Writers are everywhere, and it only takes one search on Google to find someone. However, if you want the best ones, then it’s more daunting and time-consuming. Many business owners know that they need a specific job description to avoid low-quality content, but they’re not sure what that entails.
In a sense, Google has been making plenty of updates, and writing SEO now means understanding those rules and following them when crafting blog posts.
Your goal is to increase organic traffic to your website, and having a great SEO content writer is crucial here.
Ultimately, those major updates from Google mean that you require excellent SEO content writers for your business. Here’s how the updates (Panda and Fred) work:
- Panda now penalizes web pages with content that doesn’t add value to the users (doesn’t follow the search intent of the searcher) and offers more visibility to content that does, even if it’s on social media.
- The Fred update also targeted content that was low quality, especially if they’re only putting out information that is already available. Then, it penalized websites that prioritized earning money above the user experience.
Google has clearly been working hard on those updates so that brands, marketers, and publishers must work with SEO content writers who know what they’re doing. However, the question is how do you find those word mastery professionals? You may have to screen through hundreds of writers to find someone who understands SEO content writing.
Essentially, writers should have on-page SEO experience and focus on the users, such as through formatting and appropriate images. A writer with those skills is great at what they do, but now is the time to dig deeper into the meaning of all that:
Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (On-page)
By now, you probably have an idea of what on-page SEO is. However, if you don’t, it just means all of the elements you put on the webpage or site so that search engines can understand that you’ve got content about specific topics that people want to see.
How do you know if the SEO writer has this knowledge?
The best way to see their SEO performance from the past is to request writing samples. It can be about anything, but the more blog writing they do, the easier it is to see that they know their stuff.
Your goal is to increase organic traffic and see conversion rate optimization through the SEO content they provide. Therefore, the professional writer should know the ranking factors Google requires.
When they do provide samples, ask them to walk you through them while you ask yourself about them:
Do They Use Focus Keywords in Previous Examples?
Many factors come into play when you’re trying to rank on a page. SEO writers must know how to focus on the appropriate keywords for blog posts. This doesn’t just mean adding the keyword anywhere; they have to understand keyword density.
Look through the SEO copywriting samples they provide to see if they optimize their content pieces for specific keywords. Then, check keyword density with a free tool to see how many times it was used compared to the word count. That way, you know if they can handle the content you need to have crafted.
Can They Use Title Tags for Better Search Engine Rankings?
Search engines often use the title tag to find the headings within your content. For example, if you put “conversion rate optimization” in some of the headings on the page, the search engines know that you’re talking about that topic.
In a sense, the ideal SEO writer understands how to use them (and a meta description) to improve your rankings and be on the first page of those search results.
Is a title tag that important? Yes, it is. Therefore, you should look at the titles in the candidate’s samples, especially that H1 title tag. Here’s what to consider when examining the tags:
- Header tags should be about 60 characters long so that they aren’t truncated by Google.
- The subheadings are H2s (this isn’t necessary, but it’s helpful).
- Headings under the subtopics are in H3.
When you notice those qualities from the candidate, you can confirm that they know how to use title tags and can do that for your SEO writing needs.
Some writers might not have control over the tags in their published works. For example, the website they write for may not give them access to that. Therefore, it’s best to request samples from their own site so that you can see the tags.
Do They Know Anything about Internal Linking?
SEO writers must know how to link older pieces of content to the newly written ones. Internal linking is crucial to help you:
- Communicate the value and relevance of the pages to Google (Google places authority sites higher in the results)
- Demonstrate to Google that the website contains appropriate content about a particular topic in the blog post
- Tell Google that the site is easy to navigate, which also boosts direct traffic to the site later
You may also find that internal linking leads to even better things. Other sites link to your content after a while, and Google rewards you for it.
Along with internally linking articles to each other, SEO copywriting focuses on using the right anchor text. They should clearly explain the jump for the reader and can’t be too long.
