How to work with SEO writers for maximum results?
If you’ve read our guides on content writers and copywriters, you already know we treat SEO Writers as a separate category.
Many content writers have a rudimentary understanding of how to apply SEO best practices to their texts, but that is not enough to classify them as SEO writers.
Experienced SEO writers have the skills and tools to predict if a piece of content hopes to reach Google’s first page or if there is any demand before writing a single letter.
SEO writers are indispensable when trying to generate organic traffic through content writing.
In this guide, you’ll find:
Table of Contents
What is an SEO writer?
An SEO writer is a specialist who understands how to create content that is friendly for both users and search engines. Succeeding in both requires two separate skill sets stacked on each other.
Any good content writer should know how to create an article that is useful and interesting enough to hold the reader’s attention.
An SEO writer takes that skill and adds to it an intimate knowledge of how search engines work to make their article attract organic traffic.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a broad discipline that covers several fields – writing, email outreach, design, and web development.
When all of them follow Google’s (or whatever search engine you prefer) best practices, the result is a healthy-looking site that naturally attracts and multiplies attention.
SEO writers excel at doing Keyword Research and applying On-Page SEO best practices. In addition, they learn how to use specialized tools that allow them to see all the keyword metrics.
Their ability to understand keywords and predict their performance makes them valuable advisors for businesses wishing to create content and attract organic traffic.
Strengths and Weaknesses of SEO writers
In the following section, we will talk about the strengths and weaknesses of SEO writers in the context of other major writing roles like Content Writers and Copywriters.
Remember that we cannot consider personal experience level or niche expertise, which are always helpful and can be a crucial success factor.
Pros: Predictive Power, Bic Picture Focused, Great Execution
Hiring an SEO writer is like getting a 2-for-1 deal. You get a writer and a researcher who can predict with some certainty whether writing a piece of content is worth your time.
With the right SEO tools, they can easily see which topics are in demand and which attract zero searches. Moreover, they can see how competitive a topic is and judge if your website can compete successfully.
The predictive power that comes with SEO goes hand in hand with a more big-picture thought process. The finish line isn’t the end of the article, but beating the competition and reaching Google’s #1 spot.
Understanding the more profound SEO principles changes your perception of good writing and execution. Once you clearly understand what success means and what it takes, you become much better at executing tasks meaningfully.
Cons: Number Crunchers, Engine-Minded
SEO writers can easily get bogged down in keyword research. This often happens when they lack specific direction, and their research goes all over the place.
You can see them looking over hundreds, if not thousands, of rows of keywords to check where the best opportunities lie. Although a necessary part of the research process, it can make SEO writers lost in the numbers.
The very job description of SEO writers requires them to balance their attention between serving humans and search engines.
Many SEO writers fall into the trap of downplaying the importance of the user experience and focus instead exclusively on search engine ranking factors.
In the SEO world, it makes perfect sense to create a 9,000-word behemoth of an article, even though no one will sit through all of it. But Google likes it, and that’s enough.
How to hire SEO writers?
Finding SEO writers
As with other freelancers, you can easily find writers in Social Media Groups, specifically on Linkedin and Facebook. You can also look into job platform websites like Upwork and Fiverr.
Lastly, you can just Google their services, and agencies are sure to sprout. Although agencies may be more reliable on average than freelancers, they may still fail to bring you the desired results but will never fail to overcharge you.
Selecting SEO writers
The proof is in the pudding. An SEO Writer or Consultant is one of the most critical roles for growing your business organically. It’s like hiring a mountain guide to take you up the mountain or to Google’s #1. Look for 3rd party reviews, ask for proof of previous results, and see if they own a website. Working with an SEO writer is a long-term commitment, so ensure you’ve got the right one.
Paying SEO writers
Paying SEO writers is not always straightforward due to the complicated nature of their work. Since they offer a broad package of services, the most common way is to pay by project or keep them as a retainer, which is the same but ongoing. In addition, many of their services are cyclical, while others must be done only once.
I advise avoiding paying SEO writers per word because what they write is only a fraction of the brainpower they bring to the team. It’s not the fish but the knowledge of fishing that makes them valuable.
Alternatively, you can also pay them per hour, but it can be tricky to get the correct estimate. This is because not all the hours they spend on your project have the same impact. However, agreeing on hourly pay can be an excellent way to prepare to bring them into your team full-time.
When to keep an SEO writer full-time?
The more you do SEO, the more you realize it’s about volume. While beginner blogs are figuring out how to push 5 articles to form a content cluster and create some topic authority, big brands are figuring out how to coordinate hundreds of blog posts and landing pages.
To create blog content, you need an SEO writer full-time. One is enough to coordinate and manage a team of a few content writers, which would be enough to get you seriously started. When your demand for content increases, get an extra SEO who can work with more writers etc.
How to onboard SEO writers?
Share your data
As researchers, SEO writers thrive on data. Without it, they are blind. Thus, a good starting point for onboarding SEOs is sharing your Google Analytics or Search Console data.
Help them integrate into your team.
As mentioned earlier, SEO is multidisciplinary and is not a one-man job. An SEO writer works best when paired with a web developer, who can assist them in the technical task, and an email outreach team, who can constantly grow the SEO machine.
Be specific about your goals.
There is no universal best keyword. Their value is always relative and situational. Thus, choosing which opportunities to pursue is a crucial decision. Succeeding in SEO is about creating a comparative advantage for your business. You need to compete asymmetrically to beat a larger company with more resources. Help your SEO understand how you can do that.
For more details about onboarding, check out our guide ‘How to develop new writers effectively from zero to hero in 3 steps?’!
Final words on SEO writers
Skilled SEO writers can help you grow your business organically from scratch. They are big-picture thinkers who leverage their research skills to achieve long-term gains. However, they can get too focused on the engine side of writing.
If you’re not sure if you need an SEO writer, you can also check out our “Do I need a writer” guide. Finally, I hope you enjoyed the read!