Social media is just attention seeking.
Everyone is blogging.
Email marketing is spammy.
Newsletters languish unclicked.
Or do they?
I launched my newsletter in the least spammy sense possible. I thanked clients for choosing me. I reminded them of my services. I asked for feedback and if I could do anything better to help them.
I received a tonne of lovely feedback and four new projects off the back of one newsletter. That's some ROI.
Small businesses usually have to work even harder and on a tighter budget - but it really can be done. I'm a small business myself and I have helped clients go viral, grown an online audience in the thousands and regularly receive enquiries off lovely new customers.
It is all thanks to digital marketing.
The secret is to make it genuine, fun and appealing.
Reward loyal customers.
Stay in touch but don't stalk.
Ask for testimonials and referrals.
Promote your business loudly, proudly and fabulously.
You don't need the biggest marketing budget in 2021. Anyone can work on their business, brand and online presence and secure plenty of new customers.
Fact #1: Loud, noisy, sassy content attracts attention aka the name of the game. Marketing your business quietly is NOT a thing.
Fact #2: You need to stand out. You are asking people to stop what they're doing and read or engage with your content - why should they?
Fact #3: The content marketing that reflects your brand, style and tone of voice will be what works best in attracting your targets clients. They should know it's you before they know it's you.
Fact #4: Digital marketing can take off for anyone. You just have to commit yourself and go for it. Even the smallest solopreneurs can have the biggest voices and there is opportunity for everyone.
Fact #5: Since when did quiet, safe marketing ever woo anyone? Even if your tone and brand is formal and corporate you still need to jump up and down and make some noise.
Marketing isn't free - even if you do it yourself. It takes a lot of time, energy and effort. It also takes some style and sass...
All marketing is attention seeking and this little marketeer is proudly putting her business on the map.
Well, first of all, you need a copywriter for your small business who has a dog...
Now that box is safely ticked, you also need a copywriter for your small business if you plan on wooing those lovely customers.
Everyone is a snoop these days. They check your reviews. They check your social media (or lack of). They check your website. They check your blog. If they could, they'd probably check your mum raised you well.
People don't just want to hand their cash over to anyone. They want all sorts of crazy things like values, principles, ethics, sustainability, equality, diversity, fair trade and blimey, so they should.
If we don't want to have to make a swim for it with the polar bears in fifty years' time, everyone should care or start brushing up on their breaststroke.
Your content isn't just about selling. It's about bonding. It's about branding. It's about caring. Nike, Coco Cola, Google - there's a reason why they have gigantic digital teams wooing us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They want to be inside our heads. They want to be our right arm. They know it works big time.
Now you might not have their big bucks, but fortunately you don't need to. Since starting on my digital marketing journey I have secured hundreds of clients, referrals, testimonials and millions (yes millions) of views of my content and business.
I don't do the hard sell. I just make sure I am fresh in their minds for whenever they need me and I have some fun with it. Fun stuff = way more customers. Dull content = the Titanic.
So if you like your content with a spicy hot side of sales sauce and a dinner bell that keeps on ringing (that means good content, I should stop writing at lunchtime...), then give me a shout. But whatever you do, whatever you decide; please, no boring, buzzword content. If peeps wanted a lullaby they'd ask for one...
Selling your product or service used to involve some flash, slick-haired dude with a massive briefcase.
Then it involved a gaggle of telesales people with insanely polished vowels.
These days it involves something even slicker than a slick-haired salesperson.
Selling your business, your ideas, your brand... it involves digital marketing.
Cue gasps everywhere. Said no one.
Digital marketing is nothing new. It's been with us for some time. But that doesn't mean it's any clearer as to what works and what is wasting your time. There are heaps of digital marketing agencies selling SEO this and keyword-rich that. But more often than not, your average small business owner is ploughing funds into their marketing and hoping for the best.
Fact: 80% of the SEO on your website is made up of the words you write.
Fact: Blogging on your website is a customer keyword party with some serious RSVP.
Fact: Social media earns people an army of leads and business.
Fact: If doing all of this on a regular basis isn't your day job, you don't have a marketing team, or any desire to hire one, you need a "me" in your life.
