Today's post is a guest post written by Marnie Grumbach. Marnie is a communications strategist and freelance writer who lives and works in Greater Portland, Maine. She has been writing compelling content for the web, public relations and many other marketing channels within both agency and corporate environments for 10+ years. She focuses on SEO copywriting, web content strategy and legal marketing. Marnie holds an MBA from Husson University and a BA in Communications from Elizabethtown College. You can learn more about Marnie at her LinkedIn Profile.
Writing Persuasive Website Content:
Words are critical to your website’s effectiveness. Don’t get me wrong – a creative, well designed website that demonstrates your brand is very important. But a beautiful website with weak written content is a missed opportunity. Why? Because words are the key to persuading both humans and search engines to pay attention to your website.
Drive website traffic with SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting is the art of writing website content that is compelling to both human readers (your target audience) and search engines like Google and Yahoo!. There are two important components to this type of website writing. 1) Write persuasive copy that speaks to your customers. 2) Strategically place keyword phrases within your web content to earn higher free organic rankings. Put them together and you’ve got powerful SEO web copy.
Prioritize your human website readers. This is the most important aspect of SEO copywriting. We’ve all seen websites that have confusing, grammatically incorrect or just plain dull copy. This type of content quickly loses visitors. To write persuasive copy for websites, you need to get into your customer’s mind and understand how to be found by search engines:
Select keyword phrases: Make a list of keywords you want to be found for. Spend some time reviewing your competitors’ websites to see which keywords and phrases they use in their titles, meta description and body copy. Think about industry buzzwords that apply to your product or service. Break the list down and select a few of the best keywords for each page of your site. You can also use a keyword research tool like Google Adwords to see how frequently keyword phrases are searched. This will help you gauge how difficult it might be to rank for a certain keyword.
Make it scan-able and keyword rich: web visitors tend to have a short attention span and scan copy. Search engines rely heavily on your meta data (page title, description, keywords) to determine if your page is an authority on various topics. Make sure your strongest keyword phrase is included in your page title and use headers (H1’s) and subheaders (H2’s) to make your page scan-able for humans and Google. Organize copy with bullets or numbered lists.
Don’t get spammy with keywords: Remember that your keyword phrases only need to appear 2-3 times for every 400-500 words of content. Overstuffing your page with keywords is called “keyword spamming” and it not only reads strangely to humans, it might get your site banned by search engines. Earning credibility with humans should always be your top priority!
Appeal to human emotions: Does your web copy grab the visitor’s attention? Does it quickly communicate that you’re available to solve their problem? Make sure header copy uses your top keyword phrase to clearly indicate what you provide. Connect with visitors by using a conversational tone. “We save you time” vs. “We save people time.” Place the most important, keyword rich, information at the top of the page followed by supporting facts.
Sell benefits rather than features. Tell the reader how this product or service is going to help them. If I’m selling website copywriting services, the phrase “SEO Copywriting increases web traffic to help you sell more” (benefit) is stronger than “SEO Copywriting blends good writing with keyword phrases” (feature). Notice that I incorporated the keyword phrase “SEO copywriting” into the sentence.
Ask them to do something. You must compel human visitors with a call to action on your website. Use keywords and active voice. Write “Schedule your free Lasik surgery consultation today” instead of just “Click here to learn more.” Place the call to action copy on each page, placed high and prominently.
Now that you understand the creative and technical aspects of SEO copywriting, spend a little time visiting your competitors’ websites. You’ll probably realize that you can outrank them sooner than you had thought by combining persuasive website copy and a solid keyword strategy.
Get started with a free website content audit. Contact us to learn more about optimizing your website with SEO Copywriting.