But what really is SEO Copywriting — and why it matters?
In this post, I’m going to explore DEEP into this topic and figure out what exactly this type of copywriting is, and what one must pay attention to in order to become a successful SEO copywriter.
SEO Copywriting is a combination of copywriting and search engine optimization (SEO) and its purpose is to entertain both the readers and the search engines. It’s basically writing copy for the search engines, while also keeping the reader in mind. The way to go about this is to use specific methods & tricks that appeal to search engines while keeping it real for the human being that’s reading it on the other side.
The bottom line is… this kind of writing is high-quality writing, there’s no way around that. The “SEO” part shouldn’t make the copy lose its charm, focus or the whole point altogether.
SEO copywriting is used in blog posts, web pages and other kinds of writing that are indexed by search engines such as Google. To understand this topic better, we need to take a close look at each of the aspects. Let’s get straight into it. Here’s a table of contents for this article:
- What is Search Engine Optimization?
- The Purpose of Copywriting
- Why SEO Copywriting Matters
- Important Elements of SEO Copywriting
- How Google Algorithms Affect SEO
- Use of SEO Copywriting
- Final Thoughts
What is Search Engine Optimization?
When you type some words in your search engine and hit “Enter”, you get a list of pages as a result. These pages appear as a result and thanks to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In short, SEO is what Google looks at to make sure all of their users get only the best and most relevant results in their searches. It is a method used to optimize your content so it can rank higher than your competitors in a search engine. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot of things to consider when it comes to SEO.
This image gives a clear picture of the SEO process:
The SEO process is fairly broad and complex, but it is necessary if you want your copy to work well with search engines.
Incorporating SEO in your copywriting can make a huge difference in your business, driving even more traffic and boosting sales. On top of that, it stays there forever, and if you have a good piece of copy that’s SEO optimized, it will make you $$$ for years to come.
The Purpose of Copywriting
Copywriting is a tool used to achieve marketing success.
With copywriting, we can turn dull & boring text into something compelling & entertaining. Simply said, good copy compels our readers to take action, whether that be buying our product or signing up to our email list.
Good copy makes all the difference in the world of marketing. It can be a difference between $1000 or $10000 in sales — it really is that powerful.
Whether we use copywriting for our landing pages, web copy, blog posts or emails, it is important to have skilled writers in order to maximize conversion. With that, it also doesn’t hurt to have some SEO optimization added to the mix, especially for web pages and blog posts.
Why SEO Copywriting Matters
Our everyday challenge is to write content that appeals to readers, while also being optimized for search engines.
This is a challenge that SEO copywriting solves, and it plays a crucial role here.
We must make sure our content appeals to both readers and search engines if we want to maximize our sales. With clever use of both SEO and copywriting, we can achieve exactly that. SEO copywriting is used in things like:
- Landing Pages
- Website Pages
- Blog Posts
- Meta Descriptions
- YouTube / Social Media posts
If we can maximize our pages using these methods, why not take advantage of it?! It matters.
Important Elements of SEO Copywriting
All things considered, SEO copywriting comes down to a couple of important elements. These elements are what define this term, and they are all equally important for a good, optimized copy.
Let’s take a closer look at each one of them:
If you read any book about copywriting, you will learn that they all say this — headline is the crown of any good copy.
The headline is what makes the reader take interest in your writing, it is a “hook” used to lure people to dive in and read the rest of it. If your headline is bad, everything else falls apart. No matter how good your copy is, people won’t even get to read it unless the headline piques their interest.
You can click here to see some headline ideas that actually work.
That’s why the headline is the most important element of SEO copywriting — it excites the readers while also providing search engines with the keyword to focus on. Ideally, you want your headline to contain the keyword while also being extremely compelling to the reader.
A good SEO copywriter is an expert when it comes to this. He knows how to write a good headline that satisfies both the readers and the search engines. That’s the first step, and it matters a lot.
The next important element of SEO copywriting is the content structure.
You noticed how at the beginning of this article, I gave you a table of contents so you can easily navigate through the article. Well, that’s precisely what content structure is. Content structure is a combination of all the sub-headlines that make the article. It helps readers to understand the article better, and also to make it easier to navigate. But more importantly… it plays a crucial role in search engine optimization.
You see, Google looks at your headlines and content structure to determine whether or not your content is relevant to user’s search query. Sometimes, Google will only show a part of your article, not the intro itself, because it’s more relevant to what the end-user is looking for. Google does this by using your content structure to find relevant info, and that’s why it plays a vital role in search engine optimization and copywriting.
No surprises here — a good copy is an essential part of SEO copywriting and there’s no way around it.
