SEO Copywriting ─ Making It Easier for Customers to Find You

SEO copywriting can be a crucial key in your marketing strategy. You can invest your time and money in developing a great website only to find that you aren’t generating the amount of business you expected. Unfortunately, the belief that a website will magically generate more business is false. People searching for your products or services need to be able to easily find you. The key is SEO copywriting.

SEO copywriting is a set of techniques to make your website more search engine friendly with the goal of getting a higher ranking on free (organic) search results (organic search results appear in the middle of each page, with paid results appearing at the very top and right-hand side of the page).

Does your site come on the first page of results when you conduct an internet search for the keywords describing your products or services? If not, applying SEO copywriting techniques on a consistent basis will help you reach this goal.

Besides SEO copywriting, other basic elements that play a role in search engine optimisation include:

  • relevant and interesting content
  • good website structure
  • pertinent links to your website from other sites.

In this article, however, we will focus on SEO copywriting as the first step and having relevant and interesting content.

SEO copywriting with the right copy for your site

Part of your site’s ranking is determined by how relevant your content is to what people are searching for. You need to know what terms people are searching for to determine the best keywords and phrases for your site before you start your SEO copywriting.

You can use online keyword tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find the key words and phrases being used, and how often, to search for your product or service.

Let’s say your company sells laser printers. Here are the average monthly search volumes for Google searches in Australia for the following phrases.

  • laser printer  74,000
  • laser printers  33,100
  • colour laser printer 9,990
  • colour laser printers 3,600

These are only a few of many key words and phrases used to search for laser printers, but they show us how to choose more effective keywords for your site with SEO copywriting in mind.

Notice that there are more than double the number searches for the singular than plural forms of the phrases. This is important because most search engines, including Google, treat singular and plural words and phrases differently. When SEO copywriting for your site, you will want to prioritise the terms laser printer and colour laser printer.

When analysing websites, spiders and robots look for the density of keywords and phrases on pages. The optimum keyword density depends on the search engine, but you’ll want a keyword density around 2.5%. If you were writing a page describing your laser printers, you would want to repeat the phrase laser printer often enough in the SEO copywriting so that it makes up at around 2.5 per cent of the copy on the page. The challenge is to do this in a way that seems natural and doesn’t annoy your readers. There are many free keyword density tools online that you can find by doing an internet search using the phrase keyword density.

SEO copywriting with relevant and interesting content for your site

Having relevant content for your site will help with search engine optimisation. If you are selling laser printers, you can have an article in your site titled Tips for Choosing the Best Colour Laser Printer for Your Needs. Not only will this give you the opportunity to include more keywords on your site with SEO copywriting, and improve your search engine rankings, it will build trust and show that you know your business.

Besides articles, blogs are a way to keep customers and prospects informed about the latest developments. For instance, you can write about the new model releases in your blog with the goal of ranking highly for search results for the latest models. Coming up with new blog ideas and checking the search statistics will give you good ideas of what to cover in your SEO copywriting.

For ideas on how to develop more SEO website content, visit Content Writer Ideas for Creating Interesting and Relevant Content.

Writing a Sales Letter to Get Your Phone Ringing

Sales letters reach people. Whether your company makes cleaning products or runs self-development retreats, a sales letter – especially a personalised one – can hit the mark like no other form of advertising can. But success, just like the devil, is in the details. That’s why we have compiled this simple guide to sales letters that’s sure to convert your words into new customers.

Introducing the Sales Letter

A sales letter is a form of advertising correspondence from one business to another. The aim of the sales letter is to make the quantum leap from being a piece of A4 on a busy person’s desk, to having that person contact the sender’s office. From that point on, the sale relies on the qualities of the product, and that of the sales rep.

Beginning a Sales Letter

If you know the surname of your hypothetical customer, excellent. If you don’t, try to find out. Personally-addressed letters are proven to have a much higher rate of response. To be clear: address the recipient by their surname only, E.G. ‘Dear Mr Jones,’ and never by their first name. ‘Dear Sir/Madam,’ is also inappropriate, as it is now considered antiquated, and far too formal.

In lieu of a name, your best bet is to create a headline that captures the essence of what you are offering them. For example, Get 80% Off Hospital Grade Disinfectant – Introductory Offer This Month Only. If the opening line is personally addressed, then the opening sentence must incorporate the headline; for example, ‘Dear Mr. Jones, how would you like 80% off our Hospital-Grade Disinfectant?’

