Why the purpose of your text is important for SEO

As text makes up a large part of most websites, it’s an important thing to focus on. You can work on the structure of your text, or the style of your post. In this post, we will focus on another aspect: the purpose of your text.

A lot of people forget to properly formulate the purpose of their blog post or article. But if you do not properly define the aim of your text, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities. You shouldn’t write just for the sake of writing but because you have an idea of what you want your audience to know or do. Let’s discuss why defining the purpose of your text is important, plus, some great writing tips!

Three main text purposes

We can distinguish three main goals a text can have:

  1. Your objective could be to inform people.
  2. Another purpose would be to persuade people. You want people to buy your products or to return to your website.
  3. The goal of your text could also be to entertain or amuse. You could write a text to make your audience laugh or move them.

These three text purposes are not at all mutually exclusive. A piece could be informative and amusing at the same time!

Read more: SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide »

Long term business aims and text purpose

Your company or your website will have long term business objectives. You should think about those long term business aims while determining the purpose of the text on your website. If the texts on your website are in line with those goals, it’ll help achieve them.

Let’s look at an example. At Yoast.com, we write blog posts, largely to inform people about SEO. So the text purpose of those posts is to inform people. However, we also want people to become return visitors and to gain trust in our brand. Eventually, the long term purpose of our informative blogs is to gain enough trust for people to buy one of our products.

Search intent and text purpose

Besides thinking about how the goal of a text aligns with your business objectives, also consider if it aligns with the search intent of people visiting your post or page. People looking for information won’t like ending up on a persuasive page. Similarly, if people want to buy something and end up on one of your pages, but it’s not written persuasively, you’re missing out! Having a look at the search results for the keyword you want to rank with, will also help you create great content.

If the purpose of your post is to generate links from others to improve your rankings in Google, you should think about the character of your post as well. To attract links from other sites, you should focus on writing informative or amusing posts. Persuasive posts, in which (sales) arguments are most prominent, will usually not receive as many links as purely informative posts. People are simply more likely to share an informative or amusing post than a purely persuasive post, as the ulterior motive of these posts isn’t as obvious.

Tips to use when focusing on one of the three main text purposes

In the following paragraphs, I’ll discuss the three goals a text can have in more detail. I’ll also give some tips and pointers you can use when writing either an informative, a persuasive or an amusing post or article.

1. Informative texts

In an informative text, you explain something to your audience. You want them to understand more about a topic or you want them to use your information (put theory to practice).

Some tips for writing an informative text:

  • An informative text will usually need some preparation or even research in advance, to decide on the exact contents of a piece. So, take some time to clearly formulate the issue you want to address in your post.
  • The style of an informative text should be clear and professional. Focus on the message itself, so your text has a professional and reliable character. Give your style some thought and make sure your personal way of writing doesn’t interfere with the message.
  • The structure of an informative text should be clear. A logical structure could be to address a different topic in each paragraph. In the conclusion, you could summarize the information of your entire text. Our post on this topic has practical tips for setting up your text structure.

2. Persuasive texts

A persuasive text is a text a reader doesn’t necessarily want to read. The purpose of your text is to persuade your audience to do something it wasn’t necessarily planning to do, such as buying your product. For that very reason, writing a good persuasive text is very hard. You can focus on convincing your audience with emotions or logic. Of course, you can also choose a strategy in which you combine persuading with emotions and logic.

Some tips to write a good text persuading your reader with emotions:

  • Try to use a lot of positive words (like fun, easy, quality).
  • Make your post personal and write from the perspective of the reader. You could for instance address the reader directly using words as ‘you’ and ‘your’.
  • Anecdotes or stories illustrating the awesomeness of your product are very nice to use if you are trying to convince people by using emotions.

If you want to persuade using logic, pay attention to the following things:

  • Take some time to write down all of your logical arguments. Make sure you deduce your arguments correctly and make use of examples to illustrate your arguments.
  • Focusing on persuasion using logic calls for a relatively distant and formal style.

Some general tips for writing a persuasive text:

  • The style of a persuasive text should be very bold. Which means your sentences and paragraphs should be short.
  • The structure of a persuasive text should reflect your arguments. Be sure to use separate paragraphs for your arguments (regardless of whether you have emotional or logical arguments).
  • Use lots of headings and make sure you use the most important arguments in the titles of your headings.

3. Amusing texts

The main objective of an amusing text is to entertain people. Usually these texts tend to be funny. Amusing texts could also be moving or touching. A column is a very nice example of an amusing text.

Although some people just have a talent to be funny, to come up with funny anecdotes or with nice word plays, writing an amusing text can be hard. If you’re an inexperienced writer, it might take some practice. Try to master the informative and persuasive texts first. The following tips might also help:

  • Using exaggerations and metaphors could be a first attempt to make your text (more) amusing.
  • Amusing texts usually ask for an informal style. These texts are often very personal, containing the words ‘I’ and ‘my’.

