How Do SEO Copywriters Know When Their Work Actually Makes a Difference?

I got this question yesterday from a Wealthy Web Writer reader and wanted to share it with you …

She also wanted to know if copywriters should work only with clients willing to measure and share their SEO results.

I spoke to SEO expert Heather Lloyd-Martin and here’s what I learned …

It’s actually the same as working with any other client. Sometimes, clients will tell you what kind of results you drove. Other times, the clients won’t provide that information. And of course, SEO copywriting (like any kind of web writing) is only one piece of the pie, and a lot of other variables influence conversions, rankings, etc.

However you shouldn’t bounce a client just because they don’t/won’t/can’t share results with you – that would be leaving money on the table!

But in general, here are some measurement criteria:

  1. Search rankings. That is, you targeted X keyphrase, and after the page was uploaded, the page’s position rose to #(whatever). This assumes that either you or the client checked the page’s search rankings as a baseline.
  2. If it’s a blog post, sometimes you can measure effectiveness by the number of comments.
  3. Time on site is always good. If you know that people are leaving a page after 10 seconds – and you write something so fantastic that people are staying longer on the page/site, that’s normally a good sign (although it can be a bad sign if conversions suddenly go down).
  4. Unique page views, although this can be misleading. It’s not always a good idea to have MORE traffic, as it could be untargeted traffic. For instance, increased page views are what publisher clients live for – an ecommerce company is looking for sales. That’s why it’s always nice to have …
  5. Conversion data. Did the prospect take whatever action step you wanted them to take (whether that means buying something, or clicking through to the next page).

That should help you evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts – for yourself and your client!

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Published: February 5, 2009

1 Response to “How Do SEO Copywriters Know When Their Work Actually Makes a Difference?”

  1. Good list. It reminds me of a comment in another course about asking the client what result they expect to see from the copy you are writing. My favorite read on measuring results is the blog Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik.

    Beth Robinson


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