The Body of The Sales Letter

There are two basic aspects to writing a successful sales letter: content and style. If the content is not relevant to your reader, there is no chance of a sale. Usually, however, the product is relevant to them and their business – it’s just that the writing fails to sufficiently flag this to the reader.

What you need to tell your client depends on what it is you have to offer. Just remember the golden rule: you are not selling the product, you’re selling what that product will do for them. Visualise yourself in the customer’s shoes. What problem will this solve for them? How will this product improve the way they conduct business, or make life better at their workplace?

Second only to content is style. To keep the reader reading the sales letter, you need to keep the writing as interesting and easy to digest as possible. Keeping it interesting can be challenging at times, depending on product, but you can certainly make it digestible. Just like a restaurant, it’s all in the presentation. Here are a few tips on this:
• Keep sentences and paragraphs short and concise. Use short-super short sentences occasionally, for extra punch (see my opening sentence in this article).
• Break things up with bullet-points and indented paragraphs.
• Sub-headings are effective for highlighting benefits.
• Use simple language that everyone will understand.
• A few less common words can help keep things interesting. I used ‘quantum leap’ to describe someone responding to your letter.

Ending the Sales Letter

Be sure to thank the reader and sign the sales letter by hand. You may reiterate the main points, such as prices, and deadlines on discounted items. Adding a post-script is always a good idea, as people tend to read them. This post-script may include a special incentive such as a gift, or a free trial. Include at the bottom all the contact details of your business.

Writing an Event Promotion that Gets Results

Are you organising a business event and want to get as many people to it as possible. Writing an effective invitation is the key to filling the room to make the event a success. Here are a few tips to make the invitation – whether it will be an email or hard copy – an effective marketing tool to get more event bookings.

Website Copywriter — Why Use a Professional?

It’s true that most people know how to write at some level, so they think they will be able to save money by writing their own content for their website. Some business owners also believe that they are best suited to write about their business because they are closely involved with it. But a website written by a professional copywriter will be far more effective and generate more enquiries and sales than one written by an amateur.

Five Steps to Writing and Designing a Great Brochure

All businesses need a brochure of some form to promote products or services. It’s important that this brochure hits the mark in its message. In order to ensure your message is the right one for your target audience, you first need to identify what your mark is.

Writing a Brochure That Sells Your Products and Services

Handsome man with pipe writing a brochure at his typewriter.

Your brochure can be one of the most effective tools in your marketing tool kit. So before writing a brochure it’s critical to make strategic choices about what you put in it so that it differentiates your products or services for your market and against your competition.

The most important criteria when writing a brochure  is that it says what your target market wants to know, rather than all you want to tell them about how great you are. So you need to understand “What is the information your target customers want to know so they can make a decision?”

The following are the strategic choices you need to make before writing a brochure:

1.  Who is your target customer?

  • What outcomes are the seeking?
  • What problems do they want to solve that you can help with?
  • What is important to them?
  • What do they need to know to make a decision?

Really understanding your customer helps to write a brochure that is specific and targeted, rather than full of generalisations, and that will peak your audience’s interest. Ask your current customers and potential customers to get some feedback before you begin writing your brochure.

2. Who is your actual audience?

  • Who will read the brochure?
  • Who exactly will buy your product or service?
  • What is their role in the family or business?
  • What influences them?

This will help you with writing the brochure content that best suits your audience and provides what they need to know to make a decision. If you are selling to a business, you need to identify the decision maker and target them as your audience.

3. What is your objective in writing a brochure? What do you want it to do?

  • Educate the audience about the need for such a product or service?
  • Make them aware that your product/service exists so they want to find out more?
  • Give them information about your products or services as part of your service delivery?
  • Sell your product through the brochure?

The different objectives will change the writing and style of your brochure.

4.  Choose your positioning for your product or service. What makes it stand out from the crowd and what will you focus on when writing your brochure?

Is it:

  • High class, top of the range, high price?
  • The lowest price available on the market?
  • The best value-added services package?
  • The most number of options available?
  • Or many other options?

Choose what’s right for you.

The quality and focus of your brochure needs to illustrate your positioning. For example, high-class, top-of-the-range product needs a high-class, top-of-the-range brochure.

5. How do you stand out from the crowd when writing a brochure? Know your competition.

Questions you will want to ask when writing a brochure are:

  • How are your products or services better than those offered by your competition?
  • What do you offer that’s unique to you?
  • How does that match up with the outcomes your audience wants and what is important to them?

