When you Google the keyword “benefits of content marketing”, you notice that close to 1.3 billion blogs are fighting for the same keyword.
Visibility, credibility, and conversions – happen in that order in today’s attention economy.
Last year, I helped an LA-based e-commerce brand rank #1 on Google within days for high-competition keywords using the on-page SEO techniques I’m sharing in this blog.
Guess what? One year later, it’s still taking the top spot beating sites like Forbes and Entrepreneur. Even though the founder has stopped publishing new content.
Last month, I helped a logistics intelligence SaaS brand to rank #1 on Google within days instead of months for a popular keyword in the supply chain space beating billion-dollar sites like FedEx and UPS.
This happened within 5 days.
Day 1: The blog goes live
Day 3: The blog appears on the first page of Google
Day 5: The blog ranks #1 on Google
And I get a message like this from the client.
So what’s the secret behind ranking #1 on Google consistently AND staying on top?
Strategy 101: Write for humans first
Optimize for search engines later.
The focus of your content should solely be – usefulness. Never deviate from this principle.
Because chasing search engine algorithms is not a strategy. Frameworks change all the time. Most growth hacks die before the data comes in. Tools like ChatGPT are making educative TOFU content almost redundant. So how do you establish authority, consistently rank #1 on Google, 5x your organic traffic engagement, and freeze your churn? By connecting with the reader, conveying the right message at the right time, and converting them into brand loyalists.
Brand loyalists are people who come back to your brand/content over and over again.
Because they connect with your messaging.
Because they listen to what you have to say.
Because they find spending their precious time on your content worthy and valuable.
Don’t listen to SEO tools like YoastSEO that encourage you to:
Modify your tone because you started 3 consecutive sentences with the same word
Stuff your headings with primary keywords even though it sounds unnatural
Wishy-wash your introduction in a quest to fit in the primary keyword
Inflate your content by suggesting inappropriate keyword density
So what should you do?
Write like you speak, but don’t overdo it. Focus on your narrative
Focus on being helpful to the reader
Focus on guiding the reader to achieve the goal in the headline
Go ahead and pick keywords with low keyword search volume if they bring value to your content
Focus on holding a conversation with your reader
Focus on making a logical argument and building a connection with your reader
Create an SEO Content Strategy for BOFU keywords with navigational content
Because visitors who seek navigational content have high intent of purchase and are conversion-ready.
It also means that your content is in alignment with your visitor’s stage of awareness.
Once you plan and execute your content keeping the above strategy in mind, traffic flow becomes an after-effect of great content.
Now, how do you attract and convert this traffic?
Optimize headlines for SEO and Conversions
80% of your readers don’t read your copy if you can’t get them to read your headlines – David Ogilvy
Most of the content fails to grab the prospect’s attention because the headlines never offer the benefit the prospect is looking for:
Are you helping your audience save time?
Are you helping them bring down operational costs?
Is your solution accessible from anywhere, anytime?
Are you making their life easier?
If you said yes to any of the above, then you’ve got to mention that in your headline.
Treat each of your headlines like mini value prop statements.
The benefits should go straight into your value proposition to get your prospect interested FIRST.
Now, why is something as simple as highlighting benefits a deal-breaker?
Because the emotional benefit IS the real solution your visitors are here for.
So, strap the benefits to your headline.
Pro Tip: Ensure you optimize your title tag with the main focus keyword.
User-led Keyword Research
Google Crawlers are constantly looking for relevant keywords (the keywords you want to rank for) in your content.
The keywords your prospects are searching for.
But how do you predict what they’re searching for?
Lean back on the most recent user-generated content like:
Sales call recordings
Niche Slack Communities
The point is – don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t second guess your content strategy by relying solely on tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs. Instead, lean on UGC to extract high-converting BOFU content and use these tools to improvise your keyword groupings. Create an SEO content strategy with topic clusters and keyword groupings to boost SEO and conversions.
Rank on Google by making your website accessible to a wider audience
Did you know that 20% of all organic searches are image searches? That’s a solid chunk of lead traffic if you harness it.
