Craft Savvy Copy
Web copy tailored to the needs of search engine marketing can help boost conversion rates and ROI, says Heather Lloyd-Martin, CEO and president of Washington state-based search marketing solutions provider SuccessWorks Inc. In her presentation, "Write Your Way to Search Engine Success," at this year's DMA•05 conference in Atlanta, Lloyd-Martin spelled out key tips to keep in mind when optimizing copy for search engines.
When it comes to making better key-phrase choices, research is paramount, says Lloyd-Martin. It's essential to:
1. Identify key phrases that pros-pects actually type into a search box to find products or services your company offers. Test your key word choices by seeing what results come up when you do a search for them on Yahoo!, MSN and Google. If results aren't relevant to your product, find better key phrases.
2. Include specific legacy (for example, key phrases that refer to an older version of your product), buzz and general key phrases.
3. Pinpoint phrases that aren't misspellings or grammatically incorrect.
4. Find phrases that flow smoothly within the writing. Longer text is a plus. It makes it easier to include key phrases, to maintain your marketing message and to include more content.
When it comes to crafting an effective writing strategy, Lloyd-Martin advises you:
• Choose two to three key phrases that are targeted for each page and are grammatically correct;
• Include each key phrase three to four times within your copy—more if it makes sense; and
• Slice your key phrase usage if your text sounds "spammy" to you. After all, search engines don't pay your bills, your prospects do.
Include key phrases in headlines and subheads, as well as call-to-action links. Also, make the text easier to scan by using elements such as headlines and subheads—just as you would with direct mail, adds Lloyd-Martin. And you should put your key phrases in your main body text copy, from top to bottom.