear copies with keywords placed all over the right places.
Write for the human eye, that is still the major factor, once your copy is found by visitors, it’s your writing that will make them want to stay on your page or click back.
If you find it hard to combine readability and keyword insertions to your entire copy, ignore the keywords, write for people and then just go back to place the keywords in the right places.