Unfortunately, flashy designs don’t produce good organic rankings. They may look attractive, but it’s optimised copy that ultimately performs. Weak copy will devalue a website – no matter how good the design is.
If your site is suffering from lack of leads, high bounce rates or traffic that doesn’t convert, you copy needs re-examining.
Here are the danger signs to look out for if you want to increase your content’s effectiveness.
1. Your Original Copy was Written on a Razor-Thin Budget
Businesses working on a smaller budget usually put web copy on the backburner.
Exceptional SEO copywriting doesn’t come cheap though. You must invest in professional web copy if you want your site to be searchable by your target audience and stand out from competitors.
A lot of time goes into researching, writing, optimising and editing to write the right copy for your brand. It’s more than stringing words together. Poorly written copy negatively impacts a site’s SEO. You have to find a voice that evolves and resonates with your people.
In Australia, website copywriting rates are from $50 to $240 per hour. It’s important to weigh up the value and investment of such services to get the best words for your business.
2. It’s Not Aligned with Search Intent
Search intent is what people expect to see when they type or voice a query. If your content doesn’t meet what they want to accomplish, it won’t attract users to your site.
There are four types of search intent to help tailor your content.
- Informational: the searcher is looking for specific information on a topic and wants you to tell them more (how-to guides, lists or best/top articles)
- Navigational: the searcher is looking for a brand, product, service, site or page, or wants to know how to contact/find your business. These searches are usually dominated by branded keywords
- Transactional: the searcher wants to purchase something and seeking advice on how to buy
- Commercial: the searcher is considering a purchase and wants to investigate options and read comparisons, reviews and testimonials
By writing web copy for search intent, you identify the main questions to make your site stand out from competitors and respond to the user’s need. Google also understands search intent and will only show content that’s aligned with it. If yours doesn’t hit the mark, rankings will drop.
Pro Tip: Has it been a while since you reviewed your web copy? Consider updating if it’s no longer serving your website goals or if it’s been more than two years. Improving existing content is also important for Google and regular algorithm updates.
3. Customer Pain Points Have Changed
If your business is selling beds, you’re really selling a great night’s sleep, not the mattress.
Customers don’t buy the product. They buy what it does for them and the problems it solves. To sell the solutions you must also understand the problem. Only then can you create the right content for your audience
Naturally, when their pain points change, so must your web copy.
Show your audience you understand their problems with content that:
- Emphasises with the issue they’re facing
- Agitates the problem (to trigger a response)
- Addresses their relevant pain points
- Solves the issue through value and benefits
For example; when COVID-19 hit, more people started working from home. Many businesses had to adjust their web copy to address different dangers and meet new pain points. Cybersecurity shifted from protecting on-site servers to defending home setups from data breaches. Remote work setups demanded flexibility in home office and storage designs. The problems people are facing now are different than a year ago and content must reflect this.
4. You’re Not Targeting Long-Tail Keywords
People perform searches to find useful content.
But if you’re not targeting the right keywords, you won’t generate traffic.
Long-tail keywords help set specific content goals. They are precise, longer phrases with less search volume but generate benefits like higher conversion rates, better rankings and stronger blog strategies. 70% of all online searches use long-tail keyword – imagine what you’re missing out on if they’re not part of your keyword and content plan.
Pro Tip: Revisit your keywords (mapped to search intent) every 6-12 months for SEO. Consider what keyword trends are making your web copy obsolete and adjust accordingly.
5. The Metadata isn’t Optimised
Keyword research and great copy are only parts of the puzzle.
Knowing where and how to use these keywords for maximum searchability is another. To optimise metadata properly, include your target keywords and a call to action. You have 1-2 sentences (50-160 characters) to write a detailed and unique description
Check your use of keywords. Are they strategically placed (not stuffed) in the right spots?
- Text body
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Subheadings (h2, h3 or h4 tags)
Pro Tip: Free tools like SEO Mofo optimise your meta title and description for user and Google-friendliness.
6. You’re Not Writing for Your Audience
Your website’s copy won’t be seen if you’re not speaking their language.
Use the words and phrases your audience use and explain difficult topics in terms they can relate to. Otherwise, you’ll lose them.
Speak your audience’s language by:
- Creating a persona to tailor content to them
- Forming connections through valuable and educational content
- Knowing your stuff and being able to sort the useful from the useless
- Being informative and a reliable source for them to turn to
Taking advantage of the digital space is essential to accommodate customers. Without SEO-friendly copy, you’re missing out on your message and brand reaching the people who need it most.