There's a deadly myth about search engine optimization and writing for web: that good SEO and good writing don't go together.
As a website copywriter, I hear this myth repeated back to me all time by new clients and prospects. "Don't bother search-engine-optimizing content," they say. "Just make sure it is well written and keywords will flow naturally into content." Or, they repeat words of so many self-styled gurus: "donít write for search engines, write for people who will be reading what you write."
If you're one of people who believe there's a conflict of interest between search engines and humans, you're operating under two misconceptions:
* Misconception 1: you know more about what people want to read on web than search engines do.
* Misconception 2: you or your writer will just naturally write content that people or search engines want, without consciously trying to meet their demands.
Why Search Engines Know More about Your Website Visitors than You
"I want a well-written web page, not a list of keywords." It frightens me a bit when I hear this, since it demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what search engines do.
A search engine is not simply a massive find function, like one in "Edit" menu of Microsoft applications. It does not just pull up any page that has keyword in it X number of times. If it did, all pages that show up on search engine results would simply contain a list of keywords.
Ultimately, writing for search engines means writing for web surfers. Think about it: services like Google thrive on giving people pages they want to read. If they consistently failed to give people what they wanted, people would stop using them.
What Your Website's Visitors Want to Read
Most of time, people don't want to read on web. Reading on a screen hurts eyes. It doesn't help that a lot of web pages make it harder with text that's too small, backgrounds that are colored rather than white, and lots of extraneous graphics.
Besides, when it comes to reading matter, there is an overabundance of choice on web, more than any library on earth. Of that, an unfortunate amount isnít worth reading. Time must be rationed.
In fact, people treat a web page much as a search engine does: they scan it. In particular, they scan it for keywords they entered into search engine. If they arrived via a link from another website, they are still looking for words and phrases related to their interest--which are generally same as keywords people enter into search engines.