A few weeks back, we wrote about how content marketing and copywriting has become a kind of content arms race.

In that post, we wrote about how changes to the search engine algorithms have turned the whole practice of SEO copywriting on its head. No more keyword ‘stuffing’; finally the game is up and we’re into a world of writing quality content.

We talked about how consistency and variety help your search ranking because these are the very signals that the search engines are looking for.

But what we didn’t overtly state is something much more important to your business or brand – trust.

This is what the search engines are trying to determine: how much can searchers trust that your website answers their questions?

How to create trust in copywriting

A good design makes people feel confident in your business. Certain visual clues help to back up trust – things like locks and colours help demonstrate ‘security’ and logos of the various trade bodies you belong to also help establish some trust.

To win the arms race, most of the trust-building you need to do will come (initially) from your copy – the words on your website.

Search engines look for ‘trust’ signals. Here’s what Google said about how it would judge a page:

            “Would you trust the information presented in this article?

            Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?

            Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?”

So how can you write trustworthy content?

Well, it’s an easy answer, but difficult for most people to implement.

Be honest. Be authentic. Be enthusiastic.

Avoid the hype

Because we’re exposed to so many mediocre ads, we’re trained to think that ‘good’ sales copy is full of hype:

            “For a limited time only, get an eyeball smashing 5% off every single item in the store!”

The trouble is that because of this over-exposure, everyone is very attuned to hype and actively ignore it.

Help your reader instead.

When searching, people are looking for answers – even when ready to purchase. They need to be convinced that your offer is genuine. They need to trust your product listing or article over all the others.

If you write content that is honest, authentic and you are enthusiastic about your area of expertise, it will go a long way to establishing and reinforcing trust with your reader.

Tell a personal story about why you started the business. Inform your readers with ‘free’ tips or reviews of items of interest to your sector. Recommend books, articles or magazines to read on the subject.

Share your expertise with your prospects and the trust factor will grow. The content arms race is on and trust is the key to winning it.

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