Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Copywriter’s Guide To Buying Emotion

Words are powerful things. They have the power to influence and persuade. Most importantly, they have the power to sell.

All of us have emotions, and these have a major impact on our purchasing habits, a lot more so than we might think.

Although most of us would like to believe that our decisions are based on logical, reasoned thought, the fact of the matter is that the way we ‘feel’ about a product or service will ultimately determine whether or not we buy it.

If we feel good enough about an item, we will take the plunge and buy it, even if our logical thought processes question whether or not we actually really need it. On the other hand, if marketing has not done enough to make us feel positive about the item, our indifference may lead to rational thought taking over, meaning that we walk away from it.

Marketers have known for several years the value of buying emotion in the purchasing process. Take television adverts for example. When an advert for a brand of lager makes you laugh, the next time you are in the pub you will instinctively order a pint of it. This is because we associate the brand with laughter, which makes it appear more ‘fun’ than the others.

Essentially, emotions are human, they are things that people can relate to. For this reason they are an incredibly useful tool when it comes to selling.

So, how can you generate buying emotion when writing copy? Follow these simple rules:

Answer basic questions

This is perhaps one of the most important rules, pre-empt objections by answering common questions such as:

  • Why do people need your product or service?
  • How will it enhance their life?
  • What is unique about it?
  • What makes you better than your competitors?

Be human

Write in a friendly, personal tone. Building a rapport will help your audience to identify with you and your company.

Use real life experience

Draw from everyday experience in your daily life. Think of how popular observational humour has become. Chances are, if there is something out there that really upsets/angers/annoys you, then there will be someone out there who feels the same way. Writing a blog is one way you can do this effectively.

Use rhetoric

Make people think by using questions such as: “Don’t you just hate it when…?” “Wouldn’t it be great if…?”

Don’ be afraid of cliché

Even if it makes you cringe when reading it back. Throwing in a few clichés is one of the oldest tricks in the books, and also one of the best!

Generate a buzz

If your audience gets excited about what you are selling they will buy it, it’s as simple as that! Use superlatives such as fantastic, excellent and brilliant!

How To Write SEO Friendly Copy

The following are some of the things you should bear in mind when looking to create SEO friendly copy.

Structure

An important thing to remember when writing copy for the web is that people read differently online to how they do in print. People tend to skim read websites for relevant information, so it is important to break the content down into subsections in order to make it easy for the reader to take in.

An easy way to do this is by using the ’10 facts about…’ format. As well as making it more manageable, this also gives you the opportunity to get the targeted keywords into subheadings, and these can also be included in H1, H2 and H3 tags.

In terms of links, it is recommended that approximately 1 anchor text link per 100 words is acceptable.

Keyword Density

There is a lot of debate amongst SEOs on the impact of keyword density. Many believe that density has a lot less of an impact than it used to, and as Google becomes more advanced in the way that it indexes pages, this will only become more apparent.

Most SEOs agree that anything between 3-7% is a good keyword density to aim for. However, be careful not to exceed 10%, as this will be considered keyword stuffing, which is frowned upon.

Content which has been written with too much of a focus on density, rather than readability, will not only look obvious and reflect badly on the brand, but will also have little impact on rankings.

When looking at density, you should take into account the occurrences of each individual word in a chosen phrase, as well as the total percentage. For example, when optimising for the term ‘office supplies’ you should look at the occurrences of the individual words ‘office’ and ‘supplies’ which will be taken into consideration by the search engines.

A good tip is to go back after writing a piece of copy is to go back and look for any opportunities to get extra keywords into the body of the text. For example, if you have used words such as ‘it’ and ‘they’ you could replace these with the keyword you are focussing on.

The following page offers a good tool for checking keyword density:

http://www.justsearching.co.uk/tools/local-keyword-density

Semantics

Instead of relying on the density of keywords to determine relevancy, Google is increasingly using what is known as latent semantic indexing. This involves looking at semantically related terms to the keyword and using these to determine whether or not the page is relevant. For example, when optimising for the term ‘office’, it would be wise to look at similar terms in its semantic field:

Office: Place of work, bureau, workplace, administrative centre, headquarters, agency, organisation.

An easy way to do this is by using the synonyms tool in Microsoft Word by highlighting the word, right clicking on it and scrolling down to synonyms. This will reveal a list of words which are related to the term you are optimising, which you can use at your discretion.

How To Write Web Copy That Sells

It is often said that web content is written for 2 audiences, namely search engine spiders and of course the web user.

Obviously, it is important to ensure that your copy is SEO friendly, with carefully-selected keywords to drive traffic to pages. At the same time, however, it is important to ensure that this isn’t at the expense of the primary purpose of the text, and that is to sell.

Audience Awareness

Unlike the search engine spiders, people aren’t robots, they have their own idiosyncrasies and you should bear this in mind when writing content for your site.

The best way to sell anything is to fully understand the needs and wants of your target audience. Put yourself in their shoes. What are they looking for? What is it that attracts them to buy? This is half the battle in creating content that sells.

For example, 20-30s may respond well to a very informal and light-hearted approach, whereas silver surfers (i.e. the over 50’s) may expect a higher level of formality. By all means, use a colloquial and informal style, but make sure that this is appropriate.

Visual Awareness

Make key points bold, and if necessary, use large multicoloured fonts. If you’ve got something that is FREE make sure that people know about it by making it stand out. You haven’t got long to make an impact, so make it count.

Use navigation and links effectively

One tool you have at your disposal on the net is links. These give you the ability to control what people read, and in what order they read it. Giving people links to other products and services they may be interested in is not only a way of improving the usability of your site, but also makes your site a useful resource that people will refer back to.

Summarise key points in bullets, which people can click on to learn more. If someone is forced to read through reams of text which is of little interest to them, in order to find what they are looking for, then it is more than likely that they will simply move on to the next site.

Build a rapport with your audience

Find creative ways to sell your products and services. Use a friendly, approachable tone. One way to do this is to keep a regular blog. Make it entertaining and funny and who knows, you may even develop a cult following!

Use a direct voice with rhetoric and emotive language to sell your products and services. For example: “Save money this winter with…!” “Are you  paying too much for….?”

Keep up to date with current affairs

What is newsworthy at the moment? How does this relate to your products and services?

Experiment

There is a certain element of trial and error in any process. Make use of analytics software to see what parts of your sites people are interested in. This will allow you to identify potential ways to improve your site.

Summary

In summary, it is important to remember the golden rule of web content, the longer you have someone’s attention, the more chance you have of making a sale. It is therefore vital that your on-page content is more than just a token gesture. By making your site a worthwhile source of information, you will ensure that it is something that web users come back to, again and again.

We’re Up & Running…

So it’s the end of the first week and what a week it’s been! After many months of hard work, Copify has finally gone live!

We’ve been very busy this week responding to both client and copywriter applications and I’m pleased to say that we’ve received and serviced several orders, so well done to all those involved.

Feedback

On the whole the feedback we have had has been very positive. We have, however, received some negative feedback from some copywriters who feel our costs are too low. We are currently looking into establishing a new ‘premium’ level for the most experienced writers. Stay tuned folks!

Twittering

As a self-confessed Twitter sceptic, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve actually become a bit hooked on Twitter! We have used the site to gain exposure and have managed to attract a respectable 50 followers. Come and join us at: http://www.twitter.com/copify.

PPC campaign

We’ve set up a PPC campaign to recruit new copywriters and this has been a great success, with a high number of signups. Next week we will crack on with encouraging client signups and hopefully reducing our cost per click!

Thanks to all of those who have got behind the site so far, keep following our blog for regular updates.

Keep Copifying!

Copify Team