Writing Keyword-Enhanced Copy

Copywriting can be a difficult thing, especially for the web. Trying to pay attention to things like keywords and search engine traffic only complicates the process. Following are a few tips to make it a little bit easier. For excellent keyword selection and integration, consult an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professional.

KeyboardDetermine which keywords you want to use
In order to be found on search engines, you have to know what people—your potential guests—are searching for. One way to do that is to use a tool to see what people have searched for over the last month or year. Google offers a good one in its AdWords program. Search for a few terms you think your potential guests are searching for, and see what results you come up with. General words or phrases (e.g. “soldotna b&b”, “seward guest house”, “alaska bed & breakfast”) will have high search numbers, and also a lot of competition among other websites that are also targeting that keyword. More specific terms will have less competition, but also fewer searches.

If you currently have a website, take a look at your analytics to see how much search engine traffic you’re receiving, and what people are searching for to find you. You can also perform a Google (or Bing or Yahoo) search for the keywords you think people are using. See if the results return what you’d expect to find, like your competitors or neighbor B&Bs.

Once you’ve done that, decide which keywords you want to target, and make a list of 3 or 4 phrases for each page of your website. Each page can have different keywords, but they should be related.

Integrate the keywords into the copy
If you’ve already written the copy, you need to figure out how to integrate these new key phrases into your copy. That might mean changing it to read completely differently—unfortunately, keyword copywriting is rarely as simple as “Insert Word Here.” If you haven’t written the copy yet, it might be a bit easier. Your keywords can direct your content in conjunction with your B&B’s services.

Write for people, not for search engines
Use the keywords in appropriate places, and use the most important keywords in the headlines or subheads. This doesn’t mean you can’t write with personality; in fact, it means just the opposite. Remember that your goal is reservations, not traffic, so the copy must be readable and clear, and must be true to your B&B’s mission. Your B&B is unique, so your copy should reflect that—and so should your keywords.

Take your time, and make sure the keywords flow along with your copy. If they sound weird or contrived, change and rewrite the copy until it works. Good writing looks as if it’s easy, but it takes a lot of sweat and tears to make it look that way!