How to Screen and Recruit the Best SEO Content Writers


It’s straightforward to discover writers; they’re in every single place — from a one-second Google search to asking on LinkedIn.

But hiring the greatest ones? That’s the daunting process entrepreneurs and enterprise homeowners face. And you don’t simply want writers, you want distinctive SEO content material writers.

Mainly as a result of that’s what Google (aka the largest site visitors driver of most websites) has clearly been clamoring for since their Panda replace in 2011, RankBrain in 2015, and their “Fred” replace (and by the means, Gary Illyes from Google coined “Fred’ for each unnamed Google replace) in March, 2017.

It’s apparent how every of those main updates communicates Google’s choice for glorious SEO writers:

If you are a frequent Moz reader, you most likely understand how they work — but when not: Panda penalizes each webpage with content material that provides little to no worth to individuals on-line, giving extra visibility to content material items that do. On its personal, the RankBrain replace has made Google virtually as sensible as people — when selecting the most related and high-quality content material to rank on web page #1 of search engine consequence pages (SERPs).

The “Fred” replace additional tackled websites with low-quality content material that are not doing something past offering info that’s already accessible on the web. It additionally penalized websites that prioritized income above person expertise.

After this replace, 100+ websites noticed their site visitors drop by 50 % to 90 %.

It is obvious that Google has, by means of these core updates, been requiring manufacturers, publishers, and entrepreneurs to work with SEO content material writers who know their onions; the ones who understand how to write with on-page SEO mastery.

But how do you discover these distinctive wordsmiths? Without a plan, you’ll have to display screen tens (and even a whole bunch) of them to discover those that are a superb match.

But let’s make it simpler for you. Essentially, your best SEO writers ought to have two key traits:

  1. Good on-page SEO experience
  2. An excellent eye for person expertise (i.e. including related pictures, formatting, and many others.)

A author with these two abilities is a good SEO author. But let’s dig a bit deeper into what which means.

(Note: this publish is about hiring distinctive SEO content material writers — i.e., wordsmiths who do not want you monitoring them to do nice work. So, issues can get a bit techie as you learn on. I’ll be assuming your best author understands or is accountable for issues like formatting, on-page SEO, and appropriately importing content material into your CMS.)

1. On-page SEO data

By now, what on-page SEO is. But if not, it’s merely the components you placed on a web site or internet web page to let search engines like google perceive that you’ve content material on particular subjects individuals are looking for.

So, how have you learnt if a author has good on-page SEO data?

Frankly, “Can you send me your previous writing samples?” is the best query to ask any author you’re contemplating hiring. Once they present their samples, have them stroll you thru each, and ask your self the following questions:

Question A: Do they’ve ‘focus keywords’ of their earlier samples?

Several components come into play when attempting to rank any web page, however your best author should understand how to maintain issues down on the key phrase aspect of issues.

Look by means of their samples; see if they’ve optimized any content material piece for a selected key phrase in the previous so you may know in the event that they’ll have the opportunity to do the identical on your content material.

Question B: How do they use title tags?

Search engines use title tags to detect the headings in your content material.

You know the way it works: put “SEO strategy” — for instance — in just a few, related headings on a web page and search engines like google will perceive the web page is educating SEO technique.

Essentially, your best SEO author ought to perceive how to use them to enhance your rankings and appeal to clicks out of your potential clients in search outcomes.

Are title tags actually that necessary? They are. Ahrefs, as an example, made their title tag on a web page extra descriptive and this alone upped their site visitors by 37.58%.

So, look by means of the titles in your candidate’s samples, particularly the h1 title. Here’s what you must search for when inspecting how a candidate makes use of HTML tags:

i. Header tags ought to, ideally, not be greater than 60 characters. This is to keep away from outcomes that appear like this in SERPs:

(three dots in entrance of your titles constitutes dangerous UX — which Google frowns at)

ii. The subheadings ought to be h2 (not essentially, nevertheless it’s a plus)

iii. Headings beneath subtopics ought to be h3 (additionally not obligatory, nevertheless it’s a plus)

Look for these qualities in your candidate’s work and you’ll have the opportunity to verify that they correctly implement title tags of their content material, and can do the identical for you.

But some writers might not have management over the title tags of their printed works — that’s, the websites they wrote for most likely didn’t give them such entry. In this case, request samples they printed on their very own web site, the place they really have management over these tags.

Question C: What do they find out about inner linking?

Orbit Media as soon as shared how they used inner linking to shoot a weblog publish from place #29 up to #four.

