Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on August 28th, 2009

The Challenge of SEO Copywriting

There is a ruthless rumor fumbling about online that writing content for the purpose of search engine optimization is just a matter of stuffing the page with keywords and phrases with little regard to how compelling the copy actually is. Not only is SEO copywriting about captivating and relevant content, but incorporating the appropriate keywords into the flow of the on-page dialogue is a skill unto itself.

Keywords are very much the ‘buzz’ words of your industry and business. They are the cultural vernacular of thought leaders, industry big wigs, and the under-the-breath curses of underpaid custodial staff. Are you an Austin florist who specializes in blue bonnets? The keyword phrases: “austin florist” and “austin blue bonnets” may be the words you want to focus on.

It still astonishes me every time a top Google result leads me so far from my intended path, that I land on a page with absolutely no relevant content for which I was searching. You want tickets to the Will Taylor’s Strings Attached Rubber Soul show this weekend, but how about a free Wacky Waving Infatable Arm Flailing Tube-Man!?!

The challenge for writing SEO copy is the balance between personal style, creativity and providing the most applicable content to address questions and concerns of clients, all the while appeasing the google gods and their spiders with sacrificial keywords.

Because there is such a complicated mixture of mental elements invested in copywriting, producing killer content on a consistent basis is very challenging. Especially with clients who provide products or services that might need a pitcher of beer to choke down more than 500 words of information at any given time.

For most SEO copywriters, they aren’t just waiting around for their company to land a new client. Re-writing entire websites, weekly and daily articles, blog posts, and, sometimes, twitter feeds are daily tasks they are responsible for producing. Keeping the creative well full and granting wishes of content for the various industries and niches, as well as their own company’s content needs, are the true juggling act for any aspiring copywriter.

Uninspiring SEO copywriting can be just as bad as poorly designed websites, un-optimized title tags, and, dare I say it, grammatical mistakes. SEO copywriters burn at the stakes of clients, coordinators and bosses alike for English drivel.

Writing is a tough business. Almost any professional can, or thinks they can, write well. You never know when the client you are sending your story to is sporting an English PhD degree above their computer monitor. SEO Copywriting is no different. The challenge is staying interesting, unique, and relevant to your target audience, and the target audiences of your respective clients.

With that being said, I pose you this question: How many clients should one SEO copywriter maintain on an on-going basis? Please comment your thoughts below.