Friday, March 11, 2011

SEO Tips: How to Write Content that Converts to Sales

by Russell Barnstein

Writing content that results in conversions requires a direct approach that wastes little time getting to the point. You have only seconds to capture the attention of your reader. In your first few sentences, you must establish the value of your content; it should be entertaining, informative, insightful, and/or allow a reader to solve a problem, find a product, or engage services. If you don't make this instant connection with your reader, you'll lose them before the end of the first paragraph.

Once you've used the direct approach to capture your reader's attention, it's crucial to keep them engaged by offering real value in every word. Any web content that you create must be impactful at all times; there can be no "fluff," no wordiness- in short, no boredom. A great deal of content on the web today is nauseatingly riddled with useless, boring information or incomprehensible sentence strings thrown together to con the search engines. While this ploy might work with the bots for a time, it won't work with flesh and blood human beings. Bad content destroys readership and your reputation with it.

As you can see, the first two steps are really the same: get a hook in your reader in the opening sentence, and then keep them hooked until they convert. This requires powerful words that deliver a compelling message. Words that convey profound meaning and a sense of urgency are critical to persuade readers who are wary of the web's deluge of garbage content. Every sentence you construct must guide the reader to the inevitable conclusion that they should convert by buying your product, signing up for your newsletter, joining a club, filling out a survey, or whatever else you'd like them to do.

Writing content that converts for sales materials, SMM, SEM, or SEO purposes, or for general web content doesn't have to be done by a professional writer. Anyone can do it. Short, simple and monosyllabic words that say exactly what you mean must be employed. Don't try to talk over your reader's head in a show of intelligence, and don't dumb your writing down because a demographics report told you that your target market has a 9th grade education. Be yourself, and be honest. Today, the internet has become so fully integrated into people's lives that we are actually becoming increasingly more adept at interpreting personalities, recognizing fakery, and sensing ulterior motives hidden in web content.

Regardless of what type of content you are crafting, you must ask for the sale repeatedly. Embedded in your writing should be multiple calls to action. If your content is effective and accurate, many of your readers will be compelled to convert before they're done reading the content. Allow them a visible means to do so with an anchor link in the text at a critical point. A call to action is the same as asking for the sale, so be certain to provide plenty of easy options for your reader to convert the moment they're ready.

Finally, your content should end with the same sense of urgency that it began with. The last paragraph should read more like the beginning of the next step, which is for your audience to convert immediately after reading. Don't forget, you're not saying goodbye at the end of your written content- you're attempting to say hello to a new customer. Act like it.

About the Author

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Content for Conversions provides professional SEO web content that sells. Please contact us today at one of the above links to learn how we can help to propel you to the forefront of your targeted markets and niches.