SEO And Copywriting — Can They Play Well Together? [Answers Inside]
I was at the Copy Chief Live event last year and learned some things about SEO…
What I learned is…
That many copywriters don't care about SEO, maybe some of them do… or they keep their dirty little SEO secret to themselves. Can SEO and copywriting be best buds?
What do you think?
But one thing I DO know for sure about SEO copywriting…
It’s often on my brain. I think about it a lot.
I know. I'm weird.
Sometimes I have to FORCE myself to turn my free organic SEO traffic ideas in my brain— off.
There were lots of great teachings at the live event I was at.
And I got to swap oxygen with some of the biggest direct-response copywriters in the world.
I was at a table for a few days with two copywriting legends, John Carlton and David Deutch.
I think I'm just lucky. Maybe it's that golden magic circle I wear around myself a lot of the time.
It was not intentional when they sat down at the same brown table.
I don't think these big-time copywriters sat with me because I was cool, or that I loved SEO and copy.
And I'm pretty sure they had no idea who I was even though I stalk both of them online sometimes.
That week, SEO strategies and the cool kids were in the back of the room…
Or at least that what I'm telling myself.
My teachers used to call that part of the room "the peanut gallery." I like those pretty well, too, when they're coated in chocolate that "melts in your mouth but not in your hands." (And that's one famous copy monster of a tagline there).
Sometimes I like to sit in the front of the room. Sometimes I like to sit in the back.
Back to the story…
A few years back, I took John Carlton's Simple Writing System course, watched his videos, read his stuff, and hand-wrote some of his copy.
And SEO isn't at the core of his teaching, but he shares a bit of SEO in the back of the room of his site with students who have a membership.
SEO and keyword copywriting matter to me
And maybe it matters to more copywriters than I imagined.
I think a lot of copywriters miss out on the power of SEO.
People who write sales copy focus on the persuasiveness of writing and the subtle nuances. But I like the subtle nuances of good SEO copy too.
Most copywriters and copy coaches focus on writing copy and not writing for SEO.
I like to write for persuasive selling and organic reach.
Will it work for you?
Maybe, maybe not.
But that's just part of the story because…
It is a challenge to pull yourself in different directions at the same time for some people.
I happen to like a little challenge and a little push and pull in my energetic field.
You're supposed to have one goal when you're writing, right?
Wrong. At least SEO and copywriting works for me
The bottom line is…
I think in the big giant pictures all the time.
And a sales letter could be infused with SEO to get free traffic.
Or a blog post could have big ideas or sneaky calls to action.
As far as I'm concerned, you could save some bucks on advertising, especially if you have a long-ass sales letter.
The thing about Ads is…
Ads never get cheaper
At least in my ad accounts anyway.
I love copywriting, and I also love SEO. You can do both at the same time.
And so does Neil Patel and Brian Dean (two of my favorite gurus who are also SEO crazed).
Another fact is… SEO copywriting services are essential— to get the most bang for your buck
If you don't have good teachers in copywriting techniques or SEO strategies— you'll lose out— somewhere.
I guess there is another option to not having mentors—
You could get lucky. You could try to figure things out by your lousy self, as I've done for more than a decade…
And then I smarted up about getting SEO and copywriting mentors
Because being successful and trying to do everything by yourself makes things harder, you waste more time, and it'll end up costing you more money.
You can also create the path you want more easily…
By having good mentors.
The mentor path is the path I will always stay on.
I've learned the power behind group thinking and getting feedback from people who have been in the game a lot longer than me.
I learned how to become an SEO writer and a copywriter— the hard way by myself at first. And it cost me a lot of time and money doing things the wrong way.
I wrote blog after blog with minuscule results
Then I created product after product with measly deposits going into my bank account.
My way with no mentors was the worst way to gain any kind of momentum or make any kind of money.
Here's a little more about my torrid past…
I used to be a dating coach, and I became a copywriter
And because I took some bad advice from well-meaning people, my dating advice site (I'd worked on for ten years) got flagged on Facebook.
I can't even post a damn blog on my FB page.
But that's OK. Because…
I learned how to writes a copy before the ban happened.
Whew. Disaster averted.
Even GREAT persuasive copywriting couldn’t get me unbanned from Facebook
And time saved posting articles on a site that would have a more challenging time getting organic traffic because of being banned from two of the biggest social media platforms.
I don't mind looking back on past mistakes because they make you learn a lot faster than if everything went smoothly all the time.
I moved my life from solely writing about the dreaded" Lizard Kiss" and "7 Red Flags To Watch For On Tinder to learning the power of writing words that make money.
Instead of just helping people get dates (which is hella important in my book too)... I was learning SEO and copy on the side.
SEO writing was my first love and they say you'll always remember your first, haha)
I did a lot of training with the VP of YourTango, Melanie Gorman. That woman is a fantastic teacher and knows her stuff. What an incredible mentor I had the privilege to work with. Wow.
That site currently ranks for one million-plus keyword in Google
And I was on their SEO team for a while (and I'm certainly not taking the credit for their crazy organic SEO traffic— they had a BIG squad).
And learning from Melanie and the team at YourTango was one of the first places I learned about doing real SEO.
I had a good teacher there, and I dug in deep.
But there was a problem. I learned how to get traffic to my dating site FINALLY…. But…
I didn't know how to sell a damn thing I was promoting—
So I had to learn THAT too. Having a blog isn't as glamorous, and it's a lot of work. And it's hard to have a good go at it if you don't understand how to do SEO or write words that sell.
OK… I sold a few things, but I couldn't live the lifestyle I wanted for that kind of money. My "business" was a cash-eating monster at that point.
I had other businesses to pay for my dating blog. Then I started freelancing, and things flipped the other way around.
