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What Does an SEO Copywriter do?

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Ever wondered "What does an SEO copywriter do?" Often agencies are reluctant to explain exactly what is involved in creating the best content for successful websites. With our experience and confidence in our results, and the skills of our team, we're happy to set out what we can do for you.

An SEO copywriter should create text for your website that allows it to rank well in search engine results for relevant queries. Partly they require the writing talents of a traditional copywriter in producing content which will engage readers and lead to sales. But they should also have a set of optimisation skills, including keyword research, utilising images and video, and creating the right metadata to compliment the text on the page.

The best SEO copywriters often have experience or qualifications in journalism (as ours do), marketing, advertising or similar fields. And also a working knowledge of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), as a minimum requirement. There are numerous opportunities for a page to indicate relevance and gain rankings - and a good copywriter should know which techniques legitimately work.

Know Your Customers:

It's important to know who to write for. This will mean your content is relevant and will be ranked for search terms which will drive enquiries and sales. It also means your SEO copywriter can target your ideal customers with the words and phrases most likely to attract them to buy from your business.

There are big differences between content for teenagers looking to spend their disposable income, and homeowners requiring a solid investment for the future, for example.

This comes from a combination of experience, research data and tools, and getting your insight into your business and customers.

Write Magnetic Headlines:

Great headlines have driven the sale of newspapers and magazines for years. And they achieve the same results for websites via search, social media and any other marketing opportunities.

It's important to know which techniques are likely to attract attention, whether that's creating numbers lists, mystery, or outrage (Headlines and Clickbait via Moz). A good SEO copywriter will be able to choose headlines which fit with your brand in addition to attracting readers.

Use Attractive Formatting:

The use of bold and italic text, bullet points and other stylistic choices won't affect your SEO rankings. But it will make it easier and more pleasurable to read your website, making sales more likely.

Internet users are increasingly demanding longer, more detailed text, as are search engines. Correct formatting, and shorter, skimmable paragraphs work best. They also give an opportunity to use sub-headings, which can help indicate relevance to search engines.

And that's before we get into typography and font choice with our design colleagues.

And as the same search engines increasingly pay attention to engagement metrics like the time spent on a particular page, it will only improve your search rankings in the future.

Understand Good Grammar and Great Phrasing:

SEO copywriters will be capable of creating interesting content. It will be spelt correctly, and at the right level of readability suitable for visitors and search engines (which don't favour overly complex language). In fact, the Flesch-Kincaid readability test was first used by the U.S military to ensure their intructions were easily understood..

They'll also be aware that using the same keyword repeatedly through an article will irritate both humans and search engines. Rather than 'keyword stuffing', they'll use the right related terms and phrases to make use of semantic search indexing.

In plain English, it's important to include your keywords or phrase on your page or article. But it's also important not to overdo it, and to use all the alternative words and phrases relevant to your business. This also has a benefit in attracting 'long tail' searches - the more detailed search terms usually associated with someone looking to buy a specific product or service.

It's important your content is as unique as possible, and isn't copied directly from elsewhere on the web. A good SEO copywriter will make sure you don't end up in trouble due to plagiarism.

Be Mad About Metadata and MarkUp:

Do you want your headline to appear in search results - if you page has a headline at all? By setting a Page Title, an SEO or SEO copywriter can control what appears when your website is included in search results, even if it's slightly different to what visitors actually see on the page (Although it can't be unrelated or misleading).

In the same way, Meta Descriptions appear in search results as a way to encourage people to click on your listing rather than your competitors. So setting a custom Meta Description can be more enticing than leaving Google to simply take the first text they find on your site.

Content can also be further improved by using code which indicates specific information, known as Schema. While a good SEO copywriter won't be able to add the required code to your site, they should be aware of how to use it.

Integrate Images and Video:

Photos, graphics and videos can all help to keep people interested in your website and increase sales. And if they're optimised correctly, they can also help with your search efforts.

Again, it's about creating great captions and descriptions, and adding relevant and clear meta data. This allows you to benefit from Google image search (Great for visual products and services), and to pick out the right elements with video (as search engines can't index moving visuals quite yet). In some cases you may be able to transcribe an entire video, but often you may just need to quote the key points in plain text on the page to help search engines - and visitors who can't have sound playing on their office lunchbreak, for example.

Be a Linking Wizard

There are 3 main ways in which linking helps your website.

  • Linking internally within your website to relevant sections, pages and articles to help people and search engines go to the right places.
  • Linking externally to the right non-competitors to add authority and usefulness.
  • Great content can attract links from external websites. A good SEO copywriter should be aware how this works, and what potential pitfalls to avoid when new links come in.

They should also be knowledgeable on the best ways to reference authors and photographers where needed, and what licensed content is OK to use with or without permission to avoid copyright issues.

Above all, a good SEO copywriter should be someone you can trust to combine the unique, authentic voice of your company with the ability to attract new customers and keep existing ones.

There's a difference between being able to write, and being a great writer. And there's a further gap between writers and those capable of also integrating the requirements of SEO and digital marketing. Which is why the best SEO copywriters are highly prized and trusted to produce results for companies.