Is Running SEO Ranking Reports Unnecessary?

Some major SEO companies won’t be offering ranking reports as part of their supplied website data, and this has left clients in a bit of a tizzy. If that sounds like you, you’ll want to read Jill Whalen’s recent thoughts on the topic over at HighRankings.com.

According to Jill, this development is one of the best things that could happen to a company that’s serious about online marketing. Why’s that? Just a few of her reasons:

  • Rankings don’t equal traffic or sales
  • Search results are highly personalised
  • Automated rank checking might result in Google penalties

Find out more here: Why Running Ranking Reports Is a Fool’s Errand

Copywriting Video of the Week: How to Sell Invisible Things

This is a fab two-minute video on the art of copywriting. Specifically, how to sell intangible things such as ideas, promises and services.

When a potential buyer can’t look at, touch, or try out what you’re selling, the words you use to describe it become much more important.

Because, as the video explains, when you’re selling an intangible you have to use copy to “make the connection, forge the link, and preserve the relationship.”

Take a look:

SEO and Duplicate Content: The Truth is Finally Revealed

Duplicate content is one of the biggest no-nos when it comes to efficient and organic search engine optimisation.

Many website owners and marketers, however, fail to understand why duplicate content is wrong and what kind of damage it does. SeoCopywriting.com has published an intriguing article that sheds more light on the topic.

The in-depth report by James Wright lists the negative effects of duplicate content, the main reasons for people to add it to websites and the pros of having unique, well-written articles.

To find out more about the topic and its connection to good SEO, read the article and the list of SEO recommendations.

How to Avoid Mistakes Even Great Writers Make

A recent post on the Men With Pens blog offers some great advice on how to break bad writing habits, which is perfect for newbies and old-hand copywriters alike.

One of my pet peeves gets a mention: adverbs. Taking a leaf from master story teller Stephen King’s book On Writing, we’re advised to delete each and every adverb from our first drafts. I sincerely concur.

They also show a neat trick for using MS Word to hunt and destroy those pesky adverbs.

You can read the whole post right here: 5 Common Mistakes that Even Great Writers Make

Improving Conversions & Writing Short Copy: The Web Content Roundup

WebContentRoundupThis week in The Web Content Roundup:

  • SEO Writing Tip: Avoiding Over-Optimisation [Video]
  • The Easiest and Most Valuable Way to Improve Conversions
  • Short Copy Easy to Write? Not!

If you want more useful links on on creating effective web content follow @thatcontentguy on Twitter.

SEO Writing Tip: Avoiding Over-Optimisation [Video]

Back in 2002, SEO was all about “keyword density”. Unfortunately after Google’s Penguin update, those tactics that worked so well will now work against you. In this video Heather Lloyd-Martin explains how to get just the right quantity of keywords and synonyms on your web pages.

The Easiest and Most Valuable Way to Improve Conversions

And the quick fix to improve your conversion rates by up to 86% is… copy optimisation. Veteran website copywriter Karon Thackston explains how to optimise your content for your target market, your sales process, clarity and Google.

Short Copy Easy to Write? Not!

Here’s a copywriting truth that few people understand (especially all those designers whose only criteria for good copy is that it’s short!): it takes longer to write short copy than long copy. It’s not easy to deliver your complete sales message in 100 words or less.

Copywriting Video of the Week: The 2 Most Important Words in Copywriting

This week’s video by AdWords Guru Howie Jacobson is inspired by advice from legendary copywriter Robert Levenson.

He was one of the original Mad Man and wrote classic ads for Volkswagen and El Al airlines.

When he sat down to write copy, Levenson pretended he was writing to his friend Charlie.

So he would actually start the page with “Dear Charlie… ”

This simple yet profound tactic of writing to one person makes it easy to write conversational copy that connects on an emotional level.

Take a look:

Great Advice for Anyone Who Wants to be a Better Writer

Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

And while I don’t believe mastering copywriting is as difficult as writing great literature, writing copy is still a great struggle for many people. (And sometimes even for me!)

Here’s some great advice from veteran copywriter Demian Farnworth on how to write well:How to Become an Exceptional Writer

I particularly liked his 7 strategies for building knowledge. His last point is also very important: remember to enjoy it!

Copywriting Video of the Week: The 3-Minute Guide to Content Marketing

The other day an SEO consultant told me, “Content is the fuel that runs online marketing.”

He was talking about content marketing – creating useful content about your area of expertise and using that to build an audience and promote your business.

If you’re unsure about plunging into content marketing, this cool three-minute is for you.

It explains the evolution of content from brochureware websites to content marketing, and how social media has radically altered the “content universe”.

Take a look:

Helpful Resources for Website Copywriters

Need to learn about website copywriting in a hurry?

If you’re an aspiring website copywriter, or you need to create content for your business website, here’s a collection of the best advice, how-to’s and resources available:

The best websites and e-newsletters for website copywriters:

Copyblogger
This is simply the best copywriting website around. If you’re a total novice, start with Copywriting 101.

Online Copywriting 101: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet
This comprehensive link list covers every conceivable facet of writing online.

ExcessVoice.com
Nick Usborne’s e-newsletter focuses on copywriting and content writing, with an emphasis on the Web.

New Thinking
Gerry McGovern’s weekly e-newsletter focuses on web content management, information architecture and writing for the Web.

HighRankings.com
Everything you need to know about search engine optimisation (SEO) copywriting.

Writing for the Web
Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen’s excellent collection of articles plus recommended books.

What will you find on a website copywriter’s bookshelf?

These are the best books on how to create profitable content for business websites that I have found. I recommend them to all website copywriters and editors:

 

Killer Web Content

If you only buy one book on creating a website, make it this one. It provides a simple blueprint for creating a website that makes sales and builds your brand.

Net Words

Using excellent examples, Nick Usborne explains how to create compelling copy for websites, e-newsletters and email. A great idea generator.

Don’t Make Me Think

If you read this you’ll know more about about creating a successful website than 90% of website designers. It also has an excellent chapter on writing for the web.

Designing Web Usability

This book launched my career as a website copywriter. It explains why writing for the web is different to writing for print, and how to do it well.

Let’s face it: writing copy that gets results is hard
I’m sure you’re very good at what you do. But writing compelling copy may not be one of those things. If you need content for your website that engages your target market and persuades them to take action, we should talk. Call me. There’s no cost or obligation.

Business Owners: Are You Struggling To Find the Right Words for Your Website or Marketing Materials?

If copywriting isn’t your strong point, I can help. I specialise in clear, concise and results-orientated copywriting that persuades your customers to take action… action that adds profit to your bottom line.

It doesn’t matter if you want to use a website, email newsletters, direct mail, brochures or print ads – I can supply the words you need to get better results. And make your life easier!

If you’re frustrated by lacklustre marketing results…
… it’s time to hire a professional. Let’s face it: in these tight economic times you must stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Whether your copywriting project is big or small, outsourcing it to me helps you get better results and leaves you free to do what you do best.

100% satisfaction guarantee
I want you to be totally satisfied with the copy I write for you. That’s why I offer all my copywriting clients a worry-free guarantee.

What’s next?

If you’ve never worked with a copywriter before, read my copywriting FAQ to find out how we will work together.