Being loud and proud is what online marketing is all about.
It’s never been easier to reach out to your customers as it is today. With the millions of internet users out there, your products and services can now enjoy a global audience.
But how do you make sure they hear your message?
Content drives the internet. But your content is only going to work for you if people are reading it.
So how do you make sure you’re not talking to an empty room?
Firstly, your content must be written with your SEO strategy in mind. That means your articles and blogs should include the keywords you are using to attract customers. But a word of caution, write naturally – if you ‘stuff’ your articles with keywords they will become unreadable, amateurish and no one will want to read them.
The ‘stuffing’ attitude all stems from the bad old days when a horrible phrase ‘keyword density’ was banded about, which led to text that was so crammed with keywords it was unreadable.
Today, some still argue that you should have a certain number of keywords in your text. But even if this appears to have a short term benefit, it is unlikely to bode well in the long run.
In fact, earlier this year, Google’s own Matt Cutts had this to say about the matter:
“…We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and a great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”
So, in other words, make sure you always write for your readers and not the search engines.
Laying an SEO trail for your readers to follow is one thing, but once they find you, how do you make sure they’ll feel the journey was worth it?
The answer is simple; the content you produce must add value. It should be informative, interesting and relevant to your customers not a blatant piece of sales writing.
Yes, you read that right – you must not overtly sell through your content.
Your customers are a perceptive bunch and will spot a sales message a mile off. But if you offer them great information, which subtly persuades them to take a specific action (such as sign up for your newsletter, visit your website etc.), you’ll be seen as someone who cares and who wants to build a relationship with them.
So, how do you write without selling?
Well, how about writing in a story telling style? From childhood, we’ve all been exposed to stories and therefore naturally warm to them. Writing case studies, for example, is a great way to sell under the radar. By outlining, in a story-style, how your products or services helped one of your customers overcome a particular problem they had will come across as being informative, although subconsciously it will be showing the reader some of the main benefits you can bring to their business.
Another way of adding value is to create ‘how to’ and ‘top tips’ articles. Readers love items like these because they get something back from you – information. Plus, you’ll do yourself a lot of favours by positioning yourself as an expert in your field. So, when they need help and advice, guess who they’ll come to – you.
Whether you’re writing for your own blog, creating articles for other sites, guest blogs or producing new content for your website, remember:
Following these simple tips will help your online marketing gain a voice, attract readers and, ultimately, provide you with a potential new source of customers.
Sally Ormond is founder of Briar Copywriting.