I am one of those rare creatures who loves their job. I love it when my clients do well and I love sitting quietly behind the scenes weaving my magic.
Ready to hire a freelance digital marketer to work hard and smart for your business?
Then shoot me a message...
Marketing your business quietly, respectfully and following the industry 'norm' achieves what exactly?
Not too much.
And yet many people are understandably nervous about making noise, grabbing attention and ruffling feathers.
Nagging doubts. Is it too much? Not enough that? You could procrastinate until someone else takes the sale.
I've been there, I get it. My client's are repeating the same problem... Fear of judgement and public failure online.
People will always judge you, even if you do nothing? So why not do exactly what's best for you and your business and that isn't quietly conforming.
Quietly marketing your business and your brand doesn't work. You have to get comfortable articulating exactly who you help, how you help and why you're the best.
It's not a comfort zone for many people and we've all been taught from an early age not to brag, not to boast.
Perhaps that is why digital marketing can be quite unsettling. It's a fine line between confident and arrogant. But put simply, if you don't trust your own hype and skills, who will?
Digital marketing is about grabbing attention, standing out from the crowd and letting your target audience know that you're the business they should be talking to.
Sure, they may be some unpleasant comments and I can't guarantee everyone plays nicely online. But the lucrative inbound enquiries more than make up for it.
You can't keep everyone happy and put frankly you don't need to.
Market your business loudly, proudly and successfully!
Refurbishing my old website took me quite a while. I obsessed a bit. Making pictures, writing content. I scrapped everything and everything had to be "just so."
But the time it took me has paid for itself.
I've won three new client's off the back of it with one lovely lady saying "the minute she read the website, she knew I was the one."
I won't lie, feedback like that is fantastic!
It's such a fab feeling - being proud of your published work and it successfully attracting and winning new business.
I'm even winning new client's in America and Europe.
Like, how cool is that?
Your website is owned by you and controlled by you. No one can rip that rug out from beneath you.
Other avenues, such as social media, are not. We merely pitch our tents on Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, etc.
With any business strategy, diversity is key. You:
a) Reach more customers and
b) Avoid the risk of too many eggs in one basket
People find me via Google and Google maps. People find me on social media. People refer me.
But you need quality solid content that makes you proud.
Are weeds curling around your content?
If so, let's prune and grow 👌
here to edit.
Once upon a time, there was an MD. She was successful, smart, driven and committed with hair that fell to her waist. She was busy AF but loved every minute of her work and her company to bits.
She was getting around to sorting out content for the company website, social media page and had some killer ideas for the blog.
But as with many things, core business functions stole the show.
😢 The website sat outdated - weeds curling around its vines.
😢 Social media was fruitless, a post here, a post there but never a post everywhere.
😢 The blog was empty, sad and no one ever knocked at its door.
The thing is, if you count sales and customers as part of your core business then this ☝ sort of behaviour simply won't do.
Writing content is laborious, time-consuming and hard work but essential.
Think about it.
You're running your business. You don't want to hire a copywriter/content writer. You're super busy and will get around to your content. But you never do. You aren't entirely sure where to start.
How many customers are you losing to the competition - those who have invested in the content necessary to make sure customers can find them online?
Perhaps you have old, outdated or just rubbish content displayed beneath your company name. It doesn't feel great, does it? It isn't doing you any favours that's for sure. People can sense stale content and if you don't care, why should they?
That's right: I have ripped the band-aid off and it's not pretty #sorrynotsorry
Your content should shine like Cinderella at the ball. It should reflect your values, your brand, your audience and your industry. It should make you sound as awesome as you are and yell it from the rooftops.
Blogging: demonstrate your industry expertise, answer customer questions, give advice and cement your niche.
Social media: perhaps it isn't 'your thing'. Unfortunately, it is literally everyone else's. Do you want to be the rare company with a yawning gap online?
Your website: are you proud? Are people finding you? Is it simple to navigate, well presented and slick? It doesn't need to cost a fortune but poor content could be losing you a fortune.
Company sales materials: do they still have the old logo and a managers image who left in 2012? Redesigning and writing some slick, digital company materials is cost-effective and you can start using them on existing customers, prospects and mailing lists.
