How To Balance Content With SEO To Get the Results You Want
You know that you need to optimize your content for search engines if you want people to find it. You also know that people don’t like reading stuff written for algorithms and bots. You seem to go around and around trying to create the perfect marketing collateral that ticks all the boxes, but the truth is that you’re not sure what to focus on.
Sound familiar? If so, this article will help you find the perfect balance between creating content that converts and setting up your blog posts and landing pages to be found in search. Let’s start by answering a couple of questions: What is copywriting, and who is your intended audience?
Why You Should Write for a Real, Live Audience
Think about it: Copywriting, at its most basic, is writing to inform and persuade. You aren’t going to inform and persuade a search engine, so your copy should primarily be optimized for the real people you are hoping to convert. There is no benefit to getting your content at the top of search results if no one is going to read it or act on it.
Keep your quality high by writing for your intended audience and letting your personality shine through. One way to build trust and gain a loyal following is by creating a connection with your readers. You can’t do this if your writing is overly formal or academic. Be yourself!
How To Write Content With a Purpose
Everything you write for your site (or your client’s site) should have a goal. The most common goal is to convert readers into buyers, right? To do this, your content needs to reach out to your ideal customers, benefit them in some way and build trust in your brand. Spend some time fleshing out exactly what your target audience looks like, what problem or pain point your product or service solves for them and what leads them to your website. Then, write all of your content for those individuals.
To stick to your purpose of converting readers, be sure to always focus on your audience, not on yourself. Use your introduction to grab the reader’s attention and give a glimpse into the benefit they’ll gain from reading your copy. (See How To Write a Hook, below.) In the body of your writing, keep your promise and give your readers something of value. Doing this adds to your credibility and starts to build brand loyalty. Depending on the nature of your offer, you may want to include testimonials or statistics.
Include a call to action. Don’t just hope that someone will read your blog post and start searching around your site to see what you’re selling. Make an offer, include a call to action with a link and remind your audience of all the wonderful things your product or service can do for them. Now that you have a basic overview of how to structure your content, let’s go back and look at the finer details.
How To Write Compelling Headlines
Headlines matter. Headlines are what people skim in search results when they’re deciding which links to click on and which pages are worth reading. People are also more likely to share an article if it’s got a killer headline.
So, how do you write a good headline? First, focus on the benefit your article offers. There are lots of tricks and tips for creating clickable titles, including using numbers (7 Ways to Make This Year’s Resolutions Stick; 10 Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew About the Off-Leash Park) or beginning with “How To” or “The Secret of.” Try one of these formulas, keeping in mind the ultimate benefit for your readers.
Note: Always balance the clickable aspects of your headline with an honest description of what is to come. A misleading title that has nothing to do with what your piece is actually about may get you clicks, but it won’t do much toward accomplishing your conversion goals. In fact, it can hurt your credibility. Say no to clickbait!
How To Write a Hook
You might be wondering: How do I captivate my audience’s attention once they’ve landed on my page? Good question! By focusing on a few key items, you can keep readers on your page long enough to actually read your content.
The first step in getting people to stick around (lowering your bounce rate) is writing an effective hook. This is both easier and harder than it sounds. How can that be? Well, a good hook introduces your audience to your product or service and shows them how they can benefit from it. Easy, right? Not necessarily. Crafting an introduction that really grabs the reader’s interest takes practice. On the other hand, don’t overthink it to the point where you never publish anything.
Try this formula: Start with a problem your ideal customer has. Next, express empathy and try to invoke an emotional response in your reader. Finally, explain that your piece contains the solution to the problem. Always emphasize the benefit to the reader or the solution to the problem and then follow through on your promise throughout your article or blog post.
How To Keep Your Reader’s Attention Once You Have It
Because many of your blog posts and articles may run between 1,000 and 2,000 words, you’ll need to help your readers get from beginning to end. Although most people won’t read every word, those who are interested will skim the content and look for the high points. Make it easy for them by keeping your writing concise and by using intuitive headings, captions and pull-quotes. If you’re feeling ambitious or if your piece is particularly long, create a linked table of contents.
In the main body of your content, leave plenty of white space and keep your sentences and paragraphs relatively short. Be sure your headings are relevant and that they get right to the point. This is not only helpful to a reader who is skimming your content; it’s also good for your search engine ranking.
How To Make Your Copy SEO-Friendly
With the frequent changes to Google’s algorithms, do keywords still matter? Yes, of course they do. Always do keyword research to understand the questions that your ideal prospects need you to answer. Don’t worry too much about keyword density, though. Instead, focus on using your keywords organically and writing high-quality content that people value and want to share. As more people link to your page, either by mentioning it on social media or by referring to it in their own blog posts, your credibility will increase, and you should start to see more traffic.
Pulling It All Together: SEO Copywriting for the Win
What’s the bottom line? First, write for humans (and not just any humans; only your ideal prospects), and then optimize for search engines.
Want to know the best part? If all of this information has your head spinning, you can relax in knowing that there are people who focus on SEO content writing for a living. You can hire us to write high-quality content for you.