There are more companies offering SEO copywriting services than ever before—and for good reasons. According to CMI, 48 percent and 45 percent of B2B and B2C marketers, respectively, plan to outsource content creation, including writing, in 2023. CMI quoted one respondent as saying, “There’s a lot we want to do but we lack the resources to do it all.”
This is especially true for SEO, which is something I hear many clients say is “on their list” but hasn’t been started yet. Working with a provider that offers SEO copywriting services can lighten the load while making it possible to improve your organic footprint.
The question is: how do you choose an agency or freelancer that will write high-quality content while also helping you rank in search and increase organic traffic? This is the challenging part because when done right, SEO can be hugely supportive of your brand and website. When done wrong, however, you may see no results, or worse, actually hurt your website and ranking.
You also need to consider their strategy, process, and industry knowledge, among other factors. When you know what to look for, however, you can easily assess your options and find the one that will get results and do great work along the way.
Here are a few questions to consider as you interview different agencies and freelancers offering SEO copywriting services.
First, Know What You Need
Before you can evaluate the SEO copywriting services from any person or company, you have to get clear on what you need. Do you have a strategy and just need writing support? Are you looking for someone to own the entire strategy and execution?
This ensures that you know what to look for. Here are a few questions to ask about your current team or company resources to figure this out:
- Do you have the knowledge to develop a strategy?
- Are you able to facilitate keyword research?
- Will you be planning and managing the content calendar?
- Do you have the resources to edit the content?
- Will you need support publishing the content?
How to Evaluate Providers for SEO Copywriting Services
Once you’re ready to do your research, have initial conversations, and get pricing, here are the questions I recommend asking potential providers.
1. Do you know our industry?
First and foremost, the person or agency you use needs to be able to naturally and effectively speak to your audience. While the optimization aspect of this work is critical, creating a connection with the reader while also educating is just as important.
In fact, more than half of all respondents in Ogilvy’s 2020 Wellness Gap report said they are trying to learn more about wellness. Your SEO content is one way to help those potential customers learn about your corner of the wellness world. This helps you provide value and build trust, which leads to conversion.
Working with writers who understand the challenges, language, and needs of your ideal customers and clients will make your content that much better—while requiring less hand-holding from you.
This is why I work with wellness and mental wellness brands. I walk the walk and talk the talk in my personal life. I am the ideal customer or client for many of these brands, which allows me to create strategy and content from a more educated perspective.
2. What tools do you use?
Creating great SEO content requires the right tools for tracking results, doing keyword research, and writing the content itself. As you connect with different people and companies offering SEO copywriting services, it’s important to find out how they do their work, specifically: which tools do they use to facilitate it?
Consider that the tools they use also depend upon how much of the process they’re involved in. An agency like mine does everything from keyword research to writing and publishing, so we use tools like SEMRush to do keyword research and track results.
If you’re just hiring freelance writers, they may only need one or two tools, like Yoast, to make sure the content is properly optimized.
3. What’s your strategy?
If the agency or freelancer does both the strategy and the writing, the answer to this question will give you an understanding of how they get results. Not all SEO experts follow the same strategy and many have honed unique processes after many years of trial and error.
Even if you don’t know much about SEO, a good agency or freelancer will be able to explain what they do in a way that is easy to understand. The goal here is not to become the expert on how to do it but to wrap your mind around how they’ll get the results you’re looking for.
It’s also helpful to look at case studies, which often outline the basic strategies used along with what was achieved. For example, in our Lionel Case Study, you can see that we increased student applications (their conversion point) by 49 percent by writing four SEO-optimized blog posts per month for 10 months. This is our foundational process for most clients who want to see SEO results.
4. How do you work with your clients’ existing processes?
Don’t forget this question if you have a large team or clear and consistent processes already. Can the person or company offering the SEO copywriting services blend into your existing workflow or will you need to adapt to theirs? This question can also give you a sense of how they or their team works. As they answer the question, you might ask yourself:
- Do they seem organized?
- Can they show examples of their workflow?
- Are they flexible in compromising between their process and yours?
5. How do you evaluate success?
This is the most important part of any SEO effort. The only way to know it’s working is by tracking results. While it’s important for wellness brands to focus on metrics that are often hard to define, like connection and education, it’s also necessary to tap into those metrics that are quantifiable. These metrics include organic traffic, keyword rankings, total keywords, conversions from organic, etc.
When evaluating this aspect of the various service providers, ask:
- Do they have sample reporting you can see?
- Which metrics do they deem important?
- How do they report that data back to you?
- How do they use this data to inform their strategy?
This is a non-negotiable if this person or company is managing the strategy. Without this, you’ll struggle to see ROI and connect value to the work.
Not All SEO Copywriting Services Are Created Equal
SEO can be an incredible tool for your brand—but when done incorrectly or poorly, it may simply not work, or at worst, hurt your website. When you find the provider that has the right experience and offering, and also aligns with your business, you’ll love the process and see results.