Content should not be stale. It should be making the sale.
One blog a month, a social media post a week, a fresh new glossy one-pager to hand out to clients - just start!
Your future self will thank you.
No good with words?
Then your future self can thank me.
Should you write content?
Writing cements your ideas and vision for your business. It communicates your key messages to your audience. It literally builds your brand.
The only time I need to get involved is if:
A) Your writing sucks
B) You don't have time
C) You'd rather gouge your eyes out with a spoon
Other than that, stop being lazy and start romancing that crowd!
Whether you want to start blogging, social media marketing or your website needs some love - you can and must recognise your digital content for the powerhouse it can be...
That outdated website isn't winning you any business. It's no drama, you'll get around to it - no need to panic. Or is it? It may need an update to start actively winning new work but that nasty outdated waffle is putting people off. It damages your reputation. That is a lost customer - possibly for good. Bad content is pushing business straight into the arms of your competitors. We all search for products and services every day. If your website doesn't clearly articulate what you do and who you help, then off we go to one that does.
All that social media marketing looks like hard work - how can you stand out there? There are billions of businesses. Everyone is selling. You don't have the time or budget. Wrong. You can write a social post and use it across multiple platforms two or three times a week. That way when a customer finds you or searches to check your credentials, there won't be an empty, alarming gap. Give it time and you might even start growing a following and fact: everyone wants to know what's popular.
All that blogging that everyone does... Why exactly? Ah, yes, that's right, blogs offer value to your target audience. That seems pretty worthwhile if you ask me... Your audience has questions, issues, needs - your blog answers them.
You don't need a marketing army, you just need one consistent voice and get shouting from the rooftops about your biz.
Let's hear about your amazing team, what you're up to, what you care about. Humanize your business. Talk about customer needs and interests. Feature your news stories and victories. Whenever a customer asks a question - answer it in your content. Repurpose your blog content for social media.
Your content doesn't need to be 24ct perfection every time. For example, social media is quick turning and conversational. You don't need to spend hours over-thinking it - they're wasted.
But your content certainly needs to exist and be pretty tasty...
Having recently worked on a client's fabulous new website, I looked at mine and winced.
Like a 15-year marriage - it was neglected. Tired, under-styled - it was no longer a thing of beauty that lures new clients. At best, it was perfunctory. No amount of moisturiser could revive it.
I had failed to practice what I preach. I had ignored one of my strongest selling tools.
I got to work.
Pimping, priming, writing, creating. It felt good. I got lost for a good couple of days. I ditched everything: new copy, new theme, new style.
Even the pictures all got a stylish upgrade. I don't do standard stock, I don't do templates. I do a sort of pseudo stock mash-up and create a hybrid. Something more original that feels like me.
I stopped worrying about Google and wrote for my audience - wrote with passion. Then I went back and romanced Google. Alt-text is present, meta-tags done, headlines and text concise and clear.
Your website is your digital store. People come to check you out. They love a good nosey around. Will they be impressed?
Hundreds of people each month find me via Google and for now, I can more confidently answer this with a "yes".
Check out the new and fabulously improved CP Copywriting website for all of your freelance content needs. Diva style is back on the menu...
I'm going all in with some super festive cheer...
Whether you love Christmas, have zero interest in Christmas, or have zero interest in this particular Christmas; just approach it as some time off, some chilling, look after yourself and do things that make you smile.
This copywriter is on Christmas countdown to stuffing my sweet little face!
For awesome content and a collaboration that is successful, strategic and fun - I am here for you in 2021!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from CP Copywriting
Let's be honest, if you aren't comfortable with social media - you better get comfortable. Billions of businesses and consumers spend hours consuming social media content on the daily. According to data, the evil 'Rona means we are spending even more time there. If you aren't on social, why not? Digital is #queen
Now, problem #2
You are ready to take the plunge, but seeing as billions of people are posting, reading and consuming content - how the hell will you make your content stand out?
Here I can help...check out the antidote to social media silence #itsathing
So, you have made the decision to write your own copy. That could be a book, some company literature, an e-book...you get the idea.
