SEO Copywriting vs SEO Content

SEO Copywriting vs SEO Content Writing

  ●   November 11, 2021 | Content Marketing, SEO
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November 11, 2021 | Content Marketing, SEO

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.

What is SEO Content?

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.

What is SEO Copywriting?

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.

Do I need a SEO Content writer or a Copywriter?

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.

Convert traffic and leads

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.

Improve rankings and organic traffic

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.

Generate email subscribers

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.

Create compelling ad copy

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.

Tell your brand story

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.

What makes an excellent copywriter?

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.

  • Excellent writing skills: this one is a given but should never be overlooked. A copywriter must be able to produce quality content that is well-written and grammatically correct. Typos and errors can make your brand come across as unprofessional and cause your readers to turn off.
  • Consistent tone of voice: aligning your content with your brand tone of voice is important to create coherent content across all channels and connect with your target audience. This could involve your copywriter carrying out audience research themselves and developing new tone of voice guidelines, or working from an existing brand document, to then implement into their writing.
  • Creativity: from ads to landing page copy, your website will require vast amounts of unique content. Hiring an experienced copywriter can take your writing to the next level, and ensure all your content is unique and interesting, even when producing vast amounts.
  • Open to constructive criticism: this is key, especially when working with an agency or freelancer, to ensure your copywriting is fully grasping your brand message and communicating this with your audiences. They must be thick-skinned and able to take suggestions onboard to get it perfect.
  • Flexible writing styles: a copywriter must be able to switch between writing styles to cater for different channels. For instance, writing an inspiring thought-leadership blog will be different to writing engaging ad copy.
  • Fantastic research skills: copywriters will find themselves covering a wide range of different topics and must demonstrate to audiences that they know what they are talking about, especially in a time where brand trust is at an all-time low. As such, they will need to be able to conduct thorough research not only about your brand but adjacent topics, too, and create informed content on new concepts. 

Key skills for an SEO content writer

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:

  • Understanding of SEO: it goes without saying that an understanding of SEO is fundamental for an SEO content writer. Although in-depth keyword research may be carried out by an SEO team, SEO content writers still need a comprehensive understanding of Google’s algorithms, ranking factors, search intent, and the like, in order to create relevant content that performs well in the search engines.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of SEO best practices: an SEO content writer needs to keep up with the latest SEO news and ever-changing Google updates in order to produce content that delivers effective results.
  • Excellent research skills: similar to a copywriter, an SEO content writer requires exceptional research skills to write quality content on a broad range of topics. Additionally, this is particularly important for SEO since, as a brand, you will need to signal to Google that you are an expert in the industry and publish trustworthy content for your readers. They will also need the skills to conduct user intent and SERP analysis, as well as take a look into secondary keyword research.
  • Audience research: a great SEO writer will be able to write content for different audiences that answers the right user intent, addresses specific pain points and benefits the reader. Hiring an SEO content writer that can carry out effective audience research will help ensure that your content ranks in the search results for the appropriate terms and reaches the right audience.
  • Proven success: it may be beneficial to ask your SEO content writer for examples of their previous work to prove the success of their projects and demonstrate the value they can bring to your business. After all, the proof is in the pudding.

SEO Content Writer VS Copywriter:
Which one do you need?

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.

If you’re looking for SEO Copywriting services or Content marketing support, make sure you get in touch with our team for more information.

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