Is SEO for Copywriting Actually a Smart Investment?

A woman sitting in a rattan chair reading a book.

I’m going to be honest with you: When I started my career, I didn’t think SEO for copywriting was as powerful as SEO for content writing.

🙄 Hangs head in shame 🙄

But for many reasons, I realized that there was just as much value in SEO for copywriting projects like web pages (and potentially even sales pages — gasp!) as there was in longer-form content.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

Is SEO for copywriting a smart investment or a waste of time?

Here’s the scoop on what’s shared in this episode.

  • A confession from Erin 😂
  • Erin’s transition from SEO content writer to SEO website writer and why she made the shift
  • The three types of keyword phrases that you may want to consider using on your website pages
  • Why and how voice-of-customer research can help you with SEO research and implementation
  • Remember, search intent is such a valuable lesson for business owners when it comes to finding SEO opportunities and using that data when implementing SEO for copywriting projects
  • Why trial and error (and trying again) is the best approach for implementing SEO within your website copy
  • How to use the posts on your website to link to the pages on your website for maximum SEO juice
  • How to ask for backlinks from outside sources to maximize your SEO for copywriting on-page efforts
  • Whether or not SEO for copywriting projects like sales pages is worth the effort
  • How to approach SEO for sales copy for time-specific launches
  • Why using your best SEO keyword phrases in evergreen content is the best approach and how calls-to-action on those pages could temporarily drive traffic to your launches
  • Sure, SEO for copywriting is a lot of work. But consistency is what drives conversions, so keep at it
  • Most importantly (😂) how you can hire me to manage your SEO for you
Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:

YooHoo! Here’s the transcript for episode 011: Is SEO for Copywriting a Smart Investment?

