5 Quick Tips about SEO Content for 2017

For many people writing and publishing content to their blogs and other sites, focusing on SEO (search engine optimization) is an important goal. They want to be found on Google and other search engines and they want their content to be on Page One. Unfortunately, many of those same people go way overboard and feel that SEO and SEO only is the best way to move forward, and literally “pad” their copy with SEO elements they think will give them the edge needed to rank high on the SERPS—the search engine results pages. As you may know, Google is constantly changing its algorithms and it is really difficult for the average person to keep up. To help you achieve real SEO success this year, I’ve outlined the 5 top tips for including SEO in your content, even if you are not an SEO expert.

1. You have to work HARD to get “noticed.” Many people try to take the easy way out and constantly check what Google is looking for as it constantly indexes sites.

  • When is the first date that your domain or webpage was discovered by Google? The older the indexed age, the better. Yes, that means that if you are “new,” getting found will be harder, but that means you have to keep updating your site.
  • Does your site have a lot of diverse quality links coming back to it? Both the links and the original site that sent the link need to be of good quality, not junk.
  • Does your site have plenty of high-quality content? Do you publish new content regularly? Google will not highly rank content that is thin on information and lacking value for the reader, nor will it rank content that is too short, devoid of relevant keywords, or content that doesn’t engage the readers for a good amount of time.

2. Your content must favor quality over quantity. Even though it is highly recommended that you publish regularly, it is even more important that what you publish is high quality, not just any ol’ thing so that there is something on your site. Google does notice people who try to scam the system by using quick tactics such as article spinning, link-generating software, or content that is too heavy in irrelevant keywords or SEO elements. Just.Don’t.Do.It. Take the time to write and publish content that is valuable, engaging, original, and not filled with ads, affiliate links, or pressure to buy products.

3. Content, Content, Content The content you write must be compelling, add value to the reader, answer a question or solve an issue, be well-written, and your publishing schedule must be regular. You will not get good SERP rankings with sub-par content. The more valuable your content is to the reader, the more it is naturally shared by others, and a good amount of sharing certainly helps your rankings.

  • Written content is still the most published copy, but there are also opportunities to publish videos, infographics, and other forms of content besides just text. A diverse group of content keeps things interesting for your readers, keeps them coming back for more, and keeps your SERP ranking high.
  • Content marketing is also very important. “If you build it, they will come…” is not a good marketing strategy. Again, we’re talking about working hard here. Once you have published your content, you have to make sure people know it’s there and encourage them to read it, comment on it, share it, and link back to it. Whew!

4. Size Matters. Google is looking for content that adds value and is informative, and the best way to ensure that is to write copy that is between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Each blog post and article you write should be very valuable to your reader, and unless it is just a quick notice-type post, you really need at least 1,000 to have substantial and targeted information. Your content not only has to be long, but it also has to be of good quality. We cannot emphasize that enough. This is where keywords are important, they help you to stay focused on your chosen topic.

  • Being a great writer takes a lot of skill and practice. Being a great SEO writer takes even more skill, patience, and experience.
  • Most professional copywriters have studied and practiced their craft for many years. Being a skilled writer and SEO specialist takes more than someone who received “A’s” in English class in high school or college.
  • Writing 1,000 to 2,000+ word blog posts and articles takes time, research, skill, and experience. Could you become proficient at writing content that will rank your site high with Google. I’m sure you could. But it will take time.

5. Get Mobile and Stay Mobile. Today more people access the Internet from their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) than from their desktop or laptop computers, and now Google is more focused on mobile searches with its algorithms.

  • It is imperative that your site is mobile-first and mobile-friendly. You must ensure that you content loads quickly and navigates easily on all types of mobile devices.
  • It is very simple to test out your site yourself: just pull up your site on your mobile device and see what happens. Is your experience a good one? If not, you will have to make the necessary changes.
  • Google is so focused on mobile accessibility that it has launched the “Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project that additionally ranks content on its mobile-friendliness. The AMP project developers have a vision that helps publishers to create mobile-optimized content for their sites. There are specific published guidelines that must be met for your content to be awarded the “AMP” tag. You can find the guidelines here.

Are you having challenges or do you have concerns about making your content SEO relevant? Is there something more you need to learn to ensure you are high in the SERPS? Let us know in the comments.

