difference between an seo content writer and a content writer

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Content Writer vs SEO Content Writer: What’s The Difference?

High-quality content is the cornerstone of any successful content marketing strategy. Quality content engages, educates, persuades, and can ultimately help you grow your business. If you are thinking about producing content to increase your web presence or get your brand out there, you probably know you will need to hire someone or outsource your content marketing.

But what type of people produce the best content? A content writer or an SEO content writer? What’s the difference? Do you need both types of content? Read on to find out…

Understanding The Roles Of Content Writers & SEO Copywriters

Way before I thought all that much about SEO, I was a content writer or copywriter. Today, I write SEO copy at GrowTraffic for multiple clients and the role of a content writer or SEO person (I’m not going to say expert because we’re always learning in this game!) have sort of merged. As I have experience in both areas, I can hopefully give you a better insight into the differences between SEO copywriters and everyday content writers.

Content writers write content with a primary focus on emotion, creativity, and storytelling. Content, such as blogs, articles, and social media posts will be written with little care for keyword research as the primary aim is to engage an audience.

SEO content writers have a little less creative freedom and will produce content with the primary goal of pleasing search engine algorithms. SEO copywriters want their content to rank and attract more website visitors.

The above are two very basic definitions, let’s dive in a bit deeper…

What Does A Content Writer Do?

Content writers create content in the form of blog posts, articles, e-books, guides, social media – just about any form of online written content you can think of. All content is geared towards being entertaining, educational, persuasive, and shareable. Heck, it can even be all of those things. The point is, non-SEO content doesn’t care what algorithms think, it’s aimed at humans and fulfilling human needs.

The writing style will be different to SEO style copy because the emphasis is placed on a conversational and engaging tone of voice – not on having to fit keywords in. If some keywords do so happen to fall in – great! Overall, non-SEO content is great for raising brand awareness and gaining new fans. The success of non-SEO content can be measured by social shares, comments, etc.

However, this brings me to the one downside of non SEO content…even if you are the most talented writer ever or produce grade-A content, a lot of other people do too! The internet is crowded these days, everyone has a website or a blog, so how do you get people to read your content if it’s lost amongst all the other great articles?

What Does A SEO Copywriter Do?

If you want your content to reach the widest possible audience, you’re going to need an SEO copywriter. An SEO copywriter writes content that is rich in keywords and meets search intent to rank as highly as possible in search engine result pages.

An SEO copywriter should be a copywriter but in addition, have SEO knowledge – how search engines work, how to produce content that ranks, how to carry out keyword research, and how to understand what is and isn’t working. They would also need to understand how to structure SEO copy – SEO titles, header, meta descriptions etc.

Writing SEO copy is quite a skilled role as a writer needs to have the ability to write whilst naturally incorporating relevant keywords. Keyword stuffing (the practice of overusing keywords in an attempt to rank) doesn’t work anymore, so writers must strike the right balance between incorporating enough keywords and still making copy sound like it was written for humans to read!

If done well, SEO copy can organically bring many more visitors to your website. Its success can be measured by looking at website statistics such as traffic and popular pages, and by using SEO tools to monitor keyword rankings.

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Which Is Best? A Content Writer Or An SEO Content Writer?

The juicy question…which is better…a content writer or an SEO content writer?

Well, neither. Both are important and you should have both! Both types of content work for different reasons and can be beneficial.

In addition, search engines like Google are getting much more savvy when it comes to what content they will rank and what bombs. Hardcore SEO copy is not where it’s at any more!

Last year, Google rolled out their helpful content update which will continue to be extremely relevant to those producing content. The update means Google are simply getting better at prioritising genuine, good-quality content.

That’s not to say SEO content can’t be high-quality, it can! It just takes a considerable amount of skill, plus the background understanding of SEO. In my opinion, the boundary between the two roles is becoming very blurred and ideally, a content writer needs to have SEO copy skills!

This doesn’t make it easy when it comes to producing your content in-house, and it can even be tricky trying to hire someone with all the necessary skills…

Luckily, that’s why we’re here! The benefit of using a digital marketing agency like ours to produce SEO content is you get the benefit of skilled copywriters and an SEO savvy team. Get in touch if you want to have a chat about your content!

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