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Three Crucial Questions to Ask an SEO Copywriter

January 31, 2011  

When outsourcing your SEO, says Heather Lloyd-Martin, you have to ask the right questions if you're going to find the right candidate. "SEO copywriting professionals can have a wide variety of skill sets," she writes at Target Marketing magazine, "from the newbie who is just getting her virtual feet wet to the uber-experienced direct response professional who is also a whiz at SEO."

Therefore, before you hire an SEO pro, it's best to ask questions like these:

What kind of experience do you have? "SEO copywriting is part geeky knowledge, part creative brilliance," Lloyd-Martin explains. "Not only will your new hire have to have 'normal' copywriting skills, but he'll also need to know how to choose keyphrases, set a strategy and weave keyphrases into your copy the right way." In other words, success in other copywriting arenas won't necessarily translate to SEO brilliance.

What do you charge, and what's included in the price? According to Lloyd-Martin, a writer's seemingly inexpensive rate might not include "extras" like keyphrase research, per-page keyphrase strategies, or titles and meta descriptions. "That's great for some clients," she says. "But if you need lots of extras, know that you'll be paying more per page."

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  • by Nick Stamoulis Tue Feb 1, 2011 via web

    These are all very good points to keep in mind when hiring an SEO copywriter. Content is your website’s most valuable asset and you need to make sure that you are leaving it in capable hands. If you end up stuck with someone who does a sub-par job, you’ll just have to pay for someone else to fix it and have wasted time and money.

  • by Sharon Long Tue Feb 1, 2011 via web

    Thank you, Heather, for the down-to-earth advice for clients! I especially like your description of us SEO copywriters as part geek, part brilliant...that's a perfect description!

    For pricing, I finally over the years figured out that I could charge a per page price for web content, so I have one price per page without SEO and one price per page with SEO. I've been doing it that way for about six years now, and it works out every time and makes it easy for the client to understand the pricing. (I also explain what I mean by "with SEO.")

    I would add one more question, if I may be so bold: I make clear to potential clients that they are going to see and review web content before I really focus on keywords, because it's important to me to get the message right first. I've seen too many pages that seemed written to the keywords, and they sound unnatural and awkward. So perhaps marketers should ask potential SEO copywriters how they go about incorporating keywords into text? I don't mean Title tags, headings or descriptions, but the body text.

    Thanks again, Heather, for the good advice!

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