Simple Formula for Writing Magnetic Pet Marketing “How-to” Articles
By David Tomen for PetCopywriter.com
Lori does the writing and email newsletters for her veterinary clinic’s website. She has a steady stream of ideas for pet-business articles her business uses when marketing to pet owners. Here, we’ll look at the formula Lori uses to write her blog posts, web pages and email newsletters.
My hope is by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be able to make Lori’s success your reality too.
Topics for your pet-business marketing articles
You may want to review our last article on generating pet marketing ideas and come up with a few of your own before we get started.
Your pet owners are bombarded with information all day long. We’ve learned to filter out most of that bombardment just to maintain our sanity. So our biggest challenge is getting people to read our article in the first place. And that contest is won or lost in the headline.
Start with the headline.
When beginning a writing project, many professional writers create the headline first. Why? This is where the magic happens.
A great “how-to” headline helps you create better content because this one short line of copy makes a promise your content must fulfill.
A well-crafted article headline makes a promise. Once you’ve captured your reader’s attention, you have set an expectation that must be fulfilled with your article content.
Read that last paragraph a couple of times because it’s that important. Many professional copywriters will tell you when writing copy they spend the majority of their time creating the headline. When you get it right, the rest of the copy falls naturally into place.
We’re not trying to solve the “how-to” problem in this one sentence; all we want to do is get the reader’s attention. Will this one sentence at the top of the article tell our reader enough about what’s in it for them if they read your article?
The headline is your hook inviting them to stop awhile and see if you have a solution to their problem.
Create several headline options.
Make a list of half a dozen different headlines, then try this little trick to test each one: step into the shoes of your reader and ask, “Does this make me want to read more or not?”
Always keep in mind people mercilessly scan headlines when looking for solutions in search engine results and on your website. If you can somehow spell out the benefit of the article, or what’s in it for them when they read it, chances are good you’ll succeed.
To help ensure that your article ranks near the top of search results, use your main keyword or keyword phrase somewhere in your headline. This word or phrase is the main idea of your article. (Keywords are covered in detail in the content section below.)
Your reader will be using this keyword in Google, etc. when looking for a solution to her problem. It’s also a key element in how the search engine bots will know which article to display when your reader does her Google search.
“Better, healthier and happier” pets
We all live in a sea of information overload and feel so overwhelmed most of the time we can’t stand the thought of having to learn something new. Pet parents are no different.
When marketing to pet owners, we’re starting out with a slight advantage because pets have a special place in our lives. It’s because we lead such crazy busy lives that prompt us to keep an eye out for quick tips and shortcuts; anything to make our pets’ lives better, healthier, and happier.
Zeroing in on “better, healthier and happier” is a recipe for great “how to” headlines and content in pet marketing.
“How-to” articles are practically a no-brainer when marketing to pet owners because you’ve listened carefully to what your customers wonder about most.
Now all you need to do is tell them what to do, and how to do it.
Fulfill the headline promise with your article content.
When creating articles or blog posts, more is not necessarily better. The key is to write only what you need to make your subject or tutorial understood, and style for scan-ability.
Web visitors scan. Styling your text so it’s easy to read is often all you need to attract and hold someone’s attention.
Format with line breaks.
The easiest way to make your content more readable is through the generous use of the line break, with lots of white space, and featuring one idea per paragraph (no more than two or three sentences).
Write your headline and subheads first.
This will give you a good outline on how to write your content. It also makes it easier for your readers to scan your article, and hopefully engage and lure them into reading more.
Use bulleted lists and numbers.
- They stand out from the rest of your copy and are easy on the eyes
- They’re a great way to present multiple ideas that are easy to scan
- Benefit-laden bullets are easier to remember
- They make your post more compelling by numbering your main points or ideas
Use images with captions.
Web-user studies have shown that readers’ eyes often go to images before the rest of the text. Adding detailed captions (with keywords) to your images are great for SEO, and compel your visitors to read the rest of your article.
Use strategic formatting.
Help your reader scan through your article by judicially using bold text in the layout, guiding him or her to your most important information at a glance.
Demonstrate your expertise using links.
Internal links point back to your own important content and creates “stickiness” so people stay longer on your site. External links, carefully chosen (and opening in a new window or tab), show you’ve done your research and graciously give credit to other experts.
Once you’re done writing and formatting your pet marketing article, read through it again from the beginning. Then scan through it again looking only at what you’ve called attention to through headlines, subheads and formatting.
Make sure you can answer: Will your reader get the main gist of the ideas presented in your article? Are they compelling enough to encourage your visitor to go back through your post and dig into your content?
Your keyword strategy is critical.
Strategic placement of keywords in your headline, bold subheads, link text and pet marketing content is critical to ensuring that your articles and blog posts rank at the top of the search engine results.
Keywords and keyword phrases are one of the key components the search engine bots look for when choosing what to display in the search results. Keywords in your image alternate text or caption also seem to get priority in the search results.
To understand how this selection works, picture how a potential customer is searching for tips on grooming her dog. Your pet business article would include “best dog grooming tips” in your article headline, one of the bold subheads, link text and one or two places in your main body content.
In other words, sprinkle your keywords throughout your article. Look back through this article and notice how I’ve used keyword phrases.
When she types “best dog grooming tips” into Google, the bots go out looking for the best way to answer her query. The bot finds your article because of your strategic placement of keywords and displays it on the first page of her search results.
If your business is a local business (veterinary business, pet retail store), you also need to add local keywords/phrases to your articles so Google can match them with local pet-parents searching for services/products. Even in the headlines.
More is not better!
Have you been judicious in your keyword placement? You want to grab the attention of search engines, but you don’t want to be penalized for using too many repeated keywords.
Over-use of keywords in your article will result in it appearing on page 2 or 3 of the search results or later and never be found.
Are you ready to start writing great “how-to” articles? Let’s go help some pet parents and bring in more business!
David Tomen is a skilled marketing writer in the PetCopywriter.com network. We specialize in content-marketing solutions for the pet and veterinary industries. Contact us for assistance with your marketing communications needs.