When it comes to writing for the web, there are two main types of writing: content writing and conversion copywriting.
Content writing is all about creating interesting and engaging articles that will keep people coming back for more by providing them with helpful information. Conversion copywriting, on the other hand, is all about getting people to take action – whether that means signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase or booking a stay.
So what’s better for your surf-centric business?
Let’s take a closer look.
What is content writing?
First up: content writing… what the heck is it?
Simply put, content writing is creating content for the internet. But if we dig a little deeper, it’s creating content that is interesting, useful and shareable. This could be in the form of a blog post, an article, a white paper or even just a social media update.
The key here is that the content must be well-written and engaging. It must also be relevant to your audience and meet their needs. Otherwise, people will click away faster than you can say “content writing… huh?”.
The benefits of content writing
Hiring a content writer for your brand or writing your own can:
- Help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Attract more website visitors
- Convert website visitors into customers
- Establish your business as a thought leader in your industry
- Improve your website’s user experience (UX)
- Increase the time users spend on your website
- Help you build a loyal following of readers and customers
- Generate leads for your business
- Improve your site’s clickthrough rate (CTR)
Content writing and SEO
Wondering whether content writing is subject to the important but somewhat nebulas world of SEO? The answer is a resounding “you betcha”.
In fact, content writing and SEO go hand-in-hand.
Yes, your content needs to be engaging. And yes, it needs to be informative. But good content for digital platforms should also take (at a bare minimum) the most fundamental SEO practices into account.
This includes understanding how users search for content, using the right keywords and keyword density, formatting your content for both users and search engine crawlers, and creating meta descriptions that drive clicks.
If all that sounds daunting, don’t stress.
SEO may seem gnarly at first, but once you get the hang of it (or hire someone who does), you’ll see just how important it is for content writing. And if you’re looking to improve your SEO game, there are a number of content writing tips (ever heard of PAS?) I’ve got up my sleeves.
What is conversion copywriting?
Conversion copywriting, on the other hand, is like content writing’s slick, tech-savvy cousin.
It’s all about creating data-backed content that gets the reader to take a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a brochure or buying a cool new product.
The key here is to focus on the reader and what they want and to match their level of awareness. For example, if someone is just learning about your product or service, you’ll want to use language that is easy to understand and free of industry jargon.
Of course, conversion copywriting is often said to be more “salesy” than content writing, but this isn’t a bad thing.
As long as you keep the reader’s best interests at heart (and stay way, way, away from writing like a cheesy used car salesperson) you can create conversion copy that is both effective and ethical.
The benefits of conversion copywriting
Hiring a conversion copywriter for your brand or learning the ins and outs of conversion copywriting for yourself can:
- Increase your website’s conversion rate
- Get more leads through your website
- Increase the value of each lead you generate
- Create powerful and persuasive sales copy
- Sell your products faster
- Boost your email marketing results
- Increase customer loyalty and advocacy
- Garner media attention for your brand or business
- Improve customer satisfaction rates
- Stand out from the competition
Conversion copywriting and SEO
It’s sometimes said that content writing is for machines while conversion copywriting is for humans, and while I believe good content puts the reader first, a conversion copywriter should also keep SEO in mind.
After all, conversion copywriting and SEO-friendly content writing share the same goal: to get users to take a specific action.
And while content writing is more about providing valuable information that speaks to the reader’s needs, conversion copywriting is more about persuasion, using powerful language and calls-to-action (CTAs) to influence the reader’s decision.
However, both content writing and conversion copywriting need to be optimised for search engines if you want your content to be found online. This means understanding how users search for content and using the right keywords throughout your piece.
Oh… and word to the wise – a good copywriter will know how to craft both SEO content and apply conversion copywriting techniques. However, as a client, don’t think that a content writer will also be a conversions expert (or vice versa).
Remember to specify what you need from your copywriter before hiring them – that way, you’ll get the content (or conversions) that you’re after and avoid making these common copywriting mistakes!
How to decide which type of writing is right for your business
So how do you know whether you need a content writer or a conversion copywriter?
It’s simple: just ask yourself what goal you’re hoping to achieve with your writing.
If you’re looking to inform site visitors about the “Top 10 surf spots in Africa” or “How to shape a surfboard like a pro” then content writing is right for you. These pieces are all about providing value to readers, building trust and establishing your business as an expert in your industry.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to increase sales or get people to sign up for your email list, then conversion copywriting is what you need. This type of writing is focused on persuading readers to take a specific action, whether that’s buying a product, scheduling a consultation, or downloading a white paper.
At the end of the day, both content writing and conversion copywriting can be extremely valuable for businesses. The key is knowing which one will help you achieve your specific goals.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider working with a professional copywriter who can assess your needs and provide guidance on which type of writing will be most effective for your business.
Still have questions about content writing v conversion copywriting?