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If you ever did or read something remotely related to search engine optimization or digital marketing, you definitely came across the famous phrase – content is king. This is now considered to be a rather old saying, but if you are a beginner, you should know that content still rules the SEO kingdom. In other words, you simply can’t achieve online success without producing high-quality content. It doesn’t matter which niche you belong to, reaching your target audience and properly promoting your service and/or product is absolutely crucial within the modern digital marketing landscape.
This is where well-written, actionable, substance-packed content comes into play.
Finding the right things to write about is, of course, important, but you should also make sure your writing style and tone are on point. However, writing for your target audience and writing for Google are two completely different things. So, if you want to create high-quality and engaging content that ranks well and converts, you have to produce content that meets Google’s requirements, while also satisfying the needs of your readers.
Balancing these two aspects of content writing is not a simple task.
This is why today we are going to share with you some practical tips on how to write SEO, paid, and social media marketing friendly content.
Content Writing Tips for Improved SEO
Perform Thorough Competitor Analysis
It doesn’t matter how good of a writer you are, you can’t just sit in front of your computer, start typing, and expect to instantly write perfect, Google-friendly content. You must have a proper strategy, the two most important parts of which are:
- Thorough keyword research
- Quality content analysis
To perform these tasks properly right from the get-go, you have to study your successful competitors closely, look for the keywords they are targeting for similar topics, get a grasp of the demographics they are targeting, and try your best to implement keywords with high volume and low difficulty. This might sound a bit complicated to someone who is a beginner, but tools like Ahrefs can help you with these tasks and make your job much easier.
Besides keywords, you should also analyze the content of your competitors through the process of content analysis.
Simply put, content analysis involves studying the writing styles, methods and tactics of your competitors and trying to see what kind of content generates a lot of traffic and resonates well with the target audience. This way, you will be able to learn from their mistakes and pick up some valuable tricks of the trade along the way. This strategy can give you that initial push that is so important, especially for someone who is new to SEO and digital marketing.
To find out more on how content analysis can help you write better and rank higher, visit this informative article from Search Engine Journal – Content Analysis and Better Ranking.
Use Your Keywords Wisely
Finding the right keywords is crucial if you want to rank high on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages, but knowing how to use them properly is where you can get the edge. For example, polluting your content with too many keywords is not a good strategy because Google has no tolerance for keyword stuffing. If you do this, Google will most likely recognize your content as spammy and untrustworthy content, which can ruin your chances of ranking high.
To find out more on how to successfully execute this task, we recommend delving deeper into this holy grail of keyword research articles by Ahrefs: How To Do Keyword Research for SEO.
Build Yourself An Inverted Pyramid
If you studied journalism, you probably know all about the inverted pyramid writing method. For those of you who are not familiar with it, we will explain what it is and how it can benefit your writing.
The inverted pyramid is a style of writing where the writer starts with the conclusion. Back in the day, journalists and writers wrote their news and articles like they were essays. The introduction was almost always too long and too detailed, and the most important information was placed at the end of the text.
In this modern-day and age, people simply don’t have time for this style of writing. They want to know the most important things right away. Therefore, if you are planning to mainly write short, concise pieces of content, we suggest you invert the pyramid and start with the end. Share the crucial information at the beginning of the article and answer the legendary who, what, when, where, and how questions. Once you do this, you can write about less important things in detail. However, in order to grab your reader’s attention and reduce the bounce rates on your website, you have to go straight to the point.
But remember: a truly great piece of content keeps your reader engaged throughout the entire article, whether it is a 400-word or a 4000-word article. If you can achieve this, you know you’re on the right track. SEO and content marketing can be powerful weapons if you use them correctly. Here’s an informative, interactive infographic depicting how the content marketing industry has been evolving over the decades.
Which brings us to…
Adjust Your Writing Style To Your Target Audience
In the introduction, we talked about how important it is to find the perfect balance between writing for Google and writing for your audience. Meeting Google’s requirements is crucial, but so is connecting with your target audience, especially in the long run. Some would even argue that the bond you have with your readers is more important because Google’s rules and algorithms come and go, and the loyal audience stays.
Therefore, if you want to have more organic traffic, you have to adjust your writing style to your target audience.
Say you are writing about surfboards, you probably shouldn’t be too formal with your readers and shouldn’t use complicated language. Instead, try to keep it simple, funny, and informative, as your target audience are surfers who are looking for some tips on how to maintain their surfboards and where they can find new and affordable ones. So, you can perhaps try to bond with your audience by telling a joke about surfers or using a clever surfer slang.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which audience you are targeting, in order to engage your readers and keep them interested, you have to speak their language.
Be Trustworthy And Use At Least Three Different Sources When Writing
Although proper use of keywords and writing style are important, they mean nothing if your content is misleading and untrustworthy. Last year in August, Google had no mercy for misleading websites when they introduced its now-famous medic update. Albeit this update affected mostly health-related websites, hence the name, it also warned others to check their facts before they publish anything online.
