If you’re a copywriter or you’re looking to get into copy writing, SEO is one of the most important tools in your arsenal.
But so many copywriters spurn SEO, shrugging it off and saying ‘I just write the stuff… It’s up to you to make it work online’.
Yeah, that’s all fine and good. But modern writing is often written for the web which means it should be written with this in mind from the start.
For the uninitiated.
What Is SEO Anyway?
SEO stands for:
What that means is that the written content is optimised for showing up in search engines. So, if I type in Google ‘Sexy Hotpants For Chihuahuas’ I will want to see* on the first page a good selection of sexy hotpants for small dogs especially chihuahuas.
(*Disclaimer: I am completely not interested in sexy hotpants for chihuahuas. Honest).
So What Do I Have To Do?
If you’re writing content which is going to be published online, you have probably already been asked to include certain ‘keywords’.
The client will normally say include the words ‘Hotpants’, ‘Chihuahuas’ and ‘Small dogs’ at least three to four times each throughout the copy and make sure to include it in a heading.
So as you write your article you will try and work in the keywords, as naturally as possible so that when the Google robots come a-crawlin’ they will see that your article is all about snug and provocative clothing for small dogs; and the site that it sits on proudly deserves to be near the top of the search engine rankings.
Wow. Its That Simple Eh?
Truthfully, no, full and proper SEO is not that simple. You need to research what keywords people are searching for using any number of research tools such as Ubersuggest, Wordtracker, Keyword Planner and the dizzying array of Google based research tools.
You’ll need to do things like identify your audience, include links of the internal and external variety and do a bit of market research.
As a copywriter you probably won’t need to do a great deal of actual keyword research, but it pays to know how to. In fact, when you ping off that email or do the networking, saying that you know how to do SEO will garner many an appreciative nod.
This article is by no means intended to be a lesson about SEO – more to suggest that the modern copywriter should take on board a few more skills. Especially SEO.
Save Me The Hassle. How Do I Do SEO?
So to save you doing any study here is the best way to optimise an article for the search engines.
- Identify who the article is targeting (dog walkers, dog enthusiasts, dogs, kinky cats?)
- Come up with a great headline which is both enticing and includes the keyword (Are These The Sexiest Ever Hotpants For Small Dogs?)
- Write your article in a natural way which is interesting to read and breaks down the info in easy to read bite sized chunks (listicle anyone – oh hey, kinda like this very article ??).
- Include any targeted keywords in the first paragraph and the last paragraph and at least twice in the content. Putting one of the keywords in a heading will help too.
- Try to include as many other relavent search terms in the text naturally, for example: ‘snug fitting dog clothes’, ‘provocative clothing for dogs’ etc.
- Link to relevant pages (preferably information based and not competitors who may steal your audience). Try to include at least one internal link to the site you’re writing for.
- Proofread it so their are no spilling milkshakes.
And hey presto that will be a well written piece of copy which is search engine optimized (or SEO’d?)
I do strongly recommend doing one of the courses on Udemy that I linked to above. A lot of them are free, the don’t take very long and you’ll be able to say you’re a copywriter with a solid understanding of SEO.
Can I Charge More For My Extra Service?
Sure why not.
Honestly though, it should be a skill that any modern copywriter has in this day and age. As so much content online is striving for the top of the search engines result pages (SERP’s) it helps to know how to use your skills to really deliver a first class service.
Realistically, knowing how to do copywriting and SEO should be one and the same. Especially if you are doing any kind of product or service marketing.
Anything Else I Should Know About SEO?
It can’t harm to brush up on your social media marketing, basic HTML, WordPress skills and your witty one-liners. No one likes to be coming up with an epic retort twenty minutes later do they?
Modern copywriters need more than just words. Add more to your armory… SEO is just one of those tools.
Comment below and I might comment back. Share this freely on social media and I’ll try and find you some sexy chihahua hotpants. What’s the betting this article gets to number one for that search term??
UPDATE: It hasn’t yet…