Heather Lloyd-Martin is President and CEO of SuccessWorks. Recognized as the pioneer of SEO copywriting, her book “Successful Search Engine Copywriting” is considered a complete best-practices guide to search engine writing.

1) Please give us an overview of your Searchfest Presentation.

My presentation (called “Positions for Nothing and the Clicks For Free”) focuses on two things (1) clearly outlining SEO copywriting best practices and (2) providing actionable tips that people can implement on their site immediately. It starts with a case study featuring a company that saved over $40,000 per year by ramping up and rewriting their content. From there, I go into best practices tips and techniques.

There’s also a section called “What to do when.” So many people feel “stuck” around SEO copywriting, because they are working within certain IT, legal or marketing requirements. This part of the presentation shows how folks can baby-step their content creation, and still see results.

I try to make my presentations high-energy and fun (especially since I’m on first thing in the morning!). It should be a good time!

2) How can a traditional copywriter evolve herself / himself into a “SEO Copywriter”?

That’s a good question. A good copywriter is really more than halfway there: she understands benefit statements over features, she can get inside the target market’s head and she knows how to write persuasive, action-oriented copy. Understanding SEO copywriting simply means understanding how the search engines work and how to seamlessly weave keyphrases into the copy.

The big misconception that traditional copywriters have around SEO copywriting is that keyphrases destroy the conversion flow – and that’s not true. At the same time, learning how to include keyphrases does have a bit of a learning curve. Many traditional copywriters benefit from working with a SEO copywriting mentor– that way, someone who “speaks their language” can show them the keyphrase opportunities and how to work with hyperlinks, Titles, etc.

I also recommend that all SEO copywriters have a good grasp of how the engines index pages, as well as the technical SEO fundamentals. The more you know about programming and the engines, the more you can help clients untangle glitches, increase their rankings and find new content opportunities.

3) Can a SEO with decent writing skills evolve herself / himself into a “SEO Copywriter”? If yes, how?

It really depends on the definition of “decent writing skills.” I’m a firm believer that good copywriting skills – copywriting that’s persuasive and precisely hits the target market’s desired tone and feel – take years to master. Good copywriting is a skill as well as an art form. Too many SEO companies claim that they do “copywriting,” when, in fact, all they do is write so-so copy and stick some keywords in. That’s not good copywriting.

Having said that, I think that anyone with good writing skills (and who likes to write) can evolve into a strong SEO copywriter. Books by Bob Bly and Nick Usborne, as well as classes from AWAIonline.com, are great for gaining a good “how to write good copy” foundation. And there’s no substitute for *lots* of writing – the more you write, the better you get. Some people become good writers very quickly – and for others, it takes a tad longer. But smart SEO copywriting can certainly be learned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *