At first glance, SEO copywriting can seem cold. Most people tend to view keywords as sterile phrases to be popped in here and there throughout content. In fact, SEO copy can have a bad reputation.
In the past few months, I've seen numerous articles pop up about SEO and how it destroys creativity, ruins the user experience, and just generally makes the whole internet suck. Granted, SEO has been a victim of bad reporting in some cases, but that's a separate issue. When you take a closer look, SEO copy is no different than any other copy you might read.
SEO Copy has Structure
We've all read novels, essays, news articles, and blog posts. In most cases, they fall under some kind of structure. With a news article, we can expect to get the who, what, when, where, why, and how. A novel tells a story with characters, setting, and plot. SEO content follows the same guidelines, offering a story that can connect business to customer or storyteller to reader. While the exact format may vary from site to site, one can see that SEO content follows a structure.
SEO Copy has Heart
All writing tells a story. Why tell a story? Because it connects with people. Good SEO copy has heart and can help you tell a story about a company, a brand, or a service. It could help you reach an audience and propel them toward taking action. It can inspire emotions and get people feeling passionate about something. Hell, even if you're just giving how-to instructions, SEO copy can find a way to reach people - when it's done well.
SEO Copy has Style
Some SEO copywriters like to use metaphors. Others like to use lots of adjectives when describing products or services. I've even seen some copywriters turn a regular blog post into a work of poetry. Like any other writing format, SEO copy has style and therefore, takes creativity to craft. To those who say that SEO ruins creativity, I say "Psh." SEO copywriters know that it takes guts and talent to write content that speaks to people.
SEO Copy is Helpful
SEO copy does not ruin the user experience. When done well, SEO-friendly copy can only enhance it. The purpose of SEO content is twofold: one, it should utilize keyword phrases as to attract appropriate traffic, and two, it should give information that is valuable to the visitor. The key to making SEO content helpful is to consider the user and a good copywriter always puts the user first.
Remember - keywords may get them to the page, but it's smart marketing and good writing that gets them to stay.
What's an SEO copywriting myth that you'd like to dismiss?
Mandy Boyle is the Director of Internet Marketing at Net Driven. She is also a published freelance writer and co-founder of NEPA BlogCon. She enjoys theater, not taking herself seriously, and adventurous eating.