Let’s face it, consistently creating excellent, SEO-friendly content for your B2B company can be a daunting task. The person in charge of creating content in-house may not be a great writer or may not understand SEO. Your in-house writing team may not know the best way to reach your niche market online, or it may simply be cost-prohibitive for your in-house team to work on SEO copywriting. You may have written content in the past that talked past your intended B2B audience, instead of with them.
Whatever the reason, it’s completely normal to need to seek outside help with your B2B SEO copywriting. The challenge becomes how to source the best writer for your needs. It helps to have a clear digital marketing plan, clear KPIs, structured campaigns and goals that you set with your analytics teams, and relevant tie-in to other departments, such as sales, to track your content back to your bottom line.
Once you have a budget in mind (be prepared to adjust your number – quality writing may cost more than you expect), you’re going to need to create a content plan that your SEO copywriter can work from, as well as goals, market segments, keyword and keyphrase lists and more. A great SEO copywriter who really knows your niche can assist with these elements, but the more clarity you have regarding what you want your copy to achieve, the better the results your copywriter can create for you.
Take some time to research your potential SEO copywriter. These days, you don’t have to ask for samples of a person’s writing! Their online footprint, website and blog should clearly showcase their expertise. They should have references, samples online, an active blog and – if applicable for your niche – visible certifications relevant to your industry. A simple search should tell you everything you need to know about your potential shortlist of SEO copywriters.
If you don’t have a short list to pull from, you can seek out help on sites like Elance. However, be forewarned that you will need to double check language fluency and competence. Happily, writer-for-hire sites do some of the due diligence for you. Make sure you do your own as well, however.
The old adage “You get what you pay for” absolutely holds true for creative work. SEO copywriting that is obviously SEO driven and is difficult to read or shallow in content relevance sticks out like a sore thumb. Great SEO copywriting is fluid, focused, deeply niche driven, relevant to the CMO- and CEO-level B2B clients you want to connect with, and current. The SEO aspect of the content should never be obvious. If you use a site like NewsCred to find writers, you can expect to pay from $500 on up for articles and blog posts. Individual copywriters and SEO firms may charge more (or less) depending on experience and location.
Continuously test for quality before and during your SEO copywriting campaign. First, test your SEO copywriter’s knowledge of your niche before you even hire them. After hiring, test their content. Have them write with A/B testing in mind, which will allow you to maximize results as you get analytics results in. As the results come in, test again. Look to see what pieces of content are actually converting, which are generating actions and which are sitting dormant, not performing. Be prepared to adjust on the fly.
The final piece in your successful SEO copywriting outsourcing puzzle is reporting. Reporting should be a two-way street! Most SEO copywriting contracts are long term. You want the writer to report to you at least bi-weekly, touching base with metrics related to your content plan. At the same time, your SEO copywriter needs reporting from you on how their content is performing. This will allow them to adjust their content to get the best results for you.
If all of this seems like a gargantuan task, don’t panic. The hardest part of this process will be finding someone who is well-versed in your niche market. This experience and knowledge is essential in reaching the decision-makers with authoritative, interesting content that helps them through the discovery and purchase process. Great SEO content converts, converts, converts!
About the Author
Author Leslie Poston wrote Social Media Metrics for Dummies, co-authored Twitter for Dummies, and has been writing for hire and leading content marketing initiatives as a consultant since the ’90s. She is Senior Social Media Editor for McKinsey & Company and also runs a content marketing consultancy. She’s an avid Twitter user, so be sure to say hello on Twitter: @leslie
Photo thanks to Christopher (Take Em If You Want Em)
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