As more individuals in search of information and companies needing effective copy became familiar with our blog and content system, something became clear. Readers began to recognize that the words they were being fed, the style and the content, sounded the same regardless of the source. In time, they were able to see through the poorly constructed veneer of legitimate writing, to the real point of the copy: keyword density. Not only was the writing terrible, the attempt to manipulate was blatant. To many people, the practice, indeed the entire approach of content writing, was perceived as an insult to their intelligence. I am an experienced writer and I feel that way. I imagine that you do to.
What Can We Do About it?
It is time to devise a new template for delivering blog and SEO content that that uses the language as a creative form of communication and does not pander to the lowest common denominator. An experienced writer has the ability to produce effective copy that is well written, yet still accomplishes intended goals. Here are a few suggestions of how this can be done.
• Stop assuming that every reader is as dense as the least informed reader. The assumption is that by doing this, everyone will be able to understand the message or will fall subject to the subliminal intent. The reality is: unintelligent readers are not influenced by these techniques and intelligent readers are alienated by the condescending undertone of the copy.
• Don’t use the indirect approach. If someone lacks the cognitive capability to make an informed decision, he will not be subconsciously swayed by the clever use of psychological ploys. Such mechanisms work better on smart people and you have already turned them off along with their receptor switches.
• Stop the concept of keyword saturation. What are you going to do when software recognizes synonyms? You will need a new bludgeon with which to hammer the reader anyway so start looking for one now? If the need to stuff keywords is overwhelming, just repeat it several times in the title or in a header and get it out of the way. You have your Google spot. Now the door is then open for the experienced writer to produce creative copy.
• Set yourself apart by the quality of your content, not its SEO effectiveness. I understand that driving visitors is the whole point of the blog and most content, but why not make that point up front. It is not possible to prevent savvy readers from discerning your true motives. Which is the better approach, to carefully but always ineffectively disguise your real intent with clumsily worded copy? Or to state your objectives openly?
• Reject assignments that include SEO instructions like: 300 words. Keyword- Divorce lawyers in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Use a minimum of 6 times. If you follow these instructions, you are not writing; you are hawking. No experienced writer wants to produce trash. If we all reject articles like these, the clients will be forced to rethink their approaches. It will not take long for the direction to change.
• Write with intelligence. The community of copywriters is subject to the same gestalt as is any collective group. Choosing to use words to the best of our abilities, as opposed to the baser motives of those who cannot understand the value of that ability, elevates us all as well as our craft. In time; this becomes the norm. It is the way of group dynamics.
• Be proud of your skill and your copy. If we all do that, the inferior copy will stand out and be rejected. Make good writing the new standard and let the marketing wonks adjust accordingly.
Michael T is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.