Short SEO Copywriting Is Sweet
"Brevity is the soul of wit" - from Shakespeare's Hamlet
"And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes..." Yes, that's the next, lesser known part of the line. What does it mean? Well, obviously, it means that verbal flailing about is tedious. In other words, you may think that you have a lot of important things to say, and undoubtedly you do, but please for the love of Pete, get to the point!
Yes, it's hard. But it's particularly important if you are engaging in SEO copywriting. SEO copywriting is marketing copy, and marketing copy needs to grab attention. Quickly. I'm not saying that people need a lot of gimmicky text highlighted in large bolded font surrounded by flashing banners and pretty pictures. But, it wouldn't hurt to design your copy for short, distracted attention spans.
Why? Because that's what you are dealing with most of the time. People looking for a product or service want to know if your information can help them, and they won't give you more than about 10 seconds to tell them. Your copy needs to convey the message within the first few lines in order to be effective. If it starts out with a rambling introduction or a seemingly irrelevant anecdote, people will not stay to read it.
Don't get me wrong. I personally love rambling introductions and anecdotes. Writers tend to have a soft spot for the written word, even if it doesn't get quickly to the point. Alas (as Shakespeare himself might say), consumers doth not share my sentiments.
A while back I wrote a blog about how Twitter can help you learn how to not be wordy. Imagine having to say everything you must say in 140 characters. You would have to condense your material into only the most important ideas. Of course, in most cases, when doing SEO copywriting you will have more than 140 characters, but it's a good exercise to engage in anyway.
Clear, concise, and compelling. If the mantra sounds familiar, it should. It's the three "C's" of effective content marketing, and it starts with some honest editing. Try these tips:
1. Go ahead and write what you want to say. Then step back and review. Look for words and even sentences that can be eliminated without losing the sense of the text.
2. Have someone else look at the copy. Ask them to tell you if they get your point right away, or if they have to read on further.
3. Think like the reader. This will help ensure that you're always writing for your target audience. You may find your rambling anecdote fascinating and instructive, but will they?
Look at what the Bard was able to say in six words. Short and sweet. Got it? Good! This business is well ended, methinks. Look it up.