So, it’s necessary that your writers understand how to contextually hyperlink to your older content material items whereas writing new content material. And it really works for good cause; inner linking helps you:

  • Communicate the relevance and worth of your pages to Google (the extra hyperlinks a web page will get, the extra authority it has in Google’s eyes)
  • Demonstrate to Google that your web site accommodates in-depth content material about any particular matter
  • Tell Google your web site has straightforward navigation — which implies it has good UX and is well-structured.

Internal linking is a significant key to search rating, so that you want writers who’ve inner linking of their pocketful of instruments. But additionally guarantee they do it utilizing correct anchor texts; in a latest LinkedIn publish, professional editor Rennie Sanusi hinted at two key anchor textual content components to search for in your candidate’s samples:

  • [Anchor texts] ought to clearly clarify the place they will take your reader to
  • [Anchor texts] should not be too lengthy

Question D: Do they write long-form content material?

The common phrase depend of a Google first web page result’s 1,800+ phrases lengthy — in accordance to analysis from Backlinko.

Google has been all about in-depth content material since its inception; you’re most likely accustomed to their mission assertion:

Every algorithm change they make is geared towards reaching this mission assertion, and rating long-form content material helps them in the course of as effectively.

Because, to them, writing longer content material means you’re placing extra info that searchers are on the lookout for into your content material.

So you want writers who can produce long-form content material. Check their samples and verify they understand how to write long-form content material frequently.

Question E: Have they ranked for any necessary key phrases?

Ultimately, you want to see examples of necessary key phrases your best content material author has ranked for in the previous. This is the utmost take a look at of their capacity to truly drive search site visitors your means.

That’s it for locating writers who know on-page SEO. But as , that is just one a part of the abilities that makes an ideal SEO content material author.

The different necessary bit is their capacity to write content material that engages people. In different phrases, they want to understand how to maintain individuals studying a web page for a number of minutes (and even hours), main them to take actions which can be necessary to what you are promoting.

2. An excellent eye for person expertise

Keeping readers on a web page for lengthy durations additionally improves your rating.

In the aforementioned Backlinko examine, researchers analyzed 100,000 websites and discovered that “websites with low average bounce rates are strongly correlated with higher rankings.”

And what which means; your best SEO author mustn’t solely write to rank on search engines like google, they need to additionally write to appeal to and maintain the consideration of your target market.

So, search for the following of their samples:

Headlines and introductions that hook readers

You want writers who’re professional sufficient to know the varieties of headlines and opening paragraphs that work.

It’s not a tough talent to spot; look by means of their samples. If their titles and introductions don’t hook you, they most likely gained’t hook your viewers. It’s actually that easy.

Explainer pictures and visuals

The report additionally revealed that: “Content with at least one image significantly outperformed content without any images.”

But in fact, they’ve to be related pictures (or different visible varieties). And many instances (if not most of the time), which means explainer pictures — so look out for these of their samples. And there are two examples of explainer pictures:

Example #1: Explainer pictures with textual content and pointers

This one has components (an arrow and a textual content) on it, explaining how the picture is related to the matter the content material is about.

Example #2: Explainer pictures with out textual content and pointers

Why does this picture not have any textual content or arrows on it? It’s a self-explanatory screenshot, that is why.

As lengthy because it’s used appropriately — the place the “online sales of Nike products” is talked about in the content material — it will get its message throughout.

In common, your best SEO writers want to understand how to use instruments like Skitch and Canva to create these pictures. Remember, you are on a hunt for the distinctive ones.

References and citing sources

Your best author ought to hyperlink to stats or research that make their factors stronger. This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Check the hyperlinks of their samples and ensure that they cite real sources.

Examples

Illustrations make understanding simpler. Especially in the event you’re in a technical trade (and most industries have their geeky aspect), your best author ought to understand how to clarify their factors with examples.

Simply search their samples — utilizing Command + F (or Ctrl F in the event you’re utilizing Windows) — for “example,” “instance,” or “illustration.” This works, because writers usually mention things like “for example,” or “for instance” when offering illustrations.

Excellent SEO content material writers = Higher search rankings

Getting SEO content material writers who’ve all the abilities I’ve talked about on this article are attainable to discover. And hiring them means greater search rankings on your content material. These writers are, once more, in every single place. But right here’s the factor — and you’ve most likely heard it earlier than: You get what you pay for.

Exceptional SEO content material writers are your greatest guess, however they’re not low-cost. They can ship your search site visitors by means of the roof, however, such as you: They need to work for individuals who can afford the high quality they supply. So, in the event you’re occurring a hunt for them, prepared your pockets.

But make sure you get their samples and ask the questions on this information as you deem match. If you’re paying for content material that’ll assist you to rank greater on Google, then you definately actually ought to get what you pay for.

Did you discover any of my ideas useful? Let me know in the feedback under!



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