SEO Content Writing vs. SEO Copywriting: What’s the Difference?

Your website is ready for the next level, and now it’s time to hire an SEO author to promote your content and start ranking higher with search engines.

But should you hire a content writer or copywriter?

Is there a difference? They’re both writing for SEO purposes, so does it really matter?

Yes it does.

Both SEO content writing and copywriting are related to the wording of the page, but they each serve their own specific purpose.

And this distinction helps you determine which method you must use to achieve the desired results.

Confusing the two – or combining the two ineffectively – is likely to lead to sub-results. It is important to consider the differences in choosing the right method (and author) for your project.

What is SEO content?

Let’s break this further down – what is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of enhancing a website to improve its visibility when people search for topics, services and products on search engines such as Google or Bing.

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The main purpose of SEO is to improve the overall user experience, as they are primarily looking for search engine bots when they scan and rank the most relevant web pages.

This is where SEO content plays a key role. Search engines are looking for useful information that informs users, entertains, educates, and / or solves a problem.

The primary goal of SEO content writing is to create high quality, keyword focused content that ranks well in search engines for generating organic traffic to a website.

What is SEO copywriting?

In contrast, the main goal of SEO copywriting is to convert traffic into leads and sales.

Are both content writing and copywriting worthwhile?

Absolutely.

But the difference really comes down to what you’re trying to do and which method makes it better.

“SEO copywriting” is a bit of a misnomer. I believe that this term is the result of many SEO experts who are confusing two types of writing.

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This is supported by a variety of responses when I unanimously surveyed a Facebook group of SEO experts on what SEO copywriting is:

SEO Content Writing vs. SEO Copywriting: What's the Difference?SEO Content Writing vs. SEO Copywriting: What's the Difference?SEO Content Writing vs. SEO Copywriting: What's the Difference?

Some SEO experts say that the two types of writing are one and the same.

Others said they were different.

Others said there was an overlap.

Overall, there was no consensus on what “SEO copywriting” is or whether it exists.

However, there is no doubt that the term exists and consumers are searching for it online.

Part of the confusion is the slightly confusing result of the search intent. Most people looking for this keyword are actually looking for:

  • Website Content Services
  • Blog posts.
  • Ad copy
  • A sales page copywriter.

It can be hard to tell when someone is really looking for SEO copywriting.

For example, as an SEO content writer, I often ask SEO agencies about copywriting, Facebook ad copy, social media copy, sales pages, and more.

Although these projects include content, they do not necessarily include SEO. Rather, they need sales copy – something that SEO content may or may not be part of Writer’s Wheelhouse.

Although “SEO copywriting” is a recognized term, it is important to distinguish between writing SEO content and copywriting.

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This is because the method you choose should be the best for what you are trying to accomplish with your content.

And once you know that, you can hire the right kind of author to do the work.

Choosing the Right Writer for SEO Content

Depending on the needs of your project, you may want to hire an SEO content writer when your goal is to attract more organic traffic to your website through high quality, keyword tailored content.

An SEO content writer understands search engine optimization and knows how to write informative, compelling and relevant content.

However, they are not always effective when it comes to writing content to drive conversions.

SEO content serves a variety of purposes, including:

  • Increase keyword rankings
  • Driving clicks from search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Attracting backlinks from higher authorities.
  • Direct users to other internal web pages.
  • Converting website visitors into buyers, users and / or leads.

So, if you want to increase organic traffic, you should hire an SEO content writer to write your website content – basically, web pages and blog posts.

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Great content can drive social shares, keep users on your website longer, and improve conversions. It can also help you build authority in your niche and create awareness about your brand.

SEO content writers usually handle content such as:

If your primary concern is not attracting more traffic but converting your paid and existing traffic into sales and leads, you may want to hire a sales copywriter.

When to hire an SEO copywriter.

There are many different types of copywriters, just as there are many different types of copywriting projects.

Consider all the different platforms out there that require copying. Google Advertising, Website Landing Pages, Social Media Posts, Print Ads, Brochures, Product Description, Facebook Ads, Billboard Ads, Sales Pages, Product Collection Pages – The list goes on and on.

