SEO Services: How SEO Copywriters Should Handle Optimizing for More than One Keyword Phrase


If you’re a freelancer who provides SEO services like keyword-rich articles, you may have run across clients who want you to optimize a page (article) for more than one keyword phrase. Following is how my SEO writing firm handles these types of requests. I’ll explain by way of an actual example.


SEO Services: The Request to Optimize an Article for More than One Keyword Phrase


Last week, a client who owns an internet marketing firm put in an order for multiple real estate sites. He sent over a list of keyword phrases for each site – like 20-30 for each one. This confused me because when we had discussed the project on the phone, I thought he wanted us to only write two or three pages for each site.


Note: Usually, when a client sends you a list of keyword phrases, this signifies that they want one article per keyword phrase. So upon receipt of his list of keyword phrases, I emailed the client for clarification, writing:

When you receive a list of keywords from clients, be sure to get the PRIMARY phrase they want you to optimize for; use the others as secondary fillers.


Just a quick clarification question: do you want an article written for each keyword phrase you sent me? Also, is the home page to be rewritten for each site?


The client responded back:

Just need a front page written incorporating as many of those terms that you can, those are the terms we’re optimizing them for.


I wrote back:

We optimize for one primary keyword phrase per page (eg, 350-400). While we will incorporate the use of secondary keyword phrases, we don’t take pains to reach a certain density with these b/c that takes more time per page (we can do it, but the cost of each page (article) would be more).


FYI, I don’t advise optimizing for more than one keyword per page simply b/c 350-400 words is not that long. One keyword phrase (or two at the absolute most) is plenty. Otherwise, it makes the copy “reader unfriendly” b/c you’re so focused on creating density for too many phrases.
BTW, the cost per article/page is $10 more for each additional phrase you want us to optimize for. Again, we will use secondary keyword phrases in a natural context as a matter of course. The difference b/t “optimizing for” and “using a phrase naturally” is taking pains to reach a certain density.
This being said, let me know the primary keyword phrase you want us to optimize for for each page.

SEO Services: The Case Against Optimizing a Page for More than One Keyword Phrase


As I stated in my response to the client, optimizing for more than one keyword phrase per page makes the copy “reader unfriendly”. Most web pages are 250-600 words long. If you’re trying to achieve a minimum keyword density of 3% in a 400-word article, you’d have to use the phrase at least 12 times. Learn how to calculate keyword density. That’s a lot!


Imagine trying to optimize to a certain density for two phrases in copy so short. While it can be done, it will take you much more time to write readable copy, but you will have to break all kinds of grammar rules and the copy just won’t be reader friendly.


See what I mean? And, that;s why at New Media Words, we only optimize regular-length web pages for one primary keyword phrase.


SEO Services: Common Practices in SEO Copywriting


This post has a few SEO services assumptions. They are based on the requests I’ve received from clients in the almost two years I’ve been doing SEO copywriting.  


SEO Article Word Count: At New Media Words, our SEO copywriting article word counts range from 300-500 words. Anything shorter is a blog post; anything longer is considered a double article and is billed accordingly. Hence, when we calculate keyword density, these are the word counts we keep in mind.


A lot of times, you’ll have to explain this to clients. Remember, you’re probably going to know a lot more about SEO copywriting than your clients. Once you explain the reasons behind why you can’t do something, they almost always accept it – and even appreciate you explaining it to them.


Keyword Density: Most of the clients I’ve dealt with expect a 2-3% keyword density for their articles. Occasionally, you’ll get a really aggressive internet marketer who wants something higher, like 5% or 6%, but I haven’t had any requests for densities greater than this. Usually, they use copy like this to submit to article directories, or to bury deep in their site for link juice.


We finished a project like this a couple of weeks ago. A client – another internet marketing firm – was adding like 75 pages to their site. They commissioned us to write articles with a 5% density that they were burying on their site (ie, linking them deep within the site). They did this to maintain their position in the search engines for certain keyword phrases.


This type of writing is not fun – at least not for me – because it’s what I call “regurgitative writing.” IE, you’re just repeating what’s already on the site; and its usually said better on the other pages.  


I think one of the reasons New Media Words gets so much repeat business is that no matter what, we will always find a way to make a piece interesting and useful. We don’t do “regurgitative writing” that provides no value to the end user.


Keep this in mind in your SEO services offerings, and you’ll build a solid reputation as a “Quality SEO Services Provider.”

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Copyright © 2009: Yuwanda Black for SEO Writing Jobs. This article may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express, written consent of the author.

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