Are SEO Writing and Content Writing the Same?

In the world of digital marketing, SEO writing and content writing are two buzzwords that we hear that are often used interchangeably. However, there are actually several differences between these two concepts. 

While SEO writing focuses on optimizing your site, content writing focuses on engaging your readers. 

As a digital marketing agency, we work very closely with content copywriting, so we’re extremely familiar with the differences between these concepts. 

In this article, we’ll talk a bit more about the many differences between SEO writing and content writing, how they overlap, and why using both is beneficial for your business.

What is Content Writing?

Content writing is any written content created to inform, educate, or entertain your audience. The goal of this writing is to communicate with your readers in a clear and engaging way. You can do this by answering their questions, entertaining them, or giving them guidance on a topic.

If you’ve ever searched questions like “What’s the best smart home assistant?” or “Where can I buy an RV battery?” you’ve seen the results of content writing. 

Content writers have lots of research experience, as they tend to write on lots of different topics. They are also skilled at identifying their target audience and adjusting their writing style and tone to appeal to that audience’s needs. 

Effectively using content writing can establish your brand’s authority within your industry and further drive inquiries, conversions, and sales for your business.

What is SEO Writing?

SEO writing is what helps your website rank high on Google. Skilled SEO writers use different strategies beyond ordinary content writing to make your page rank higher than your competitors’ in search engines. 

Algorithms behind search engines rank webpages based on things like keywords and webpage structure. A page using certain keywords will rank higher in the results than other pages, depending on the initial search terms used.

So, an SEO writer you hire will have to consider your target audience and determine which keywords they may use to find your website. Then, they’ll incorporate those keywords strategically throughout your web copy to improve your ranking.

One thing to note is that SEO writing is more concise than content writing. Google likes content that is easy to read, so SEO writing may have a lower reading grade level than other types of writing. 

On top of that, SEO writers also optimize elements on your webpage like titles, meta descriptions, headings, internal links, and URL structures to improve your ranking. All of these things are a part of SEO writing but aren’t necessarily a big part of ordinary content writing. 

Content writing is when someone writes material for a website designed for a specific audience.

What is the Difference Between SEO Writing and Content Writing?

SEO writing and content writing may both have some similarities, but the main difference between them lies in their focus and scope.

SEO writing is done to optimize elements of your website to make it more appealing to search engines. Content writing instead focuses more on creating interesting and relevant content that resonates with your audience. 

For example, an SEO writer may focus more on creating unique headlines or integrating keywords that help you rank higher in search results. Meanwhile, the part that is the most meaningful to your audience is the content writing, which provides some sort of value to your reader. 

Your website’s SEO writing helps you get clicks from potential customers in the first place, then good content writing gets them to stick around by keeping them engaged. 

Successful content writing for businesses often contains SEO principles, such as relevant keywords and structure, but they are still both independent concepts. 

Types of Content Writing

There are several types of content writing that businesses use that serve various purposes, audiences, and channels. If you plan to hire a content writer, these are the types of copy they may write for you. 

Social Media Content

Social media is a huge part of any business’s marketing plan. With so many people using various social media platforms, you would miss huge opportunities not trying to reach out to these users about your products and services!

Social media content starts with creating pages for your business on various social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Then, content is produced according to that platform, including announcements, statuses, photo captions, video captions, and more. 

Landing Pages

Landing pages are any webpage that is designed to convert visitors into customers. These pages each have a specific purpose, whether promoting a specific item to encourage someone to buy it, or asking someone to join an email list. There is a direct call-to-action on landing pages. 

Electronic Direct Mail

Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) is a way for businesses to talk directly to their target audience. This includes promotional emails and other personalised marketing sent to individuals directly via email. EDM is more cost-effective than physical mail and offers more opportunities for tailoring to customer needs. 


Believe it or not, e-books are a great way to reach your audience and grow your customer base! E-books can tell visitors a lot more about your product or service, as well as more about you as a business, which can encourage them to buy from you. 

White Paper

White papers are predominantly used by B2B companies and are reports dutifully researched and written to answer an industry’s problem. Companies may write white papers to show their expertise in the field and how their products or services can help meet the needs of other businesses. 

Case Studies

Case studies can be a great way for businesses to show their customers how their product or service can solve problems in the real world. These are often based on real-life experiences, as further proof that a company’s ideas really work. 


Journals require much more research and expertise than many other types of content writing. These pieces are often backed by significant research in a specific topic or field, and help establish credibility with visitors. They can also help businesses form connections with academic and industry professionals. 

Articles & Blog Posts

Articles and blog posts are both used for communicating specific topics, offering advice, or sharing personal experiences. While some posts are more experience-based (i.e. “5 Day Itinerary to Jamaica!”), others are more research and statistic-based (i.e. “Dell Computers vs. Apple Computers- What is travel-friendly”). 