One of the Content Primer pages ranks #1 on Google Image Search for a popular keyword organically. You needn’t rely on Facebook ads or Google ads all the time to drive targeted traffic. Simple optimization techniques can help you achieve this with ease without inflating your marketing budget. Let’s find out how.
Alt text is the communication channel between your website and search engine spiders that help you rank. Alt text is also the communication channel that makes your content more accessible to a wide range of users including the ones who use accessibility tools like text-to-speech converters etc.
5 Strategies to optimize your images for Google
Use descriptive file names and alt text For example, the file name of one of the ranking images is “Empathetic-Copywriting-Content-Primer.png”
The file name here is the keyword we’re aiming for and the brand name.
Keep your file names and alt text brief but clear
The alt-text description here is pretty much the title of the blog. This implies that you should treat your alt text as mini value prop statements. Explain what the image signifies, for whom and what’s the benefit of following along.
Avoid generic file names like picture.jpg, image2.png, etc.
Avoid lengthy, full-sentence file names
Avoid stuffing keywords in alt text and file names
Avoid using only image links for your site’s navigation
Use standard image formats like JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and WebP image formats
Make your images mobile-friendly as 60.9% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices
How descriptive alt text and captions help rank #1 on Google:
It indicates the purpose of the image and relays the exact content of the image
Increases relevance to the content and brings clarity
Specific information increases the chances of matching with the search keywords and bumps your page to the top
Tip: Run an instant SEO Audit of missing alt text images on your website now for FREE.
How to beat billion-dollar sites and rank on Google
One of the easiest ways to outdo giant websites on their own keywords is to:
Create meaningful, helpful, read-worthy content
Create useful, illustrative image content that cuts down the learning time for the reader
Let’s look at an example.
We were able to beat billion-dollar sites like FedEx and UPS on their own keywords and rank within days.
The blog takes the top spot on Google SERPs and is ranking for 44 keywords.
The target keyword is “fedex service guarantees”. My client’s blog was on the top spot for close to 18 months. It’s taking the 5th spot currently.
Write for the most distracted reader to arrive at interesting content
Humans are wired to react to interruptions.
The reason why mobile phone notifications are so easy to give into.
So how do you make your reader stay focused?
By using Pattern Interrupt Techniques.
Pattern interrupt is a psychological approach to shifting your reader’s focus and influence their behavior.
How can you use this psychological phenomenon to keep your readers interested in your content?
Create Disruptive Content Without Switching Context
Influence your reader before a notification takes that power away from your content. Make your content MORE interesting than their distractions – By dividing and displaying content differently. This is how:
Ensure the headings carry appropriate H1, H2, H3 tags
Use graphs and visual charts to make information more memorable
Use screenshots to offer proof and explanation then and there
Use snappy gifs to make content memorable
Use bullets instead of a clunky text box
Highlight to bring the focus back – bold, italics, underline, color
Use images to explain instead of a long boring paragraph
Use content highlighters like colored blocks
Create carousel content to keep your audience hooked
GIFs when used appropriately can pattern interrupt and make your content more interactive
User Experience and User Retention
The fundamentals of creating content for your audience is to be helpful.
Anchor text is the tool that makes the interwebs so powerful. It makes access to relevant information easy in just one click.
Linking to related topics in your content creates a content repository your audience comes back to for their other information needs.
To get anchor texts right, every time you create anchor text, connect back to the primary intent –
Can this link introduce my readers to topics they need to know?
Can this link open up new channels and learning experiences for my readers?
Is this link connecting to a pre-requisite topic that’ll bring them closer to their desired outcome?
On the downside, too many external hyperlinks may take your audience away from your website. So, make sure that you’re bringing a balance.
Never hyperlink your anchor text to your competitor's websites.
Overdoing hyperlinks can also result in penalties by Google.
Summary: 6 easy steps to SEO Content to increase conversions
Copywriting. This term can be condescending, I know.
The word “copywriting” can evoke baffling questions like these:
Is copywriting about copying? Is it copy-pasting?
No kidding, such questions are asked for real.
So, what is copywriting?
Copywriting is the art and science of putting words that absolve the reader’s objections and persuade the reader to take a pre-defined action.
