In my last blog post about the “New Era of SEO,” I talked about the importance of optimizing the searcher when looking at SEO copywriting best practices. In summary, this means that if you write content people are searching for, you will not only be found, but you also create relationships and brand affinity with the satisfied searchers who find what they are looking for on your site.
To do this well, you have to optimize your content around what people are searching for and deliver a level of quality that engages readers once they find you. In my previous blog, I focused on lifestyle and informational content to satisfy the 80 percent of searches that are performed by people in the discovery phase. They are not yet ready to buy, and I advised you to create content to nurture relationships with those prospects.
Engaging leads in the discovery is crucial for long-term success, but let’s not discount the importance of the 10 percent of searchers who are looking to buy right now (the other 10 percent are performing brand searches). And while we are considering this, let’s also not forget the importance of converting the new community you have built with this quality content. When people are ready to buy, make sure they can find you through search. And when they do find you, you must provide them with content that proves the value of your offering and differentiates your business from the competition.
Consider the mocked-up product descriptions below. These have been altered from the actual content I found (to protect the innocent/guilty), but are a fair illustration of the vast differences between product descriptions found online. Price will obviously matter, but why make that the only deciding factor? In some regards, we become our own worst enemy by giving our customers no other meaningful information to factor into their decision-making process. Providing valuable information is the first step toward differentiating your business and convincing prospects to choose you over other online retailers.
The core of SEO copywriting needs to be about creating engaging and meaningful product descriptions, which goes back to the idea of intent. When creating descriptions, your intent must be to give people what they’re searching for in order to always stay a step ahead of the game. What are shoppers searching for? Consider yourself a shopper: We want to be certain we are buying the product that is perfect for our own specific needs and wants. A brief list of specifications or a simple re-listing of what the product is does not help alleviate any doubt. However, content that explains the critical benefits of a product or explains the individual features of a product and how they can be applied to the real world may sway a purchaser’s hand to click “check out.”
Now, let’s consider the product description as an extension of your lifestyle content initiatives. There is also an opportunity to establish your voice and extend the relationship you are building into the buying phase. Is there an opportunity to entertain? Is there an opportunity to talk about the way this product will fit into a lifestyle? It is this additional attention to your customers and their experience that will make all the difference in conversion and, more importantly, to lifetime value.
Finally, we need to look at SEO copywriting. The best part about this practice is that if you address the objectives of giving the searcher useful, valuable, entertaining content as addressed above, you are already most of the way there, especially with Google Hummingbird. One good guideline for optimizing product pages is that there should be at least 100 words, which is no longer a challenge when a description is written to be an experience. With the new Hummingbird algorithm, this additional content also gives Google more information to align your content with their knowledge graph. Simply put, a list of specifications won’t get found. Finally, having engaging content enables your copywriters to flow relevant keywords into your descriptions in a way that will help rankings, but will not interfere with your customer’s reading and shopping experience.
There will be a price associated with putting this much care into your descriptions, which begs the question, where is the ROI? When considering this, maybe the better question is what is the cost of NOT doing this? If you don’t invest in getting your products found and then differentiating the buying experience, all you are left with is competing on price. Can you afford to play ball with cost?