copywriting for seo and sales

SEO copywriting and writing for sales

SEO copywriting and writing for sales

February 16th, 2017 – 6 Comments

Writing is hard. Writing for the search engines is even harder. What about writing for the search engines and writing for sales simultaneously? Is that even doable? Because, in the end, we want to write copy that’ll rank in the search engines AND convince people to either buy your stuff, contact you, subscribe to your newsletter or to return to your website. In this post, I’ll share some of my recent discoveries in the field of sales copywriting. Also, I’ll show you that copywriting for sales and SEO is perfectly compatible (and not even that hard).

Sales copywriting

A few months ago, I followed a workshop by Amy Harrison. She is a sales copywriting specialist. At first, I was a little skeptic. I am a writer, I know about writing, what were the chances I would hear something new? I was totally blown away with Amy’s story, though.

Having a sales perspective on a text is very useful. I write a lot of blog posts, I like doing research, but I do not particularly enjoy writing marketing texts or sales copy. But of course, this is important too. That’s what actually pays the bills. But more importantly (at least for SEO addicts like me), a sales perspective is a very useful SEO strategy.

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What does your audience need?

Sales copy should be addressing the needs of the audience. What problem (that your audience encounters) does your product solve? In Yoast’s case: our audience will want more traffic to their site, higher rankings in Google, perhaps more sales. The problem our audience has is that they do not have as many visitors as they would like to have on their website. They’re not outranking their competition yet. These problems should be addressed directly in your sales copy. On Yoast.com, however, our sales copy was (and for a large part still is; we have so many high priority projects to focus on) largely product driven. In most of our copy we just used to list the features of our products.

We actually rewrote parts of the sales copy on Yoast.com, trying to really keep the audience and their problems in mind (and focus less on our products and what features are in it). Writing in a such a way – with room for the problems your audience encounters – actually is a very good SEO strategy. In your text, you’ll be focusing on the problems your audience has. Most likely, these problems will be what they’re searching for when they start their search for a solution. Thinking about the problems your product or service will solve, will result in good sales copy as well as in SEO-friendly copy.

Use words that appeal to your audience

In our ‘old’ product-focused sales copy, we tend to use the word ‘optimize’ very often. We like it. Optimizing could be so many things, though. Optimizing for the search engines, optimizing for readability, optimizing the UX of your website, optimizing the images on your site. Is the word optimizing really appealing to our audience? Is that the word they would use? Could we be more specific? What do we actually mean by optimizing? By optimizing for search engines, we actually mean ‘ranking in Google’, by ‘optimizing for readability’, we mean ‘writing a text that people would want to read.’ Perhaps we should use these phrases instead of optimizing?

Sometimes the words you’re using, aren’t the words that your audience is using to define their problems. If that’s the case, your words won’t be appealing to your audience, they’ll not recognize their problems in your sales copy. The text will be less convincing to your users, than if you write a text with words people can relate too. In addition to that, a text with words that are not used by your audience, won’t get much traffic. But, a text with words your audience actually uses, will definitely result in more traffic.

Get to know your audience

In order to write either sales copy or SEO-friendly copy, you should get to know your audience. You have to find out which words they’re using, how they describe their problems, how they begin their quest in Google. Talking to them in person or online could be a great way to start. If you’re using reviews or testimonials, these could be a really helpful source too. What words do your most satisfied customers use to describe their experience with your product, service or website? What things, elements or features of your product did they like the most? These words, these things, should definitely be included in your copy.

Conclusion

If you want to know more about writing awesome sales copy, you should definitely check out Amy’s website. I’m a huge fan of hers, even though she made a really weird choice for an SEO plugin. You should definitely check out her blog to learn more about sales copywriting!

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »


6 Responses to SEO copywriting and writing for sales

  1. Anil Agarwal
    By Anil Agarwal on 20 February, 2017

    Writing SEO copy is hard.

    When you’re not a native English speaker, it almost feels like a rocket science. The only tip is to write more. Read more from great bloggers. Be consistent!

    Write every single day. Also know how to trigger people’s emotions.

    Without knowing the psychology of people, it’s impossible to write persuasive SEO writing that both ranks and sells itself.

    Great insights here!

  2. Daniel
    By Daniel on 19 February, 2017

    Hey Marieke – You are in saying that combining copyrighting and SEO is extremely hard. However, I need to take my hat off. You laid it out so simply here that we have no excuses in not performing a good write up. I still think writing will be more and more difficult as search algorithms changes through time. But this is for the benefit of the end reader. We all need to adapt accordingly and write better articles.

  3. Daniel sofre
    By Daniel sofre on 18 February, 2017

    I’m an SEO expret and Yoast really help me to improve my exprience on google site ranking.
    please just pay more attention to Persian language translations on Yoast ,thnks !

  4. Pattipie
    By Pattipie on 17 February, 2017

    I need a full course on this! I suck at writing stuff.

  5. Sam Dias
    By Sam Dias on 17 February, 2017

    Very informative article. Copyright is an important aspect so one should know how to play with the content regardless of anything.

  6. Gaurav Heera
    By Gaurav Heera on 17 February, 2017

    Nice Article ! Your post is great tutorial for every blogger, which will help them to drive more traffic. Really it is not an easy task to write content for blog, but your article will really help blogger to write quality content. You’ve described everything simply and effectively.
    Thanks to all Yoast team for sharing this informative article.


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