Can They Write Long-form Content?
The average word count of a blog post is about 500 to 1,000 words. However, that first page of results on Google is usually 1,800 words or longer.
Google wants you to create content that’s in-depth. Each algorithm change focuses on helping it achieve that goal, so ranking long-form content higher is crucial.
In a sense, you’re telling Google that the content has enough information that the searcher wants. SEO writing means that you’re doing this and much more.
Therefore, it’s important to hire an SEO writer who can handle keyword research and craft content that’s made for the reader.
After you’ve created long-form content for your site, you can use that for your social media marketing endeavors. Add links to your site to Facebook and other outlets so that people can click directly on the link and go to the right page.
Have They Ever Ranked Important Keywords Highly on Search Engines?
You should also see examples from the writer to see if they can rank for important keywords. Check out a blog post or two from the past to see if they know how to drive traffic to your site.
In other words, when they write content, it shows up in the SERPs, and you can see that with a Google search.
SEO copywriting isn’t all that challenging, but you need the right content writer for the job. Though that’s all for on-page SEO, that’s still only part of the equation to find a content writer.
The other part is their ability to write things that engage people. They must know how to keep others reading on the page for many minutes (or hours) so that the readers take the action you want. This is the heart of what SEO content writing is all about.
Understands User Experience
An SEO copywriter must know how to keep readers on the page for longer periods because that also improves your rankings in the Google search bar results. Typically, websites with lower bounce rates have higher rankings, but that isn’t always the case.
Ultimately, though, the SEO writing professional must write to rank on the search engine and write to keep the attention span of the target audience.
Creative writing often comes easily for most of these professionals. Then, they can translate all that so that you see organic search results and don’t have to use ads to get at the top of the page.
To see if the writer understands the user experience, look for these things in their samples:
Intros and Headlines to Hook Readers
An SEO writer needs to be expert enough to realize which opening paragraphs and headlines work. It’s not hard to spot these for SEO writing purposes. Just look at their blog writing samples. If the intros and titles don’t hook you, they aren’t likely to do much for the target audience, either.
Explainer Visuals and Images
Typically, SEO articles with one image or more outperform content that doesn’t have images. Yes, creative writing is crucial so that people hang onto each line and crave more. However, that’s not all you must do for SEO writing.
With that, though, the images must be relevant. Many times, that means including explainer images, so watch for those in the samples.
Citing Sources and References
If your company requires technical writing, then there’s a good chance that the writer must cite references and sources in the work.
With SEO copywriting, it’s often better to include studies and statistics to make the point stronger. This is often explanatory. When checking the SEO content writing samples, click on the links and ensure that they’re genuine and cited properly.
Do They Use Examples?
Illustrations make it easier to understand things, so SEO writers should be able to explain points with various examples.
To check the SEO content writing samples, search it for words like “illustration,” instance,” or “example.”
Blog writing is an art form, and most of the time, the writer is talking about something the reader doesn’t know much about. Therefore, this is crucial.
Reasons to Hire Professionals for SEO Writing
Every copywriter and digital marketer isn’t an SEO writer. Think of it like this: a chef knows how to cook, but you probably don’t use them to build the kitchen itself.
Companies require SEO writing services that have plenty of experts to choose from. These people are specialists and are masters in their field. You might have a niche writer to provide engaging content or write social media posts, but an SEO writer makes sure it reaches the audience.
You must be clear and know exactly what you want (someone trained in SEO writing). Otherwise, you jeopardize the chances of the blog posts getting read. All the money, effort, and time you took the produce the content is for nothing if it can’t be found by users who want to read it.
The key here is that SEO writing is not a fad, and it’s not dead. This is a serious and lucrative industry that’s been growing since the 1990s. Professional writers are trained to write content that gets noticed. While there might not be a school they can attend, there are various courses and guides out there to help them become better writers.
