SEO vs. good copy?

The term “SEO” has been a huge buzzword for the past half-dozen years. It stands for “search engine optimization” and refers to the somewhat murky practice of writing copy loaded with keywords to make it friendly to search engines. (There’s also a practice of linking and seeking inbound links that goes along with the tactic, but I’m mostly talking about “keyword bingo” today.)

Anyway, as a copywriter I’ve consciously avoided SEO up to this point. Why? Because a lot of “SEO-driven” copy looks really fake and obvious to me. When I see the words “North Atlanta photographer” used five times in a short paragraph, it’s a dead giveaway.

That said, as I build this site, I’m faced with my own SEO challenge. Do I want to rank high in Google‘s search listings for “Atlanta nonprofit copywriter?” No doubt.

And that leads me to my own clients. Is there a way to write artfully and clearly, yet also hit SEO targets simultaneously? Is there a way to “artful SEO” or “subtle SEO?” I’m honestly asking this question, because I don’t know the answers. But I know that I want to know more, and possibly incorporate it into my practice if I can figure out a way to do it and not spend the entire time cringing.

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