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Posted 01 January 2007 - 01:09 PM
But I do decline work if I get bad vibes from a client on first contact. Just about all my work (80% ish) comes from referrals so they are filtered for me in the first place so to speak. I would like to think my existing clients wouldn't send me any bad business.
Another issue, is that copywriters seem to ask such a high fee, that they would be taking the lions share of the budget. If I followed the rule of always using a Copywriter, a lot of my jobs would not cost in budget ceiling and therefore not take place. It is not that some clients wont pay, it's that they can't pay that much to include a Professional Copywriter.
So it proceeds as an economy size project or doesn't proceed at all. That's the real world for some of us. Incidentaly, when I made my list, I forgot to add that I frequently do the Photoshoot as well.
Posted 02 January 2007 - 08:50 AM
If the budget just wasn't going to be there for professional copywriting services I always did the work to get them started, but also always told them that somewhere down the road they would definitely want to set aside some money in their budget to hire a professional seo copywriter. Not necessarily for every page of their site, but definitely for their most important ones. Home page, most-used landing pages, sales page, etc. I could usually at least give them a ballpark figure of the cost of some basic copywriting, so they would know what to be prepared for. As part of this I also mentioned that they would want to do some conversion testing to make sure they weren't leaving any easy money on the table. Rolling it all into one fee for them to attempt to put aside for future work.
This approach helped them to get started and making some money fairly quickly. But also put them firmly in the mindset that it's a longterm process. They all seemed to appreciate that I was concerned about staying within their initial budget and was looking out for their longer term interests. And brought me a lot of repeat business.
Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:16 AM
I am already with you on those points. The main problem comes with the ones who are reluctant to get away from their Market Sector Expert Terms that Joe public probably doesn't fully understand and if he did, wouldn' ask a search engine for it anyway. It takes some mind training to think from the Seekers perspective and less from the providers fancy terminology. It's almost as if they consider it dumbing down to use everyday language to describe a solution to an everyday need or problem.
Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:34 AM
I'd set up conversion tracking on their phrases and my phrases, then a few weeks/months later they'd see they were getting 400 times more conversions on my phrases than on theirs. Even for the extremely hard headed it's difficult to ignore real numbers that equate to real dollars.
Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:36 PM
Clients need a lot of hand holding. Stats are a good way to approach the problem, but even then, some clients have trouble waiting for the stats to accumulate meaningful data, so they go check their rankings. It's like trying to walk somebody with a fear of heights over a rope bridge. You say "don't look down," but they can't resist and then they start to freak out.
Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:42 PM
Diplomacy and insistence do not co-exist readily.
Posted 02 January 2007 - 05:27 PM
I know, I know...easier said than done.
I'm a little bummed right now because I just sent a proposal to a potential client who I thought really "got it" when we were talking on the phone previously. But judging from his questions about the proposal, and "what about moving this particular phrase from #38 to #10?" I guess he didn't.
He's got a huge site with tons of content and so many opportunities to improve the site overall, and in turn increase traffic significantly. But he's interested in his pet phrases, even though I'm pretty sure I already went over that on the phone originally.
Posted 03 January 2007 - 06:44 PM
Hi Jill, in typical cases this makes sense--and even more so after reading a lot of what you've written. I'm working for a client now though where rankings are all that matter to them. They are a B2B company and a person needs an already established relationship with them in order to order their products through the website (they are in a position that they don't even want leads generated from their website). Therefore, if any sales are generated via search engine traffic, it's very indirectly and almost insignificant (this is measured). They are however very concerned with the ranking of their family of sites because there is another site that has negative commentary about the company. Some of the commentary about this large company is justified and some of it absurd (but a few negatives always get more attention than 99% positives as we know). There are many more details that support the importance of ranking in this specific case, but this posting will become too long. I'm convinced if you know all the details that you would agree that ranking is important in this case and that there aren't any ethical boundaries being broken in the approach to address their 'PR' (public relations) problem.
Anyway, as a result, they obviously want their sites to be more prominent in the search engine rankings for certain key search terms than the negative 'tabloidish' sites. As a result, they are making their sites the best quality with the most useful educational content that they can--not a bad way to address the issue.
I'm aware of a few other companies that are concerned with ranking because of this actually. It all goes back to what affects sales of course, and in this case it can affect sales indirectly. Though at first it may sound counter-intuitive, a poor ranking for their sites hurts sales much more than better rankings increase sales (their leads and customers don't come from web searches about the company but leads and customers perform web searches about the company).
Again, I think your good advice about the secondary importance of ranking applies at least 90% of time.
Posted 03 January 2007 - 07:57 PM
Posted 03 January 2007 - 09:20 PM
AMEN! I am certainly not an SEO.
#2 It's either "copy" or "text." It's not copy text. They mean the same thing.
#3 Never, ever use the exact same outline or formula or template to write copy for every client you have. Not all businesses are the same. Not all customers are the same. Not all search terms are the same. Therefore, not all copy (or even the page structure for all copy) should be the same if you want it to work well to convert visitors.
#4 I agree with Randy in that at LEAST the home page of every site should be professionally written. Most copywriters will take pages one or two at a time as the client has the funds.
#5 In all this talk about H tags, ALT tags and page structures, I've not heard very much talk about the visitor's experience. That is first and foremost. You can get traffic from any number of sources, online or off, but you can only convert visitors to paying customers via copy. That copy might take the form of written words on a page, narration of a Flash or streaming video presentation, etc., but it's the copy that sells in 90% of the cases.
That's my 2 cents worth.
Posted 03 January 2007 - 10:36 PM
'twas worth at least a buck!
Posted 06 January 2007 - 01:16 AM
Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:18 AM
Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:35 AM
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