It’s always fascinated me how little rigor is applied to copy. For a small company, it’s usually the job that gets passed or pushed to the lowest level, outsourced and given very little consideration post development. However as we all know, it’s not just about SEO, it’s about what the words mean, the message they convey and how your potential customer feels when they read the copy. Keyword placement and prominence notwithstanding, the rest of the marketing message can be crafted along any number of axes:

  • Is it informational, transactional, advice oriented copy?
  • Is it positive, neutral or negative in style & tone?
  • Is it evergreen or time delimited copy?

Each content archetype will have specific triggers. Sales oriented copy will have words like buy, purchase, price, sale, discount, premium, luxury and so on. Many of these will also overlap with your keyword strategy from an SEO perspective. Positive, negative or neutral sentiment has overlap with social networking strategies in determining customer sentiment – was the experience good, bad, delightful, disastrous, etc. One tool to determine a basic positive or negative sentiment analysis for your copy is http://www.liwc.net which you can use to copy / paste a chunk of text and then get a read on how it scores on sentiment.

Evergreen copy does not need to be updated regularly, as the tutorial, information, e-commerce page or other stands the test of time and will be the same in the future as it is today. Time delimited copy could be things like sales, discounts, press releases or other newsworthy items that, while they might have a variable window, the long term is that they simply won’t have the steady magnetic effect of drawing in or being leveraged by prospects that evergreen copy will have.

Many undervalue the impact of the words they use and the meanings and feelings being expressed by those words. More consideration should be given to cultivating outstanding copy.

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