Copywriting Tips: A Guide to Creating Engaging Content
Strong content is an essential part of any comms strategy. Having a host of informative and engaging content on your site will demonstrate your expertise, attract new visitors, and engage existing customers. Here are our top copywriting tips guaranteed to give your content a boost.
1. Have a purpose
With so much content to compete with online, it’s essential that all the copy you produce has a clear and distinct purpose that will resonate with your target audience. Deciding on the purpose of your piece should be your very first step, long before you begin writing. Avoid trying to say too much in one piece and instead focus on two or three key messages you want to convey. A strong and clear concluding point or call to action is also key. This will prevent readers from becoming lost or disengaged.
Having a clear purpose will ensure your content is valuable to the reader. This is essential for obvious reasons, not least because customers and prospects will feel as though they have gained value from your business simply by visiting your site, leaving them wanting to come back for more.
Valuable content will also encourage media outlets to link through to your web page, supporting the media relations and SEO aspects of your marketing strategy
2. Never underestimate the headline
Next up, draft your headline. It’s always possible to tweak this once the piece is drafted but it’s essential to have a strong working title to refer back to regularly whilst you are writing. This will keep you on track and ensure you never veer away from the key message or point you are trying to convey.
Five times as many people read headlines as the main copy, so make sure yours is as engaging as possible to encourage people to read on. Think punchy, clear, and simple. SEO is also a consideration when developing headlines - more on that later!
3. Keep it simple
When it comes to the body of the piece, simplicity is key. Avoid jargon and always make your point in as few words as possible. This will keep your writing succinct and clear.
Aim to use the active voice throughout the piece. The active voice is much stronger and tends to be shorter than the passive voice, making it easier to understand. Plus, it gives your claims more conviction. We’ve included an example below:
Passive voice: “Millions of people have been helped by our organisation.” Active voice: “We have helped millions of people.”
4. Prioritise readability
Similarly, it is vital that you make your piece as easy to read as possible. We know that many online articles are skim read. So, write with this in mind, using regular sub-headings, bullet points and numbered lists. Try to break up the text with infographics and images to convey your points visually wherever possible. Keeping sentences and paragraphs short will also improve the readability of the piece.
The words you use are equally as important for readability as the layout. Make a conscious effort to signpost your reader using linking words throughout the piece to ensure they don’t get lost. This is particularly important if you are trying to explain a complex or nuanced concept.
5. Write with SEO in mind
Happily, many of the rules that help improve the readability of a piece will naturally offer SEO benefits. Pieces with clear sub-headings, numbered or bulleted points, and short sentences are all favoured by search engines.
However, there are some technical rules to bear in mind when it comes to writing for SEO – something that you should always be doing when producing web content. For example, incorporating strategic keywords in your headlines and throughout your content will help improve your website’s search engine rankings for these phrases. Tools like Semrush can help you to identify effective keywords for your business, taking into account search volume, intent, and competition.
Similarly, consider how your piece can be optimised for Google featured snippets. These are the text boxes that appear at the top of Google search results when you search for a question. To earn a snippet, try to include the question itself in the H1 or H2 of your copy, then go on to answer it clearly and succinctly in one or two sentences.
6. Inject some personality
The advantage of writing copy that going to be hosted on your company’s own website, social channels, or newsletter is that it gives your brand the chance to be unapologetically ‘you’. The copy on your channels offers your business the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your unique personality and values, something that is more important than ever to increasingly discerning customers. So, make sure you don’t waste this opportunity with bland or generic copy.
To find out more about our copywriting expertise, please get in touch.