The Art of Persuasion: 3 Ways Words Deliver Action
by Caroline Moore
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Search engine optimization is a multifaceted process. It’s best to think of it as a well-oiled machine that relies on many working parts to produce top results. When you want various results delivered at once, you can’t discount these working parts. One of the major components of a good SEO strategy is content.
Content is an essential part of SEO and digital marketing. Often, compelling content, along with a solid social media strategy, is what piques the interest of potential clients in the first place. Simply put, you need content in order to either attract customers to your site, or to keep them scrolling.
As anyone in the profession will tell you, copywriting is complicated. Not to be confused with impossible, however! You can learn to curate strong content that persuades the reader to stick around. It’s just a matter of knowing the right tricks, so to speak.
So, with that being said, mastering the art of subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) persuasion is a huge part of what being a copywriter entails.
Copywriting and Persuasion
Writing copy is a delicate process. Not only is copywriting one of the vital components in online marketing, but copywriters have the hard task of delivering words that aren’t just well-written, but which compel the reader to take action.
The action itself depends on the type of business and/or the goals of the client. For example, the goal of the content might be to compel the reader to make a purchase. Or, perhaps, it’s simply to catapult the client into the realm of a thought leader in the mind of the reader. Maybe the goal of the content is to make those readers and customers return again and again after reading the piece.
In any case, as you can see, the overall goal of the content is to persuade, not to sit on a client’s site looking pretty. While, yes, the content can (and should) be original, thought provoking, and interesting, the overall purpose of it is to provoke a certain action from those who read it.
Sounds easy, right?
Not so much.
While it’s not the trickiest technique in the world, crafting content that persuades does rely on some strategy.
How Words Provoke Action
Strong content will cause readers to click, buy, think of the site as a strong source of knowledge, etc. So, how does one string together words in a way that will provoke action? There are many factors that go into creating strong content. Here are 3 ways to master the art of persuasion.
1. Strong Headlines Are a Must
Like it or not, readers make a decision if they are going to click – let alone read – within a few seconds. If you don’t craft compelling headlines, readers will simply move on. Your article’s headlines are crucial.
They should not only give insight to what the article entails, but need to be attractive – yet quick to read. Your headline is what first grabs the attention of your reader. This is where your persuasion begins.
Ask others if they would click on it. Ask yourself if you’d be compelled to click on content. Be sure it looks good and fits nicely on the site. Lastly, make sure to keep it concise. If it’s too long, chances are potential clients will skip over it altogether.
2. The Magic Words
There are certain words and phrases that just work. Persuasion is all about action. Therefore, it makes sense to use action words. After all, the entire point of the content is a call to action. However, your content also has to appeal emotionally to the reader.
There are few ways to pull off persuasive content that feels personal or which appeals to the reader. “You” is an easy yet effective way to make it seem like a personal conversation.
It’s also beneficial to create a sense of urgency in your text, or a feeling that the reader is missing out by not reading it. Be sure that you make it known that they need to learn these organization tips to transform their life.
Call to action words and phrases such as “click here,” “for a limited time only,” and “buy now” are useful to add in certain cases. For a go-to list of persuasive words to use in your content, check this out.
Also, note that repetition is important. Persuasive words such as “you” and “how” should show up in your text often. Be sure to provide recaps for your readers as well.
3. Show Authority
How likely are you to trust facts from a source with no authority? Even if you have great content, if you don’t sound like an expert to your readers, you’ll lose them.
Let’s say your company sells one-of-a-kind bicycles. If you don’t back up your facts about why the materials you use to construct these awesome bikes are the best, who will believe you?
The best way to showcase your authority is through truthful content. Use statistics and percentages. Provide your readers with proof that what you’re saying is correct. Be sure to always keep it honest and give credit where it is due. When you’re authoritative and truthful, you’ll maintain and build readers.
Words are powerful. So, if you aren’t seeing the results you’d like, it’s often a good idea to look to your content. Change your words if you need to. Make tweaks and edits that will better persuade the reader and give you the results you want.
When you want your words to cause the reader to act, you have to utilize the right tricks and techniques – such as these 3 tips. Now that you have all the persuasion tools under your belt, you’ll be able to write killer content that provokes action!