In copywriting, you have one goal: to get visitors to read the next sentence… and the sentence after that. Given that 55% of your visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website, you have your work cut out for you.
Following the technical rules of SEO is fairly straightforward, but pleasing users is an unpredictable, inexact science involving skill and guesswork.
Each person is different, with unique interests, mindset, and attention span; catching the attention of every single one and getting them to stay on your website takes a bit of special maneuver.
Today, we share six copywriting rules proven to work for you:
Using Bucket Brigades to Sustain Interest
Many journalism professors call Bucket Brigades empty and useless. But here’s the thing: you need them to sustain your user’s attention. Bucket brigades are connector phrases that keep the pace and flow going.
How? Like this:
Using short sentences that end in a colon.
That’s a Bucket Brigade and it will keep visitors on your page.
Historically, bucket brigades were used to encourage people to keep reading sales letters, an old copywriting technique that proves useful today. In fact, the average time on page can go up to 4 minutes if you use bucket brigades in your own content.
Here’s how to use Bucket Brigade to increase your Time On Page:
First, identify a spot in your content where users are likely to go “back” to the previous session. Start with your intro. Neil Patel’s intro for his blog is a good example:
You can also use Bucket Brigades in the middle of your content.
You can come up with your Bucket Brigades, like Neil did, or you may use these standards:
- Here’s the kicker:
- It gets better:
- You may be wondering:
- Bottom line:
- Think about it:
- Want to know the best part?
Using “Clickbait” Headlines
It’s true: a lot of people and SEO companies look down on “clickbait” sites and articles, most likely including you. But you can’t deny their pull. Consider Buzzfeed, one of the most shared clickbait sites right now.
After all, who doesn’t love a good, eye-catching headline? It creates intrigue, and from intrigue, springs action. Here are a few examples of truly buzz-worthy headlines:
You can do the same thing for your content. Check out the latest headlines from BuzzFeed and other similar sites and adopt the same style for your own headings and subheadings.
Using Benefit-driven Subheadings to Add Value to Your Post
You want to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to read your post, not drive them away with unreadable content.
Between blocks of thick paragraphs and nicely subdivided content, people would very much go for the second one. That’s right: subheadings are important, but we’re not talking about just any subheadings.
Create something that will make your visitors say, “Wow, this can help me.” To do this, add benefits into your subheadings (e.g., “Using Benefit-driven Subheadings to Add Value to Your Post”). Not for every item, for but at least for 30% of your total subheadings.
Using LSI keywords
Remember: copywriting isn’t just about pleasing visitors. You also work for search engines.
You may have heard of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – or not. To put it simple, LSI is Google’s new algorithm that looks for synonyms related to the title of the page. Meaning, if the title is “classic cars”, Google will look for related terms, such as “classic automobile”, “collector cars”, “car auction”, “dealers” etc.
For example, your keyword is “car repair”. Search for that on Google and look at the bold words and phrases different to “car repair”.
Notice that Google bolds words, like “auto repair” and “auto mechanic”? That’s because Google considers them synonymous to your primary keyword (car repair) and significant to your ranking. Apply the same tactic by spreading out LSI keywords into your content.
Keyword stuffing is out. LSI is in.
Borrowing from Amazon for Your Keywords
Amazon is one of the biggest e-commerce sites right now. Just when you think they can’t be beat in the SERPs, a window of opportunity opens – through targeting long-tail keywords.
Let’s say you own an ecommerce site that sells organic shampoo. Go to amazon.com and search for “organic shampoo”. Wait for Amazon to suggest keywords related to yours:
Amazon Suggest keywords are highly targeted, so they’re likely to convert well. Trust Amazon and use the same long-tail keywords for your product/category pages and in your Meta Data tags.
Adding Modifiers to Your Title Tags
Modifiers are terms that will get your site on top in long tail searches. The common belief is, the simpler, the better.
Let’s look at this example: “SEO: The Definitive Guide”. The title tag is short and simple, and more importantly, it contains the target keyword. Awesome.
Try adding a modifier so it becomes “SEO Made Easy: The Definitive Guide”. A simple tweak like that can help you rank for long tail versions of your target keyword. Common modifiers include terms, such as:
- How to
We haven’t been able to determine what exactly these modifiers can bring in, but experts notice an increase in traffic with them there.
Using Urgency to Get More Twitter Shares
Social sharing buttons are the most popular way to earn shares on Twitter and Facebook, but another way proves effective as always: Call to Action.
First, form your urgent tip/message. Then go to ClickToTweet.com.
Then turn your urgent tip into a tweet.
Then generate new link!
Copy the link…
… and then paste the link into your blog.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Google is prioritizing User Experience now more than ever.
When it comes to effective SEO copywriting, you play by Google’s rules as you’re pleasing your readers. By putting these techniques into practice, you can get ahead of your competitors (or stay in the game, at least.) You’re welcome.
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