We all know what copywriters do: write stuff for money. Years spent crafting writing skills make us confident with a turn of phrase or two.
Have you ever wondered what a copywriter doesn’t do? No, of course not. You’re too busy wondering if the couples on Married At First Sight will make it through the next commitment ceremony.
Even though you are not wondering, I’ve decided to blog about it. It’s just one of the many joys of having a blog. You can write what you want. Yay!
1. SEO copywriters don’t get you to the top of Google ranking
Wha…? I get it, I know this seems weird. But SEO copywriters aren’t responsible for getting you to the top of the rankings. It’s a common misconception. So I am very clear about it with clients. Especially following this malarkey.
There are three (major) elements to SEO:
- site setup and technical elements: speed, site structure, responsiveness, techy things like 301 redirects, robots.txt and caching
- backlinks: links from high authority external sites that give your site cred. It’s like when the cool kid in school thinks you’re legit. Stamp of approval.
- content: this is my bit. The words on your site must be:
- well written, engaging and compelling
- consistent in style across your site and supporting your brand identity
- rich in keywords to get likes from Google
- featuring powerful calls to action, offers and proof points
- readable, with short sentences, active voice and transition words
- broken up visually to appeal to scanning readers, with bullets and subheadings
So copywriting is just one third of the SEO pie. It’s a good third, my favourite in fact.
If someone’s searching for significant SEO success, sourcing a specialist SEO service is sure to score satisfactory solutions. (I worked hard on the alliteration there.)
Translation: if you want to rank on Google, you need an SEO specialist, not just an SEO copywriter.
2) Copywriters aren’t (always) grammar nuts
Some are. But mostly, we just know good writing, without being able to name a dangling modifier or a pronoun antecedent. We just know what is wrong when we see it.
For example, I know the mistakes in these sentences, and how to fix them:*
- Company A launched their new product, which will help make your life better and your hair shinier.
- We initiate solutions, working with management, finance and HR experts to deliver our range of efficiency-driven initiatives.
- We work with over seventy suppliers to find you the best price.
Because I am not a grammar pedant, I also don’t mark up restaurant menus with grammar errors and deliver them smugly to miffed waiters.
3) Copywriters aren’t very articulate
Of course, #notallcopywriters. I’m talking about myself here. I’m often saying… ‘what’s the word for…?’
When I am speaking, which I enjoy doing, I find myself rummaging around in my brain to find the right word for… teapot, thigh blaster or Tina Turner. You, know the whachymacallit, the thingy.
People like to make one of these pithy comments:
“Aren’t you a writer? You should be good with words!”
“Lucky you don’t have to, you know, *laugh* make an income by knowing lots of words!”
I’m much better with words on paper and screens than I am out loud. Salespeople are articulate and smooth. Copywriters are nerdy introverts. Yes, these are stereotypes that are not true. Except when they are.
4) Copywriters don’t design or develop
We don’t build your website, you need a designer and a developer for that.
We don’t design brochures, build websites, code websites, host domains, transfer domains, manage social media, design newsletters, take professional photos, create logos, build advertising campaigns, implement eDM strategy, create sales funnels or know why psychopaths are immune to contagious yawning.
Takeaways from this random list
So when you are working with a copywriter, it’s important to remember:
- SEO copywriters alone can’t get you to page one of Google (mostly)
- Copywriters aren’t always smooth talkers, so judge them on the way they write, not how they talk
- Your copywriters won’t care if your email has typos, or mistakenly uses fewer instead of less
- Asking your copywriter to build your website or design your logo is uncool. And you’re cool, so you would never, right?
*those answers corrected
Company A launched their new product, which will help make your life better and your hair shinier.
Company A is singular. So it should be ‘its’ instead of ‘their’.
We initiate solutions, working with management, finance and HR experts to deliver our range of efficiency-driven initiatives.
Besides being corporate wanky speak, this sentence uses two variants of the same word – initiate and initiatives. We don’t have responsive responses, strategic strategies or problem-solving solutions. (This appears quite often in the corporate world.)
We work with over seventy suppliers to find you the best price.
It’s ‘more than’ not ‘over’.
Have I missed anything? Have you worked with a copywriter and found there is stuff they don’t do? Let me know, because I’m desperate for attention and your comments validate me as a person.