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SEO & Content Marketing Revue

SEO & Content Marketing Revue

By Heather Lloyd-Martin

About Heather

Described as a fast-talking, fiery redhead, Heather Lloyd-Martin is a 20-year marketing veteran, a recognized author and considered the pioneer of SEO copywriting. Recognized worldwide as a first-generation search marketing expert, she has been training corporate in-house SEO copywriters and creating revenue-driving Web site content campaigns via her consultancy, SuccessWorks.

 

The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
Marketing Awards: What Are They Good For?
May 22, 2015

When I first started in this business, I remember that our new business pitch at Ogilvy & Mather Direct always...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
Why Won’t Millennials Call Me?
May 21, 2015

Maybe it all started with AOL Instant Messenger when they were teens. They created acronyms like PIR (parent in room),...



Search Made Simple

Phil Frost
How to Double Your Landing Page Conversion Rates With 6 Easy Tune-ups
May 20, 2015

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your Google AdWords campaign is failing to optimize your landing page....



The Data Athlete

Mike Ferranti
Target Marketing Analytics Isn't Reporting
May 19, 2015

Today, virtually all organizations have challenges in effectively leveraging analytics to drive business performance. Odds are pretty good that when...



Creative Caffeine

Dani Cantor
10 Marketing Clichés I'd Challenge to a Fight if I Met Them in the Street
May 18, 2015

There you are, minding your own business, when it rounds the corner and rams into you full speed: the copywriting...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
Is InMail Worth It? 3 Reasons It May Not Be.
May 15, 2015

Is InMail worth it? LinkedIn wants you to think so. But is it a good investment for you, in your...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
Direct Mail: A New Perspective
May 14, 2015

The key to effective direct mail is perspective. Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
A Case Study in Data-driven B-to-B Customer Acquisition Marketing
May 14, 2015

While preparing case studies for my new book, I had the fun of interviewing a bunch of very smart B-to-B...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Why Direct Mail Won’t Die
May 13, 2015

You've seen the proclamations over the years that direct mail is near death, along with the counter-arguments that it's nowhere...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
How to Outsource Analytics
May 5, 2015

In this series, I have been emphasizing the importance of statistical modeling in almost every article. While there are plenty...



Psychology-Based Marketing

Jeanette McMurtry
Dysrationalia and Other Consumer Disorders
May 12, 2015

It's true. Most consumers suffer from a bad case of dysrationalia which, according to Keith Stanovich, emeritus professor of applied...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
Benchmarking: There's No Such Thing as an Average 2% Response Rate
May 11, 2015

It seems easy enough to answer the question: How to know if a marketing campaign measures up? But managing client...



IMM-Possible ROI

Stephanie Miller
Your Secret Weapon for Amplification: Employees!
May 7, 2015

There are sales enablement programs, partner and channel enablement programs and even influencer enablement programs. Why are there then, so...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
Any Time Is Search Time for Consumers
Apr 28, 2015

At a baseball game the other day, I couldn't help but notice how many people in my seating area were...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
I Dare You: Create a Brand Challenge!
Mar 17, 2015

Challenging something we do quite naturally and easily is indeed the perfect challenge. We all get into ruts—some even good...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Google Announces Significant Changes
Mar 9, 2015

As a marketer who uses email, you know as well as I do, your campaigns do not stand alone. Without...



Mobile-First Marketing

Greg Hoy
5 Mobile Marketing Trends You Can't Ignore in 2015
Jan 14, 2015

I don't have to tell you that we are living in a mobile-first world that continues to drive brands to...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
Converting Your Social Media Triple-Fs: Friends, Followers and Fans
Dec 16, 2014

I've heard many gurus, marketers and publishers brag about their social media followers. They'll say things like, "Isn't it great...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Marketing Success Is (Almost) All About the Data: Optimizing Customer Loyalty Behavior Initiatives
Oct 7, 2014

Much of what I've learned over the years about sales, marketing and customer service has to do with the critical...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Who's Your Data?

Rio Longacre
Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?
Dec 19, 2012

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does...



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



The Whole Magilla

Ken Magill
What Marketers Can Learn From Maine's Political Email Idiocy
Feb 24, 2012

It finally happened. Politicians' idiotic email practices had a measurable negative effect. "Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch
The Internet Can Make You a Chump—Forever!
Sep 25, 2010

Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in...



6 Questions to Ask Your SEO Copywriter

6
 
Have you decided that outsourcing your SEO copywriting and content development strategy is the best bet for your business? (If you're not sure, see last month's blog post on how and when to outsource your SEO.) Now here comes the hard part: Finding the right SEO copywriter for your needs.

SEO copywriting professionals can have a wide variety of skill sets, 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. If you're ready to take the plunge, here are six questions to ask any prospective SEO copywriter.

1. What kind of experience do you have?
SEO copywriting is different. Someone may be a fantastic direct response copywriter. But if he doesn't have SEO copywriting experience, he may not be your best choice. Why? Because SEO copywriting is part geeky knowledge, part creative brilliance. 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. Some folks are self-taught, but the best SEO copywriters have had some hands-on training. A combination of solid experience plus additional training (for instance, being Certified in SEO copywriting) ensures that you have a quality candidate.

