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March 27, 2007


Ali Manson

Hey Ryan,

Just as I thought the SEO hot potato was cooling down, you throw it right back into the fire! Ha ha!

I agree with you; SEO copy is a "skill" I find to be professionally compromising.

If you rank hard-hitting copy above SEO, then you'll have to accept the fact that people will have to be directed to your website by other means (whether that be PPC, affiliate links, e-mail blasts to your list, or some other method).

On the other hand, if you deem SEO to be more important, then the flow, readability and the IMPACT of the piece will ultimately take a hit. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar.

I am continually stunned that people are willing to pay more for people branding themselves as "SEO copywriters". It's a farce.

To me, SEO is just part of good research into the target market's needs, but at the end of the day, you HAVE to ask the client straight out what matters more to them;

IMPACT (and results)


A higher ranking on Google/Yahoo etc?


John A. Manley

I think another problem that happens with over-dependence on SEO is you loose uniqueness. You confirm to "key"words, which in the end are overused words.

Yet, you look at some of the big successes online: A name like "google" beat "miscrosoft search network" even though MSN has the more relevant name by far.

So why did they win? Why is google a household verb? Because being different stood out with the human beings, not the robots.

And last time I checked, robots aren't buying anything online (not yet).



Hi Ryan,

this is right, it is very hard to optimize a page for SEO and have nice sounding sentences in the same time. I am sure as time goes by and teh searchengines get smarter and smarter, time will come when this is not such a big issue anymore. Cause at the very end searchengines wnat to deliver not just relevant content but good content also.

Right now as you said ... ther has to be a compromise. a liitle of that and a little of that.

I always try to put a little more value into the SalesCopy itself - the words.

Cause when the copy converts better you can make with less traffic more money than with much traffic and a lower conversion rate.

Cheers :-)

tower defense

I am sure as time goes by and teh searchengines get smarter and smarter, time will come when this is not such a big issue anymore. Cause at the very end searchengines wnat to deliver not just relevant content but good content also.

Kristi Daniels

I love it.

I heard about your blog on Michel Fortin's blog.

Both are great responses and I think are key for how we move into the future.

The FTC has spoken and said that we need full disclosure about what is content and what is copy.

Does such a distinction even really exist?

Thanks for a great post!

Leo Dimilo

Hey Ryan,

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that it is possible to write copy for the search engines and for the readers. One of the things that you have left out is the assumption that in order to rank for keywords, on page optimization is the sole factor.

On page optimization is important. But if you can get just a couple high powered links with the proper anchor text, it is possible to rank for whatever you are hoping to rank for (provided it isn't super competitive) without even having the keyword in the copy at all.

As a marketer, I think that it is very important to write for the people who are reading your stuff but I do understand the importance of visibility and let's be honest...outside of an army of affiliates pushing our products for us, SEM (and PPC)is probably the second best way to drive traffic to our offers.

Michael does mention funnels and they are equally important in the grand scheme of things. Howie Schartz has made his living off of utilizing parasitic web hosts which garner automatic trustrank to inundate a long tail keyword search with funnels going to his main product or offer.

Anyway, while I do think that everyone should write for their readers and not solely for the search engines, I do think that doing both is probably a lot easier than you just requires a little out of the box thinking.

Good Post.

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