So, if you want to rank well on Google, you have to build your business by showing these three things:
Building the three pillars of E-A-T is not a simple task, especially if you are new on the market, but there are simple ways to achieve this. Here are the things you can do to build a better reputation in the world of SEO:
- Have a detailed, informative, and well-optimized “About Us” page on your website
- Provide bio pages of your authors so your audience can see they are experts on the subject
- Build your authority on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, or LinkedIn
- Feature contact information on every page or have a Contact Us page with your phone number, physical address, email, social media pages, etc.
- Use at least three different respectful sources
- Insert relevant links leading to various high-profile sources, providing valuable additional information on the subject matter
When it comes to ranking high on Google, gaining the trust of your target audience is half the battle. The best way to achieve this is by working on your E-A-T and by being transparent.
Content Writing Tips For Paid Marketing
If You Want Your Ad To Be Persuasive, It Has To Be Informative
Praising your product is one of the crucial things you have to do if you plan on selling it. However, it doesn’t matter how good your product is, you won’t be able to convince people to buy it based on your praises alone. If you want your ad to be persuasive, it has to be informative.
Let’s take those surfboards we mentioned earlier as an example. If you are selling surfing equipment, you should never address only the professional surfers or people who have been your loyal customers for years. You should also consider women, men, and children who are new to the surfing world, or have never taken up this sport but are your potential customers. Pros and loyal clients most likely already know how to find you and your product, but the newbies and potential customers don’t.
This is why you have to anticipate their search queries.
Put yourself in the shoes of a surfer newbie and think of the questions they might have. It is likely they are trying to find surfboards for beginners and similar basic equipment. You should keep this in mind and target keywords like – affordable surfboards, surfing equipment for beginners, best surfboards for kids…
Also, you should use the space you have in your ad to explain why people should buy your product. Don’t just write about how good it is; try to be more specific. Talk about its characteristics, the proper way it should be used and maintained, what separates it from the competition, mention the pricing, etc.
General rule of thumb is: the more informative yet concise the ad, the better.
For more information on how to write perfect Google ads check out this article – 5 Classic Tips to Write Effective Google Ads Copy.
Offering Scarce Products Is Still A Good Strategy
One of the golden rules of advertising is offering scarce products. The more limited something is, the more people want to have it. So, if you are writing an ad, make sure to tease your target audience and customers with limited offers. The two most effective ways to do this are:
- Offering limited quantity
- Offering certain products for a limited time
This definitely is one of the best strategies in advertising, but you also have to be careful when applying it to your business. This strategy works only if your product really is scarce. If you are offering 50% discounts and limited offers every month, people simply won’t take your “hurry up, it ends soon” and “once in a lifetime offer” ads seriously. They will realize your product isn’t really scarce and they won’t be motivated to buy it because they know they will get a chance to do so next month. Save this strategy for important dates, holidays, anniversaries.
Play The Empathy Card
It’s safe to say that empathy is one of the crucial aspects of every ad. If you want your customers to buy your product, you have to understand their needs. The best way to achieve this is by putting yourself in their shoes.
For example, if you are offering some kind of medical treatment or a product, you have to let them know that you understand their problems. Also, make sure to provide them with certain facts and data that confirm how effective and helpful your product really is.
This information will make them feel good and more confident about buying your product.
After all, it IS always about them, never about you!
Writing Tips For Social Media Marketing
Use The Language Familiar to your Audience And Try to Entertain Them
When you are writing an ad on social media, you should always be aware of the language your audience uses. Your content should be relatable, easy to understand, and entertaining. This is why you shouldn’t hesitate to use slang, phrases, and grammar your readers use – even if it goes against your preferred writing style.
Simply put, your brand voice should always imitate the language your audience speaks.
Recently, we published an informative article on our Reportz blog providing our readers with actionable tips on How to Build and Grow a Successful Facebook Group in Under a Month. Take a look.
Make Sure You Have The Answers To All Of The 5 Ws
The first thing you have to know when writing social media ads is that likes and shares are not the only two metrics you should keep an eye on. In fact, they mean nothing if you fail to inform your potential customers. In order for your audience to have all the information they need, you have to answer all of the 5 Ws in your ad.
For example, if you are running a bicycle shop, you have to tell your customers the next 5 things:
- WHO you are
- WHAT your business is
- WHEN they can visit your shop
- WHERE they can find you
- WHY they should choose you
Know-How To Be Concise
Saying as much as you can without using too many words is something you should try to do when writing social media ads. The rather overused phrase “less is more” is true in this case. People don’t have time to read long posts and ads, so in order to grab their attention, you need to learn how to be concise.
You can do this by:
- Going straight to the point
- Avoiding long sentences
- Using bullet points
Writing for SEO, paid, and social media marketing are three completely different things. In the first case, you have to impress your readers by creating thorough and high-quality content. On the other hand, paid ads and social media marketing don’t require long and detailed articles. However, without informative, relatable, and empathic content, they probably won’t achieve their full potential. Therefore, the bottom line is this – it doesn’t matter what kind of marketing campaign you are running, you simply won’t get far without well-written and well-optimized content.