6 Questions to Ask Your SEO Copywriter

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.

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.

Related Content
  • http://Jerry Jerry

    Smart tips! I especially like what is and isn’t included and is the writer keeping up with trends.

    Thank u

  • http://HeatherLloyd-Martin Heather Lloyd-Martin

    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. :)

  • http://BethCarter Beth Carter


    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?


  • http://HeatherLloyd-Martin Heather Lloyd-Martin

    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. :)

  • Sean V.

    Hey, Heather!

    I get tons of outsourced work, and handle the on-page SEO stuff. The off-page stuff is handled by the outsourcer… I think I prefer it that way, but certainly agree that outsourcing can be a "cheap" solution— that yields less-than quality results.