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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.

 

Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Are Autoresponders Killing Email Marketing?
Apr 16, 2014

Two events in the same week have triggered an email unsubscribe flurry on my behalf. First, a change in my...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
What Are You Measuring and Why?
Apr 9, 2014

An account manager working on a pharmaceutical brand once asked me, "How should we code the various opt-in vehicles to...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
Beyond Data: Why 'Grit' May Matter More
Apr 14, 2014

This past month, I was reminded how vital it is to have grit to achieve success, that is "true grit."...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
I Am the Judge of You
Apr 11, 2014

Pointing the finger has never been so easy ... and so anonymous. I suppose it's human nature to feel (and...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Verbify! Verbify! Verbify!
Apr 9, 2014

What's your brand verb? Yes, you read that right ... verb. Each and every day great brands are energized by...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Email Marketing: To Open or Not To Open ...
Apr 7, 2014

For many of us, choosing the from name is a simple task. We send it from the person to whom...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
How Many Leads Do You Need?
Apr 4, 2014

One key to successful B-to-B lead generation programs is to calculate exactly the right number of qualified leads to provide...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
Why Most LinkedIn Lead Generation Tactics Fail
Apr 4, 2014

Sharing relevant content on LinkedIn likely will not get customers talking with you about what you're selling. Nor will commenting...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Why Model?
Mar 26, 2014

Why model? Uh, because someone is ridiculously good looking, like Derek Zoolander? No, seriously, why model when we have so...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Too Big to Fail - But Not Too Big to Suck
Mar 26, 2014

On a recent "Real Time With Bill Maher" show, Maher responded to the announcement that Time Warner Cable would merge...



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)...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
7 Magic Ways to Maximize Otherwise Boring Fulfillment and Collateral Pieces for Profit
Aug 7, 2013

Sure, fulfillment and inserts aren't as sexy as other forms of marketing, but they can be viable ways to bring...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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