We’ve all seen spammy, boring advertisements that make us just want to hit “next” and get on with what we're doing. But there are also advertisements out there that will draw you in and make you interested in learning more about the product. What’s the difference? Often, it comes down to the Copy!
What is Copy?
Copywriting is when someone comes up with text content for the purposes of advertisement and marketing. Copy is the content that the copywriter creates. Glance at a billboard next time you go down a highway, or flip through a magazine at your next doctor’s appointment. All of those words were written by a copywriter. Open up any website page and the text you see is also copy.
So what distinguishes good copywriting from bad? The majority of advertisements fly past us, day after day, without making us stop to think about them. Good copywriting stops people from passing by, draws them in, and makes them care about the product or service being sold.
As a copywriter, you don’t have to come up with constant brilliant advertising, like the “Budweiser Frogs” or Apple’s “1984.” You just need to learn how to engage with your targeted audience. Here are three major tenets of good copywriting:
- Get your audience to want to engage with you. Don’t spam your viewers.
- Offer something valuable to your audience. Don’t just ask for their money.
- Make your customers want to buy from you because they like your content.
Unfortunately there’s no one single trick to achieving these objectives. Everything depends on your business, your product, your target audience, and the goals you are trying to attain.
Pay close attention to number 2 on the list. It’s easier to draw people in if you have something to offer to them. This doesn’t just mean using coupons, though that’s a place to start. If you want more ideas about how to use pricing strategies to draw in more customers, check out VMA’s blog on the subject here. It goes over more details on ways to draw in new customers and bring back old ones with offers from your company.
Modern Age Copywriting
One result of the Internet is that there are new kinds of copywriting specifically geared towards that medium. What works in a magazine, newspaper, or billboard won’t necessarily work for a website. How you set up the back end of your website is crucial to ensure that your pages are seen in the first place.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” You use SEO to make it so that when people search for topics related to your business on a search engine such as Google, your pages are included in the top results. There are 3 major parts to setting up SEO copywriting:
- Finding the right keywords. The ones that other people are using the most to search for your product.
- Writing articles on subjects that people want to learn more about to draw them in.
- Use the important keywords and the content you create around them to try to rank in the top results for those keywords.
The simplest way to see what people are searching for when it comes to your product is to see what Google automatically fills in when you perform a search yourself. Although this can give you a basic idea of keyword searches, it’s much better to use another resource. Programs such as Google Analytics allow you to look in-depth at your audience and what they are searching for. This is an incredibly useful tool to have on your belt for keeping track of how your website is performing. It can also help with determining what to do to make it better.
When Internet search engines first began, getting your site to the top of the search was a simpler process. You could get away with spamming the audience and throwing a ton of junk articles on the page. These days, search engines are getting incredibly smart. They do their best to weed out spammy, junk sites for ones that people want to see.
When you write an article now, it’s important to make it as interesting as possible to draw in more people and keep them on your site for longer. How many people can find your site through searches, how many different people click on your site, how long viewers stay on your pages, and many other factors determine how well your website is performing. Again, tools such as Google Analytics can help you keep track of this kind of information. You can then use that to see which articles are working and which are not, to help improve your future copy.
Also keep in mind that search engine optimization is changing all the time. Google and other companies are constantly working to improve their algorithms. Sometimes they make small tweaks and other times they completely overhaul the system. Staying up-to-date is crucial.
In the end, making good copywriting comes down to the same things that almost any skill requires. Practice and a willingness to constantly learn new techniques will get you far. Being able to keep up with the newest trends is what the Internet is all about. If you get out there and engage with your customers, you will quickly learn what they are interested in and what kind of information will appeal to them. Use their questions as article topics, and start a discussion. One of the best (and sometimes worst!) aspects of modern marketing is the ability to get instant feedback and conversations with your viewers.
If you want more information about SEO, marketing, and other topics, check out Virtual Market Advantage’s other blogs!