Writing SEO content has become more complex in recent years. A decade ago, the main job of an SEO copywriter was to stuff their chosen keyword into an article as many times as they possibly could without collapsing the meaning of the English language (sometimes it didn’t matter if they did that too). Nowadays, a good content marketer has to do so much more.
A good piece of content marketing will be in-depth enough to answer genuine questions that a reader may have, yet simple enough to make it easy to find the answer. It will delve deep into a certain topic yet still be broad enough to be picked up on multiple search terms. Above all, it will be written with a specific audience in mind – in this article, we’ll discuss how to go about identifying that audience and writing a piece of content that will hook them in and keep them coming back regularly for more.
Build a persona for your audience
Some SEO copywriters will start their research by looking at the keywords that drive most search volume to websites in their category. While it’s certainly important to be aware of this information, you’ll get a far better start if you stop to think about your audience first. Try to avoid thinking of them in terms of demographic identifiers (age, social class, occupation) etc. and try and think of their whole personality. What do they enjoy doing? Do they spend a lot of time alone with friends, what drives them to make decisions, what are the things that will really make them sit up and pay attention to your article?
The odds are that, once you’ve sketched out this image of the person visiting your website, you’ll find it much easier to identify the search terms that they would use. Only then is it time to take a look at the search volumes and other technical information you’ll want to review before you start work on any particular piece of content marketing.
What to include in the article
The format your article should take depends on the type of search term that you’re targeting and how you want your results to appear. For example, if you’re targeting potential customers who are in the research phase of the buying process, then it might make sense to pose a series of questions in your article (structuring the entire article to read like an FAQ section can work well here). On the other hand, if you’re trying to appeal to people who are making comparisons between you and competitors then charts, testimonials and comparison grids can be a great way of getting your message across.
Try not to be tied to any particular type of media for your content marketing campaign. Instead, reassess the way that you’re going to convey your message every time that you start a new copywriting project. This will allow you to keep your ideas fresh and relevant for every new audience you target.
Getting the technical side right
Of course, audience targeting doesn’t mean that you can ignore the technical aspects that drive any good piece of SEO copywriting. As well as ensuring that you include your keywords, you use sensible and relevant headers of various sizes and that your site works properly, loads quickly and is responsive, you’ll have to make sure that your piece is actually fairly straightforward for people to read. Juggling all of these competing elements in your writing project is easier said than done and a copywriting project can sometimes feel like a game of Whack a Mole, with one issue popping up to be troublesome just as soon as you thought you’d solved the last one.
One way around this series of issues is to constantly monitor the complexity of your writing throughout the project. It’s easy to become obsessed with hitting all of your technical marks and end up with a massively complex piece of content that nobody would actually want to read. Whilst it’s not a fool proof measurement, using something like the Flesch Reading Difficulty Scale can help you to stay on track throughout the writing process and avoid you getting lost in a forest of words when you’re writing.
Above all, there’s one golden rule that you should remember when you’re preparing a piece of content marketing – will my audience find this interesting to read? If they won’t, then your content marketing project will have failed. Keep this aim in mind throughout the writing process and make sure you stop regularly to read what you have written so far and see it through your audience’s eyes. This will make it far easier for you to achieve your content marketing goals.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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