If you've been creating SEO content for a while, one of the things you probably dread is hitting a wall when writing persuasively. Think about it; you have your content calendar, and you've done your research, and you might have even drafted an article, but the words don't seem authentic. This is not quite as lasting as writer's block, but it can be just as debilitating. When you feel like your voice isn't ringing true, you forget one or two of these things when writing.
1. Address A Client's Problem
One way to show readers you understand their challenges is by starting your blog post with a problem. When you open a post with a difficulty, a challenge, or a situation that people in your target market face, you show them that you care. However, you cannot stop at posing a question or stating a problem. You have to provide answers or solutions through your content. Since you primed them to think of problems, the readers will want to read about fixing these. If you don't deliver, they might lose confidence in you and choose not to return to your blog.
2. Show Concrete Solutions
When you bring up a problem, you have to provide actionable steps for solving it. Showing your readers what to do will help you gain repeat visitors. If they learn how to solve a personal or professional dilemma through your website, they will likely visit again. Steer clear from platitudes and general advice. Instead, offer bulleted or numbered lists that address the problem you pose at the start of the article.
You could also condense complex issues into an infographic. Doing so helps you convey a large amount of information in one go, perfect for explainers or long-winded procedures.
3. Provide Reasons
You can also be persuasive by getting deeper into the "why" of something. Some events or concepts cannot be summarized in a tweet (or a thread) and need an entire article to flesh out. If you show people the reason for a process, the relationships between concepts, or the causes and effects of events, they might be inclined to take your perspective.
4. Engage With The Reader
Reading is inherently a more passive activity than speaking, and it can be hard to gauge someone's personality or values based on their writing (unless they state it outright). You cannot climb out of every monitor to convince each user that your product or service is worth their while, so you have to put a little effort into making your text trustworthy.
You gain credibility if you speak like your audience, which means knowing everything from their register to their opinions on pop culture, politics, religion, relationships, and more. Beyond sounding like the people you write for, addressing uncertainty when creating SEO content will also make you more credible.
For instance, if you write about inbound marketing, you need to write to your audience's technical skill level. Experienced marketing officers will barely give your guide a second glance if they skim it and see that you only cover the basics. If you're speaking to experienced professionals, you have to bring something new to the table.
Also, ask questions in your article, or occasionally ask the readers to do something — visualize a scene, for instance, or write down three things they think of when they hear your word prompt. Cues like these jolt them out of passivity and get them into a creative or critical mindset.
5. Embrace Discomfort
Persuasive writing deals with the elephant in the room, the tough questions no one is asking, or the controversial statements no one will touch. Use your judgment as a marketer and tread the line between provocative and inappropriate. Just a few decades ago, for example, no one would run advertisements that touch on issues like racism, homophobia, or other hot-button issues. Today, ads like Heineken's Worlds Apart campaign don't shy away from them.
You can take that energy and apply it to your long-form content. Be proactive in addressing potential snags in conversion like how your brand compares against competitors, the issues people might face when using products or services like yours, and other frequently (or not-so-frequently) asked questions.
6. Show Consistency Across Posts
Inconsistency is not persuasive. When one of your posts or campaigns says one thing now but the exact opposite later, people will find it hard to believe what you say. You might end up disappointing your loyal customers this way, which will be a blow to your established base.
Be careful about putting out content; ensure that you don't have contradicting statements between your posts. If this happens, people will take everything you say with a grain of salt.
7. Have A Clear Call-To-Action
If you have done all of these, don't forget to end your article with a strong call-to-action. Your conclusion should always emphasize your message and provide a doable next step for your reader.
You can ask them to share your post, leave a comment about something they've read or a prompt you'll give, or sign up to a newsletter for more posts like the one they just read. People will take that step, especially if they like what they read. However, you do need to ask!
Persuasiveness is something you develop over time. It isn't a skill you acquire overnight or after a few sessions discussing the theory of persuasion. If you want to get more people to buy your products, you have to know how to convince readers to adopt your perspective. When you do, you'll surely be much better at creating SEO content.
Clarify your brand's message and engage more meaningfully with your audience when you partner with Ranked. Our managed SEO solutions are results-driven and designed to increase your organic traffic over time. Schedule a call or activate your account today!