how to evaluate a copywriting agency

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How To Evaluate An Outsourced Copywriting Agency's Effectiveness

Are you shopping for an outsourced copywriting agency that will help boost your organic traffic and scale your content?

Do you want a consistent SEO-optimized high-quality sales copy that best meets your marketing goals, fits with your internal team, and boost your leads and sales?

And you pay a fraction of the cost of a salaried employee.

Before you hire an agency, one of the most significant steps you must take is to evaluate its marketing effectiveness.

An effective agency uses data-driven insight from your brand, competitors, and target audience to craft a winning copy.

Such a copy is for your target audience, is easy to understand, engaging, persuasive, and aligned to your brand's tone of voice.

Having said that:

What yardstick would you use to measure the marketing effectiveness of the outsourced agency?

In this article, you will learn the main goals brands want to achieve by outsourcing. You will also find out what to look for before you hire an outsourced copywriting agency

Let's get started. 

A simple Google search will turn out so many web copywriters and copywriting agencies.

There are many to choose from, so how do you know which agency would provide the level and type of service you need? 

However, to properly evaluate the copywriting agency that you want to hire, you must have a written copy of the goals you want to achieve.

Why do you want to contract out your copywriting?

Semrush did a study about the reasons why brands outsource. They found out that brands outsource their copywriting to achieve two goals.

And the goals are: boosting organic traffic (90%) and scaling content (60%).

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These two goals require three expertise that contracted copywriting agencies should have:

Expertise That Outsourced Copywriting Agencies Should Have

  • The ability to produce and publish new content consistently. 69% cited as the reason for outsourcing content (lack of time for writing).
  • The expertise needed to create SEO-optimized content. 34% of the survey respondents cited that the reason they outsource (lack of copywriting skills). 
  • Human resources. 33% of respondents said they have in-house marketers, but needed to outsource to scale.

Since most brands want to boost organic traffic and scale content, let's use the ability to consistently produce and publish new content, the expertise needed to create SEO-optimized content.

evaluating a copywriting agency

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Consider The Size Of The Outsourced Copywriting Agency

The size of an outsourced copywriting agency determines its ability to produce and publish new copy consistently.

For instance, if you need hundreds of product descriptions for your website crafted and delivered on time, you will need an agency that will be able to cope with the workload. 

Also, a large team is more likely to have the expert to create an SEO-optimized copy than a small in-house team.

A freelance copywriter or an agency with a small team might be a good fit for your small copywriting project.

However, you would need a copywriting agency with a large team if you have lots of content to produce on a deadline.

And the agency would put its human resources to task on your project.

Find Out What The Copywriting Agency Offers

In our everyday lightning-fast online space where strategic content needs to adjust quickly, variety of copy is the key.

No matter what your copywriting needs are at the moment, they can change in the future.

Therefore, it is efficient, prudent, and less time-consuming to find a copywriting agency that will be a good fit for your content needs now and in the future.

Instead of hiring separate product copywriters, sales copywriters, bloggers, and SEO content specialists, hire an agency with a team of experts to meet all your copywriting needs.

At a minimum, make sure the agency offers the following services:

All of these service offerings are good on themselves. But they work best when they are parts of an overall content marketing strategy.

And you will not need to use all the services when you start. You might start with just one type of copywriting service today, but the capable agency you choose should offer the services you might need down the road as well.

Delve Into The Copywriting Experience Of Your Agency Team

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What kind of experience does your potential agency have in the copywriting you need?

Ask to know whether the agency has experience in your industry.

Having even indirect expertise in your niche will give them an advantage and better insight into your goals and the needs of your target audience.

Learn as much as possible about what the agency thinks about your current strategies, campaigns, and areas for improvement.

Also, find out from them why they would be making those recommendations.

And delve into the details of how they would implement them. Investigative whether they can think strategically before acting.

Get answers as to: Are they a true partner that understands your organization and its tone of voice?

By meticulously delving into their way of thinking and operation, you will uncover how the potential copywriting agency functions.

And above all, hire an agency that would create relevant, engaging, and persuasive copy that provides a measurable return on investment for their clients.

