You've got a great product or service. Now, how do you make buyers sit up and take notice? How do you get them excited about what you're offering? You have to pull the trigger.
There is at least one trigger for every product or service on the market today. Finding it is the hard part. Once you determine what will set your customers in motion, you've won half the battle. This was the case with ForecastWatch.com.
With a new site, the owner of ForecastWatch.com (Jeff) was unsure of what to do with the copy in order to connect with his site visitors and cause them to take the action he wanted them to take. Not to mention, Jeff wanted to rank highly with the engines as well, so search engine optimization (SEO) had to be taken into consideration, along with the selling aspects of the copy.
The only real problem was finding the right trigger. The original site had little to no usable copy. That's not an insult; it's the truth. You can see the original home page here: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/forecastwatch-original.pdf. Jeff knew he needed help from a professional copywriter, so he spent little time on the site content.
To determine the most powerful trigger, I took a look at all the segments of ForecastWatch.com's audience. It was broken down into three distinct types of customers. They were all interested in the most reliable weather forecasts possible, but for three very different reasons.
One group was made up of meteorologists. Their obvious interest was in being able to provide the most accurate forecasts to their viewers and listeners. A second group was compiled of weather risk managers. It is the job of these professionals to accurately assess weather for industries such as the stock exchange, construction, transportation, national defense and more. The last group needed weather forecast accuracy for personal reasons, usually as a hobby or for sports reasons (coaches, etc.).
While the last group was primarily interested in the weather as amateurs, the first two segments (meteorologists and weather-risk managers) have a lot on the line when it comes to weather forecast accuracy. Their reputations and their jobs are on the line.
And that's the trigger! I put it right up front in the headline, which read:
Because Your Reputation Depends on
Being Right About the Weather
The headline hit the nail on the head. It got the attention of weather professionals, was of great interest to hobbyists and included part of one of Jeff's keyphrases. The last word in the headline (weather) tied into the first sentence of the copy and, thus, created a keyphrase.
Keep in mind that engines don't read spaces or line breaks or punctuation within the copy, so having one word of a keyphrase in the headline and the remainder of the keyphrase in the first sentence of the copy is an excellent way to make the copy flow and keep in line with SEO protocol.
Now, the task would be to keep that same emotional twist and energy throughout the copy. With the old copy, Jeff had no rankings with the engines for his chosen keyphrases, so the optimization of the copy needed to give him a presence.
In the opening paragraph, I touted the praises of weather professionals, letting them know their expertise was recognized and appreciated. I also used one keyphrase twice and the second keyphrase once. In addition, I used the individual word "weather" and substituted "specialist" for "risk manager" in some instances to add to the flow and give a well-rounded environment for the spiders and bots.
Next, I provided a good overview of what ForecastWatch.com offered. Again, a keyphrase was used in the headline (because it worked for both the visitors and the engines, not strictly for SEO purposes), and a keyphrase was used in the paragraph.
Finally, the copy was broken out into segments that targeted specific individuals. This gave them precise information on what benefits ForecastWatch.com offered them. Boxes for meteorologists, weather risk managers and weather enthusiasts were created. Within the copy for each block and again in the anchor text for links to internal pages, keyphrases were used where appropriate. These boxes lead each visitor to information that was most relevant to him/her.
You can see the new copy here: http://www.copywritingcourse.com/forecastwatch-rewrite.pdf.
I always like to let the customer take over in this section. Here's what Jeff had to say about the rewrite of his home-page copy.
"Traffic has steadily increased, and I've gotten a lot of leads and my largest non-weather-company business customer from Internet search. The rewrite helped me with more than just the website. It helped me to define my business goals and to articulate them in other marketing materials as well." In addition, rankings continue to rise with current positioning in the top five for one of his keyphrases.
Take the time to do a little research. Put yourself in your customers’ place. Uncover what's most important to them, and you'll be rewarded with greater conversions in the long run.
Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
September 21, 2005
Karon Thackston is owner of Marketing Words, Inc. a full-service copywriting company specializing in search engine copywriting. She is also publisher of the long-standing free ezine, Business Essentials. Karon is author and publisher of the popular Step-by-Step Copywriting Course, an e-course designed to teach sound and highly-effective copywriting techniques - including search engine copywriting techniques. With over 20 years of copywriting experience, Karon has contributed to the search engine and sales success of companies large and small including Gortons Seafood, Third Sphere Hosting and more.
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