Even the greats - the books that adorn your e-reader and the finest shelves are pimped, primed and perfected by a fresh set of eyes. What is the readability score? Does it flow? Are there any awkward transitions? Are there sentences a mile-long? Are there passages that seem obvious to you and not so obvious to others?
There are plenty of strong reasons why a copy editor can not only help your book read well, but help it fly off the shelves.
What is the difference between a proofreader and a copy editor?
A proofreader does not rewrite your content. They simply check everything is written correctly in terms of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
A copy editor will possibly proofread too - but their job goes much deeper. They will re-write passages of the book and make suggestions to improve readability, ensure the text is sharp, clear and your point well made.
The last thing any author wants is their readers re-reading the same passage of text over and over because it just won't sink in. A good copy editor will prevent this. Lengthy sentences are another enemy. Indeed, I have read sentences with more than 50 words before I saw a full-stop. Nothing sees a reader lose interest quicker.
What's the readability of this blog post? 69.7. The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling are all 70 and above. This indicates they will be understood and enjoyed by the average 12-year-old with 70 being the target range (even for adults).
If you need an experienced, second pair of eyes over your work - give me a shout. I have edited books for published authors and in true geek style, love nothing more than obsessing until it's perfect.
Warm regards as always - Claire
If 2020 has shown us anything, it is that businesses need to diversify revenue streams and have an agile digital strategy to survive.
As pivot and unprecedented top the charts for most overused words, how has your business fared during COVID-19 and social distancing?
Whilst all those selling hand sanitiser have come up trumps, the rest of us need to be digital to survive and thrive. I started digital marketing (intensively) the moment COVID hit the UK and am now consistently busier than I was back when we could shake hands and socialise (sigh). This is no fluke. It is no miracle either. I have a consistent strategy, my target audience identified and my key messages revised.
Digital marketing can introduce your business to your target market. From landing pages, to Google Ads, social media marketing and more - digital marketing can future-proof your business.
If you need help digital marketing, give me a shout.
As always - warm regards,
If you weren't already marketing online, there is a good chance you have just been thrown in at the deep end.
To market or not to market? That is the question...
Actually, it isn't. The question isn't, "should you be marketing" it is, "how should you be marketing".
What are our options in this situation?
a) Hand in the towel and stop talking to customers (I know how that ends), or
b) Keep talking to customers and potential customers and offering value
I am firmly in camp 'b'. I haven't worked hard and built up a fab business just to close it overnight due to a virus. Marketing is more important than ever. Everything hasn't just jumped online, it is now the era of digital-first. Your marketing strategy shoulders a heavy weight and it is the survival of the digitally fit.
Is marketing insensitive during a truly horrible global pandemic? It might be if it doesn't reflect the situation, but it certainly shouldn't be. Savvy marketing is leading with empathy, stability and courage. It is picking us up when we're down, entertaining us, keeping us in touch and (of course) promoting products and services of value.
I am helping client's communicate with tact, respect and sensitivity. Because when this is all over, (hopefully) our businesses won't be.
#staysafe #stayhome #staydigital
Right now many businesses are having to pen difficult communications to employees and customers. Communications that are honest, consistent and motivational - not an easy balance to strike during a pandemic.
Wages and responsibilities are changing. Opening hours, services and processes are changing. Often on a weekly basis.
🔹️A temporary landing page provides all of your customers with access to your up-to-date business and service info and is quick, professional and cost-effective to create
🔹️Social media and business pages can inform your public of any key changes and messages, or that there is no change to ongoing service
🔹️Emails and letters can clarify your company's position and direction, and ensure your staff and client's know their options and value
This is not an easy situation but don't allow poor communication to add to the challenge. If you need support choosing the right platform and words to keep your staff and customers motivated and with you on this journey, I can manage that process for you. It is my area of expertise and leaves you to focus on yours.
Pricing is competitive to support your business and mine during this period and beyond.
