Why Content Matters
They Came, they Saw, they Bought!
Are you paying enough attention to the role that your content plays in Google’s ranking? Metrics such as time-on-site indicate whether users are enjoying the page they’ve landed on – and if your content grips them, they will be.
Put simply, as a client SEO or affiliate, you want your copy to:
- Attract new visitors to your page
- Keep them there
- Convert them into buyers
If you don’t take your content seriously, why should readers? Hire the best writers and watch that investment bank itself hit, after hit, after hit. Let’s look at how good writing improves optimisation.
Catch the Reader’s Attention
Even the ancient Greeks knew how to do that: Ethos. Pathos. Logos.
Good story-tellers know that either alone, or in combination, appeals to authority, emotion and logic capture readers. Your writing must reflect this awareness or you will lose them instead.
Ethos, the appeal to authority (what Many call“The Knowledge Bomb”) tells your reader they’re in good hands. You know your stuff and you’re going to help them become an expert too.
Pathos creates an emotional connection. If your reader doesn’t feel the love (or fear or joy), they’re unlikely to stay for long on your page. Give them a story, make them laugh, amaze them. Diggity calls this ‘The Show’.
Finally, Logos appeals to the reader’s sense of logic. Buying your product makes so much sense – any reasonable person can see that! Not buying it, or going with a competitor, presents a real danger. Obviously.
Sometimes you may need to use one or another to target specific readers, but they’re most effective used together. “Stay and read on because you’re enjoying this, you’re learning from the best in the industry and you know, logically, that going somewhere else is going to be a mistake.” That should always be at the heart of your message.
2.Keep the Reader’s Attention
No reader will ever complain that your writing is too easy to read. Remember your readers are busy. They have short attention spans. Your job is to make your writing digestible for them.
2.1 How do we do that?
- More white space. Use short paragraphs of no more than two or three sentences.
- Use lists, bullet points, headings and sub-headings.
- Use images, visual cues, call-outs and other formatted content.
- Use plain English. Cut the jargon and fancy vocabulary. Use active verbs and language that speaks to your audience, not to yourself. Respect your reader.
- Focus on benefits to your readers, not features of your organisation. What’s in it for them? (WiiFT).
- Be concise. Don’t write 9000 words when 900 will do.
2.2 Understand the Sale Cycle
Diggity emphasises the importance of knowing where your visitors are in the sale cycle. If you understand the current needs of potential buyers, you can guide them to the part of your page that is going to interest them. And keep them reading.
Let’s look at the basic sale cycle:
- Latent pain – your potential has an issue that you can solve but doesn’t know it yet. It’s up to you to show them.
- Acknowledged pain – the prospect knows there’s a problem. You communicate that there are solutions that will help.
- Actively seeking a solution – these potential customers are typing in keywords that suggest they want help. Your job is to provide that help through targeted recommendations.
- Actively seeking the best solution – the prospect is comparing products or trying to confirm whether a recommendation is indeed the best solution. Confirm it for them.
- Seeking the best place to buy the best solution – they’re ready to buy and what they need from you is the best deal on price, shipping, giveaways and so on.
- Convert – ka ching! The sound of a sale.
Make sure that the prospect is led through the steps in a logical order. Using their search terms, land them in area of the cycle that is most appropriate and let your sparkling content lead them to the conversion.
3.How to Convert the Reader
You’ve done so well to grab and keep your reader but you haven’t yet done enough. The last part of effective SEO content writing ensures the sale.
The rules for copywriting your Call to Action (CTA) aren’t different to those for other content:
- Convince them the product is the best (appeal to authority).
- Mention the benefits to the reader, not the product features.
- Appeal to both logic and emotion – feed the desire for best price and authenticity.
- Appeal again to ethos by providing a testimonial.
- Make it easy for your reader – in this case, easy to purchase with a clear, simple ‘click-to-purchase’ option.
A strong CTA will convince your reader to buy but, of course, that has been the objective of your entire page.
Writing is not for everyone and it’s certainly not easy for everyone. However, all of us can improve. Read top SEO blogs and find examples of good copywriting. You can find hundreds of books on persuasive, modern business writing online and in stores. And you can certainly follow the rules above.
But if writing really isn’t what you do best, simply hire the best writers.