Content & Copywriting

SEO content writing vs copywriting: Are they different?

May 6, 2021
Reading Time: 5minutes

The term “SEO content writing” is perhaps a bit of a misnomer.

Is it SEO copywriting? Is it just copywriting with keywords added? Is it both? If there is a difference, does it even matter?

I’m asked this all the time, after all, is writing just writing? The point is, the difference does matter – as these two types of writing can bring very different results for businesses.

Post summary:

  • Differences between SEO content writing & copywriting
  • Types of SEO writing projects
  • When and how to hire an SEO content writer

Both are forms of writing, different results though

Both SEO content writing and copywriting are just words on a web page, but they each serve a distinct goal.

This distinction matters because it helps businesses determine which method they need to employ to achieve their desired results.

Combining the two can be ineffective and will lead to lesser results. It’s worth considering what are the differences so that businesses select the right writers for projects.

What’s the difference between SEO content writing and copywriting?

With SEO content writing, the central purpose is to increase organic traffic through search engines.

With copywriting and sales copy, in particular, the end goal is to convert that traffic into leads and sales.

Aren’t both SEO content writing and copywriting capable of doing both? 

Absolutely. But the difference is which method is the optimal way to achieve your business goals quicker.

SEO Copywriting

Want more online sales? Well, you won’t be able to use conversion copywriting to convince people to buy unless you have organic traffic reaching the site in the first place.

Therefore, consider the immediate end goal of a project, and then find a matching writer who can achieve those goals the fastest.

SEO content project types

SEO content writers take on distinct types of content projects – those that usually have an end goal of increasing organic traffic. A secondary aim will be to attract links to a website, although this is harder than people think. 

An SEO content writer would handle projects ranging from:

  • SEO-friendly blog posts
  • SEO-friendly web pages
  • Local SEO content for businesses
  • Conversion pages
  • PPC landing pages
  • Link building content
  • Guest posts for SEO (anchor text)
  • Contextual links

Every SEO content writer or content writing agency is a bit different. Some choose to take on content writing projects like general blog post writing (not-SEO), social media post writing, ad copy, ebooks, or even video script writing.

The vital point to remember is that if your direct goal is to generate organic traffic, you will specifically want to hire an SEO content writer.

If your primary goal is not organic traffic, but how to convert that traffic into sales and leads. Then you’ll want to find a sales copywriter who’s an expert in conversion copywriting.

When to hire an SEO content writer

You use an SEO content writer when you want to generate more organic traffic to a website. Traffic is generated through high-quality, error-free, keyword-optimised and relevant topical content.

This is a writer that understands both SEO and knows how to write content that’s compelling, informative and invaluable to the reader. However, they may not necessarily know how to write converting copy (Many do).

SEO content performs a variety of goals, including:

  • Increase a website’s keyword rankings
  • Boost Click-Through-Rates (CTR) from SERPs
  • Improve website navigation
  • Attract high-authority backlinks
  • Write in Google E-A-T
  • Repurpose existing content
  • Direct users to other pages within the website 
  • Advice about content cannibalisation
  • Optimise internal and external linking with existing content
  • Convert unique visitors into subscribers, leads, buyers or customers
SEO content writing vs copywriting

Thus, hire an SEO content writer to write and guide your website content – mainly, pillar pages, web pages and blog posts – if you want to increase rankings and organic traffic.

There are other residual benefits when you hire a top SEO content writer.

Not over-optimising

SEO experts are more business-minded. They attempt to get the best of both worlds, often trying to optimise their sales copy with a clients target keywords.

If the primary goal is to convert traffic, they will not do this. SEOs know those keywords will interrupt the natural flow of a sales message.

Top SEOs know that an audience may be using those terms to search, but they rarely convey those words that will trigger them to finally buy.

SEO writers know about website structure. 

They know how search engine crawlers scan websites and the hierarchical importance they place on structured, organised web pages, complete with internal linking and external sources.

Top SEO content writers offer more than just content writing per se; they are a website’s SEO analyst too.

How to find a top SEO content writer 

Since you’re reading our online business blog, one of your main goals is to improve the SEO of your website. Therefore, the significant majority of the content you create will likely be content in the form of blog content or pillar pages webpages.

Find a writer who lives for SEO

If that is the case, you’ll need to find a content writer who thoroughly understands SEO and can write content that that’s interest to your target audience.

Ask the writer whether they’ve heard of conversion copywriting

Hang on; I need an SEO content writer, why would I need to ask this question? Well, if a writer at least knows the basics of conversion copywriting, they can do their very best to at least convert that organic traffic into subscribers, leads and customers.

They may not be a sales copywriter like a professional writer would be. However, a conversion writer can still write content that converts better than 90% of the other keyword-stuffed crap out there.

Ask for examples or case studies

Your goal is to increase organic traffic. So, you’ll need to find a writer who can provide examples and proven case studies that show that they know what they are doing.

Ask if they can provide traffic (if their clients permit to share their data) or keyword ranking stats, or even if conversion statistics are available. There are tonnes of prominent writers out there, but not all of them know how to write to attract organic traffic.

Reach out to your network

One of the simplest ways to find a trusted SEO content writer is to reach out to your network and ask others to refer someone to you. 

Referrals can vouch for the writers’ expertise, potentially saving you time and waster money versus hiring an unknown writer you find on an online website.

When you begin your search for an SEO content writer, Be sure to know the differences, so you pick the best writer for the business.