Constantly coming up with fresh ideas to add value to your client’s website can be tricky. After a while, it might feel that you’ve exhausted every keyword and search term in the book. Thankfully, the news cycle in your clients’ industries can add some much-needed inspiration for high-value landing pages that lead directly to conversions.
A significant news story, such as a company going bust or changes to an industry’s regulatory framework, can lead to thousands of searches ending in phrases like “what do I do?” or “what now?”, usually from consumers, service users and investors. Leveraging the headlines and turning them into landing pages can not only ensure that those questions are being answered, but direct search engine users towards your clients’ products and services.
This is also a relatively underused SEO tactic, meaning that despite a fairly high search volume, competition for sought-after first page spots will be lower than usual.
Finding the story
Obviously, the foundation to spinning a relevant headline into a high-value landing page is finding the right story in the first place. This isn’t necessarily a straightforward process. After all, if you’re spending all day writing about a myriad of sectors, you can’t be expected to keep up with the news cycle in each and every one of them.
Luckily, the story can sometimes come to you. If it’s something fairly significant, a new or existing client may approach you with the idea, particularly if they have noticed their competitors doing something similar. In this sense, constant communication with your clients is important, as is letting them know that news stories can form a valuable part of their SEO strategy should anything crop up.
Answer user questions
While writing news stories can be a nice change from your routine, it’s important to remember that you’re an SEO copywriter first and foremost. You’re not writing an article to compete with the BBC, The Times or The Guardian—you’re writing a landing page. Just like any other piece of content you write, the finished product has to answer user queries. Turning your headline into a question is typically the first step in moving the focus away from the average reader and towards your target audience.
However, unlike the rest of your work, it’ll likely be too soon to have research or statistics backing up your copywriting and measuring exactly what the most valuable search terms are. This is where your experience as an SEO specialist is crucial, as you will have an understanding of how your client’s clients search for information, so you can put yourself in the user’s shoes. Ask yourself: “if I were affected by this issue, what would I search for?”
Keep it neutral
One of the trickiest parts of spinning a news story into conversions for your client is getting the right tone, and avoiding stepping into any areas of controversy. The expression “there are two sides to every story” rings true here. Steer clear of any bold statements about what this development means for the industry and those involved. Again, you’re not writing a news article here! You risk not only getting into trouble by throwing around inaccuracies, but making your client look uninformed and opportunistic.
Stick to delivering the facts with very little “angle”, before offering advice on the best steps to take for those affected by the story based on your client’s expertise. This allows you to gently guide the reader towards your client’s products and services without coming across as though you are shamelessly exploiting the fallout.
As ever, SEO copywriting is about targeting terms that are being searched for and offering information that turns users into clients and investors for those you’re writing for. It’s important to create high-quality content that encourages the reader to stick with your client’s page over those written elsewhere.
The news is a valuable yet underused tool for generating fresh content ideas, particularly as the repercussions tend to be felt for months, and even years, to come.