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SEO Writing 101 for Your Medical and Dental Audience

When writing SEO (search engine optimization) for just about anything on the web, there is a common trap we all fall into: meeting the technical SEO specifications – but becoming lousy writers in the process. There are ways to keep a sensible, narrative flow without sacrificing critical SEO elements. First and foremost, you must remember that you are writing to an audience who doesn’t care (and shouldn’t) that we need to meet SEO requirements in order for the search engines to pick us out from the din. Write conversationally, with a focus on getting your main points across. A number of powerful search terms can be woven into content effectively without sounding like you’re writing directly to Google and Yahoo, saying “Pick me! Pick me!”

Keep it flowing like a normal conversation. In fact it may be more useful to write how you would normally write anything, such as a letter, article, even a technical column – then going back and SEOing the content after it’s already complete. This way you can pick and choose areas to place the keyterms that can flow more easily and sensibly.

Your content can get bogged down and cluttered with keyterms that seem to have been thrown in just for the sake of the search engines. Meet your requirements, but know when you’re overdoing it. If a sentence containing keywords looks like it doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t flow, keep re-writing it until it does. Better yet, go through your content and do what we were all told to do in grade-school: Sound it out. When you hear it out loud you can often get a much better idea of how it will sound in the head of the visitor. Try not to be too technical and always remember, if you think it sounds weird, the viewer probably will too.

In short: try not to talk down to your audience, and try to subtly weave in the SEO elements instead of papering your content with them. Getting found on search engines will be of little value if the viewer clicks on the link and finds themselves unable to comprehend the content of the site, or worse, maddened by the technicality and strange way of writing that it presents. If you write conversationally, the web visitor will not only get a clear picture of what they need to know from the practice, but they will also get a good first impression of how they may be treated in person. And, as with just about everything, first impressions are crucial. Happy writing!

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