Effective Action Based Copywriting

Dec 6, 2007 • 1:21 pm | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under WebmasterWorld PubCon 2007 Las Vegas
 

Effective Action Based Copywriting Location: Salon D

Copywriting, copywriting, copywriting – it’s not just about lots of content anymore. This session will examine ways to write effective copy for search and sales. Learn about action based copywrighting from leaders in the industry.

Moderator: Heather Lloyd-Martin Speakers: Brian Clark, Copy Blogger Heather Lloyd-Martin, President, North American Division, SuccessWorks Jill Whalen, CEO, High Rankings

Heather is first and she talks about how content is so important for search engine purposes and also helps improve ROI. The way you create and write your copy as persuasion architecture can make the difference between getting a so-so sale and tremendous success.

5 tips: Learning to love keyphrases. 3 tips: (1) optimize for three related key phrases per page. Some people do one key phrase and stuff their page full of that one key phrase (the money key phrase). You can still have more keyphrases without risks. (2) how you focus your keyphrases depends on the page type (home, product, resource). A lot of people think the home page is everything but it's really not. It's more like the back cover of a book. (3) don't fear keyphrase overlap. It's a good thing. Once you do it, it can help you make your site more relevant.

Work with your wordcount: search engines index the page and the words therein. It's good to provide information. The rule of thumb that's fuzzy - it's about 250 words per page. It depends on the type of page. Technical fields allow you to go over without sacrificing readability but e-commerce sites don't work well in that format because that would be too much fluff. I don't subscribe to keyphrase density but some people do. If it's relevant for that keyphrase, it's really good to go.

Power Keyphrase positions: main body text copy, top to bottom; headlines and subheadlines; and hyperlinks. If you have benefit statements in that headline/subheadlines, you'll immediately grab that person's attention. Put a keyphrase in the hyperlink since it benefits search engines.

Pen-tantalizing titles. The first opportunity for conversion is the SERP: the clickability of a title that differentiates you from the others who have their results on the same page.

Keyphrase rich content + keyphrase rich titles = search engine love

Pen-sorching hot titles: - Think "clickability" - Create unique titles for every page - Include each page's main keyphrases - Don't necessarily target your company name though that's something you should test for clickthrough. - Each title should be 50-75 characters with spaces.

Google hint - place benefit statements near your main keyphrases. When Google takes a snippet from your SERP, your description boosts you benefits.

Leverage lots of content opportunities. Content is not just your blog. Check out sephora.com.

REmember what SEO copywriting is ... and isn't. DOn't shove keyphrases into the content and assume it's good. SEO copywriting is the same thing as traditional direct response copywriting but you need to do it just a little differently for search engines. (Bob Bly - every word written is to target your audience.) That's where you see incredible success. Search engines don't pay your bills so write for the customer who do!

www.searchenginewriting.com - free SEO copywriting guide is available on Heather's site.

Jill Whalen is up next.

What's good content? The regular pages of your site - every page should have content that describes your offerings and services. It should speak to your target audience. You want to provide them with information.

Some content is king and some content sucks. Content that's written for your users while keeping the search engines in mind = content that is king. Get the right balance.

What do you need to do for content? - Keyword Research: find what words people are using to find sites like yours. - Base your copywriitng around those words: answer their search on your web page.

Choose phrases: - On the home page, do more general terms. - In the inner pages, use specific phrases.

Engines have to see the content, so avoid graphical headlines, Flash or graphics, and technical programming that traps spiders.

Some tips: - Be descriptive. Try something like "our Toronto event planning services" instead of "our product" or "our service." Just be careful and don't stuff it a billion times. - Don't optimize for single words; expand into phrases. For example, what is "Marketing?" Maybe you can revise it to "Internet Marketing Strategy" or "Marketing your Business" or "Opt-in Email Marketing" or "Marketing Program" - Don't fake real content. Fix your site - don't add useless articles and write clearly and descriptively. It's going to take work. That's the reality. - Remember: great content gets you great links. It brings highly targeted visitors that want exactly what you have to offer and converts them into customers.

Finally, up last is Brian Clark whose blog is totally awesome. If you have never visited it, it's at CopyBlogger and you should bookmark it. You'll thank me.

Brian's presentation is entitled "Attention and Persuasion Strategies for Search: Creating Content that Ranks Well and Sells."

You can write in a direct response way to offer organic links.

Here's what you should keep in mind: How can you create a piece of content that attracts links and persuades people to convert (subscribe, buy something, etc.)? No one is going to link to your sales page, at least not naturally. Provide the following: - Independent value. We like to get straight to the point but that's like asking people to marry you on a first date. Add something extra, such as a tutorial or a how-to. At the minimum, tell someone why. It develops a persuasion story that naturally leads to the action you want them to take. - Headline and hook. The headline is the title and that has to contain your keywords. The hook is the angle. It's the beginning of what kind of story you're going to tell. You want to engage people, capture their attention, and get them to read. Attention nowadays is so valuable. You don't want to repeat their search phrases right back to them. - Scannable structure. If the opening engages them but that's all, that's not so good. You still need to communicate your points with subheads, lists, bullet points, etc. These are opportunities to repeat your keywords. You're writing about that topic and are presenting in a natural way that represents your subject matter. - What's the story? This is an overview. These all feed off each other. You need to approach your content in such a way to get a cohesive overall piece.

He uses an example of eBook creation and how he blogged about it with a how-to with subheaders that holds people's attention. (He says that doing so is 80-90% of the battle. I'd be inclined to agree.)

Selling tips from Aristotle: have an opening, empathy, solution, and action. - Essentially you want to structure a story that has a great hook (opening). You need to understand the reader's problem (empathy). Then the solution appears (general terms about what it takes to solve the problem) which leads to your solution or your call to action - you link to another page that is a sales page.

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Comments:

Mike Tekula

12/06/2007 08:59 pm

Tamar, Big thanks for reporting so diligently! This is invaluable. I'm sad I had to miss yet another conference on account of not having the capital, but at least people like you are there posting for the rest of us directly! It does not go unappreciated. -Mike

Tamar Weinberg

12/10/2007 02:14 am

Thanks Mike! :) Glad you enjoyed it! This one was a fun one to cover since one of my favorite bloggers ever (Brian of Copyblogger) was speaking! I couldn't miss it!

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