It's a good question and one that I have been asked myself recently
As an SEO copywriter I work with web designers on a regular basis and they all have different approaches. Some like to have all the copy written and approved before they start. Others design the entire site before they decide to involve me.
I would always choose to write the copy first
Let me start by saying that I never underestimate the contribution design makes to a communication. I write poster content for a graphic design team in my day job and am often prepared to sacrifice words in favour of a better design. In the case of SEO, however, I am more reluctant.
SEO is functional
The SEO copy I write has a job to do. That job is to tell the search engines what your site has to offer using the words and language potential customers will use to find you on the Internet. These key words and phrases are important.
While I make it my mission to keep text to a minimum, if a designer tells me there is only limited text space available, then compromises may have to be made. This means that the finished website may not be primed with as many important keywords as it could be.
Text layout plays its part
There are a couple of text layout tricks a copywriter can use to make your SEO copy function more effectively. Unfortunately, squeezing the text into some pre-existing designs doesn't allow much flexibility to implement them.
My advice is to be flexible as possible
- Consider your content carefully before briefing your web designer. Think about how the website might progress or expand in the future. For example you may want to add extra pages, such as a blog or press release page. Make sure there is room to add to the site and its navigation system without potential problems.
- If you want to start the design process before the copy is written, make sure that your designer understands the need for a flexible layout that can adapt/expand depending on the copy.
- If they don't already, encourage your copywriter and web designer to work together so they each understand the other's briefs and needs.
If you would like some help with your SEO copywriting project, please visit my website to find out more about how I can help.