A Content Writers' How To Guide To Copywriting

Copywriting is an art. It’s not an easy task to sit down in front of a blank piece of paper and write, let alone write, compelling sales copy that will convert readers into customers. Sometimes, going back to the basics is the best place to start. This is true not just for the beginner but for experienced writers, too. Why? Every writer should fine-tune their copywriting skills to keep up with the changing landscape of online content marketing.

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Here are some basic copywriting components that content writers can use:

  1. Know Your Audience:  Create a persona. A persona is a customer on paper designed to help marketers target a specific audience. Companies that know their audience and what they want have already conquered a huge writer’s block battle. Taking the time to get to know the persona of your reader will make your article worthwhile and meaningful. Research indicates that 71 per cent of companies that exceed business and sales goals have updated personas on file. These fictional customers help them fine-tune their content and fully understand their customers. For example, you don’t want to write in the same way to farmers and interior designers. Writers within companies who know their customers will target those customers with content that matters to them.

2. Use Important Keywords:  Keywords can make or break your copywriting success. Writers need to know their industry’s important keywords and learn how to incorporate them into their blogs, web content and all online material. This is important because Google, the top search engine, ranks websites based on the type of content, consistency of content, and natural use of keyword content, among other things. If keywords are used successfully, Google will reward companies with higher listings on a search. Websites like Google Keyword Tool and SEO Quake are designed to help companies find the right keywords.

3. Break Up Content:  Breaking content into small sections using bullets and subheads is more effective than larger paragraphs full of information. Smaller sections make the information easier to read, understand and remember. And it is a very effective way to create curiosity for products. White space is important to let the eye breathe or scan the information. If it is pleasing to the eye they will continue to click and go deeper into the website. Bullets are short, condensed copies usually found after the headlines and can be a very important part of conversion rates. Use bullets for:

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  • Testimonials
  • Product features and details
  • Warranty or Guarantee Information
  • An expert’s qualifications
  • How-to Information
  • Lists and problem-solving information

4. Profit From Call-to-Action Words: Learn how to use call-to-action words and phrases to increase your conversion rates and reduce your bounce rate. Call-to-action words are simple, direct, command-like words that request your reader to do something. For example, “Sign up now for our newsletter,” “Click here to get it free,” and “Save big when you download this.” There are hundreds of resources on the internet to assist in finding the perfect call to action. A call to action (CTA) can be in the form of clearly marked buttons, included in a blog post, added to a social media post or effectively used at the end of sales copy.

5. Use Visual Elements: A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in online marketing. Hubspot research indicates that 37 per cent of marketing professionals reported visual marketing is the most important content element in their business, and 74 per cent of social media managers use visual components in their posts.

Guide to copywriting

And video usage is higher than ever and growing at an exciting rate. This is good news for content writers because they can work with their photographers, videographers and graphic artist teams to create visuals that correspond with their copywriting.

A marketing professional who focuses on visual content in the form of photos, infographics, gifs, videos, special font usage and white space, among others, will enjoy more fans, followers, sales and conversion rates than those who don’t jump on the visual element bandwagon.

6. Links, Links, Links:  Links or hyperlinks allow users to navigate between different websites, blogs, and social media platforms on the internet and are crucial in today’s content marketing. Search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, use links to find new web pages and determine how high a website should rank in a search.

In other words, if a company wants to rank high, they need to link, link, link. Linking also benefits a business because it helps build relationships, build and strengthen brands, generate site traffic, and keep a website consistent and current. Linking is part of a big-picture strategy and a tool that is essential to a company’s success.

7. Grab Attention With Headlines:  Creative headlines grab readers’ attention and may decide whether the reader will continue for more information or move on to another article. Content writers who take the time to write the right headline will also have a stronger likelihood of a higher search engine ranking. Headline size matters just as much as the words used.

For example, Google’s search engine only shows the first 55 – 60 characters in a search result, so keep headlines short, sweet and to the point. Some examples of things that create effective headlines are listicles, talking to your audience directly, keeping them short and sweet and promising to solve a problem. Take time to write an attention-grabbing headline, and customers will reward you with clicks, leads and conversions.

8. Get Social/Keep Social:  #Social Media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit or others, these platforms are key in getting customers to link to your website, and the copy you use is as important as in other marketing strategies. There’s more to a post than just winging the copy. Well-thought-out, call-to-action posts with visual elements that seem casual but effective can turn a viewer into a friend and then into a customer.

Get to know each platform’s features, policies and demographics and take advantage of the free, social and organic opportunities they offer. Social media can cultivate your online presence, build a foundation and trust with customers and convert followers into loyal customers.

