Google, Bing, Yahoo – oh my! Over the past several months, search engines have been toughening up on quality keyword optimized content. With the Panda update, effective February, 2011, search engines are cracking down on inserting meaningful keywords, so that those inserted haphazardly cannot prevent your Web content from reaching search results. When writing copy for a website, press release, blog or other published venue, writers must not take the importance of keyword placement lightly. If there aren’t keywords in your content for search engines to locate, they will not place you highly in search results. It’s that simple.

Of course, everyone wants to place as highly as possible in search engines, but how is it done? It can be tricky – but once you know the steps to take, it will be a breeze.

Write text. Write your Web copy as normal – don’t dwell on keywords.
Why?: Thinking about keywords immediately can sometimes bog you down, causing you to think more about the keywords than what you’re actually trying to say. Keeping it simple will allow your thoughts to flow freely so you get your point across.

Research keywords. This involves keyword research tools like SEMRush or Google’s Keyword Tool. These programs can help you choose phrases that are most commonly searched so you can be sure you’re placing the right keywords in your text.
Why?: You are looking to gain traffic, and researching keywords will help you figure out what people are searching. Not only will search engines rank you higher – traffic will also be targeted, so that you know you’re reaching those searching for your services.

Insert keywords. Insert researched keywords into your copy where they make sense. You may need to rearrange a few words or sentences.
Why?: It’s likely that your inserted keyword will help you to be listed in search results for those using your keyword. For example, if someone was searching “advertising keywords” in a search engine and you inserted “advertising keywords” in your copy, you would be listed in search results before other Web copy that didn’t use that particular keyword phrase.

Enjoy. Watch your traffic increase. Sit back and sigh in satisfaction.

Following these steps will help you insert relevant keywords into your Web copy with ease. Feel free to be creative, though. Although keywords searched are typically basic, your copy surrounding them can be as creative as you’d like. You want to make sure that your content engages the searcher once they’ve reached your website. Remember, your end goal is for the searcher to find the answer they’ve been looking for – and for you to reap the benefits of search engine copywriting.

Do you have another trick you use to optimize your copy? Feel free to share with us!

Renee Achterhof is a content developer for MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry