How much SEO should a web copywriter know?

How much SEO your web copywriter should know depends on what you’re trying to do.

If you’re engaged in direct response marketing online, it might make sense that your web copywriter understands some search engine optimisation (SEO). However, before auditioning a web copywriter for their knowledge of SEO, it’s important to be sure you are:

  • Clear on the objective of your page.
  • Investing in an SEO strategy, not just copywriting as a standalone tactic.
  • Not confusing copywriting with content writing.

Your web copywriter should know SEO if SEO is your primary objective

The goal of SEO is to persuade Google and other search engines to show your webpages higher up the search results.

If better search ranking is your number one goal, your web copywriter should be knowledgeable about SEO.

However, what few self-declared “SEO copywriters” will tell you is that the importance of the words on a webpage is often grossly overrated. Google considers hundreds of factors when it ranks your website. Your copywriting is only one of them. This makes it limiting to consider copywriting in isolation of other search ranking factors.

This means you’re extremely unlikely to rocket up the search rankings just by employing an “SEO copywriter”. There are too many other factors in play.

If SEO is your primary goal, you should be looking to a specialist SEO agency to give you a complete strategy. The agency might recommend copywriting as a tactic, but they might prioritise other tactics.

Your agency will also talk to you about ranking for “local search” (like “SEO copywriter Sydney”), which can be more powerful than general search.

(If you don’t have a good SEO agency, feel free to contact us and we’ll tell you what SEO agency we recommend to our clients.)

Are sales or other conversions more than SEO the goal of your web copywriter?

SEO copywriting is about persuading a search engine. Conversion rate optimisation is about persuading a human. These are not the same skills.

If you are looking for conversions — to persuade a human to take action, not an algorithm — your first call should be to a direct response copywriter.

Is your webpage even eligible for SEO copywriting?

Many landing pages have a particular place in a sales funnel. The designer of the sales funnel doesn’t want anyone to find the landing page from Google before they have been through other stages of the funnel.

For that reason, your landing page might be configured to be invisible to search engines (or it should be set to be invisible to search engines).

If your page is invisible to search engines, you don’t need your web copywriter to know any SEO.

Are you looking for an SEO content writer rather than a copywriter who knows some SEO?

They call it SEO copywriting but they mean SEO content writing.

Copywriting is the craft of persuading a person to do something. If SEO is your goal, you’re likely to be looking for a content writer, not a copywriter.

Are your visitors coming from SEO — Google and other search engines?

If you’re buying your website traffic from Google Ads, Facebook or elsewhere — and you’re not planning to invest in an SEO agency — you’d get better results from a direct response copywriter than from SEO copywriting for your webpages.

How can Taleist help with SEO copywriting?

Our copywriting research process immerses us in how your prospects think and speak. When you know that, you know what’s important to them and what they’re likely to type into Google.

This becomes ever more important as voice searching — speaking your search request into Google — becomes more prevalent. Spoken searches are even more likely to use natural language than typed searches, so you need your copywriter to be extremely familiar with the concerns and priorities of your prospects.

If you’re not happy with the way you’re ranking, we can also recommend the best SEO experts in the business because we’ve worked with them all — not only do they refer their clients to us, they get us to write their agency websites.

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We have a guide to finding the right website copywriter and more Copywriting FAQs here.

Recommended reading about SEO copywriting

Here are some of the best articles you can read on the topic of SEO copywriting are:

Once you have traffic from SEO, you need to convert that traffic, so we recommend these conversion rate optimisation tips.