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Revise Your Business Plan Before Year’s End

At Writing It Right For You, we work primarily with small businesses or the marketing departments of larger businesses. We realize that the recommendations of this post may not be relevant to large enterprise operations.

It’s almost the end of the year. It’s the holiday season. You’re busier than usual. We get it, we really do. But before the clock strikes 12 on December 31, you should add one more important task to your end-of-the-year list: revising your business plan: what happened in the previous and what needs to change in the next year.

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Your business plan was never meant to be a static, one-time document. Instead your business plan is a road map that you should use continuously to ensure that your business stays on track with your goals and objectives. Ideally, you should review your business plan at least quarterly—especially the marketing plan and financial forecasts. But at the end of the year, it is important to review and revise your entire business plan because things have definitely happened in the current year that will impact what you do in the upcoming year.

Set aside several hours before you close down for the year to do a comprehensive review of your business plan so that by the time the new year rolls around, you will be refocused, have new and/or revised priorities, and success plans and metrics in place.

  • Begin with your “wins.” What went well this year? What goals did you meet? What new initiatives actually worked? What a physical and psychological list of all of the positives first, and then you’ll be better able to deal with the inevitable elements that didn’t go so well.
  • Revisit your SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Be honest. It’s better to know that not know what challenges you may face in the new year and the tools and processes you already have or need to have in place.
  • Revise your cash flow projections month-by-month. Look back at the current year, check with your accountant, gather your figures, and complete an in-depth analysis.
  • What were your key marketing initiatives? Do you have an ROI estimate. Which can be changed or replaced?
  • Review your pricing structure? Is it time to adjust or even raise your prices? What products or service offerings were the “best sellers” in the past year?
  • Is it time to upgrade and update your hardware and software? Technology changes so quickly; during your business plan review, make sure to look at your office setup to make sure that it will meet your needs for the upcoming year.
  • Lastly, look at your human resources. Do you have employees or contractors? Are all contracts and payments up to date? Are any changes or adjustments necessary?

By reviewing the current year and preparing for the upcoming year before the end of December, you can really celebrate the holidays knowing that you and your company will be ready for business on the first day of the new year.

Offer a Solution with a Company White Paper

White papers. We’ve heard about them, but do we really know what they are and how they fit into your marketing mix?

A white paper is an in-depth authoritative and persuasive document that focuses on one topic and presents a problem and provides a solution. A white paper is not a direct pitch for your product or service; instead a white paper uses facts and evidence to show how your product or service offers a solution to a problem or challenge faced by your customers or clients. A white paper is positioned as a problem-solving guide and is usually made available via an email campaign, allowing your company to capture leads for future appointments or sales.

A white paper is different from a blog post or an eBook, each of which can be researched and written in a few hours to a few weeks, a well-written white paper is more like an academic paper that includes a solid body of research and fully documented references. A white paper shows expertise in the chosen topic, is written in a very serious tone, and are meant to help you and your company build credibility and trust with the readers, most of whom are further into the buying cycle.

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When you hire a professional copywriter to produce a white paper for you and your company, the copywriter should first consult with you to find out your goals for your white paper and the preliminary information that will be required to write the copy for your white paper. Your copywriter will also work with a professional graphic designer to ensure standardized components for your white paper such as page layout, images, fonts, and colors.

  • Your white paper will be a minimum of six pages in length, and usually between 20-30 pages long. Included in the page count will be the illustrations, charts, and references.
  • The final draft of your white paper will also include a table of contents, a short executive summary, an introduction, a chapter that outlines the problem faced by your customers or clients, a chapter that defines one or more relevant solutions, a chapter that highlights a company that used the recommended solution to get results, and a conclusion.
  • Your final white paper will be 8.5X11 in a portrait layout PDF that can easily be downloaded from an email or printed and mailed or presented in hardcopy.

You should expect the generation of a white paper to take at least a month from initial consultation to final draft. Your next step will then be to design an email and social media marketing campaign to give your white paper the greatest exposure.

A white paper is an important element of your overall marketing strategy. The professional team at Writing It Right For You looks forward to working with you to write a white paper for you and your company. Contact us here.

