I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard the statement, “I get tons of traffic, but no sales.” It’s normally followed by comments like: “My site is highly optimized for the engines and my rankings are great. I don’t understand why no one is buying.” Let me shed some light on this mystery.
Most often, when site owners (or professional copywriters for that matter) write “search engine optimized” copy, they develop tunnel vision. They are so focused on the placement of keyphrases throughout the copy that they neglect something very important... the customer!
Because the immediate task at hand “seems” to be getting the site ranked high, the writer neglects to take out his or her crystal ball and gaze into the future. What should you be asking the crystal ball? “What happens when the customer gets to my site?”
Oops! Didn’t think of that? Don’t feel embarrassed. Many people don’t. Developing SEO (search engine optimized) copy is like creating a complete circle. You have to have good keyword saturation in order to get ranked in those prime spots. You have to have keyword-rich title and description tags (mostly the title tag) to land in the top 10. Once you achieve that your site starts drawing in surfers. Now that they’ve clicked to your site, what happens? The copy has to give them what they want/need. That’s the missing piece to the puzzle and the factor that causes so many people to scratch their heads in disbelief.
When writing SEO copy, you have to think of the beginning AND the end of the process. You have to create copy that satisfies both the engine and the customer. Once you do, you’ll not only have boatloads of traffic, but you’ll have the sales that go along with it. So, there… mystery solved! Or at least part of it.
We’ve covered the “why,” now let’s look at the “how.”
1. Know Your Target Audience
In order to give someone what he/she wants, you have to know what that want is. Take the time to research your target audience (also called target customer, perfect customer, or ideal customer). Find out as much as you can about them including who they are, what they do, how they use your product/service, how old they are, what problems they have, and how they prefer to receive information.
2. Stop Selling and Start Solving
So many people are pushing to get that almighty dollar (or euro or pound) that they forget something. Customers don’t like to be sold to. What they really want is someone to solve their problems. Once you show that your product/service can, in fact, solve the problems your customers face, sales will come on their own.
3. Appeal To Emotions
Most buying decisions are emotional so it makes sense that your copy should be, too. While your customer’s need may be logical, the actual buying decision is anything but. Think about it. When you bought your last car, did you go for the “logical” choice? Did you pick the ugly, shapeless, “no personality” car that had the best gas mileage and the highest safety rating? I doubt you did.
You most likely took a look at all the options and – taking some logic into account – bought the car that suited you best within your price range. Emotion sells!
No, I’m not talking about getting mushy. What I AM talking about is touching the emotional chord that draws customers to your product or service. Those problems you found out about when doing steps #1 and #2 above… use them to add emotion to your copy.
With these three vital elements in your forethoughts, you can sit down and write your copy – with your keyphrases in mind – for tremendous results. When you understand the entire process and take the time to learn to write emotional, sales-oriented, SEO copy, you will keep your traffic count high and your checkbook balance higher.
© 2003 Karon Thackston