NOTE: This podcast episode about SEO for copywriting projects was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. 00:00 I’m gonna start this episode with a confession. When I first started working as a web site copywriter, I did not think that SEO would have the power for copywriting, as it does in content writing. Yes, you heard that right. You can all publicly shame me. Now, when I first started doing this, I came into the scene as a content writer. My first professional writing specific job was writing SEO blog content for medium sized businesses. And I loved everything about SEO, SEO in the early 2000s. And 10s, was the funnest playground, I think I have ever played grout played in in my professional fear. SEO gave you the option to kind of gamify your content strategy, you could get really crisp and clear information from Google on what keywords had the potential to rank. And then you could use those keywords in your content to really attract the right people at the right time, which is still true today, except for the fact that the information that we get about the keywords in the keyword phrases is a lot more vague from the giants like Google. So there is a lot more guessing and trial and error that goes into gamifying SEO and your content strategy. Not that it’s not possible. It’s just not as fun, I think, right? And so I had so much fun in the early days of SEO just really thinking like, oh, gosh, what type of content can I create with these awesome keywords? And how can I use the keywords to really build upon like interlinking without my within my own sites that I was writing for, as well as linking out to external sources, and getting those external sources to pay attention to the companies that I was writing my SEO content for? It was fun, it was awesome. And I still love Seo now. I just really loved it back then. So there’s the confession, right, I started my career as an SEO content writer. And then after leaving the company that I worked for, as a managing editor, and starting my own business, I stayed in the content world, I began writing content for medium businesses, really good tech startups, and billion dollar brands who needed experienced copywriter to create blog content for them using SEO keywords that would attract the right people at the right time for whatever their business goals were. And it was great, I loved it, I don’t think I would have stopped writing content for really big brands, if I just like ran my business as a freelancer and didn’t turn it into a, you know, a full fledged, full time small business that was growing very successfully. Because when I did that, I realized how difficult it was to be a small business owner. You know, I went from being a freelancer who worked on some of this content for these big brands, while I still worked in my full time job, to being someone who had to all of a sudden be in charge of her own marketing, her own financials, and all of the other business growth related things that small business owners are in charge us that, excuse me, that are in charge of that we don’t even get taught how to do right. So learning how to be a small business owner and then making friends in the communities that I was in, made me really sympathize for the struggle that we have to learn everything on our own and do things with the best practices, that word taught from digital marketers, who have Grandal teams or from these large agencies and businesses and brands that have like millions of dollars to spend on their marketing efforts, when we are just starting up as small business owners. So what I decided to do and the way that I felt I could have the biggest impact was to help small businesses get their websites in tip top shape. Because let me tell you, I have seen wonderful business owners flounder because they’re not getting the clients in the doors, because they’re not setting themselves up for success with a website that really shows why they’re such a good person to work with and what makes them stand out from the crowd of other service providers or creative entrepreneurs that their clients are potentially considering working with. Right? So I started doing website copy. And at the time, I did follow what you would call SEO best practices in making sure that I was using keywords in the places that they should be used on a webpage as well as trying to think ahead about how to attract people. Yet the reason that I did not necessarily invest the amount of time that I now invest in SEO for website and SEO for copywriting in general, is because the type of keywords that you use on a website page are different than what you are using for other types. 05:00 As of content, like blog post, you are actually going against a lot harder to rank keywords. Think about your about page for a second, right? What you are doing on your about page is showcasing you as the business owner or the founder of whatever business it is. So generally you are using job specific keywords. Take me, for example, a copywriter would be a key word that I would probably want to rank for. Yet the key word copywriter, if you do a quick Google search for it will show you that there are over 424 million web pages using the word copywriter. So if you want good SEO traction, I think you have to realize that going against competing against 424 million pages, if not more, is not necessarily the easiest thing to rank for. Right. So like I said, I still tried to implement SEO best practices as I approached copywriting for my clients. But I did not necessarily see the value for SEO, on web pages as I saw it for blog post. But my perspective shifted. And you know why it shifted, it shifted because I started using SEO best practices on my own website and seeing immediate results. Now part of the reason that I see results a lot quicker than an average small business owner is that I’ve created a ton of content that is existing on the internet, and much of that content is giving me backlinks. So like I said, I wrote content for billion dollar brands. And most of them will have a bio that explains that I’m a website copywriter or conversion copywriter, depending how I’ve written my bio, and it will link back to my website. So those backlinks that I’m getting are coming from quality websites, which makes Google recognized me as a good source of information. Again, I was nervous to implement this for my own