Why Your Writer Needs to Know SEO

After being in the SEO ghostwriting industry for about 6 years now, I’m often approached by potential clients (and even sometimes longstanding clients) about whether or not I know about keyword density or the latest Google algorithm update. Many are surprised when I tell them “Yes, I do. The majority of my projects are SEO related.”

I do my best to stay as current in the world of SEO as possible. Things seem to change monthly, whether Google is updating the algorithm and all of these strategies that we once thought were good ideas are suddenly bad ones and now we’ve got to switch focus and make sure our content is on par with these new changes.

Plus, I think it goes without saying that if you’re going to make a living writing for SEO companies and website owners doing their own SEO, then you should at least know what your content is going to be used for, right? I pay to be a Pro member at sites like SEOMoz so that I can continually learn and see what I can apply to my content and strategies.

It makes me nervous when I see writers say, “Oh, I don’t know anything about SEO. I just write.” That just makes me wonder how their content is going to come out and how much their client is paying them. So, that leads me to these reasons on why your writer should know SEO:

  • Keyword Density: Some can argue that keyword density doesn’t really matter, but with this last algorithm update, it’s been said that if your keyword density is over 3% then you could be penalized for over optimizing. This means it’s essential your writer understands keyword density, so that they don’t OVERDO it. Yes, many new SEO writers tend to go keyword crazy and don’t even realize it.
  • Stop Words: This is a mistake that I see even clients make. They send a keyword like “attorneys Seattle” and they think the phrase has to be used exactly like that with no “in” to make it grammatically correct. But, if you know about stop words, then you know that the “in” has no effect on the keyword itself because the search engines don’t recognize it. They automatically strip dozens of words that they call “stop words.”
  • Duplicate Content: It’s more important now that you make sure your content is repeated or plagiarized from somewhere else. You would be amazed at how many writers don’t understand the concept of duplicate content and inadvertently copy full sentences and paragraphs from their research material.
  • You’ll Get a Bigger Bang for Your Buck: Hiring a writer that knows SEO means that you’ll not only get a higher quality product, but it means you’ll save money in the long run because you won’t waste time removing excess keywords, you won’t have to edit it yourself and you won’t have to pay someone else to rewrite it when you decide it’s just no good. All of that equals you saving money.
  • They Can Offer Advice: I frequently have clients that have knowledge of what they need (perhaps a web designer told them they needed web content for their new site), but then I ask them if they have keywords, or how long they need the content to be and it turns out that they really just don’t know. And that’s okay. Because I understand SEO, I can offer guidance in keyword research and selection as well as guidance in the length of their content and then all of a sudden they are off to a good start with their new website because I was able to offer that advice and guidance.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of writers out there that are “writers.” They wrote in college, or they like to write novels or they have a knack for writing and need to make some extra money between college semesters. While these people may be good writers, they’re not professional writers. They haven’t taken the steps to learn about SEO and what it takes to have web worthy content. You don’t have to worry about this if you use a writer that has a proven track record and history in SEO writing and you’re website will always benefit from an experienced SEO writer.

Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.


  • I know a good amount of SEO, and it definitely helps me land more writing gigs, you don’t need to be an expert but to know the basics helps a lot, specially the things mentioned in your post, at the very least keyword density and stop words.

    • I’m not as experienced in freelance writing as you so maybe my lack of SEO knowledge (and lack of desire to know more) will block me from getting any decent gigs in the future but at the moment I’m happy with what I am receiving. 🙂

  • You should write for readers and not for SEO, but with good SEO knowledge and training write you seo automatic. I spend as much time to search for the right keywords for the title and the text description as it takes to write the article after.

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