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How I ended up the butt of your jokes – the SEO copywriter and the synonym

An SEO copywriter walks into a bar, grill, pub, public house, Irish, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor…

‘Open with a joke’, they said. …..Yes, you’ve heard the above joke before but there’s still a leaning toward synonyms in web content and with good reason. SEO content writers have a few things that p*s* them (us) off. Keyword obsession is one and using synonyms in your online copy and content will make your text seem a lot more natural – even if it’s not…if you know what I mean…

Think of the last really boring conversation you had. It sounds hard but some are so hilariously dull that you’ll never forget them. Like that time you met someone (perhaps over Christmas) who just came back from (insert international city name) and dropped that very word into nearly every sentence – and sometimes twice in one sentence. It did not seem normal and was so promotional and self-serving, you just went along with it until it finished and then walked away. You probably avoided that person for a while and may have even went to another pub*. Similarly, repetitive, tedious web content will have folk leaving your site very quickly.

How did we get here? Keyword density was once a very important aspect of what web writers do. For example, for an article like this, I’d have picked a word like ‘seo copywriter’ and I’d have peppered my paragraphs with as many mentions of it in a page as I thought I’d get away with. Thankfully, the good people over at Google have since advised us through their Penguin and Panda updates that keyword obsession is not the way to go. And that the role of synonyms is now what we need to think about.

Next time you’re on a PC word application, right-click on a word, any word. You’re presented with a list of options. One of these is ‘synonyms’.  If you are a little obsessed with a certain word, it’s technology’s way of telling you there are more fish in the sea. Your computer will identify a number of words that are closest in meaning to the one you’ve clicked on which may also be suitable to use. Or you can always consult a thesaurus or online versions of the same thing. Clunky copy is a real turn-off.

Natural content, free of keyword metrics, will engage your readers. If you’re a web content writer, you know that already. If you’re not and it’s you that must provide the words for your website or that of your company, keep it in mind.  And if writing content for your site is something you’d like to avoid, just get in touch with me, an experienced freelance seo copywriter.

*Fictitious – any resemblance to persons or events, living or dead is purely coincidental.

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