It's crazy, trying to find a good SEO that is also a good writer / copywriter is like finding a needle in a haystack.
That's because every-single-writer advertises themselves as 'SEO writers' because they feel they write SEO-optimized copy. However finding a person that knows about Google core updates, backlink schemes, schema and topical relevance…
That's tricky! If anyone knows a way to locate writers within the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry instead of normal writers, please let me know.
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Let's connect this week and I'll get you some samples.
I run a tight knit team and oversee everything.
We use SurferSEO and some proprietary SEO strategies based on my own 13 years in the biz.
It's not a ‘you' problem, trust me.
We just wrapped up a round of new hiring.
267 interviews. Hired a grand total of 5 people.
And of those none know Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we'll be training them on our processes and editing in-house.
Why not get a SEO to provide SEO Content Briefs?
I personally do both, but even then, if it's just a copywriting project — I'd expect them to take on the SEO work.
Why should a writer have to understand the specifics of the entire SEO campaign to deduce what goes where?
Writing well-researched, linguistically great articles is already hard enough in itself.
If you expect a writer to know both roles (I know I can do both), they'd expect to be paid accordingly too. Those are two jobs, not one.
1 to what you said.
Castillo » Anjali
Couldn't agree more!
Much like the software we use, I'd 100x prefer to have 10 tools that each serve their function incredibly well, than to have one tool that does 10 things very poorly.
Somewhere in the hundreds of jobs I've had, one employer rang off a saying that's stuck with me, and still applies today:
"Aces in their places"
Anjali » Castillo
Exactly. It's like relying on SEMrush for Technical SEO rather than Screaming Frog. You need both to do their jobs well for the campaign to be successful.
Great advice! I am gonna tell people and quote you one day. 🙌
You need someone who deeply understands Search Engine Optimization (SEO), like everyone here, and who can manage a content team and create killer content briefs. This ain't cheap, so hopefully you can get the ROI
A really friggen good content brief makes a big difference.
Unless you're willing to pay a sum commensurate to what you want, a brief is the best solution to your problem.
I don't focus on SEO writers now knowing how difficult and expensive it is to find one, I leverage content briefs everytime.
Dooley » Azoury
I defo agree here. Too many put the emphasis on the writer to create the briefs.
Personally I feel there's 3 roles each content team needs.
1) Content Brief Creator
2) Creative Content Writer
3) Editor (progressive optimisation)
As you grow you can have one brief expert to 4 content writers and one in progressive optimisation
Without the structure then writers write filler content when told a content length
Let me ask you a question that may answer the problem you are having: Are you willing to pay the hourly rate of a good technical SEO for them to spend that time writing?
I ask because I know a lot of SEO users who are also great writers, but they get offered peanuts for writing compared to spending the same time on more hardcore SEO tasks. If someone gets $300 for doing SEO tasks, but is offered $50 for spending just as long to produce an article, they rarely advertise their writing talent.
As a person with a degree In Journalism from Columbia – Probably the toughest SEO writing assignment I ever had was for a flooring company where I eventually decided to go in and spend a month working in the store to understand how to write proper content for them. It wasn't just for SEO rankings but for actual website function and generating new business. There is no more business more boring than flooring 😂. The added benefit is that I'm an expert in floor tile and carpet but it's how I approach every clients needs.
Great approach. But hard to scale if hundreds of clients. But the best copywriters in the world live and breathe what they are writing about.
For big brands it's important their writer understands the products as a specialist. It's awesome you did that for the flooring company 💪
Darren » Dooley
The topic was in regards to SEO writing – obviously
It would be impossible to find a writer an expert in every subject matter – the point being that the only solution is to find someone who takes the time to apply their writing skills to the clients industry / it would be foolish to expect that say for example a writer create content for a mechanical engineer without learning something about the subject to begin with as Google and AI will never rank mindless content that adds no value to the Search Engine Result Page (SERP)- scalling is completely irrelevant
Dooley » Darren
Yes 100% get what you're saying and agree.
But the real test for marketers when they don't have the time to do this is finding a way to write "expert level content" without being an industry expert.
We have a large content team and rank in uk for a lot of flooring terms #1 aswell as mortgages #1 and credit card rates topic #1 but none of my team are industry experts in these fields.
They can analyse, research and correlate content to what Google thinks is expert level content
A lot of the time the answers to your content are just sitting their in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for you to reword
It's a lot harder to hire a good writer that knows SEO than it is to find good writers & enable them to write with SEO best practices.
Besides, any writer who claims they know SEO probably doesn't mean they have consistent systems to rank content…because if they did they would be an SEO manager, not a writer. 😃
I have your partner on here
But is there anything you want to add on content briefs to this let me know and happily add you mate 👍
I like some of the comments am viewing here. Well, if you're looking for straight up SEO streamlined content, you will have to be more precise about that.
Otherwise, every writer out there advertises themselves as 'SEO' versed. Speaking from experience of having being part of a content Creation agency, we did eventually have to get additional personnel who would streamline the content after it was delivered by our writers.
Yeah, the content was overly great, but with a few tweaks here and there, our clients seemed satisfied. Also, we do basic keyword research and share the keywords to be included (creatively of course!) and their density and distribution throughout the article.
Otherwise, if you focus too much on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you will probably end up with a lower quality. Better to have a balance of both hence the need of an extra team.
There is nothing called SEO copywriting. You can either find copywriters or SEO users. Copywriting is used for sales pages and SEO has little to no role to play there. Sure, SEO can be used to bring traffic to the sales page, but SEO copywriting? Is an alien concept. Unless you want to sell directly on the landing page ranking on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), which is the least likely the case.