Up-to-date on Latest SEO Practices
Though your goal is to see more organic traffic, SEO copywriting must take a lot of things into account to do that well. This means that the writer must develop and learn while the industry evolves. SEO is a fast-paced business.
The best resources and techniques today might be redundant in a few weeks or months. Therefore, the writer needs to stay atop the trends while they’re developing.
SEO experts can’t drop the ball. It’s too competitive of an industry, and the best writers know about this and focus on new ways the search engines rank articles and websites.
Whether your goal is to get more content for social media posts or something else, the end-user is the most important SEO practice to consider. Readers should be the target for well-optimized content, but now SEO content writing also focuses on how users interact with the technology used to read the content (such as a smartphone).
Therefore, you need someone with specialized skills to get the job done right. A committed SEO expert can use their knowledge to be more proficient and efficient.
Though the goal is to make sure the content reads well, it’s also there to boost your rankings. There are tools that each SEO expert uses to make their job easier and faster.
The Search Console from Google is a good example. The information is all there, but a professional knows how to view the site analytics and indexing stats correctly. What’s more, these specialists can optimize the web content locally, nationally, and internationally.
Readers Are Happier
Search engines favor relevant and readable content. When you optimize articles, it ensures that readers have a better user experience and that their search intent was met.
Google uses its technology to review the quality of all the content out there. SEO works on various levels by focusing on readability, relevancy, and clarity of the content, so SEO copywriting is there to make it shine.
Well-executed SEO strategies can also promote a better user experience, which translates to them returning often to view more content.
Build More Trust for Your Brand
There are so many brands competing on social media and through the websites to get high-level rankings. Therefore, you must stay ahead of the competition.
When you hire an SEO writer with a proven track record, your content and brand stand apart from the crowd. This isn’t a one-off thing, though. You must consistently hire the writers to write content and optimize it for the web so that you can build more trust in your brand.
Users may have just stumbled across an article you produced because it was the first result. From there, though, they could return to the website many times if you have optimized content that calls to them.
Competition for readers is exceptionally high, and the internet is full of copycats who want to steal your articles and repost them.
If your original article ranks well, Google can tell when others copy or steal from you and lowers their overall ranking.
Can Pick the Right Keywords
Keyword research is crucial for SEO copywriting. The writer needs to know what people are searching for, but they also have to choose a primary keyword with a lower search volume.
You might like “SEO expert” as your targeted keyword, but there are thousands of articles on that already. Therefore, you’re automatically ranked lower in the results. If you focus more on another term within the industry, you have a better keyword optimization rating for that word.
Broader terms are competitive, so you want long-tail and niche keywords to stand apart from the crowd.
Knows How to Focus Pages to Rank Better
Good content isn’t just about keyword selection. The focus needs to be narrow, and the text must support that focus.
In other words, SEO copywriting is about creating content that talks about a specific topic and nothing else. That way, it ranks higher in the search results and gives you more website visitors.
Can Skillfully Weave in Keywords
Apart from knowing the best target keyword phrases, the SEO content writer must also know how often to use the words and where to place them for optimal effectiveness. The copy shouldn’t sound awkward and must appeal to the visitors and search engines.
Professionals leverage every opportunity to use the keyword but ensure readability at all times, too. Again, this plays into search volume a bit, as well. It’s important to use a term or phrase that isn’t as popular so that you rank higher for it.
However, if the piece is stuffed with keywords, readers click off, and the search engine is likely to rank you lower because you’re “cheating” the system.
Incorporates Keywords into Subheadings and Headlines
The right SEO writer knows how to incorporate the target keywords into the headlines and subheadings. Content writing isn’t just about the body of the piece. You must have a title that grabs the reader’s attention. With that, subheadings are crucial so that the reader can skim and find the section they need most.
On top of everything else, headings can break up the text, so there’s more white space. Google rewards that because it focuses on readability and the user experience. In a sense, they carry more weight than the body text when it comes to ranking high on search engines, so they must be crafted correctly.