This is a critical step in identifying your core message before writing your brochure content. Align what your stand-out qualities with your target market research from Steps 1 and 2.

6. What is your budget for your brochure? Does it match your positioning and meet your objective?

Your budget will determine the layout and quality of your brochure. It will also determine your next steps.

Now all you have to do is start writing your brochure content — or get a professional copywriter to do the writing for you. This is followed by designing the layout and getting the brochure printed. The second blog in this series will help you do that.

These steps are a great process to go through every time you are writing any marketing content for your product or service. They’re based on a simple premise: the better you know your customers, the better you can serve them.

For Part 2 of this post, go to Writing and Designing a Great Brochure.

 

Copywriting — What Makes Copywriting Robotic?

What do we mean by robotic copywriting?  Simply put, robotic copywriting is not conversational and not customer focused, while it’s unnecessarily formal and complicated.

Here are four warning signs of robotic copywriting.

Shows a copywriting robot on computer outdoors in a field with grass and flowers. The message of the post is to avoid robotic copywriting.

1. Robotic copywriting doesn’t use personal pronouns.

One of the first signs of robotic copywriting is repetition of the company name. If you skim the text of many annual reports, for example, you will see the company name constantly repeated.  Maybe the copywriter thought it wasn’t appropriate to use ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ when referring to the company. But a key to effective copywriting is creating a conversational tone that includes personal pronouns.

Here’s a sample of how this was done in the Siemens 2006 Annual Report.

People Excellence: We’ve established a high-performance culture throughout our company. Based on clear performance goals, this culture enables our people to realize their full potential. To increase our global talent pool, we’re fostering talented young people worldwide. We’ve created new career tracks for experts and redesigned our management development program.

You will notice the copywriter used we and our instead of repeating the company name. In addition, the copywriter used contractions — we’ve and we’re — to give the copy a conversational feel.

Another way to avoid robotic copywriting is by being direct and using the word that’s most important to your readers — you.  The following examples show how much difference one word can make.

Before

  • Our clients get a full spectrum of advertising related services.
  • Our clients get common sense advice that helps them grow their businesses.
  • Our clients receive strategic and creative leadership across a full array of marketing communications.

After

  • You get a full spectrum of advertising related services.
  • You get common sense advice that helps you grow your business.
  • You receive strategic and creative leadership across a full array of marketing communications.

One of the first rules in selling is to assume the sale. Writing our clients does not assume the sale but writing you does.

2. Robotic copywriting is focused on the product or company, not benefits to the customer.

In The Copywriter’s Handbook, Robert Bly provides excellent examples that show the difference between copywriting that focuses on the needs customers and copy writing that focuses on the company or product.

Product-focused copywriting: ‘BankPlan is the state-of-the-art in user-friendly, sophisticated financial software for small business accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledger applications.’

Customer-focused copywriting: ‘BankPlan helps you balance your books and manage your cash flow. It also keeps track of customers who haven’t paid their bills. Best of all, the program is easy to use — you don’t need special training.’

So focus on your customers and their needs to avoid robotic copywriting.

3. Robotic copywriting uses big words and more words than are needed to convey the message.

Robotic copywriting also tends to use big words when simpler equivalents will work. For example, ‘Utilising our new software will facilitate an optimal outcome’ can be changed to ‘Using our new software will help you create the best outcome.’

Examples of large words and phrases that can be reduced include:

  • accomplish → do
  • ascertain → find out
  • disseminate → send out, distribute
  • employ → use
  • endeavour → try
  • expedite → hasten, speed up
  • facilitate → make easier, help
  • facility → building, warehouse, etc.
  • locality → place
  • however → but
  • therefore → so.

4. Robotic copywriting uses jargon and corporate buzzwords.

Many of these overused words are vague and have lost any meaning. They often can be expressed in a better way.

Some examples include:

  • Best practice
  • Core competencies
  • Deliverables
  • Driver
  • Incentivise
  • Learnings
  • Mission-critical
  • Operationalise
  • Paradigm shift
  • Value proposition.

Do these types of terms have a clear meaning when used in copy writing to promote a company’s product or services? Usually not. For a humorous look at business buzzwords, go to the Corporate BS Generator.

If you write or edit copy, keep these four points in mind to avoid robotic copywriting.