SEO copywriting: What is an SEO copywriter?

SEO copywriting: What is an SEO copywriter?
Reading Time: 5 minutes


Today’s question comes from a bit of a pet subject for me, something that really gets my goat and that is:

“What is an SEO copywriter?”


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Read the transcript


You can’t say that you write copy for websites if you don’t understand SEO.

In another group I am in somebody was looking for quotes for copy for their websites and they’d received a quote back from a copywriter. The copywriter said that yes, they could write the copy for the website but that they didn’t do SEO optimisation.

“I don’t do that”.

I was a bit like, how can you write copy for a website but not do SEO? It’s like saying, I’ll code your website, but I don’t do code or I’ll design your graphic but I’m colorblind and I don’t like font.

It’s just a no.

No, no, no, no, no.

You can write copy for a brochure, for a flyer, for a print ad and be a really capable copywriter.

You could understand all the skills that a copywriter needs, how to be persuasive, how to understand your audience, how to bring out features and benefits and advantages and how to write brilliant calls to actions.

Those are all important skills of a copywriter, but to be a copywriter online, to be a digital copywriter, to write content for blogs and for websites, you need to understand SEO and if your copywriter doesn’t, then you could be wasting your money.


What does an SEO copywriter do?

What does a SEO copywriter do? Well a few things.

First of all, an SEO copywriter will have a fundamental understanding of how websites work, how they’re coded, the important things like speed and responsiveness, how crawlability works, not just how websites are put together.

They would also have an understanding of information architecture, so how to write navigations, which content to put where, how to structure content that guides people through to the conclusion that you want them to get to. On the web, we get to choose where we go and what we want to do as copywriters is try to control that journey so that we get that person from place A to place B as efficiently as possible.


Understanding readability

You also need to understand readability.

Readability online is completely different to readability in print. If a copywriter doesn’t grasp that, your copy won’t get read and your copy won’t convert.


Understanding keywords

These are all really important factors that an SEO copywriter or a true website copywriter will understand, but more than that, an SEO copywriter will usually also help you with your keyword research.

Facts about your business that will assist your copywriter with keyword research:

  • Industry
  • Audience
  • Products

Your copywriter will use various tools to try and find keywords that have high traffic, low competition but also keywords that are going to convert.

Some keywords convert better than others.

I could get you to the top of the rankings for any old keyword and that might be great, but it will be vanity ranking unless that keyword delivers conversions.

That’s what this is all about.

It’s not just about ranking, it’s about getting people from the search results to your site, keeping them there and ensuring they convert.

Even more than that, it’s about getting them to come back again and again and about recommending your stuff to other people. It’s a lot more, isn’t it? It’s a lot more than you thought it was, probably.

SEO copywriters will help you with keyword research, then they will take those keywords and they will use them in your content.

They will write your title tag, your message description, they will tell you how to write a good headline for your page and a good subheader.

They will structure the content using bullets and bolding and optimisation to ensure it’s easy to read and that it converts.

They’ll do all of that for you. They’ll even tell you how to name your images and [inaudible 00:04:32] tags to use. If you’re not getting that from your SEO copywriter, well then you’re not getting good value for money.


Is your copy focused?

I see a lot of you posting sites in the help ladder every week and in the copy there are lots of elements missing.

It’s not focused, there’s no keyword optimisation and you’ve probably paid good money for that copy but it’s not SEO copy and it’s not going to help you in the Google love/war. I really wanted to talk about that distinction between just a copywriter and an SEO copywriter.

There are different things that you need to know and if your copywriter is telling you that yes they can write you copy, but it won’t be SEO optimised and they don’t really get the whole Google thing, walk away, in fact run away.

Now I’m not doing this as a sales pitch. I really don’t have any capacity for any more SEO copywriting clients, but if you would like me to recommend some good people, I’m happy to do that.

Send me a PM or write your email address under this video and I’m more than happy to give you details of some good copywriters. Some good SEO copywriters who’ve passed through my bigger course and who have learned everything there is to know about writing copy that’s optimised for Google and your customers.

They’re not mutually exclusive, you can do both, super important.


SEO copywriter vs SEO consultant

I want to draw a distinction between what an SEO copywriter would do and what maybe a SEO consultant would do.

While an SEO copywriter will look at your information architecture, they will look at your keyword research and they will write you great copy, what they probably won’t do is run you a technical audit.

The technical audit is really, really important. A technical audit will look at your site and look for issues of crawlability, how secure it is, how fast it is, how responsive it is, it will fix up all the tech issues so that your site is a good platform on which you can start layering copy.

The problem is, if you have a site that is not technically well built, it doesn’t matter how much copy you put on top, it’s never going to rank because you’ve got fundamental flaws with your site.

Most SEO copywriters won’t do that, some do, some offer that as an additional service.

Another thing to think about once you’ve built your site and added your copy in, that ongoing content marketing and link building and blogger outreach, again, not all SEO copywriters will feel confident about doing that for you. It’s really important to understand those distinctions.

If anybody wants any recommendations for good people, I’m more than happy to share them with you but I really wanted to talk through that because it’s a real bugbear for me, people saying that they can write SEO copy when really they can’t.


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Over to you:

I hope that clarifies what an SEO copywriter actually is for you.

If you have any questions, please pop them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.


  1. Maria

    Thank you. Great clarification….

  2. Sampath Subramanian

    Excellent clarity on the topic. Thanks for that Kate.
    I have joined newly for this course. Wondering how do I navigate through the course. I logged in and didnt know where to go. I happened to click the link that was interesting. Apparently the course is scheduled to start today. Am I missing something here.