Ready? Brace yourself cause here it is: There is no big huge copywriting secret. Disappointed? You shouldn't be; you already know or have tools that will tell you everything you need to discover.
Regardless of content strategies you use in your SEO campaign, you need quality items while still matching your goals and your customers. However, start to ask questions:
Asking better questions
Now don't get me wrong, a good spot in the SERPs is a good thing. It will inevitably give your site the attention it needs in order to convert a certain percentage. BUT, wouldn't it be even better if you could improve that conversion, build more links, and expand your influence getting every ounce of ROI from each letter? Whether SEOs and webmasters like them or not, SEs all seem to be heading towards a customer based focus and the long tail.
My clients demand a 100% original article. What most don't demand is a specific, well researched topic or a piece focusing on a good long tail keyword phrase. As a result, they miss out on the true benefits of good content. In fact, I would go so far as to say the exact angle and topic is just as important than the targetted keywords (if not more so).
A large part of finding this is knowing your online visitors and their demographics, but as Capote would say 'go vertical and horizontal at the same time'. (Explore the topic, but don't be afraid to get into the topic and the reader's mind at the same time.)
Find out what your target customers are discussing and asking and use it to generate all of your content. Keep in mind: the more viral content needs to go in a short period of time, the more time relevant it needs to be.
New York's Times square - Aug 1953
To get you started, here are 9 tools I use all the time to create the right article marketing and copywriting material:
Don't just look at the terms you are optimizing for; use this to its fullest advantage! Get geographical and demographical information; find out what phrases people are using to 'accidentally' find your site. This doesn't work for brand new sites, but it's an excellent start for sites needing fresh copy, advertising materials, and article marketing.
2. Google Alerts
For regular clients, common subject areas, and those who request content ahead of time, I run Google Alerts on keywords and phrases that give me a good insight into what's going on within a given topic. Recently, I've also found Trackle to be another excellent tool for my keywords as well as those for clients. (Tip -- For each client, create separate accounts and save your sanity.)
3. Google Insights/Google Trends
To help you decide what's hot and what's not, Google Insights and Google Trends do a pretty good job. These show you which words and topics are gaining ground in popularity and are fully searchable. (RMH: Peter Newsome recently did a guest post here on that, called What's hot Google? - good introduction)
4. Relevant Keyword Questions
What better way to find out what your target customers are asking than by using a keyword question tool that ranks them by popularity while still including your keywords? Be cautious, or you will end up recreating content that has already been overdone. Take a unique approach!
5. News Streams
Google News, Yahoo News, and other big news sites keep you up to date with the latest happenings in any industry. Use these stories to create timely content and present new ideas or a fresh perspective. Again, you need to watch. 'Dating' these articles is counter productive. Also, don't retell the same news item, but put use the information it contains to put your own spin on things.
6. Social Media Searches
If you really want to find out what questions people have right now, why not find out? Twitter Search, Social Mention, and others like it may not be the next Google, but that doesn't mean you should ignore them. Be sure to do your research; radicals can skew this view, so be sure you are getting the right target base and valid questions.
7. Social Media Monitoring
To truly understand your customers and their needs, do some actual studying and research. Social media monitoring programs are a big help if you already have them for reputation management. If not, use a mix of tools to keep an eye on what's being said for your keywords, company name, products, and services.
8. Digg Trends
In some industries, this one can outweigh many of the other tools mentioned here. The only bad thing about this one is its limited searching ability. You will get a jaded view, but in some instances, this is exactly what you need. The next tool looks much the same way.
9. eHow and Ask Yahoo!
It sounds silly, but if you do a bit of searching at eHow, you'll find a list of requested questions as well as the 'Top 10 eHows' arranged by popularity. This can be a good tie breaker and good when you're in a pinch for a story angle. Ask Yahoo! also has a list that's worth checking out.
What do you think? Is quality content worth it onsite as well as for other materials?
Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) is the Senior Copywriter and Consultant at Angie's Copywriting Services. She loves to create SEO Web copy and other types of online and offline content, but she figures SEO and Social Media is pretty great too. She likes to chat about business and marketing, find great links, and more. Oh, and you can find this copywriter on Twitter too.