In the past, most savvy website owners recognized the value of strong, compelling content; they appreciated the importance of copy that commands attention and persuades visitors with reason and with art to buy something or take a particular action.
But there’s a change happening. With the growing importance of search engine optimization, many e-businesses have shifted their content priorities. Satisfying the needs of human visitors has taken a back seat to keyword cramming and the scramble for higher search engine positioning.
And this has lead to some stilted and dysfunctional web content.
Search engine copywriting should help improve rankings, deliver traffic, AND convert it. Too many website owners employ search engine copywriting with the sole objective of driving traffic to the site. Period.
Then they cut that traffic loose to fend for itself. All those eager-to-buy prospects are dumped on the doorstep, facing a home page that offers them:
-No enticing headline.
-No benefit-driven, you-oriented sales message.
-No pitch explaining what makes this product or service superior.
-No irresistible call to action.
These visitors are clearly not getting the information or the motivation they need to make a buying decision. What they get instead is keyword-stuffed text that screams out, “Hey Google, spider this!” As a result, the site may get traffic but minimal or no increase in sales.
When it comes to search engine copywriting, doing half a job is worse than not doing it at all because you’ve wasted money on traffic that isn’t generating revenues and the substandard copy is damaging your company’s credibility in the process.
If you want to ensure that your web content is optimized correctly and that you will actually be in a position to convert some sales, here is a checklist to run on your copy after the keywords have been written in:
1. Does your optimized content offer useful information that’s compelling, informative, and easy to understand?
2. Does it flow naturally or are the keyword phrases stuffed in beyond the point of sense and sensibility?
3. Does your content obey the first commandment of good copy: “Thou shalt put thy customer before thyself.” In other words, does it talk benefits (“This is how we can help you”) or just glitzy features (“Look at me, look at me!”)
4. Could a first-time visitor arrive at your home page and be clearly guided to the information he/she seeks without getting lost or confused? Content is vital to successful usability.
5. Does each web page include enticing headings/subheadings and clear, persuasive body copy, wrapped up with a strong call to action (a link to another page, an invitation to make contact, or a buy button)?
In short, your optimized web content should adhere to the standards of good marketing communications that were selling products long before we became fixated on search engines. Because professional search engine copywriting never forgets that humans – not spiders – make the buying decisions.
To find out if your search engine copy is working at both levels, contact me for a complimentary website content analysis.