Copywriting is a great way to reach new customers, but it can be easier said than done. And many things can go wrong when you’re creating a new content marketing strategy.
Writing for the web is very different from writing for a professor, and many excellent writers struggle to take their skills from the page to the digital screen. If you’re rolling out a new content schedule, you may find yourself disappointed with the results.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. The copywriters here at JSL Marketing & Web Design put their heads together and came up with these four tips to improve your copywriting performance.
Please note this isn’t an exhaustive list, and you may need more tailored recommendations, depending on your specific situation. However, if you have been writing new web content and have seen lackluster results, these may be a great first place to begin.
Without any further ado, here are our four tips to improve your copywriting!
Copywriting Tips To Drive Results
Don’t Neglect Visual Mediums
At first glance, this sounds like an odd recommendation for a copywriter. It’s not your job to create videos and graphics, right? Why should you worry about the visuals?
This is true, but you’d be surprised how much of an impact improving the aesthetic of your content can have. A few well-placed visuals or videos can break up the page for your reader and make it easier for them to skim the page. This also increases the odds that the reader will stay on the page and finish the content. After all, you’ve worked hard to write this piece for their consumption. Augmenting your content with visuals is a great first step to take before reexamining your content.
This is also the time to inspect how your content can support your visuals! It doesn’t necessarily need to be solely content-supporting visuals! For instance, consider plugging a video of a product or satisfied customer within the copy of a blog. You can also use this to write your copy in a way that highlights and echoes what the customer will see in the enclosed video. This is a great way to support your videos, but too many copywriters don’t think of web design when they write. Connect those two dots to create a powerful impact on your customer for the best possible effect.
Spend More Time Researching
As copywriters, you’re likely used to laboring exhaustively over your copy. After all, why wouldn’t you want to perfect every syllable your user will see? There’s nothing wrong with spending time analyzing and rewriting your copy, but too few copywriters spend as much time researching as they do writing, and that’s a mistake. Researching what you want to write is a critical part of the process, and frankly, it’s the part of the process that gets overlooked the most.
There are two big pitfalls of not researching correctly. The first is writing on the wrong topic. Maybe you narrowed in on a niche topic, one that you think is perfect for your content strategy goals. However, maybe there’s a related content topic that you’re eschewing for this topic, one that has two or three times the search volume of the title you went with. That’s the first issue we typically see with the research stage of copywriting.
The second most common mistake is focusing on the wrong set of keywords. Maybe you went with a reflexive instinct and defaulted to targeting a set of keywords without adequately understanding the search volume and competition associated with each keyword. Perhaps you are bound by the list of keywords supplied by a client, marketing team, or other third-party stakeholders. Maybe you just messed up and found that there are better keywords to write your content around than the ones you chose.
Regardless of how you got here, you must get out. Focus on strictly regimenting your writing process into set phases. Ideally, you should spend about a third of your time researching what you want to write about, why you need to write on this topic, and what keywords to include. If you can’t make a third of the process research, aim for at least a quarter of your time. It may feel weird at first, but remember that this painstaking writing process isn’t to make you less productive; it’s to make your writing more impactful.
Forgetting The Reader’s Main Concern
You can write the best copy in the world, meticulously research every aspect of your topic, and religiously optimize your keywords, but you still could make one fatal error. Don’t forget to answer your target audience’s question succinctly and authoritatively. It’s easy to treat your digital content as if you’re in a creative writing class, and that’s a mistake. Remember, the main point of digital content is to provide some sort of value to the user, whether it’s basic information, authoritative knowledge, or insight into a complicated topic, product, or contact information.
Don’t just write to write. Think about what you want your user to do after reading your content. This will look different from client to client and industry to industry, but do your best to place yourself in the client’s shoes. What do they want out of your content, and why should they keep reading this content? This usually means writing succinctly if the user is looking for contact information, product information, or a simple answer and writing longer, more nuanced content if they’re looking for your depth of knowledge in a field. Again, every client is different, but if you’re getting a lot of views of a piece of content, but poor results, reexamine your calls-to-action and if you’re writing your content to drive action.
Using Jargon In Your Copy
You’re an expert in your industry, and that’s important to highlight. However, there’s a difference between displaying your expertise and using overly technical and cumbersome jargon in your copy. This will strangle your copy’s effectiveness. Terms that are commonplace and easily understood in your field may as well be ancient Greek to your prospective customer. Take it from us! Digital marketing is our jam, but we’ve learned that we can never assume that our readers know what SEO, PPC, UI/UX, landing pages, and HTML are when writing!
Apply that to your field of expertise! If you’re a family law practice, you shouldn’t use legal terms like ab initio and pendente lite in your copy without defining them for the reader. Write for the level of knowledge of your potential customers when describing anything related to a product or service, even if that means using simpler terms sometimes.
This also applies to the content titles you plan. If you’re a nephrologist in Denver, you might think about creating blog titles like “Best Nephrologists in Denver” or “Tips For Choosing a Nephrologist.” However, your readers with more limited medical knowledge are probably not using official medical titles when searching. They’re probably searching “best kidney doctor in Denver” and you need to center your titles around those keywords accordingly. This might be a difficult adjustment, but trust us when we say that your readers and your website will thank you in the long run.
Remember, assume your reader has limited knowledge on the topic at hand and write your copy accordingly. It will create a more enjoyable reading experience for your user, help your site rank on Google, and drive better results for your business!
Improve Your Copywriting Process With JSL Marketing & Web Design
Are you looking for more substantive content marketing and copywriting process improvement? Consult with JSL Marketing & Web Design for a FREE content consultation. Our copywriters will review all the following with you…
- Tone Of Voice
- Linking Strategy
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Value Propositions
- And More!