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I’ve said it before – small businesses can write killer SEO content. When their passion for the written word is translated to the page (or, in this case, to the site,) the end result is entertaining, persuasive and powerful. I’ve profiled two small businesses, Portland Adventure Bootcamp and Studio Blue Pilates who have both gone the DIY route and seen some spectacular results.
However, many site owners – even folks who are fairly SEO savvy – make some common copywriting 101 mistakes. Here are three most common ones:
- Embrace your size – don’t hide it! Why is it that we’re all size queens when we’re talking about our company? Even if we’re a company of one, we say “we” when we talk to prospects (As in, “We’d be happy to discuss your marketing strategy,) count pets as “team members” and make ourselves sound as big as the big boys. People, small (business) is beautiful. Really. Small businesses provide many advantages that big firms just can’t offer: Flexibility, customization, customer service – sometimes even pricing. Making your company sound bigger than it is can actually lose sales – if people get a whiff that you’re not being completely honest with them, they’ll scoot to your competitor.
- Let your passion shine through. There’s something about the writing process that makes people feel that they’re back in high school English class. The purpose of your site is to connect with your customers, and you can’t do that if you start your home page with, “Welcome to our website. You’re visitor number [insert counter here.]” To break through your block, sit down and think of what you’d tell a prospect during a phone conversation. Now, write that down. See the difference? One version is formula and personality-free, while the other version lets your passion shine through.
- Tell people how you can help. It’s easy to think, “Well, I’m a Pilates studio, so the benefits are pretty self-explanatory.” Yes they are – to you. Your prospects aren’t as familiar with your product or service. They don’t have the history. They aren’t thinking, “Pilates will help me sleep better and have more energy throughout the day.” In fact, your prospects are often thinking negative information like, “Last time I tried an exercise program, I didn’t lose an ounce. Can these guys help me, or is it more of the same B.S.?” Showcasing your benefits isn’t “bragging” or “talking about yourself.” It’s merely helping your prospects understand how your product or service meets their needs.
Why aren’t I mentioning keyphrase placement? Of course DIY small business owners should go through the necessary keyphrase research and SEO content writing steps – that’s just smart marketing. At the same time, focusing on these three foundational copywriting steps in addition to your keyphrase placement will help convert curious prospects into committed clients. It’s really that easy.
Have a SEO copywriting tip for small businesses? Tell us about it!