From Clicks to Conversions: How SEO Copywriting and Conversion Copywriting Differ
You have some pretty exciting goals for your business, right?
You may want to crack six (or seven) figures. You might want to expand into a new location. Or, you may want to have the greatest impact on the most people possible.
All awesome goals but there’s just one problem… Your customers have to know you exist if you want to hit your targets.
Since letterbox drops and flyers have gone the way of dial-up internet, one of the most effective ways to reach people online is to use the world’s biggest search engine – Google.
Once people have found your website via Google (or another search engine), you gotta convince them to choose *you* over countless other options, competitors and distractions.
There’s no point getting a tonne of people to your website only to have them exit out of their browser 2 seconds later because the copy on your website is lacklustre.
That means there’s a one-two punch for you to land:
- SEO copywriting is how you land your spot on Google and attract traffic.
- Conversion copywriting is how you convince that traffic to become customers.
In this handy guide we’ll show you what goes into each copywriting strategy, break down a few crucial techniques you can start using today, and leave you with actionable steps to take next.
Ready to impress Google and humans?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is SEO copywriting?
‘How can I lose weight before my wedding?’
‘Where can I find a personal injury lawyer near me?’
‘What does this weird, red rash on my thigh mean?’
These are the types of questions people are punching into Google right now.
With 8.5 billion daily searches, Google isn’t just the world’s largest search engine – it’s a powerful tool online businesses use to connect with potential customers.
SEO copywriting is the strategy of creating keyword-rich and optimised (i.e. more relevant) content designed to appeal to search engine algorithms and increase your chances of appearing when someone asks Google for help.
But there’s a catch…
SEO copy needs to appeal to Google’s algorithm and humans (since they’re the ones using Google).
It’s a mistake plenty of business owners make to think there’s a magic number of keywords you need to use in your writing to rank on Google. We’ll tell you now, there’s no magic formula waiting to be discovered.
And, just in case you’re wondering, asking ChatGPT to “write SEO copy” is more likely to leave you with a robotic text that bores people to sleep instead of compelling copy that gets people excited to take action and spend money.
To show you what NOT to do, here’s a small example of SEO copy targeting the keyword ‘lose weight fast’ that is only written for Google.
That hurts to read. It’s jarring, awkward and over optimised (meaning there’s too much focus on the keyword).
Here’s a small example of copy that isn’t optimised for SEO.
You deserve to love your body.
That’s why it’s frustrating when your reflection in the mirror leaves you without confidence. Thankfully, changing the way you look and feel doesn’t have to mean endless hours of cardio in the gym or missing out on your favourite foods.
Read on for our top 10 tips to drop unwanted kilos and love your body.
That’s much better.
This copy is written by a human, for a human. It gets to the heart of the problem for people trying to lose weight and shows people exactly what to do next.
The problem is that there’s no mention of a target keyword which makes it hard for Google’s search engine algorithm to know what this example web page is about.
When you only write for humans, and don’t factor in Google’s algorithm, you scuttle your chances to rank your web page.
Nailing your SEO copywriting in 2023 means finding a balance between including keywords and writing for your human audience.
Finally, here’s an example of copy using SEO copywriting and still putting human readers first.
Are you looking to lose weight fast?
You deserve to look and feel amazing wherever you are but with so much conflicting weight loss advice, it’s tough to know where to look.
If you’re not looking to add hours of cardio to your weekly routine (and we don’t blame you), read on for our top 10 tips to lose unwanted kilos and love your body.
That balance would make an Olympic gymnast jealous.
The mixture of SEO copywriting includes our target keyword, plus variations of the target keyword to show Google the subject we’re talking about (“weight loss advice”, “lose unwanted kilos”). And with a conversational approach that gets to the root of the reader’s problems, this example is written for robots and people.
IMPORTANT HEADS UP: The examples above are only a tiny look at how SEO copywriting works. You wouldn’t rank your content with 50-100 words but by using a range of SEO copywriting principles over an entire blog or website page, you can increase your chances of ranking on Google and putting your business in front of a hungry online audience.
What is conversion copywriting?
Conversion copywriting has a single goal – action.
Whether you’re selling online courses, physical products, or trying to increase sign-ups to your next Zoom Yoga class, conversion copywriting is designed to make your target audience take instant action.
This action doesn’t necessarily have to be a purchase but requires someone to do *something*.
For example, conversion copywriting can drive people to:
- Click a CTA button
- Pick up the phone and make a call
- Fill out an online form
- Add a product to an online shopping cart
- Subscribe to an online newsletter
In the words of copywriting Godfather David Ogilvy, “there are no dull products, only dull writers”.
That means it doesn’t matter what you sell or to whom, conversion copywriting helps channel interest, flame desire, and push people towards action.
How do you do this?
Successful conversion-copywriting relies on tried and tested principles that work no matter who your audience is, where they’re from, or what problems they face.
Some of these principles include:
- Get clear on who you’re talking to: Once you know your ideal customer you can speak directly to their specific pain points, challenges, and life goals.
- Write killer headlines: Hook the reader and convince them to keep reading with headlines that capture the #1 benefit of your service.
- Use social proof: You can build trust and increase the likelihood of a conversion by showing people that others already love your services.
- Nail your call-to-action: Answer the all-important question of “What do I want my reader to do?” then use that answer in easy-to-find buttons on your page.
These examples are the tip of the iceberg when persuading someone to take action on your website or sales page. So if it seems like the principles of conversion copywriting could fill an entire guide of their own… you’re right. And we just happened to write that guide.
*Pulls freshly baked guide out of the oven*
Compare the pair: SEO Copywriter vs. Conversion Copywriters
|SEO Copywriter||Conversion Copywriter|
Knows what Google’s algorithm wants and needs. They’re scientifically-minded and stay up-to-date on the latest algorithm updates, guidelines and rules to ensure the copy they write is optimised and more likely to appear on a search engine’s results page.
Knows what goes on in the target audience’s heads and hearts. They’re focused on one thing (and one thing only): Writing copy that converts. Every word is strategically used on the back of customer research, psychology and emotional triggers.
Which type of copywriter should I trust with my business?
A-ha, bet you didn’t see that answer coming.
Before you exit this window and give up on professional copywriting, we’re not saying you should skip working with an SEO copywriter and a conversion copywriter.
These two copywriting styles are crucial if you want to increase your traffic, leads and sales (and we have a feeling ya do).
We’re saying you should find someone who can bring both critical copywriting styles together.
- An SEO copywriter might help you land on Google, but what good is that if no one takes the next step and becomes a lead or customer?
- A conversion copywriter might have all the skills to increase conversions, but what good is that if no one finds your website or landing page in the first place?
Without SEO copywriting, your ideal customers won’t find you. And without conversion copywriting, your ideal customers won’t take action. Simply put, leveraging both copywriting disciplines’ skills is the ticket to more traffic, leads and sales.
It’s the old ‘two birds with one stone’ approach.
When you can find someone who can write with SEO principles in mind but persuade your audience to take action, that my friend is marketing Nirvana.
What to do next: Steal Our 10-Step Checklist to Hire the World’s Best Copywriter 🤯
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