SEO and Copy – The Dynamic Duo
Google “SEO and copywriting” and you’ll get thousands of articles debating what’s more effective—do you write for the web or do you write for the readers? We believe you can and should do both—because writing for Google is writing for the people. SEO Analyst, Ron Taylor, and Copywriter, Erin Mitchell will take you through how their roles, although separate, work together to generate optimum results.
Let’s start with breaking down each role…
I’m Ron Taylor, an SEO Analyst at BCM. Day to day, I’m monitoring client website traffic patterns, checking keyword rankings for clients and competitors, and performing competitive environmental analysis for the brands we work with.
I’m Erin Mitchell, Copywriter at BCM. Day to day, I’m writing in multiple brand voices for a diverse range of audiences, in a style relevant to specific social platforms. When I’m not writing campaign copy for our client’s social channels, I’m brainstorming ideas for new business pitches and existing client initiatives.
Part of the beauty of our jobs is when we get to work together to create new content pieces for client properties. Creating unique, valuable content with the potential to drive organic traffic to a client site requires my savvy linguistic mastery, informed and guided by Ron’s SEO research.
This week, Erin takes the helm of this 2-part blog series on the how SEO and Copywriting teams maximize content.
The Beginning: SEO Copy Research
Keyword research is a powerful way to begin writing successful SEO copy. At BCM, we consider keyword research the most important part of the SEO copy creation process and overall SEO content strategy. The most informative, well written articles that I write may not generate high organic traffic if we don’t fully understand and incorporate the terms people use when looking for the content.
Let’s pretend you’re writing an amazing article about the benefits of winter hats (I don’t know why, but you are). In your area of the country, you refer to them as “toboggans”, so your entire article is written talking about the benefits of toboggans. But wait, you forgot to do your keyword research! Heading over to Moz.com you use their Keyword Explorer and find out that “winter hats” gets about 2,800 more search volume each month than “toboggan”. That’s a pretty compelling reason to change your keyword to “winter hats”!
Additionally, you discover that the searches for “toboggan” are primarily returning Google search results for definitions; apparently, a lot of people are wondering, what exactly is a toboggan? A sled? A hat? Both? Competing for ranking against dictionary and Wikipedia sites is not a battle you want to fight. However, “winter hat” search terms are much more focused on the product you are writing about, and you should feel more confident competing for rank there.
Armed with this new information, you decide to rework your article copy to focus on “winter hat” terms, rather than “toboggan” terms. Probably a good idea! Additionally, your keyword research showed that “snow hat” is also a closely related term with 1,700 search volume each month, so you decide to add that as a secondary keyword within your copy. After all this, you’ve undoubtedly created a final product that will perform better than your intial draft, but you’ve likely lost several hours in research and resulting rewrites.
Now, if we had worked together from the outset and began the process with keyword research, we could now be spending those extra 2 hours sliding down a snow-covered hill in our newly purchased toboggan!
SEO Research Informs Our Content
At our agency, the SEO considerations start (most effectively) at the very beginning of the process with Ron’s keyword research. Otherwise, there may be significant modifications needed to both the article structure and content afterwards; a big inefficiency for both SEO, copywriters and ultimately, the brands we write for!
Let me let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t matter how amazing your content is if people can’t find it. That’s why it’s imperative that SEO and copywriters come together to ensure our content is reaching the right people in the right places, and resonating with them.
While it’s my role to know and capture each of our client’s unique brand voices, it’s Ron’s job to inform me how consumers are searching for our client’s brands in the first place. Ron’s SEO research helps ensure my words match up with the way people are searching for our client’s products.
Using SEO research to inform copy requires strategy – it isn’t about keyword stuffing. In fact, it simple keyword stuffing is a great way to get a Google penalty in today’s SEO environment. Instead, we work together to take the research Ron performs and craft content in a logical and informed fashion. In place of overly-used keywords, we create natural and compelling content that’s authentic and relatable to our audience.
Next week, in Part 2 Ron will dive deeper into the SEO process and strategy.
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