clients, because I did not want to make promises for them, that they would rank for very specific keywords if I was not able to fulfill those promises. So slowly, what I did was to begin to do keyword research without promising that to my clients, I would approach their website copy just as I would approach any type of content strategy, SEO research project for any of my billion dollar brands, as well as my own business, which meant I did a ton of extra work for clients that I was not charging them for. And that’s okay, because it gave me great data to learn about how I wanted to approach SEO for copywriting, what was working and what wasn’t working, and how to quicken the process for myself, so that I could add it to my website, copy packages and get clients results results that I felt that I could promise them they would get now huge caveat here. But I think the biggest reason that I feel frustrated with any type of online marketing SEO promises is that promises I don’t think should be made to clients. There is no way to say that you could rank on Google’s page one for a specific keyword without a huge amount of other data that affects that promise, right? thing things such as backlinks that I just mentioned about my own website will help people potentially rank quicker if those backlinks are coming from valuable sources to pages that make sense for the overall topic that your website is talking about. Other things such as the amount of search density or the amount of competition really relate to whether or not those keywords are going to work, right. So I don’t believe in making promises that things can rank. But I do promise my clients that they will get the absolute best practices in their copy that they’re getting from me like their copy drafts that they’ll use on their websites. So I guess the question here is, is SEO for copywriting worth it? And the answer is yes. I’m sorry. It took me 10 whole minutes to get here. But I really wanted you to understand the background and the reasons why I was hesitant, using SEO as a copywriting tool. So that way, when I did tell you that you should be investing SEO for copywriting, you would understand that it is coming from well, almost a decade now of practice in the SEO world and experience of knowing what works for both pages and post as well as what works from everything to a business that is run by a solopreneur to a business that is also in the Fortune 50 and is creating content with marketing teams that have incredible amount of money to spend on trial and error. Right. So yes, please everyone. We need to start thinking about how SEO affects the copywriting that we’re doing and we’re going to do that in a few ways. We’re going to look at our site 10:00 Standard website pages. If you have not listened to these episodes yet, I did a collection of episodes on website pages. So your homepage, your about page, your services pages, those pages really need to have keywords or keyword phrases built into them. So you’re attracting the right clients to your most important pages on your website. But here’s where it gets tricky, my friends to talk to you right now in this episode, because everyone wants to know, what keywords should I be using, and deciding on those keywords is the hardest part of any SEO project that I’ve ever done? Because what we’re doing is we’re taking a massive amount of data, and then we’re making the best case decisions based on so many factors. One, what is the message of your copy to what are your ideal clients even searching for, you know, if you’ve listened to the last few episodes in this series on SEO, you’ll realize there’s a lot of factors that go into choosing keywords. And then once you’ve chosen the keywords, I’m going to be honest with you. It’s not that those keywords are your stagnant keywords, what you’re going to want to do is put a lot of details effort into tracking your on page SEO results and adjusting them semi regularly until you found a good fit that works for your business. And you can leave it alone for a while at that point. But you will still need to track and adjust as time goes on as your business shifts. And as you determine what type of clients you are working with. Because that shifts over time as well, especially if you’re a service provider. So I’m not going to make you any promises here. I’m not going to tell you that there is an easy clear cut way to decide what keywords to use on your most important website pages. But I will give you a clue on things you can start trying for yourself. I mentioned this before but I want you to look at the industry specific or job specific keywords. Again for me, you would think that copywriter would be one but if you listened to my my my episode with a mag where we talked about 12:10 keywords in general, you’ll remember that copywriter is really a poor keyword for me one because it is speaking to people who want to be hired as copywriters. It is speaking to businesses that are looking to hire copywriters. It is speaking to people who want to learn how to become a copywriter. And more right, the people who are searching for copywriters to work for them on their website, on their sales pages etc. are using more specific terms. So for example, when I approach my job specific keywords, I might use keywords such as conversion copywriter, because when I do write 12:50 any type of copy, I want the copy to really be conversion focused because there’s no point in having a pretty website that will not convert your leads into clients. I might also consider using keywords such as SEO focused keyword, excuse me, SEO focused website writer, because again, SEO is such a vital part of my practice as a business owner and as a content creator for my clients. Other things I might want to use because I work one on one with clients who are DIY in their copy is copywriting coach because they’re hiring me to coach them through their copywriting projects. So as you can see those jobs specific keywords are detailed, but they’re not as vague as the general industry. So they’re not just copywriting. For other business owners, you might want to consider using industry keywords. For example, if you work in the coaching industry, you might want to use keywords like leadership coaching for executive teams. So it’s not necessarily related specific to you as the business owner or practitioner, but it is related to the