In the world of online marketing, content is king. And while it’s true that you can’t really have bad content going unnoticed these days, it is the little details that can make a world of difference. One such piece of detail that some brands choose to overlook is the back-end of their content.
Did you know that you can make a significant impact on your SEO with just a few small tweaks to the copy on your landing pages and blog posts? If you’re using AWeber to spread the word about your business, then it’s the last thing you want to do is throw away all the good will earned by your readers with shoddy copy. Now, you may think that all press is good press, but the truth is your customers may have already bailed out on you. In other words, they have every reason to not trust you or your brand.
So, it’s vital that the words you use on your site are both authoritative and trustworthy. Moreover, the last thing you want to do is send your reader elsewhere to make a purchase. That’s not doing your job as a marketer.
Now, you may be thinking that your site’s copy is pretty good, or at least there’s nothing wrong with it that a few more tweaks couldn’t fix. And, for the most part, you’d be right. However, if you’re determined to improve the last page of your content, then there are some tried and tested techniques that can help. And before you think that you’ve reached the end of your content’s lifespan, you may very well be surprised by how much it can be improved by simply following a few guidelines.
Keep To The Point
One of the reasons why people struggle with good writing is that they think it has to be elaborate and wordy. However, when your copy is packed with useless words, it does little but eat up room on your pages. Moreover, studies have shown that the fewer words that you use, the better. Keeping your copy as short and sweet as possible will not only make it easier for your reader to process, it will also make a noticeable impact on your SEO.
Take the time to get to the point. You should have a short, snappy, and accurate summation of the problem that the product or service solves. If you can’t solve the problem in a few short sentences, don’t worry. Nobody’s perfect. Just take your time and find a concise way to describe what the product or service does. You’ll be pleased to know that this advice goes both ways. You can also apply this philosophy to your social media posts.
Omit The Adjectives
If you’re familiar with the book “The Elements of Style,” then you may have noticed that the author, William Strunk, doesn’t use any adjectives in his book. Instead, he relies heavily on punctuation to make his point. In other words, he omits the adjectives.
Why? Well, when you use adjectives, you are usually trying to describe something that is inherently not accurate. Rather, you’re essentially seeing it through your own eyes. And, as much as we try to avoid this, it is very difficult to write about something that you have not experienced first-hand. For example, I can’t write about fashion unless I have firsthand knowledge of fashion. Otherwise, how can I describe the different styles that are out there?
Similarly, if you’re using adjectives to describe your products or services, you are very likely overusing them and diluting their impact. Simply keep it clean and to the point. Use a couple of adjectives to give it some flair, but only a couple. After all, you want your writing to match the tone of your website, and that’s best achieved through keeping your adjectives to a minimum. Plus, overuse of adjectives can make your writing seem somewhat forced.
Believe it or not, there’s a difference between active and passive voice. To put it simply, in active voice, the subject does the action and the object is just there to illustrate what happened. For example, the active voice version of the previous sentence would be “the customer bought the product.”
Passive voice is when the object does the action and the subject is there to describe what happened. For example, “the product was bought by the customer” or “the paper was wrapped by the clerk.”
As you can see, in passive voice, the subject is acting on the object instead of the other way around. And, while this is not always bad, it can sometimes be difficult to understand what the person is saying due to the vagueness of the verb. Moreover, if you have a lot of text, it can be hard to keep track of who’s doing what to whom. For instance, who’s buying what, and how much are they spending? Let’s say you’re running a store and you want to make a sale to the customer. Who is the customer? You! As the store owner, you are the one doing the action; you are buying the product. But, if you’re writing about your own experience as the customer, you are technically using passive voice because the clerk wrapped the paper, not you. To make it less confusing, always choose active voice over passive voice to maintain a clear understanding of the narrative.
Another way to improve the last page of your content is by using familiar verbs. If you are using a word that is not commonly used in everyday language, then it can potentially hurt your SEO. Familiar verbs allow your audience to easily understand what you’re trying to say. And, as I discussed above, using unfamiliar or uncommon verbs can hurt your SEO. Familiar verbs avoid this problem by making your content easier to understand for search engines. For example, instead of using a verb such as “appraise,” which is somewhat rare, you could use a verb such as “value.” Or, if you’re writing about an event, you could use a verb such as “host” or “celebrate.” Choose verbs that you’re familiar with, and that your audience will understand. This will help contribute to the overall clarity of your writing.
As a copywriter, you may have come across the term ambiguity in your studies. If not, it’s a word you should know. Ambiguity occurs when the meaning of a word or phrase is unclear. For example, take the word “retail.” If we were to look it up in a thesaurus, it would give us a list of synonyms, such as “to sell at a store,” “to purchase at a retail location,” and “to sell at a shop or retail location.”
As you can see, these are all fairly accurate definitions of “retail.” But, how about the opposite of retail? What is the opposite of retail? Simply put, the opposite of retail is…”well, retail!
Ambiguity is a symptom of poor writing. When you encounter it, you should ask yourself if there’s another word or expression that could be used to communicate the exact same meaning. If not, then you may very well want to reword your content or come up with a new one. In some instances, removing ambiguity can even result in a significant increase in your SEO.
Fewer Word Breaks
One of the things that makes written English so wonderful is its flexibility. English has a number of words that can allow you to smoothly move from one idea to the next without having to think about your syntax. However, this flexibility can be a blessing and a curse. The curse comes in the form of having too much freedom, and the blessing in the form of being able to connect with your audience and present your ideas clearly.
When you have too many words, you open the door to having a poor understanding of your narrative. The more you write, the better you get at it. But, the more you write, the more you realize that you don’t necessarily know what you’re talking about. Because there are no rules in writing other than being consistent and improving upon your work. This is why, when you find yourself writing more and more, eventually you will run into trouble. At this point, you need to take a step back and figure out what you’re actually trying to say. Moreover, you can use a thesaurus to help with this process and remove some of the words that are making you unclear. After all, too many words can actually dilute the meaning of what you’re writing and confuse your audience. Plus, there are words that are simply overused and have lost their meaning. Remove these! Cutting out a few words here and there can help ensure that your copy is both easy to understand and packed with important information. This, in turn, will contribute to the overall clarity of your writing and make a significant impact on your SEO.