Last Updated on August 5, 2020
Outsourcing SEO copywriting is a big decision. You’re delegating an integral piece of your online marketing. It reflects your business brand and messaging. You know that content is SEO fuel. Therefore, to build rankings you need to publish fresh webpages or blog posts. If you’re finding that internal resources can’t keep up a regular SEO copywriting schedule, outsourcing may be the perfect solution. These tips are designed to help marketing managers leverage hiring of outside writers to generate quality content.
Outsourcing SEO Copywriting Requires Guidelines
Even if you are outsourcing content to an established writer, I recommend that you take the time to create content guidelines or a creative brief. This document typically includes:
- a recap of your company and its point of difference
- a definition of your target audience (demographics, description, knowledge or comprehension level of your topic)
- the objective of the written piece (educate vs. sell)
- the tone that best suits your business brand (business formal, conversational, journalistic, humorous)
- an outline of what to avoid (e.g., referring to or bashing competitors, political references)
- formatting preferences such as subheads, bullets, word count, etc.
- SEO standards for meta data like title tags and meta descriptions
Having a guideline template will help you efficiently outsource content like blog posts, webpages, landing pages, etc. I suggest having a different document for more in-depth assignments like white papers or eBooks. The goals are slightly different and therefore the final product should reflect the overall objective.
Provide Background Information & Sources
When outsourcing SEO copywriting my recommendation is to cultivate a relationship with a writer(s). Unless they already have deep industry knowledge, give them links to information that will get them up to speed quickly. These links can be to general services pages or other source material.
Even if they do have industry experience, I wouldn’t make assumptions. Your creative brief/copywriting guidelines should give clear instructions of what to include or not. Source material could include:
- General services webpages
- Product information
- Industry associations or publications
- Governmental regulations*
- Competitor websites
*Don’t expect your writer to slog through a government regulations document or website. You’re paying for SEO copywriting experience. Research is a valuable skill and may be outside the writing agreement.
Your Editorial Role
It’s your job as an editor to make sure the copy hits the mark. You also need to make sure it’s original. The goal of SEO copywriting is first to connect with your target audience. Optimizing for the search engine bots is secondary. Yes, optimized content contributes to SEO rankings. However, it should be readable and shareable.
If the piece isn’t what you want, go back to your creative brief. Is there something you forgot to include? As an editor, your SEO copywriting role is to make sure the writer has clear SEO copywriting instructions, reference materials, and realistic deadlines. Expect revisions, especially at the beginning. Over time, the process gets easier and faster. Once you have an established relationship with a writer, that’s marketing gold.
Have you outsourced SEO copywriting? Any advice you’d add?