Written by Copycat Staff
April 2nd, 2020
Written by Copycat Staff
If you’re a content marketing newcomer, or you’re a budding copywriter who’s just been assigned a new task, you might find yourself asking—what is SEO copywriting?
Here at Copycat, we define SEO copywriting as:
Digital content that needs to compel two parties—humans and robots.
What on earth are you talking about, Copycat? Compelling robots? Speaking to humans? Copywriting and SEO? What, what, what? Before you start using colloquial language and adhering to the binary system, let’s take this one step at a time.
Our first stop? SEO.
SEO, or “search engine optimization,” is the practice of increasing a brand’s visibility on the internet (namely: search engines) via non-paid, organic traffic. The idea is to use stratagems, quality content, and Google-worthy practices to increase your ranking on SERPs (search engine result pages).
Yet, SEO strategy is just as much about people as it is robots. Marketers need to identify what these readers are searching for, the answers they’re after, their lexicon, and how they’re consuming content. From there, marketers research important keywords (what people are “typing in” to the search bar when they’re looking for something), analyze their competition, and try to approach Google with a fresh take on a tried and tested methodology.
SEO content writing is a science. It’s multilayered and complex, filled with intelligent and unscrupulous marketers; good and bad practices. For the sake of this article, we’ll say this:
If you want to learn a bit more about the science and technicality of SEO, check out our guide on SEO Copywriting Best Practices.
For now, let’s keep answering the questions.
SEO copywriting is the art of creating informative, useful, and compelling content that also targets keywords and communicates with Google (the Robot!). While you can integrate all the relevant ingredients that make Google say, ah ha! The words, oh the words, they match the words this person is looking for!
Google also rewards relevant, authentic, and valuable content. In the past, spamming keywords was a common practice. Google’s algorithm would latch on and rank a page because it seemed to have a TON of connection to a given search. Yet, the content on that page could’ve been (and this is putting it nicely), absolute garbage. Google has a duty. It’s to keep— especially what’s front and center—the internet useful and authentic.
Today, how the content is positioned is just as important as what’s written on the page. Good SEO copywriting puts the human over the algorithm, as it needs to be compelling and technical.
As an SEO copywriter, it’s important to distinguish that you’re the one applying the “ingredients” that marketers have spent countless hours curating. The science of SEO is the backend. The application of the materials is the frontend—SEO copywriting.
Below, we’ll break down a few of the elements that are typically present in an SEO-optimized piece of content. This includes:
Note: SEO is a science, yet these principles are heavily dependent on the current state of Google’s algorithm. What worked one year, might not translate to the next. And marketers have unique, dynamic, and differing formulas that go into building each SEO strategy.
The topic you’re writing about is often the same as your title tag. A title tag, or a meta HTML tag, is a description of the content your customer is going to click through. It’s the book’s title. The first string of text your audience is going to see once they’ve pulled up a SERP.
It also tells Google exactly what they’re supposed to expect from the content. That’s why marketers often include keywords in their title tags—to orient.
Being that it’s the first invitation, your topic is usually something catchy. For instance:
While these are generic topics, they’re positioned to inform and “problem solve” for the respective target audience.
Meta descriptions are snippets that explain the purpose of the content. Typically, they’re around 150 characters and they describe (with a bit more depth), what the title is all about.
They’re a tool to help searchers and Google understand the nature of the topic. As an SEO content writer, they can also help guide the narrative. Let the meta description act as your content’s driveway, and you’ll guide your reader into the story.
Hint: If you’re not paying attention to the meta description, you might write the wrong content. Or, if the meta description you’re writing doesn’t match the content, it won’t make sense.
Think of target keywords as robot language. This is the code you’re going to sprinkle into your piece—one that’s just waiting for Google’s digital spiders (cool name, right?) to come crawling.
An SEO copywriter’s job is to ensure that these keywords are integrated seamlessly into the content, without ever giving pause to a Reader. And, no matter how odd or dynamic the target keyword (or keyword phrases), it’s their job to try and stick as close to the source material as possible.
Google’s algorithm today, however, actually helps SEO copywriters produce authentic and quality content. How?
Typically, a marketer is going to either write or ask a copywriter to build a piece of content. When it comes to the keywords, they might want them integrated an X amount of times. Prior to the evolution of Google’s Instagram, keyword frequency was much higher (which neutered a content writer’s ability to produce quality SEO copy).
In which case, an SEO content writer will usually try and integrate every target keyword—in some variation—at least once.
Google knows that there’s always more to learn. Thus, they reward pages that contain credible, accurate, and worthy links.
Fundamentally, these links work to expand the relevance and usefulness of the content created. This can be:
A bit higher up, we’ve linked an article that explains the best practices of SEO copywriting for a website. Why? Because we want to provide you more information that’s related to the same topic. Now that you know what SEO content is, you can learn more about how best to execute it.
Remember that, while Google rewards linking, it’s always done to service the reader rather than for SEO. You want to further the experience and bolster engagement. Thus, helping the reader and being rewarded by Google share a symbiotic relationship.
Because Google wants the Reader to have the best experience possible.
Now we come to the most important section of all. The content. It all boils down to this:
You can have a perfectly optimized page, an all-catching title, remarkable meta description, seamless keyword integration, incredible links… yet, if your content isn’t quality, why is your Reader going to stay? Your traffic can surge through the roof, but if your visitors aren’t sticking around to learn more, what good does it do you?
When it comes to the content facet of SEO, the writing needs to be excellent. It needs to inform, educate, compel, persuade—it needs to be creative. At the end of the day, the content is more for the human than the robot. The robot might help you get the human there, but the human needs to be moved.
There is zero substitute for quality content.
Copywriting and SEO go hand-in-hand. SEO relies on high-quality content. Quality copy (content) applies the mechanics of SEO.
At the end of the day, an SEO copywriter tells two stories—one to Google, one to the reader that Google sent to page. SEO is the art is of expanding a brand’s presence on the internet, copywriting is the paintbrush.
Together, they work to create organic, natural, and evergreen traffic that has the power to place an unknown company on every block of the internet. Here at Copycat, we understand the mechanics of SEO and have written across countless verticals.
And we know, at the end of the day, the story threaded in each piece of content reigns above all else.
Should you need SEO copywriting services like optimized content, SEO copywriting tips or want to learn how to write for SEO, reach out to us below.