A Beginner’s Guide to SEO for WordPress – #2 Copy Writing

Welcome to part two of my six-part guide to SEO for WordPress.

In this week’s post, we look at copy writing for the web and specifically for WordPress.

Before we start talking about WordPress specifics, you should read this article on copy writing for the web so you have a good idea of what effective copy writing is.

Also, let me just remind you of what we’ve covered so far in this mini-series and what’s to come later.

  • Part I – Your keywords and how to use them
  • Part II – How to write great content for your website <<
  • Part III – How to setup and use the Yoast SEO Plugin (recommended)
  • Part IV – How to set up your ‘on-site’ SEO
  • Part V – How to acquire links to your website
  • Part VI – How to check your progress

How to Write Great Content for Your Website

More and more we are seeing the benefit of writing web pages for REAL people. One of the biggest mistakes you could make when it comes to publishing on the web is to ignore the fact that you are in a conversation with your visitors.

Of course, this applies even more so if you are writing a for a blog or WordPress site. The reason for this is that you are speaking to people who can and will respond using comments, and that’s exactly what we want them to do.

Feedback and more importantly, conversation and debate is what will make people come back to your website on a regular basis.

It’s the interactivity of a WordPress blog coupled with engaging content that will spark real conversations with real people so you must bear this in mind when you’re sitting down to write your web copy.

Your goal here is to grab the attention of your visitors and to hold on to it.

It’s a well known fact that people on the internet are fickle (no offence guys!). They will scan, skip and click their way outta here if they don’t immediately find something that will fill the tiny void that is their attention span.

Here’s a bit of follow-up to that. (If you can follow the link without getting distracted) 😉

Is Your Website Ready for the 5-second Attention Span Challenge?

So, what do we do? How can we keep hold of these fleeting rascals?

5 Ways to Keep Your Visitors Interested that Simply Don’t Fail

Let me give you 5 of my very best, blog-specific copy writing tips to take away with you.

1. Your Headings are Paramount

Titles and headings are what we use to summarise our content, it’s how we let our readers know what we’ve got planned for them and it’s how we grab their attention in the first place.

Headings need to not only interest the reader, they need to communicate, evaluate and inspire them read on.

Relate your headings not only to your content but also to your visitors. Think – Why are they here? What do they need? What are their goals?

Keep your headings short and to-the-point and make sure that font is large enough to stand out from the rest of your content. Give them enough space from the rest of your content but make sure they’re closer to the paragraphs they relate to (see picture).

Correct use of whitespace with text content.

These are the first, and sometimes the only words that your readers are going to engage with so make sure they are readable and informative.

2. Write Your Content in Bite-size Chunks

Writing for print and writing for the web are different disciplines. When you pick up a book, you expect to come across some quite lengthy paragraphs, wordy sentences and some big old words.

Most web users will take one look at a 20-line paragraph and slip into a deep sleep. We’re not sure why this is but it’s unavoidable.

So we need to keep feeding our readers short, sharp nuggets of information gold.

3. Be Yourself!

**Very important** Remember, we’re speaking to real people here so let your writing flow naturally like a conversation. A blog should have an element of your personality in each post so don’t be too polite and don’t be too professional, it might sound cheesy but ‘just be yourself’. After all, that’s what people will respond to.

Your aim is to have people react to your content using comments or by linking back to your post (we’ll talk about this later in the series). Don’t be afraid to be controversial if your opinions support it.

Above all, if you know what you’re talking about and you talk about it with some authority, you’ll be just fine.

4. State the Facts!

Use facts and figures in your content and, wherever possible, qualify them using external sources. Back up your claims and people will know you’ve done your homework, it gives them a reason to trust you and they can be confident that if they read on, they won’t be wasting their time.

It’s a well known fact that trust is a huge factor in turning visitors into customers.

According to The Office of Fair Trading, almost one in three internet users are not shopping online, with a lack of trust in the internet the biggest reason – FACT!

5. Write, Stop … EDIT!

I’m all for letting the creative juices flow and writing content that has been inspired by something I’ve seen, heard or read about. I write in the moment and usually I get carried away. I think it’s a good thing!

However, if I published my articles immediately after I wrote them, I’m pretty sure they would make very little sense to anyone.

So, I save a draft and go and do something else for a while, then I’ll come back later and edit.

It’s absolutely vital because it’s kind of like having someone else read it. You’re not ‘in the moment’ any more so you can look at your content objectively and edit appropriately. It makes total sense, I’m sure you’ll agree.

So, to sum up …

The message here is to keep your content light and punchy, make it easy-to-read, give it some personality and let it flow like you’re talking to a friend. Keep in mind that you’re not only trying to communicate to your readers, you’re trying to involve them and have them respond.

Being able to write great content is by far the most powerful SEO tool for any blogger.

About the author

Ben Hunt

Ben has over 20 years' experience in web design and marketing, and is one of the most influential figures on the subject of effective web design. He has written a bunch of books and spoken at multiple conferences internationally. In 2015, Ben created Open-Source Marketing, which promises to turn the practice of marketing upside down.. Find out more at http://opensourcemarketingproject.org

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