Copywriting, content and the key words conundrum

Most blogs and articles about key words and key phrases for website optimisation assume the client is totally dependent on the internet for their business and that it’s simply a case of letting your inner geek do the rest. Since our focus is always on achieving sales and/or leads, we take a step back and start by asking some pertinent questions. Such as ‘How important is the internet in this client’s sales process?’ ‘Is what they are selling something people are likely to search for?’ (More of this in a moment) and ‘Bearing in mind their competition for ranking, could a fresh look at their positioning get them on the first rung of the ladder?’

Answering these and other questions before we start structuring the site means the optimisation works in the context of the client’s whole marketing proposition.

Client A for example has set up what is, in effect, a fairly me-too holistic healthcare consultancy in a sector that’s intensely competitive. However, careful key words research reveals this competition is less fierce for one, specialist aspect of their offering and that although they have a lot of competitors right on their doorstep, a local town has surprisingly few. By structuring the content to emphasise their specialist skills and geographical reach, we don’t waste key word effort trying to achieve the impossible.

Client B on the other hand has come up with an entirely new type of service that they believe people will soon want in increasing numbers. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit any conventional search criteria. It’s ‘similar, but different from’ other, related services. In this case, we discuss with the client the problem that this new business is solving. What prompted them to create it? What kind of need did colleagues express that prompted them to fill the gap with this new service?  Our focus in this case is on key words and phrases related to these problems and we structure the site around asking and answering the questions that this new business can solve.

Of course, in some cases it’s fastest, and simplest to kick start the optimisation with an AdWords campaign. But if we can see a better, more sustainable way to get the results the client needs, we take it. Using PR and social media to get the message to the right people and generate new visitors to the site. Building a highly targeted audience through direct mail and/or creating regular communications that encourage the right kind of customers to recommend the business to their contacts.

None of this is rocket science. But it takes time, careful thought and an ability to see the bigger picture, right from the first conversation with a new client.

It’s one of the reasons people like working with us. And one of the many reasons we love our work.

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