My SEO writing finally paid the bills. And then…
I discovered a direct response copy.
And EVERYTHING changed (but I still do SEO).
Most people see SEO content writing as irrelevant in the copywriting world. I think it matters if you want to get free traffic (at least that's one avenue you can take).
And if you're a new blogger, learning how to write sales copy is the ONE thing I wish I would have known about when I was getting started.
Yeah, the writing was a fun hobby for me, but I didn't know how to make it a business.
And if you want to quit your day job and do a blog, it takes money to make that happen
And many bloggers don't know how to write SEO articles the right way with keywords, tags, and categories and the right URLs… the list goes on and on and on.
I know this because I was there in clueless blogger land, not making any money.
I was with ZERO SEO knowledge for far too long
And I know a LOT more now about SEO copywriting, and I know some shortcuts you can take too…
Having no SEO juice in your articles is a big disservice to your business. And so is not knowing the basics of writing good sales copy.
When it comes to misinformed people, when they're writing with no map, they only see one part…
But they do not see the whole picture.
Sometimes I have time to write, so why don't I use that time to write SEO articles?
I've honed my SEO and copywriting skills a bit in the past few years, and I still choose to do business in broad strokes. I like to keep things interesting.
Now I like to play the short game and the long game. And I want to take the long-winded game from the looks of this article (or maybe that's just the SEO talking).
Anyway… This slow-ass blog of a turtle WILL make it the finish line one giant, too-long of an SEO article. Watch me coming… one long-tail keyword at a time.
Many consider SEO blogging and copywriting as two different beasts—
And they are. However, they don't have to be opposite sides of the writing universe.
And I don't think sales copy needs to be a separate beast, but many people would disagree with me on that.
And if you care about getting free traffic to your site, I hope you care about SEO and doing it right, or at least better.
So if you have a long-form sales page with some SEO thrown in there, you could get some free organic search traffic as long as you don't hide the page from Google.
SEO and copywriting CAN be combined to get significant benefits
When you combine the emotional tiger-in-the-bushes PERSUASIVE style of copywriting with powerful SEO article writing techniques, something happens.
The love child of these two elements makes your copy convert (and easier to find online).
So, if you focus on good writing, people will like to read your stuff. And when you combine that with SEO, you'll magically get more traffic.
Your audience will grow.
Your persuasive sales copy and SEO can dance beautifully together
When my copywriting mates look down on SEO (or don't care about SEO), it makes me feel… a little pissed off. As pissed off as I can get (which isn't that much)...
But it used to create some negative self-talk. When copywriters pour their hate all over my beloved soul mate— SEO, it used to bother me.
The head-trash kept going…
I would think…
If I like SEO, Is something wrong with me as a copywriter?
- Should I only focus on copywriting and say screw you SEO?
- Are my ideas of combining sales copy and SEO even valid?
- Do writing SEO blogs even matter in the copywriting world?
- If I write blogs with SEO in them, does this make me look like I don't know what I'm doing?
- Does SEO matter
- Do I matter?
- Am I a horrible person for going against the copywriting credo?
But then I got clear. I can write. However, I want it. So there.
My SEO brattiness combo is out on the table
So if you ever question yourself and your self-worth as a writer, let me tell you right now…
You and your work matter, even if it's different than what everyone else in your circle is doing. What you have going on IS relevant.
And people who dabble and change things up are the types of people that Bond Halbert calls "Tinkerers."
I don't know if I'm a tinkerer, but I certainly type to a different beat than most.
I like to combine SEO article writing with direct response copywriting techniques
Call me crazy.
So I decided to put on my big girl bloomers and start talking about why SEO is essential, even to direct response copywriters.
But if you want to keep paying for ads— go right ahead. I run ads too, but I sure do LOVE me some FREE organic SEO traffic.
Truth be told…
I've gone through some processing and looking at my self-worth as a writer and entrepreneur.
The imposter syndrome is alive and well and sometimes kicks my ass
It shows up occasionally to make sure I'm paying attention to what thoughts are running the show.
So when negative thoughts pop up, blabbering with its mean monster head, and I'll remember that I'm not so bad after all.
And then I'll remember…
Tinkering with SEO and copywriting at the same time is OK
And screwing up is part of being successful.
So cheers to that! I've got that part down.
To cut short my long story...
Most copywriters are focused on direct response copy (which pretty much means persuasive sales copy if you didn't know).
And these fantastic copywriters aren't usually thinking about SEO
Nor do many of them care about it or even understand it.
They probably don't have to understand SEO if they copy converts well-running ads anyway. Running ads to good copy IS the fastest route to get traffic (that is, if you've got some moolah to throw down to grow your biz).
So, if you're writing a landing page and sending traffic from Google ads, it's going to get traffic.
You don't need much SEO
As long as you have enough money and a mouse clicking headline that drags readers into your promotion.
It doesn't matter if people can find your promotion in an organic search for ad-based sales copy. But I like things organic as much as possible.
Some people only care about getting traffic from Facebook ads or native ads, or Google or whatever.
If you want to pay, you can throw SEO straight out the window
SEO also doesn't matter if you're Marie Forleo, Richard Branson, or Beyonce. And if you're super-famous or nichey, people love you already. And are going to look for your stuff.
And if you're already fame-o, you probably don't need to worry much about SEO basics for blog posts to get seen by those eyeballs.
But… SEO and sales copy combined can even help the big girls and boys
If you're a person with a big fan base, don't you want a bigger one?
Free organic traffic from SEO best practices will get people who are clueless about you… and it will make you findable.
Maybe they'll find you on Clubhouse (hit me up @lovedinacolada), or on Instagram, or through word of mouth.
I know I like to write anyway, so I'll use all the tools in my toolbox to my advantage.
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