SEO Copywriting Means Being Creative.The art of copywriting is a profession that has been around since the humans first printed publications of text. As defined in the Cambridge dictionary, copywriting is simply ‘someone who writes the words for advertisements’. Advertisements have the sole purpose of selling a product or service; it takes a real skill to sell something through words alone.
A copywriter is essentially a creative word smith not someone who writes articles. The meaning of the word copywriter has undergone some changes since the acronym SEO was put in front of it. SEO copywriting has come to mean a person that writes web articles laden with key words. For example, if a company sells garden chairs then it can be useful to write about garden chairs in an article, stick a few links in and post it up in a blog of article resource site. The article may read something like this ‘garden chairs are great for sitting in your garden, and enjoying the beautiful smell of flowers in your garden. Let your friends sit on your garden chairs, in your garden…..’ You get the point. There is nothing creative or clever in this kind of writing.
Copy refers to any text intended for printing (like a book or newspaper article) but the term copywriting is meant exclusively for a promotional situation. ‘Copywriting is the use of words and ideas to promote a person, business, opinion or idea.’ Copywriters have their hand in most things advertising related from jingle lyrics, television commercial scripts, brochures, billboards, tweets and a hundred more things.
Traditionally copywriting is all about writing short persuasive text to beam messages into the heads of on-lookers. The messages were overt and clever. SEO copywriting has come to mean the writing of articles for the covert strategic placement of keywords/keyphrases into the text. In fact this has a specific name ‘article marketing.’ The technology has changed the method, in the past it wasn’t possible to click a link and be taken to the product landing page. The skill is not to write catchy short text, but to write medium length news worthy text.
The point is that article writing is one small part of copywriting. People still respond to clever and creative advertisements, if your SEO copywriting team is not creative then it might be time to start re-recruiting. An SEO copywriter must be able to write headlines, scripts, slogans, jokes and all that super difficult creative writing; if they can’t do these things then they are just article marketers.
The Internet provides the opportunity to be super clever with your writing; try spreading some viral messages through twitter, comment on a BBC article, writing a jaw dropping headline, a joke or song lyrics. Remember we are more than just article marketers!
Here is a list of the most influential copywriters from history (taken from Wikipedia); they may give you some inspiration:
David Ogilvy, William Bernbach, Leo Burnett, Peter Carey, Dorothy L. Sayers, Eric Ambler, Joseph Heller, Terry Gilliam, William S. Burroughs, Salman Rushdie, Don DeLillo, Lawrence Kasdan, Fay Weldon, Phillip Kerr and Shigesato Itoi.