Get in touch for a quote, Claire@cpcopywriting.co.uk
I strongly encourage new clients to complete it. I have a little template and everything. Why is it important? Because unless you can tell me (in simple terms) a handful of important things about your business:
1. What exactly are key messages and why are they important?
Key messages are the main points you want your target audience to hear, understand and remember. Everything from branding to sales drives should receive a notable boost when you nail down and communicate your key target messages effectively. They feature heavily in your content and should make your audience think “yeah great, (insert your company name) understands me and can help me with my issue.”
2. Why should you write down and nail down your key messages?
What is the core essence of your business? Who do you help and how? Who are your primary and secondary target buyers? How can you (specifically) help them? A few simple questions, answers, statements and benefits later, and your value is not only understood by your business. It is understood and valued by your target buyers. Cha-ching.
3. How do you decide what your key messages are?
Think about who is going to read your key messages. What language will resonate? What do they want to read? What do they care about? Next, what problems will you help them with and what are your corresponding solutions. Don’t over-complicate things here with jargon or internal lingo. A simple, clear, concise statement that is factual and down-to-earth works best.
4. What is a Key Messaging Platform and why should I use one?
It’s a simple tool or document that is placed in a shrine and upheld by each and every one of your staff. Don’t know what the key messaging platform says? Fire them immediately. This is the bread and butter of your business. Its heartbeat.
PS, just kidding about the shrine and firing people (mostly) but you get the idea.
Would you like a FREE Key Messaging Platform? Help yourself. It is uploaded to my feed.
As 2020 fast approaches, will this be the year that you deploy digital marketing to captivate your audience?
Your content may be non-existent, sporadic or time-consuming, but it doesn't need to be. With a microblog of up to 400 words starting from just £80, professional, consistent, outsourced content is just a few clicks away!
Wishing all of my existing and future customers a wonderful Christmas and a very healthy and happy new year!
Imagine if a credible source continually kept introducing your business to your target audience. The tills would be ringing. Done well, your content has this ability. But too often, marketers go straight in for the kill and forget to build credibility beforehand. Digital marketing can introduce your business to a massive audience or a small but precise pool - you can choose.
Sales then step in once the (all-important) introduction is made and their task is so much easier. Marketing have handed them a prospect aware of your offering and brand.
This partnership is what truly successful businesses use to move prospects through the sales funnel and provide a consultative experience that builds trust. Once the trust is formed the buying begins. But buyers are more clued up than ever. They conduct research and have infinite choices and information. They want product demos, informative blogs, customer reviews - content that confirms you are the best provider and their decision is the right one. Supplying this content at the right stages of the customer journey transforms your target audience from cool to warm. It isn't always a 'quick' win. You will want to populate your sales pipeline with a healthy mixture of prospects at various stages in order to secure a steady stream of business. But your content can quicken up the process and create awareness of your offering.
If buyers are not aware of you, they cannot become customers, so how can businesses create awareness?
Relevant content starts the relationship between you and your target audience and makes that vital introduction.
Don't miss a trick, help lure customers to you (the modern way) with valuable, expert content.
I have written countless blogs, articles, guides and case studies that were well received with little or no revisions. As I writer, I cannot deny, they are my favourite kind. Whilst revisions are a natural part of the process, no writer wants to see their copy hacked to bits and covered in red in Tracked Changes. The ideal scenario for both parties is a written home-run.
So, what can be done to give your copy every chance of success?
The common denominator whenever the copy falls short of the mark is the client brief. Or should I say, lack of? The #clientbrief is just a handful of questions that can take your copy from zero to hero. Why? Because you steer the ship. You are the expert and I am the writer. If it is unclear what you want me to communicate, how and to whom, the copy will be some well-penned guesswork.
Many clients like their blogs to be quite down to earth with everything accessible and explained. But on occasion, you may wish to write for an audience of marketing experts (for example) who will not need the minutiae explained. To ‘over’ explain will be a turnoff, a waste of time. An answer to, “who is your target audience and how knowledgeable are they of your company and this topic?” eradicates this issue.
Another important question: “what key information would you like to include?” Just some simple bullet points here ensure that I cover off your expertise and key messages within your copy.
Great copy should have an angle, it should help your audience and make them sit up. No angle, no strategy, no value, usually equates to little visibility or connection which is absolutely not the idea.
