Senses Vs Search Engines – Making your copywriting cope..!
This is something like Bruce Willis doing the impossible – stopping a meteor from crashing on to the planet we live on... earth... To say the least, he was way out of his niche… as far as I understood he was an oil tycoon trying to trigger a nuke in swinging gravity… all to make sure that he portrays himself as a responsible citizen to his son-in-law. Seems to be a little too far-fetched, don’t worry; I am no film critic, nor a die hard fan.
As you can understand, it is all a matter of interpretation. Many of us did not think in the same terms when we watched Armageddon, did we?
A copy that is well-written appeals to human senses, the basic foundational reason why we write copy… to sell, what else?
However, would the same copy appeal to search engines? This is one question that fails to excite the right thought process among internet marketers. Today, the competition in any virtual business niche is making sure that all internet marketers get thousands of “SEO articles” written and submitted to further thousands of “Article Directories”. Keeping aside the “reach factor”, is it really helping? Reach is of no use, if it does not result in response, the right response, does it?
Some say it does help..! If the articles are good and informative, it brings in a lot of traffic. How many or how much converts is visible in the lifestyles of such internet marketers, are they making money or are they spending almost whatever they are making? We need to consider two aspects of such copywriting before we go further…!
What is a good and an informative article?
Well, I guess the answer to that would be an article written in proper English that has no grammatical or spelling errors and has some information that pertains to the niche. This is the answer any internet marketer or a virtual businessperson would give you..!
How does that help?
Considering this from the traffic (or visitor) perspective, when one writes 100 articles about “quitting smoking”, how much information would be repeated? This is anyone’s guess. So, if a visitor reads ten articles, probably he has read them all and even if he misses a little point, I don’t expect that he would go through the rest of the 90 to find it. What does a visitor (reader) think here? If the article(s) he has read are really, really good, he would visit your website through an embedded link. A buying decision here is a longer story..! Believe it or not, it is a war out there…!
How to win the war?
The answer obviously would be niche dependent and of course, I am not in the right position to answer this. However, there is one rule that I read somewhere about Google. It says “Write for the user and we will take care of the rest”. Trust Google and many internet marketers would say eh..! Well, this response is not too difficult to understand. They think that the position they are in (spending so much money writing content, submitting and practicing SEO) is due to Google and its spiders. No, absolutely not, this course of action has, as far as I know, never been prescribed but practiced by each in their own way, out of their own discretion.
Writing, changing content and appeasing the user are good marketing practices. However, getting 100 articles written for $1 each (remember, these will not pass the grade to appease an educated user) is surely a bad practice compared to getting 10 articles written for $10 each.
As far as my experience goes, a user who reads any of the $1 articles has a 0.1% of visiting the website that they were written for and a visitor who reads any of the $10 articles would have a 25-30% chance of visiting (remember these are my calculations). Conversion is entirely a different factor. Coming to million dollar question… how to write a good copy?
The answers would again be wide and varied. I will describe my experience on this, point by point.
a. Writing good copy means choosing the right words. When I write a copy, be it an article or the page content, I need to think, explore and understand the kind of visitors who would visit the website. I call this profiling. Once I profile the user, I write for them, in their language that would appease their senses. I don’t need to appease everyone, only the customers who need to “quit smoking”. I would use words that appease to their senses – words like statutory warning, cancer, smoking for fun, grass, why we smoke and so on. Google calls these words semantics. No wonder Google also has a concept called LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). So, the keywords need not be “quit smoking’ and “quitting smoking” or “no smoking”. I am sure many of us know this. But we need to understand how many of the $1 article writers understand this and how many think in these terms. So, write for the living and not for the dead (bots, crawlers or spiders, whatever you call them). Oops, wrong word – “dead” arises a morose feeling in your mind, doesn’t it, I should have used “non-living” instead. I am sure you are getting the drift.
b. Understanding a little psychology could be an advantage. For example, if someone is trying to “quit smoking”, he or she knows and understands why they should do so. When I write an article that says “10 advantages of quitting smoking”, most of the target audience will not read it although many an internet marketer would say that it is a great title. But if I say “Are you struggling to quit smoking, a few tips”, it may not sound like a great title to the marketers but most people would read it. And if it has the right tone and the right content, you have a guaranteed visitor. If you look at this from a writer’s point of view, the first topic would be very easy to write, the second would be time consuming and would need a lot more research. No wonder then, the first article is a $1 article and the second one is a $10 article.
c. A little pun and using metaphors keeps the reader interested and hence, it is important that an article is embellished with 1 or 2 of them. A good copywriter is also a good storyteller. So, telling a story (a short one) convincingly is a good technique to attract more readers to the website. A little humor is a requirement to keep the visitor in the right mood to make sure that the reader visits and buys. Once this happens, it would only benefit your bottom-lines (as in business). However, do not use too many metaphors and make sure that you keep the line of action for the reader simple and straight.
d. Do not use too much jargon in your articles. There is no guarantee that he or she would understand all of it. Let us consider the following sentence… (I read this on the internet, somewhere..!)
“As per statistics it has been established that 54% of oral cancers, 50% of oesophagal cancers and 70% of larynx related cancers are caused due to smoking. So are 30% of penis cancers and 40% of stomach cancers”.
A good line and quite informative, I would say. But, reading this does cause a negative psychological effect (too much cancer and too much of disease). And, how many of us what or where the larynx is, compared to the number of us who know what a penis is..! So, use jargon as necessary but do not overdo it. I would rather write that as
“Smoking causes over 50% of cancers that effect many critical parts of our body.”
Simple, effective and conveys the message. A writer may ask here, how can I make up for the word count, that would be a $1 writer, isn’t it? Quality of content and easy readability are more important than the word count, when would internet marketers realize this? Fill up the words with content, not air or keywords..!
Coming to the closing stages of this article, it is not my intention to put down writers or internet marketers. The intention is make sure that the direction they take is proper and effective without wasting time and resources.
All my fellow writers and other internet marketers are welcome to share their comments with me, I would be glad to stand corrected for any mistakes I may have put in here. In fact, make sure you tell me after you read this, would you visit my profile and my websites or not? That would be evidence enough. Remember, this article is completely naked, I have not used any of my website’s keywords here in this article. So, no links, back-links or SEO here, just written with the reader in mind. All the best and do let me know….! This could be the only chance I have to mend my ways.