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Copywriting vs SEO Writing – What’s the Difference?

Content marketing has vastly changed the marketing game in terms of how marketers can access, engage, and transform their leads into paying customers.

SEO writing and copywriting are two branches of content marketing that are rudimentary for every business to succeed. They can overlap at times but it is important to establish the difference between the two if you want an effective content strategy.

This article shall address the difference and how they will affect your integrated marketing strategy. However, let’s first establish what content marketing entails.

Content Marketing Basics

To understand the difference between SEO writing and copywriting, one needs to properly understand content marketing as a whole.

Essentially, content marketing is when content is created and shared for the sole purpose of attracting potential customers. This content can be any form of writing – emails, blogs, press releases, web pages, social media posts, and any other form of messaging where you would communicate your words in a pre-defined way to get a job done.

However, it is important to note that not all deliverables should be written in the same way – it solely depends on the context. This is why SEO writing and copywriting are essentially very different.

Copywriting – A Deeper Look

Copywriting is the process of creating content strategically for building awareness and motivating potential customers to take a certain action – very often, this means convincing them to buy something. It covers numerous projects and takes many forms – it all depends on your particular company and product. The primary concerns of copywriters are web and landing pages, video and audio scripts, email and direct mail, and print media. However, the entire project list is more extensive.

The Fundamentals of Good Copywriting

The following are key elements for a copywriter to produce good copy and leave a lasting impression.

  1. Target Your Audience

Copywriting is all about creating persuasive content for a specific audience. To make the copy effective, a particular problem of that target group has to be addressed where the brand is presented as a solution. As such, a good copywriter needs to understand the psychology of the target audience. You can start by creating buyer personas – identifying particular demographic groups within your target audience. Otherwise, your copy will get buried by a constant overload of messages.

  1. Get the Emotions Going

The second essential aspect of copywriting is being able to elicit an emotional response from the reader by using special vocabulary. Similarly, it’s also important to know which particular words to leave out. This is especially important for content with a low word count such as a headline or email subject headers. Believe it or not, although 80% of visitors will read your headline, only 20% will read the whole article. That’s why it’s vitally important to engage them, because your copy won’t matter if no one reads it.

SEO Writing: What Is It All About?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a mystery for many in the realm of marketing. It entails using the best techniques and tricks to get your article to rank high in Google, Bing, or any other search engine’s ranking pages.

First, you must never neglect the importance of user experience in your pursuit of creating SEO-friendly content. In addition, you should avoid bad, ‘black-hat’ SEO practices such as keyword stuffing, buying backlinks, and providing different information to the SEO bots compared to the actual content (known as cloaking). Don’t do this. Instead, just write with the user in mind – what would they want to see?

Key SEO Components

Some important elements that the writer needs to ensure high-ranking copy are:

  1. Keyword Research

This involves researching particular words or phrases that your target audience searches for concerning your service or product. The words should govern your overall content and guide you towards certain words and phrases.

  1. Prioritise your Readers

It should be noted that Google algorithms rank content based on user intent – this is what the user intends to find with their typed search terms. It is important to keep your content relevant. This may get you many backlinks and shares on public online platforms, both of which enable your content to rank higher and thus, become more discoverable.

  1. Keep Upgrading Your Skills

SEO algorithms are ever changing. As such, you must always keep upgrading your SEO practices and skills for the best results.

Copywriting VS SEO Writing

SEO writing and copywriting both have one goal – to drive your business forward. They both aim to reach, draw in, and convert leads. However, they achieve this goal in distinctive ways. Let’s address these differences.

  1. Consumption

The primary difference between SEO writing and copywriting is the way readers consume the writing. The former is present in more detail and optimised to meet the consumer wherever they already are – a web page. On the other hand, the latter is less detailed and meets the consumers in the form of news copywriting or a TV commercial in a particular brand voice.

  1. Target Audience

SEO writing is primarily for people at the top of the funnel – the first phase of a buyer’s journey. However, it is also used at successive levels of the funnel to keep people engaged. Alternatively, copywriting aims at those who are already leaning towards making a purchase.


Copywriting and SEO writing are two different disciplines that are crucial to every business. Both are pivotal for a business to succeed in the long run. Combining the two will find the right balance between content that persuades and content that ranks. If you’re looking for a good SEO copywriting agency, give WooContent a try!