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SEO Copywriting using the I.O.P.P. Formula

Allan Bisset

I know that what Internet marketing is crying out for is yet another acronym.  So, here is my humble contribution.  From all the information and research I’ve seen, conversations with our SEO guys in-house here and general media articles, the acronym I.O.P.P. appears to be the reason most people surf the web.  What does it mean?   Information, Opinion, Purchase and Porn.

Ok, the last bit was my afterthought, but the reality is that the vast majority of web users trawl the Interweb seeking information first and foremost.  Some seek opinion, especially with the increasing use of Social Media where most of the content appears to be pure opinion – although some may call a view expressed without any knowledge or consideration simple prejudice rather than an opinion.   People seek out or gravitate towards views and resources that they can either agree or disagree with – and that probably reflects on Claire’s latest post. The universal access and lack of any overarching "editorial mind” granted to all via the web means you’re likely to get highly polarised views expressed - including the bigoted nutters!  Very few blogs or Social Media channels are the seat of cogent and considered argument.


So what does that I.O.P.P. (OK just I.O.P then!) approach mean for the SEO copywriter?  Well obviously, if information is what the majority of your potential visitors seek, then give it to them.  And give it to them in spades!   Write content so that your site is so crammed full of useful information that the visitor doesn’t need to go anywhere else.  Great from an SEO perspective in giving your robot visitors what they want and equally useful for the more important human visitors.  That needn’t mean screeds of copy on a page that scrolls down forever.  Look at navigation, tab pages that can cover applications, background, history etc.


You want to communicate with those seeking opinions?  Get blogging.  Instigate a blog to express views that might not sit within the main site and write copy  in a different, more human and conversational tone of voice from the “corporate speak” of the rest of the site.  To many business users the word "Blog" implies a free for all of nasty comments incoming from every disgruntled Tom, Dick and Harry.  Needn’t be though.  You can moderate a blog 100% to review comments before they are posted, if you decide to post them at all.  In fact there are very few completely unmoderated blogs around.

User Generated Content (UGC) is a great way to populate your blog and site with long tail search terms that people are actually using, but you can also be proactive with your own postings.  If you get a stream of negative comments, you don’t need to respond to every single post and comment.  You should at least acknowledge the tone and content of those comments by maybe posting an article that says “We’ve had a number of comments that express the following views or observations…. here’s the answer to those”. That way, you’re not avoiding the sentiments expressed and by acknowledging those views, you are also ensuring that the blog is not just unalloyed “good news” about the company.  Doing that would destroy any credibility the thing had.

Purchase obviously requires an effective e-commerce system and Porn?  Well here’s a picture of some tits! And remember “honi soit qui mal y pense”!  Isn’t English just the best language!

tits feeding

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