17 Actionable Tips for Writing Content That Converts

Even though the battle still rages on about the best ways to write content, data and research can’t be ignored. SEO still matters, and we need to be sure that the content we’re writing is optimized to attract both readers and search engines to the party. However, it can be difficult to find the right balance, especially when you’re a busy entrepreneur with limited time, or you’re just finally starting to master the finesse required for working from home

But in the end, your content must convert because your company must generate revenue. So, we have polled a few hundred content-writing machines to find their best actionable tips that can you begin using today! 

  1. Develop Searcher Empathy
  2. Utilize Events and Holidays
  3. Be an Expert
  4. Write for Search Intent
  5. Focus on One Topic
  6. Incorporate HTML Tables
  7. Give a Reason to Convert
  8. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for the Small Stuff
  9. Identify the Motivation Behind a Conversion
  10. Find and Place the Best Keywords
  11. Provide Social Statistics
  12. Use a Funnel Strategy
  13. Give Some Love to Your Anchor Text
  14. Write a Captivating Headline
  15. Put Your Content to the Test
  16. Lead With the Key Takeaway
  17. Keep Up With What’s Trending

1. Develop “Searcher Empathy”

“Searcher empathy is the key to developing content that converts. Why? Because when you incorporate searcher empathy into content development, you’re no longer just writing content that you “think will convert based on industry research or best practices,” but instead crafting – and reoptimizing –  content through the perspective of the searcher. 

Remember, providing a quality search experience is one of the key goals of Google. So if you truly want to develop content that converts, stop paying so much attention to “industry thought leaders” that don’t have intimate knowledge of your customers. Instead, focus on your customers and searchers. Craft content that speaks directly to their problems, wants and needs. If you do, not only will your customers reward you, but Google will as well.”

Tyler Putz – Circa Interactive 

2. Utilize Events and Holidays

Based on the strategies that have worked for us, using blogs to promote local events has helped us acquire valuable leads that have turned into customers. Whenever there’s a local holiday that you can associate with our product/service with or if there’s a relevant news story that can be used to feature your product, we take every opportunity to write about it on a blog or as guest bloggers.”

Finn Cardiff – Beachgoer

3. Be an Expert

“So, the idea is if the content creator isn’t as important as the content, then Google wouldn’t have bothered with E-A-T. Content that converts well, I have observed, was written by people who have actual experience with the topic they are writing about (call them experts, if you will). As a result of their own experience, they better understand the audience they are writing for, and this usually shows in their writing. The readers in turn take notice and are therefore motivated into engaging with the content.” 

Jake Rheude – Red Stag Fulfillment

4. Write for Search Intent

One tip for writing content that converts is to brainstorm questions and answers for your target audience. Then focus on fully answering questions surrounding this information within your content. This is called writing for search intent. When thinking about your client or your topic, ask yourself what your target audience of consumers wants to know about the service or product. Think about the potential questions they will take to google to ask, and ask yourself how exactly they would search for them on the internet.. Base your content, blogs, and social topics off of your answers to these questions. Optimizing content for search intent will help your consumers to find information and you have a great chance of increasing conversions.”

Elizabeth Weatherby – Wisner Law Firm

5. Focus on One Topic

Focus, focus, focus. Actionable content that converts should focus on answering just one question or target topic. In today’s era of pillar pages and long-form content, it’s easy to get carried away and answer every question you can think of that’s related to your topic. But, if conversions are your goal, it’s important to stick to answering just one question. The more concise and compelling your answer, the more likely that person is to convert.”

Mackenzie Deater – Evenbound 

6. Incorporate HTML Tables

“One of my favorite ways to enhance long-form writing is with HTML tables. You can use these tables to display data in a way that is easy to understand and signals expertise to your reader. My recommendation in most cases is to stick to a maximum of four columns, including one for labels and three for data. As for what to include in the actual table, it depends on your content. For example, with list posts, you could create a ranking system for the numbered items. In this way, the table can do double duty, both in assisting the reader find the most pertinent information to them and also as a table of contents.”

Michael Alexis – TeamBuilding

7. Give a Reason to Convert

I think the best tip to writing content that converts is to give the user a reason to convert. Specifically, marketers need to give users compelling reasons why and examples of how your offering can make their life or job easier. Most readers are skeptical of conversion experiences because they know that they’re being sold to, so instead of selling, provide value first. Then, offer users the opportunity to convert using a clear call to action, but don’t overdo it.. 

A simple (but direct) call to action is the key here. If executed properly, the best case here is that a user converts, the worst case (again, if done properly) is that you’ve built up a bit of goodwill in the eyes of that user, and you established yourself as a trusted resource of information. This will make them more likely to convert the next time they visit your site. “

Michael Pyndus – BrandExtract.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for the Small Stuff

“Try to focus on small conversion asks. I have occasionally created content that made a sales conversion ask and that has generated a conversion rate under 1%. In contrast, developing a call to action in content that asks for a social share tends to have a higher conversion rate. Therefore, if your content conversion rate has been low, it may be time to experiment with smaller conversion asks.”