Writes Meta-description and Title Tags
Meta descriptions are the information inserted into the heading of the webpage. The meta description is the bit of text under your title tag that tells the reader what they can expect.
SEO copywriting focuses on the meta description because Google does, as well. If you want more traffic, make sure that these tags and descriptions are optimized with the main keyword, too. That way, you see better results.
Understands Lengths for Each Page
When the website content is too short, it isn’t likely to rank well. You must show Google that you are a resource with plenty of depth and information. However, if the SEO content is too long, the reader gets bored and clicks off your site to another one.
Ultimately, the trick here is to be useful. You must be relevant to the user’s needs at that moment and give people the answers they seek. The right professional understands this and doesn’t use filler or fluff language.
Can Write Links Effectively
You should include links in the content that are compelling to readers. However, they must also be optimized for the search engine. Most of the time, the SEO content writer chooses the “click here” phrase, but this is a lost opportunity and could hurt your site’s ranking. Instead, the links must include the words related to the page’s focus on the keywords.
SEO copywriting focuses a lot on internal links. That way, this page goes to another with even more relevant content. You’re inviting the reader to learn more, but they’re not obligated to do so.
With that, though, external links are also crucial. These are the ones that go from your site to another. It often seems counterintuitive, but professionals know that it tells Google you offer a valid source of information and want the reader to get the full picture on the subject matter.
Analyzes the Competition and Uses Those Weaknesses to Benefit You
Content writing is all about choosing the right keywords, and it’s harder to do than you realize. The first step is to analyze the competition and see what keywords they’re targeting.
If the competitor’s site doesn’t rank well for a particular keyword phrase that is seeing a lot of searches on Google, this is an opportunity for you to produce better web content.
Typically, SEO content writers don’t do all that work. You do it yourself and provide them with the right keywords to use. From there, they may add other words or phrases that fit the same topic but are slightly different to improve your rankings.
On top of that, SEO writing focuses on choosing keywords that are relevant and specific. For example, if you’re a lawyer in San Francisco, there’s no way you can rank for the term “lawyer.” You must be creative with your keyword selection so that people can find you instead of all the other attorneys in the area.
Understands How to Craft Landing Pages
Landing pages are sometimes called lead capture pages. They appear when the potential customer clicks an advertisement or the search result link. This page often displays content that’s a logical extension of the link or advert, so it should be optimized for those specific phrases and keywords.
Typically, these pages are designed to convert visitors into paying customers. They have a very focused subject matter and might offer a freebie, such as access to a webinar or a free report.
The website content on these pages is crucial, and SEO writing plays a big part here. Your goal is to see more website traffic, but that’s not all. You also want people to sign up for the newsletter or buy something.
When you’re optimizing content for these pages, you’re boosting your conversion rate optimization percentages, as well. People are doing what you want because of the SEO content you crafted and provided them.
Doesn’t Try to Trick Major Search Engines/Uses White-hat Techniques
Since your goal is to get more website traffic, it’s tempting to push your phrases and keywords by putting them in too many times. However, a professional content writer knows that keyword stuffing doesn’t lead to more organic traffic and could even hurt your rankings.
SEO writing must focus on white hat techniques that convey information clearly, communicate your company’s capabilities and strengths, and convert the visitors into prospects/leads/sales.
Professionals have spent years honing the craft and understand the best practices out there. These are proven to work well with time.
Getting SEO content writers with all the skills necessary is possible. When you do hire them, you get high-quality content and higher search rankings for the content.
Writing blog posts can be done by any freelance writer, but writing SEO content isn’t necessarily the same thing. If your goal is to boost your digital marketing efforts, it might be time to work with content writing services.
These writers don’t come cheap, but they’re essential if you want to boost sales and conversions. When you do find potential writers, make sure you check their samples and compare them with the guide. Now that you know why SEO writers are so important, it’s time to find one!