You can use an initial sample text to assess whether a copywriter has potential. Check the text for typical quality attributes that should be at least partially included in inbound content.
Copywriters are a dime a dozen on the Internet. More and more copywriters are also calling themselves inbound journalists. However, finding a good writer for inbound marketing is not that easy and often requires a lot of time and energy. Journalistic research skills, a feel for the reader's needs, and relevant know-how in SEO and business blogging are the basic prerequisites for creating high-quality content.
When searching for suitable inbound content creators, do you want to quickly recognize whether the delivered text has the potential you are looking for? With the following 7 quality attributes, you can already recognize whether you are dealing with a good copywriter based on a first sample text.
Attribute #1: Clearly Defined Topic & Buyer Persona
A company with a clear marketing strategy knows the topics it wants to be associated with as well as the target group it's addressing. Content creation without a clearly defined target group doesn't make a lot of sense. To recognize, whether the author is aware of this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can the content of the text be assigned to the main strengths of the company in question and does it fit the blog mission?
- Is it plausibly targeted at a buyer persona and is the topic relevant to this target group?
- Is the ideal reader met at a specific point in their Customer's Journey? (Awareness - Consideration - Decision)
- Does the blog draw attention to a specific problem and offer targeted solutions to it?
- Or is the author a knowledge bearer examining their thesis from multiple angles?
- Is the text highly informative and credible?
- Is the text written mostly free of advertising?
Attribute #2: Title and Subtitle are Relevant for Readers and Search Engines
You can also tell if you're dealing with an experienced copywriter by the titles and subtitles. These should be carefully chosen, because they are an important factor for organic traffic and the first contact with the reader. The following aspects constitute a good title:
- The overall added value of the article is immediately apparent to the user.
- The title promises a tangible benefit and raises the right expectations.
- Ideally, the title is between 50 and 60 characters long.
Good to know:
Longer titles appear cut off on the SERPs depending on the device used (smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC). This is due to the different sizes of the screens. With regard to mobile-first indexing, headlines should be short and concise.
Attribute #3: The Inbound Content is Online-Reader Friendly
Inbound content is reader-friendly, with short paragraphs and few complex sentences. It should be possible to read the entire text or just skim it and still grasp the main messages. This meets the individual needs of the users, who have different amounts of time and leisure when reading online. The structure of the sample text shows you how experienced the creator is in online writing.
- Basic text components should be in place:
There are some basic components that are relevant for a good text. These include SEO criteria such as meta descriptions and meta titles, as well as the structure of the text through adequate paragraphs.
- The article features a thought-provoking introduction:
The introduction contains a clear value proposition or describes the problem that the text addresses. It's better to have a short teaser that encourages you to read on rather than a long-winded introduction.
- The body of the text is structured and dedicated to the subject matter in depth:
The text is structured and divided by subheadings. The paragraphs are comprehensive, lists provide clarity, and the common thread runs through the entire text.
- The conclusion matches the introduction and leaves the reader satisfied:
The expectations raised by the introduction are met towards the end of the text, i.e. by answering questions asked at the beginning.
Attribute #4: Professional Use of Keywords
A text suitable for inbound marketing is always optimized around a focus keyword. The frequency of the head term feels natural and low-key. The author should not be tempted to use keywords just for the sake of it. This is because keyword stuffing (the overuse of keywords) has not been rewarded with a good ranking by search engines for quite some time now.
Synonyms offer variety to the reader. The days of a precisely defined keyword density are also over.
Many professional copywriters are well versed in keywords and use them skilfully. A first sample text will tell you whether there is a need to catch up here. However, this is easy to learn and does not have to be a criterion for excluding the author.
Attribute #5: SEO Criteria are Fulfilled
In high-quality inbound content, relevance and user experience are just as important as search engine optimization. Therefore, pay attention to whether the submitted sample text gives an indication of the author's initial SEO knowledge. This includes, among others:
Keywords: The main keyword is included in the tittle tag and the URL.
Numbers in the title: The numbers 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 20 rank particularly well.
Listen: Unordered or ordered lists give the text structure- for both readers and search engines.
Q & A: Wh-questions rank especially well.
Length: Between 800 and 1.500 words are ideal for deepening technical knowledge while also getting to the point as soon as possible.
Meta description: Meta descriptions clarify the main idea of a text for the reader and encourage them to open the URL.
External Links: These give readers and search engines the impression of interconnected knowledge and lead to pages with high domain authority.
Internal Links: These are picked up by search engines as topic clusters and thus are considered more relevant, while also inviting readers to linger on your website a bit longer.
Alt tags for images: Search engines do not read visual content, only text.
Attribute #6: Calls-to-Action are Placed Sensibly
CTAs should be clearly and strategically placed in the text, and designed to be inviting. The reader should not have the feeling that someone is only after their data. Too many CTAs or CTAs placed too early quickly come across as pushy. Too few or barely visible ones jeopardize the desired conversion rate. The following best-practice example has proven itself to be ideal for inbound blog posts:
- At the beginning: about after the first paragraph
- In the middle: fitting the content
- At the End: at the very bottom, you can also draw attention to the CTA with an eye-catching image.
Attribute #7: The Language and Style Fits the Target Group
When it comes to articles for inbound marketing, less is more. Texts are consumed differently on the Internet than, for example, a book. The eyes tire earlier on the screen, the reader may only be reading in passing or is purely looking for specific information.
In inbound marketing, this targeted demand and shorter attention span is met with straightforward, clear language. This means: short sentences without complex structures or unnecessary filler words. To make the text easy to understand, the most important terms are often placed at the beginning of the sentence. Inbound journalists avoid unnecessary jargon, and provide explanatory descriptions in areas where the buyer persona requires background knowledge. Active language makes the reader feel directly addressed and the author answers the question pointedly without digressing.
The writing style should match the industry and brand represented. For example, a humorous industry can fit an amusing writing style, which at the same time has a light-hearted feel.
Finally, it must be said that error-free content is a non-negotiable quality attribute of inbound content. As obvious as this may seem, many copywriters work on their own, so standardized review processes are lacking. However, a quality text that is proofread according to the six-eyes principle eliminates typos and spelling mistakes as effectively as possible.
Based on a first sample text, you can quickly see whether you are dealing with a potential inbound journalist using the quality attributes mentioned above. Not all factors have to be fulfilled, but at least some basics should be given and there should be potential. A professional copywriter must have an understanding of the user experience, target group orientation, as well as structural and linguistic skills.