Ask Your Potential Agency About Results And Reporting

As you evaluate the performance of your copywriting agency, you also need to find out the kind of results they will give you.

How will those results be reported to you and how often? Copywriters have access to a wealth of analytics tools.

And with these tools, they can use key performance indicators (KPIs) to create dynamic web pages and relatable, captivating content with a high SEO value.

Here are the three most useful KPIs copywriters use to measure user engagement.

And they also use these insights to build better content for SEO.

1. Time Spent On Page

Time spent on a page is the average time users spend on a particular web page.

It is used to gauge interest in your website traffic.

Nielsen Norman Group research shows that website visitors will leave web pages after only about 10 to 20 seconds.

With high-quality, relevant, and engaging content, you can increase the average time spent on your page.

2. Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking an action, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

If a visitor bounces off your web page, it means the person did not convert. You can also increase your conversion rate if you decrease your bounce rate.

It may be used as Google Ranking Factor.

One industry study found that Bounce Rate was closely correlated to first-page Google rankings.

A high Bounce Rate lets you know that your site (or specific pages on your site) has issues with content, user experience, page layout, or copywriting.

3. Unique Visitors

Unique visitors metric shows each new, individual user your site reaches.

It tracks the effectiveness of your title tags and meta descriptions in search engines.

Find out if your outsourced copywriting agency will use these KPIs in letting you know how good your copy or campaign is doing.

Outsourcing Challenges And How To Overcome Them 

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After choosing an outsourced copywriting agency, some challenges may make your content production process more difficult or ineffective.

And these challenges may hinder you from achieving your goals.

And these are the goals you are focusing on as you outsource your copywriting to an agency.

And those goals are boosting organic traffic and scaling content.

Having said that:

Let us look carefully at each of these bottlenecks and how to overcome them.

#1. Not Understanding Your Brand Voice Or Business Values

Before you can succeed in your outsourced copywriting goals, your agency needs to understand and incorporate your brand voice or business values into your copy.

Business values are what your business stands for. They are your principles or philosophy, your reason for being.

Your values can help steer your business, management, and employees in the right direction. 

But what is a brand voice? 

Brand voice is the unique personality and emotion a brand shows in its communications.

It is in words, language, personality, and images used in your marketing assets.

It helps get your message noticed and makes a lasting impression on the target audience.

However, some brands can not find an outsourced copywriting agency that understands their brand voice or business values.

And this misunderstanding prevents such vital information from being highlighted in the copy.

How To Overcome The Challenge 

To project a consistent brand voice or business values, take the following steps:

Create A Brand Style Guide Book

A brand style guide is essentially an instruction manual. Its focus is on how a brand communicates with its target audience.

It contains specifications on everything that plays a role in the look and feel of the brand.

That includes typography, color schemes, logos, and imagery. 

It guides all your copywriting and content production. The guide includes information about the audience and buyer personas.

Also, it contains the brand voice and tone. 

Share Examples Of How You Want Your Copy

You and your copywriting agency can be on the same page if you share samples of your copy.

Such content should have the same communication style as the copy you intend to produce.

The example could come from your copy, or one belonging to another company. 

Have Your In-House Team Review The Content

To get your outsourced copywriting agency to understand and incorporate brand voice and business values, have your in-house expert check the accuracy of technical details.

If it is a technical copy, the best option may be to hire a copywriting agency with experts in your niche.

 #2. Choosing Topics And Content Tasks

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Many brands struggle with choosing content topics, keywords they want to rank in, or content tasks.

And without knowing the content topics and details, boosting organic traffic and scaling content will not be achieved.

How To Overcome The Challenge

The solution here is to create a content plan with a list of topics.

But what is a content plan?

A content plan is a written document that determines the content you hope to create.

It also sets expectations on how to craft the copy.

A solid content plan identifies who is responsible for producing the content. It also outlines the purpose of the content.

And how it will impact the overall content strategy of the brand.

It targets the target audience at all stages of their buyer journey.

After creating the content topics and tasks, it becomes much easier and faster to craft the copy.

Here are ways to find blog post ideas:

Start With Your Target Audience And Products Or Services Benefits

Who are you targeting with your content? Have you defined your buyer persona?

