We often think of SEO copywriting and social media writing as two separate ways of creating online content, each requiring a different skill set. But are they?
Keyword-based copywriting for search engines requires you to constantly consider how your content is being "read" by Google and other search engines. Even so, incorporating the keywords you want to rank for should not take away from the quality content that you should have on your page.
The key is to find a balance between writing for consumers and making the page SEO-friendly. Here's an example of how a well-optimized page should look . Don't go overboard with the keywords and make the content unreadable.
The title of your content page or blog post is the first thing to consider, both to optimize your page and attract readers. The keywords you use in your title must be relevant to the rest of your content in order to make it SEO-friendly, but the title must also be compelling enough for real people who have an abundance of other content vying for their attention.
Encourage action in your headline to create a sense of urgency so your readers will click on it to read more.
What you are writing about on your content pages should be focused in scope.
Stick to one topic – a search engine crawler's algorithms work their best when they only deal with one concept at a time. If you want to talk about other ideas, give them their own page with unique content.
Limiting the focus of your pages also makes it easier to insert keywords into your writing. Ultimately, it must be well-written because both readers and search engines will be critical of the value and authority of your work.
Writing for Social Media
You should use the same keywords you would when writing content for search. However, think less about how Google will read your page, and more about producing great, quality content that people will link to and share simply because it is good.
Social content is all about variety. Blogs, Twitter streams and Facebook walls full of repetitive posts are not engaging.
Unlike writing for search, coming up with great social content requires you to involve and entertain your audience using short, interesting posts with personality. You will still have a goal – driving traffic – but your audience shouldn't see it.
When writing for social media, create content that is helpful to your audience. Offer advice, share expertise, and direct people to useful and interesting content on the web. Of course, you can also be informative and tell your audience what you have to offer them!
Writing for social media is all about relationship building. Social media gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level and have a conversation. If people like what you have to say, they may take the next step and visit your website or call.
Social content itself will not close a sale, but it will build a relationship of trust between you and your potential customers.
Finally, social content is meant to be shared. You must create content that is share-worthy; it must be interesting, irresistible, and original.
The Convergence of Search and Social Writing
It's important to remember that you're not just writing for search engines – you're always writing for people too.
Though traditionally search and social writing have had different objectives, these two types of content are now coming together with many commonalities. Creating readable, engaging, shareable – and searchable – content should be your goal when writing for both search engines and social media.
Creating content that is shareable is becoming more and more important. The social shares your content produces are beginning to hold more weight and in the future will become a larger factor in rankings. Whether you are writing for search engines or writing for social media, your focus must be on writing well, and writing for real people.
Alicia is a social media specialist at Search Engine People, where she enjoys helping clients grow their online presence through creative and engaging content. Her passions include writing, baking and cryptozoology.