Usually, this type of copy combines both SEO writing and content writing principles to maximize your business’ impact. 

The piece you’re reading right now is considered an article!

Web Copy

Web copy is designed for website pages and includes text that describes the brand, its products or services, and other relevant information for the website’s visitors. It can be both short form in a title or slogan or long form in a brochure.

Product descriptions tend to be a big part of web copy for businesses, as they are brief, persuasive descriptions of products or services that aim to entice customers to buy.

Digital marketers need to use both SEO writing and content writing to maximize their online presence.

Why is SEO Writing Important for My Business?

Without SEO writing, your business will have a hard time generating new leads on the internet. 

People who discover your site from their search engine results pages (SERPs) may choose to explore your website. Once they’ve explored, they may be encouraged to buy your product or services.

Without SEO writing, you lose many opportunities to grow your business by increasing visibility and attracting new customers. Content writing is great, but if it isn’t optimized like SEO writing, it likely won’t be seen by many people. 

Plus, SEO writing has long-lasting effects. While other methods of advertising may stop after a certain period of time, articles with SEO writing will continue to help you rank over time.

This is also true when it comes to backlinks, which can help your page rank higher in the future. The more high-quality your SEO writing is, the more likely it will be for other sites to trust your page and link back to it. The more backlinks your page gets over time, the higher it will get in the search results.

Really, SEO writing is one of the most sustainable methods of promoting your business that you can possibly use. 

Why Content Writing is Equally Important

Even though SEO writing helps webpages rank high on search result pages and drive customer traffic, content writing is still a big part of digital marketing. 

Content writing helps online users find the value and knowledge in your brand that they are seeking when doing an online search. This in turn builds interest and credibility with your audience. 

You want your business to be trusted, and giving potential customers the information they’re looking for is a great way to earn their trust. 

For example, a customer doing research for what outdoor jacket brands are the best might chance upon an article about the article ‘Columbia Vs Northface,’ which provides useful information to them in the research process, which in turn establishes your brand as a trusted website. 

Increasing this credibility and trust over time fosters a sense of community in your customers. As they rely on your products or services more, you’ll see increased engagement from customers returning to your site. 

These customers may share your content on social media, or become advocates of your brand. In turn, this can lead to more interest in your brand, which can result in more sales!

You should note, however, that these benefits will only happen if the articles you put out there are actually valuable to people. If your content doesn’t benefit or help anyone, it won’t help your business either. In fact, it may even harm your business!

Good content writing drives customers to consider your products as solutions to their issues and everyday needs and also helps to highlight the best aspects of your company and products. 

How SEO Writing and Content Writing Complement Each Other 

Often, SEO writing and content writing go hand in hand. 

The overlap between SEO writing and content writing lies in the fact that they both aim to improve a brand’s visibility, web traffic, and engagement. They just do this in their own different ways.  

First, SEO relies on keyword research and optimization to improve a website’s relevance to certain search queries. Then, content writing incorporates those keywords naturally into engaging content that provides value to your readers and keeps them coming back for more. 

By using both of these strategies at once, businesses can become much more relevant online. They’ll show up in search results for more potential customers, and then establish credibility by giving them the helpful and beneficial information they’re looking for. 

Do I Need Both SEO Writing and Content Writing?

Many business owners may wonder: do I really need to use both SEO writing and content writing, or can I succeed with just one?

While it may be tempting to save some time and money by only hiring an expert in one of these fields, the fact remains that both types of writing bring different benefits to your business. 

You need SEO writing to get your web pages closer to the top of the search results page for various keywords. This is how potential customers might find you in the first place. 

If you do this without content writing, however, you may end up with copy that is boring or uninteresting. Readers may click away from your site, rather than continuing to read and browse through your products. 

Those who only use content writing, however, may find that their excellent articles never rank very high in Google. While the content is great, most potential customers won’t even find it because of how low it is on the SERP. 

Using only one of these writing types at a time may help a little, but it ultimately won’t be an effective strategy. Because SEO writing and content writing are complementary to one another, you can only reap the entirety of their benefits if you use both for your business. 

Whenever possible, try to find a writer that has experience in both content and SEO principles. Then, you can get the benefits of both types of writing using a single writer. 

Final Thoughts

SEO writing and content writing are both essential elements of digital marketing. Both play a significant role in improving a website’s visibility and attracting more traffic, which can result in more sales. 

Remember that SEO writing looks at your website’s technical and structural elements so you show up on the SERP, while content writing results in engaging content that resonates with your audience. By building trust and credibility through content writing, you can grow a loyal customer base. 

Investing in both SEO writing and content writing is critical for businesses looking to create a strong online presence that drives traffic, builds relationships, and generates leads. By using both of these practices at once, you increase the chances of seeing growth and revenue for your business. 

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