Do you outsource regular content to a writer and, if so, do they guide the process for you and write exactly what you want? I am not making false claims of zero revisions. Revisions are natural, certainly during the formative stages of a working relationship. However, as a rule of thumb, an excess of revisions is a sign the process is not structured and presented to you in a simple format. Or, it could be a sign that you are a teeny bit lazy and didn’t complete the brief. No judgement. Well, maybe a little.
Full disclosure, my client brief is here. There are fifteen questions and you may not need to complete them all, but this client brief is valuable for us both – ensuring we really nail your copy.
You may be able to tell, I am a client brief advocate and, in all honesty, you should be too. It removes all of the guesswork and will help you attract clients, boost your followers – whatever your objective is, the client brief helps you to meet it.
Would you like a competitive quote for a one-off or long-term copywriting or content writing project? Perhaps you like a review of your website including all proof reading, suggestions and improvements to ensure it really communicates your value? You may wish to start encouraging leads and enquiries via digital marketing and blogging. However you wish to drive your business forward, the right copy will help.
The first hour is complementary. You can let me know exactly what your are looking for and see if we are a good 'fit'.
Drop me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org
The hallmark of a great website? It helps the audience. How do you write your own website without sounding like, “me, me, me?” It can be tricky. You want to tell your audience about what you do/offer but there is a knack.
Too many websites focus on their award-winning teams, industry accolades, etc. and cannot resist the urge to brag about their fabulous products and services. Yes, these things are important but your visitor wants to know whether or not you can assist them. They have a specific need which brought them to your website. If you do not demonstrate how you can help them with this issue, they will soon be off to find someone else who can (in around 15 seconds).
Your website is your modern-day shop front. Is it written in a way that piques interest and helps the audience? If not, no one is going click, get in touch or buy from you. A lot of people are a "copywriter.” After all, we can all write and it’s not that hard, right? But, if your website is responsible for your customer interaction and company reputation, is it not worth getting a professional to write it perfectly for you? I certainly wouldn’t get inside a car with someone who doesn’t know how to drive or have an electrical fault addressed by anyone but a qualified electrician. Put simply, if you don’t feel the investment in your website is worthwhile you can quit reading now and no hard feelings. But, if you do feel it is worthwhile, please enjoy my top 10 tips for exceptional web copy:
If you found this article helpful, please like, comment and share.
It can be really tempting when writing about your own business/products/services to talk about all the features and specifications - almost assuming that everyone will understand (as you do) the value of the product. The practice of on-page SEO is quite simple really and highly beneficial for your business and website. There are a number of key ranking factors that will make a supreme difference to your customers being able to find you.
So which factors affect search rankings? Because (let's be honest) we all want to be on the first page and (ideally) at the top. Those all-important top rankings send (potentially) thousands of customers to your website.
What questions should you run through when writing web copy?
Be honest, would searchers opt to ‘go back’ from your page and keep searching? Have a look at the top-ranking sites and do a bit of snooping on the competition (they probably do the same to you and all is fair in love and war). You can see what terms are ranking well and Google will inform you of the ‘related search terms’ further down at the bottom of the page.
It is common for website responsibility to fall to someone within a business who is not an expert – someone with little or no digital content experience. Sometimes a small team is responsible for updates and content. When more than one person writes your web copy, you may find there are issues with its tone of voice and consistency. This can damage branding and recognition.
What else can you do to improve your website?
Research is your friend. Research your target audience, their needs, the market, the competition. Conduct market research. Do keyword research. There is plenty of information available, however, it can get confusing.
Importantly, register your site on Google Search Console and claim your spot on Google Maps. Regularly check Google Search Console and make the recommended, necessary changes.
Not sure how to determine your keywords? For further reading and help, please click here.
Strong content is your highest-earning, most successful employee. You don't have to pay out any commission, but you do need to look after your content to ensure it performs for you.
Copywriting and content marketing are a combination of creativity and science. Getting it right means that your words resonate with your target audience and compel them to act. Copwriting is business copy that convinces.