Once you have determined your target audience, research the keywords you will use to generate organic traffic.

And after you find popular keywords, brainstorm topic and titles ideas.

Use the Buzzsum tool to come up with content ideas.

Use Ubersuggest, a free online tool to generate keyword ideas to improve and expand your content marketing strategy. 

As you are doing your research, think of the main benefits of your products or services.

And the pain points of your target audience and how your products or services solve their problems.

Create broad pillar topics. Use outsourced copywriting agencies, SEO copywriting, or outsourced content writing services as an example.

Come Up With 6-10 Pillar Topics 

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Use SEMrush or any SEO tool of your choosing to see the search volume of your pillar topics. 

Expand Your Topic List

After you have uncovered your relevant pillar topics, search for more ideas under each headline.

There are many ways to come up with cluster content ideas. Use brainstorming, keywords of competitors, search, and social media trends.

#3. Copywriting Content Slow Turnaround

Many brands complain that slow turnaround is their biggest bottleneck with outsourcing copywriting.

With the fast lightning speed of the internet, some want their high-quality copy delivered quickly.  

How To Overcome The Challenge

First of all, it’s good to understand that there is a process to writing high-quality, engaging, and persuasive content that converts. Here are the steps:

  • Research. Before writing any word, great writers ask tons of questions about the project. Then, based on those questions, they go into a research mode. They research the target audience, keywords, how to structure the article, and then write.
  • Rumination. To write effective, original, persuasive, quality copy, a great writer needs time to daydream, generate good ideas, let the ideas stew, connect and coalesce. It takes time to come up with creative concepts. And good ideas become great after marinating.
  • Rewriting. After the draft copy, it takes a long time to rewrite. Some copyw
  • Reading. Good writers read a lot. They read books, long articles, copy-related publications, newspapers, magazines, ads, blog posts, billboards, and wine bottles. 
  • Rejuvenation. It may shock you that occasionally, copywriters like to spend time with their family and friends. They go for a walk, see plays, listen to music and enjoy the work of art and nature. Sometimes, they get sick and need to rest in bed. 

Having said that:

Some writers write pretty fast and well.

Discuss delivery times in advance. Before you hire an outsourced copywriting agency, know how quickly you need the article.

Find out their standard turnaround time for your type of copy.

If you need a copy in a rush, be ready to pay a fee for the inconvenience. 

In considering turnaround time, factor when the agency will send a title, first draft, and or revisions. Remember that a high-converting copy takes time to write.

#4. Not Having The Brief Filled 

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Not having a brief could be your biggest challenge with outsourcing. It can be very time-consuming.

And that is because it contains a lot of details about the target audience, tone of voice, goals, etc.

How To Overcome The Challenge

Create and fill out an outline brief before outsourcing your copy.

Since about a large section of the information will be similar each time create a brief template. That streamlines the process.

But what is a content brief?

A content brief is simply a set of instructions to guide a writer on how to write a piece of content.

The content can be a blog post, a landing page, a white paper, or any other type of content.

Without a content brief, your outsourced copywriting agency may not deliver content that aligns with your brand voice and business values. 

What Is An SEO-Focused Brief?

An SEO-focused content brief is one that instructs the writer on creating content to target a specific search query.

And the goal is to attract insane traffic to the website from organic search engines.

A content brief includes the following:

  • The target audience for the content 
  • The goals of the post
  • The keywords or phrases that should be in the content
  • Outline of the copy including the general structure and the key points to be covered
  • Word count of the copy 

Conclusion

Writing an effective copy that resonates with your audience, ranks well on SERPs, and converts to leads and sales takes a lot of time, skill, and commitment.

However, it’s worth the hard work it takes to evaluate the outsourced copywriting agency you will trust with your content production.

Also, understand the challenges you could face and how to overcome them.

If you choose carefully, an outsourced copywriting agency can help you boost organic reach and scale content. 

Are you already having difficulty overcoming some of the copywriting challenges discussed in this article? Hire us to take care of this challenging task for you.

If you are ready to save money in the long run, start your copywriting services with us, contact us.

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