If I see one more copywriting page from an SEO Company that looks like this (and this is a real page that I just blocked names out of to protect my victims and my own butt), I’ll scream:
We KNOW each page is optimized for ONE keyword/phrase, its synonyms and its individual words broken apart. But Lordy, add some life! Some zest! Even to category pages! Some readers do arrive at the page with eyeballs and brainstems, after all, and if they don’t read, they may scan. If they scan and like a line or two, they back up and read all the content.
Don’t Let the Programmer Do SEO Copywriting
I’ve met too many engineer-types in the last two years who’ve said, “well I can’t find a decent writer, so I just write the copy myself.”
What if I said to them, “I couldn’t find a programmer to code my site so I just wrote the code myself,” with a smile and a shrug. Not only would the programmer FLIP OUT, but my site would be a mess. It wouldn’t work. Get the drift?
When I was a kid growing up in rural Pennsylvania, a woman living even more remotely got snowed in and ended up with gangrene on one finger. To stop it from spreading before the snowplows could get through, she cut the finger off, saving her hand and earning her great applause from the community and even headlines in the nearby newspapers. Next thing you know, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and . . . you guessed it . . . she attempted a do-it-yourself mastectomy. No headlines or applause this time. True story. She survived, thanks to modern medicine, but I think family members removed the bread knives and even the grapefruit spoons if they were smart.
Oh no! I deviated from the main subject there. Google may cast me into hell! (Except it won’t.)
Anyway, the big SEO firms that I’ve seen recently have terrible entries for their content development and SEO copywriting category pages. Here are three tips to taser you into taking a chance on a more exciting search engine optimized copywriting that STILL appeals to Google.
- Break the 9th grade English class rules. Use one or two sentence paragraphs, particularly at the beginning of a post. These shorties eeeaaaaaase the reluctant reader into your longer paragraphs. Use a couple of exclamation points here and there, but keep them to one per paragraph, same with all caps on a word or two. Start sentences with “Anyway,” or “But,” even. (“A conjunction? Not a conjuction!” Mrs. Crabapple cries in your head.)
- Write vividly with specific sensory detail. Right now, I’m the hero at one of my resort membership clients because I changed their copy from: “explore your opportunities for fun and dining at XYZ resort” to “Haven’t you always wanted a 280-acre backyard? How about your choice of three pools, one of which is saline? A Moroccan-inspired dining room that always clean is the stuff of fantasy. We have three of them . . . all for you.” I still have lots of room to get the appropriate keyword in there.
When I asked my brewery client what he meant when he said, “you have to ferment a strong ale,” he got crabby. I pushed and ended up with this line, “Where other brands add extraneous flavoring, we let XYZ beer ferment for four to five months in order to allow the raisin-y, port wine and fruity notes develop naturally from just four classic ingredients: hops, grain, yeast and malt. Our devotion to the brewing process allows us to create classic craft beers in their truest form.” Four to five months! What a unique selling proposition! Old news to him was a great find for me. Also, did you know that a beer can have port wine, raisn-y and fruity notes? I sure didn’t. I love this SEO copywriter gig. The weirdness abounds! (Wow: three exclamation points in one paragraph. Just broke my own rule, but I like them there, so sit on it, Mrs. Crabapple.)
- Use stories right on the category pages, don’t just stick to dry information with statistics. Have you heard all of the hot air about “storytelling in your marketing?” Criminey, storytelling is just anecdotes and examples. Use specific details (per point 2 above) to make your “players” (clients, owners, marketers) human and vivid. Here’s an example: “When septuagenarian sex therapists, Drs. Barbara and Dan Keiller came to us for marketing help, they didn’t even know how to upload a new blog post.” I set up a dire situation here with characters you feel concern for and an obstacle. I’m making the reader TENSE. Think I’m making this example up? Check out my client, Enhancing Romancing, two amazing therapists dedicated to helping couples AND the environment, and really neat people to boot! But I digress . . . again. Back to my example: “Within six months, both were not only posting but gleefully hyperlinking, adding photos and thrilled about their increased traffic.” That’s all there is to storytelling. I resolved reader tension, surmounted the character’s obstacles, all in the space of two lines. As I said above, still lots of space for the assigned keyword/phrase.
SEO Copywriting Can (and Should) Be Lovely, Too!
Because I’m a service provider in an energetic field, I can write my own stuff with a smart-aleck flair. This said, even attorneys, health care professionals or funeral directors can vary sentence and paragraph length, add vivid details and create engaging stories in a respectful tone. I do write seriously, academically and concisely when the audience calls for those approaches. But I am a little fed up with any area of word work being dry as dust. If you or the staff member that handles your SEO content or website copywriting could use a little guidance settling on a tone and crafting search engine optimized category pages, blog posts and more, feel free to call (858-248-0667) or contact Informed Web Content. Scalable, we can get your content strategy going and provide 5 blog posts for you to model from. We can also supplement your blog posting efforts on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Optimized category pages, press releases and white papers roll regularly from our printers as well. Don’t forget our Free Tools page where you can pick up the Business Blog Start Up Kit, the Brainless Brainstormer to Get Optimized Blog Posts Done! and more.
These articles could help, too. After the complex work of keyword research, you’ll see that writing a page “themed” with a keyword/phrase isn’t that difficult.