Apps I Use: Pocket

pocket-1There are several apps that save articles from the web to read later, including Instapaper and of course, Evernote, which is my #1 app. A relatively new entrant to this market is Pocket, an update to the app Read Later. Being a visual person, I love the setup of Pocket for viewing your saved information, either in a list or as a grid. You can save all sorts of files to Pocket, including articles, videos, RSS feeds, images, and more.

In addition to directly saving to Pocket on the web, you can use a Chrome extension as a bookmarklet, you can add information via email with the unique add@getpocket.com address, and you can add to your Pocket account from any mobile device you use, including Kindle.

So what are the benefits of using a “read later”-type app, and why do I use Pocket?

There is much more information on the web that interests us than we can read in one sitting. Saving articles, images, quotes, videos, and other types of data in an app like Pocket helps you to save what interests you for easy access at a later time and also gives you the opportunity to read your saved information from any mobile device. Pocket has a tagging functionality that you can use as you save your information; searching by tags keeps similar entries together, and you can also use the categories in the sidebar to organize your different types of information.

For me, using Pocket to save information on the web or any of my many devices is often just quicker than saving to Evernote. However, I also use Zapier, a web automation app, to seamlessly copy some items I save in Pocket into Evernote. Because what I’ve saved in Pocket is tagged, I can choose which kinds of information to copy in the background into specific Evernote notebooks. Some pre-planning is necessary, but after that is done, everything else is automatic, syncing in real-time and instantly available on all of my devices.

I really enjoying using Pocket. As a standalone option, or as an addition to Evernote, you may find Pocket is the right web curation app for you, too.

Drip Marketing Defined

As a business owner, you know how important it is to have a marketing strategy because marketing is the very important and comprehensive process used to create interest in your products and services. Marketing is the integrative sphere through which you can strengthen your customer or client relationships, create brand awareness for your business, and create value for through the overall customer experience.

There are so many types of marketing activities you can use, that it is difficult to decide which one to use at any particular time. A very useful marketing activity to add to your list is called “drip marketing.”

consultation-dripDrip Marketing is an automated system of contacting your contacts on a set schedule triggered by a specific activity. The name and concept of drip marketing come from irrigation, where watering a crop little by little instead of all at once is more effective. It is the same for drip marketing: you are giving your contacts information a little bit at a time. Drip marketing is usually used with email marketing campaigns because that is the easiest and most efficient. Setting up a drip email campaign takes planning and up-front preparation, but once everything is in place, automation takes over and you’re on your way to engaging and relating to your prospects, clients, and customers.

Drip marketing is a process to give people the right information at the right time, based on actions and triggers that you define. You can generate drip campaigns for different segments of your email list and for certain pages of your website. The entire point is to keep your users engaged with you and your products and services. With a well-designed drip marketing campaign, you can nurture leads, welcome new clients, request recommendations, teach courses, and query unsubscribes to your newsletter. Almost all of the email marketing applications can help you to set up a drip campaign with auto-responders, including using the contact’s name during the mail merge for every more personalization.

The set up of an effective drip email marketing campaign is one of the services offered by the professionals of Writing It Right For You. We would love to work with you—contact us!

Apps I Use: Brightpod

6b15836ccc1925b3492b5057c48f304e_400x400Brightpod is an online project management and time-tracking app specifically designed for digital marketing and creative teams. I have been a Brightpod user for about three years, starting just before the app came out of beta testing. For my freelance business, the marketing and creative team consists of just me and my full-time assistant, but Brightpod is an excellent app for marketing teams of all sizes. The interface is very visually pleasing and very easy to navigate. There are several project management apps on the market, and many of them are much more well-known than Brightpod. Over the years, I’ve tried most of the available apps, but here are the primary reasons why my assistant and I have stayed with Brightpod for our marketing projects:

