According to HubSpot, 60% of marketers say their highest quality source of leads is inbound marketing, including SEO and blog content, so it’s important to get this part of your strategy right. Choosing the right type of content for your audience and objectives is a key part of this.
SEO content writing and copywriting are often used interchangeably however, they have subtle differences and each has its own purpose. Knowing the difference between SEO content writing and copywriting can make or break your content marketing success. As a business, you need to evaluate your business objectives and decide what kind of writer to hire to help you achieve your goals.
Let’s start off by defining what SEO content actually means. As we should all know, SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, a method used to increase a website’s rankings in the search engines results pages and, as a result, increase website traffic. SEO content involves creating content that either educates readers, entertains them or offers a solution to a pain point; it is essentially any form of content that provides value to the reader in any shape or form.
The key difference between SEO content and regular content is that you are writing for both search engines and users which means taking into consideration keywords with search volume, E-A-T, readability, alt tags on images, optimising meta data, imagery, internal linking and much more. This could be in the form of articles, blog posts, videos or images, for instance.
Copywriting is slightly different to SEO content with the key difference being the overall goal. While SEO content is created to educate users and increase rankings, the main purpose of copywriting is to take readers to the next step and convert traffic into leads and, eventually, sales. Copywriting is designed to tell a story, make your readers connect with your brand and sell your product or service through campaigns on social media, website copy, advertisements, email promotions and the like.
The answer to this is dependent on your brand goals. Let’s take a closer look at different types of content, their purpose and the expertise needed to achieve them.
Many businesses face the same problem: their website is receiving lots of traffic and attracting plenty of leads but it is struggling to convert this into sales. Hiring an experienced copywriter can help you overcome this challenge by creating compelling brand-led content for your key landing pages that persuades the user to take the next step, be that making a purchase or inquiring about your services. This type of content should be informed by buyer personas and mapped to the inbound funnel to ensure you are targeting the right people at the right stage of the buying journey.
In order to improve your search engine rankings and increase organic traffic to your website, you will need an effective keyword strategy aligned with a robust content plan. To achieve this, hiring an SEO content writer is essential as they will have the skills to conduct keyword research, analyse user intent and write user-friendly content that ticks all the boxes for search engines, too. This could be through writing educational blog articles or keyword-informed page copy, for instance.
Building a high-quality email list is important for creating meaningful connections with your existing customers, nurturing potential leads and turning these into new or returning customers. When it comes to email signups, you need to offer your users real value as they won’t give up their email addresses that easily. This could be in the form of a downloadable gated asset on your website, like a whitepaper or ebook, a promotional offer, such as a voucher code, or an informational newsletter. This will involve the work of a creative copywriter who can write enticing copy to draw in potential customers and convince them to hand over their details.
Ad copy is branded content which is aimed at converting potential leads into paying customers, be that PPC ads on search and display channels or Paid Social. Writing compelling ad copy is important for sparking interest, encouraging your target audience to click through and convert. Some of the best tactics include evoking an emotional response, emphasising your brand’s unique selling points or offering an exclusive deal. A creative copywriter should be able to showcase your brand in the best light possible and write targeted ad copy. At the same time, they will need to be SEO-conscious, ensuring that they also include the right keywords for optimum ad performance.
Brand storytelling is designed to build a connection between your brand and your audience, help you stand out in a crowded market and maintain brand loyalty. This is done by telling your audience exactly who you are, sharing your values with your audience and being 100% transparent. Writing with a distinctive and consistent tone of voice is essential to portraying your brand personality and building a relationship with your audience. Telling your brand story can come in many different forms, such as thought-leadership blog content, social media marketing messages, page copy or ad copy. For this, you will need a copywriter who knows your brand inside and out, and can capture your core brand message across multiple channels.
Whether you are looking to build an in-house team or signing with a freelancer or an agency, there are some key skills to look out for when choosing a copywriter for your brand.
Just like copywriters, SEO content writers require excellent writing skills, versatility and creativity to create compelling content and engage their target audiences. However, they also need some more fine-tuned, SEO-specific skills. In addition to those listed above, here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing an SEO content writer:
The key to finding the right type of writer for your brand begins with evaluating your brand goals and outlining the types of content you will need to reach these objectives. Then, hire a writer with the right skills to create the content your brand needs and who can bring new ideas to the table, too. In some cases, you may find that you need a writer who can straddle both roles or provide additional training to fill any skill gaps if required.