seo what?

seo what?

May 26th, 2010 // 2:12 pm @ // 2 Comments

Hello there. Sorry it’s all been a bit quiet on the blog front of late but I do have an excuse. It’s this whole new website thing. You see, while the new site was being built, tested, put online and all that technical stuff, I wasn’t allowed to touch it. There is, of course, a good reason for this. I’m crap. It’s true, I am to technology what Stephen Hawking is to Strictly Come Dancing.  So every time I went near the site, it crashed, putting work back by days and making those wonderful people at mediaburst who built it for me, hate me a little more with each passing hour. So, very sorry indeed people, especially Gary and Martin, and thanks for all the work.

Anyway, back in the world of advertising it’s been a funny old week. I’d been doing some work for someone else’s brand new website and I’d got all excited about it. I loved the stuff I’d come up with for it, thought it was bang on target for the audience, it was cheeky, modern and all round top stuff. However, there was one big problem. It wasn’t really SEO copy. You know SEO copy? Of course you do. It’s copy that’s written specifically for Search Engine Optimisation. You fill the text with key words and phrases that the “spiders” who live inside Search Engines love. Those spiders scuttle around the web finding juicy key words and saving them up for when someone types “Katy Perry’s bum” or somesuch into Google, then direct them to the site that says “Katy Perry’s bum” more often than any other site. Or something.

It’s all very, very clever stuff and I can see the attraction. After all, what’s the point of having a really brilliant site if people aren’t being directed there in their droves? There’s one little thing that niggles me though. I feel sure that there comes a point where SEO becomes the proverbial tail wagging the dog. Ok, so the copy appeals to all the machines searching  web content for key words and phrases but how does that copy read to real people? After all, those people know the key words. Presumably they’ve just typed them into Google, Yahoo, Bing, Bong, Diddle diddly doo or whatever Search Engine they’re using, so do they really want to read copy full of them?

Maybe it’s because I’m a Manchester copywriter and maybe I’m over-simplifying the whole SEO thing, I usually do, but I’d much rather read copy that’s written for people who appreciate a bit of cleverness and fun, than for a piece of technological software with an ( artificial ) eye for multiple key words. Sure, the SEO stuff is very, very important but shouldn’t  lovely, clever words come before keywords? Wouldn’t it be better to have  something really worth reading for those people who arrive at your site than just the collection of tricks that got them there?

It’s a difficult one isn’t it? Still, I’m sure there are a few SEO writers out there who’ll be more than happy to put me straight on everything I’ve just written. That’s if they ever find this blog of course.

Apparently it’s not SEO enough.

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2 Comments → “seo what?”

  1. Gary Bury

    12 years ago

    Nice words v’s keyword heavy SEO copy. A tough one but with so much business coming via Google it’s hard to ignore the SEO element. Personally I believe you can do both:
    Keywords are a reflection of what people search for and hence a reflection of the language your customers use, so using them in copy is no bad thing. The problem in my mind arises with keyword stuffing and using them out of context. Keywords need to exist in properly written copy, copy that reads well to us humanoids yet still contains keywords that are relevant to both the reader and Google bots.

    I thought this was an interesting artice on SEO copywriting

  2. Andy Bartling

    11 years ago


    Couldn’t agree more with your post. Writers should focus on writing copy, vs. ‘content.’ That’ll help us all remember that we’re communicating to humans (even though the spiders get a say in whether what we write will ever be read).

    Andy Bartling

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