Copywriting has again transcended from its usual form and practices into the new world wide web era; Copywriting as utilized by the Professional SEO business is also known as Internet Content Writing, Web Content Writing, amongst other terms.
This article will try to tell you about the basics of copywriting and its advanced application on the SEO aspect. This article aims to provide the beginners in the Search Engine Optimization industry, an in-depth but friendly guide to seo content writing, as well as providing the more advanced copywriters with a guide to remind them of the several tricks they might have forgotten about the craft.
This guide shall be divided into the three parts of the copywriting process: the before, during, and after. This is the first part of the guide dealing with the things a copywriter must do BEFORE writing the copy. Succeeding parts shall be posted separately because of the size.
Before doing any writing you should first know the purpose why you’re writing that content. Your purpose should be clear and definite so no equivocation of ideas will exist that might confound your readers. Is the writing for sports? Is it for entertainment? Is it educational? These things should be clear on your mind before you write your copy, so a natural flow will exist as you write.
Another thing to think about is to know whom are you writing for and whoever are the people you wish to convey the message to? Knowledge of your audience will give you many benefits: people with different cultures only respond to a specific approach you use, technical terms would be very trivial when talking to beginners while spelled out and explained details would be very time consuming for experts. The world wide web is used by a vast network of people and your target may only comprise a very small minority. It is important that you address your target effectively if you need more conversions (making site visitors into customers) on your web site.
About the resources
Knowing the right info will certainly give you the right results. Knowing what people need and what they’re searching for will be one of the keys to make it big in this business. One of the things that can help you acquire this info is through case studies, surveys and polls that can be found all over the internet. Most of these studies provide general demographic info about world wide web users. If you’re lucky enough (since it is discouraged), you might even stumble with info regarding the searching habits of different demographics.
Once you’ve decided to use particular info from the internet, make sure that it is from a reliable author or source. Incorrect and inaccurate data proliferates all over the world wide web and it happens that you may be misled by others to use them, so, notice to it that the articles or studies you’re about to use are made and conducted by certified educational institutions or known private companies so you won’t have any problems about their authenticity.
Another effective source of info from the world wide web are pages which rank high among search engines especially those that are related to yours. Analyze and learn the effective things they’ve done to increase their PageRank and apply them to your work. You could also check out the pages of your top competitors, you might learn a lot from them but be careful not to copy their stuff as it is since they’ll be constantly checking out their competition. Copyright guidelines are finally catching up with those whoever replicate content, ending blacklisted by major search engines.
SEO forums are also helpful in guiding you about the latest trends in the Search Engine Optimization business. Experts mostly crowd in these forums to discuss the tricks and trends of the business. Moreover, new updates and trends about Search Engine Algorithms and Technology can be found on these forums so it is highly advisable that you check out those forums. However, the forums might be a little too complicated for beginners as terms often become too technical to comprehend even by seasoned users.
About the words
Now let us go down to business! It is time to know what are the keywords and keyphrases you’ll use for your copy! The key words and phrases would be the ones that you’ll use and try to integrate throughout the whole copy. It would be the bait you place in the hook in order to attract and hopefully catch your potential customers.
First of all, you and your client should brainstorm together (face to face if possible) about the keywords and keyphrases you need to use for the copy. It is important that you brainstorm together so that you’ll be able to stay true to the brand and have an effective choice for use in the search engine optimization efforts. You could make use of different keyword tools found in the internet such as Keyword Discovery, GoodKeywords, WordTracker, Overture, etc. (issues regarding their usability and effectiveness will be discussed separately). These tools can be downloaded or used directly over the world wide web should you choose to utilize it.
In choosing keyphrases or keywords remember to begin with and use popular but not-so-competitive” terms since it would be very difficult to compete with more established websites if you’ve just been starting. The above-mentioned tools will help you determine which key words or phrases you could use.
One word keywords are very difficult if not impossible to compete with as it would have a more general scope compared with keyphrases. As an example, if you’re trying to write content for a company selling educational toys, choosing a keyword like toys” would be a stupid idea since search engines would give around one hundred million hits for that particular keyword, while changing it into keyphrase like toys for students” or educational toys” would only have hits of around five million. This means that the chance that a web searcher would actually go to your website would be 100,000,000:1 under the keyword toys” while choosing the keyphrase educational toys” means a chance of 5,000,000:1, greatly increasing your chance of being visited. Besides, customers are more likely to refine their searches since using or typing just one word searches would mean being bombarded with a lot of unwanted info than they need, costing more time and effort.
Your keywords should specifically target (1) the product or service that you’re offering and (2) what people actually type whenever they use the search engines in looking for products and services like yours. A good example would be when writing content for a company selling kilns for bricks, you should not optimize for the keyword kiln for bricks” if most people actually type oven for bricks” when they’re looking for such equipment. It is useless to optimize for the term kiln when most people opt to type oven since a few if none will be looking for the term kiln.
