If you want to grab the attention of machines and people, then SEO copywriting is your golden ticket.
SEO copywriting combines the best of both marketing functions – conversion-focused copywriting and traffic-getting SEO.
SEO copywriting an essential skill for every copywriter to have.
Fortunately, it’s far easier to acquire than direct response copywriting.
So What Is SEO Copywriting, Exactly?
Let’s break the term down:
“SEO” is short for Search Engine Optimization.
It refers to a toolbox of techniques used to help sites rank higher on search engines.
In short, it’s a set of tactics used to “game the system.”
There’s no one approach to SEO … it’s a toolbox of techniques that can include:
Obtaining inbound hyperlinks from other websites
Getting attention on social media
Writing website content that includes specific keywords
The last point is where SEO copywriting comes in … we’ll get to that below.
“Copywriting” means using the written word to sell.
Selling is the key concept here.
Copywriting isn’t just writing … it isn’t “words on a page” … it’s salesmanship.
In other words, when you hire a copywriter, you’re hiring a salesman.
Think about it this way:
Ad campaigns … email campaigns … brochures … print mail campaigns … ebooks … these are all marketing documents.
They’re all investments. When you pay to publish them, you expect ROI. And the quality of the copywriting has a direct impact on that ROI.
SEO Copywriting = On-Site SEO + Salesmanship
SEO copywriters don’t need to be tech nerds.
Understanding technology helps, don’t get me wrong. Especially if you don’t have a digital marketer on staff. In that case, you’ll want a copywriter who understands SEO, at least a little bit.
But SEO copywriting is like a game, or a puzzle.
Here are the rules:
You must write copy that includes your keyword(s)
Write meta data that also includes your keyword(s)
Write copy that achieves the marketing objective
Usually, the keyword game is just a bit of a puzzle.
Sometimes, though, this practice can end up creating very odd-sounding copy.
Let’s say your keyword research unearths the gem, “copywriting definition.”
As an SEO copywriter, your challenge is to write compelling copy that literally includes the phrase, “copywriting definition.”
Obviously it’s more natural to say, “definition of copywriting.”
Sure, it’s possible to write content that uses the first phrase.
But it isn’t ideal.
Situations like this can be a bit problematic for SEO copywriters who want to write natural-sounding copy.
Fortunately, though, search is becoming more semantic. Algorithms are looking more at the meaning of search terms, rather than the precise syntax.
Anyhow, to sum up:
- As an SEO, your job is to get traffic.
- As a copywriter, your job is to engage, compel, and sell.
As an SEO copywriter, you’re still writing copy, but you have to abide by a few extra constraints.
Final Thoughts: Where’s Waldo?
Can you guess what my keyword is for this article?
Now, there is no way at all that this article will rank for said keyword.
It’s too competitive. Especially for an article this short.
However, this article accomplishes other objectives.
- It helps Google “categorize” my site
- It demonstrates my understanding of SEO and copywriting
- It can be used as part of a linking strategy to focus attention on specific pages
I’ll dive deeper into that topic in future articles.
For now, just remember that I’m always writing about copywriting and digital marketing.
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