Bruce Harpham – BruceHarpham.com

9. Identify the Motivation Behind a Conversion

To make content even more attractive and drive conversion further in 2020, I try to understand not just what or how to purchase a product, experience or service, but also how to be able to inspire audiences by identifying the underlying motivation. The key to becoming more influential is when  you can answer why they do what they do and connect with people on an emotional level.”

Paige Arnof-Fenn – Mavens & Moguls 

10. Find and Place the Best Keywords

You could write an awesome piece of content, but if no one ever sees it, did it even really exist? All jokes aside, there are many techniques we use to get content placed higher up on Google. The higher you are in the SERPs (search engine results pages), the more likely your content will get read and convert. This is where SEO steps in, which content creators and writers often leave on the backburner. Placement of target keywords is crucial to every piece of content, but you don’t want to pack in keywords willy-nilly. The writing should flow and sound natural. One way to find keywords is to start typing something related to the content into Google and voila, a list will appear of common searches. You can use these to come up with content ideas and know what keywords to include.”

Tim Cameron-Kitchen – Exposure Ninjah

11. Provide Social Statistics

“Use social proof. This, more than anything else, will boost conversions. By adding social proof — testimonials, video reviews, case studies, and ratings — you make the prospect feel at ease. Their defenses go down. They realize they’re dealing with a credible company who has a high standard for customer experience. Including these details in your copywriting goes a long way to convert new customers. Plus, it makes them feel that it’s less of a risk to buy from you, because others have too.. No one wants to feel like they’re the first person to buy, but everyone enjoys following a crowd when buying.”

Brian Robben – Robben Media

12. Use a Funnel Strategy

I believe creating content that converts is a long game. We use a funnel strategy, providing high-value content and collecting email addresses in exchange. We then serve up more content, basing it off of keyword research, customer surveys, and insights into our audience. We also aggressively segment our lists so we’re only serving people content they want to engage with. Doing this has greatly increased our conversions, with the shift to quality content leading the way.”

Dan Bailey –  WikiLawn Lawn Care

13. Give Some Love to Your Anchor Text

Anchor text converts better than buttons, banners or pop ups. If you’re trying to get your readers to download a unique content offer, be it a guide, checklist, template, etc., it’s best to make that offer as an anchor text CTA relatively high up in your content.

For example, if you have a blog post about “how to create a social media content calendar,” and you’re offering a calendar template as a free download as a part of your inbound marketing strategy, consider adding an anchor text link towards the top of the page, after about 100-200 words, instructing users to download it.

Be descriptive in your anchor text. Something like: “Download Now: Free Social Media Calendar Template (with Instructions)” says exactly what you’re going to get if you click the link and is compelling enough to convert.

One final tip, the text leading up to your CTA also matters. Teach your reader something incredibly valuable right before your CTA, and you’ll likely see higher conversions.”

Max Allegro – Intuitive Digital

14. Write a Captivating Headline

“The most important tip for writing content that converts is to focus on creating a captivating headline. With so much content available to content consumers, a headline must hook and pull the consumer into the content. Otherwise, one will not stop and consume such content. The second most important tip is to create a call-to-action that tells the consumer exactly what action to take. We can’t assume consumers know what action to take; we have to tell them.”

Katie Thomas – Leaders Online

15. Put Your Content to the Test

Don’t trust in just your skillset to write content that converts. You need to test your content in front of several pairs of eyes to get a better understanding. Sometimes, our egos can get in the way, causing us to lose sight of the end goal and only think about us being the ‘expert,’ so we obviously know what’s best for the website or digital asset. If you’re writing something that is extremely important for the success of your website/digital asset or a client’s, push ego aside and ask for honest criticism from colleagues, friends, coworkers or even family members. You’d be surprised as to the responses you’ll get when you ask people to be honest with you.”

Joseph Jones – Beyond Blue Media

16. Lead With the Key Takeaway

One of the best ways to improve content conversion rates is to use the inverted pyramid style of writing. In this style, the most important conclusion is placed at the very beginning of the content. This helps readers validate that the content matches their search intent, and saves them time looking for the key takeaway. In this writing style, each individual content section and paragraph also leads with its main point. This helps the reader quickly grasp the overall piece of content. The inverted pyramid style of writing increases clarity and saves the reader time – both help improve conversion.”

Bruce Hogan – SoftwarePundit

17. Keep Up With What’s Trending

“The best way to write content that converts is to grab two or three products or services that are trending in a particular market segment and drill down on the value they provide and the solution they immediately solve. The more specific you get, the more you’ll increase conversions. Most people go out and write about what they feel is important, which is an improper method. The correct way is to talk about what people need right now in the marketplace at this exact moment in time.”

Brandon Schaefer – Simple Business Help

Author: Angela Ash

Managing content and publicity even when she sleeps, Angela also writes poetry, plays the piano, travels, loves on her two feline fur balls and can even beat Mickey Mouse at Disney trivia