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

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So, you created a website and after all the hard work you have put in, it is time to hire an SEO writer. The purpose is straightforward- giving your content a major boost and ranking in search engine results.

But how should you start the hiring process? Should you look out for a content writer or a copywriter?

Most website developers remain confused about making this choice. Not many understand what is SEO content writing. And even if they do, they don't understand the difference between copywriting and content writing. So, does it matter if you hire an SEO content writer or an SEO copywriter? Well, yes it does.

Though they both perform the same function- helping rank your webpage higher in search results, there is a fine distinction in their methods. And you have to understand this distinction to decide what works for you.

What is SEO Content Writing?

Before getting into SEO content writing vs. copywriting details, let's start by understanding what is SEO content writing.

As we know, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of fine-tuning your website in such a way that it improves its visibility in search engine results. So, when users start looking for topics, services, and products on Google or any other search engine, your website will show up among the top results.

The SEO strategy involves improving the overall user experience. This is what search engine bots look for when they crawl your website. To put it simply, SEO content writing involves using high-quality, keyword-rich content that ranks high in search engine results for routing organic traffic to your website.

What is SEO Copywriting?

On the other hand, SEO copywriting is a strategy that is focused on converting traffic that arrives on your website into leads and sales.

SEO copywriting is a bit of a misnomer. It is more of a hybrid between SEO and copywriting. It pairs standard SEO practices like doing keyword research to drive traffic with copywriting skills like writing compelling copies. Therefore, the strategy is to retain the SEO metrics of the page while also writing copies that are compelling enough to push the sales volume.

Writing compelling copies, bylines, social media copies, Facebook ad copy, sales pages, etc. do involve content but they won't necessarily qualify as copywriting. It all depends on whether the aspect of SEO best practices is involved or not.

SEO content writing vs. copywriting explained

The difference between SEO content writing and copywriting is not very different from the distinction between content writing and copywriting in general.

While SEO content writing helps you create a web page that would funnel in organic traffic and improve the number of views on your pages, SEO copywriting will help sustain the traffic and ultimately convert these users into buyers.

These can be looked at from the perspective of two stages. Once you launch a product and start a digital marketing campaign to improve sales, you will start by creating a webpage to show your presence. For improved visibility, you will use an SEO content writer who can attract organic traffic to the webpage using his/her compelling content.

However, bringing in organic traffic isn't the end goal. The end goal is to ensure that the sales volume goes up. To do this, you will need an SEO copywriter. SEO copywriting ensures that your SEO rankings are sustainable and strengthened, while also ensuring that compelling copies convert leads (incoming traffic) into sales.

The two forms of SEO writing, therefore, complement each other. There will be no use of SEO copywriting without SEO content writing, and SEO content writing will be fruitless without SEO copywriting.

When to hire an SEO Content Writer?

epending on your SEO goals, you will have to hire an SEO content writer or SEO copywriter. When you want to attract more organic traffic to your page through high-quality, keyword-optimized content, you will have to hire an SEO content writer.

An SEO content writer understands how search engine optimization works, and how to produce relevant, high-quality content with proper keyword research to improve search engine result rankings.

However, an SEO content writer won't necessarily help you improve your conversion rates. The content will help you go up in search results and bring in traffic that can work as potential leads. But you can't expect to make real sales.

SEO content writing services serve different purposes, such as-

  • Improved keyword rankings.
  • Improving the click-through rate (CTR) from the search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Helping you get high-authority backlinks.
  • Bringing users to hyperlinked internal web pages.
  • Converting incoming traffic into leads. 

Moreover, SEO content writing services will enhance your brand value, bring authority to your product and enhance overall awareness. An SEO content writer would generally give you the following services- 

  • SEO-friendly blog posts
  • Local SEO business content
  • PPC landing pages
  • SEO-friendly service pages
  • Link-building
  • Ebooks
  • Guest posts
  • Whitepapers

When to hire an SEO copywriter?

Digital presence has widened quite a bit today. Consider the platforms that require compelling copy- Google ads, website landing pages, social media posts, print ads, brochures, product descriptions, Facebook ads, billboard ads, sales pages, and product collection pages.

So, when you already have an optimized web page with sufficient traffic and potential leads, what you need is to convert the traffic and leads into actual sales. So, you need a copywriter who understands SEO and also specializes in writing the kind of copies that you need for improving your conversion rate.

You can hire an SEO copywriter for the following purposes-

  • Facebook & Instagram ads. 
  • Social media postings. 
  • Email marketing. 
  • Print marketing. 
  • Video scripts. 
  • Newspaper ads. 
  • Writing website copies. 
  • Product demos. 
  • Writing titles and taglines. 
  • Product demos. 
  • Writing post-copies and content for graphic designs. 
  • Sales pages. 
  • On-site navigation copy. 

The final stage of any successful digital marketing campaign is writing an effective sales copy that practically helps convert potential leads. 

How to Measure SEO Performance?

The success of your content writing and copywriting campaigns will depend on whether you are able to attain your specific goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). As such, the following could be your KPIs. 

  • Enhanced brand awareness. 
  • Generating potential leads. 
  • Improving email outreach. 
  • Ranking for different keywords. 
  • Higher conversion rates. 
  • Click-through rates (CTR).
  • Higher web traffic through organic research. 
  • Social media outreach and higher following on different platforms. 

The same metrics may be successful for one brand and unsuccessful for another. If your goal was to generate more leads, getting in quality leads will be a success for you. But if you were looking for a better social media outreach, merely generating quality leads won't be considered successful for you.

This is where it becomes crucial for you to decide if you need an SEO content writer or an SEO copywriter. Moreover, within a particular specialization, you may also want to look for expertise. For example, if you want a better social media outreach then hiring someone who specializes in writing social media posts, and Instagram & Facebook ads may be a better choice. 

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