If you spend time writing an article, it makes sense to get as much as you can from it. Ideally, it would connect to your desired audience and contain just the right keywords so that Google lists it on page one.
That’s the ideal, but how do you make it happen? Let’s say it takes time, but with each article, you’ll gain more experience and with experimenting, you will work out the magic formula for your business.
There are two parts to language – one is the writing style of which there are four basic ones. Descriptive, Expository, Narrative, and Persuasive/Argumentative. In reading that, are the themes back at school in English coming back to haunt you?
Descriptive: like the expository style below, it does explain something, but does so with all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) to create a vivid image for the reader.
Expository: explains a particular subject to your readers. Facts, figures, descriptions, describes a process and/or, information is ordered logically and sequentially. Doesn’t usually contain opinions.
Narrative: used when telling a story which can be fact or fiction. One of the more versatile styles of writing because the story is central, not facts. Most find this easiest because it has a logical beginning, middle and end.
Persuasive/Argumentative: this is all about the writer’s opinion and the justifications, reasons, and arguments to convince the reader to agree with their opinion, accept their idea or take an action.
Choice of Language
The second is to think about how you say something to the reader. To communicate effectively, it is not enough to have well-organised ideas, it is also style, tone, and clarity. To do this, you must know your reader.
Familiar language: In this example, it’s a sentence warning high school students about the risks of an unhealthy diet. “Individuals who maintain a diet of high-fat content are exposed to an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of fat deposits on the inner walls of the arteries. This condition can reduce or cut off the flow of blood in the arteries serving the major organs of the body. This can lead to poor health.” Do you think the writer thought about his audience? Because it’s written in an unfamiliar language, the message loses its impact.
A little bit of understanding and this is more targeted for the audience, “A diet of processed foods such as lollies, chips, or anything deep-fried, will build up fat in your arteries. This might reduce or even stop your blood from getting to your major organs. It can lead to heart disease and stroke, but also can impair learning and memory.”
Constructive language: In this example, it’s a boss emailing an employee. “I can’t meet with you tomorrow morning because I’m booked.” This type of language creates defensiveness in the reader because the writer is being superior.
Constructive language phrases a potentially negative message in a positive way. To make the example above more constructive, it would be, “Tomorrow afternoon works better for me. Would a 2pm meeting work for you?”
Formal or informal language: There’s one end; very formal, the other end; informal and something in the middle. The idea is to write to your audience. Here are some examples.
Very Formal: Exceedingly large segments of the population are expressing their discontent with medical practitioners who appear to be more engrossed in amassing financial assets than in providing efficacious care to people with health disorders.
Formal: A large number of consumers are complaining about medical doctors who are apparently more interested in making money than in providing effective health care.
Informal: A lot of people are unhappy with their doctors who only seem to care about how much money they make, and not about giving their patients good care.
Precise and clear language: Words can be interpreted in different ways by different people in different situations – and you can’t tell them how to interpret something, it just happens.
The best way to have them interpret your value is to compare them to something already known. For example, rather than telling the reader some is cheap, give them a benchmark, “Compared to that Lexus, it is inexpensive.” Then there are intentional double meanings – this is the fun part, like “Include your children when baking cookies.”
We recommend removing words if they have no use. For example, “When the merger takes place between the two companies…” would become, “When the two companies merge…”
Keywords and Google Results
From this previous article, you’d already have a list of keywords.
When someone types in a keyword in Google, everything on the internet that is related to it will display in the results. Going even further, your keyword would be in the sentence of a question.
Your primary keyword should be the focus of the article, so should be in the title, first paragraph and throughout. Secondary keywords are complementary to the primary one, but with slight variations. Then additional keywords are related, spelt different, etc, but mean the same thing. This will give you a total of three to eight keywords to use in your article.
When uploading an article onto a website, you should ensure the keywords are in your meta description. Here’s a screenshot showing some – it’s the bit of text below the heading. This helps the person make a decision on whether your article is what they’re looking for.
There’s a lot more formulas that will contribute to your results getting closer and closer to page one of Google search results. But it’s amazing how far sticking to the basics will get you.
It’s simple really. While this article can help you manipulate your content for the better, there’s only one rule to write by: Write what your audience wants to read.
This article is number six in our 12-part series. Our next article is about why you should be sending a newsletter to your clients and how to set one up. Should you need some help, feel free to get in touch with me.
If there are any terms we’ve used in our articles that you are not familiar with, please view our ‘Marketing Jargon Glossary’.