industry and who your business is serving. Same thing works really well for like interior design, or the home building industry. So those key words could be either job specific or industry specific. And then the third group, the group that is likely the most helpful, but harder to determine are the keywords that your ideal clients are searching for. Now to get the answers to what these keywords are, you really do have to do, you really do have to do voice of customer research. You want the data that comes from voc research so you know the types of words and phrases that your clients are using your potential clients I should say, what they’re searching for and what their specific issues or problems are that they’re looking for assistance with. Now we all like to assume that we know who our clients are and what they’re looking for. But what we think our clients are searching for are not necessarily exactly what they are looking for. And again, I just want to reference you back to the 15:00 Episode that I did with Meg from love it’s first search. Because we talked about this specifically, intent is such a valuable lesson on how to do SEO research. Knowing the intent of our customers, and what is driving them is the key to finding out what phrases they’ll use. As an example, someone searching for a copywriter to hire might not necessarily be searching for a website copywriter, because they don’t know that as exactly what they need in the moment. But they might be searching for ways to convert clients through their website, they might be searching for visibility opportunities, they might be searching for how to stand out online, because they understand that these are things that are important to driving success in their business. They just don’t know what that moment in time, the updating their website copy can do that for them. So when we’re thinking about our ideal client research, when we do SEO research, we really want to determine where their brains are at before contacting us, then use the research that you’re doing for SEO keywords to decide what keywords to use. Now, I promise I’m going to jump off of this topic on website pages in just a second. But again, I said trial and error is very important when you’re DIY in this. So you’re going to want to take the keywords that have High search volume and potentially low competition and use those to see if that is going to attract your ideal clients, you don’t want to change your keywords, like very quickly, because you want some time for Google to recognize the work that you’re doing. And, you know, to convince those big search engines that you are actually an expert in this topic that you’re writing about. But over time, you want to look at how those keywords are ranking, how they’re performing, and whether or not they’re actually converting. So that goes back to your messaging, as well as your SEO efforts, right. You can do SEO research all day and find the perfect SEO words and keywords to use. But if you are not using them well in your messaging, like if you’re stuffing them into your copy, and everything sounds like robotic website words, right, you’re not going to convert people. So you have to then look at your efforts, look at the data that you have and then determine Is there a way to shift the keyword phrases to something else similar, or adjust the messaging that you have, so that they are attracting the right people. And then those efforts that you’re putting in in regard to attracting people are really serving you when it comes to converting people. Now let’s pretend you’re in a good place. And you have great SEO keywords and keyword phrases that you’re using on the main website pages of your website. Don’t stop there. Now it’s time to link the blog content or any other type of content you have on your website such as podcasts, show notes, as an example, to those website pages. It’s time to use calls to action throughout the content you’ve created. That directs your your clients on their user journey back to the main website pages that will hopefully help them shop the products that you’re selling or contact you because they want your services. It’s also important that when we’re working outside of our own websites, that we can request backlinks in specific ways. So for example, when it when someone comes on my podcast, I’m always going to put information about them and their business in my show notes as well as in the description of the podcast. And that can give them a backlink to their website. Now, if they were to say to me, Hey, Aaron, when you’re linking to my website, I’d really love it if you linked the phrase sales coach to this specific page on my website. Now, if sales coach is a keyword or keyword phrase that they’re trying to rank for, and I send them to that specific page on their website that is already optimized for that keyword phrase, that backlink is a lot stronger than a backlink that just, you know, sends them by their name to the homepage of their website, right? So when you’re going out and you’re speaking on people’s podcast or in their communities, or you’re making guest appearances on their YouTube channel, or writing, you know, contributor blog posts for them, ask them if they can, you know, create the backlink in the way that is most useful for you. It does not necessarily mean they’ll say yes, but if you do ask you won’t know if they’re going to be able to do it right. And for me, I’d rather serve the people that are helping me in my business by coming on my show, as an example by giving them the best quality backlink that I could give them. So when you’re doing these type of visibility efforts, make sure to put that request in and see if the person who is creating the content is willing to go and do that for you. Um, the other thing that I want to touch on before I finish today and I’m going to 20:00 try to finish this as quick as possible because I know I’ve had some very long episodes lately. And we’re also going to have a couple long episodes coming up is that SEO for copywriting of things like sales pages is not the same thing as SEO copywriting for our website pages. Now, I’m not telling you that using SEO for sales pages is a bad idea or for landing pages is a bad idea. That’s not true. Actually, SEO can be used anywhere. And it can be an awesome idea for your business, but you have to approach it differently. So time specific