Content & conversion: is good SEO copywriting enough?
Marketers need to have teasing and effective content on their web sites and blogs to attract visitors and customers. After all, that's what SEM is about as well: getting visitors to your website or to a specific landing page. Blog marketing, content marketing, SEO, they all have one thing in common: they are forms of inbound marketing and inbound marketing revolves around content.
We all know that content is crucial in SEO and that the words in a search engine ad are key to conversion. We also know that content is essential in the post-click process.
Valuable and relevant content is what makes people click a link, take action, download something, further discover your site or blog and share information with others over social networks.
However, creating content can be tough, whether you're a writer by trade or not. After all, there are literally billions of pages online.
Writing engaging and efficient search engine ads is an art. Making the connection between the words in the ad and the content on the landing page as well. As a matter of fact, writing compelling content is probably one of the most important skills conversion specialists should have.
Many companies still simply publish their print marketing or other forms of content on their web pages, thinking that online content is the same as offline and reducing the importance of well-written words in the format that corresponds to the way people "read" online.
Often, businesses even still look at online content as a cost that they prefer to keep as low as possible, while investing in all kinds of flashy online applications.
For those that understand the true value of online content, there are other challenges. A good SEO writer and online copywriter is not the same thing as a good copywriter. All media have their own rules and, again, writing engaging content for online media, search engine ads, etc. is an art.
So, what do you do as a business? Should you hire a professional web writer that knows about SEO and the importance of keywords? Clearly, words sell more than any fancy logo or picture (which are also important), so you want your message to be stated correctly.
So, in a way, it would make sense to have a good online copywriter in your company, of course if you use a lot of interactive marketing and have the means.
However, there are not thousands of online copywriters out there, certainly not having the skills they should have besides "simply" writing: the rules of usability, SEO, understanding the business narrative, keeping the tasks and intent of the target audiences in mind, etc.
Can you learn that to someone? Sure but the question is if that time and investment couldn't be better spent elsewhere.
Online content in the age of social media and customer-centricity
Search engine optimized content requires the help of a professional. SEO copywriters are not always cheap, but they can correctly optimize all your content so it's search engine friendly.
However, that is not enough anymore. If you want your content to be shared via social media, bookmarked and result in optimal conversion, you need a partner that understands more than keywords and SEO.
He or she needs to be able to write with the needs of the readers in mind, knows how to write a call-to-action, understand what determines if your content will be shared on social media or bookmarked on social bookmarking sites and understands that content is part of a broader exercise where your web site, blog, e-mails, social media presences and whatever you do, are part of another conversion process.
Not that from content to click and online conversion. But that from lead to loyal customer by offering content as a way of lead nurturing.
SEM is part of a broader marketing strategy and that’s why many agencies are extending their offering with social media optimization, conversion strategies, web analytics, online copywriting and sometimes even marketing automation and lead management.
The same goes for the skills of an online copywriter: he or she must acquire new skills. This type of online copywriting is something that, according to me, cannot be done in house but must be outsourced to a highly specialized expert, a conversion agency, an SEO firm that has an integrated approach or a communication agency that has that same integrated approach but also a customer-centric look on interactive marketing.
In the end, all that matters in marketing is the bottom-line and the value that is created for the business and the customer. And content is key in every micro-conversion, acquisition effort, lead nurturing step and word-of-mouth conversation.
What do you think?