13 SEO Copywriting Best Practices For Writing Killer Blog Introductions
Want to rank more highly on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) so you can increase your number of visitors and generate more leads?
Surprisingly enough, it all comes down to your blog introduction.
Your blog introduction is absolutely crucial, and is one of the most important elements of your content. While 80% of people read headlines, only 20% click through to the rest of the blog, and an even smaller percentage make it past the introduction to the main bulk of the article.
In this new digital world, attention spans are increasingly shrinking, so you’ve only got a few lines to hook your readers’ attention before they decide whether to move on.
We’ve compiled 13 expert copywriting tips to help you write blog introductions that grab your readers’ attention. Hook, line and sinker!
Why Search Engine Optimised (SEO) Introductions are Important
A great introduction can be the difference between ranking 1st and 11th on Google.
Because your introduction is the first thing a visitor sees when they click onto your website. If you intrigue them, readers will continue exploring your blog, which increases average dwell time and lowers bounce rate. All this is a fancy way of saying leads will spend more time on your website and won’t be in a hurry to leave.
This is important, as Google uses its RankBrain algorithm to take into account dwell time and bounce rate when ranking websites on its search engine results page (SERP). The better your dwell time and bounce rate, the higher your site ranks–simple.
So, it’s pretty clear that a great introduction is essential to online success. The only thing to do now is learn how create one.
Well, with the following 13 best practices, you can do just that…
As any good marketer knows, you need to hook a lead before you can reel them in.
Every potential customer has a problem that needs solving and your reader has come to you looking for the answer. So, it's crucial that you put yourself in their shoes and really understand why they came to you.
This empathy for your leads’ challenges will be at the heart of your introduction and is your chance to immediately demonstrate that your product or service is right for them.
Just remember to keep your hooks specific, concise and, of course, relevant.
This blog is written to support website visitors who find improving lead generation challenging and so we’ve reflected this with the following:
“Want to rank more highly on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) so you can increase your number of visitors and generate more leads?”
After you’ve hooked your reader, you’ll want to explain why your post is important, and give them a reason (or 13) to keep reading.
The ‘line’ is the transition between the ‘hook’, where you identify your reader’s problem, and the ‘sinker’, where you explain how your blog will help them solve this problem. Your ‘line’ should show your reader the true magnitude and significance of their problem, so that they’re later interested in the solution you provide with your ‘sinker’.
In this blog, the line is as follows:
“Your blog introduction is absolutely crucial, and is one of the most important elements of your content. While 80% of people read headlines, only 20% click through to the rest of the blog, and an even smaller percentage make it past the introduction to the main bulk of the article."
In this new digital world, attention spans are increasingly shrinking, so you’ve only got a few lines to hook your readers’ attention before they decide whether to move on.”
Here, I explain the importance of blog introductions, and how your content needs to adapt to ever-shrinking attention spans in our digital world. I’ve also included a statistic, which I’ll talk more about later, to support and add extra context to my claim that introductions are important.
Once you’ve caught the attention of your reader, you should explain how your blog will help address their problem
Blog writing is all about providing value to the consumer. The hook and line ensure your reader is invested and now is the chance to show them why exactly they should read on.
Here’s the sinker that I used in my introduction:
“We’ve compiled 13 expert copywriting tips to help you write blog introductions that grab your readers’ attention. Hook, line and sinker!”
Your sinker doesn’t need to be long. In fact, just one sentence is enough to preview how your content is going to help, and inspire leads to read on.
4. Facts Are Your Friends
Facts are great assets to include in your introduction.
They increase both your credibility as an author and the value of your content. Facts and statistics are also great tools to provide context about your reader’s challenges and the solutions that could benefit them.
People trust numbers, so your introduction is the perfect opportunity to utilise a select few as part of your hook, line, or sinker.
Here’s the one I used:
“While 80% of people read headlines, only 20% click through to the rest of the blog, and an even smaller percentage make it past the introduction to the main bulk of the article.”
You should be careful not to include too many facts, though. Overloading your reader can be off-putting, and can also backfire on you, as they may leave your website via your hyperlinked statistics or insights.
At most, you’ll want to use one to two stats. Utilised correctly, and this’ll be enough to really boost the value you’re providing and get your leads scrolling further down.
5. Use Fewer Modifiers
We’ve all read blog openings that feel like they go on forever without sharing any useful information. Often this comes down to an overuse of modifiers like “really”, “very”, or “a lot”.
These words have a habit of creeping into content writing, but they just take up valuable space. Removing them will help clean up your introduction by reducing the waffle and getting to the point concisely.
With only a few words to play with, you need to make sure they pack a punch. So, instead of modifiers, using powerful adjectives like:
This will make your introduction all the more impactful, and also ensures that you’re maximising value to your reader in the precious few seconds you have their attention.
