If you’re anything at all like us then one of the main things on your mind at this time of year will be just how you’re going to attract more clients to your freelance copywriting business over the next 12 months.
OK, you can always start by digging out those tired old lifestyle and business coaching books or seek inspiration from those motivational quote sites. But if you want to take more practical steps straight away then one of the best places to start is to take a fresh look at your website.
Maybe you’re thinking it’s already doing a great job as it is. After all, if all you want is just a place to showcase your portfolio and demonstrate your blog writing talents to prospective clients then maybe it is.
But chances are that what you really want is more people visiting your website and more people making an enquiry when they do.
So, with so many people starting a new fitness regime at this time of year, we’ve come up with our own mini keep-fit guide to getting your website in shape for 2013.
1. Target Niche Keyword Terms with Your Content
Just imagine for a moment how many copywriters there must be up and down the country and across the world that are competing against with you to get first-page rankings in search.
Therefore it shouldn’t take much to realise that the competition for general keywords, such as copywriter or freelance writer, is simply far too strong for all but those with a well-established online presence.
So if you only target these general keyword terms then, in all likelihood, your website will only ever be found buried deep down in the search results, where virtually no-one will ever find you.
If, on the other hand, you can identify a niche area of your service where, by nature, the competition in search is much lower then you do at least stand some chance of showing up on the first page of results for some search queries.
OK, niche keyword terms will not get as many searches, but what ones they do get are more likely to result in visitors to your site.
And the great thing about this type of visitor is that they are making a search engine query with something far more specific in mind – something that only you and a somewhat smaller number of competitors offer.
The most obvious niche market is your local or regional area. But if you’re looking to widen your net and attract clients from further afield then happen you better start doing some keyword research right now.
2. Keep It Fresh
Just a short drive from Stafford, the town in the UK where we live, there is a small independent wine merchant where my partner and I had been loyal customers for more than 10 years.
The service there is great and it really does sell some fantastic wines.
But just lately we’ve been going elsewhere. Basically, what has happened is that we’ve become bored – bored of drinking the same wines all of the time.
Sure, this wine merchant does change suppliers from time to time and a bottle can also change from one vintage to the next. But fundamentally what they’re doing is still selling much the same wines that they’ve been selling for years.
The point is that your website can suffer the exact same problem if you don’t refresh your content from time to time.
Remember that many of the visitors to your site aren’t necessarily customers, but people who are looking for information.
These visitors are important to your SEO, as they help to build your site up as an online authority and generate traffic.
So, if you’re not giving them regular, fresh quality content, likewise they’ll soon get bored with coming back to your site and will go elsewhere for the information they want.
3. Keep It Simple
I don’t know how many times I’ve come across trendy marketing websites that try to be just a little bit too clever by using unnecessarily elaborate language and corporate jargon such as core competencies, mission critical and key verticals.
Then you have those silly alternative names for web pages and links, such as Hello to refer to the Home page and Let’s talk to refer to the Contact us page – all in the name of creativity and showing that you’re different.
But the trouble is that your average reader will probably be wading through quite a few websites to find what they’re looking for and won’t have the time and patience to mess around. So the likely outcome is that they’ll soon move on once they realise they have to stop and think about every other word you say.
So if you’re rewriting your website content in 2013, make sure you keep it simple and only use language that your prospective customers will actually understand.
Do you have any of your own website copywriting tips that you’d like to add to our list? Then don’t forget to share them in our comment section below.
In our next post: We’ll be talking about the CommentLuv plugin and why you should be installing it on your WordPress blog.
About the Author
Kevin Carlton is a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger based in Stafford in the UK. He is owner of website copywriting service Write Online, which helps others get the most out of their online presence.