Internet marketing used to be so much easier before Google and the other search engines began to smarten up. A marketer only had to stuff a website full of keywords and they could grab the top spot in Google. Traffic flowed, many sales were had and the search engines grew wise to this scheme. After that, marketers figured out that you couldn’t keyword stuff, the website had to have content on it, only that content didn’t really need to be very good. So, those marketers figured out what they could outsource their content to third-world countries for less than pennies a word. This cheap content sounded as much and the Internet became a cesspool of awful content and incessant sales pitches.
Alas, welcome to the future of online marketing where content is and always will be king. The search engines, especially Google with its army of webmaster-killing winter animal themed algorithm changes, have certainly wised up and bad or even so-so content will not cut it anymore.
Great Content Gets Great Results
You cannot skimp on your writing if you hope to gain attention with your online marketing efforts. Search engine spiders and consumers alike are wary of marketers these days, and for good reason. People will try to game the system at every turn if you let them. This is why it is imperative that you spend the time to write great content or else you must outsource your content creation efforts to someone who will and can create that great content for you.
Now, let’s define great content. You do not have to be Earnest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson or Stephen King to craft engaging web copy. Even if you’re not the best writer in the world, you can create copy that gets results if you follow a few key tips.
Proper Spelling and Grammar
There should be no spelling or grammar mistakes in your document. Whatever you publish online is considered permanent and your goal is to have many eyes see it. Spend time to make sure your web copy is presentable before you publish. Use a word processor with a spelling/grammar checker and don’t be afraid to have someone else look it over just in case.
Knowledge Of Subject And Audience
The web copywriter does not just sit down and start cranking out a piece. Instead, extensive study and research must be conducted. This includes keyword research. The web copywriter must know which keywords to include if the piece is going to rank highly in the search engines.
Next, the copywriter must conduct extensive research on the audience. Who will be reading the piece? What are their goals and motivations? What type of language and buzz keywords do they use when talking to other people in the know? What types of problems are they facing?
Finally, research must be conducted on the subject at hand. If the web copywriter will be writing a product review, the writer should research the product and the industry the product belongs in so that he or she can write knowledgably on the subject.
The skilled copywriter can write about any subject with authority as long as the proper research is conducted. This will take practice, but you will get the hang of it before long.
How To Write For The Internet
Again, you don’t have to be an expert writer to write effective website copy. You simply need to know your subject, your audience and then just write like you talk. Keep your language simple and use buzz words whenever possible, but keep it sounding natural. You should explain things to your subject as if they are sitting across the table from you.
A big block of text isn’t going to get read, no matter how good your web copy is. You need to break your content up into short, concise paragraphs with lots of white space in between.
Bullet points and bolded subheaders will also help to break up the content and they’ll also make your content much more easily digestible for the reader.
Your website copy should include a healthy dose of your primary keywords if you hope to rank prominently for your chosen keyword terms. Your keywords should be sprinkled throughout your document, but the content should sound natural. The search engines and human readers alike will both know when you’re trying to unnaturally stuff keywords where they don’t belong.
A good keyword density to shoot for is around 1% to 2%. Your keyword should always be included once in the title, once in the first paragraph, once in the last paragraph, once as a bullet point and/or bolded subheader and then sprinkle your keywords twice more throughout the document somewhere. This is a good mix that tends to yield great results.
Remember to keep your copy informative, engaging and, if possible, entertaining and your web copy will surely stand out from all of your competitors.