Writing SEO-friendly content can be a challenge when you do it for your own company. It's even more difficult when another company asks you to do it for them. Not only are you tasked with writing SEO-enhanced content, but you're doing so for a company--possibly an entire industry--that you're not familiar with. 

 This is where a client call makes a world of difference. Well, can make a world of difference. Like the copy you plan to write, you need to make sure you optimize your time on the phone with the client and get as much out of the call as possible. 

Know the Customer 
When you write for a client, you're writing for their customer. That's your audience and that's who you need to get to know. In order for the copy to be successful and generate conversions, you're going to have to speak to that customer. 

Some questions to ask:

  • Who are your customers?
  • Why do customers choose you?
  • What are the most common questions you hear from customers?
  • What benefits do your customers get from your products?
  • What is the typical process your customers go through?
  • What kind of feedback do you get from your customers? 
 Know the Client When asked to write SEO-friendly copy for a client, you're essentially ghostwriting for them. That means you'll have to drop your personal style of writing and adopt their brand and their tone. Of course, that's much easier said than done. But there are a few questions that you can ask on the call to get you heading in the right direction. 

  1. Do you like the site's current voice? 
  2. Do you have any current marketing materials to review? 
  3. Who are your competitors? 
  4. What separates you from the competition? 
  5. Have you found any approaches to be particularly successful/unsuccessful? 
  6. Do you have any new promotions coming up? 
  7. How do you follow-up with your customers? 
  8. Do you collect reviews and can you share them? 
Be Ready with Suggestions 
Naturally, when you write for a client who you've never worked with before, there's going to be some back and forth. They may not see things exactly how you see them. And in the end, they're paying for the service so they have the final say. With that said, if you have some suggestions ready to discuss on the phone before you actually start working on the content, you can save yourself both time and money. This will also provide you with a little direction to run with your notes.

August 24, 2012

Todd Bailey is Director of Search, Media and PR with Gen3 Marketing and US Brand Ambassador for Majestic SEO. Also, Founder/Editor of pushStar.com


Hi Todd. You are so right! You have to make very good use of your time on those phone calls. Inevitably the writer will miss (or misinterpret) something the client meant to say. That's why I always follow up by sending a questionnaire with about 20 questions regarding the customer's brand, competition, etc. I find that the customer who takes the time to answer the self assessment is much happier with the finished writing.

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Search Engine Guide > Todd Bailey > Copywriting Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Client Calls