In today’s digital landscape, creating a beautiful looking website no longer guarantees success. In fact, you could have the most elegant looking website, but if your copywriting is substandard, you won’t be found and if you are found, you won’t engage your audience. So, how can you ensure that you strike the right balance between creating something visually stunning and creating winning SEO copy that converts? We’ve compiled a tried and tested checklist to help you.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE
You may be tempted to jump in and create something that you would like, but your website and your entire business depend on creating something that your customers want and need. So, rather than jump in blind, take a few minutes to consider what you are offering and what your audience expects.
Questions you should answer include:
- Who is your audience?
- Where do they frequent – websites, shops, publications they read?
- What do they like or dislike?
- How do they communicate – what words or phrases do they use to describe your products?
Answering these questions before you start helps to clarify who you are writing for and how to approach them. If you’d like a free structured worksheet to help guide you, email us.
2. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE PAGE
If you are creating an entirely new website, you might be tempted to ask ‘what is the purpose of the website’? That is valid, in a holistic sense, but it’s better to break it down page-by-page to keep things manageable.
Are you trying to inform and educate? Or are you trying to build community and strong relationships? Are you offering a product that solves a specific problem? Or perhaps you have a service that would improve someone’s life or business?
It’s important to identify what you are offering and how it will benefit your audience. Think about why they might seek out your website, page or product. What need or want are you fulfilling and how can you best explain it?
If it’s a product, maybe the best way is through video demos to show how it can be used. Or, if you are offering a service, perhaps a series of case studies to demonstrate real applications of your services and how much they have improved the lives and businesses of others would be better. Identifying the purpose makes choosing your delivery method much easier.
3. CHOOSE YOUR DELIVERY METHOD CAREFULLY
Not all content, services or products shine using plain text. Some things require images and video to really deliver the message. But don’t be fooled – even video needs copywriting. A video made without a carefully crafted script will likely veer off into rambling without a purpose, leading to confusion for your audience.
Video is keyword rich, offering you tremendous opportunities to reach a much larger audience on voice and video search than plain text alone – but only if executed properly. If you choose to use video or images, don’t skip the copywriting!
4. IDENTIFY YOUR KEYWORDS AND TERMS
Now that you’ve done the pre-prep work, it’s time to look at the information you’ve compiled and craft your keyword list. This is where you identify how your customers might search for your products and services. Think about how your customers communicate with you through searches on your website, email communications, in-person and phone enquiries. What terms and words do they use to describe your products, this is especially important if you are in a tech or jargon rich industry.
But don’t overlook your own terms. Some people take the time to learn the correct terminology for your services or products. Make sure that the terms you use inhouse are on your keyword list, too.
Once you’ve compiled the list, check to see how much competition you have for each term. This does take a bit of time and practise but is well worth the additional effort. There are plenty of great research tools like Google Trends and Keyword Tool to help steer you in the right direction.
5. START WRITING KILLER COPY
Armed with your keywords, your newly gained knowledge about your audience and (hopefully) bags of enthusiasm, it’s now time to write your winning SEO copy. Just a few pointers here to get you started:
- Identify your main point on each page and stick to it. With the exception of your ‘Home’, ‘Shop’ or ‘Services’ pages, each page should have a dedicated topic and a clearly defined point. Think back to your schools days and how to write the perfect essay. Same rules apply here.
- Use your chosen keywords – but don’t be a robot. Don’t just sprinkle the words about for the sake of it. Really consider how to use them naturally in each sentence. Remember, people have to read your copy – not just google bots. Your copy should be easy to read, sound natural and serve a purpose.
- Don’t make your paragraphs too long. It’s better to have each paragraph no more than 3-4 sentences. If it is longer than that, consider if you are trying to cover too many topics in one place. Can it be broken down further?
- Let your personality show. People buy from people – your voice should be consistent and recognisable.
- Read what you’ve written out loud. Does it sound right? Can you say it without stumbling? If not, edit.