What Is A Seo Content Writer?


With the buzz surrounding “seo copywriting” and the growth of several Linked In profiles touting this skill, many freelance writers as well as small business owners want to know what is a seo biz content writer.  The following should give you an idea of what type of skill set a seo writer requires.

What is SEO?

Seo is an acronym for the words search engine optimization.  Search engine optimization is a collection of strategies that improves the level at which a business or website owner’s site is ranked at when an internet user searches for a keyword or keyword phrase.   The effective use of these strategies is guided and rules established by major search engine companies such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

See an example below:

Google Search Page

While there are seo developers who understand the technical intricacies of search engine optimization, seo writers usually are writers that can write web content that is informative and engaging to human audiences first. However, they are also knowledgeable about best seo practices and techniques and how to integrate both skills into their writing.

If you are a new to the concept of  seo, beyond your own searched on Google or Bing, the following video has great introductory information that explains how search function works and what  search engine optimization (seo)  is in three minutes.

What Does Seo Writing for Businesses Mean?

man thinking at laptop

There are many freelance writers who are adept at writing hard copy for business formats such as marketing materials, brochures, sales letters, newsletters , white papers and technical manuals.  All these are traditional copywriting projects and many freelance writers make a good living from this type of work.

However, with the growth and popularity of the internet the demand for copywriters who are knowledgeable about what types of written content is suitable for online websites has grown.  While there has been a transfer of the same type of sales letters, marketing materials and white papers to online content they have usually been modified to be accessible to web users and search engines.

Usually seo (search engine optimization) writers  combine traditional writing skills, marketing knowledge and the knowledge of the rules and standards that popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have established.  As search engine rules and techniques change rapidly, becoming this type of writer would require a commitment to continuing education.  As a seo writer, one needs to consistently be informed and aware of changes in the seo industry that would impact their writing web content for their clients.  Many savvy business owners are already asking for content that is keyword enriched and seo friendly from their writers because the days when higher search ranking results based on websites filled with “fluff” content  are long gone.

Many, seo writers are also adept at using technology which allows them to do keyword research with software tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, and  similar programs.  In addition, they know how to check their written materials for keyword density, keyword synonyms,  and are usually adept at some kind of search engine analysis.  These are basic seo skills.

Some freelance seo writers have intermediate or advanced technology skills that would enable them to provide advice to a prospective small business client and give them the direction needed for the business client’s blog strategy or website development.  They usually provide services (in addition to their writing) such as in-depth keyword research, competitor analysis, on-site analysis and link building strategies.

When it comes to mid to large-sized businesses, they usually hire a seo agency  or firm that will provide several services such as web design, seo analysis and web content writing that can meet the web content and search engine optimization volume that larger businesses would require.

Who Do Seo Writers Write for?

Business People

A  seo business writer usually writes  for different industries such as healthcare, financial services, technology, food service, fashion, travel, etc.  Many freelance writers will specialize in a specific type of written content, for example, they will write only blog posts, articles, case studies or white papers.

Other freelance writers target their business writing to attract clients from industries that they have knowledge of and specialize only in one to three industries.  Most seo writers write web content for websites, blogs, social media, wikis , press releases, ezines, emails, and article distribution.   These writers usually write content that will be posted online.

While there is a demand for a variety of web content from business and website owners, many  of these site owners vary in their need for web content writers either because of their immediate website strategies or budgets.  The internet is a collection of a variety of writing markets.  Just as there are website owners with tight budgets who would not be able to afford the services of a specialized writer, there are equally generously funded businesses with the demand for highly skilled writers that are able to provide high quality content  for their users, web content to maintain their authority and to satisfy their advertisers. If you would like more information regarding market rates for professional writers, you might want to check out the Editorial Freelance Association’s table on editorial market rates.

Interestingly enough, research conducted at the United States  Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website, does not provide a job definition for this type of writer.  The information it does provide is general information under the Writer –Author job description, you might want check out the Department of Labor’s website if you are considering getting into this field. In addition, it is clear that according to their data compiled for this job definition, they have found  that the job outlook for traditional writers is…

Employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Strong competition is expected for salaried writing jobs because many people are attracted to this occupation.

In my opinion, the data provided by the Dept. of Labor regarding this growing field isn’t consistent with demand from business and website owners for writers who have the requisite skills or can adapt their writing skills to writing online content.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of standardization of what the skill set for a seo content writer entails and the potential for additional earnings there are many freelance writers and seo content companies who misrepresent this skill set.

Is There Certification or Training Available?

Woman at computer

There are many certification programs that are becoming available but they vary in skills taught, substance and quality.  Many seo writers have acquired these skills from jobs they have previously held, on the job IT (information technology) training and/or dedicated reading of books and websites.  Many seo writers also have proven expertise of their skills with written content they have written for other websites or the development of their own blog or website.

Since all types and sizes of  businesses are spending a lot more of their advertising budgets on the development of their websites, there will be an increasing demand for specialized and skilled seo writers who can provide business owners with well written, keyword rich and optimized online content.  The future of this job field looks bright!


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