SEO and copywriting for the web obviously go hand in hand and seldom come one without the other. This means that there is more than one focus when writing for the web, and that, in my opinion, is what really makes writing for the web so interesting.
Web and SEO samples
For more writing samples, please visit my portfolio.
Web content management
Web content management requires a fine blend of creativity and strategic thinking, as well as top-notch writing and editing skills, of course. There’s the planning stage, where a digital marketing strategy must be created and content must be planned and commissioned. Then there’s the creation and implementation of all of the above, including the more technical loading of content onto the website using a CMS. Finally, you’ve got to maintain it all, analyse user behaviour, and constantly develop and improve your online home. I enjoy web content management simply because it’s varied and ever-changing, and I’ve got years of experience of doing it.
Search engine optimisation
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the effort that aims to help your website rank well in Google and other search engines. There are a number of aspects to this effort, and copywriting is a very important one.
Hiring an SEO agency to do the work for you is very expensive, but sometimes necessary. If you choose to do so, it is worth considering excluding the content creation from the deal, as SEO agencies charge hefty fees for the work they do and well-written content can generally be acquired in a more cost-effective way. If you’ve got a list of keywords for which you’d like to rank, a freelance copywriter can produce interesting, informative website content which is written with these keywords in mind.
If you don’t have hundreds of pages, however, and there aren’t thousands of other websites out there trying to rank for your targeted keywords, paying for some unique quality content alone can turn out to be the most cost-effective way to SEO bliss.
Meta tags and HTML
SEO is not all ‘what you see is what you get’. Each page of a website has HTML code which must be optimised in accordance with the content, and I have lots of experience of doing this. This involves writing the information that will appear on the search results page, in other words the first piece of information a web user reads about you. Now that’s what I call free advertising space.
A unique user experience
No matter how much you want to tell Google to rank your website, you have to bear in mind that unless the user finds your website useful, it doesn’t matter if you’re number one for every keyword phrase in the world. Your website must be informative and interesting above all. Your articles have to be well-written and produced with a surfer’s limited patience in mind, or else they will find a different, more useful website to visit.
I have experience of producing optimised web copy for ecommerce businesses and charities, and I am happy to syndicate articles for backlinks with targeted anchor texts too. If you need web copy, I will automatically SEO it. If you’re going mad worrying about rankings, I’ll still bear the user in mind. To me, SEO and web copy are inseparable.
My SEO skills and experience
SEO is the word on everyone’s lips right now. It is to the 21st century what blogging was to the 1990s. So how will you know who to hire?
“Content is king” goes the motto of many search engine optimisers, and this is true. Hiring a professional copywriter is definitely a good first step. But bear in mind that Google is a both sensitive and incredibly intelligent power, and remember that there are so called ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ strategies. If you hire a copywriter who doesn’t know their black hats from their white hats, your website could get penalised and you could lose whatever SEO power you already have. Keyword stuffing will get you nowhere, and badly-written content is unpopular in Google land.
I am lucky enough to have worked in an environment where learning about SEO and its ever-changing nature was seen to be as important as producing copy. I am not a Flash developer or a web designer, and you are probably wasting both your time and mine if you ask me to embark upon a six month link building adventure, but I would like to think that I understand the ins and outs of Google and how to produce content that rubs the big G up the right way.
When I say that I have a solid understanding of SEO, I mean solid in the full meaning of the word. Recently, many copywriters have added SEO sections to their websites by default as the industry has boomed, though they know very little about search engines’ algorithms and Meta tags. I am not one of them.