sales launches as an example are not the best place to put your perfect keyword phrases like your ideal phrases you’d love to be found for. And you might think that’s silly, right? Because your sales pages are like a much higher conversion than your normal web pages. So you would think that you want your sales pages to have the best keywords. But if you’re doing a time specific launch, let’s say you open up a membership three times a year. And for the rest of the time, that’s that sales page is dormant, you’re wasting what could be a quality keyword that you can use in an evergreen way on your website on something that’s only going to serve your business a few times a year. So think about it this way, it is much stronger to use those great keywords and keyword phrases in Evergreen blog content, and then linking that blog content to your time specific launches via calls to action. So let’s just say that membership that you have is a podcast membership, and you open the doors to your membership, you know, two times a year, why not create a bunch of content on why podcasting is important how to start getting into guest opportunities as a podcast guests, and how to potentially even start your own podcast, let’s pretend that’s what the memberships about that content will serve you year round day after day people will find your business and maybe they’ll potentially hire you for one on one services. Or maybe they’ll just binge the content that you’ve created until the timing is right. And you suddenly offer them the opportunity to join your membership. So use the better keywords on your evergreen content, and then use that content to drive your website readers to the sales pages you’ve created. Now, when you’re creating the sales pages, you might be asking yourself like okay, Aaron, you said not to use our best keywords on the sales pages. But should I not use any keywords at all? And the answer to that is No. Try to use a keyword that is still ranking and still being searched for to see if that website page, you know, the sales page you’ve created is going to potentially rank for whatever term it is you use, but just don’t use your best terms on those sales pages. The only potential caveat that I have here is if you have your sales pages available year round, like they’re always in existence on your website. If you’re attracting people all the time, just like you would for evergreen content, then you sure absolutely use your best keyword phrases there. Just keep this in mind because most sales launches are time specific, that if you are using your best key phrases and those blogs, like I’m recommending, and then using calls to action to point to sales pages that might disappear, that you update those calls to action after the sale is over and use a better call to action such as maybe a lead magnet, or maybe a discovery call when it’s not the sales period. So during the sales period, you have your calls to action drive traffic over to those sales pages. And when it’s not the sales time you have that call to action drive any other place that is really important for your business. Now again, you’re probably thinking oh my gosh, Aaron, that’s a lot of work just for a keyword phrase. And I hate to tell you this, guys, but SEO for copywriting is a lot of work. And that’s why people shy away from it. But it’s not necessarily hard work, right? It’s just setting up a reminder for yourself to adjust your blog post after a sales period has ended. It’s just setting up a monthly reminder to review your SEO data. So by putting in this small amount of regular effort for SEO, you really can get the conversions and the attention that you’re so seeking for your business by just the consistent regular efforts. As with anything in marketing, the importance of SEO really in the power of SEO I should probably say really comes from consistency. If you hear me say this now you will hear me say this in many other episodes. Any marketing efforts need consistency. To really be successful. Try one page at a time right like get your feet wet test things out. But then once you start to feel more comfortable I really hope that you will invest in SEO in a way that feels good for your business. Now again before I end this episode, if you are feeling stressed out about the many 25:00 SEO attempts and efforts that you’ll have to put in, you don’t have to, I mean, you can hire me to do your SEO work for you. I do SEO on VIP days. Whether it be content repurposing, or starting from scratch to put in the SEO efforts for my clients, it is all customized to each individual client’s needs. And I love to invite you to hire me for a VIP day, because I really want your business to get the visibility it deserves. In addition to this, if you’re the DIY buyer, download my SEO website checklist. And that will help you know exactly where to use your keyword phrases, as well as your keyword synonyms on the pages of your websites, and the post of your websites. So all is not lost here, you guys can do it yourself, you can hire me for your help, I just really hope that you’re going to see the value of SEO that we’ve talked about in this series, and put it into work in your own business so that you can be as successful as you so deserve to be. Now we’re ending this SEO series with this episode. And I invite you back next week, where we’re going to start talking about sales pages. Now I have three experts coming on that I think you will adore. And I loved the time that I had with them talking about sales. And I invited them because I am not a sales specific copywriter. Sure, I’ve written sales pages and worked on sales funnels for some of my longer term clients that I know very well. And I will continue to do that for the clients that I love working with. But my clients don’t come to me for sales and I wanted to be able to bring people on this podcast that could give you the best information so you would set your business up for success. So next week, we’re going to talk about pre launch copy that you need before any sales are done. So you can attract the right people and have them prepped to want to hire you or to purchase whatever it is that you’re selling when it is time to launch your stuff. And we’re going to have ash Chow here talk about her pre launch framework. So we’ll be back next week to start talking sales.
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