Oh yeah…I’ve done that. You’ve just met one of those people who just agree to everything and figure it out later. They can smell the sale and if you asked them if they have any experience shooting pandas in a Chinese forest, they’d probably suggest that they haven’t done it recently but the ‘principles are still the same’. Writing SEO web content is not rocket science but like any trade, experienced practitioners will use a solid process to create and deliver the finished product.
If you’re getting your web content written or rewritten, it’s imperative that you trust your provider, understand their process and how they’ll tackle your job. It‘ll also give you confidence in them as they undertake this often underrated but crucial aspect of online marketing. If they know what they’re doing, they’ll follow a web content process something like this…
My very own SEO web content process….
- Sitemap – to your web content writer, this is the floor plan for your project. It might be just a list of five basic pages or a complete IA (information architecture) document showing where every page fits/connects/links in with every other one. They should ask you for the sitemap first or at least very early on.
- Content interview – this is crucial. On a smaller site (seven pages or less), it’s usually possible to complete the interview over the phone but for a large site, any web copywriter worth their salt will organise a content interview where they’ll cover everything they need to know. They’ll have a Dictaphone or an incredible memory.
- Marketing communications issues – here, your SEO copywriter will get a solid understanding of your business, your marketing message, your audience and the tone you’d like to communicate with online.
- Apply these to the pages – they’ll then ask you about the content of or the facts you’ll find on every page (from the sitemap) and apply the marketing comms principles to these pages as they write the first draft.
- SEO and metadata – no room for spoofers here! Getting found on Google is a serious business so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. For example, while keyword density is a thing of the past, keyword research is not. Keyword research is crucial even in the context of recent Google updates. Your writer should tell you how they’ll be coming up with the keywords and they will also be comfortable writing technical metadata like title tags and meta descriptions for SERPs.
- Now, write the content – the first draft should be about checking facts, omissions, accuracies and more. Once you’ve told them what they’re missing, it’s time to focus on the words/impact and communications aspects. The third draft should be about polishing and tweaking. If you get to the third, fourth and fifth draft and feel like you want to start all over again, alarm bells should start ringing.
- Yes, they can load the content – if you’re a complete novice in the digital marketing world, they may offer to load the content for you once it’s signed off. For example, for clients using WordPress, I’m happy to do this for them as a matter of course unless their web designer prefers to do that themselves.
- Blogging – if they don’t mention blogging or at least try and sell you a ghosted blogging service, it’s likely they don’t have a complete understanding of content marketing. Be careful!
And that’s it. Very successful web content writers may well follow a different process but you can be sure they take all these issues into account. But when you’re hiring your web content writer, it’s crucial they know what they’re doing. If they don’t, you’ll pay the price and not them.
I’ve been writing SEO web content for Irish SMEs for years and if it’s a web copywriter you need, just get in touch.