Setting The Tone – Finding Your SEO Writing Voice | 9xb Digital Agency

Setting The Tone – Finding Your SEO Writing Voice

When it comes to writing SEO content, most will focus on the message that they wish to put across to the reader – and rightly so.  However, it is equally important to consider how you will convey your message.  When we write, we all have our own tone of voice.  Certain people will naturally write in a relaxed and chatty voice, whereas other will take the more formal approach.  Yet a good copywriter is able to adapt their writing tone to suit the needs of each piece of content.  In order to ensure that you find the appropriate writing voice, there are several factors that you should take into consideration.

Solid Research If you are writing SEO content for your own products or services, you should already have a deep understanding of the subject that you are addressing.  However, when it comes to writing content for clients, copywriters have a duty to undertake any required research.  This not only ensures that there are no inaccuracies that will be picked up by knowledgeable readers, but can also help to achieve the right tone.  If you truly have a solid understanding of the topic at hand, it will show through in your writing and help you to achieve an authoritative voice that your readers will trust.

Respect Your Audience Although it is a bit of a cliché to say that you must know your audience, it does still apply.  Yet knowing your audience isn’t enough; you must also show them the respect that they deserve.  If for example you are a middle-aged but writing about a topic that is aimed at teenagers, you will of course need to tailor your writing style accordingly in order to engage them.  However, you should also be wary of trying too hard to be down with the hip kids.  A common mistake in such instances is to try using the language used by youths, in an attempt to blend in.  This approach will often be immediately spotted by your intended audience, leaving them feeling patronised and disinterested in your message.  It is much wiser to take into account your target audience and tailor your style slightly, rather than making wholesale changes; which can appear strained and be poorly received.

Considering the Competition Another great tip for finding the appropriate writing tone is to take a look at the competition.  Spend some time on their websites, reading through blog posts or landing pages.  It is a good idea to examine several websites to get an overall view, rather than just one competitor’s site, as there is no guarantee that they have found a suitable voice.  Casting a wide net, that encompasses several businesses within the sector, will give you a clearer idea of the style you should be aiming for.

The Right Perspective When we write or talk, we do so in three different perspectives:

  • First person perspective - I/We
  • Second person perspective - You
  • Third person perspective - He/She/They/It

Choosing the right perspective can go a long way to ensuring that your content achieves its goals.  When it comes to writing SEO content, the most suitable approach is often to opt for the second person perspective.  Take a look at the examples below:

  1. I write the best SEO content in the world.
  2. It will be the best SEO content ever.
  3. You’ll have quality SEO content that will promote your brand and drive traffic to your website.

Most people would agree that the third example, which is written in second person perspective, offers the best chance of selling the benefits of SEO copywriting.  This is because it is not designed to talk up the copywriter, or boast about how good their copy is, but is instead aimed at highlighting to the prospective customer what they will get from the arrangement.  Show the reader that your content is aimed at benefitting them and they will be engaged.

Personality Judging when to and when not to let your natural personality show through in your writing is an important element of finding the right tone.  It may be that you have a sarcastic style of writing that can be humorous in certain areas, such as celebrity news or travel reviews.  However, when used in a more formal environment, such as a legal or medical setting, it can be completely inappropriate.  A copywriters natural style of writing tends to reflect their own personality, whether they are fun and bubbly, or more reserved and meticulous. A good copywriter will know their own personality and be able to judge as to whether it is suited to a specific piece of content, or if they need to slightly adapt it.  If you have completed an article and are unsure as to whether your personality is showing through and jeopardising its aims, you should ask a colleague to have a read of it and ask for their opinion.  Be prepared to take their feedback on board and make the necessary changes.

Ensuring Consistency Our final tip is to do with proof reading and it goes without saying that you must check for grammatical errors and incorrect punctuation.  In addition, you should also check to see that you have maintained a consistent voice throughout.  It is easy to switch from one tone to another in the middle of a piece of content without realising - especially if you are writing in a voice that you are unaccustomed to.  A piece that is not consistent throughout can confuse the reader and leave your message blurred.

Parting Advice Always remember that you content should be written with the reader in mind and not purely for SEO purposes.  An article that is well written, informative and which has the right tone will be read by your target audience and hopefully shared on various social media channels.  Content that has been written purely with SEO in mind tends to lack depth; making it easy to spot by both readers and search engines alike.  Put all of your energy into producing quality content and you will find that your SEO campaign benefits naturally.  You will also find that your blogs and articles are much more enjoyable to write!