Copywriting is an essential part of any content marketing strategy, but it’s often overlooked and underutilized. Most people assume that anyone can start a blog, so why devote valuable resources to learning the best copywriting techniques?
But while anyone can indeed write a blog post, having the time, desire and skill to do so are another matter entirely. Lacking even one of those factors results in weak copy which in turn negatively affects your marketing efforts.
Whether you’re looking to hire a copywriter or you’re a writer yourself, here are ten copywriting techniques you should know in order to wrong copy.
The Advantage Data-Driven Copywriting
When most people think about writing, they remember their high school English classes. They don’t expect there to be any math or science involved, even though there is.
The best copywriters know how to incorporate math and science into their copy through data-driven copywriting. The strength of data-driven copy is the analytical strategy behind it.
When you practice data-driven copywriting, you have an advantage over your competitors who don’t. Data-driven copywriting allows you to:
- Understand what motivates your customers to act.
- Know your audience.
- Target your message.
- Boost your effectiveness.
- Monitor your results.
Any activity that allows you to perform the above activities is invaluable to your business.
Connecting Searchers to High-Quality Information
You’re probably already familiar with search engine optimization (SEO). If not, put it at the top of your list of things to read up on. You can’t overstate its importance, which is why it’s a key part of any copywriter’s work.
SEO is important to copywriting because Google controls an incredible 92 percent of the search engine market share. If you don’t stay on top of the algorithm, your copy won’t be easily searchable.
Google wants to connect its users to high-quality information, so their algorithms try to mimic what a human searcher would do with Google’s computational power.
This desire actually simplifies a copywriter’s job. If you’re writing content that a human searcher would appreciate, Google will generally reward you with a higher page ranking.
Producing relevant, accurate copy for your audience should be the foundation of your SEO strategy.
10 Must-Know Copywriting Techniques
Here are the ten must-know copywriting techniques to help you create a strong copy.
Use Well-Researched Facts
Including facts in your copy is a key component to producing strong content, and getting them from reputable sources is crucial. You always should make sure the copy you write is true and ethical in order to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Using facts from reputable sources also influences the page rank Google and other search engines assign.
Using facts also plays a part in how credible your readers find you. A reference to a Harvard publication will go a lot further than a quote you pulled from a discussion board, so make sure you’re always doing your research.
Organize Your Content
Organization is essential in all aspects of business, and copywriting is no exception. A well-organized article is easier for your audience to read and understand, and it ensures that you stay on message.
First, you need a compelling headline that encapsulates the point of your article. From there, you need section headers that make skimming and scanning easier.
Within sections, use bullet points to highlight and separate the information on which readers should focus. Make sure your copy is easy for your readers to navigate, or they might become too distracted to make it to the end of your article.
You might be asking, aren’t buzzwords a sign that you have your finger on the industry’s pulse?
The answer is, sort of, but not in a way your readers are likely to appreciate. Often, people overuse buzzwords to the point that they stop meaning anything. They also tend to lack clear definitions.
Some buzzwords we try to avoid:
- Meta, unless we’re discussing metadata.
- Thought leader.
You might have different ideas about which buzzwords have overstayed their welcome, but the principle stands. As a copywriter, every word you type should have a purpose. Buzzwords usually don’t.
Use Specific Statistics
Like well-researched facts, specific statistics are essential to your message. They should come from well-regarded sources like:
- Academic journals.
- White papers.
- Case studies.
People believe what they can see, and they like to quantify results. Let’s say, for example, that we tell you hiring a good copywriter can transform your business. It’s true, but it’s a vague claim.
Instead, we can say that 23 percent of respondents reported less trust in blogs with bad content. Both statements imply the same thing, but the second one is more credible.
Speak to Your Audience
Out of all of our copywriting techniques, this one might seem the most self-evident. When you write, you want to direct your words to a specific audience.
Many organizations, however, practice what we like to call a shotgun approach to copywriting. They create a lot of content, put it out into the world and hope something sticks.
We believe that’s a waste of your time and the time of your readers. Instead, look at your audience. Identify their wants, needs and pain points. Then, you can directly address them and solve the problems they face.
Use Layman’s Terms for Readability
Many people assume they’re poor readers when they don’t understand something. But the goal of the copywriter is to put things into terms anyone can understand.
If your audience has to struggle through what you’ve written, one of two things has happened:
- You misidentified your audience.
- You’re not writing for them; you’re writing for you.
Either way, you have a problem. Jargon has its place, but often, layman’s terms will do.
Aim for your content to have a sixth-grade reading level to save the reader time and so nearly everyone can understand it. You shouldn’t need an MBA or a dictionary to understand what strong copy is.
Use Long-Form Copy Wisely
If you’ve been following industry trends, you know that one of the longest-running arguments is about content length.
Critics of long-form content point out that readers don’t have the time or attention span to read thousands of words. Conversely, proponents argue that it’s difficult to provide value in short-form content.
The truth is that you need both short and long-form content. However, you should use long-form content wisely.
If you’re creating a guide like this one, long-form content is worth it. If you’re doing a brief and shallow overview of a topic, use short-form content.
Utilize Power Words
Earlier, we mentioned that one of the copywriting techniques you should practice is avoiding buzzwords. So what’s the difference between them and power words?
In short, it’s the emotional response they evoke. A buzzword won’t produce an emotion in a reader. A power word will.
Some of our favorites are the classics: now, new, best and free.
However, your options are nearly limitless. A quick Google search will produce hundreds of potential power words to transform your writing.
Focus on Headlines
Headlines are the first thing potential readers see. Most of the time, they’re also the only thing a potential reader sees before moving on. The SEO giant Moz reports that 80 percent of people read a headline and nothing else.
You work hard to ensure people see your articles. Still, only 20 percent of the people they land in front of actually read the content.
Those aren’t great odds for something that took so much time and effort. In a sea of copy, headlines are your chance to stand out.
One of the best ways to attract reader attention is to include a number in your headline. You’ll notice that we’ve done it here.
Numbers offer the promise of a list. Lists are well-organized and finite, which busy readers appreciate. Odd numbers in headlines tend to produce better results than even numbers.
Headlines that address a question are also popular. They echo the language someone might use to conduct a search, which increases the likelihood that someone will find them.
Add an Irresistible Call-to-Action
Last but certainly not least, your writing needs a compelling call-to-action (CTA). Everyone has their own ideas about how to write the perfect CTA. There are a few common denominators, however.
The forms a CTA might take are limited. You’ll see it as a button, plain text or a hyperlink. Often, a CTA will include action words like:
The best CTAs will feel urgent without distracting readers or making them anxious. You want something straightforward, relevant and easy to act on.
The fewer barriers someone has to overcome to perform the action you’re asking of them, the better.
Generally, you should limit your CTA to one action. If you tell readers to do more, you’re creating a barrier in the form of a decision.
Here’s our CTA for you, both as an example and because we’d love to hear from you:
Are you looking for a professional, results-oriented copywriting service? If so, Copywriter Today is here for you. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation.