There's a time and a place for everything. The place for sweat pants to be worn is at home, not at the airport; the place for cigarette butts to be thrown is an ashtray, not out your car window; and the place for the Twighlight movies to be watched is on the corner of nowhere and never again.

When dealing with your online content you have to find the right keywords and the right place for them on the page. SEO 1997 was all about throwing keywords anywhere and everywhere on the page in hopes to claim those top spots on AltaVista, WebCrawler, Excite and the six other search engines you were gunning for. (Ahhh, remember the days!)

In today's world SEO has meaning beyond getting rankings, 'cause, you know... people are gonna see that stuff. Your content has to read, not like a keyword laundry list but more like information that actually helps sell your product or services, or provide information the reader finds helpful to them.

Everybody has a job to do

SEO and copywriter jobsMaking SEO work requires the involvement of more than just a good SEO or a good copywriter. In fact, both have their role in finding and integrating keywords into the content of the page.

The SEO is largely in charge of keyword selection. It's not the copywriter's job to go out and do the in-depth keyword research or to be responsible for selecting the keywords that should be worked into the page.

Integrating the keywords into the content is the job of a good copywriter. The SEO hands off the keyword lists and the copywriter edits, tweaks, rewrites and adjusts the content so the optimized keywords have been worked into the content in a way that doesn't destroy the flow or the goals of the page.

While each have their roles, there are times when the roles can overlap a bit. Many times the keywords "selected" by the SEOs won't fit on the selected page. I always ask my copywriters to use their judgment on whether any given keyword, phrase or qualifier works on a page or not.

This is where the SEO and the copywriter need to work together. The SEO might see a way that the keyword can work that perhaps the copywriter doesn't quite get. A little working together, some give and take and the SEO and copywriter should be able to come to an agreement whether a keyword can or should be used on a particular page.

The SEO also needs to be able to have input as to where certain keywords need to be placed on the page. Unless the copywriter understands SEO they may not get that some keywords need to be in headings, some in body content and some need to be used a bit more frequently than others. But again, the copywriter should have final say as to how those keywords are used in the content to make sure it really works.

Good content cannot be rushed

You rush a miracle man you get rotten miracles.

The process of selecting keywords and integrating them into content is not one to be taken lightly. This isn't 1997! Give your team time to figure what the best keywords are and how to properly work those into the page. A good optimized page will take several hours for research and content writing and will go through a few edits.

When you allow the page to work its way through the development process you'll get content that is search engine optimized, brings in targeted traffic, provides your visitors the information they need and helps move them through the sales process. Each keyword will have a place and be used in its place to get the visitors in the place you want them to be because they have the information they need.

Inconceivable ContentThis post was inspired from The Princess Bride themed presentation I gave in early 2010 at SEMpdx's Searchfest titled Inconceivable Content: The Dread Pirate Robert's Guide to Creating Swashbuckling Content, Pillaging the Search Engines, and Commandeering a Treasure Trove of Conversions. If you enjoyed this post you also might enjoy other posts inspired from the same. Search for "inconceivable content" on this blog to find them all.

June 24, 2010

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


Hahaha I love your photo message there. I guess anything that is being rushed will end up messed up right? Anyways, choosing the high quality keywords is the key to be successful in SEO game.

As an SEO copywriter, sometimes I start sweating when I see long tail keywords and sit there panicking about how I'm going to use them seamlessly and naturally in a sentence. However, a quick conversation with the SEO expert can often clarify this and they can give me examples of how it can be done without compromising the copy. I agree that it's a collaboration between the SEO expert and SEO copywriter but the SEO copywriter should get the final say.

Dude, the airport is the BEST place for sweatpants! Comfort trumps all in such uncomfortable environs.

@Gabriel, I dunno... the last person I saw wearing sweatpants at the airport was also wearing suspenders. That image just won't leave me. It's really more of a community service than anything else. :)

*Edit.(i bet you wont post this)

I'm sorry, but in 2007 I was the seo in charge of several online magazines. We had 10 writers, and i was doing what you are recommending to do now (2010). So how long you have worked on SEO that in 2007 you were just throning keywords into content? I trained my writers on SEO first, and then gave then keywords-- and we did great.

Dont mean to be rude, but this is the problem with this industry, searchengineguide, Mashable (some writter advancing people to use keyword meta tags--ch****'s sake), searchenginewatch.. All these websites hire good writers that are newbies at SEO (or people just dont get SEO) advising more dumb SEO newbies.., and what you get? A saturated market full of people that the only thing they are good at is at talking a good game, and...CAN' WRITE WELL. And The better you BS the more SEO SPECIALIST YOU ARE, ah. That is the game these days

Tire of this field...I've been in internet since 1996..Yes, I'm a geek since birth, and I'm good at it, but you writers and wannabes just make this whole SEO fiel into a total joke.

Google has never disclosed, and never will, say what factors they use to rank, We can only guesstimate bases on years of practice...and still...we dont know s**t!!...And after 400 updates, May updates and Google personalization..forget it.

So for all these sites to position themselves as the leading Kings of SEO, is just a joke!!

I'm writing on my blog about this.. Going to start calling all you site's BS. had enough of this madness..


I went ahead and posted your comment so the rest of the world can see how asinine your comment is. (The editing out of profanity is my doing.)

Your comment is hilarious in that you complain about those of us who write about SEO yet your post is full of bad grammar, mispelled words and is laced with complete ignorance.

What do I care that you were an "seo in charge of several online magazines." Three years ago you were doing what I'm recommending now? So? I've been doing what I've been doing now for a lot longer than that. Does that mean this is bad advice?. If you read what I wrote (I'd say carefully, but then it just takes good old fashioned reading, nothing "careful" needed) you'll see that I referenced SEO back in 1997!

As for the charge that sites like this, Search Engine Guide and others hire newbie writers that don't know the industry, well that just shows how little you know, period. Most of the writers on these online blogs are not writers. They are doers. The live this stuff day in and day out... writing is just something they do to help educate people who are willing to admit that they may not know all they pretend to.

So thanks for the "REALITY CHECK". I'd write more but, alas, I have a company to run... and it's not this blog.

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Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Put Your SEO and Copywriter in Their Place... So Your Keywords Will Be Too!