Copywriters are a modest lot. We don’t leave our homes or desks much, and we usually do as we are told.
Not much changes in the copywriting world. Businesses need language to describe their products, instruct people how to use them, communicate with their networks, and advertise their services to the public. Copywriters provide that language.
Fellow writer Mark Shaw may have put it best when he wrote that ”fresh and
original writing oils the wheels of any commercial activity. Copywriting is not about copying – it’s about communicating in an original way.”
The Internet and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A lot of things changed, however, when the Internet became an important part of the business and advertising world. The need for writing remained, but an added need for searchability (the ability to be detected by search engines) became very important. As online shopping cut a bigger and bigger slice of the consumer economy, search engine ranking was more than a novelty. It was, and is, a crucial element in remaining competitive.
Early searchability relied heavily on keywords. If your website was selling pencils and your online content mentioned the word pencil the most times, you got a good score from search engines.
Search engines rapidly matured, creating more sophisticated methods for ranking sites, including meta data, keywords, the use of multimedia and link building.
Keywords and the Dark Times
All of those elements still exist in SEO. Google, in particular, however, has constantly driven SEO forward, finding more sophisticated and accurate ways of ranking sites based on their true relevance. While many things influence the way a site is ranked (I won’t pretend to be a Google insider), content has endured as a key player.
In the early days of the Internet, keywords were king. Websites with lots of pages that were full of keywords kept them on page one and kept them profitable. Sites with quality content that focused more on user experience and readability suffered during this dark time.
Today, keywords are just a glimmer in the SEO constellation. New, sophisticated search algorithms value high quality online content that guides user experience. This didn’t happen by itself, however.
How Copywriters are Influencing SEO
Google is full of smart people that love the Internet. It didn’t take them long to notice the sites that were enjoying the highest rankings weren’t necessarily the sites that provided users with the best quality, functionality and useful content. Informative, relevant and well-written content is what makes websites great. As you can imagine, copywriters struggled to fit in to the race to the bottom when keywords held sway.
Luckily, Google has created new algorithms that are tuned to the subtlety and value of good writing. Copywriting is now being rewarded in search engine ranking for providing original, useful, and ultra-specific content. Thanks to copywriters that kept it classy, sites are now ranked by how good their content is, not how good their SEO monkeys can saturate pages with keywords and meta data.
How to Use Content to Improve Your Website
- Give a hoot about the quality of your writing and about the audience that is reading it.
- Take the time to do thorough and relevant research.
- Stop recycling content that already exists. Share things that are fresh, new and original. It really matters.
- Write with confidence and give your audience value. This will give you authority and credibility.
- Spell correctly.
- Use proper grammar.
- Write for people, not search engine spiders.
- Pay less attention to word count and more attention to appropriate topic coverage.
- Don’t make all content a call to action. Make it real, readable and something that people will want to share.