Whether you are an experienced copywriter or a novice, you can create content that sells. While keywords are important, professionalism and creativity are equally key. So how do you balance SEO with good writing to create that perfect package of content that attracts readers and holds their interest? Here a few tips to help you get started.
Write Good Headlines
While it would be nice to consider that viewers peruse your content with a love of literacy, savoring your words like a good roast beef, the truth is that most people scan. Those surfing the Internet are often on a mission, and they want answers–not beautiful words. Your best “in” is with eye-catching headlines.
The first step in creating good headlines is knowing what your readers want. Once you have that, it’s as simple as writing a headline that answers what they want. No need to get elaborate. If you sell used books, for example, merely state: “Are you looking for used books?”
One caveat: don’t get too wordy. If your headline takes up more than one line in size 11 font, you need to scale back. Think of a simple way to say what you have to offer.
Once you have established an enticing headline, follow up with an equally appealing tagline. Take, for example, the catchy tagline used by Powell’s Books: “Let’s Talk Books”. Or you may get more descriptive: “Welcome to the world of used books.”
How to Write an Appealing Home Page
The next step is the formidable homepage. No pressure or anything; it’s only the most likely make-break point on your website. It is here that readers will get a flavor for your site and decide whether you can offer what they want. If they aren’t impressed, it only takes one click to exit and search somewhere else. It’s really not that difficult, however, if you understand the purpose of your home page.
The goal of a good home page is to delight your reader and make them hungry for more. This must be done in the first paragraph–otherwise, you will lose them. It is important that you understand the meaning of the word “delight”. Your purpose is not to hammer them with information, to be the overzealous car salesman. You want to draw your readers in, to make them feel comfortable and welcome.
In any social situation, how do you make others feel comfortable? How do you let them know that you are interested in them? It is unlikely that you pummel them with information about yourself; you probably ask them about themselves. When writing content, you want to follow the same principle. Instead of boasting about your years of experience, try asking, “Do you think books will ever go out of style?” Grab their attention first; then tell them how you can provide what they need.
A Few Important Points
When writing web content, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First and foremost, do not assume an “everyone knows” attitude. Present a professional, well-researched image; do not make your reader feel like you are looking down at him. He should feel like you took your time to do thorough research and give him the information he needs.
Secondly, use vivid adjectives. This does not mean that you need to crack out the thesaurus and pepper your content with modifiers. It does, however, mean that you need to find the exact word you need to bring your content to life.
Last but not least: proofread, proofread, proofread. There is nothing worse than a page of content that is littered with errors. It is like showing up to a job interview in ripped, stained clothes. Your communication should be polished until it is easy and pleasant to read.