Copywriter tips from Devon: What are keywords?

We writers all know the power of creative words but, although more prosaic, keywords are equally powerful. Your creative words are there to please a human audience, but you also need keywords to make sure an audience finds your words in the first place. We answer the question, “What are keywords” and give you a few tips on how to work with keywords as a copywriter.

What are keywords?

Imagine your latest article written on a piece of paper. Insert this paper into a large book, take it to a six-storey library and ask the librarian to hide the book. Now forget which library you visited and try looking for your article. This is what it is like posting an article on the internet. Your article could reveal the secret of eternal life but, without certain information, nobody will be able to find it or even know that it is there to find.

This is where keywords come in. By spreading keywords strategically throughout your article, you will let Google (other search engines are available) know whether or not your article will answer a search query. For example the search query, ‘Best copywriter in Devon’ will only lead Google to pick your article as helpful if certain keywords appear in it, i.e. ‘copywriter’ and ‘Devon’. Better still Google will be looking for longer keyword phrases such as ‘copywriter in Devon’. These are known as long tail keywords.

How do I choose keywords?

As a copywriter you will find that some of your clients already have a set of keywords they want you to use. Some may even tell you how many times they want these to appear (keyword density). Even when this doesn’t happen it is good practice to decide on a few keywords and place these strategically into your writing. Choosing keywords is a high-tech, complicated business but there are a couple of easy tips for quick and effective keyword selection:

  1. Ask your client what exactly they want your copywriting to promote and to whom (search intent). Form your keyword selection around this
  2. Find out popular search terms by typing a relevant word into the Google search bar and noting which suggestions come up
  3. Use a keyword explorer tool to find suggestions for keywords that have a high volume of searches

How many keywords per page?

Deciding how many keywords per page to use is a balancing act. The more keywords you select and the more times you try to squeeze them in, the more stilted your  writing becomes. Again, your client may have a specification for this but for high quality copywriting, I stick to two or three related long tail keywords.

Is keyword density important?

Keyword density is the number of times you insert keywords into a piece of copywriting. You express keyword density as a percentage. For example, if you insert your keyword 10 times into a 100-word article, you will have 10% keyword density. Although keyword density is no longer as important to search engine optimisation (SEO) as it once was, it is important to get keyword balance right. Too many repetitions of the same words risk penalties for keyword stuffing, too few risk the page failing to perform.

Copywriting is more than just words

So there we have it, as a copywriter, your writing needs to target two audiences:

  • People – It needs to be attractive and helpful enough to keep your clients’ audiences interested
  • Search engines – It needs to be optimised well enough to appear high in search engine rankings

The use of keywords is only one element of the search engine optimisation picture but, as a copywriter, it is an element for which you are likely to be responsible. Achieving the balance between these two audiences isn’t easy and takes practice, which is one of the reasons people hire copywriters in the first place.

How to become a freelance outdoor writer

Is your computer after your writing job? Artificial intelligence and copywriting


Is your computer after your writing job? Artificial intelligence and copywriting

Would you trust writing that had been written by a computer algorithm? Perhaps not if you knew its origin but artificial intelligence and writing are already working hand in hand and the time may well be coming when human copywriters will be required to pit their skills against artificial intelligence alternatives. There is still a place for person-generated web and social content but how long is it going to be before AI takes over the copywriter’s role? And more to the point, how on earth are we supposed to keep up with the natural language generation revolution?

Continue reading “Is your computer after your writing job? Artificial intelligence and copywriting”

October at the Oxford English Dictionary… new words please!

The Oxford English Dictionary or OED to its friends has delivered its list of new words for October 2019. Each time this happens I try to look through and select a few that I might be able to use in my freelance writing. New words and their progress towards OED acceptance are an interesting phenomenon. I imagine Army like parade grounds with intensive training and harsh comments…

Continue reading “October at the Oxford English Dictionary… new words please!”

Even writers have to do spring cleaning. 5 speedy ways to spruce up your blog

At Fi Darby Freelance we often find ourselves responsible for the content and appeal of several blogs at a time. As well as having two blogs of our own, we like to keep our clients happy. All of which means that a bit of blog spring cleaning is definitely to be recommended. (This should not, by the way, be muddled up with ‘bog spring cleaning’ which is much more smelly!) We have five top tips to help you give your blog the spring cleanup it needs. Continue reading “Even writers have to do spring cleaning. 5 speedy ways to spruce up your blog”

Get your balaclavas out it’s January again! Winter words for 2019

Copywriting in Devon perhaps allows for more outdoor time than most jobs. Ever optimistic, I spent an hour or so this morning searching for signs of spring. I spotted a few (they come early to Devon) but am predicting a wintery blast or two before the spring warm up (last year we had snow on the beaches in February). As January is officially the middle of winter, I thought we might have a bit of fun today with a few useful (and not so useful) winter words. Do let me know if you have a favourite of your own.

Continue reading “Get your balaclavas out it’s January again! Winter words for 2019”

How to Write – 5 Different Types of Blog Post

How many times have you waited for blog post inspiration to arrive, only to find that the blankness of your mind is reflected on the page in front of you? Writers’ block is as common in bloggers as it is in all authors but help is at hand. We have 5 different types of blog post that will keep your blogging head thinking and your blog writing flowing.

Continue reading “How to Write – 5 Different Types of Blog Post”

You just got the sack – 5 English idioms from the world of work

There’s no doubt about it, the correct use of English idioms can be tricky to grasp. We have all experienced it, the unsolicited email that tries hard but exhibits a touch of over-ambition in the phrase department. One thing that can help copywriters to correctly use idioms is to understand their etymology (origin). A particularly interesting set are those related to the world of work. Here are our 5 favourites.

Continue reading “You just got the sack – 5 English idioms from the world of work”

Writer’s block – if it is real, can we combat it?

All outdoor writers, even copywriters lucky enough to live in Devon, have moments when the words refuse to flow. You know the feeling, you sit staring at your screen, your mind starts to wander and then, bingo, you’re faffing around with one of the million and one other things your technology has to offer and your 1,000 words are as far away as 1,000 miles in a slow Toyota campervan (other campervans are available). The topic of writer’s block must be one of the most commonly discussed issues on the internet. I’m not sure I believe in this procrastination-ridden phenomenon but here are the 5 things I usually do when my writing reduces its usual flow.

Continue reading “Writer’s block – if it is real, can we combat it?”

Need spelling and grammar help? 5 common UK spelling mistakes and how to avoid them

Ever confused your discrete with discreet? Not only have I done so, I managed to do it in front of a rather large national audience in The Guardian newspaper. English is such a delightfully perverse language that even the most proficient of wordsmiths make spelling mistakes… and then laugh at other people doing the same. Here are 5 common spelling mistakes in UK English (all homophones), avoid them or risk public ridicule on comments forums.

Continue reading “Need spelling and grammar help? 5 common UK spelling mistakes and how to avoid them”