Professional writers do more than just put words on a page. This is especially true when writing for the web. One of the most difficult parts of the job today is dealing with the balancing act of using keywords and keyword phrases to help the content accomplish a client’s SEO goals, but also creating content that is easy-to-read for the reader.
Writers quite often face the daunting task of inserting a particularly clunky or even grammatically incorrect keyword within web copy. Just like an Olympic gymnast isn’t born knowing how to do the Yurchenko vault, a professional writer must practice to learn how insert “best plumbing company Cleveland, Ohio” in a document without it “screaming” SPAM!!! Next time you find yourself testing your flexibility as a writer with some keyword gymnastics, keep these tips in mind.
- Don’t Stuff – One reason it can be difficult to work with keywords is that many professional writers try to go overboard. While it is ultimately the decision of the client how many times you need to incorporate a keyword, there is often some flexibility on the matter. Talk to your client and find out if you only need to include the phrase once or twice, or if he needs you to “go for the gold” and use it throughout the document.
- Quote Me on This – If your keyword is so complicated or clunky that you can’t bend your content enough to include it as is, using it as a quoted phrase is sometimes the best solution. For instance, consider the phrase “Atlanta cheap website design.” It would be very difficult to write a quality sentence with that phrase. However, you could write something like: “Next time you find yourself looking for a bargain-priced design company, search Google for “Atlanta cheap website design,” and you’ll find a number of possible options. This isn’t something you’ll want to overuse, but at times it can be the best way to fit in that crazy keyword.
- Noun as an Adjective – Especially with localized SEO becoming very popular, many longtail keywords end in a place name. One way to fit these keywords into your document is by turning that place name into an adjective. For example with the keyword “roofing service Detroit”: ABC Company is the roofing service Detroit residents trust. Once again, it can be distracting if this technique is overused, but it does work.
- Of, In and Dash – Search engines are becoming smarter and they are programmed to recognize how “real people” search. A few years ago “Spanish tutor Knoxville” may have been the preferred keyword phrase, but now “Spanish tutor in Knoxville” “Spanish tutor of Knoxville” or “Spanish tutor – Knoxville” will all accomplish the same thing. Talk to your client and find out if you can get away with including these little words to make it easier to write quality content.
Just like mastering tricks in the gym, writing great content while still optimizing for a clunky keyword requires flexibility, artistry and practice. After you have worked out the kinks in your writing routine, you’ll find that the flips and twists of keyword gymnastics come almost naturally.
Tracy S is a freelance writer and blogger who is writing her first book. When she’s not glued to the keyboard she has her eyes glued to a sci-fi book, her mind glued on her pool game or has glue on her hands while working on a home improvement project.