Copywriting has come a long way from the early days, and clients who employ freelance copywriters are looking for much more than a simple advertising blurb to go on their website. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is now the phrase that any copywriter worth their salt is familiar with, but what exactly is SEO copywriting?
SEO copywriting takes into account the principles of writing for maximising the effect and impact of a website with the search engine ‘bots’ or ‘spiders’ that crawl the Internet, interminably looking for pages that excite their interest. For a website to rate highly in the Google listings, for example, certain criteria have to be met to ensure that the site is taken notice of by the bots and then indexed. The better the page content, the higher the PageRank on the search engines.
What does an SEO copywriter do?
It is up to the SEO copywriter to fulfill all the criteria and then some. Tall order maybe, but if you know what you’re doing SEO copywriting can be a rewarding and challenging form of web content production. The days of stuffing a web page with as many keywords as possible are long gone, and ‘black hat’ techniques such as hidden text and link farming will do nothing to encourage the bots to select the page, and may actually damage the website’s chances of getting any kind of listing. Now, the bots are interested in content, content, content.
Google has made it clear that pages with more than 2% keyword inclusion will not gain a listing in their search engine. So freelance copywriters specialising in SEO content have had to change tactics over the last year. The keyword content may well have gone down, but quality of writing is now the golden key that unlocks a high ranking on the search engine. New algorithms employed by Google and other search engines means that the quality of the content is paramount. Good SEO copywriters take this into account, as well as developing other areas of modern SEO such as RSS feeds, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and widgets into the overall package. Good SEO copywriting doesn’t just engage the interest of the bots, though. It has to engage the reader as well, encouraging repeat visits to the site and for other like-minded companies to want to link to your client’s pages.