Keyword crazy. Sometimes that’s what the world of writing for Google, Yahoo and the other search engines feels like. As a writer of web content you eventually come to realize that a different set of rules apply to writing for the internet than used to apply to writing of any kind. Providing web content that will remain forever unread unless you can get it on the first two pages of hits from a Google or Yahoo search query is an unusual amalgamation of creative writing and copywriting. It isn’t so much that you must write to sell a certain product, thankfully, but in order to get your content read and your voice heard you do have to consider your words from a marketing perspective.
Social community sites and the various blog-based web sites can provide you with a dependable niche audience of those who make a regular habit of reading either you or the site’s overall content. But to break out and reach tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands you have to think keyword density. I try not to, but find myself increasingly thinking about topics that are at the head of the search engine lists. One good tool for this is WordTracker who will send you for free a weekly update of the top 300 keyword searches on the largest search engine metacrawlers over the past 48 hours. For instance, I received my latest WordTracker update as I write this to find that the number one query was MySpace. By contrast, down at number 300 was Walmart.com. What that tells us as internet content providers is that we should write about MySpace instead of Walmart.com because we stand a better chance of our article hitting the top of the search results if we have a higher keyword density for MySpace than Walmart.com.
Okay, take a look at what I wrote and notice some things. One, I’ve mentioned a really hot keyword three times and a relatively hot keyword three times. Two, this article isn’t actually about either of those search queries. And, finally, what if I don’t have anything interesting to write about MySpace or Walmart.com? Should I struggle to come up with some angle to write about? Should I write about something else that allows me to sneak those keywords in?
WordTracker also tells me that MySpace has been the number one search engine query over the last 90 days. Surprisingly, beautiful girls is at the bottom of this list, at number 200. Hey, I’ll write about how many beautiful girls there are on MySpace. That will surely get me to the top of the search engine list, right? If you really just wanted to write a searchable article, you’d be better off writing an article about MySpace members who like to play games. Because, play games is actually the second most searched term. Surely any halfway creative writer could come up with an article that combined the two most popular search engine queries and produce a dense, keyword rich article.
Therein lies the problem. You see, as I peruse the WordTracker list of hot topics, I come across terms like Sean Kingston and Mika and culcha candela that I have never even heard of before. I also come across terms like Shakira and Jessica Alba and anime that I have heard of but have no interest in writing about. What I don’t find is Thomas Paine, or Polish/French cinema, or Presidential assassins, topics I am interested in but that are exceeding difficult to work MySpace naturally into at a 2.8% density ratio. What’s an internet content writer to do? I’m going to commit to trying to make my articles more search engine friendly and keyword rich, but as this article proves that is intensely difficult for me. I purposely wrote on this topic to see if I could naturally write with keyword density in mind. The result isn’t promising. After running the final product through a keyword analyzer, it turns out that the only keyword on Wordtracker’s hot 300 that made it above 2% was MySpace. Just barely. It appears I’m doomed to depend on the quality of my content rather than the subject to earn my page views.