When it comes to your online presence, you need to cover a lot of ground. After all, brands rely on more than their website or Facebook page in order to reach new customers and convey their image. You need to have solid content on everything from your ads and Reddit posts to your product descriptions and web page.
In order to be successful amongst a sea of competitors vying for your audience’s attention, you need content that encourages your readers to not only scroll, but to engage. Here are some ways to do that on every channel.
In the modern age, virtually every company needs to have a presence on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. However, it’s not enough to simply have a page.
You need to create interesting, well-written posts that encourage your followers to engage with your content. Some ways to do that:
- Develop a Voice: Is your content witty or serious? Developing a voice for your brand will help your audience understand your company’s personality, helping you appear more trustworthy. Decide on what your tone and style will be, and keep it consistent.
- Make it Shareable: Social media is all about community, and you want followers to feel compelled to share your content with their own followers. Include helpful information and tie into current events to make your content useful. For example, a doctor might share some copywriting tips on how to stay healthy during flu season, which would be extremely relevant to post during the fall.
- Use Visuals: Did you know that images engage 30% of our brains? Humans are visual creatures, and including things like infographics, pictures, and GIFs will help grab your readers’ attention.
With search engine and social media algorithms constantly changing, email is one of the best guaranteed ways to get your content in front of your audience. If you can get them to open your emails, that is. If you want to boost your open rate, try these copywriting tips:
- Write Catchy Subject Lines: This is the first part of your message that recipients will receive, and it should entice them to click. In fact, 47% of people choose which emails to open based on this part alone, while 68% will report an email as spam for the same reason.
- Focus On Preview Text: Once you’re past the subject line hurdle, focus on the preview. Normally the first few lines of text, this is what gives readers more information about your email’s content. Craft this carefully and make sure it makes your subject matter clear – you have approximately 35 to 140 characters to do this with.
- Provide Value: Avoid being overly promotional with your newsletter content, which can turn readers off. You want to come off as an expert in your industry, whose advice subscribers look forward to receiving. For example, car dealerships should be providing tips on car maintenance or how to plan your next road trip. Of course, you can also include information about upcoming sales or special offers, but make sure this isn’t the bulk of your content.
Blogging is a crucial part of an SEO strategy. In fact, having a blog featured as a prominent part of your website boosts your chances of ranking high on search engines by 434%, which is a crazy number you’d be ill-advised to ignore. But how can you ensure your blog content is effective and drawing people to your website?
“It is very easy for a topic to get off track or to choose a topic in the first place that’s interesting but not impactful or relevant to the goals,” says Ashley Moore, Founder & CEO at AM Public Relations. “A mind map of content focused on 3-5 key areas is the best place to start. Once the client agrees with those topics, you can build out and begin to tackle individual pieces.”
When it comes to tackling individual pieces, try these copywriting tips:
- Perform Keyword Research: Using certain keywords in your blog content is a smart way to boost traffic to your website. Try using keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush to understand what kind of search traffic exists in your subject area. Aim for 10 – 15 keywords in your chosen concentration and create content around these terms. For example, a doctor that is trying to rank for the search term “pediatricians near me” should include the term within a blog post containing children’s health tips.
- Know Your Audience: Even the most perfect blog post will be lost if it’s written for an audience that isn’t visiting your page. Research your demographic to understand what’s important to your reader. You should be able to answer the following:
- What makes my audience happy?
- What problems does my audience have in common?
- If my audience was just one person, what would they be like? How old are they?
- What does my audience care about?
- Consider Length: The best-performing blog posts tend to average between 1,800 to 2,500 words. Pages that rank at the bottom of the first page on a search engine are typically around 1,800 words. However, make sure you’re not including fluff or filler in order to boost your word count. Your copy should be smooth and easy to read, so cut out anything that isn’t essential to your message.
