Sometimes copywriting can be a paine pain for professionals. I employ copywriting from a comfortable position. I produce for WebiMax. I’ve been working in the field of online marketing for over five years and still have a lot to learn (I’ll always remain writing teacher and student); but, I feel confident in my position, reading and writing daily upon a range of online marketing topics. However, I’ve written for a range of clients in the past; and, can say in retrospect, I have not always felt so comfy.
It’s not easy to communicate with clients as a writer sometimes. There may be no direct contact or weakened lines of communications regarding what a client expects, desires, and understands about copywriting implementations (from an online marketing perspective). Rather than point fingers, it’s best to ensure things get done, to address the client’ needs. In theory, communication is the best remedy; yet, during day-to-day hustle and bustle, things get lost in translation, leaving communication wanting of sufficiency.
As a seeker of copywriting services, consider providing writers with the following rights to say:
Your Service/Product is Boring
I’m sorry; I’m not saying your product or service is not of high quality or there is not a definite market for them; I’m saying the topic is boring to address via copywriting. I’m creative; I would like to inject some intrigue for (your) readers. Are you willing to grant your writers a license to thrill? Brands (and aligned businesspeople) come in a variety of personalities; some are more comfortable than others in granting writers carte blanche.
However, consider the purpose of the copywriting. Do you have strict on-page expectations or would you like the copywriting provider to extend the content’s reach, potentially making a post go viral? A just-the-facts philosophy is likely to address on-page needs (describing goods and services) but cascading paragraphs, describing plastic tubing, is not going to incite a large reader market. Are you interested in fishing in a larger reader pool? Allow your copywriting professional to employ some creative allure.
I’m Not a Star; You Are
Could you imagine if I attempted to pen SEO copy like Rand Fishkin? It would be alarmingly obvious and embarrassing for me. He is the Wizard of Moz. Compared to him, I represent the lollipop guild. I understand respective owners and clients seek copywriting due to time constraints. However, please put in the time to provide writers with industry resources, suggestions, and anything, which may help them sufficiently address your industry.
I’m not the star…you are.
This is important depending on the nature of services. Are writers describing your products and services? If so, a very broad understanding of the industry may suffice, mirroring the understanding of your target market. However, do you want something ghostwritten, positioning you as an authority figure? It’s not uncommon; you may be a ‘Shakespeare’ when it comes to your respective industry, but not a writer who will be remembered for centuries; you feel more comfortable leveraging a writing-convention translator, a copywriting service. Understood, but, ensure you are providing enough insight so writers can properly ‘channel’ you, emulating your sense of expertise.
I Need More Time
There was a time when copywriting (pretty much) meant the provision of textual content. However, nifty infographics, videos, and other varieties, comprise ‘content’ these days. I would suggest clients take a gander outside the traditional parameters of textual content. For many service and product providers, visual stimulants allow for much better communication and user/brand-target experience.
Do you see a difference?
Are you building a site and need immediate copywriting? Understood, the process does not take very long. Would you like something done ‘super-duper’ well, hosting a variety of visual implements and points of reader intrigue? I celebrate the sentiment; but, writers will need more time to produce such copy. The venture may warrant more time, resources, and investment. Speak with your service provider about the difference.
How would you rate the importance of copywriting on a scale to one to ten? If you didn’t admit to eleven or above, keep reading. It’s the core of communication. Content adopts a variety of online forms these days (video, infographics, sound bytes, etc) but to date, written content is a need for all online real estate.
So, your brand is new to the game. Nothing to be ashamed about, we all start from somewhere. You’ll find a wealth of knowledge online regarding copywriting. Some is great, while some is not worth your time. I’ve come across a considerable portion of advice from both sides of the fence.
Here are a few points I’ve consistently observed being employed and suggested by those with experience.
Yes! I Got Them!
What does marketing mean to you? Is marketing a way to lure the innocent or inform your consumers? I understand your business exists to make money; but, you’ll pay both figuratively and literally if your brand is not genuine. Are you writing for attention or to inform your public?
