Discover the right keyword phrases: think like a reporter!

Do you have an awkward feeling that your website’s keyword phrases could be better?

Can your target audience easily find your website?

Looking for some handy tips? Well, I am certainly game for any new SEO (Search Engine Optimization) copyediting or writing² suggestions. In creating the right keyword phrases, SEO consultant Jill Whalen’s advice is to think like a reporter. In her handbook “The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines” she advises SEO copyeditors to ask the questions reporters do (who? what? where?). Why? Because the answers to these questions are often the keyword phrases you are looking for.

Reporter’s capreporters

In other words, if you ask these questions, you will most likely come up with your keyword phrases. For example, when writing for an Italian adventure travel website specializing in bike and walking tours, you can ask yourself the following question: “What kind of travel?” and the keyword phrase answer could be: Italian adventure travel. And when you ask yourself the question “What kind of vacations?,” the keyword phrases probably at the tip of your tongue are : bike tours and walking tours.

By being more specific about the product or service you are selling, you optimize your text. So instead of using generic words such as product or service, Whalen’s advice is to use your keyword phrases instead. Regarding the website mentioned above, Whalen suggests substituting our service with the keyword phrase our adventure travel tours. So instead of being too general, be descriptive.

Journalists fit the description

Journalists are said to be particularly suitable when it comes to writing for the web. Whalen certainly illustrates one of the reasons why. We ask ourselves these questions everyday.

¹ “A ‘keyword phrase’ is a two-word or longer phrase that prospects type into a search query box, such as ‘Florida travel’ or ‘heavy equipment dealers.’ The word ‘keyword’ refers to a single word search term (like ‘Florida’ or ‘equipment’).”

² “Search engine optimization (SEO) writing: Search engine optimization writing is specialized copywriting that entails weaving keywords and keyphrases into marketing or informational copy. The purpose of search engine optimization copywriting is to gain prime positioning for the desired keyphrases, as well as increase page conversion rates.”

Both definitions are by SEO copywriter Heather Lloyd-Martin, author of “Successful Search Engine Copywriting.” 

Copyright photo: Svilen Milev, http://efffective.com.

About the author: Lesley Langelaar-Thomas

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English language SEO copywriter at Stars & Tulips
Lesley Langelaar-Thomas specializes in English language SEO copywriting. Owner of text agency Stars & Tulips in Hellevoetsluis, she writes for (international) clients in the Netherlands.
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