Remember our little chat about keywords? Those little phrases we gently massage into our work to attract the attention of the SEO pixies?

We always try to ensure they complement what we — and the client — are trying to say, rather than rudely gatecrashing the copywriting party.

But not everyone feels this way and we’ve noted an increasing trend for just chucking handfuls of keywords at the wall, hoping they’ll stick.

Surely clients can’t be happy with this? After all, what’s the point of paying for professional copywriting if the end result is clumsy sentences shoehorned round hundreds of precious keywords?

And it’s not just flesh-and-blood humans who know the difference — Google now places more importance on sites with quality content rather than just clumsy SEO gimmicks which scream: Look at me!

Of course, we’re not saying ditch the keywords. Just play smart and make sure you’re not sacrificing quality copy for oodles of optimised headers and tags. It’s a busy old world of web, but good copywriting can really stand out from the crowd.

So, as we’re talking about lackluster language, allow us to reveal our three golden rule cliches:

Cliché No1: Quality, not quantity.

Our work could have keywords bursting from every line, but if it’s so badly written that no one actually wants to read it, why bother? We want folk to actually read what we’ve spent hours slaving over. That’s the whole point of copywriting. Better to craft the copy and make the keywords flow naturally rather than hammering that square peg into a round hole. When we explain it that way, the client usually sees sense. Especially when we show them our hammer.

Cliché No2: First impressions count.

Or ‘You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression’ as our mums always told us. If our copy sparkles, we know there’s a better chance of winning readers over and getting a positive response, whether it’s buying a product or just finding out more. It puts the ‘action’ into ‘call to action’. Which pleases our clients no end.

Cliché No3: Form is temporary, class is permanent

Once your words are out there, they’re out there. We don’t do fish wrappers – good copywriting is built to last. So, like anything else, if it’s going to stand the test of time, it needs to be good quality. Clients want longevity for their brand and we help achieve that by taking careful aim with our words, rather than the scattergun approach.

 

About the author: Audrey Mason

AUDREY

An award-winning copywriter and magazine feature writer with over 17 years’ experience, Audrey cut her teeth in some of London’s most successful creative agencies. She founded Mantra in 2005 and today looks after business development, three young children and two very naughty dogs. Her interests include wine.