What is SEO copywriting?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - SEO copywriting

The Internet is the first place people turn to when trying to find solutions to their problems. They use search engines like Google and Yahoo, where they type their search query into the bar and hit the little magnifying glass icon. SEO copywriters are predominantly concerned with exactly what Internet users type in when looking for info. SEO is an ever-changing area of digital marketing, and the goalposts move every time a search engine announces an algorithm update. Regardless, it is one of the most rewarding fields a marketer can work in. We offer an SEO copywriters course, how to write with SEO in mind, and a few examples of SEO copy:

SEO explained

Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves research into what people search for online, then the optimisation of websites to improve their chances of ranking highly on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines like Google don’t exactly tell SEO copywriters what to do for the best rankings, and there’s a simple explanation.

Money. Google Ads would suffer if they gave away the golden formula for Internet success, and nobody would have to advertise. Thus, they merely hint at things that would negatively affect a website’s ranking, leaving SEO practitioners to guess at what they should be doing. So, how do you write if you don’t know what search engines want you to say?

It all comes down to keywords. There are many dentists in Durban, so who gets spot 1 on Google’s first page? The one whose website is optimised with the phrase ‘dentist in Durban’ is most likely. But what if more than one dentist in Durban has optimised their site like that? Then who gets spot 1? This is where algorithms assess each website and the content thereon against a checklist.

Writing with SEO in mind

As mentioned, SEO copywriting is concerned with keywords that people use to find things online. A good SEO copywriter knows that people relate to human characteristics, and will incorporate more casual, easy-to-read headings and paragraphs that break the mould of the mundane. Writing with SEO in mind involves knowing what people will most likely type into a search bar, and incorporating that exact phrase (and a few variations/related words) into the wording on the website. There are five main types of SEO copy that copywriters in this field focus on:

Main pieces of SEO content

  • Headings

    The big copy at the top of this page, “What is SEO Copywriting?”, is this blog article’s main (H1) heading. It has been chosen because that is a phrase people who are interested in this topic will most likely type into Google to find information. In the second and third sub-headings (H2) appears “writing with SEO” and “SEO content” which are both related to the term “SEO copywriting”.

  • Body copy

    This is the collection of paragraphs that appear below your headings, like this paragraph you’re reading right now. Experts in the SEO field suggest that exact-match key phrases and their derivatives should be sprinkled throughout a webpage’s copy. We say sprinkled because going overboard – or ‘stuffing keywords’ as it’s affectionately known – is one of Google’s biggest pet peeves.


  • Title tags

    These are also headings, but they don’t appear anywhere on the website page (even though they live there). These are the green lines of text you see when you search for something online and the results pop up. They usually feature the exact keywords you’ve typed in, but can show up with derivative phrases. SEO copywriters should aim to include the main key phrase if possible.


  • Meta descriptions

    Below the title tags Internet browser users see when searching online are short paragraphs of text known as meta descriptions. They should also contain the exact key phrase/keywords, and not be longer than 160 characters. Both title tags and meta descriptions are classed collectively as meta data, which means it’s extra information about the data (content) on the page.


  • Image ALT tags

Images on websites are essential for conversion potential, but sometimes they don’t show up due to slow networks or end-user settings. Instead of showing the image, an Internet browser will display a line of copy that is meant to describe it. These can be edited, and SEO practitioners suggest that that these little lines of wording – that most people will never see – should include at least the exact-match keyword/phrase.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

Learn the ins and outs of both SEO and marketing on the internet with an accredited National Diploma of Copywriting and Digital Marketing. Browse a bunch of other engaging, fulfilling marketing career launchers on the DSM digital marketing courses page.

DSM Digital School Of Marketing - Copywriting and Digital Marketing