The Copywriter's Crucible

What Copywriters Need to Know About the Changes in SEO

There was a time when I ranked on page one of Google for my trophy keyword (copywriter), but then thought it wise to change my domain name and lose my hard won ranking in the process.

Despite implementing redirects, an assortment of WordPress plugins and anything else that might make Google happy, my website continues to languish in banishment (for UK listings anyway) until Google sees fit to forgive my stupidity and allow me back in from the cold.

So, in the meantime I’ve been scouting for SEO tips, and discovered a few things on the Conversation Marketing blog which copywriters ought to know:

1. Write enticing description and title tags – it appears that Google is counting how many clicks organic search results receive. So the more regularly your website’s description entices in a visitor the higher up Google will promote it. Simple.

2. Sticky content becoming more important – evidence suggests that websites able to improve how long they can keep visitors engaged are enjoying improvements to their search results in only a matter of months. So sticky content helps build trust in your business and with the search engines at the same time.

3. Social bookmarking carrying more weight – whenever your posts get Stumbled, Dugg or bookmarked in Delicious they’re being given the thumbs up by real people. So it’s practical and sensible for Google to incorporate these human endorsements into its search results.

4. Getting harder to fake it – bookmarking your own content or forming groups to game the system obviously has a limited shelf life when Google can track IP addresses. So to build sustainable rankings, websites must provide real value that gets naturally bookmarked and keeps visitors engaged for longer.

All these points reinforce the fact that SEO is about more than keywords and back links, or as Google’s Matt Cutts said in an interview last year, "SEOs are starting to embrace the fact that they are marketers. It’s a broader spectrum. You have to think about how you build buzz, how do you get loyal customers, how do you optimize your ROI.”

SEO (the white coloured variety anyway) now requires skills in analytics, page conversion and being able to write great content. Most copywriter’s should have at least two of these hats in their locker already. So maybe it’s worth completing the set now that SEO firms are emerging as website marketing companies.

More on this next week (or this week if the sun stops beckoning me into the garden).

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