That said, writing good copy isn’t easy. In fact, it’s rather hard. It takes time, research, experience and know-how. Most people think they can write (and of course they can), but writing words that persuade a stranger to do something, simply through your words alone, is a tough gig.
The main goal of copywriting is to gently persuade and sell your business to your target audience. However, before you can lure prospective new customers you need them to find your website. Your website is your modern-day shop front. If your shop was on a busy high street you could be reasonably confident that an attractive shop window would lure footfall through your door. Sadly, there is no such footfall of ideal customers ‘wandering’ past your website. You need to direct them.
How is this done?
Methods vary from the technical practices behind the scenes on your website to the ‘off-page’ approaches you might use to raise awareness and visibility of your site. For example, blogging, link-building, social selling, etc.
TIP: don't miss an opportunity; optimise on-page SEO by adding descriptions to your images, shrinking them (so that pages are not slow to load - which hampers SEO) and add ALT tags so your images positively impact your SEO.
As you can see from the above image, if I type “hire a copywriter” into Google, there are several PPC (pay-per-click) adverts in the top SERP (search engine results page). These advertisements are paid for by a business so that they feature prominently. This particular strategy is favoured by many. Done well, it can be an effective way to boost awareness and drive traffic to your site.
Of course, it comes at a price and you will need to keep paying to keep featuring in those all-important top SERPs, but, organic content is almost 6 times as effective as paid content. Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic, so put simply – Google needs to become your new best friend.
Your keywords are the specific words that trigger your site when people enter them into Google. They are a clever way to direct traffic to your site. They must be relevant and strategically placed across your website to optimise your site and get you onto the top SERPs.
Determining the right keywords that your target audience will use is vital. Empowered with this information you can optimise your content and drive customers to your site. It is one of the highest return on investment (ROI) SEO activities that you can do as a business.
There is no universal approach. It will vary based upon:
· Your website
· Goals and objective
· Your resources, knowledge and budget
· Your industry
So, what should you do?
1. Define your niche and seed words
Describe your product or service in your own words. Brainstorm. Be logical. What terms and keywords will people use when they search for you? Type the term into Google. Does it find your competitors and similar businesses? Your seed words are the bread and butter of your product.
2. Check what is already working
Data will steer strategic decision making and give you a real helping hand. What does your site already rank well for? Google analytics and Google search console are free tools and a mine of useful information. If your site isn’t ranking well for obvious keywords and seed words, it needs optimising and improving. If it is ranking for keywords and seed words then check your position, ranks and impressions. Keep using what works well and optimise pages that are under-performing.
3. Research your competitors
Research really matters. When the competition is creeping above you that (of course) isn’t ideal. Consumers rarely search past the first page so ranking matters. Often your competitors can supply you with enough keywords to keep you very busy and improve your SEO. Type your seed words into Google. Who is featuring and for what? Where are you? If you scroll to the bottom of the first SERP on Google, you will find other searches/terms/keywords that were used. These are the terms your target market is using and they are right there to find for free. You are now in the competitive research loop. Be warned, hours may pass like minutes during this period.
4. Use clever plug-ins, like Yoast
Yoast (in WordPress) is the plug-in that will optimise your site (up to a point). Other clever ‘cheats’ and tools include SEMrush, Moz and Ahrefs. They will help you to cover off the basics and are great for any level of knowledge.
5. Know your USP
If you aren’t writing your content with a strong understanding of what you offer, who would need it and why, then you are going to struggle. You cannot optimise poor content. Even with some solid keywords, once your target audience click, your content it is not going to resonate. Poor content is not going to meet their needs.
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The majority of websites have a prominent page devoted to blogging. And, understandably so. It is your opportunity to demonstrate your industry knowledge, boost your brand and give value to your target audience. There is also the potential to lure fresh customers from keywords and boost SEO.
So, if everyone is blogging (millions of people/companies daily), how can you make sure your blog is stand-out fresh?
1. Work your angle
An evocative, compelling angle is a must for your blog. It will transform a decent blog to must-read click bait. Think before you write. How are you going to help your audience? Why will they be interested in what you are writing about? What emotional thread do you plan to gently tug on? Your angle is essential and can easily be uncovered with a little tenacious research, a quality brief and experience of writing sales content.
