SEO is an industry like no other. The acronym alone polarises opinion. Some see it is as an essential process in the marketing of a successful Web site. Others think of it as an unnecessary money pit, with charlatans cluttering the Internet with endless, valueless content.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of SEO as a technique or profession, the effects are clear. A tightening of search engine algorithms has rendered the worst practices worthless. This has encouraged a more productive and positive system of best practices to replace the antiquated black hat tactics. One of the major benefactors of this development is the Copywriter.
As you will no doubt already be aware, content plays a huge part in the optimization process. You just can’t have a successful, high ranking website without copy at some stage in your process.
The Importance of Content in SEO
Developing content today is very much the job of a copywriter. Due to the proliferation and concentration of copy available online, you need to have something that gives you that cutting edge. Writers hone their talents by continuously producing content in their chosen field. A journalist writes for their newspaper or magazine, developing an understanding of the audience and creating a voice to match expectations. The same is true of SEO Copywriters.
In the past, an SEO copywriter would have had to create content that was laden with keywords. Producing a readable copy with a keyword density of 10% is certainly no easy task. Thanks to the advancement of search engines and the introduction of PageRank and other link-related ranking factors, this is firmly in the past.
Today the objective of copy is less about populating text with keywords. Instead, it is all about producing content that will encourage conversions. Keywords are far from extinct, they are still needed to contextualize a page for search engine crawlers, but their impact has been significantly diminished.
So with this in mind, can anybody really call themselves an SEO copywriter?
There are still plenty of businesses, for instance, Dynamics Digital SEO Agency and freelancers offering SEO copywriting services. But the term itself is outdated. Copywriting is about producing content that will help to benefit SEO; but the words used are largely natural, giving context to a page and providing ample information to any visitor.
As a part of search engine optimization, the SEO prefix is somewhat justified. But copywriting as a practice is moving away from any direct involvement. Instead, a copywriter’s role is to create a quality copy. Whether that is rich with keywords is almost incidental. Web users have become wise to sites that have an inflated search engine ranking and have little or nothing to offer on arrival. Therefore site owners have to be able to deliver on their promise.
Putting Visitors and Quality Ahead of SEO
This is where the copywriter, SEO or otherwise, comes to the fore. The ability to write compelling copy that engages an audience and encourages further investigation is paramount. Keeping one eye on keywords and synonyms, the modern online writer can’t ignore these aspects, but it isn’t a priority.
Websites though are dependent on content. Just as links are vital in providing incoming traffic streams and added strength, it is the copy that anchors it. Off-site optimization, such as guest blogging, article, and hub writing, helps to generate interest. It also offers an opportunity for a site to build external satellites, which are an extension of their core pages.
The more satellites you have, the more links you can generate, and the better your chances of encouraging more site traffic and strength. In the future, as the Internet becomes ever more populated with content, only the best will get the attention they deserve. Your copy will have to work hard to attract and maintain a visitor’s interest, which means it has to meet near impeccable standards.
This is the future of the SEO copywriter. Whilst deeply involved in the optimization process, it won’t be their main focus. Quality of work and the ability to engage visitors will be far more essential factors. They will become increasingly important to Web sites and SEOs, but not in the same way as they may have been in the past.