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Should You Invest In Copywriting Or SEO First?

laptop and coffee on a beach blanket after working on seo copywriting

Which Should You Invest In First? Copywriting or SEO?

When it comes to building a successful online presence, two critical components often come to mind: professional copywriting and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Both are essential for attracting visitors to your website and converting them into customers. But the question many business owners grapple with is: which should you invest in first?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the roles of professional copywriting and SEO, examine their importance, and provide insights into where you might want to direct your initial investment. We'll also back our discussion with statistics, sources, and real-world examples.

Understanding Professional Copywriting

Professional copywriting is the art of crafting persuasive and compelling text that drives a specific action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or simply engaging with your brand. Good copywriting speaks directly to your target audience, addressing their needs and desires in a way that resonates with them.

The Importance of Professional Copywriting

  • Engagement and Persuasion: High-quality copywriting grabs attention and keeps readers engaged. It’s not just about filling up space with words; it’s about creating a narrative that speaks to your audience’s emotions and motivations.

  • Brand Voice and Identity: Your copy defines your brand voice. Whether your tone is professional, casual, or somewhere in between, consistent copy helps build a recognizable brand identity. According to Lucidpress, consistent brand presentation across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.

  • Conversion Rates: Effective copywriting can significantly boost conversion rates. For example, adding a well-crafted call-to-action can increase conversions by up to 121% (WordStream).

Understanding SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, involves optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This increases the visibility of your site, driving organic (non-paid) traffic. SEO encompasses various techniques and strategies, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and technical SEO. By optimizing these elements, you can improve your site's relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines like Google.

Higher visibility in search results means more potential customers will find your site when searching for relevant products or services. This not only drives more traffic but also tends to attract visitors who are actively looking for what you offer, increasing the likelihood of conversions. And well-optimized sites often experience better user engagement and lower bounce rates, further boosting their SEO performance.

The Importance of SEO

Visibility and Traffic: The primary goal of SEO is to increase your website’s visibility. Higher rankings mean more traffic. According to BrightEdge, organic search drives 53.3% of all website traffic.

Credibility and Trust: Ranking high on Google or other search engines adds credibility to your site. Users are more likely to trust and click on results that appear on the first page. A study by Backlinko found that the first result in Google’s organic search results has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 31.7%.

Long-term Results: Unlike paid advertising, the benefits of SEO are long-term. Once your site ranks well, it can continue to attract traffic without ongoing costs. HubSpot reports that 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

Copywriting vs. SEO: Which to Invest in First?

Now that we understand the roles and importance of both professional copywriting and SEO, let’s delve into the question of which to prioritize.

Scenario 1: Brand New Website

If you’re launching a brand-new website, your first priority should be SEO. Here’s why:

Foundation Building:

SEO lays the groundwork for your online presence. Without proper SEO, your beautifully crafted copy might never be seen. According to Search Engine Journal, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.

Indexing and Crawling:

SEO ensures that your website is indexed by search engines. This is crucial for your site to appear in search results. Without this, no amount of excellent copy will help.

Initial Traffic:

SEO can start driving traffic to your site from day one. This early traffic can provide valuable data on how visitors interact with your site, helping you refine both your SEO and copywriting strategies.

Scenario 2: Established Website with Low Conversion Rates

If you have an established website but are struggling with low conversion rates, investing in professional copywriting might be the best first step.

Improving Engagement:

Quality copy can improve user engagement, reducing bounce rates. According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. Compelling copy can bridge this gap.

Conversion Optimization:

If you’re getting traffic but no conversions, your copy might be the problem. Effective copywriting addresses your audience’s pain points and provides clear calls to action, driving conversions.

Brand Messaging:

Enhancing your copy can help refine your brand messaging, making it more cohesive and compelling. This can help build a stronger connection with your audience.

Scenario 3: Limited Budget

If your budget is tight and you need to choose one, consider the following:

Short-term Needs vs. Long-term Gains:

SEO is a long-term investment with compounding returns, while professional copywriting can provide immediate improvements in engagement and conversion rates. If you need quick wins, copywriting might be the way to go. However, for sustained growth, SEO is crucial.

Hybrid Approach:

If possible, invest in a hybrid approach. Start with basic SEO to ensure your site is indexed and visible, then focus on enhancing your copy to drive conversions. Tools like SEMrush can help you balance both without breaking the bank.

The Synergy of Copywriting and SEO

While deciding where to invest first is crucial, it’s important to understand that professional copywriting and SEO work best together. Here’s how they complement each other:

  1. SEO Brings Traffic, Copy Converts: SEO strategies drive traffic to your site, but it’s the copy that keeps visitors engaged and encourages them to take action. High-quality copy enriched with relevant keywords can enhance SEO, making your content more discoverable.

  2. User Experience: Both SEO and copywriting contribute to a positive user experience. SEO ensures that users find your site, while compelling copy provides value, encouraging users to stay longer and explore more.

  3. Content Marketing: Effective content marketing relies on both SEO and professional copywriting. Well-optimized, high-quality content attracts traffic and drives engagement. According to the [Content Marketing Institute](, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.


So, should you invest in professional copywriting or SEO first? The answer depends on your current situation and goals. If you’re launching a new website, start with SEO to ensure visibility. If you have an established website with traffic but low conversions, prioritize copywriting to engage and convert your audience. For those with a limited budget, consider a hybrid approach to balance immediate needs and long-term growth. At Thrive Design Co, we infuse SEO into all the websites that we design for our clients, ensuring that they have a strong SEO foundation that you can build off of as time goes on. So if you've been thinking of investing in professional web design and SEO, let's chat! I can also hook you up with some of my best copywriter recommendations!

Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a harmonious strategy where both SEO and professional copywriting work together to build a strong, effective online presence. By understanding the unique benefits of each and how they complement each other, you can make informed decisions that drive success for your business.

If you’re ready to take your website to the next level, let’s talk about how we can create a strategy that combines the best of both worlds. Reach out today, and let’s start boosting your online presence!

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