You should also identify and discover various words and terms which are closely related to your keyword or keyphrases. Some key-terms and keyphrases are so intimately intertwined with others that one group associates it with a particular field while another choose to associate it with something else. One good example would be Cosmetic Surgery. Cosmetic Surgery is a medical procedure, so, it can be regarded as something related with medicine and surgery, while it is also correct to say that it is related with cosmetics and beauty. Since the fields of medicine, surgery, cosmetics and beauty are popular fields, optimizing for both the cosmetic and the surgical aspect of the keyphrase Cosmetic Surgery would bring more keyword hits for searches from individuals of both parts of the spectrum.
Another thing to think about is to integrate local terminologies or equivalents of your products or services when optimizing with key words or phrases. An elevator” in the US would be a lift” in the UK, a truck” in the US would be a lorry” in the UK, and the list goes on. When trying to sell products or services for a huge demographically different society, you should optimize for both of the groups as each would tend to search for the more familiar local term. Better yet, you could create different sites for different demographic groups, replacing particular key words and phrases; enabling you to cater to both.
Moreover, it would be wise to think about placing regional info or regional key words or phrases. Integrating regional info along with keywords and keyphrases enables users whoever prefer more specified searches to visit your website. You would also benefit from the limited competition because of the more specified search. Most people looking for products and services in the world wide web would certainly prefer to find what they need locally, so adding local regional info would certainly be of great help to you and your potential client. Another benefit is that you could add another keyword, which is the regional info to your existing key word or key phrase. As an example, instead of having just plumbing services” add Atlanta” before ‘plumbing services’. This would give you an edge over competitors as it would profoundly decrease your competition.
About the content
Now that you’ve the key words and phrases you would need its time to plan about the general thrust of the content, on what the content should be like.
Generally, the main idea of writing content is for it to be able to provide useful info for visitors in your site. You are primarily writing for the readers, the human visitors of your site, and about the products and services that you’ve to offer. Secondary to that idea is to provide the search engines info so they could properly and accurately index your site according to its proper category, so anyone whoever wants to look for something in particular, through the use of search engines, would eventually find what he needs. In other words, your content should be both customer-oriented and search engine friendly.
In order to do that, you need to plan properly on how to do your copywriting. The whole text should be able to give them what they need and need to know about the products and services you have. Hence, it is highly advisable that you read a lot of info about the subject product or service before you write the actual copy. The goal is to become extremely knowledgeable about the product, so you can explore all the possibilities and play with its strengths and weaknesses and write everything that’s needed.
One important thing to remember is to write content that’s unique. Copying content isn’t only plagiarism and cheating but is also a serious offense that could cause painful penalties under existing Copyright laws. More and more Intellectual Property Rights watch dogs are reporting cases of content stealing and have gained some grounds over the years. Major search engines are now penalizing sites which illegally acquire content from other sources. Penalties include permanently putting sites under a blacklist, sort of a permanent not to contact sites” for crawlers. Lawsuits and cases about web content writing are now increasing day by day, with more countries enacting laws on Intellectual Property Rights. The risks are just too great if you plagiarize and copy content. So make sure that you quote or place endnotes when you choose to use parts of other’s content.
And lastly, your content should be written in plain, simple, and natural language so as not to destroy the natural flow of words as you write. Highly technical words and terms should be reserved for highly technical discussions, and should be discouraged for each day world wide web use.
About the mood
You might be wondering what a section about mood is doing in a seo copywriting article, well, it certainly has a LOT to do about content writing. The mood of the reader would certainly affect the way he views a certain product or service. If you did not properly take care of the emotional side of your customer with your writing, think about him gone. Individual moods are affected by a lot of factors; although primarily it is internal, external factors could also affect his mood significantly and luckily what that individual reads is one of them.
First of all, you should be ‘in the mood’ for writing. Good copies are mostly written by writers whoever are either inspired or enlightened with what they’re about to write. Content writers should make sure that they’re in this special mood because the consequence of the opposite would be a very bad copy. A reader is also likely to be ‘drawn’ by an emphatic copy written superbly which would eventually end up making the reader get what you’re offering.
One thing you could do to achieve that’s to utilize emotional appeal to the reader. Try to integrate personal articles like you”, we”, and us” more often; try to get your visitors as involved as possible. Avoid being too passive as it would prevent you from establishing a connection or a relationship with your target reader.
Keep your readers or customers engaged with your site. Make them think and interact by asking questions, giving riddles or trivia. Most these create an air of friendliness for potential customers, and once you’ve made them comfortable reading, they’re more likely to respond positively to you. As much as possible make them do all their transactions in your site, give out all the details about what you’re offering so that can know everything they need to know. Trying to get with their web browser visitors ask questions and product or service info offline will be too cumbersome for them so be as accessible as possible.