9. Entrance Your Reader: Curiosity kills the cat and creates a “killer copy.” Carefully selected word combinations, like headlines, subheads and first sentences, should draw the reader into the content. Use more action words or verbs than descriptive words or adjectives. This carries back to a strong call to action (CTA) but is used throughout the copy. Some copywriters use the AIDA formula. Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action to help them create a copy that will get noticed and acted upon.

  • Attention. Snag the reader with a strong headline.
  • Interest. Heighten the prospect’s interest and pull them deeper into your copy with descriptive benefits.
  • Desire. Increase the reader’s interest and desire using bullets, lists and facts about the product or service
  • Action. After your reader is captured. Invite them to take immediate action (CTA).
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Copywriting Techniques and Examples

Emotional appeal technique:

This technique tugs at the reader’s emotions like desire, nostalgia, or frustration to persuade them. For example, playing on the frustration of disorganization:

“Tired of wasting half your weekend looking for lost items? Our closet organization system will save you precious time.”

Storytelling technique:

Storytelling crafts an engaging narrative that connects with readers. For example, telling the story of an aspiring small business owner:

“After Maria was laid off from her 9-5 office job, she pursued her lifelong passion for baking and opened her custom cake shop…”

Humor technique:

Humour uses lighthearted, funny language where appropriate to grab attention. For example, a spirited call to action:

“Get ready to wave goodbye to ‘hanger’ and say hello to happiness with our closet organization solutions!”

Copywriting- written content on a document within a macbook

Crafting Copy for Different Platforms

Blog posts should adopt a conversational style using a natural voice and compelling opening sentences. Subheads and bullet lists improve immobility. Posts over 2,000 words tend to rank higher in SEO.

Social media copy must grab attention quickly within limited space through emotive appeal and creativity. Judicious use of emojis and memes helps convey tone.

The email newsletter copy should personalize the subject line with the recipient’s name. Establish relevance in the preview text. Use bullets and highlighting for scannability. Limit to concise copy.

Copywriting: Following E-A-T Guidelines

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Some tips to build E-A-T:

  • Demonstrate expertise by citing sources, providing data and statistics, and referencing expert credentials.
  • Write authoritatively by avoiding ambiguity, backing up claims, and projecting confidence on topics.
  • Build reader trust by being transparent about commercial intent and any disclaimers where applicable.
  • Avoid excessive superlatives or making unsubstantiated claims that seem “too good to be true”.

Optimizing Copy for SEO

Conduct keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner to inform content.

Include relevant keywords naturally throughout the copy in headings, subheadings, body text, meta descriptions, and image alt text.

Write long-form, in-depth content with word counts over 2,000 where applicable, as longer content tends to rank well.

Embed links to authoritative and trusted sources to support key points. This also builds E-A-T.

Incorporate relevant images, charts, graphics and videos. Optimize with keywords in filenames, alt text and captions.

Copywriters who keep on top of their industry trends, know their audience and keep their copywriting consistent and informative will create value in customers’ eyes. Whether the content is in the form of emails, infographics, blogs, social media posts, video scripts or others, customers (and search engines) will value the information. It’s important to remember that returning visitors to a page adds value to a website, especially if it offers new and updated content.

So good content matters all the way around, in the customers’ eyes, the search engines’ ranking and the business bottom line. Here we cover some of the most important aspects of copywriting – including how to copywriter, when to start copywriting, how to start copywriting and more:

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Copywriting FAQ

What is the optimal word count for a copy?

For blog posts and articles, aim for at least 2,000+ words if possible, as longer content ranks well for SEO. For social media, email, and ads, keep the copy tight, under 250 words.

How long should your copy headline be?

Experts recommend copying headlines between 6-12 words long. Short enough to be scannable but long enough to provide context.

What makes a good call-to-action phrase?

An effective CTA phrase like “Start My Free Trial” clearly states the action desired using triggering words like “Start” or “Get”.

What should your copy focus on most?

Copy is most effective when it focuses on invoking the reader’s emotions and desire first above overtly selling or listing features.

How can you make copy more scannable?

Use short paragraphs of 2-4 lines, subheadings, bullet points, bold text, highlighting, and other formatting techniques to improve scannability.

Important trends include conversational language, brevity, personalization, and leveraging multimedia content beyond text.

Copywriting Conclusion

Compelling copy is informed by research, optimized for SEO, engaging across mediums, adherent to E-A-T, and emotionally connected with readers. Following proven copywriting best practices will elevate your content above competitors to gain attention and drive conversions. Test different techniques and analyze performance data to refine your approach. With strategic copywriting, you can captivate audiences and compel them to take action.

So consider copywriting as a work of art and an essential part of growing your internet presence. You don’t have to go at it alone. Many resources, like freelance writers and marketing consultants, can assist you in fine-tuning your copywriting expertise. If you need help with your copywriting, content marketing or digital marketing – reach out to our agency team, who will only be too happy to help.

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