5th principle of badass B2B web copy: Empathy

As B2B copywriters, our relationship with Google has changed pretty dramatically. In this short video, David explains how (with a special guest appearance from Google himself...)

Not so long ago, B2B web copywriting was measured by the keyword. It was a big game: scoring involved cramming the page with as many target phrases as possible, and Google was the referee. Those of us who could play the game well might have been able to hide the fact (maybe even make the page vaguely readable), but really that was secondary. Traffic was all that mattered.

Now, thankfully, that’s changed. Well, a bit, anyway. We can’t ignore Google, of course, but it’s a very different relationship.

These days, we don’t just write for Google. We write for the people who use Google.

In its efforts to stay at the forefront of the internet, Google got a lot better at providing people with not just a page that matches their search term, but the page they actually had in mind. The best page for their needs. As the search algorithm changed, the way we wrote evolved.

Suddenly, good writing mattered. And that’s both about getting people to the website (the Google bit), and what they find when they actually arrive.

The search data from Google is still crucial for web copywriting. We need to know what page people want, so that we can create it. And we need to know what words they’re using to find it, so we can talk to them in their own language.

We’d be stupid to ignore the clues that Google provides about that.

And we still need to think about metadata (yes, copywriters do need to know about metadata). Because when the search engine results page (SERP) turns up on their screen, our (potential) visitor has a choice to make. We need to show that this page we’ve carefully crafted, just for them, is the one they had in mind when they opened Google in the first place. (It’s one reason why I love that meta descriptions carry so little ranking weight.)

People do need to actually arrive on the page at some point, after all.

And the way to do that is to take the data, and use your writing instincts to unpick why they’re searching. Put yourself in their shoes. Use some empathy.

97.6% of B2B web copy is pointless hogwash*

Don’t be one of the corporate automatons shovelling meaningless garbage onto the internet because Google. Be one of the good ones. Be a writer. Be a hero. Take a stand, and download our free eBook.

* Alternative fact


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