What is SEO website copywriting?
You will have heard of SEO, content, and copywriting. For most businesses, there’s a requirement for all elements to work together, but within each category comes many nuances.
As an expert SEO website copywriter, I’ve often been asked, ‘What does SEO website copywriting actually mean?’
Let’s dive into the key differences and what you get with SEO website copywriting vs. other forms.
What’s the difference between copywriting and content writing?
Copy and content are two different types of marketing writing, but often the terms get used interchangeably (which can be super confusing).
So, here’s how I see it.
- Copywriting = writing for persuasion
- Content writing = writing for information
Whereas a copywriter will be focused on getting the reader to buy or take a specific desired action, a content writer is educating the reader on a topic.
All copy has the purpose of persuasion. Whether that’s to buy, sign up, subscribe, download, or contact, it’s encouraging the reader to take action. Copywriting is a broad field, as it covers the words part of many marketing tasks, including emails, landing pages, adverts, websites, printed flyers, social media posts, and so on.
When writing copy, you need to understand buyer psychology – what your audience wants, needs, fears, and desires. In copywriting, you also need to tackle hesitations and objections, including unknown biases we humans have towards things.
Website copy specifically needs to do all those things while also showcasing your brand’s unique selling point, personality, and values. Your website should be your virtual showroom, displaying what you do, why you do it, and who for.
Content writing explained
Content writing (and content marketing in general) can be compared to gardening. The more seeds you sow (increasing your brand awareness), you boost your chances for those to turn into growing, healthy plants (leads that turn into paying customers).
Content like blog posts are used to plant seeds in people at different awareness stages, so you get your brand in front of people who aren’t ready to buy yet but they may be in the future. This right here is a piece of content.
So, what’s SEO website copywriting exactly?
SEO website copywriting combines the overall copywriting principles of persuasion and psychology with on-page SEO.
The aim of SEO website copywriting is to not only get in front of those people actively looking for a solution to their problem but to be persuasive enough to turn the reader into a paying customer once they land on your website.
The added SEO elements give your brand more chance of being found by the people who already have an intent to buy, but who don’t know yet about your brand. These are called problem-solution-aware buyers. They already know what their issue is, and how to solve it, but they need to find the right person to help.
So, when your ideal buyer knows what they need, what do they do? They head to Google and type in a sequence of keywords and phrases (other search engines do exist but Google is where over 91.5% of all searches happen).
When they hit enter, they see a list of relevant website pages in their search results. Usually, the first 3-4 results are there through paid Google Ads. After this, the organic search results appear. The websites at the top are who Google considers the most relevant and helpful to answer the search query.
Elements of search engine optimisation (SEO)
First, let’s tackle what SEO means. SEO is an acronym for search engine optimisation, which literally does what it says on the tin. It’s what you need to do to be found through search engines, which most commonly refers to Google.
There are many elements of SEO, including on-page, off-page, and technical.
On-page SEO = your website content
Think of everything on a normal website page. That includes the words, images, internal links, headings, videos, and so on. Everything I’ve just listed accounts for your on-page SEO.
Your words (which can be copy or content, depending on their purpose) play a huge part in your on-page SEO success.
Google determines what’s “good” by how helpful your information is to your reader. It’s possible to be found through Google purely with excellent on-page SEO that answers your audience’s queries. More on Google’s helpful content system here.
Off-page SEO = your website’s authority
Elements like the websites you are being linked from (backlinks), guest mentions, social media presence, and PR efforts all account for off-page SEO. Think of it like the more people talking about your website, the more credible you become.
And when those people are also authoritative, your trustworthiness boosts exponentially. So just like when a celebrity mentions your brand on TikTok and you instantly sell out, being linked from a website with a high domain authority shows Google you’re worth promoting.
Technical SEO = your website’s set-up
Whereas on-page SEO includes things you’re familiar with as a website user, this is where it gets more technical. These are the parts that make everything work properly but you may never ‘see’ when browsing.
Your website’s page speed, indexation, sitemaps, and overall site structure all count towards your technical SEO. Imagine these parts as the map that allows Google to properly navigate the information you’re putting out there, checking its relevance and importance.
The diagram below is a great example of how it all works together (image source).
What makes website copywriting search engine optimised?
My job as an SEO website copywriter has two key focuses:
- Getting the words on each page to be persuasive and clear to the audience, showcase your expertise, and build brand trust.
- Structure the copy in a way that allows Google to see it’s useful and relevant.
The structural aspect includes the correct use of:
- H1 headers (the main page title)
- Subheaders (H2, H3, H4, and so on)
- Anchor text (what’s shown on linked text)
- Alt text (written descriptions of any visuals)
- Keywords (what people are searching for already)
- Semantic keywords (phrases relating to the main topic)
- SEO title (the title shown in search engines)
- Meta descriptions (preview text shown in search engines)
I leave the other parts (technical and off-page) up to SEO specialists (marketing agencies or consultants).
Want more information on how to format your copy? Read my guide to structuring website copy for your service business.
Get SEO website copywriting all done for you
So, now you understand the key differences, you can see the value in not just great website copy, but website copy that’s optimised to be found via Google. Get more chances to get in front of warm leads who are already looking for a solution to their problem.
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