How To Hire The Best Freelance Writer For Your SEO Efforts
A few weeks ago, we gave you the lowdown on what to look for in a great real estate SEO expert, where content development was a clear underlying theme. In today's world of SEO, publishing valuable content on your site is the very foundation of SEO success. But not just any content will do; it needs to be valuable, informative, and enjoyable to read.
Unfortunately, finding a reliable freelance writer with industry knowledge, local expertise, and great grammar chops can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
If you've hired an SEO expert to help you take your site to the next level, you're going to need some top-notch content to complement their efforts. That being said, not all writers are created equal, and the time it takes your SEO specialist to fix any grammatical blunders, correct area information, and replace duplicate content is time that could have been better spent on making impactful optimizations.
Here are some important qualities to look for and techniques to use when you're looking for the right copywriter:
They Have A Good Understanding Of SEO & Writing For The Web
The term "copywriter" encompasses all forms of content, from newspaper ads to press releases. Writing for the web is vastly different than a newspaper article or ad jingle and your writer should be well aware of these differences.
When writing for the web, you want your content to be concise yet informative, to be easily scannable, and to include call-to-action prompts to start a conversion.
Above all, make sure your content looks flawless on mobile devices.
Your writer doesn't need to be an SEO expert, but having a basic understanding of keyword usage and interlinking will make the job of optimizing your content much more efficient for your SEO expert.
They Ideally Live Nearby
Your website is going to be filled with local information, so why not hire someone who knows the area like the back of their hand?
Local copywriters can provide insight into the neighborhood that can't currently be found online—and that's exactly what's going to take your site to the next level. Pair this compelling content with proper keyword usage and mobile-friendly design and your users won't want to go anywhere else for their real estate search.
They Should Be Interested In Your Success
A good freelance writer will want to glean as much as they can about you, your business, and your industry's niche topics. Someone with a curious personality will likely go the extra mile to do more research to cover the topic in its entirety, thus providing more value to your audience and better user-engagement metrics in your Analytics.
They Must Have A Good Grasp On Grammar
Remember, your writer is writing on behalf of your organization. Whether you're a solo agent, a growing team, or a high-profile brokerage, your content directly reflects your brand on every page and blog post.
In today's world of online search, a good first impression is everything. Nothing shows a lack of professionalism like typos, grammar blunders, and attention to detail.
Now that you know what to look for, here are three things you need to do to find the right person for the job.
- Place a real job posting. To find a truly professional copywriter, you'll need to post to the spaces where they're looking for work. Hiring someone you know who says they can write is like hiring your nephew to sell your home. Sure, he probably could do it, but doing it and doing it well, are not the same thing. In your posting, include what you're willing to pay per article, and be extremely clear about your criteria. Ideally, this will help filter out uninterested applicants.
- Review their sample content. Always request that the applicant send you a sample of his/her work. This will help you narrow down who you want to consider working with.
- Ask for a sample assignment. Your sample assignment should be something your site needs, such as a blog post, community page content, or a resource for your clients. If you're sampling content from a variety of writers, be sure they're each working on something different. It's up to you whether you want to pay them for this or not, but generally speaking, they may be more inclined to produce higher-quality work if they're being compensated fairly for their time. Even if you don't end up hiring the writer, you've paid for the content and can use it on your site.
- Get your SEO expert's opinion. Your SEO expert is going to be optimizing the content, so be sure to loop them in when reviewing the sample content. They'll give you added perspective into the value and quality of the content from a search engine standpoint.
- Hire your favorite candidate!
To maximize your digital marketing efforts, your content should be reflective of your brand in every way possible. With the right content writer, you can maximize your SEO efforts and create a consistent tone for your business from page to page, and ad to ad.