Effective SEO-friendly copywriting is neither an art form, nor a science.
It can at a stretch be described as a mixture of the two, but in truth it’s mainly just about applying common sense to what you write. Effective content writing is often shrouded in mystery: some even argue it’s the preserve of the professional. Well, that simply isn’t true. Anyone can write good and effective copy if they think carefully about what they are writing and target the content to those who might be interested. Have a look at the following tips on how to make sure your page content delivers, and you’ll discover it really isn’t as difficult as you might’ve thought.
Effective copywriting is reliant on grabbing the attention of the reader. We’ve looked previously at the best ways of doing this and the importance of maximising the impact of the title tag. Page headings are as important as page title tags: they share common features and are both vital in attracting the attention. They only differ in that title tags are displayed in the search results, whereas page headings are only viewed on the page itself. There are occasions when the title tag can be the same as the page heading – at other times they’re best kept distinct. The fundamental difference between the two lies in the utilisation of keywords. Title tags ‘have’ to include keywords to grab attention and be effective: page titles ‘don’t’ have to, though it’s often advisable to include them. Much depends on what you’re trying to achieve and whether this aim is best served by using keywords. At the end of the day it depends whether using keywords will keep the viewer reading your work.
Page headings need to have impact and draw the reader in.
It’s important therefore to keep to a theme and maintain the correlation between the title tag and the page heading: the last thing you want to do is mislead the reader in to clicking on the page title only to find it bears no relation to the description. It needs to match their expectations.
A well constructed heading tells readers what to expect from the rest of the article. If the reader will learn something from the article, then make it clear. Similarly if reading the rest of the copy will bring a benefit to the reader, or offer a solution to their problems, then indicate this. The only thing to remember is that there’s a fine line between painting a full picture and going overboard with information overload. If all the information’s in the page heading, then there’s no need to read the rest of the article. Take as an example the headings of this article. How to ensure your content writing delivers: this heading tells you all you need to know about the subject and what is likely to follow. Now take heading two – how to write effective and appealing content: this gives a reason to keep on reading as there’s a chance that I’ll learn something new that wasn’t given away in the heading.
Once you’ve drawn the reader in with your eye-catching heading, you then have to deliver a satisfying on-page experience: in other words the rest of your copy needs to be as good and as compelling as your heading. This is where some people start to feel uneasy: they believe it’s beyond them, but there’s really no need to panic. All you have to remember is that you have to provide sufficient information and you have to appeal to as wide an audience as possible with what you write.
Nobody likes to feel short-changed: when you do you feel cheated and irritated. As a writer, if you have something to say, then say it. Don’t skimp on detail. Give the reader all the information they need: if that means going off at a tangent occasionally, then so be it. The purpose of the content is to draw the reader’s interest and you’ll have to pander to this as you’ll have a variety of readers all of whom have their own particular expectations. Don’t take this as a cue to write just for the sake of it.
You can provide too much copy, and if this gets in the way of the sales process, rather than promoting it, it becomes self-defeating. There’s no guarantee that readers will always read every word you’ve carefully crafted. Sometimes they’ll have had their questions answered well before reaching the end of the article and will proceed to make their purchase. What’s important to re-iterate is that if you don’t provide sufficient information, then the chances are the reader will turn elsewhere.
Think of your audience
Readers come in all shapes and sizes. It’s your job to make sure you speak to all of them. They all have different opinions and needs and you’ll need to find ways of addressing each of these. Some readers want to know all about you and your company, or about what products and services you provide, others want to know what qualifies you to give advice and information. There are obviously other types of reader who don’t care for any of that: all they want to know is how your products and services benefit them specifically and that you can be trusted.
If you inadvertently leave any of these people out, then you won’t get the conversion you desire. The only problem is that no one can ever be all things to all people: if you try to be, the chances are you’ll fail on all accounts and run the risk of spreading yourself too thin. All you can ever hope to achieve is to appeal to the majority, that is, the bulk of the readership that makes up your primary audience and ensure that they understand the key points you’re trying to express. The rest you can do little about.