I’ll ask again because it’s that important; are you writing for attention or to inform your readers? I see a difference in advertising and marketing; the former is the ‘commercial’ side of getting attention (and needed); the latter is important in building a brand. Marketing involves proving you warrant the desired attention. There’s no better way to do it than adding to your community, giving rather than expecting. Respect and attention is earned online; go ahead, disagree and give me a tweet in a short while; let me know how that’s working for you.
Does your brand have the most unique name and product/service on the market? If so, keywords may not be a huge problem for you (unless your meaning of the word contrasts from that of others – read about negative keywords); however, for the other 99.9 percent, keywords are needed to communicate to users and search engines.
There was a time when intense focus of particular words and percentages of on-page insertion were the obsessions of newcomers; those who greedily leveraged the tactic like it would never go out of style. Guess what? It did. These days, brands attract traffic in a number of ways; ‘gaming’ the SEs and keyword stuffing offers you nothing.
For one, even if you (temporarily) got away with ‘gaming,’ what happens when browsers come to a site (with great SE rankings) with little value to offer? They bounce (figuratively and literally). Secondly, a good-rankings-low-value dynamic screams, “ALERT!” to any consumer with a little bit of online knowledge.
Read up on LSI (latent semantic indexing). Search engines are getting smarter; new trends allow for a better read and a much more natural writing experience.
By now, you’ve read the first sub-heading and pledge to always consider your user when copywriting. “Content is king” was a long-standing SEO mantra, and some in the industry still like to use it; however, if you traced new SEO trends, I think you’ll agree with me; the contented user is king. What makes your target market content? Would added amenities augment the message contained in the copywriting? Consider producing infographs and short video clips as well as inserting tables, graphs, and high-quality pictures in your real estate. This benefits your market, compelling them to return.
Thanks for reading.
- Copywriting Tutorials for Crafting Effective Copy (if you want to keep on the pulse of copywriting, the copyblogger site should be in your toolbar)
Being New and a Blogger
I wonder if Picasso threw paintings away after one day. That’s what happens to a lot of writers’ online works. Content is not physically “trashed”; yet, if it’s not evergreen (and even in those cases at times) the content kind of rests there, eternally at peace. It’s a sin we let content pass on in such a way. Shouldn’t we facilitate a longer existence? After all, copywriting professionals put in time and energy; we’d like to see our creations curated, raging against the dying of the light.
So digital curation is a wise thought, Anthony? Sure. I’ve been reading about it for some time now. Joanna Lord discussed it in her recent post on inbound marketing. Joanna references a Rand Fishkin post from 2009; if you read the post, you’ll get a broader perspective of how much of an asset inbound marketing has become since then.
Understand Your Audience
One of the key points provided in Joanna’ post is ‘understanding your target audience.’ Brands need to stop and think about how content is going to engage markets. In fact, Michael King largely bases his new SEO process on users.
Writing for Writing’ Sake
Over the weekend, I caught site of John Doherty’s Three Tenets of Content Marketing. He advises producing better, less, and planned content. Each brand must approach content generation from its own perspective, which may involve more or less production. However, John’s piece reminds us that producing numbers doesn’t guarantee results.
Traffic or Conversions?
I like John’s sentiment because it’s likely to be supported by your brand’s statistics. Dr. Pete did a post last week on 2 SEO metrics related to traffic and conversions. A robust, content-generative sentiment may attain SE exposure. Awesome! Then, a consumer clicks on a link ostensibly addressing their need. They get to a page hosting half-baked content; now what? As you would expect, the bounce rate gets high while conversions on such pages is low to nothing.
Each NFL team needs a long/short offensive game. I suggest the same for your brand regarding content. I understand time is a factor. Exceedingly great content, which could be labeled as ‘evergreen’ and perfect for curation, (see this excellent example of a curated link building piece organized by Jon Cooper – that’s how you develop an ‘evergreen’ piece) takes time; yet, such content attracts attention. While your brand produces ongoing content, ensure a strategy for content curation is implemented. Great content is a terrible thing to waste.