2. Give your blog some structure
As with all good storytelling, your blog needs an introduction, a middle and a conclusion. Clear structure will keep your audience reading and help them understand exactly what you are trying to tell them.
Top tip: make sure your conclusion includes a call to action on all blogs designed to encourage inbound leads.
3. Use headings, paragraphs and white spaces
Strong headings, paragraphs and white spaces are your friends. Big, solid blocks of text (especially when writing for digital) are a massive turn-off. Readers do not have the commitment to unravel the key messages when your blog reads like a book. Keep your message punchy and easy to read with a visually appealing blog.
4. Get comfortable with keywords
Your blog has the ability to direct traffic to your company website, which in turn can convert visitors into customers. Potential customers can find your blog when it triggers keywords. For example, you enter into Google, "find me a fitness instructor in Barnet" and some clever fitness instructor in Barnet (who has written a blog including those keywords) should be in those prized page one search engine results. And page one search engine results lead to business and revenue.
5. Add regular content
Google will know that your site is active when you post regular content. Without regular content Google will not regularly crawl your site - negatively impacting its SEO. Regular content also keeps giving your target audience value (hopefully) and will attract potential custom. Post at least once a week and write a minimum of 500 words per blog. However, don't just post for the sake of it. Poor content will have the opposite effect and put potential customers off. Worse still - poor content can and will damage your company's reputation.
Top tip: don't forget to check your blog's readability.
If you struggle to create regular, fresh blog posts - I can help. A 500-800 word blog post costs less than you think. Using a professional copywriter ensures your brand image is consistent, your keywords are organic and your content is what your target audience are looking for.
For a quote or any advice - please get in touch.
It is the focal point of your business - the place that prospective customers go to check your credibility, view your offering or perhaps even to buy products and services. Yet often your website receives little or no attention from one year to the next. Perhaps a third-party manage the hosting for you and the process is cumbersome and expensive. Maybe you spent a hefty sum getting a top-notch, professional site that is SEO-friendly and feel the deal is done.
Rather than treating your website as an adhoc expense, it is better to update it little and often, keeping it fresh and up-to-date. Your company website isn't about you. It is a tool with which to conduct business and engage with your target audience. Modern analytics provide more than a steer, they can direct you to your potential customers.
Rather than waiting 3-5 years to totally overhaul your site (at considerable expense), instead make regular data-driven decisions known as Growth-Driven Design (GDD). GDD will improve your customer experience and website. If you have the resources and know-how to deploy this strategy - you can spend a lot less money and tailor your website to your target audience in the process.
It doesn't make sense to invest thousands of pounds in your most important digital tool and then leave it stagnant. The internet is always changing and so are its search engines. It's true, a poorly designed website is an immediate turn-off. If you haven't invested in approximately 4 years it could be time for a face-lift. I speak to some people who don't realise the true value and purpose of their website. It tells people what their company does, which is fine, right?
Every industry is crowded. There are plenty of people who do what you do and sell what you sell. Getting your head above the crowd matters. You may have sales teams and marketing teams but then where do all of these prospects head (once they hear about you), to validate whatever they heard and see if you can help them? Any would-be clients who find you through a search engine or specifically look for you online are expecting your website to impress. And you don't have long (around 15-20 seconds). Your website needs to impress quickly or that would-be client is lost to the competition. Your website is encouraging or discouraging revenue opportunities all of the time.
Your company focus will move around throughout the fiscal year. Your content should reflect this and support your strategy. You will (no doubt) push different products or services at times, try and fill any gaps or shortfalls and capitalise on any opportunities that present themselves. Your content strategy is part (a big part) of your sales strategy and in harmony are a partnership that can really deliver.
Up-to-date content on your website not only keeps your clients informed, it also tells search engines that your site is active and relevant. Content marketing has proven to be integral to all digital marketing and that shows no sign of stopping. Regularly investing in your content is an investment in the ongoing conversation with your target audience.
Your website may not need thousands of pounds spent on it...just a little TLC.
I love writing, but writing isn't just words. It is the ability to stir feelings, spread your message and unite people.