I make a living out of serving up tasty copy and as such, I know a thing or two about SEO copy. It’s true I don’t dig into it as much as other copywriters might. Usually because I prefer the title of creative copywriter or content marketer over straight SEO copywriter. I come from a product development background and as such, I work with the whole picture.
And the whole picture is not made absolutely eye-stopping, gasp inducing, wunderkind love-Muppets by SEO copy.
Here’s why SEO copy isn’t the silver bullet for your marketing you think it might be
Not even SEO copywriters rely on SEO copy
Look around you. Even the people selling SEO copy are using other channels and marketing techniques. They engage on social media. They utilise lead generation techniques such as email sign ups and freebies. They also use advertising, Google AdWords, Facebook ads and more. Speaking engagements and networking also figure into the mix. There’s sharing time at co-working joints. And there’s the all-important leveraging of relationships within the industry.
Even when I was blogging every week and pawing over SEO reports to re-do my blogs and website to stay right up to date, only 50% of my traffic came from SEO. What mattered more was being available through other sources.
Also, a lot of off page SEO encourages this. Guest blogging is about being visible somewhere else. Linking social media to your website and sharing your content there is about using distribution paths. Bookmarking your content on third party sites similarly lifts you.
It’s a circular motion to put lotion on copywriting’s skin. SEO copywriting relies on you looking at other sources to share the content to so that it can continue to shine. And off-page is just as important as the stuff you plug onto the page.
In short, you have to get out there and be visible to help your business. The same is true of your SEO copy endeavours.
Conversion is what you want
You can lead a customer to your sassy SEO copy, but if it’s bland or doesn’t tell the right story, then you won’t get a conversion. Or if they don’t feel individual and welcome, special and happy, they are unlikely to jump on board.
What people want from a product or service are incredibly personal. They want:
- Their problems solved
- Hope and something to aspire to
- To feel like your business or product fits into their self-identity
When you look for something for yourself or a friend, you think about how it fits into your budget, your lifestyle, the image you hold of yourself and what you want or need at that particular time.
And the game has changed on how to tap into that. Customers want an experience. They want to join something that makes them feel connected and proud to be a part of something. They want something to believe in and that might mean aligning with their self-image just as much as their ethical principles. However, they still want you to solve their problems. They want to know that by choosing you, they will get relief from their pain.
How is that customer pain defined?
- As an easier way of doing something they usually take a quite circuitous route to solveg. a new start-up that disrupts a problem and offers a new path
- It fits within the windows of their time, budgetg. something different to the same old lunch time pick that won’t make them later to start back for the afternoon
- They want to say something about themselves that others overlookg. their sassy new collection of badges that have political and ethical themes
- Something in their life is harder than it needs to be, and they need support g. a counsellor to help them overcome grief or an attentive real estate agent to lease their beloved house
- There’s a pressing need to fix something and move ong. finding the school that understands a child or fixing that broken hot water system on a holiday weekend
- It’s time to make a changeg. shopping for a new fashion wardrobe, working on interview skills to change jobs, finding that perfect new car
And another big thing in this day and age, everyone is chasing stress reduction and ways to put pause on life for a while. This includes everything from massages and reading books through to investigating burn out, yoga classes through to learning about minimalism, tree-changes and sea-changes from Sydney to Wollongong and beyond.
Conversion is largely about explaining you are the person or company that understands the customer on a deep, important level. Once that connection is fostered, you can then sell.
Retention, friendship and consistency
Once you have brought someone to your product or service via SEO copy or any other form of marketing, they need to make that first purchase. This is not where the story ends though, not by a long shot.
Smart marketers know that getting a lead to you is the expensive part. It’s fostering the relationship that brings the subsequent purchases that makes the difference. If you can bring back a customer and encourage word of mouth in their network, this is gold.
So how do you do this?
Match the customer experience
Minimise the gap between expectation and experience by being what you say you are. I pride myself on this. I could write the standard sales copy, but I want you to know me before we work together so it’s a positive experience.
Check in on customers in the early stages. Nurture their interest by being available – for example, the Wine Gallery Chief Wine Officer wrote me a lovely personal email for rating a wine 5 out of 5. It was unexpected and straight from their Inbox and heart. That’s customer lovin’.
Notice the drop off in interest
Address that abandoned cart with a special offer or notice the absence from newsletter or social media – for example, independent publisher Microcosm Publishing will contact you to give a special offer or gift if you abandon a cart. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
Create the desire to come back
Expand the customer journey through content, special offers, customised ways to reach out and sell them products they might like. Take a look at how Netflix tailors their offerings based on what you watch (and how much that goes down hill if your action loving, history nut partner uses your login).
Stay the course
Think about your favourite podcasts or TV shows. You want a consistent experience that is familiar. It means you can trust the consumption of the product by knowing what you will get enough to look forward to what happens next. Look at the success of Australian podcast, Casefile. It’s single narrator, matched music and well-researched content make it a darling to listener and advertiser alike. Even after introducing advertising, it was subtle, and you had the option to subsidise the podcast through other means if it really annoyed you. That’s consistency as well as maintaining it while the core product changes.
SEO copy is your friend, the rest is the friendship circle
Should you ignore good quality content and a focus on SEO copy? No way. Why miss an opportunity to connect with people and translate them into customers? But should it be the only egg you have in your basket? Not by a long shot.
Want all entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses need is to look at their available tools and maximise their potential. That means looking at the strategies to help take cold and warm leads to the next level.