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When your primary goal is to convert traffic into sales or leads, you need to hire an experienced copywriter. This traffic can be organic, but it can also be social media traffic, paid ad traffic, live traffic, and so on.

Therefore, you will want to hire a copywriter who specializes in copying exactly what you need and knows how to convert that particular type of traffic.

For example, a Facebook ad copywriter may not support print ad copywriting.

The process of research, targeting, writing, formatting and final execution can be completely different for each type of copy project.

The types of projects that copywriters often handle include:

  • Facebook and Instagram ads.
  • Social media posts.
  • Email campaigns.
  • Print marketing materials.
  • Video script
  • Sales pages.
  • Newspaper advertisements.
  • Product Description
  • Non-SEO landing pages.
  • Business names and taglines.
  • Website copy (brand messaging)
  • White papers or product demos.
  • Call to action button.
  • Site navigation copy.

In general, you will be able to find a specialist copywriter by doing a Google search for the specific type of copy you are looking for.

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However, some projects can be so odd that finding a copywriter can be a challenge that fits the bill. In this case, you can find a regular copywriter and ask if they are experienced in this type of project.

Even if they aren’t, they can get to know someone in the agency or industry and help you connect with the right person.

Remember, the success of any marketing campaign depends on the ability of the copywriter to convert the sales copy.

Their processes include market research, copywriting that resonates with the audience, and call-to-action that motivates consumers to buy.

The right search skills when hiring an SEO writer.

Once you’ve determined your SEO writing needs and decided to move on with SEO content writers or SEO copywriters, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right partner with the right skills.

In addition to choosing an author that suits your brand, you should look for these key skills:

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1. The latest SEO writing exercises.

The best SEO practices are constantly evolving with search engine algorithms.

When you invest in an author to help make your content SEO friendly, it’s important that your author is aware of the latest updates and what search engines are looking for.

2. Understand conversion copywriting.

If improving your conversion rate is your primary goal, then you need to partner with an author who knows how to write great copy.

Don’t hesitate to ask an author about their average conversion rate and past experience to make sure their track record is proven.

3. Understand search intent.

Search intent, also called user intent, is the primary purpose for a user to obtain information through a search engine.

For example, let’s see. [birthday cakes] As a keyword

Anyone who wants to learn how to make a birthday cake has a very different intention than someone who is looking for a local cake decorating service or someone else who wants to know when and how the tradition of birthday cakes started.

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A strong SEO writer must understand search intent and write high quality content for keywords. the topic, Not just keywords.

4. Become a full researcher.

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer shows a relevant trend – consumer confidence in the media and institutions is at record lows.

Graph of declining consumer confidence in media and institutions.

Brands cannot afford to publish less credible content and risk losing the trust of their audience. Copywriters and content writers need to be equally competent as well as thorough researchers.

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5. Understand the target audience demographics.

A strong writer is able to adapt to different audiences.

Content for 65+ users has a very different tone and style than content created for Gen Z and Millennials.

It’s important to make sure the author you choose handles a variety of assignments and knows how to reach your audience.

How to measure the performance of copywriting SEO

The success of your content marketing or copywriting campaign depends on the specific goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you have set.

Some common KPIs used to measure campaign success include:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Lead generation.
  • Email subscribers.
  • Ranking keywords.
  • Site conversions.
  • Clickthrough Rates (CTR)
  • Web traffic through organic search.
  • Social media likes, comments and shares.

Good content is judged by its performance and users. The same campaign, run by two different brands, can be a success or a failure, depending on the brand’s goals.

If content is earning three times as much as social media shares, it would be considered the success of a brand whose core KPI was improving its presence on Facebook.

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But if the target was the KPI lead generation, then the same campaign could be considered a failure.

Choosing the right author based on your SEO content writing or copywriting needs is key to running a successful campaign.

More resources:


Image credit.

All screenshots were taken by the author, August 2021.

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