SEOs and Copywriters struggle to create content that is both SEO-friendly and in proper brand voice. If you find that perfect balance, you won’t only find more organic SEO traffic, you’ll also encourage conversion.
We all know that SEO copy is designed to be perfect for Google RankBrain, not human beings. Effective website copy speaks to your audience in a way that attracts them to your business and converts them into customers. Ideally, website content would be attractive to both your website visitors and Google’s algorithms. In recent years, Google has clearly become less concerned with keyword density and more concerned with a strong User Experience, so the two disciplines are encouraged to come together. How can we make that happen?
Here are some questions that will help you to define the message that will make sense for your audience.
1. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)?
Define what it is that makes you stand out from your competition. Your competition has similar products, but you want to avoid making your offerings a commodity, which makes sales a profit-killing race to the lowest price. What special skill, value, expertise, or premium do you offer?
2. Who is your ideal customer? Create an in-depth profile.
The “big picture” answer is a start. I was speaking to an auto repair client the other day and their response was, “automobile owners who need maintenance or repair on their vehicles.” This is clearly true but doesn’t go nearly deep enough. I encouraged the client to answer the following:
1. What make of automobile do they drive?
2. What are their typical service and repair problems?
3. What do they think about their automobiles? Love affair or just transportation?
4. What are they like?
5. What do you and your team do to solve their problems?
The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to figure out what they want and how to make them feel like you are talking directly to them. Website content should be written like a one-on-one conversation, not a broadcast.
3. What defines conversion when it comes to your website?
Is your goal to sell products, encourage a telephone call or personal visit to your store or office, or would you like each visitor to see specific pages of content on your website? Whatever the goal, it is not enough to simply put a cleverly-designed call to action button on the page. Your content must convince a website visitor that the action you want them to take is a relatively painless and logical next step if they are interested in the goods and services that you offer.
4. Are your products or services the solution to a problem?
You must emphasize the benefits of your goods and services, not the features. For an auto repair shop, the features are quality repairs made by expert auto technicians. The benefits may be saving money in the long run or getting better resale value by demonstrating that your vehicle has been properly maintained.
To help with this, you can make a list of the most common questions asked by your past clients. How can you demonstrate that you will make their lives a little easier and their experience working with you as enjoyable as possible?
5. What voice appeals to your target audience?
If your business is successful, your voice and your brand culture come through to customers you meet in person and speak to via telephone. This same voice should apply to your website content. In the long run, if your website content is not consistent with your culture, your customers and potential customers will realize it and begin to mistrust you a bit for misrepresenting yourself in the first conversation that you had with them.
Conclusion: At face value, it seems simple to create effective SEO content in brand voice, but it requires a great deal of preparation and a solid idea of how your company and its services are perceived in the marketplace. It is important to have all content reviewed carefully by a team member who has a solid grasp on your “brand voice” to keep content and the call to action consistent with how you run your business.
The investment of time and effort will be large, but you will undoubtedly find your results will be much better.
Eric Van Cleave is Co-CEO of Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California-based SEO and Online Marketing Firm.