Copywriting and SEO can’t be viewed as two separate endeavors. They’re closely connected, and you can’t be successful in one area without emphasizing the other.
Unfortunately, a lot of copywriters either give SEO a half-hearted try, or they unknowingly make costly mistakes that limit their success. In this article, we’re going to focus on the most common blunders and how they can be remediated.
The 4 Most Common SEO Mistakes Made by Copywriters
As much as a copywriter may want to focus on crafting content without the influence of outside factors, the simple truth of the matter is that modern content marketing is closely connected to search engine optimization. It’s impossible to separate content from SEO, or vice versa, without impacting the overall quality and efficacy.
The problem is that most copywriters aren’t SEO experts by trade. And most SEO gurus aren’t particularly skilled at developing powerful marketing content. It’s at this critical junction that problems emerge.
Knowing which SEO blunders are most commonly made by copywriters will help you spot issues early on and be more aware of how content and SEO mesh together to create an impact for your brand. Here are some mistakes to be aware of:
1. Lack of Keyword Research
Keyword research plays an important role in the development of SEO-friendly copy. Unfortunately, most copywriters fail to conduct keyword research. And even if they do, it tends to be lousy research that’s ineffective. As a result, the copy ends up being too generic, or it misses the mark altogether.
2. Gimmicky SEO Tactics
The SEO field was once a lot like the Wild, Wild West. But as time has passed, the industry has become more refined. Many of the tactics that were once popular and effective are now frowned upon. However, copywriters that don’t have much SEO expertise may still rely on some of these ineffective techniques (which can actually hurt your content in the search rankings). One example of this is the over-optimization of copy with specific keywords.
“Don’t get me wrong. You should optimize your text. Anytime, anywhere,” industry insider Adriana Tica writes. “But you should definitely not sacrifice readability and conversion optimization for SEO.”
Keyword stuffing is a big no-no in 2019 – as are branded hyperlinks that look out of place. Good copywriters stick to organic optimization that blends with the content.
3. Using the Wrong Link Building Tactics
Link building is one of the most important aspects of content marketing. It’s the way in which you garner visibility, generate traffic, and produces leads. But many copywriters are wholly uninformed on how to develop content that’s friendly to link building.
For example, some copywriters will charge you to publish a piece of content on a major publishing platform, yet fail to understand the difference between “dofollow” and “nofollow” links. The latter strip away most of the value.
4. Not Accounting for Semantic Search
Ten years ago, you could get away with using the same overly-optimized keyword three times in a paragraph and enjoy a significant SEO boost for that page. Not anymore. Today, Google is all about semantic search.
Some copywriters have been slow to adapt to this new way of doing things. Instead of writing with user intent in mind, they continue to optimize copy with rigid rules and formulas.
Good content writers know how to use a conversational style, while still optimizing copy to account for long-tail keywords that help search engines determine what the content is about and which audience it’s serving.
Finding a Content Writer With an SEO Background
Content is too important to your brand to take your chances on a content writer who lacks SEO expertise. Here are some simple ways you can find a copywriter with an SEO background:
1. Look Beyond Pricing
It’s easy to start your search for a content writer based on price, but proceed with caution. If price is your only factor, you’re not going to find a copywriter with SEO experience. That’s because these content writers command a higher price. (We don’t have time for an in-depth discussion about the relationship between price and quality, but just know there is a strong correlation.)
2. Work With an Agency
When it comes to selecting a content writer for your marketing strategy, you have three primary choices: (1) handle it in-house, (2) hire a freelance content writer, or (3) hire a marketing agency.
Most businesses start with the first option. After a few weeks or months, they realize that they don’t have the time or skills to successfully execute a content marketing strategy with internal resources. They then move on to hiring a freelance content writer – simply because they’re easy to find and fairly cost-effective. But as stated, most freelance writers lack the SEO expertise to deliver maximum value.
Do yourself a favor and skip the first two options and go straight to the third.
“When you work with an SEO agency, you get access to a team of people. This includes experienced content writers, talented SEO specialists, and project managers that ensure everything works together to accomplish your specific marketing goals,” SEO agency TopRankings explains. “Think of it as an outsourced arm of your business that has the skills and expertise you’d otherwise have to pay big bucks for in-house.”
3. Ask for Supporting Data
Whether you’re hiring a freelance content writer or an agency, never accept something at face value. To ensure they have the SEO expertise they’re promising, ask for supporting data.
A good content writer or agency will be able to show you specific numbers and reports that reflect how their services have helped current and past clients enhance their online visibility and drive leads.
Copywriting and SEO: A Match Made in Heaven
Copywriting and SEO go hand in hand – there’s no way around it. If you want to develop quality content that reflects your brand’s values, engage customers, and satisfies evolving search engine expectations, then you need to work with content writers who have a thorough understanding of SEO.
Take your time and find a professional your brand can rely on.