SEO content should be optimised for users as well as search engines

SEO copywriter Karolyn Judge joined theEword last month. Here, she offers some reflections on the balance needed to ensure content meets the needs not only of search engines but also the people who read it.

Since joining theEword, I have found SEO copywriting to be a disciplined and challenging field in which to work, one where creative principles must be balanced with an acute commercial understanding.

I believe it shouldn’t be an issue for any professional writer to structure their work under the constraints and conventions of SEO. It’s the same with any commercial copy, online or not; you have to be completely aware of what audience you are writing for, their needs and their aspirations.

Rather than just producing any old piece of SEO-tinkery that might help a site towards the top of Google’s rankings, I believe readers deserve quality writing that is thorough, interesting and more importantly trustworthy. There is nothing worse than online writing that purports to be from a professional source but which turns out to be poorly formatted, keyword-stuffed and riddled with mistakes. The internet, and its users, should be treated with the same regard as print media.

This is where, for me, the technical and reader requirements of SEO meet. I structure my work in such a way that it is naturally geared towards to the audience, who will act on what they are reading. The way I see it is that if they are reading the piece, they are interested in the topic and are more than likely to understand subject-specific terms and its purpose.

From my past experience working for newspapers, I have good news sense. At theEword, I have learned to balance that with the commercial aspect of writing more than I ever have before.

And coupled with this, it’s been a beneficial and interesting challenge to utilise SEO disciplines including linking, html, and most importantly, balancing keywords with quality content – allowing creativity to complement the technical requirements of my job.