6. Add Anecdotes For Some Personality
Anecdotes are short little stories you can add to personalise your introduction and get your reader more invested.
You could include an anecdote like:
“I once spent six hours writing a blog post that ended only up getting two visitors to my site…”
(Sound familiar to you? If it does then don’t worry, we have a blog that could help!)
Starting with a story can help grab your reader’s attention by showing them that you appreciate their problem because you’ve been through something similar. This promotes trust and adds validity to your article.
A good anecdote can come from anywhere in your life, and doesn’t necessarily have to be directly related to the reader’s problem. The best anecdotes are relatable, funny and memorable.
7. Sprinkle in Your Keywords
If you want your blog ranking on Google it’s vital you pick a relevant keyword with low search results to centre your post around.
Once you’ve found a keyword, it’s crucial to put the specific word or phrase in your blog title, your meta description and your introduction. Including subtle variations of your keyword in your introduction will show Google’s RankBrain algorithm that it should rank your content for this word, which it’ll then do by pushing your content up the SERP.
Having highly ranking content means more people will see your site on the first page of the SERP, which increases the likelihood that they’ll click through and drive up your organic traffic.
Here at Digital Media Stream, we use SEMrush to conduct our keyword research for ourselves and our clients. To find out how you too can conduct keyword research, check out our blog that goes more in depth.
8. Ask A Question
Questions are powerful.
Asking your reader a question which personally identifies a specific problem they have in their life is an impactful strategy that immediately engages with them.
Is all the work you’ve put into writing your content a waste of time?
Asking a challenging question helps you grab your reader’s attention and spur them on to reading more.
But you should be careful not to ask questions that are too vague and obvious like:
Do you want more traffic to your website?
The answer to a question like this will, of course, be “yes”. But because the question is too universal, it becomes unspecific and unengaging.
Our advice? Lead with a strong, powerful and engaging question that relates to your customers’ problems.
9. Practice Makes Perfect
Writing blog introductions may take a while to get the hang of, but practice makes all the difference.
The great thing about intros is that they’re formulaic. Structuring your intro around the ‘hook, line and sinker’ method can make all the difference, and save you a lot of time and energy.
You’ll master the art of introductions by practicing, and with our tips, I have no doubt you’ll be writing out intro after intro in no time!
10. Write Your Introductions First!
Many blogs recommend that you write your introduction after you’ve finished writing your main content, but this fails to appreciate the importance of a great first impression.
Even the best writers can be intellectually exhausted after writing a blog, and this is not the state of mind you want to be tackling your introduction in. It is, after all, one of the most important aspects of your blog, so don’t leave it to the last minute and end up rushing it.
Instead, write your introduction first. That way you can make sure it’s absolutely perfect before moving on to the main bulk of your content, which puts you in the best position to entice your readers!
11. Engage Your Reader Directly
There’s a person on the other end of that computer screen, and talking to your reader directly can make all the difference between engaging and losing them.
Using the second person ‘you’ will capture your reader’s attention, and also adds a nice personal touch to your content, as they’ll feel like they’re being talked to directly. After all, your visitor doesn’t want to read stiff content that feels as though it’s been written by a robot, for a robot.
Your should also try to make your introductions informal, which will increase your content’s readability, making it easy for your visitors to read.
12. Short Is Best
The best intros are the ones with short paragraphs and lots of whitespace.
Introductions with huge blocks of texts are a headache to read and are immediately off-putting. If your reader clicks into your blog and is faced with huge paragraphs and long sentences, they’re going to leave and find a blog that‘s easier to read. It’s as simple as that.
Using short paragraphs made up of 2-4 sentences makes your content easier to scan and process, which in turn makes for a more inviting, engaging introduction. This builds reader investment in your blog and keeps them on your website longer.
So, short and simple is the way to go!
13. Edit, Then Edit Some More
The more you edit your introduction, the better.
Editing your introduction only once won’t cut it. For an impactful and precise introduction that’ll immediately hook your readers in, you should carry out at least two, if not three, rounds of edits, separated by a few hours.
Leaving time in between your edits can help you clear your mind and read your introduction with a blank slate, which will help you see things that you might’ve missed the first time. This will ensure you see any and all areas of improvements, along with any embarrassing grammar mistakes that need amending.
Putting time into editing will really help your intro shine, and increase the number of website visitors who stick around to make a purchase or get in touch.
Creating high-quality content with great introductions is one of the fundamental elements of inbound marketing. However, if you don’t have a dedicated content team, it can be hard finding the time to stay up to date on your blogging.
To learn how you could save money and increase the quality of your content, book a free Marketing Assessment with one of our team today.
We’ll take a look at your business and show you where you could be improving online and how this Manchester SEO Agency can help with that.