This session at Salon E focused on an approach to SEO copywriting that understands the difference of each keyword and persona. The speakers emphasized that there was no one-size-fits all type of attitude which could be followed in SEO copywriting in contemporary times. They stressed the importance of delineating the type of content considered natural for the targeted keywords. They also advised that the tone and style of the content plays a massive role in influencing readers to act immediately. The best tools and tricks for the right blueprint for website content creation were also discussed during the session.
Kevin Adams (@KevinAdamsPPC) – Director of SEM Wright IMC
Mindy Weinstein (@mindydweinstein) – SEO Manager of Bruce Clay, Inc.
Lindsay Mineo (@LindsayMineo) – senior search strategist at ThunderActive
Mindy stressed on the need to understand what the audience wants while engaging in content creation. She also emphasized the importance of creating magnetic content and advocated 4 tips for successful SEO copywriting.
Lindsay shared the tips and tricks for optimal SEO copywriting and content creation for people that also taps the potential of search engines.
Tips Addressing the Human Element of Content Marketing
Mindy started her presentation on a thought provoking note by asking the audience that where should one start when one is composing an article, a blog post or a home page. She then went on to answer that the focus needs to be on the “human element.”
Where Should One Start?
Mindy emphasized that content creators need to listen to the audience before composing any type of information or article. She said they need to deliver what the audience expects and this is only possible if emotional connections can be made via the words.
Mindy said that understanding people is all about listening to them and this can be quite a difficult thing to do in the digital world. She said the first step the content creating SEO copywriters need to do is to understand who their audience is.
Mindy also said that the following questions need to be asked to understand who the audience for a particular content is:
- Who is visiting the site?
- What is the demographic which is being targeted?
- What does the audience need and desire?
- What are the expectations of the audience?
- How can the website help?
- To what extent does the content which has been created meet the needs of the audience?
Knowing What The Consumer Needs
Having an exact idea of what the consumers need and want is important, feels Mindy. She said this can help to address the needs and requirements of the customers. She also advised to be empathetic as far as the tone of the content is concerned so that customers can connect with a particular company and/or its products and brands.
Mindy said that SEO copywriters to visualize their audience and select topics via trust building in the content.
Tip#1: Listen to Your Audience
SEO copywriters need to have clarity about what their audience wants to hear, stressed Mindy. She also advocated that the copywriters need to understand their audience. Mindy quoted Ralph Nichols who said, “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”
How To Listen
Mindy stressed that SEO copywriters can listen to their audience by:
- Learning all they can about their target audience
- Writing about topics and replying to questions the audience cares about
Content should also demonstrate SEO copywriters understand what the prospects/ customers require or desire to hear
Mindy asked SEO copywriters to close their eyes and imagine the people they are talking to, something which the competitors are not doing. Trust and empathy are imperative if SEO copywriters want to succeed, she stressed.
She also criticized the view that saying Welcome to Our Website sums it all up, saying that more than 18 million sites are already doing this and it does not work for the visitor.
Mindy also stressed that SEO copywriters should not start the process of content creation without first understanding the following:
- What does the audience want/need?
- What are their expectations?
- How can the website be of help to them?
She also reiterated the importance of the first sentence in any content created by SEO copywriters. Mindy said that this is the point where you rope in the readers and interest them enough to keep on reading. The sentence also needs to capture why the audience is there and what they need.
How to Hear the Audience
Mindy advocated listening to the audience through the following ways:
- Social Media
- Focus Groups
- Customer Service
- Outreach to existing customers
Social media is the closest one can get to read the mind of others, Mindy said. Conducting surveys was also a good method as it enabled people to obtain comments as well as feedback, and getting to know the audience better and learn what their care about, she also said.
Finally, SEO copywriters can hear from the front lines through customer service and outreach to existing customers, she said. Another very good way to succeed is to discover perceptions, through focus groups, clarifies Mindy.
Tip #2: Research the Keywords
Mindy also said it was urgent to target the correct keywords and have a clear idea about the demographics for the keyword. She also cautioned that associated keywords or synonyms should not be neglected.
Her prime keyword research tools include:
- KSP Tool
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Google Instant
- Bing Ads Intelligence
- Keyword Tool I/O
Tip #3: Create The Blueprint
Every keyword is different, stressed Mindy. She also laid emphasis on the vital importance of understanding intent. Mindy also said SEO copywriters must know which search engines are rewarding. She recommended reviewing the top pages which are most visited. Mindy also advocated ascertaining the normal behavior of the competitors.
