9 Tips for Creating Top-Notch Content

Good copywriting is an investment. You’re spending money and time making content. You want a return on that in the form of improving brand awareness, improved lead acquisition, and high quality conversions.

That’s why it’s important to understand the performance of each published copy: its reach and the engagement, in particular. For example:

  1. How many visitors did it get? And how many visitors went on to visit other areas of your site?
  2. How many read the post and for how long?
  3. What percentage of readers engaged (like button or commented) and shared the content?

Analyzing your post’s engagement metrics can be disappointing. When the metrics show that you failed to nail the KPIs after you spent all that time and cash, that stings.

There is a solution. Solutions, actually.

Armed with these tips, you can spruce up your content and get the results you want.

Here are 9 copywriting tips to take your content from zero to hero:

Know your audience.

This might seem like a no-brainer, I know. One of the most common mistakes I see businesses make is they make content that their audience isn’t interested in. Or don’t understand. Or don’t care about.

Any copy, whether it’s a blog article or a white paper, should reflect an understanding of your customer’s needs and problems. It should be tailored to them. Not to you/your business.

One way to do that is by developing one or two personas  using customer data that you’ve accrued. If you don’t have a good sample size, ask your customers directly via a survey. Ask questions like:

  • What made you buy this product?
  • Which problem were you trying to solve by purchasing this product?
  • What are your biggest challenges?

Make your buyers a focal point of your content strategy.

Learn from your competitors

In many cases, your competitors have already done the groundwork in researching the audience and figuring out what tactics do or don’t work. By studying their methods and strategies, you’ll save yourself time and money.

One way to do this is by going to your competitors’ websites. Look at the sites of businesses that most closely resembles your own or has similar audiences. Click through their content and take note of their SEO. Are they receiving high-quality backlinks? Which keywords are they targeting? Do they get a lot of organic traffic?

Although it can be tough to outrank a competitor (especially if they’re well established), you can use this information to look for similar, popular keyword that you can rank for.

And of course, your study doesn’t stop with SEO keywords. Also look at the tone, messaging, and format of your competitor’s content. Does their copy resonate? Are they providing relevant data or information and case studies? If not, that’s a gap you can capitalize on.

Killer headlines

What’s the first thing you notice when you load up a blog, a newspaper article, or a post on social media? The headline. It’s one of the most important features of any content. 80% of online readers scan only the headlines before deciding whether to read the rest of the article. If it doesn’t grab them or intrigue them, they’ll move along to something else.

You need to craft compelling, powerful headlines that pulls a reader in. Something that says “this is something you need to read.”

Sounds easy on paper (or computer monitor). Not so easy in reality. Crafting a great headline is a little trickier than it sounds. There are people whose sole job is to write headlines. It’s a specialty.

Steer clear of “click-bait” headlines. Sure they get people to click through (not as often nowadays) but the bounce rate is very high. The readers rarely stick around long enough to finish reading the article.

Instead, your headlines should:

  • Use power words
  • Play to emotions
  • Explain what your post is about
  • Be short and to the point. An ideal headline is only 6 words.

What I often recommend is to come up with 10-30 different headlines that use different approaches and a variety of strong words. Prune that list down to your top 5 picks and ask someone else, whether it’s a coworker, a spouse, or a friend, for their favorite. Which one jumps out at them?

Get to the point…fast

If you’ve written an effective headline, you have only 37 seconds to retain your reader’s attention and keep them on your site longer. This window of time is tiny. In the first paragraph, maybe two, you need to get to the point, explain that you understand this niche, that you know their pain points, and that you have a solution.

If you succeed, you’ll keep your readers on your blog longer. Or better yet, you’ll get them to move to other areas on your website and potentially move along the marketing funnel.

Be human

Your readers are humans, with a sense of humor. They have needs and wants. Write your content with that in mind. Your content shouldn’t read like an encyclopedia entry. The more engaged your readers are, the more likely they are to keep coming back.

Use active voice

Remember your English classes? No? I’ll refresh your memory.

  • Bob believed that his sales would improve if he hired Jen.
  • It is believed that Bob’s sales would be improved by hiring Jen.

Passive voice are normal and acceptable in formal reports and government memos. For content in which you’re speaking directly to people…not so much. It’s clunky, formal, and boring.

Stick with active voice. It’s more engaging and interesting.

Use supporting material

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C, this is important. You need to be able to back up your claims.

Customers want evidence that this product/service they’re about to fork money over will solve their problem. They want proof that it works.

This is especially true for the B2B customers and high-end B2C customers. These customers often have complex purchasing decisions to make, and they’re not likely to buy a product impulsively.

Make it easier on their decision making process by providing the data they need. Do original research. It helps build brand authority, establishes credibility, and may even show an opportunity your audience hasn’t thought of yet.

By preemptively answering their questions, you’ll move these customers along the marketing funnel faster.

Include an Effective Call to Action (CTA)

Unless you give your readers some instructions on what to do after they finish reading your content, they’ll simply exit out. You need to figure out what you want your customer to do, and tell them.

Examples of CTA are:

  • Subscribe to a newsletter
  • Download an ebook
  • Contact a sales rep
  • Enter a giveaway
  • Comment on an article

Use powerful words. Don’t just say “comment down below!” It’s boring, not to mention, every Joe Schmoe uses that. Do use engaging phrases like “Do you agree or disagree? Tell me.”  Don’t: “Subscribe to my newsletter!” Try: “Get a weekly guide to learn how to XYZ.” Don’t: “Download your free ebook!” Try: “Learn from your free marketing guide!”

Get help

Your time and energy is valuable. A good copywriter will take some of that pressure off you. Because they know what they’re doing, they’ll make use of your budget more efficiently than you could.

And on that note, if you’re struggling to reach your target audience or to create content, contact me.