An SEO Copywriter walks into a bar...

If a copywriter walks into a bar, he doesn't want a plastic glass...

An SEO copywriter walks into a pub, bar, public house, venue, beer, lager, wine, spirits, cocktails, pub food, gastropub, happy hour…

And how we laugh. Still. Every time this tired old joke wheezes its way around Twitter, we all drop to the ground, rolling about in paroxysms of laughter, attempting to hold in our ruptured and leaking sides.

Or not. Because that joke isn’t funny anymore.

Forgive me for indulging my curmudgeonly side for once (who’s kidding, you love it), but I’m sick to the back teeth of the truism that states all an SEO copywriter does is wedge as many synonyms as possible into a piece in order to attract attention from the search engines.

It’s absolute, complete and utter bollocks.

An SEO Copywriter is Still a Copywriter

A copywriter’s job, regardless of prefix, is to influence the reader. To persuade them to take a particular action. Doing that requires skill, finesse, and usually a degree of subtlety.

And that means that the copywriter has to focus on choosing the right words and phrases. The ones that appeal to a human reader, not a search engine. Cack-handedly shoving in as many synonyms as the Thesaurus lists isn’t a way to appeal to anyone.

So why does the myth of the SEO copywriter as a slave to the search engine algorith persist? Is it because nobody’s quite sure what an SEO copywriter does? Because too many content farms market there bargain-bucket fare as SEO copy?

Whatever the reason, the myth is just that. A writer who puts the needs of the search engines ahead of the needs of the reader isn’t an SEO copywriter. They’re a fool.

And if they’re a keyword-stuffer, they’re a fool twice over.

If Your SEO Copywriter is Trying to Keyword Stuff, Shoot Him

Shooting them might sound harsh, but the only alternative is firing them. And if you do that, they might well come back.

And if they come back, your site’s going nowhere on the search engines because keyword stuffing doesn’t work.

Not only is it pointless now, but it’s been largely pointless through the whole of this nascent decade, and a fair chunk of the last one. So any “SEO” who’s noticably filling your pages with synonymous guff isn’t doing a very good job.

In fact, they’re doing a terrible job, because creating pages with ridiculous, useless content is a great way to have your site disregarded by users and crawlers alike.

So if the synonyms are out, the SEO copywriter doesn’t walk into a pub, bar, gastropub, hostelry, drinking house, boozer… They do what everyone else does. They just walk into a bar.

And if Ben Locker’s anything to go by, when a writer walks into a bar, it’s to buy a rather large scotch.

So, what do you think? Is it time we laid this joke to rest, or should SEO copywriters be less sensitive?


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