It’s All About the Writing

Posted by Robin on Oct 30th, 2008

Very soon after striking out on my own with this web content development business, I landed a client through Craigslist.

He was a local client and when we met in person to discuss the project, he mentioned that although he had heard from over a dozen other respondents to his posting, several of the responses he got contained mechanical errors in the writing–from people claiming to be professional writers. Obviously, he didn’t consider any of them. Moreover, part of the reason he was looking for a writer was that English was his second language; these were errors that stood out even to a non-native speaker.

He had specifically asked for a writer who was familiar with search engine optimization principles, and it sounded like he had heard from people who thought that keywords were more important than the writing itself.

Clearly, that’s not the way to approach one’s website; after all, the point of hiring a copywriter is to get good copy that converts, not just to bring people to your site with commonly searched phrases. If they get to your site and see lots of grammar and spelling problems, or even if they just see uninspired, uninformative copy, that’s not going to build a lot of trust, and all of your keyword research will be for nothing.

This particular client’s customer base was made up of highly educated, mainly wealthy individuals, so it was all the more important to provide seamless professional copy–while at the same time judiciously including the relevant search terms in appropriate places.

Search terms are important, but there’s no reason that they should come at the expense of good writing.

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