Good copywriting is backed by a thorough study of the psychological behavior of the business’ audience. It involves a step by step procedure that gathers detailed information about the target visitor.
In the digital age, copywriting is synonymous with web copywriting or direct response copywriting. Web copy is written to lead the target prospect to act on a CTA.
Copywriting is an intense process. As a copywriter, it is your responsibility to know your customer’s business in and out. The business functions, benefits, features, USP, value proposition, objections, problems, FAQs, mission, vision, audience and so much more.
What does a typical copywriting process look like?
Ideally, a copywriter gets business information from the client in the form of a questionnaire with specific answers. Specificity is the key. It is up to the copywriter to ask questions that fetch unambiguous information avoiding back and forth communication.
Based on the information in the questionnaire, the copywriter studies the customer info and derives a customer profile.
The copywriter designs a wireframe sketch to make the copy come with a flow. The wireframe sketch decides the fluidity of the copy.
The positives and features of the product or service are aggregated and converted into benefits.
The copywriter comes up with a clear value proposition that tells the purpose of the business website. No beating around the bush here. It has to be clear and concise.
This is followed by rounds of editing, search engine optimization and testing the copy.
Note: A prospect is determined by the business whose products are designed for a certain demographic.
Why should a copywriter know everything about the company?
To define the value proposition
You are writing copy for the company’s customer. You are writing copy to convince the prospect. The prospective visitor comes with many questions. Answering all their in-mind questions on-page is the goal of web copy.
In order to answer their questions, you should know the business inside out. If you do not know about the company functions and operations unique to that company, your value proposition fails. If you do not know why the company does what it does, you fail to get the purpose in words.
The value proposition is the most distilled version of the company’s prime purpose.
To understand and reproduce the purpose
When the “why” is not projected strongly, there is nothing that moves the prospect to establish an emotional connect. The emotional connect is not about instantly liking your brand. It is about a feeling your words can evoke
Let’s talk about a common activity you and I both do. Do you feel good shopping on a website that sells the products you love at your happy price? Do you see the key-points here? Love..Happy!
Ultimately, you do what you do to make yourself feel the way you want to. Even if it means trading money.
Jim Keenan, the author of Not Taughtsays you cannot sell to your prospect if the prospect doesn’t perceive value in your product or service. The “value” here can take any form. But it eventually boils down to a feeling. An emotional state of content that happens after an action.
Great copywriting is about salvation, not sales. – Aaron Orendorff
When you invest your money in a worthy product, you willingly trade your hard earned money because you have assigned a value to the product. That is all a customer pays for – Salvation. And, copywriting is the art and science that brings out the value out of a product and projects it in the form of words.
If you succeed to provide that reason of fulfillment your prospect is looking for, you have written good copy. That is when your copy becomes convincing. You don’t need to put any more effort, even in terms of fancy-glittery graphics. They do not matter. All you have to do now is drive your prospect to take an action. The sale is just a resultant action. And, congratulations! You just sold your product.
How to edit your copy?
To get the most pristine version of your copy, try removing one random word from one random sentence of your final copy. If you see a discrepancy, in any form, you put back the word and publish it. If not, repeat the distillation process.
Good copy is achieved when if you remove a word from the line, it obstructs the meaning of the sentence terribly.
Why is copywriting called copywriting?
The above definition implies that anything worthy of being reproduced to preserve its existential value is copy. This highlights the monumental importance copywriting holds in the business world.
Why every business needs copywriting?
When I began my career as a copywriter, I wondered what copyblogger meant. It sounded weird. I get it, the word is formed by the amalgamation of two words copywriter and blogger. But why? Why would anybody do that?
Now, when I know why every business needs copy, I fully understand the profound reasoning behind naming the legendary website CopyBlogger. In simple terms, CopyBlogger is a resource that teaches you conversion blogging or business blogging but not limited to blogging.
It is all about conversions. You cannot grow your business without conversions. Can you?
You need copy to convert.
Copy that converts + A well positioned product = Sales that spike your revenue
And after all, sales is the ultimate goal of any ethical business. Now that you know why every business needs copywriting, what are the steps you are going to take to write copy?