How do you write sales copy for SEO and Google that doesn’t suck?

The new Google algorithm, code name hummingbird, is changing the way we write web copy. It was designed to keep naughty copywriters from endlessly repeating keywords to get better rankings. Google’s noble goal is to make the web more user friendly by rewarding content rather than keyword stuffing.

Good sales copy follows a hierarchy of information. Doesn’t matter if it’s in print or online.

  • Primary Benefits
  • Secondary Benefits
  • Attributes
  • Features
  • Colors and Styles
  • SKU and Price

In the past, errant web copywriters would take good print copy and pepper the whole thing with keywords till it read like something out of a Rainman tirade. (Gotta go to Kmart, I buy my underwear at Kmart, only Kmart.) Thanks to hummingbird you can’t just repeat the same thing over and over anymore. Google will penalize you. (And that’s not a bad thing because it really sounds stupid.) Of course, if you want to rank for button down oxford shirts, you need to get button down, oxford and shirt into the copy and then what? The problem is that Google now rewards content, not repetition. You have to figure out what Google thinks are words related to button down, oxford and shirt. And this is where it gets hard. Google isn’t going to tell you what those words are.

The example they use is rabbit=bunny, fluffy, soft, fuzzy, floppy ears, eats carrots.

Yah. I know, right? I’m sure you found that super helpful as well.

The good news is that the web is deep and you can add content that will score for words which are linked to your button down oxford shirt, and they don’t have to be part of the sales copy block. You can’t game the system by keyword stuffing but you can create great relevant copy to increase your rank.

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Sarah Fletcher

President/Creative Director Catalog Design Studios Inc.
Co-Founder Catalog University