You’ve hired a developer to build you a great website. Check. You’ve hired an SEO to optimize your site. Check. And now you’ve hired a copywriter to produce articles for on-site and off-site blogs, create CPC advertisements, and refresh the content on your website. Sounds like you’re off to a great start to promoting your online reputation, congratulations! But just like your web developer was able to present you with concrete results, as was your SEO, you are now questioning whether or not your copywriter can do the same. I’m a firm believer that any successful and sustainable SEO project must include copywriting to please your audience, and most firms will offer you the services of their in-house copywriter. But don’t be fooled by content-producing drones that only appease a formula. It’s in your best interest to make sure your copywriter knows the basics of SEO and is able to apply them to your project. While there are many things to looking for in a SEO-friendly copywriter, here are the top three MUST HAVES I consider indispensable for any copywriter.
- Keyword research & proper implementation. A good copywriter knows what keywords to use; a great copywriter knows when to use them and how to use them. If you have a shoes company, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you should be ranking for “shoes.” But if the best your copywriter comes up with reads like, “We sell shoes for all shoe sizes and all shoe types because our shoes are the best shoes on the shoe market so buy some shoes from our shoe store because shoes!” then you will have a serious problem on your hands. Not only will search engines penalize you for keyword stuffing, but also people will consider you spammy and untrustworthy. Make sure your copywriter does proper research on competitive keywords, is able to identify long-tail and closely related terms, and isn’t afraid to go after those keywords. With careful planning and enough effort, a copywriter with a mind for keyword research and implementation can achieve the rankings your business desires.
- Quality over quantity. If you’re looking for dirt-cheap content coming in by the truckloads, there are plenty of websites that can “help” you. These outsourced, underpaid writers usually have a loose grasp of the English language and have only one goal in mind: just get to the end of the article so you can start working on the next. Yes, this is exceptionally easy on your wallet. Yes, they get their content to you quickly. However, the quantity of content on your website, articles, or blog will not make up for the lack of quality. Whenever considering SEO, there is one important, overarching rule that applies to each and every campaign, regardless of budget, project size, industry, or target audience. SEO is about catering to people first, search engines second. While search engines might be fooled by the keyword-optimized content your outsourced copywriter produces, your users will not and they will quickly turn away. Asking your copywriter about their writing and editing process is a good place to start; if they are thorough and passionate about their work, it will be immediately transparent and that can only benefit your business.
- Consistency. Even great writers suffer from Writer’s Block every now and then. However, this isn’t an excuse for why you’re project isn’t delivered on time. Going back to my suggestion for asking your copywriter about their writing and editing process, be sure they discuss time management and efficiency. Successful copywriters, especially freelance copywriters, understand the importance of making a schedule and sticking to it. They know their clients have conversions to capture and that they have more projects to deliver. If your copywriter can’t write quality content consistently, it’s time to reevaluate their use to your campaign. The bottom line here is that you can have great quality with all the right keywords and the right amount of them, but if that content isn’t being refreshed on a frequent basis, you might as well consider yourself irrelevant and outdated.
Copywriting is an important part of SEO but often overlooked or quickly glanced over. However, content is what drives search engines to index your website and people to perk up and listen. Finding an SEO package with a copywriting component won’t be hard to do, but make sure your copywriter is a competent and SEO-friendly one.
Gina Vinnitsky is an SEO Copywriter for Pete Wise SEO, the leading Denver SEO agency. She comes from both a creative and technical background, and therefore is able to approach SEO from the standpoint of search engines and users, alike. To learn more about her SEO Copywriting process, as well as for more information on all the On-Site SEO and Off-Site SEO services Pete Wise SEO has to offer, check out their website today.