COPYWRITING AND SEO CONTENT

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Have you sat through many a meeting listening to the head of marketing drone on about search engine optimisation? Perhaps you’re confused about long-tail and short-tail keywords? Or you just don’t know your PPC from your SERP?

Here’s why: “most people who use search engines only look at the first page or two of the search results, so for a page to get high traffic from a search engine, it has to be listed in those first two pages. If your business is selling products or services over the internet, you want your website to be listed before your competitor’s websites.” (The Balance)

There are a few places you should aim to use SEO. Here are some:

In a nutshell: SEO copywriting definition.

It also doesn’t work over night and can take months to be effective. According to Josh Steimle, “many SEO firms will tell you that it takes 4 to 6 months to start seeing results. That’s generally accurate, but bear in mind this is when you start seeing results, and SEO results grow over time. Whatever results you’re getting at 6 months should be considerably less than what you’re getting at 12 months. At some point, you may see your results taper off, and then it may be a matter of maintaining results rather than growing them.”

Danard Vincente (Flickr)

While a short-tail keyword is great for driving lots of traffic, it can also see a higher bounce rate, lower conversion rate, and make it less likely you’ll score a place on the first page since you’ll face stiffer competition. However, these ‘head terms’ are good for category pages. On the other hand, long-tail keywords would be better used for individual product pages to better describe what you stock/offer.

You can also use a PPC (pay-per-click) strategy to complement your organic (non-paid-for) SEO, which means you feature an ad to a specific keyword on search engines and pay a fee each time it’s clicked. This enables you to rank on the first page of a set of results easily but is quite costly and is only effective for as long as the ad is there. Therefore, it doesn’t have the same longevity as organic SEO that is incorporated throughout your online presence.

Considering taking up the challenge of writing your own SEO content? There are some great tools to help you. Medium has an easy to comprehend SEO tutorial for beginners, or there’s a more in-depth tutorial at Hobo. You can even get a handy 4-step SEO checklist from Entrepreneur to help you optimise your website.

One benefit of SEO is that in and of itself it’s free. Unfortunately, it’s also time consuming. You’ll either need to have a member of your team looking after your SEO, which includes optimising your web and blog content, or you’ll need to hire a freelancer content marketer or outsource your content marketing to an agency. That means there will be an unavoidable cost to you in the long run.

What makes good SEO copywriting?

SEO copywriting fits into the larger field of search engine optimisation which utilises a range of tactics, including link building, mobile optimisation, load speeds, and content strategy techniques to ensure your site is device and user-friendly, promotes unique and insightful content and provides essential details.

Therefore, your wider content strategy needs to think about interacting with other influencers on the net and through social media, whether through networking or guest blogging.

However, we recommend not going OTT. So long as you get your keyword into your content at least once and in the meta descriptions/URL/heading, you should be covered.

Traffic & Conversion Rate by Keyword Length: SEO Pressor.

Examples of bad SEO.

SEO Pressor defines short-tail keywords as comprising three words and under (e.g. ‘content creation’). By contrast, long-tail keywords are over three words (e.g. ‘SEO content creation agency). The difference? “As keywords get longer, search volume becomes lower. However, all other metrics such as conversion rates go in favor of long tail keywords.”

SEO is the means of helping a website appear as high up as possible in the search engine results page (otherwise known as SERP), whether that’s Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other. There are a number of web design and development factors which influence this. However, SEO copywriting involves weaving keywords and phrases that your target audience would use to find you into your website’s content.

Long-tail keywords are increasingly being recommended for use by the likes of Yoast and WordStream since they’re more focused and because they’re more likely to be successful when using voice search – a popular method in the age of voice assist devices.

What’s more, “Poorly edited articles with spelling and grammatical errors will be demoted by search engines.” And you’ll want to avoid simply buying links to back up your SEO – these are usually offered in return for payment but can come from poor-quality, spammy sites which only devalues your rating. Find out what other SEO ‘sins’ to avoid from Smart Blogger.

The Balance notes how “Search engine optimization has evolved greatly over the years. In the early days of SEO web designers would ‘stuff’ keywords into web page keyword meta tags to improve search engine rankings”.

Someone who wants to learn how to bake a birthday cake has a much different search intent than someone who is looking for a local cake-decorating service or someone else who wants to know when and how the birthday cake tradition began.

The research, targeting, writing, formatting, and final execution process can be completely different for each type of copy project.

SEO best practices are constantly evolving with search engine algorithms.

Depending on the needs of your project, you’ll want to hire an SEO content writer when your goal is to attract more organic traffic to your website through high-quality, keyword-optimized content.

Is there even a difference? They’re both writing for SEO purposes, so does it really matter?

4. Be a Thorough Researcher.

The success of your content marketing or copywriting campaign will depend on the specific goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) you set.

“SEO copywriting” is a bit of a misnomer. My belief is that the term is a result of many SEO experts confusing the two types of writing.

This is because the method you choose should be the best fit for what you are trying to accomplish with your content.

Let’s start by breaking this down even further – what is SEO?

Remember, the success of any marketing campaign depends on a copywriter’s ability to write converting sales copy.

SEO content writers typically handle content such as:

But if the target KPI was lead generation, that same campaign could be considered a failure.

But should you hire a content writer or a copywriter?

There are many different types of copywriters, just as there are many different types of projects within a variety of copywriting niches.

Typically, you’ll be able to find a skilled copywriter by doing a Google search of the specific type of copy you are looking for.

1. Up-to-Date SEO Writing Practices.

The primary goal of SEO content writing is to create high-quality, keyword-focused content that ranks well in search engines to generate organic traffic to a website.

Good content is judged by its performance and those consuming it. The exact same campaign executed by two different brands can be a success or failure depending on the brand’s goals.

Search intent, also known as user intent, is the primary objective for a user when seeking information via a search engine.

Overall, there was no consensus on what “SEO copywriting” is or whether it even exists.

Looking to hire an SEO writer for your brand? The difference between an SEO copywriter and content writer can affect your campaign’s success.

And this distinction helps you determine which method you need to employ in order to achieve the desired results.

Don’t be afraid to ask a writer about their average conversion rates and past experience to make sure they have a proven track record.

3. Understand Search Intent.

If the content is earning triple the social media shares, it would be considered a success for a brand whose primary KPI was improving its presence on Facebook.

For instance, as an SEO content writer myself, I often get SEO agencies inquiring about copywriting, Facebook ad copy, social media copy, sales pages, etc.

Therefore, you should hire an SEO content writer to write your website content – mainly, webpages and blog posts – if you want to increase organic traffic.

If improving your conversion rate is your top goal, you need to partner with a writer who knows how to write great copy that can achieve that objective.

Brands can’t afford to publish less-than-trustworthy content and risk losing the trust of their audience. Copywriters and content writers alike need to be thorough researchers in addition to being competent writers.

If your main concern isn’t attracting more traffic but rather converting your paid and existing traffic into sales and leads, then you’ll want to hire a sales copywriter.

A strong writer is able to adapt to different audiences.

The primary goal for SEO is to improve a user’s overall experience, as this is predominantly what search engine bots are looking for when they scan and rank the most relevant web pages.

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