“What doesn’t really work is winging blog content month after month. There is a cohesive message all of your content should have. What can be hard is reminding your client that their bright idea doesn’t align. Work with them to see where it might; how can it be tweaked to fit? You’ll be happy you pushed a little.” – Ashley Moore, Founder & CEO at AM Public Relations
One of the best things to remember about web copy is that, unlike blog posts and magazine articles, it’s typically scanned. The typical web visitor is trying to find information, services or products as quickly as possible, and your copy needs to be persuasive in a short amount of time. Some ways to achieve that:
- Lead With Your Strongest Information: When it comes to effective web copy, your most important information should always be first. If it’s your landing page, start with a simple statement that sums about what your brand is all about. Journalists refer to this as the inverted pyramid – essentially, the first paragraph of any story should allow readers to understand the big picture.
- Make It Easy: Remember that part about scanning? To keep readers on your page, pretend you’re writing for lazy people. Use short paragraphs that are about four sentences each. Each sentence should have about 10 – 12 words, with any jargon or fluff cut out. Eliminate any information that isn’t strictly necessary to get your point across.
- Write Like How You Talk: It might be tempting to pull out the thesaurus to impress your readers, but this actually makes it less likely for them to find your website. Use words that people are more likely to plug into a search engine. For example, if you are looking for interior design projects, you’re more likely to search for “easy home projects” than “beginner’s home décor projects.”
Did you know that 90% of consumers do their shopping online? To increase your organic search rankings and encourage ales, e-commerce websites should focus on crafting descriptive product descriptions that explain exactly what they’ll be receiving.
In fact, 98% of shoppers have been dissuaded from completing a purchase if the product description is incomplete or incorrect. Here’s how to ensure your customers don’t leave items in their shopping cart:
- Focus on Features & Benefits: It’s not enough to describe what materials your product is made from, or to list out specs. Paint a picture for your reader about how this product will improve their lives by including three or four high-value features. For example, instead of sharing that your yoga pants are made from spandex, elaborate on how this affects the fit of the product or enables them to stretch better.
- Use Bullet Points: Web visitors are likely scanning your content, and bullet points help break up information and make it easy to digest. It also helps jazz up a plain website by adding some visual interest.
- Remember SEO: Using keywords in product descriptions and using bullet point helps catch the attention of search engines. This makes customers more likely to find your product in the first place and lets them know right away that your product fits their needs.
SEO copy helps people who are interested in your services or product find you. It can be difficult to strike a balance between writing copy that doesn’t put readers to sleep while still helping you rank high on search engine result pages.
“One of the most commonly asked questions of modern times is how to write good SEO copy,” says Alex Kafure, a digital marketing consultant. “The answer is simple: make sure its unique. If you’re copying sections of your article from another article, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re hiring a writer, make sure you check that copy to see if it’s unique. Don’t use duplicate copy. This is the number one rule of SEO copy these days.”
Here are some tips for writing SEO copy that doesn’t make you sound like a generic robot:
- Break It Up: You want your content to be easy to digest and simple to read. To help guide your reader’s eye, use sub-headers, short paragraphs, and bullets to break up your text. This boosts the likelihood that visitors will read all of your content, keeping them on your page longer while helping your SEO ranking go up.
- Include Links: It’s not just about keywords. To make your content look more valuable, include both internal and external links. Internal links will provide a structure that affects the crawlability of your page, which search engines love. Linking to credible external pages will make your content look more valuable to a search engine, which wants to provide searchers with effective results.
- Pay Attention to Keyword Density: A mistake that many first-time SEO writers make is stuffing their content with their chosen keyword. However, this is an easy way to turn your reader off and make your writing look inauthentic. While there’s no ideal percentage, your keyword should ideally only appear in your content a few times.
“Try and stay away from using the same keyword more than five times in one article,” suggests Kafure. “If you have enough articles, you’ll be credible enough to not need so much fluff in just one.”
The Mad Men era might be long behind us, but the effectiveness of ads isn’t. After all, there’s a reason why 71% of Google’s revenue comes from their advertising service. However, to stand out amongst a sea of advertisements, impeccable writing is important.
