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How to Balance Copywriting & SEO: The Best of Both Worlds

For a long time, the discussion around SEO and copywriting was one of conflict. Concise messaging versus a length that search engines will notice. The most benefit-driven heading for the job versus the one that includes the right keywords.

Today, though, search engines are more sophisticated. With the right support from an SEO specialist and a copywriter – in most cases not one person who professes to do it all – you can strike a balance that improves visibility, gets people to your website, and then engages and converts them with strong copy.

I’m delighted to have Gareth Simpson on the blog – someone that’s seen the evolution of SEO first-hand – to talk about that balancing act between copywriting and SEO.

Read on for some practical tips on building relationships with robots and people alike.

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Website Copywriting That’s More Than SEO

I’ve got into these copy-heavy bits of work designed to promote myself as a freelance copywriter.

They’re stylish, efficient, and a great way to present my views on copywriting in a way that isn’t a 140-character tweet or a blog post.

The latest one covers that tricky issue of SEO. You can view it by clicking the thumbnail below.

It’s designed to showcase copy, provoke opinion, and steal attention. But, while I love how SEO has expanded the market for copywriters online, this is also fairly reflective of what I really think.

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Committing Crimes Against Online Content

There should be a crime against weak online content.

That’s the argument that I put forward in my recent guest blog post for People Per Hour – Why Weak Online Content Should Be Criminal.

After all, if you’re not taking the time to grab attention, inform potential customers, and persuade them to part with their money, you may as well don a balaclava and invest in a knife. It’s your job to court customers, not grab the cash and run.

As a freelance copywriter, I firmly believe in the importance of quality online content. The web puts businesses at their most open and accessible – if you don’t do a good job online, rest assured the entire world will find out about it.

But let’s not confuse striving for perfection with achieving it. Only one of those is possible.

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Copywriter, Wear Some Trousers

Why is that every so many freelance copywriters are obsessed with their pants?

I’m joking, of course. It’s not just pants. It’s pyjamas, dressing gowns, and every kind of clothing there is.

They talk about their copywriting services – I’m with them. They mention some existing clients – I’m still there.

And then…

“The best thing is that I get to write in my pants!”

…and I’m out.

I’ve literally seen this on dozens of copywriters’ websites. I can’t help but wonder who these people are trying to be.

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Copywriters and The Truth

Following on from my recent blog post about the value of deception in copywriting, I thought it would be interesting to do an about turn and share my thoughts on the truth.

Lies are essential to the work of a copywriter. But like a magician covering his slight of hand with patter, a good copywriter employs enough truth to make his lies invisible.

Here are just two of the techniques that I use most regularly to reassure readers that the brand I speak for is an honest one.

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Copywriting With Lies

Truth is a funny thing, isn’t it?

It’s only natural for a copywriter to think that hard facts are the way to sell products and services. Sometimes, honesty is the best policy – after all, nobody likes to be deceived.

Or do they?

Think of the millions of books sold every year, the hours that people spend watching TV drama, or the impossibility of getting a good seat in the cinema on a Friday night. People love stories. People love to be deceived in the right way.

And that’s fortunate, because copywriters are by trade deceptive.

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