Top Analysis Tools
Mindy says the following analysis tools rule
- WooRank Website Review
- Microsoft Word and Excel
- SEOToolSet Single Page Analyzer
- Internet Marketing Ninjas On-Page Optimization Tool
- Google advanced Search
Tip #4: Develop Magnetic Content That Is Audience Focused
Mindy also recommended staying focused on what the audience or the “you” wants and incorporating a “you” oriented attitude to design online content, aiming at understanding:
- Why should the audience listen?
- Why should the audience care?
- Why was such a message created from point one?
She also cautioned that the copywriters should use tone and messaging that is appropriate so that one can connect. Avoid being blind by going in for an editorial calendar, said Mindy.
She concluded her presentation by discussing the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer which shows headlines with higher emotional marketing value have higher social shares.
Tools and Tricks for SEO Writers
Lindsay started her session by saying that regardless of the brand and agency is being written for, the end result is that the content reaches someone who does not comprehend SEO.
2 Key Points
Lindsay said that 2 key points need to be remembered in copywriting:
- Finding inspiration
- Measuring results
Getting inspired is all about finding out what motivates you and makes you feel passionate about a certain topic, says Lindsay. She also talked of how sometimes, as copywriters we run out of creative juices and this is why a “writer's room” is important.
Writer's Room and Customer Service Team: 2 Great Sources
Lindsay said the writer's room is a great place where the creative team can come together and get ideas for new and original content. Another very important source of information is the customer care team which talks to the buyers. They can give a very accurate idea of what the customer wants, says Lindsay.
Importance of Persona Building
Lindsay also stressed on the importance of persona building and relating to the audience by perceiving them as human beings. At the end of the day, she says, it is human beings and not robots who will be visiting the sites and viewing the content.
Conducting Keyword Research
Topics that are to be covered should be unearthed with AdWords Keyword Planner, said Lindsay. This tool is free and helpful for finding new keywords, she said. Lindsay also urged copywriters to get traffic estimates and search volume for keywords as well.
Discovering the Right Voice
You need to understand and connect with the audience as people and she suggested clients or brands should be researched to find out which voice they prefer and want. Voices can range from the humorous to the ultra-professional and Lindsay recommended finding out the voice at the start so that you do not commit an error later.
Two Important Points While Using Voices
Lindsay cautioned that those who are composing content for legal and/or medical sites should still try to retain a personality in the content to avoid “sounding like an encyclopedia.”
She said that people who write using a humorous tone must avoid being insensitive as brands which use wrong hashtags, photos and words will pay the price for it.
Check Out the Competition
Lindsay also said that it was important to know what the competition was up to and how you can outperform them. She suggested using the Facebook Graph to look out for competitor analysis.
Lindsay also highlighted the following features of better content:
- All the content should be associated with some visual aspect
- White space should be used
- There should be complete understanding and comprehension of the language which is being used. This is even more important if you are outsourcing content, Lindsay warned.
- Clear understanding of terms being used especially slang and regional content
- Create content for people, not robots
- Employ the use of title tags and meta descriptions but avoid keyword stuffing
To measure results, Lindsay recommended using the following tools:
- Content Idea Generator
- Open Site Explorer
- Google+ Communities
- Competitors’ social media accounts
- Title Tag Planner
- Content Idea Generator
- Mail Chimp or Survey Monkey
- Majestic SEO
- Buffer’s Big List of 1879 Words that Convert
She suggested using the websites, blogs and social media of competitors because this enables copywriters to understand people who are reaching the same audience. Facebook Graph Search is wonderful for localized searchers and long tailed keywords, she said.
Lindsay said Quora was ideal for finding out what questions the clients were asking and using content to provide the solutions.
She also recommended filtering Google search content down to news or articles. Google Plus enables copywriters to find communities pertaining to their related demographic, Lindsay said. Title tag by Moz is also useful, she felt.
Tools and Resources
Lindsay concluded her presentation by talking about measuring results using tools such as Google's Analytics and blogs such as Convert and 5 Better Steps To Graphics. She advocated using tools to create content that is engaging and not just SEO oriented as this will add to content creation in many ways.