Search engine optimisation of your content is the answer to everything. If you can nail the SEO you’ll be at the top of the rankings and success will follow.
Well, kinda. Effective SEO is only half the story.
The real key to success is customer retention. To achieve this articles need to engage readers emotionally. With increasingly busy lifestyles people are no longer prepared to spend time reading material that does not entertain on some level, or which fails to convey a positive message.
Whatever text you produce, you’re always writing about people. Efforts to sell your products or services will always be more successful if visitors to your website sense attachment. Copy with entertainment value will trigger the release of dopamine, generating a pleasurable response and thus increasing the likelihood of buying, returning, and perhaps most importantly of all – sharing: whatever marketing and promotional strategies you employ, word-of-mouth recommendations between friends will always be a fundamental generator of new business.
New business and customer retention. Is there anything more important?
There are clear, added value benefits in commissioning quality material for your website, thoughtfully produced by someone with experience and skill. Still not sure you need a specialist? For insight into the decisions and techniques utilised to write this post, read on, MacDuff!
The techniques in the text
- The first paragraph mentions “SEO” and “content” – these two words are probably why you’re here, and you agree with the statements made. I’m speaking your language. These are also two fairly pacy, jaunty sentences. I deliberately wrote “search engine optimisation” in full for this very reason. The word “nail” was chosen for its punch – when reading this you’ll probably visualise a nail, the strength and purpose of which underlines the importance of this paragraph.
- The second, very short paragraph doesn’t disagree with the one preceding it, and also tells you you’re correct – a positive assertion that strokes your ego slightly, releasing dopamine, and gains your trust. The second sentence primes you for the fact that, well, you’re not entirely correct. The informal tone is also a contrast to that of the first paragraph, holding your attention.
- Also in the second paragraph the word “story” is a deliberate choice. The natural (obvious) phrase here would be “half the battle”, but “battle” has immediate negative connotations which would establish a barrier. “Story”, by contrast, indicates a pleasurable experience to follow – entertainment, anyone?
- Similarly, at the end of the third paragraph I chose “fails to convey a positive message” over “conveys a negative message”, even though the latter is slightly more concise. This was in order to end on an upwards mood. Note the increase in pace here, too. Earlier in the paragraph I could also have chosen “waste time”, but opted for the more positive “spend time”.
- The appearance of the piece is balanced, making the text visually appealing. The shorter paragraphs indicate that it is easy to read and digest, while the heavier blocks communicate and support particularly important points. Finally, the post ends on a lighter note, and encourages you to read further (still here?). It culminates with the paraphrase of a Shakespearean misquote. This will engender a positive response from anyone familiar with MacBeth, and the use of an exclamation mark is in any case uplifting. Win-win! Entertainment, anyone?
Similar decisions were made in the writing of these notes. For example, the subheading The techniques in the text was chose for its flow, and the double teck sound. The first draft was produced longhand.
Read my follow-up post, Empathy and Storytelling.