March 25, 2019
Improve SEO conversion rates
SEO writing never had a good reputation. No doubt you’ve seen many examples of SEO writing floating around on the Internet; they’re often badly written, peppered with constantly repeated keywords and sentences that make absolutely no sense. Worst of all, SEO writing provides no value to the reader and they’re not engaging. Reading these only makes you want to cringe.
SEO writing’s main problem is that they’re designed to grab the attention of search engines by using specific, targeted words or phrases (known as keywords or keyword phrases) in specific ways. Essentially, SEO writing is written for machines instead of humans.
So, what does this mean for marketers? It means that readers may be clicking on your site (which is good), but they’re also leaving your page because they think your copy is terrible (which is bad).
In the past, search engine algorithms gave significant weightings to keywords. These days, search engines are putting less emphasis on keywords and more emphasis on helpful content. This means that you have more freedom to create content that hits all the SEO buttons AND engages your readers. It really is a win-win situation.
From keywords to quality content
Quality content helps your brand rank on search engines while building authority and popularity with your readers at the same time. Quality content involves these 2 basic principles:
- EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness): Search engines are favoring sites that are credible, offering value for their readers through their expertise and resourcefulness.
- YMYL (“Your Money or Your Life”): Google’s content requirements are high, especially for sites containing content that could directly impact a user’s health, finance, or quality of life. Content that’s relevant and responsible will be rewarded while bad content is severely punished.
Quality content also increases visibility and maintains a reader’s engagement. By maintaining this level of engagement, quality content is more likely to convert the reader to a valuable lead. Appeasing the SEO gods and keeping your customers engaged is a tough balancing act, but the following tips will go a long way:
Put effort in your headings
Your headings should be more than just an afterthought. Heading determine whether your reader will click to read your content — so it’s a good idea to put a bit of effort into creating one that stands out. A good heading has the ability to evoke the reader’s curiosity, convey the general gist of the article and, if possible, the structure of the article. Headings such as “X reasons why…” and “How to…” are effective because they give your reader a roadmap so they know what to expect when they begin reading your content.
Ensure your content is useful
Want your content to drive conversions? It must inform the reader and directly answer the questions they’ll be asking in their minds. Your goal here is to keep the reader glued to your page as long as possible — and convince them that your brand is trustworthy. This involves knowing exactly what your reader needs, then clarifying your core message throughout the text. The more your reader trusts you, the more likely they are to come back — and this will boost your search engine rankings.
Consider where your reader is at in their customer journey
For content to be useful to the reader, we must consider where they’re at in the customer journey.
If your reader is new to your brand, it is likely that they need to be made aware that they have a problem and that your company will be the one who can solve it.
If your reader is already familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to be ready to make a concrete decision and we must provide the right information to help them confirm their decision.
If we’re not taking into account where the reader is in the journey, we may end up feeding them the wrong sort of information — and the reader may either get overwhelmed or bored. They are likely not to read your content — and if they do, they may not convert because they do not engage with it.
In order to serve potential leads with different information levels, different content is required for each stage of the customer journey. For example, Autopilot’s new customer onboarding journey (below) is designed to orient new customers with a product after purchase:
In contrast, Autopilot’s Delighted NPS template (below) allows you to send a follow-up to a lead 90 days after they become a paying customer:
Establish clear calls-to-action (CTA)
We content marketers will often finish a piece of writing, then sit back and marvel at the masterpiece we’ve just created. It’s great to feel proud of a piece we’ve produced, but remember: the aim of any piece of content should always be to get a reader to do something. Otherwise, what’s the point?
When writing, use active language with clear imperatives. We also recommend using the present tense to denote urgency, just like our CTA below.