As a freelance SEO copywriter, the majority of your time will not actually be taken up with writing. That’s the easy bit. The majority of your time will probably be taken up with staring for hours at page after page of Internet research.
A good brief will include URLs that you can refer to for research or to get an understanding of the client that you are working for. However, much of the time the research aspect of a brief is down to the individual SEO copywriter. It is up to you, as a professional copywriter, to do your own research.
Where does a good SEO copywriter start their research? Online of course!
Start by learning how to use search engines properly. Typing in a single word as a search will yield pages and pages of results, of which 99% will be completely useless. The best way to narrow down your research field is to type in a specific question. An example: if you have been asked to do some SEO copywriting on the use of Pay-Per-Click advertising as an SEO tool, then instead of just typing in the phrase Pay-Per-Click, be more specific, such as ‘how does Pay-Per-Click compliment SEO?’ The more information and keywords you give the search engine to work with, the more accurate your results will be.
Choose your sources wisely
The vast majority of information on the Internet is rubbish, hearsay or unverified opinion. If you’re a web or SEO copywriter then Wikipedia is a probably a particular favourite of yours, and for many it is often the first port of call for information about a given topic.
However, Wikipedia is written by everybody and anybody, so the information contained on this extraordinary site is often subject to ‘verification’. Verification translates as ‘it could be right, but hey, it’s anyone’s guess if it actually is accurate!’ Wikipedia can be a useful tool, but the best advice when using it as a resource is always cross-reference with other sites, preferably verified sites specific to the topic.
Watch dodgy translations!
Be particularly aware of sites that have been translated from other languages. The Internet translation software can be quirky to say the least, and yes, things do get lost in translation.
To conclude, our advice to any SEO copywriter is never rely solely on one site for your research, no matter how much you may think you’ve hit the motherload. Check, check and check again. Then you can start writing.