Finding a copywriter is an important part of managing a successful SEO campaign. A good copywriter will produce well-researched, well-written and unobtrusively optimised text, on time, every time. The good news is that the internet is awash with copywriters offering their services. The bad news is that finding a skilled and reliable one is easier said than done.
Many aspiring copywriters gravitate towards the big content-provision sites Ė the eBay-like setups that match buyers with sellers. Unlike eBay, though, where customers bid increasing amounts for an item, these sites are designed to provide businesses with the cheapest services possible. The idea is that copywriters compete to provide the best value content in a kind of reverse auction. The copywriter who offers to do the work for the lowest price typically gets the job. A noble enterprise in theory, in practice this can be a disaster for SEO.
Complementing SEO with copy
The maxim holds for copywriters and content provision as it does in any area of life: you get what you pay for. The problem is that not all copy is created equal. Although a reasonable copywriter can produce text that will work in terms of the technical aspects of SEO, it takes something special to convince human readers. Google will weed out the content that has been stuffed with keywords or is deemed irrelevant due to their infrequency. Readers will sift what gets through the net onto the SERPS and ignore badly written copy. It doesnít matter how high your site ranks if visitors leave as soon as they hit the homepage because you saved money on a cheap copywriter. There are simply too many alternatives available on the web to put up with content that suggests a business is less than proud about its brand or organised enough to present its potential customers with what they need. On the other hand, a copywriter who can engage readers, providing accessible and useful information, is far more likely to raise your conversion rate.
Ultimately, thatís what an SEO campaign is all about. A top SERPS position for different keywords and even soaring website traffic mean nothing if the number and proportion of conversions donít rise too. Thatís why ROI is the ultimate metric for SEO success. A copywriter who recognises the importance of writing compelling copy and understands the principles of SEO is therefore a real asset to your marketing campaign.
How to find a good copywriter
You donít tend to find the best copywriters through one of the reverse auction sites: the danger is that these simply promote a race to the bottom. You might get cheap content, it might be optimised, but it wonít produce the ROI that a skilled copywriter can contribute towards. For starters, securing high-quality backlinks generally relies on offering relevant articles to trusted third-party sites in return. If youíre only submitting to a few article directories, thatís one thing. If theyíre the high-pagerank authority sites you should be targeting, they wonít settle for second best.
But neither do you always find the best copywriters through job adverts or agencies. Copywriting is a special skill and itís not enough to be educated to a particular level, or to have experience in another form of writing. A good degree in English or even a background in newspaper journalism doesnít necessarily indicate that someone will be able to provide what you need.
Ultimately, the best way to find a good copywriter is by word of mouth. Qualifications might be a minimum requirement (if they donít have GCSE English, youíve got to wonder), but the only thing thatís going to convince you for sure and the only thing that really counts is a portfolio of relevant work. A few links to published samples is all you need to know whether the copywriterís quality of work is up to standard. Aside from that, a reference from someone who has worked with them before should provide the assurance that a copywriter will consistently deliver work to deadline Ė not something to be compromised on, however good their work.