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Clients Who Think They Know SEO

September 27, 2006
Dear Jill,

I thoroughly enjoy your clear and straightforward treatment of SEO
application. Yours is a refreshing voice in a hyped-up field.

In cases where a client is smarter than you are about SEO, insists on
saturating his keyword pages (10 per 200-word page) at 5% (which includes
the keyword phrase in two header lines), and currently (without keyword
saturation) consistently hits in the top 20 on his Google searches.

Is there any tactful way a copywriter can tell this kind of client that he
may be destroying his currently high ranking when he implements these new
"search friendly" pages?

Thanks for any help you can offer.


++Jill's Response++

Hi Mark,

I assume you're being sarcastic when you say that the client is smarter than
you about SEO?  Because obviously, if the client is stuffing keywords all
over his pages, he's definitely not smart.

If it were me, I'd take this opportunity to educate the client about good
web writing.  Perhaps you can ask him what he would think if he landed on a
page that was stuffed full of keywords.  Would that page make him want to
buy the products or services?  Would it enhance the image of the company and
the brand, or make them look pretty silly?

You should also ask why they would hire you as a copywriter only to ruin
your well-written, professional prose this way.  You may want to also direct
him to Karon's articles at her Marketing Words site.

As you know, SEO copywriting has absolutely nothing to do with keyword
stuffing, but this is often lost on people who just don't know better.  For
some reason, people think that the search engines will like poorly written,
keyword-stuffed copy, when they actually want the same thing the human
readers want, i.e., good copy that provides them with information that
explains what's in it for them.

Hope this helps!

Post Comment

 ricquel said:
I’ve heard that it sometimes takes up to 3 months for any changes made to your website to be reflected by google ranking your site higher.
Is there any way to tell immediately if the changes I’ve made will have a positive or negative influence?
 Jill said:
Actually, changes are reflected pretty quickly, once the new page is indexed.