Ideally, you want your copy to contain a few keywords (more on that below), but that’s not everything. It has to flow nicely and entertain the reader. In fact, Google determines your search engine rank based on your copy.
Although we will cover this in the next chapter, it is important to clarify that copywriting satisfies one of the most important things with Google’s algorithms — reading time. In simple terms, visitors love to read good copy and they will spend a lot of time going through it, Google notices this behavior and ranks your content higher since it’s compelling to the reader.
If you want your content to rank highly, you need to write entertaining and informative copy.
Keywords are the obvious answer when it comes to search engine optimization.
By targeting keywords we are able to reach out to all of that audience who searches for the given keyword, and that’s a lot when you consider the broadness of keywords and 7+ billion people. Almost every word in the world has some kind of potential to be used to make $$$ with SEO.
That’s why SEO copywriters pay special attention to these keywords, using them effectively without ruining the flow or context of their writing. Knowing how to play with keywords is a skill that pays a lot of money. If you want to make sure your copy ranks well, you have to research the relevant keywords and include them in your writing.
Linking is another part important part of SEO copywriting, and it does take some skill to do it well.
For both SEO and marketing purposes, we are going to be using links in almost every article or piece of copy. It is important to understand how links work and how to use them to your advantage. We can either use interlinks to link to stuff from our own website, or we can include external links to high authority websites. Both are necessary for good search engine performance.
Either way, it is important to properly include links in your writing, without ruining the flow or context of the article. And sometimes… we will have to make up some copy in order to provide some context for the link, and that’s what it really comes down to.
Finally, we need to take care of technical SEO stuff with our copywriting. By technical SEO, I’m thinking about things such as metadata text, image descriptions, article snippets and so on. These things are rarely visible to the readers, but they play an important role in SEO, and they are also used to display relevant information to the reader.
For example, if you Google a term “SEO copywriting”, you get this short snippet from Neil’s article. It contains some copy for the reader, but it also plays an important role in search engine optimization. In this case, Google pulled the copy straight out of the article, since there was no snippet set by Neil for this term. This will sometimes work (Neil’s article is 4000 word long so it’s easy for Google to find relevant copy), but in most cases, you need to set it yourself.
How Google Algorithms Affect SEO
The thing about SEO copywriting is that it’s ever-changing. If tomorrow, Google decides to change its algorithm, then we all have to adapt to that change and tweak our search engine optimization methods. It is the nature of this industry to constantly grow and update itself.
You can find all of the Google algorithm changes on this page by Moz.
There are many updates to SEO, some more important than others. Most of them are generally irrelevant for SEO copywriters, however, some of those updates were significant in the past few years.
Important Google Algorithm Updates for SEO Copywriters
Google Hummingbird was an algorithm update back in 2013. Its purpose was to put emphasis on “natural language” rather than just keywords, which was huge back in the day. People used to stuff their content with keywords, but that’s no longer as important as it used to be, thanks to this update. With this update, Google wanted to make content as natural as possible, and it made copywriting more important than pure keywords for SEO.
Google Panda was another important algorithm change in the world of SEO copywriting. It was aimed to lower the rank of “content farm” websites and give emphasis to websites that focus on quality, rather than quantity. Businesses used to publish hundreds of articles each month, targeting specific keywords, that is until Google stepped in. Nowadays, one good, high-quality article is better than hundreds of low-quality ones and so it’s safe to say that Google accomplished their goal.
These updates changed SEO & copywriting forever, putting more emphasis on high-quality writing than merely targeting and abusing the search engine system. They also gave birth to SEO copywriters and made a clear distinction that both copywriting and SEO are necessary to succeed with online content.
Use of SEO Copywriting
With everything said, we can conclude that the use and desired results of SEO copywriting come down to:
- Improving the content quality
- Optimizing it for search engine
- Boosting “read time”
- Helping search engines to easily find relevant info
- Leading to — boosting the overall traffic and sales of your website
If this is the result you’re looking for, make sure you hire a darn good SEO copywriter.
I believe this settles down the eternal question of whether or not you need both SEO staff and writers at the same time. Obviously, SEO experts can help a lot when it comes to the technical stuff regarding your website, but they are not necessary when it comes to blogging or writing web page content.
If you are a skilled SEO copywriter, you can take care of both the writing and the search engine optimization by yourself, saving both time and money for whoever you’re working for. If you’re looking to do well with content marketing, it might be a good idea to hire an SEO copywriter to take care of it. I believe that covers it.
If you have any questions or you want to add something to the discussion, I personally encourage you to do so! It’s always a pleasure to explore the topic in-depth and learn more about it.