Speaking of SEO writing, don't fall for anyone who's preaching backlinks more than content. If the person is selling you backlinks & "guaranteed returns" in terms of organic traffic. Because even Google doesn't guaranteed results, how can a third party element guarantee that?
Keep simple goals. Rank for a lot of low hanging fruits ( for ex: 1000 pageviews for 200 keywords), sprinkle a little bit on PPC, you're off for a good start.
Let me know if I can help you further.
Wow woke up to a bigger response than expected. Reading through the comments, it appears as if there might be some confusion as to the type of content I ultimately am looking for.
I'm looking for people to write on the topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and don't really care about how optimized the content is for Google (blasphemy, I know!)
(Yes, I agree, for regular content that I want to rank on Google, having an SEO write out a brief & guide the writer is ideal. That's what we do. However when it comes to writing about a Google patent that was recently released, deep SEO knowledge is required and is out of most writers comfort zone.)
Have you looked at the SEO users who already write such content for third parties, such as Search Engine Journal (SEJ), and asked if any have availability?
Eric » Ammon
Yeah that's what Steve Toth suggested, I might have to go down that route!
Ammon » Eric
they are not cheap, but they are both highly skilled and highly qualified, so if going that route, you'll find several of the very best already in this group. Roger in particular is a powerhouse of great SEO articles for SEJ (though he may not have any free bandwidth given how much he already does).
To keep the price down, at the cost of raising the time investment, one alternate approach is to hire a skilled writer and have them interview the deeply qualified SEO users. From the SEO users perspective, this always feels like much less of an investment, to answer posed questions, than writing a whole article from scratch. If you were to offer to pay the SEO users something for their time your offer would stand out from the masses, and probably get good uptake.
IMHO – SEO users are not writers. Get a good writer and let the SEO direct/inform content creation. Those are VERY different skills. That said, an SEO should have an idea of why things need to be written and be able to write meta data, but still, copy writing is its own specialty. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I beg to differ. I consider myself BOTH technical and creative in equal measure. And I feel that I practice SEO and understand all aspects of it just as good if not better than anyone out there. Sorry to toot my own horn but that is how I feel. Although that is rare we do exist. I can write the hell out of ANYTHING and in multiple styles of writing and tones! But I admit this is not at all common and generally don't look for both in the same individual. Peace!
Ember » Mike
Kudos! I agree – and think there are always unicorns. 🙂
SEO and copywriting are two different things, like coding and design.
That belief is why an awful lot of content that gets 'optimized' by an SEO reads like keyword stuffing garbage. Whoever last touches the content needs to have the literary skills to make those words sing and move the audience, otherwise there is no point to it ranking at all.
Toto » Ammon
Writing a sales letter and writing SE optimized content are not the same thing.
Ammon » Toto
But they can be, and when they are, the combination is killer.
There are a great many possible different approaches to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is both the strength of its versatility, and the source of so much contradictory SEO opinion.
There are SEO users out there who do SEO much like email spam – it is all a numbers game, where the conversion rate is awful, but so long as they can get enough traffic it will work for them. That's not 'wrong', it just isn't elegant and efficient enough for my tastes.
There are SEO users who will have a 'sales page' that is written for conversion, and use optimized doorway pages or landing pages to rank and hopefully drive traffic from there to the sales page. Unless they cloak, seamlessly redirecting traffic direct to the sales page, these always lose a percentage of traffic, usually a majority of traffic, at the landing page who never see that beautifully converting sales page. After all, the landing page is, to the visitor, the 'taste test' of the quality of writing to expect on any further pages. Again, it is not 'wrong', and it can be highly successful, but it still isn't as elegant and efficient as I like for my own work.
There are however SEO users that remember that the sales were the entire point, and the ideal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to find the 'optimal' point where the absolute most sales/profit is made from the existence of search and search users.
These types balance all of the factors, looking for that optimal balance, between what can rank and what can convert. They factor in the costs in time, effort, and investment of getting any type of content to rank, they factor in the conversion rates to turn the visits to sales, they factor in the internal Click Through Rate (CTR)s of how many visitors are lost between the landing page and each page from there to the check-out.
Having known a lot of the old hardcore affiliate marketers across the years, I can assure you there are a lot of folks out there that do indeed optimize their sales pages for an 'optimal' balance of traffic from search that doesn't throw away a high conversion rate.
Toto » Ammon
I get what you're saying and I do agree. Sales oriented SEO is the key.
I am not going to read any of the other comments even though I am late to chime in. Why? Because it is not about a WRITER as you incorrectly assume. It is more about a person or organization who truly understands what needs to be done and can create a SYSTEM to make this happen. Writers need to be trained and given guidelines based upon the CURRENT algo. Thant means you need a PROJECT MANAGER who understands what needs to be done and has a SYSTEM to make it happen.. Writers can be trained correctly to make things happen WITHIN a system that a project manager sets up. So you should not be looking for a "writer" if you don't have advance knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to train a writer in the CURRENT SEO. Instead you need to have the CASH to pay an SEO project manager or a company who will provide you with an SEO project manager who will be able to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN correctly. Make sense? Good. Sorry to sound so harsh. But tough love is where it's at!
I teach, research SEO and do daily SEO (affiliate, case studies, consulting for SEO agencies) for a living and need SEO salesletters done for me with the occasional write-up of case studies I have performed (but don't have the time to write).
Dino » Eric
Well it seems then you are halfway there. All you need is to learn to systemize your approach so that you can effectively communicate to and train your writers so they can correctly create the content so that it will both rank and CONVERT.