As a communication all-rounder, an issues specialist, frustrated writer and creative, the expansion of knowledge into marketing and content creation for me has been challenging and fascinating all at once. The Centre for Adult Education (CAE) is my go-to for short courses that give me a taste of what I’m interested in – and what I’m keen to know to be able to provide sound and well-rounded advice to clients.
Tutor Bernadette Schwerdt blew my mind over two weekends in SEO Copywriting for Beginners. The first day focused on the Google machine and exactly what that platform looks for – and how to work with it to get noticed. Her first point was that most companies invest in social media but not SEO, and that it touches on many disciplines where the skills involved included:
- Digital marketing
- Web development
- Public relations
- Data analytics
- Psychology and consumer behaviour
I had looked at the course notes, and I had to gather my courage to go. At first blush, it seemed a little more overwhelming than I had anticipated, but my brain sparked and got excited by the potential and the dots that were being connected. Bernadette touched on offpage SEO, my main interest, and as an author, marketing consultant, advertising account director and copywriter, she shared a lot of her enthusiasm as well as her knowledge.
“Copywriters are there to tell people what’s in it for them,” Bernadette says. Understanding the product being promoted/sold, who you’re targeting and how to get their attention is naturally key. Simply her advice in a nutshell:
- Identify the target market/s persona
- Question your client about why, keep asking why and use “which means that” to get to the benefits instead of the feature
- Identify the inner monologue consumers have about the product
- Answer the questions/interest/concerns/solve the problem
- You’re trying to build trust with google as well as customers
- But write for the human not Google; then look at your keywords and work it through
Bernadette has a no-nonsense approach to SEO copywriting using tried and true formulas. Having never consciously thought about it, I’ve fallen for almost every single one of the formulas. Just touching the tip of the iceberg in SEO. I’m in.