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In what ways can a client make sure that they are giving the SEO the freedom to do the best job possible while at the same time, not burying them in a mountain of information.
I'll take their shoebox of clippings, brochures and snippets but if the content doesn't serve the end user, it gets dropped in the bit bucket.
Quite often, the content most favored by the client is absolutely worthless as optimized copy and that is when the fun begins. Sending back optimized, professionally written copy usually ends the debate, but not always.
My favorite client statement? "Here's the content, do whatever you need to make it work."
I agree with engine on this one. I like to plan it all out first and structure what the site will be about first. Then, bring it on and the more the better with content. Once I have it placed I like the client to go through and fine-tune it so it makes sense to them and their clients. Not being a copywriter myself, I sure love their skills when I get to work with one. My personal problem with copywriting is making the content sell. Either the client coming back to it or a great copywriter can better edit what I see as needing to be included with what sells.
We basically create a layout of the site, get the owners approval, then ask the owner for content info.
We advise them of what they need to consider when providing this info, and then we basically write the content ourselves.
Once completed it goes back to the owner for proof-reading and tweaking.