“When writing ad copy, understand that you’re not going to get it right every time. You need to write 100 headlines, not just one. Write as many as you can and use others to help go through them and choose your top five to ten. If possible, split test all the headlines against each other in an effort to see which one gets the most clicks.” – Alex Kafure, Digital Marketing Consultant
- Include Numbers & Stats: Though many might claim that math was their least-favorite subject in school, most people react positively to numbers. Many potential customers already know how much they’re willing to spend, so including figures in your ad will help speed up their decision.
- Use Punctuation: Want to draw in a reader’s attention? End the first sentence after your headline with a punctuation mark. This will help your ad place higher and convey emotion in your reader.
- Focus On Benefits: How will your product or service make your reader’s life easier? Don’t be shy – let them know exactly how making a purchase will solve their problem. For example, if you’re placing an ad for a new fitness package, include a line on how your gym will help them get ready for Spring Break.
Whether it’s Reddit or Quora, some of the best places to start a discussion about the subjects you’re passionate about is an online forum. These public places require more tact than your blog or social media account, but are a fantastic way to engage your audience and find out more about what your ideal customer wants. Here are some smart copywriting tips to make a good impression on these sites:
- Think Before You Write: Think of how you can add to the conversation about your industry in an authentic, genuine way. Your post shouldn’t be a carbon copy of the others posted on your forum. Spend some time reading other posts to get an idea of what has already been discussed and what areas you can provide insight on. This will get more eyes on your content and make your input more valuable.
- Don’t Be Promotional: Online forums are ruthless. If members sense that you’re just trying to push your product or service, you’ll receive a ton of flack while also likely having your post taken down. Avoid pitching your brand and instead start a conversation about an important topic in your industry.
- Link to Other Websites: It’s important to backup what you say. Reference other studies, experts, or websites when making a point. Not only does this back up your credibility, but it also shows readers that you researched your topic and are trying to add value.
When it comes to boosting your image as a thought leader and generating more backlinks to your page, there’s no more effective way than guest posts. These articles are penned by you and published on other webpages. Whether it’s another company’s blog or a trade magazine, these posts often contain links to your page that draw readers to your website. Of course, to attract people to your page you need to have something interesting to say. Here are some ideas.
- Follow the Guidelines: This tip might seem boring, but it’s crucial. In order to have your content even be published, you’ll need to conform to your chosen publication’s guidelines. This includes everything from word count to what kind of information you can include in your biography.
- Be Timely: While some evergreen topics will always perform well, the best guest posts are timely and discuss a topic that is trending within the industry. When pitching your prospective topic, take some time to read through recent headlines and get an idea of what your industry is buzzing about. This increases the likelihood not only that your pitch is accepted, but that readers will be interested in what you have to say.
- Don’t Be Promotional: A reader will be instantly turned off if they read a guest post that sounds like an advertisement. To increase the likelihood that your audience will actually read what you’re writing, avoid plugging yourself within the post. Your bio (which will ideally include your company and industry) will speak enough to your expertise and encourage readers to learn more about your company.
Fortunately, it’s completely possible to go viral even if you’re defunct of groovy dance moves or an adorable pet. When your content is viral, it means that your work encourages people to share it with their own audience, which furthers your reach and enables others to learn more about you. When it comes to writing content that people are moved to share with others, there are a few core principles to keep in mind.
- Be Relevant: It might seem obvious, but the best viral content is timely and tied to current events. This could be a newly released product, a controversial news topic or a new fad. Try to tie into a topic or situation that is currently being heavily discussed online. Offer a unique take on the subject that sets you apart and gives you a unique voice.
- Leverage Social Media: It’s not enough to hope that your audience stumbles across your content. Use your social media channels to share your content, which will increase the likelihood that it will spread. Use relevant hashtags and target influencers in your industry that would be interested in what you have to say.
- Evoke Emotion: How do you want your audience to feel? Some content becomes viral because it shocks, enlightens, or offends people. Decide on the message that you want to convey and the image that you want to build. The best type of viral content makes its audience feel something, whether it’s joy, anger, or something in-between.