Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Dennis Suitters on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 10, 2014).

Should Copywriters be concerned about SEO?

This may seem like a strange question: Should Copywriters be concerned about SEO, not just for the copy they write, but should they also point out issue`s that could affect SEO??

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dennis Suitters: This may seem like a strange question: Should Copywriters be concerned about SEO, not just for the copy they write, but should they also point out issue's that could affect SEO?
  • Dave Elliott: Simply put. Yes!
  • Dennis Suitters: I thought as much.
  • Ian Dixon: Simply put  ;- there is no simple answer. A copywriter is far from being an SEO person and vice versa.

    Now each needs an understanding of what the role of the other is because that is a key factor in teamwork. Yet each is aiming at a different target. Text that is good for SEO may be less than optimal for user experience.  ;Which is the correct approach?

    To a degree, it depends on sources of traffic. Lots of SE visits says best to target SERPs more. If a lot is from something like a mailing list then the skill of the copywriter is perhaps of higher value.

    Oh and, on a final note, the one thing that frequently seems to be oveerlooked is the skill of the site developer. Even that gets complicated because there are technical parts and graphical parts.

    Try to get these things all working well together and expect to suffer from a major headache as a result.
  • Dennis Suitters: Thanks , some good points there.
    The reason I ask, is a few copywriters I converse with, and discover more through them, are pretty high in terms of quality, a few of them even mention they specialise in SEO, yet submitting their site to say woorank (for e.g.), they return pretty lousy results, like low scores below 60 out of 100. And looking at the source of their website indicates a lot of what's recommended for SEO is simply missing. Now that may not entirely be the copywriters fault, but when it's their own sites, I would have thought they would at least lead by example. Though lack of SEO recommendations may be a limit of the system they are using. Most of which BTW, are using Wordpress. I've noticed WP seems to be a favourite amongst copywriters.
  • Kate Toon: Um yes yes! But it does depend on how awesome your copywriter is. Not all copywriters were created equal.
  • Dave Elliott: I disagree.  ; I think we are moving to a point where a good SEO needs to be a competent online copywriter and vice versa. It was one of the reasons moz rebranded to lose the SEO from it's name and one of the reasons you see terms like inbound marketing around a bit more frequently these days.

    Yes, you are likely to be more one than the other and some SEOs may focus more on the technical aspects, or the content, or off page, or whatever, but, i think that you either need to be a true master at one(which is a real, real challenge) or you need to be able to make a nice Venn diagram of your skill set which encompasses all three!(and possibly more circles as well)

    Obviously, a copywriter who writes primarily for offline sources (apparently these still exist) is exempt from knowing anything at all about SEO, but, if you are doing stuff online then a little knowledge is a very good thing. Apart from anything else it means you have more control over the content you have written as you won't get some SEO ruining your piece because they need to add 3 instances of a keyphrase and some synonyms, and changing the title so that a certain word is closer to the beginning and all the other stuff i do that annoys the copywriter of my company!

    I preferred my first answer. :(
  • Kate Toon: Well said  ;
  • Dennis Suitters: The other reason for the question, was to hopefully get some insights that a lot of CMS either lack the ability, or plugins to be able to control aspects of SEO other than the body copy itself, by this I mean the meta tags control, not so much the keyword one, but google does recommend others as we know. I'm curios to know what copywriters need to have in a good CMS, so as to add them to what I"m building, but in a way that's actually helpful, and uncomplicated.
  • Kate Toon: As a copywriter I'd say you need a WordPress website  ; and to start with just one plug in, 
  • Kate Toon: By the way 'Hi' small world huh?
  • Dennis Suitters: lol, yep sure is. Congrats on the new site launch btw.
  • Kate Toon: Thanks Dennis :-)
  • Dave Elliott: I think any of the big player CMS systems are fairly adequate for SEO depending on what you are doing. Wordpress, mageno, joomla, DNN, umbracco. Some may require an additional plugin or two, but they let you have access to almost(dnn and schema data don't play well together for example) everything you need. ;
  • Dennis Suitters: Thank you to everyone for your input, some very insightful comments, and very helpfull. I hope I haven't offended anyone with my questions, as I mentioned it's mainly about getting what's right code wise in the CMS I'm working on to cover as many aspects for current, and potential client's SEO.
  • Edwin Jonk: From the expert panel in this weeks SEO Questions hangout on air on 00:41:24 into the YouTube video:

    The cuetimes listed on this page are functional while the live broadcast continues and also once Youtube has finished processing the public broadcast. Processing time varies between 6-24 hours. During this period the clip is viewable in full but the cuetimes cannot be relied on.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 10, 2014).

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