I’ve been a marketer and B2B writer for longer than I care to admit. One thing is for sure: bad copywriting won’t get you anywhere, ever. Expert copywriting is the #1 success factor for blog articles and other content. Given Google’s current algorithm, which focuses on high quality writing, it doesn’t make any sense to write with SEO as the top priority. Sure, it counts. But it doesn’t help you gain credibility, subscribers, or shares.
We all know the statistics. Readers take only a few seconds to decide whether they want to read past the title or the first few sentences. If they quickly abandon your site because your copy falls short, you’ve gained nothing.
Here are expert copywriting tips that will increase your company’s credibility and online conversion rate.
The professional copywriter cares most about the reader’s concerns.
No matter what you want to write about, see it from your audience’s point of view. You’d be surprised how often blog writers select topics based solely on what they personally care about. Or, they may have a general topic that’s on target but don’t angle it for the readers they want.
Effective copywriters start by nailing down two things. First, you can’t be all things to all people, so they select a narrow subset of their larger audience. Second, they can select a narrow topic that is highly relevant to that slice of the audience.
Here’s an example of why it pays to narrow things down:
You may want to write an article for professional florists about their buying process. But are you writing for wholesalers, flower shop owners, or landscapers?
Writing about flower purchasing in general won’t provide high value for any of these audiences, as they have different vendors, knowledge, sales practices, customers, and interests. If the topic is too general, it will likely be bland and create little interest (and traffic). You’ll also lose readers if you don’t properly tailor the language, tone, length, complexity, and other factors that make readers comfortable. Get it wrong, and you won’t gain traffic or trust. Get it right, and you’ll win readers over.
Gain a better understanding of your audience. Get an easy-to-use Audience Persona Template.
Other audience-pleasing copywriting tips include:
- The title should tell the user what to realistically expect from the article.
- Make each section discrete, with copy reflecting the headline it is under.
- Use the active, rather than passive, voice to engage the reader.
- Focus on the reader by avoiding sales-oriented language or hype.
Keep people on your site with helpful formatting and graphics.
The appearance of your website pages, blog articles, and other content assets affects the user’s experience in a big way. Enhance performance by making content easy for readers to comprehend, scan, and zero-in on the information they want—all without overtaxing the eyes. This is done by breaking up the copy, maintaining a smooth flow, and introducing variety with techniques including:
- Placing engaging, logically ordered H2 headlines every few paragraphs.
- Keeping each paragraph to several (three to five) easy-to-understand sentences.
- Allow for plenty of white space.
- Avoiding uninterrupted blocks of text with images, videos, bullets, boldface or italics, colors, numbered lists, pull-quotes, and similar elements.
- Using transitions between sections to help flow.
Expert copywriters pay attention to the details.
Google likes high-quality, authoritative, and trustworthy content–and so do your readers. Enhance both SEO and user experience by making your copy as accurate and flawless as possible. The occasional typo may be unavoidable, but do everything you can to keep your copy clean. Some ways to do this include:
- Proofread to eliminate typos, poor grammar, and awkward sentences.
- Use a grammar checker like Grammarly (but don’t rely on it).
- Review and proofread with fresh eyes by taking breaks and asking other for assistance.
- Edit down unnecessary words and sections as much as possible.
- Don’t overdo the adjectives.
Optimize for SEO, but think about the reader first.
Optimization isn’t the copywriter’s primary concern. Plus, Google’s recent algorithms puts less emphasis on keywords and more on quality. However, it’s still worth using front-end SEO techniques to increase ranking power. Just don’t go overboard with a heavy handed approach that Google might penalize or that sounds stilted to readers.
The most basic question is how to use the keywords we have selected (we’ll save how to select keywords for another time). Google uses H1 and H2 subheads to understand content, put it in context, and index it to match reader queries. That makes headlines an ideal place for keywords. Keywords should also be sprinkled subtly throughout the body copy. One way to avoid sounded repetitive is by using synonyms, related words, and variations, such as verb tenses, plurals and reordered wording.
Here are some techniques from SEO Pressor.
Boost performance with expert copywriting practices.
Consistently concentrate on your audience’s need for high-quality content and your website will gain traction among users and search engines alike. Even if you don’t whip out this checklist every time you write a blog post or a webpage, keep it nearby as a handy reminder of how to create copy that is meaningful to our readers and effective for our businesses.
For high-quality content that always focuses on your unique audience, contact Westebbe Marketing, a Boston-based agency specializing in high-performing original content. contact Westebbe Marketing, a Boston-based agency specializing in high-performing original content. Contact us online, call us at (617) 699-4462, or email us.
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