  • The #1 reason I started using Brightpod was the editorial calendar. We have three blogs of our own for our three companies, we provide copywriting services for clients, and we also publish to other venues such as LinkedIn.  We can schedule articles and blog posts in Brightpod, color code them by client, invite others to collaborate with us at no extra charge, and drop and drag the scheduled posts elsewhere in the calendar as needed. We can also upload relevant files and images and all due dates for tasks and publishing are integrated into online calendars.
  • For individual projects, Brightpod uses the name “pod” instead, hence the name of the app. A “pod” is more akin to a depository for everything needed to work on each project, including all types of files, messages, timelines, workflows, and time-tracking (if desired). Task lists in the pods can be viewed as a list or as a Kanban-type board. Tasks can be one-time or recurring at your desired intervals.
  • Tasks can be set as high-priority, and Brightpod has two productivity features that are based on how your want and need your workday to proceed:
    • “Focus” shows you the few MIT (Most Important Tasks) that you need to concentrate on for the day. All tasks are drag and drop in case you want to make changes.
    • “Me” includes graphs and lists of your scheduled, overdue, and upcoming tasks, as well as those of your team. On this page, you can drag and drop tasks to update them as necessary.
  • Brightpod has a full range of reports that can be generated with real-time results in just a few minutes. You can also request a Daily Digest to arrive in your email every morning with a summary of what has been done and what is scheduled for the future.
  • Brightpod also has full email and cloud storage functionality, and the monthly subscription plans, ranging from free to full agency level, are quite affordable and based on the number of projects you select to have active in your account.
  • Lastly, the help sections and customer service for Brightpod are top-notch. They have several training videos and any support requests are answered quickly.

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The only thing I really miss in using Brightpod is some kind of integration with Evernote. I look forward to that feature one day soon.

If you are “test-driving” project management apps before making a decision for your business situation, I encourage you to look into Brightpod. The app has a 14-day free trial.

Copywriting or Copyrighting?

confused-man-questionYes, even today, many people confuse the terms, meanings, and spellings of the words copywriting and copyrighting. Actually, it is pretty simple to keep the two compound words straight by looking at the two parts of each word.

“Copywriting” = copy + writing. A professional writer who provides copywriting services to clients is a copywriter, a writer who writes copy (articles, blog posts, marketing materials, etc.). Copywriting involves generating written content intended to be distributed as print or online marketing or advertising materials. The “copy” is the actual written content and is primarily used to persuade people to use the client’s products or services and also to raise brand awareness for a company or business.

“Copyright” = copy + right. In this instance, the word “copy” applies to original works of authorship (whether published or unpublished) that are “fixed in a tangible form”, that is more than just an idea. The author who is granted a copyright has the exclusive legal “right” to print, publish, perform, film, or otherwise record all types of literary, artistic, or musical material. The copyright holder can also authorize others to use the copyrighted works. A copyright is usually in effect for a set number of years, and after the copyright expires, the material goes into the public domain, available for use by anyone, unless the copyright is legally extended.

If you need the services of a professional copywriter, or if need assistance in understanding how to copyright your work, we invite you to contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We look forward to working with you.

Apps I Use: Dropbox

sharebox_transparentAdoption of “the cloud” for data storage and retrieval has come a long way since the 1960s, when J.C.R. Licklider, one of the scientists and developers of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) introduced the idea of an “intergalactic computer network” in 1969. By the 1990s, enterprise companies such as Salesforce popularized the delivery of applications via the internet, and in the early 21st century, companies such as Amazon and Google began offering online storage capabilities to large business organizations.

Online computing continued to mature and evolve into what is known as “Web 2.0.” Although there are still concerns about data security, more and more individuals and businesses have become comfortable with storing their data in the cloud instead of or in addition to local hard drives and other external storage options.

Dropbox has emerged as one of the most-used cloud storage and file sharing companies since its inception in 2008, although today there are several other well-known companies offering the same or similar services, with iCloud, Google Drive, and Box all replacing the ubiquitous portable flash drive for managing your files.

As a freelance business owner, I long ago made the switch from PCs and Windows to Macs and the Apple OS and iOS platforms. Because the majority of my work with my clients and with my assistants is shared electronically, I have found Dropbox to be my preferred storage and file sharing application. I do not have to worry about whether my clients use PCs or Macs, nor is it a requirement that my clients have iWorks (for Apple) or a Google account (to use Google Drive), as Dropbox works seamlessly on all computer platforms and on all devices, tablets, and smartphones.

cloud-db-platformsAll of my files (including pictures on my computers and devices) can be backed up into my Dropbox, real-time syncing happens in the background, and the encryption and security of my files is as high-level as can be expected for a commercial application. One of the Dropbox features I use most is the sharing of Dropbox folders with my assistants and my clients. By giving various levels of sharing capabilities to selected people, the files in specific folders can be shared immediately. Possibly as a response to the collaborative features of Google Docs (and now also MS Word), Dropbox recently starting offering collaboration capabilities to files stored in Dropbox.

