Understanding Copywriting Part 1.

Good content is essential to the effectiveness of any SEO strategy.

It’s what drives websites and gives them the edge over their competitors. The critical point about copywriting is that the content has to be ‘good’ and it also needs to be relevant: stuffing an article full of keywords won’t cut it I’m afraid. To keep with the driving analogy, just imagine buying a Ferrari and then filling the tank with diesel – sure it might look great, but it won’t run. Websites with poor content are no different: they might look fantastic, but they’re not doing what they should be doing – giving visitors all the information they need in order to make the sale or conversion.

Writing good copy doesn’t have to be difficult. All any writer needs to do is understand one basic fact about content writing, and that is search engines, for all their apparent sophistication, mistakenly believe that every word in your copy is a keyword. To them the content of the page you’ve carefully constructed is just a bunch of words and nothing more. The spiders analyse the words you’ve written and try to determine what the page is actually about. So you can imagine if you’ve covered several topics on just the one page, then the spiders will struggle trying to decide which topic should be prominent and deserves ranking.

Over the years search engine spiders have analysed millions of web pages and amassed a pretty good grasp of most languages. They understand the use of these words and which words and topics hang together. You’ll need to feature keywords prominently in your copy, but they have to be used in context and they’re going to have to be relevant. If you repeat a keyword too frequently, then the spiders will view this as a kind of manipulation deliberately aimed to artificially increase your ranking. If you don’t use sufficient keywords, then the spiders will probably decide your copy has too little relevance to deserve ranking at all. It doesn’t matter whether your copy is long or short: what matters is that you get the balance right, and the copy you do write stays focused and conveys the message you’re trying to send.

The essential tips for good copywriting.

Seo copywriting is essentially the same as normal copywriting: what you’re trying to do is sell a product or service and make a point to your readers. The only difference between the two is that seo copywriting is keyword-focused, and uses key words and phrases that are meant to attract and appeal to readers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing content for a homepage, a product page or even a blog, all you need to do as a writer is make sure that your content attracts, appeals, asks questions and informs. If your content can tick all of these particular boxes, then you’ll have done your job well.

Make an impact and grab attention.

As soon as a reader opens a page they generally know if they’re going to hang around and read what’s written: they make that decision within seconds of landing on the page. Therefore what you write needs to grab their attention pretty much from the moment they arrive. How you go about attracting attention is up to you. You might use a headline, a variation on a well known phrase or an apparent contradiction. There aren’t any hard or fast rules: you’ll have to decide how best to go about it. Look at your website analytics and try to work out which pages attract more attention and why. If viewers immediately bounce away from your pages, then try a different approach or style. At the end of the day, it’s all about experimentation to see what works best.

Appeal to your reader’s needs.

Once you’ve grabbed their attention, then it’s up to you to sell your product or service. If your readers have come this far it’s obvious you have or sell what they’re looking for. What you must then do is appeal to their needs in terms and language they can identify with. Tell them again why they need what you’re offering and then make it clear that you are in a position to offer the solution. Tell readers why your solution is the best one and then go into detail about the benefits of coming to you for this solution. All you’re trying to do is get across the message that the product or service you offer is perfect for the reader, and they shouldn’t really bother looking elsewhere.

Ask questions.

No one likes to be talked to or preached at: providing information is one thing, but bombarding readers with it is another. It’s far better to ask a question or two. Questions make readers think and keep them interested in what you’re saying. It doesn’t really matter what the question is: if you stick with the general ones of Who/ Why/ What/ Where and How you won’t go far wrong. The beauty of asking questions is that they enable you to provide the answers, and this opens up new avenues to provide your reader with additional information about the services you offer.

Inform.

The most crucial part of any content is that it has to inform. Your reader should leave your website or blog having learned something new and valuable. It’s not simply a matter of telling them about what you sell or provide, you’re trying to make the reader learn something about themselves as well: visitors will need to know that you have exactly what they need at that precise time, and your job is provide them with all the relevant information they need so that they can justify making a purchase from you. What you should be trying to do is persuade them to buy into your way of thinking on both an intellectual and emotional level.

Show your readers how your product or service can make their lives better, or give them more time and freedom. Emphasise that you, and only you, can do this for them. Give them additional information about your products and give them tips and ideas for how best to use these. The more relevant and useful information you can provide, the greater the incentive to make a purchase from you.

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