2. What do you charge, and what's included in the price?
You may think that a writer's price is incredibly inexpensive, but make sure that you know what's included in the rate. Just like when you buy a plane ticket, some writers charge a low per-page rate, but then add on "extras" like keyphrase research, a per-page keyphrase strategy, and creating titles and meta descriptions. That's great for some clients. But if you need lots of extras (such as when you don't have a per-page keyphrase strategy in place), know that you'll be paying more per page.

3. How has your writing boosted your clients' revenues?
Yes, we all want top-10 search engine rankings, and your SEO copywriter plays a huge part in making that happen. However, there's a bigger question to ask: Will your copywriter make you money? Ask your copywriter how her writing has helped to increase conversion rates. She may tell a story about how one landing page generated $25,000 in almost instant revenue. Or how SEO copywriting training helped to increase revenues by 27 percent.  If a copywriter can't give you specifics, dig deeper. Sometimes, the copywriter doesn't have access to analytics, so his non-specific answer isn't his fault. At the same time, he should have one heck of a testimonial portfolio and other street-cred to make up for it.

4. Do you outsource to other copywriters?
You may have felt an instant connection when you chatted with the copywriting agency. But will the outgoing and whip-smart woman you spoke with on the phone be the same person writing your copy? Maybe. Ask your copywriter if she outsources. If she says "yes," ask for a writing sample from the person who will be doing the writing. Outsourcing isn't a bad thing. But as the client, you have a right to know the players and the process. (Side note: If you don't hear the "main" copywriter discuss how she evaluates every piece of copy before a client sees it, run away fast.)

5. What kind of ongoing education do you receive?
SEO copywriting is not a "set it and forget it" kind of skill set. The search engines are ever-changing and what worked six months ago may not work today. Plus, new neuromarketing, eye-tracking and information-processing research is changing the way copywriters write content. Ask what kind of sites, conferences and research your copywriter is tracking. If she says, "I don't keep up with techie stuff," she still may be an awesome copywriter … but she may not have the necessary SEO skills to really do the job (depending on the skill level you need).

6. What other skills do you bring to the table?
Some SEO copywriters can take on a full-scale SEO campaign and thrive, replacing your need for another SEO company (this is especially true for small businesses.) Other SEO copywriters can train your team, build links and even write that e-book that's been on your "to-do" list for years. Once you love and trust your new writer, explore how else she can help you. You may find that your SEO copywriter can help you grow your business in many additional ways—and you'll have a trusted marketing partner who can create killer, high-converting (and positioning) copy.
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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Heather Lloyd-Martin - Posted on July 25, 2010
Hi, Beth! Thanks for your question! I'd start with the sites on the blogroll - I review those sites fairly frequently. You may also consider going to a conference, such as SMX, Search Engine Strategies or PubCon. Although these are "general" search conferences, it's good to immerse yourself in everything search marketing. You can learn about the latest and greatest - plus, meet and mingle with other folks in the community. For additional writing training (direct response, SEO, and other opportunities,) AWAI has some great courses and conferences. Does that help? Just let me know if you have any other questions. :)
Beth Carter - Posted on July 23, 2010
Heather: You mention the importance of an SEO copywriter staying on top of current best practices -- which is so true. But there's also a ton of stuff out there, too much to just follow everything. What sites, blogs, etc. do you feel are important enough to follow? Thanks!
Heather Lloyd-Martin - Posted on July 22, 2010
Thanks, Jerry! It's so important for the client to work with *experienced* SEO copywriters. What worked "back in the day" may not work now. Plus, SEO experts are asked to dovetail a lot of different content marketing plays (twitter, blogs, white papers, etc.) - and he/she needs to know how to make that happen. The more experienced the copywriter, the better the result. :)
Jerry - Posted on July 21, 2010
Smart tips! I especially like what is and isn't included and is the writer keeping up with trends. Thank u
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Heather Lloyd-Martin - Posted on July 25, 2010
Hi, Beth! Thanks for your question! I'd start with the sites on the blogroll - I review those sites fairly frequently. You may also consider going to a conference, such as SMX, Search Engine Strategies or PubCon. Although these are "general" search conferences, it's good to immerse yourself in everything search marketing. You can learn about the latest and greatest - plus, meet and mingle with other folks in the community. For additional writing training (direct response, SEO, and other opportunities,) AWAI has some great courses and conferences. Does that help? Just let me know if you have any other questions. :)
Beth Carter - Posted on July 23, 2010
Heather: You mention the importance of an SEO copywriter staying on top of current best practices -- which is so true. But there's also a ton of stuff out there, too much to just follow everything. What sites, blogs, etc. do you feel are important enough to follow? Thanks!
Heather Lloyd-Martin - Posted on July 22, 2010
Thanks, Jerry! It's so important for the client to work with *experienced* SEO copywriters. What worked "back in the day" may not work now. Plus, SEO experts are asked to dovetail a lot of different content marketing plays (twitter, blogs, white papers, etc.) - and he/she needs to know how to make that happen. The more experienced the copywriter, the better the result. :)
Jerry - Posted on July 21, 2010
Smart tips! I especially like what is and isn't included and is the writer keeping up with trends. Thank u