It’s important to note that writing a text that’s purely amusing isn’t something many of you will do very often. Most texts will aim to be both amusing as well as informative or persuasive. For example, blog posts on a mom blog often tend to be amusing, but usually have an informative or persuasive purpose as well.

Keep reading: 5 tips for a readable blog post »

Conclusion

Thinking about the purpose of your text is something you definitely should take some time for. Take into account the long term aims of your business or your website as well as the intent of people visiting your pages. Finally, use our tips to make sure the style and structure of your post fit the goal of your text. Definitely read SEO copywriting: the Ultimate guide or check out our SEO copywriting course, for even more tips.


15 Responses to Why the purpose of your text is important for SEO

  1. Realizzazione siti web bergamo
    Realizzazione siti web bergamo  • 6 years ago

    Maybe today is the best way to be known. But it is not easy to find fresh content, now in various blogs you see the same things reshuffle. For the realizzazione di siti web now is full.

  2. Andrea
    Andrea  • 6 years ago

    Very interesting article and persuasive…
    Thank You

  3. Bhandari Manish
    Bhandari Manish  • 6 years ago

    Thanks Marieke van de Rakt for sharing such these nice and useful tips to increase visitors on a website and of course to improve one’s writing skills. :)

  4. Designsolv
    Designsolv  • 6 years ago

    Fine tips on the entire purpose of writing an effective blog-post. Differentiating on the vital facets to consider between the Informative, Persuasive and Amusing Texts are brilliant and understandable.

  5. Wendy William
    Wendy William  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. Great tips.

  6. walter
    walter  • 6 years ago

    Thanks! Great post as always!
    And thanks for the tips…

  7. Mandar Karanjkar
    Mandar Karanjkar  • 6 years ago

    Good one!
    A blog always has multiple purposes- combining what you have stated. This article will help readers and I hope will stop them from messing up with the objectives of posts they write. Thanks.

  8. Sidney Raphael
    Sidney Raphael  • 6 years ago

    I tried, I really tried to read this post. Then, to shorten the torture, I dropped down to the very bottom of the post, to the author’s self-description. Voila! There I found the problem: the author has a PhD, and flaunts it.

    What the PhD author misses is that she is writing for an audience on the internet. An audience on the internet has no patience. If the audience is not satisfied quickly it has the ability and the inclination to switch away.

    In other words, if you don’t get to your point quickly, you will lose your readers. Your readers have better things to do than follow log, dry treatises.

    Example: the author wrote “Focussing [sic] on persuasion using logic calls for a relatively distant and formal style.” NO IT DOESN’T!!! If you don’t persuade your readers on the internet in a few sentences, you will be history.

    Please, your readers deserve less…less words.

    PS I have a PhD too, but don’t flaunt it.

    • Ashley Martin
      Ashley Martin  • 6 years ago

      However, If the author is known for there quality such as yoast then it’s usually worth reading every word and taking your time to learn the complex subject. I have learnt loads from these guys and really value there content.

    • Marie Renn
      Marie Renn  • 6 years ago

      LOL, Sidney. you just did. :)
      Marieke, I read your whole post; found it helpful; planning to implement the objectives while updating my pages. Thanks.

  9. Nigel Abery
    Nigel Abery  • 6 years ago

    G’day Marieke, great post as always!

    Makes me think that I should try some different types other than informative posts. I would guess funny would tend to get more shares. Not sure if I am very funny though or if my subject (finance) leads that way. Perhaps persuasive would be better.

    As far as persuasive writing, what do you think about the AIDA Formula?
    •get your prospect’s Attention.
    •develop an Interest in your product’s benefits or results.
    •create a strong Desire for those benefits or results.
    •get the prospect to take some specific Action.

    Regards,
    Nigel

  10. Chuck
    Chuck  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips… it’s something I should consider more. I’ve noticed that planning beforehand helps a lot when it comes to the writing process.

  11. Scott Hartley
    Scott Hartley  • 6 years ago

    I wanted to add on to an earlier post but since this fits with the theme of improving your website for 2015 I have a few more suggestions.

    For your reviews try updating your criteria or writing some down if you never had any. I personally tried to remember all the criteria and it ended up becoming to difficult.

    I also think you should look into getting a new possibly better theme. If your site is not responsive, you need to get it they way. Using mobile plugins looks generic and poor. While they work they don’t have the functionality.

    Clean up your database. Use wp optimize to cleanup a years worth of junk. It can improve your load time.

    Refocus on the post content as this post says. Start branching out don’t just be informative try and be comical, or creative with your posts.

    There are a lot more things that you can do, but I am sure yoast will cover them soon enough.

  12. Avadhesh Bhunwaliya
    Avadhesh Bhunwaliya  • 6 years ago

    Just tell me one thing, how your every post is perfect.
    Facts apart :)
    Your H1 and H2 are of same size but color differs(and believe me that looks cool), why not write some posts on such topics.

    • adriaan
      adriaan  • 6 years ago

      Probarly some css work :) (I’m new in web programming to, but i think its done in CSS) Yo