Climb the Ladder

What Does an SEO Copywriter Do?

If you’ve got the writing chops and SEO savvy, then SEO copywriter could be the job for you

If you’ve got the writing chops and SEO savvy, then we’ve got the job for you: SEO copywriter. It may be the coolest job you’ve never heard of. See what a few people in the field have to say about the position. Then tell us we were right. We’ll be here, waiting.

What exactly does an SEO copywriter do?

An SEO copywriter writes copy that helps boost a website’s search engine rankings. The job is similar to that of an SEO specialist, but they aren’t the same. While an SEO specialist focuses on analyzing, reviewing and executing changes to existing content to boost a site’s standing, an SEO copywriter typically creates original content to support the specialist’s strategy. An SEO copywriter must balance writing for search engines and writing for people, appealing to—and persuading—readers.

“The primary purpose of this role is to write copy that is search engine optimized through including keywords,” says James Nuttall, a copywriter who does SEO copywriting at Roman Blinds Direct. “This involves writing content across an entire website, from page descriptions to blog articles, helping to push your site up Google’s rankings.”

SEO copywriters craft Tweets, blog and Facebook posts, product descriptions, sales and promotional copy and other content. Their specialty is considering keyword density and prominence as well as tone, style and readability. They also research product attributes, competitive keywords and content landscape; audit websites to help develop off-site and on-site SEO campaigns; and monitor searcher and customer behaviors.

What skills do I need?

You have to know how to write well. The word is copywriter, after all. “No matter how well your content may be optimized, if the words on the page aren’t worth reading, your target audience will not be interested—not to mention Google can tell the difference between good and bad copy,” says Nuttall.

“Knowing who your audience is and how they interact with your content is essential to creating copy that will convert, inform and be shared,” says Kevin Rossignol, senior SEO copywriter and editor at BudgetDumpster.com.” You also need a working knowledge of technical SEO, PR and analytics to consistently improve your copy, he adds.

Master SEO writing in our comprehensive online course. You’ll learn how to reach your intended audience using keywords and analytics, write headlines that work, and most importantly, optimize your content to ensure it’s seen and read.

And you should be able to take constructive criticism—any writer should, frankly. You can’t always get a hole in one, so don’t take it personally when someone doesn’t love what wrote.

Who is an SEO copywriter’s supervisor?

It depends on the company, but you could report to a web content supervisor or an SEO content manager or someone in the marketing department.

What does it take to excel at this job?

“You must be a good writer, although that’s secondary,” says Eric Brantner, an SEO copywriter and managing editor at Scribblrs.com, a blogging and content marketing site. “It’s more understanding how to talk to people, then [putting] it on ‘paper,’” he says.

How can someone break into this field?

No degree is typically required, except maybe at the agency level, says Brantner, who recommends getting started by putting together your own site or mock business sites to showcase your talent.

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Climb the Ladder, Skills & Expertise