blossoming as a thought leader: SEO copy vs brand copy

23 Jun 2023
Neil Sheth

You need both. 

SEO copy and brand copy are mighty in their differences, so combining the two is like wielding one giant watering can to help grow the seeds of your thought leadership exponentially.

But what’s the difference between SEO copy and brand copy? 

It’s pretty straightforward…

If you want to rank on Google and drive sales, SEO-optimised copy is a top-tier way of boosting your visibility. Essentially, SEO copy clearly tells Google algorithms what you’re about, what kind of stuff you do and what services/products you sell. 

On the other hand, there’s brand copy, a way of writing content that keeps users interested and has a lasting impact on them. It’s the art of reflecting your company’s values and beliefs to connect with them and steer them towards enquiring, booking a meeting, buying a product. Makes sense, right?

Let’s say you’re an office removal company in Dubai…

If you’ve got your SEO copy 🎩 on, you might think about writing ‘removal company in Dubai’ as the headline. This would tell Google the facts: what you do, where you are, etc.

If you’ve got your brand copy 🎩 on, you would write directly for your consumer rather than Google robots, with messaging like ‘effortless home moves’ to entice them in.

Think of features vs. benefits: a similar kind of sales approach that sets apart selling yourself and compelling consumers. A combination of both features and benefits works a treat. 

The same goes for SEO copy vs. brand copy…if they’re working together, website copywriting can be blooming brilliant. 

Here’s how we approach website copywriting with a motto of using SEO copy and brand copy

step 1: keyword research: read your customer’s mind

What keywords are your audience searching for? We look at what the site’s already ranking for, what words competitors are using, and go deep dive for new keyword opportunities while we’re at it. 

Top trick…find common search terms across the entire buyer’s journey, for example:

  • problem searches e.g. ‘how do I move an office desk’
  • consideration searches e.g ‘how much does office removal cost’
  • solution searches e.g. ‘removal company in Dubai’.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and literally think: ‘What would I type in Google to find me?’

step 2: keyword mapping: take customers to the right pages

Once we’ve found the best keywords, it’s time to think about mapping the keywords to certain site pages. We generally follow a 1:1 rule where one primary keyword should target one page – as well as related secondary terms / FAQs too.

With this kind of simple mapping, it’s easy to coordinate what pages we want our prospective searchers to land on. Technically, you could even use this with your Google Ads strategy…but we’ll save that for another blog post (keep a lookout for that).  

step 3: SEO research: become a Google pleaser

We research what your content requires to rank on Google. In other words, we look at what your competitors are writing. Unfortunately, this is also the part where it’s time to sweet-talk Google. But trust us, becoming a Google pleaser works!

Take a good look through the sites found on Google’s first page (these are the ones doing things right), and then identify patterns, i.e. headings, subheadings, content formats, etc. That way you’ll get a good baseline of what your content requires to compete and live up to their standard. 

But don’t just stop there. Ask yourself: How can you make your content even better?

step 4: craft brand headlines: let your customers feel something

It’s time to turn your attention to the brand side of things. Grab your reader’s attention and pique their interest with a rich headline. There are a few different avenues you could take:

  • ask a question
  • solve a problem
  • inspire with a statistic
  • add a touch of humour or wordplay

Whatever type of emotion you want to stir up, this is the opportunity for brand personality to really bloom. It’s also when we keep the tone of voice guidelines most close to hand.

 

step 5: story moments: take your customer on a journey

How do you create content that stands out from the norm? We say: weave in unique stories and expertise. It’s all up there in your mind, so establish yourself as a thought leader with deep knowledge and innovative ideas.

Although Google’s page one is helpful to know where the bar’s set, exceptional brand copy resets it to your new superior level. Go above and beyond what they’re doing.

Ultimately, writers stuck on page one end up creating content that simply looks like every other site. The best content holds niche-specific insights that demonstrate passion, trust and relatability.

Remember you’re writing for people, not machines.

 

step 6: write to your heart’s content

When you start thinking ‘SEO copy vs brand copy’…scrap the ‘vs’ and add a ‘+’. Because the two together are like lilies and roses. The fragrance of success! 

Write for your audience. Share your knowledge. Tell stories. Be relatable. And be helpful.

But sprinkle in some SEO optimisation too. That’s the secret scent.