We all know when it comes to SEO, your copywriting is key.
SEO copywriting enables you to capture attention from the right eyeballs, by focusing on the right keywords, and helps you build trust and connection with new business leads.
But copywriting that focuses on SEO alone won’t bring you lasting business success. Because your content shouldn’t only be focused on wooing search engines (and, side note: Google doesn’t appreciate it when you try to do this either).
It’s your brand’s tone of voice that really builds a lasting relationship with your audience. And - surprise, surprise - this can actually help your SEO performance, too.
Using your brand’s tone of voice makes your copywriting more entertaining, engaging and informative, which in turn can make your audience more likely to:
So, if writing with tone of voice is a must when it comes to SEO copywriting, how do you get the balance between SEO keywords and brand personality just right?
I’ve brought in Samantha Waterworth, founder of Stairway Marketing and seasoned SEO copywriter, to share her top 5 tips for perfecting the balance between tone of voice and keyword strategy in your SEO copywriting:
Before you can document your brand’s tone of voice, make sure you have a strong grasp on who your target audience is. The last thing you want is to create a tone that doesn’t align with your ideal customer, so some customer research may be necessary.
Then, look to others for inspiration. This is a great way to figure out what values and characteristics feel authentic to you.
Armed with your audience , as well as the characteristics and values that align with you, grab a pen and paper and start detailing your brand as if they were a person.
How old are they? Do they have a gender? What music do they listen to? Where is their favourite holiday destination? How does someone feel after chatting with your brand? What impression does your brand make?
Answering the above will provide valuable clarity on what your brand’s tone of voice should be.
An SEO title is a title of a web page (not to be confused with the displayed “title” on the actual page - will get this point later). Its primary purpose is to tell readers what to expect from the page.
Your SEO title is the first bit of copy someone will see when your site pops up in search results, so it’s a crucial opportunity to make an impression and compel the visitor to click through!
Ideally, your SEO title should include your target keyword (towards the start) and a maximum of 60 characters.
Given the short and sharp nature of SEO titles, I’d recommend focusing less on personality and more on conversion in this particular area of copywriting real estate.
Some popular and effective ways to go about writing your SEO title include making a promise (e.g. “How you can …”), stating a fact (e.g. “How I…”) or asking a question (e.g. “Are you ready to….”).
Your SEO description is the section of copy that appears underneath your SEO title in the search results. Here you have a bit more room (160 characters) to encourage the reader to click through.
I highly recommend leveraging the copy in this location to appeal to readers by reflecting your brand personality.
The more captivating your copy is here, the more it will motivate readers to click, which should improve your SEO performance over time.
Once a reader has clicked through to your webpage, the first piece of copy they’ll likely be met with is your headline - making this line of copy a crucial opportunity for keeping your visitor hooking your reader before you reel them in.
Ideally, your headline should contain your target keyword (or a very close variation). And, similarly to your SEO title, I’d focus more on conversion and less on personality here.
Your headline is one of - if not the - most important elements on the page, so you want to get it right. Here’s a simple formula to guide you:
Number or Trigger word (e.g. how, what, why) + Adjective + Keyword + Promise
The remaining content of the page is where your brand personality should truly come alive. Whether it’s a webpage or a blog post, leveraging your brand’s tone of voice here helps your copy to be both entertaining and informative, making your brand more memorable in the process.
Sure, sprinkle some keywords throughout the copy if it makes sense to but the primary goal of this section of copy should be to deliver on the expectations you set in your SEO title, SEO description and headline. So, go get ‘em!
Sam is a marketing strategist and founder of Stairway Marketing. With 7+ years on the email marketing scene — working for big brands like Coca-Cola and Kayo Sports as well as small business powerhouses — Sam is dedicated to showing service-based business owners how strategy, words and email can combine to take their customer acquisition and retention to new heights.