Do You Need Good, Clear Writing That Communicates as Simply and Effectively as Possible?

It’s essential that public documents are written in good, plain English. That’s because plain English saves corporate and public sector organisations time, effort, and money. Also, clear communication builds confidence and trust.

If you’re short on time, energy or expertise to edit or polish a document, let me do the work for you. I can rewrite and restructure your first draft to make it easy to understand on first reading, without losing points of meaning that are vital to your message.

I provide the following services for corporate and public sector clients:

Plain English copy editing

Let me edit or rewrite your reports, letters, articles, marketing materials, website content, manuals or other documents to make them easier to read and understand. View some samples

Proofreading
My meticulous proofreader can check your documents for spelling, punctuation, grammar and consistency.

Plain English writing
If you need reader-friendly documents or persuasive marketing materials I can write them for you from scratch. Check out my range of copywriting services.

Do you have a document that needs work?
Please contact me to discuss your requirements.

On Writing Headlines and Writing Soap Operas

According to Nick Usborne, online consultant and coach, headlines and soap operas have a lot in common.

How’s that? Whether you’re writing a soap or a great headline, it’s all about the suspense. You’ve got to keep your audience wanting more. You can write a fantastic article, but if the headline isn’t grabby, your audience won’t read any further.

Click through for excellent tips on writing great headlines: Why writing great headlines is like creating a soap opera.

The Top 5 Factors for Better Google Rankings (Allegedly!)

“Some guy told me I need to put a Google search box on my site and have a 5% keyword density on each page if I want to get on the first page of Google…”

Really? You’ve got to be very careful whose advice you trust when it comes to SEO. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, much of it highly speculative or woefully out-of-date.

(BTW, my two most trusted and useful sources of SEO information are Dan Thies and Jill Whalen.)

The only people who really know how Google works are the folks at Google, and they ain’t telling.

But the next best source of infomation is SEOmoz’s Search Engine Ranking Factors survey. Every couple of years SEOmoz surveys the world’s top SEO experts to gauge their opinions on what factors are most important in achieving top Google rankings.

So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Ranking Factors from the 2009 survey:

  1. Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links – 73% very high importance
  2. External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links) – 71% very high importance
  3. Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains) – 67% very high importance
  4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag – 66% very high importance
  5. Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.) – 66% very high importance

See all ranking factors here

There are two important points to note:

  1. Links are the most important piece of the SEO puzzle (in case you didn’t know already).
  2. On-page factors such as keyword usage, title tags, meta descriptsions, etc., while essential, will only take you so far.

Conversion Rate Optimisation – Are You Doing It Right?

Everybody loves a great infographic, and we’ve stumbled upon a fantastic one over at the Unbounce blog. The fun infographic travels the path of conversion rate optimisation (CRO), and lets you follow each path to see whether you’re screwing things up or doing it all right.

Following that up, Oli Gardner dissects the whole process, offering his own unique perspective on the info. Check it out and see how your process measures up: The Right and Wrong Way to do Conversion Rate Optimisation

AdWords Guru Perry Marshall’s 10 Predictions for 2010-2019

When marketing savant Perry predicts, I take notice!

He recently blogged his 10 Predictions for 2010-2019.

His prediction about the future of website development was of particular interest. To quote:

The traditional HTML website site hand-crafted by an HTML editor and uploaded via FTP is fast becoming a relic, replaced by Content Management Systems and platforms like WordPress and Joomla.

I think he’s spot on with this one. I’ve been using WordPress as a content management system (CMS) for years and am very happy with its performance and price (free!). It’s only a matter of time before the word gets around.

So where does this leave website designers/developers? I believe there will still be plenty of work designing the look and feel of sites and implementing the CMS’s. There’s a huge opportunity for more savvy firms to move into tweaking websites to improve their marketing results.

Perry’s other prophecies include:

  • Massive consolidation of newspapers with most local rags disappearing. Authoritative bloggers take up the slack.
  • Twitter regrets rejecting Facebook’s $500 million buy out offer in 2009.
  • Bands will sell their music directly to fans using social media and direct marketing. Big labels will wither and die.

Check out all of guru Perry’s predictions