What task does an SEO Content writer do? What skills are required and how to pivot to an SEO Content writing role? What are the SEO content writing career opportunities in Switzerland. Find out in this article.
Job titles can be tricky. What tasks do they involve? What skills does one need? It can be confusing to know what’s the next step in a career or where to start as an SEO. In this article, you will understand what an SEO Content writer does and what a day as an SEO content marketing looks like.
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💡 By the way, if you need a content writer for French in Switzerland, hire Isaline.
What is an SEO content writer?
An SEO content writer is a writer who uses writing techniques that aim to make a content visible in search engines. On page SEO techniques range from understanding the user’s search intent, analysing a market to find content opportunities, conducting a keyword research and optimising the content such as choosing and naming correctly the images, writing headlines.
To me, on page SEO techniques are tools and not an end: I use on page SEO techniques to share useful information or make a project visible. SEO optimisations is an editorial choice, just like formal over informal or like syntaxical choices. As a writer, I like the idea of a writing exercise, of being able to craft a text to reach an objective or to fulfil a use. Different writing styles are necessary for different purposes. SEO content writing leverages your content to make a brand discoverable or findable on search engines.
What skills should an SEO content writer have?
Skills for an SEO content writer:
- You need marketing, writing and SEO skills
- Fine tune your writing skills
- Understand what is a marketing funnel and what role a website plays
- Understand how search engines work
- Learn how to see the opportunities in the SERPs
- Learn how to recognise a search intent and user’s content needs
- Learn how to do a keyword research
- Learn your on page SEO tools: the writing techniques you can use within the text and the technique you use beyond the text, like meta data and assets
- Learn how to track and show the results of your text
How do I get into SEO content writing? How to start as an SEO content writer?
Fine tune your writing, marketing and SEO skills (see above). Create examples of what you are able to do. You don’t necessarily need to create a fancy portfolio on a website, but you need examples of work with significant results that you can show to clients or hiring managers.
For example, if you prefer to do guest posting instead of ghost writing, you can easily share a link of your work, that will be legit, with your name on top. The hiring manager can check out the results with a tool and you can provide additional details of the performance with screenshots of the Google Search Console, Google Analytics and a Rank tracker.
What is the difference between SEO content writing and content writing, UX writing?
UX writing writes functional text to help users navigate through a website or an app. For example, writing for an e-banking web application is UX writing.
“Copywriter writes short-form copy, such as slogans or social media ads”. For example, writing content for social media is copywriting. you are writing content for social media. The copywriters want the user to perform an action. There is often a commercial intent.
Content writers aim at sharing valuable information to users. Research and understanding is involved. For example, writing a blog article, but also other forms of content such as an annual report for a company, email newsletter.
SEO content writers write long form content for websites, to share valuable information that is meant to be easily found. They don’t write an email newsletter for example.
To me, each has a different purpose. These jobs are not mutually exclusive. When talking with clients, it is essential to be clear with the purpose of the writing, otherwise clients end up disappointed.
Do copywriters need SEO?
It depends on what the content is meant to achieve. I started learning Analytics and SEO skills when I wanted more people to read my texts and to show the effectiveness of my work for my company. Firstly, I needed data (Analytics) to understand how my work was performing, then I discovered that tools existed to leverage my writing. Later I matched my knowledge of the marketing funnel with the different ways of writing (UX writing, Content Writing, SEO Content Writing, PR. I noticed that what binds them together is a Content Strategy. The type of writing needed depends on what folks need on a given web page and that depends on what the company’s objectives are.
Can a content writer become SEO?
Yes, I don’t see why not. You might start as an SEO content writer and later specialise in another area of SEO.
“SEO is extremely broad.” says Alice Rowan, freelance Web Copy and SEO Copywriter. If you consider a career change, “start by learning the basics and, in time, find a specialisation that you love. It never hurts to be a jack of all trades to have a strong base knowledge.”
“As SEO can be highly technical and highly skilled, it’s also worthwhile getting down into the details of one specific area.” explains Alice. You might specialise in a type of SEO tasks. “This could be image optimisation, SEO content, schema, SEO for website migrations. There are so many options out there so don’t box yourself in straight away.” recommends Alice.
Career perspective as an SEO content writer in Switzerland
In Switzerland, SEO content writers are freelancers, in agencies or in-house. There are more SEO content writers in SEO content marketing agencies and SEO content writers who are freelance, than SEO content writers in-house.
Many big companies tend to hire externals to do the bulk of the work. A typical set up would be an in-house ‘Head of content’ or ‘Head of digital content’ or ‘Content marketing manager’ working with an agency writing the content for the website. In that case, you might be in charge of other digital content too. You would be in charge of developing the digital content.
In Switzerland there is more work for SEO content writers whose mother tongue is Swiss German, because most biggest companies have headquarters in Swiss Germany and the Swiss German part is a bigger market worth of bigger investment.
In Switzerland, companies tend to hire translators instead of SEO content writers to translate the (Swiss-)German content for the Romandie audience. The French content noticeably offers poor performance in most scenarios compared to the Swiss-German content because translators do not localise the content or optimise it to make it easily findable. Swiss Germans companies or national companies fail to understand that their French speaking audience has other needs or do not prioritise the French market. Brands are eager to transfer their branding and tone of voice failing to notice the lack of results through organic search. The lack of organic performance is hidden with an excellent paid strategy (like GoogleAds) which is deemed satisfying.
If you want to work in SEO content writing in Switzerland, there are more jobs in Swiss German than in French, in a content writing agency or as a consultant. Note that in an agency, you might be required to do other tasks, because you will have to reach a minimum of billable hours. You might typically have to write whatever is thrown at you (which can also be interesting). As an SEO content writing consultant, you have more freedom to specialise and refuse work if this is not your positioning.
If you want to work as an SEO content writer in-house, the SEO content writing task will be included within a broader job title. For example someone in charge of communication or a digital marketing specialist might do some content writing next to a variety of other tasks. Big e-commerce companies have more job offers as SEO content writers because they need an efficient blog articles strategy to catch the attention of the audience during the first steps of the marketing funnel (problem aware and solution aware).
Is SEO content writing a good career in Switzerland?
Yes, SEO content writing is a good career in Switzerland because there is a growth in demand for local SEOs in general. Writing in Switzerland is specific to our country, SEO content writers with an understanding of the local language and market are needed. I expect the demand in the coming year to increase as companies understand the need to be visible via search engines. As an example, many ‘Frequently asked questions’ in the Search Engine Result page offers snippet from French websites or German websites which are SEO optimised but only half accurate in terms of content. The demand for SEO writers will also depend on how we are able to educate the market (Paid vs Organic) and the growth of the competition. Swiss companies are comfortable and often do not need to fight a lot compared to other countries where every company uses an SEO (say in the UK or in the USA for example). Thus the need of SEO content writers will depend on the industry. There already are more offers as ‘Marketing Content Manager’ than 5 years ago.
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