Whether you’re relatively new to search engine optimization and search marking or an old pro, you’ve probably heard someone say “ Content Is King,” more times than you can count. It’s not just apples and oranges anymore, because someone (or in content’s case, something) won’t like either. So, allow me to reiterate the point one more time – just in case you weren’t paying attention.
Content is king when it comes to search engine optimization.
Bottom line, if you have strong, engaging web copy, you’ll see increases in search engine rankings and traffic because there is a greater likelihood you’ll be linked by other sites and be fodder for discussion. While human beings might love your content talking about apples and oranges, SEO content has to target search engines as well, which loves Kiwi.
As Erik Cisler of Wpromote Search Engine Marketing points out, SEO content must ultimately target human beings.
“Good content means targeting not just keywords, but key ideas that appeal to people. A lot of SEO content is written under the guise of being a ‘How To’ guide or an FAQ on a company’s site. That’s cool, great idea – but what if, I dunno, you actually approached those articles as legitimate sources of information,” Cisler says. (Unfortunately I lost the link tot he blog entry he posted this on!)
The point he’s really making here is that while writing optimized content that search engines will understand is all fine and good, there is absolutely no reason not to try to sell the readers while targeting a particular search engine’s algorithms. That’s where great copywriting enters the equation.
Let’s just face it. The copy on your Web site has to be able to persuade leads or consumers that your firm has what they need after the eyeballs hit the page. Sure, you may have copy jammed with keywords that will bring in the masses, but it’s just as important to have that copy persuade them that you’re better than your competition, who very well could be offering your same services at a considerable value. In order to land that consumer’s time and pocketbook, your site has to prove why someone should by from YOU.
And yet, brands seem to have a particularly difficult time grasping this idea. Many companies are depending too heavily on the popularity of their brand to drive traffic, as opposed to providing engaging content that happens to be laced with the right keywords. It’s truly a balancing act, and unless you can say your company happens to be a computer and software giant named after a piece of fruit and has a rabid consumer base that will buy anything and everything you offer, you need great copywriting and great content strategy.
Only an overarching content strategy, based on your business’ marketing goals as well as the needs and habits of consumers, will provide you with SEO friendly copy that will engage consumers.
In other words, avoid single pages that only use keywords that make the search engines go ga, ga. Provide content and product descriptions that do the same thing for your customers. Give them the facts to make an informed decision and a reason to come back. If that copy is sharable, something your customer would feel comfortable passing along to a friend, even better. Make your engaging SEO content sharable, embeddable. Most of all, it should inspire a reaction.
Chances are, you’ve received this type of copy for years in direct mail pieces and still see it everywhere you look.
“Don’t miss out on this exclusive, special, once-in-a-lifetime offer…”
You can laugh, but this form of content can and does work. It works even better if you have a product that consumers actually want.
Whether you’re doing it yourself or working with an agency, remember that SEO content is not about writing to make the search engine happy. Your SEO focused content should never undermine the legitimacy of your product or service. Yes, weave in the key phrases, have solid code and lots of title tags, but remember, the search engine isn’t going to buy anything from you and it won’t go out and share your site and product with its friends on Facebook.
Persuasive writing creates engagement. Engagement means more comments, pass along value, and assures that your content is being tweeted, posted, dug, stumbled upon and indexed by spiders that aren’t just from search engines.
Engagement plus persuasive writing, plus SEO friendly will ultimately yield a better page rank and get your site higher in those all too important organic search rankings.
So, embrace the fact that SEO content is more than just apples and oranges and stuffing pages full of keywords. Eighty percent of your battle is selling your customer once they get there. When you have better content, you’ll have a better ROI.
Photo: Meliha Gojak