Thanks for reading. Don’t be shy about commenting.
Sometimes the best way to enhance the user experience of a website’s service is to integrate it with another site’s content. At least, this seems to be the case with the new collaboration between Kayak, a hotel search website, and TripAdvisor, a site that allows users to submit their own reviews of hotels and other accommodations they have stayed in while travelling.
As reported today on TechCrunch, Kayak has partnered with TripAdvisor to include the over 60 million user-generated reviews on the latter’s website in its hotel search engine. Users of the Kayak Hotel Search can select (or de-select) the option of including TripAdvisor reviews in their results. This allows them to determine what available hotels are in their price range, and which present the right amount of value for their money.
Kayak’s decision to carry out this integration is a solid one. The site had already started to include expert recommendations from Frommer’s and Budget Travel in its hotel search engine as of October 2011. However, it found that the majority of its users typically headed over to TripAdvisor immediately after using Kayak’s engine to read reviews before coming back to book. Thus, it only made sense to start integrating the two, to save customers a great deal of time and effort in planning out their trips.
And, really, what a wise decision it was. Kayak’s partnership with TripAdvisor is an example to other businesses on how they can leverage each other’s services to boost their own. It is in fact a great way to boost their search engine optimization initiatives. There is a fine line to walk when it comes to borrowing content from another site. Done properly, however, it can produce a win-win situation for all parties. Putting together two popular products or services can allow both to gain greater visibility, increased website traffic, and more customer conversions.
Who would’ve thought that borrowing or sharing content would possess this kind of SEO value? Done the right way, it can produce real dividends to businesses. Although only time can tell, the partnership between Kayak and TripAdvisor is likely to be a successful one. Keep an eye on them and other businesses that are doing the same, to get a better idea on the benefits of content integration.
I read a good post the other day presenting a copywriting sentiment; great content does not guarantee links and exposure. It doesn’t, unfortunately, despite the time, energy, and hopes of some scribers. But, solid content is still solid content; there’s use for it. Content production facilitates search engine optimization campaign successes, but you can do more with your information. If you are a currently discontent with your content, consider composing a strategic plan of attack regarding ongoing production.
Imagine a site browser as an industry novice, one who has very little exposure and understanding of your services and products. How would you educate them? I often suggest penning industry, evergreen articles; elementary tidbits of industry info, which is easy for beginners to ascertain. For instance, a search engine optimization novice may wonder about the history of SEO.
What should you do with such content? Placing articles within an on-site resource section is a start. That way, those new to the brand, products, or services may learn more about what the brand offers.
Where do people in your industry go for current news? For search engine optimization news, I regularly read a number of SEO blog posts. In addition to educating novices, it’s important to share news with industry cohorts and consumers further along the sales cycle and savvy about the industry.
If I were a brand, desiring more in-industry clout and authority, I would take notice of hot topics in the industry and respected platforms, then inquire about participation. Can you pen an industry-related guest post on behalf of your brand? Can you submit a newsworthy post, hoping it is well received by editors and posted on reputable industry sites? In many industries you can; be proactive.
There’s no guarantee a piece of content will go viral, but there’s always a chance. However, I think most would be surprised to find there’s a lot more planning involved than mere luck. Those of you, penning well-thought posts and producing other kind of insightful media (infographs, videos, podcasts) may be disappointed at the amount of online traction or lack thereof.
For instance your video production endeavors may culminate in being one of the top viral videos of the year, but with planning, you’ll have a better chance. Rather than unleashing your content, hoping the world finds it, be proactive. First, you may contact a number of sources, inquiring about their interest or possible input regarding such a project. Secondly, you can arrange for social media help before your content’s release.
For instance, Twitter allows users to make customized lists of followers. For instance, I may segment my online marketing followers into particular groups aligned to specific marketing subgroups, such as branding. If I were preparing a post on branding, I may send a message to my “branding”-related, Twitter followers giving them the heads up, asking them to please share my on-topic information to others who may find the info helpful and insightful.
Thanks for reading and continued good luck with your content!