Dropbox has several plans with different levels of features, including a free version that is a good starting point for many people. You can get additional GB of storage for free if you get others to sign up for Dropbox; that is how I now have 1 TB of Dropbox storage although I only pay for a 100GB Dropbox Pro account.

When relevant, I also use iCloud and Google Drive frequently, but Dropbox is my primary cloud file sharing and cloud storage application.

How to Write a Tagline


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“It Matters How You Say It!”

A tagline is a one sentence statement or slogan that describes what your business is about and especially the value your business brings to prospects and clients. The best taglines are short, simple, memorable, and most of all functional: capturing what makes your business different from your competitors.

When I started Writing It Right For You (“WIRFY”) in July of 2008, I thought about what this business would be about and who would be my target and ideal clients. As a former English teacher who also had a lot of corporate sales experience, I knew that English was not everyone’s best subject, and that many people knew what they wanted to say, but were unsure how to say it. I also envisioned my new company as one that would help people to communicate in all different ways and via different types of media. The problem for my clients was that they wanted to get their message across in the most effective manner. The solution was helping them with the various ways to get their message out. The idea was that getting their message out correctly, efficiently, and effectively was what mattered.

Voila’! “It Matters How You Say It!” Yes, what you say matters, but how you say it matters even more. Is your document grammatically correct with no spelling errors? Does your social media and web content convey what you want people to know about you and your company? Do you know how to emphasize benefits and not just features? Do you need white papers and case studies written and published? Those are some of the reasons why people and companies hire professional copywriters like those who work at Writing It Right For You.

What you say matters. How you say what you say matters even more. My tagline for WIRFY tells prospects and clients that and also tells them of the value they will receive when they work with us.
We work with individuals and businesses around the world who need copywriting, editing, social media marketing, and project management services. If you are in need of any of those services, we would be happy to work with you. Please contact us.

Is It Monday Already? How to Make Mondays Work for You

180287282-couchhatemondaypsychiatrist-40ffb4aafcbdd158848d0faa11e2bc3f_h1Monday is the start of the workweek for many people, and therefore is often the most dreaded day of the week. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. With a little pre-planning and re-organizing, you can truly enjoy your weekend and have a fresh start on Mondays that will lead to a truly productive week. It all boils down to the decisions and action that you take on Friday…

Work hard on Fridays. It’s often hard to work really hard on Fridays, because you are already getting into a weekend mindset.

However, if you work as hard on Friday as you do on the other days, especially to finish up any unfinished projects, you will find that your mind is much clearer over the weekend and you’ll have more energy when Monday does come around. Make sure to clean off your desk and straighten out your workspace, too, before you leave for the weekend. Coming into a clean and organized workspace will go a long way towards having a positive outlook on a Monday morning.

Plan out your next workweek on Friday afternoons. Make a non-negotiable appointment with yourself to spend the last 60-90 minutes on Friday planning out your upcoming workweek. Confirm and prepare for all appointments. Delegate, close, or migrate any unfinished tasks to an appropriate upcoming day and time. Decide on your (3) MITs (“Most Important Tasks”) for each day Monday-Friday and ensure that you have enough time set aside on your schedule to actually complete your MITs.

Eliminate Monday Meetings—or at least meetings on Monday mornings. In the traditional workplace, it seems logical that the workweek start with a team or staff meeting first thing Monday morning: a great time to set goals and make announcements, and so on. Actually, holding meetings when most people have the most energy and can be the most productive seems to be backwards. Meeting on Friday afternoon ((how about a staff lunch meeting) to discuss the results of the previous week and prepare for the next week would seem to be more desirable.

Decide that this Monday, and every Monday is going to be the best day of the week. It is true that “what you think about you bring about.” Focus on why you go to work everyday—especially on Mondays, take time to prepare for the week ahead during the week before, and make definite appointments for yourself to actually get your work done, and watch your perception of Mondays turn from “sad blue” to “sunny yellow!”

Let the experts at the Writing It Right For You Companies help you manage your company and time more effectively and efficiently. Check out our services page and contact us here. We would love to discuss the possibilities with you.