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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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: 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.

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.

Why Case Studies Are Important Marketing Tools

better-case-studiesCase studies are the most important marketing copy for businesses of all sizes. A case study tells a powerful story of an actual customer’s experience with your company’s product or service. The majority of case studies are available in written form, but many case studies are also delivered in additional formats such as video and podcasts. It is important for you to consider and understand the target audience of your case study, which will help you to decide the other ways to distribute the final draft: in text form, with video and/audio versions, as a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, and so on. After your case study is completed, you can also produce additional and complimentary marketing pieces related to the case study.

Case studies are written, not as a general report, but as a feature story starring your customer or client. The average length of a case study is about two to four pages or approximately 400 – 1600 words. No matter the final format, almost all case studies follow the same story format, starting with the text copy:

  • Your customer or client
  • The challenges faced by your customer or client
  • How your customer or client overcame the challenges with the solutions your product or service provided
  • Why your customer or client chose the specific solution or set of solutions
  • The outcome for your customer or client because of working with you and your company.

All types of businesses publish case studies, including technology companies, business services companies, consultancies, non-profits, and companies that sell particularly innovative or complex products. A case study is not an overt sales or marketing document, it is the story of how the client benefitted from your product or service.

When deciding to hire a copywriter for your company’s case study, look for experienced and successful writers who have specialized skills in interviewing and storytelling. 

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

Why You Need Calls-to-Action

If you are writing blog posts, emails, articles, direct mail pieces, or any other kind of lead generation document for your marketing efforts, you need to add a call-to-action to everything you publish.

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What is a call-to-action (CTA)? A CTA is used in marketing to instruct the audience to make an immediate response to an imperative statement. By inserting a clear and direct action message within and at the end of your copy, you will your reader a reason to click through to your landing page or website; as well as an action that can be measured. Depending on your goals for your marketing activities, here are four types of CTAs:

Download: for more information: to entice your readers to leave their name and email address, your CTA will encourage them to exchange their information for a valuable piece of knowledge such as a how-to guide, an infographic, features and benefits flier, etc. Your goal here is to collect the names and email addresses to build your distribution list for future marketing activities.

Subscribe: whether your blog is a part of your website or your blog *is* your website, you should have a “subscribe” button in several different places around your blog and your website. A subscribe now CTA usually has the working of a “FOMO” or “fear of missing out”. By encouraging people to subscribe to your blog, your readers won’t have to be afraid of missing a post.

Share Now: this CTA can be in the form of a button, a pop up, or just the words highlighted to request that your readers share your social media message, article, or blog post with their networks.

Learn More: you’ve given your readers some information that should lead them to want more, and your CTA should encourage them to get in touch with you via a contact page, email, phone call, etc.

You should write each CTA with a strong leading command verb that states exactly what you want to the reader to do: “download”, “subscribe”, “find out how”…and so on.

You will be able to measure the results of your CTAs based on the actual responses acted on by your readers for each type.

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Why You Need An Editorial Calendar

If you are in charge of the content marketing for a client or for your own business, you need a way to track all those posts, articles, tweets, and other types of copy. Developing and using an editorial calendar will help you to plan your  publishing strategy and to ensure that you have all the key information you’ll need when it’s time to write, such as SEO, demographic targets, and so on. The most important reason to use an editorial calendar is that it will help you to keep your content marketing efforts consistent, relevant, and trackable.

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Depending on your needs, you can write your editorial calendar in a paper notebook or planner, in your online calendar, in a spreadsheet, or in a proprietary program approved by your company. Whichever method you use, it will be helpful to have two editorial calendars: 1) a master at-a-glance calendar to plan the content marketing for a determined time period (quarterly, annually, etc.), and separate calendars for specific posting activities, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, events, and so on. Next, you’ll want separate calendars or lists for planning and scheduling different types of content, such as eBooks, white papers, case studies, blog posts, and newsletters.

Use your master editorial calendar to track key dates that may be relevant to the type of content you produce and when you will schedule that content for publication, and includes a brief overview of all the content planned by content type.
 Supporting your master editorial calendar are the spreadsheets, mind maps, outlines, or other list types that include the more specific information about the different content types, such as post date, keywords, categories, call to action, title, status, etc.
 Last, you will also find it helpful to have a place to track other components for future use: existing content that can be repurposed, ideas for new content, quotes, references, links, etc. Personally, I use Evernote, based on a content management system developed by Michael Hyatt.

Developing and using an editorial calendar as part of your marketing strategy will go a long way towards helping you to maintain a continuous flow of valuable content, which in turn will attract your ideal customers and convert them into new clients and sales.

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5 Reasons Why White Papers are Still Important for Your Marketing Strategy

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When developing a marketing strategy for their products and services, many B2B companies overlook one of the most powerful marketing pieces available to them: the classic white paper. White papers have been around for almost one hundred years; the modern “white paper” originated in Great Britain in the early 20th century, when shorter government policy papers had white papers, while longer reports and policy books had blue covers. Today, white papers are still used in government and especially in business, but why should your company use white papers? Does your marketing department know how to use white papers correctly?

It is important to remember that white papers are intended for pre-sales lead generation marketing to help prospects understand an issue in your industry, solve a problem in their company, or make a buying decision. There are five major reasons why your company should include well-written white papers in your overall marketing strategy:

  1. White papers are important for marketing departments seeking to add new leads to the sales funnels.
    • When potential customers are researching the purchase of new, complex, or high-priced products or services they consult white papers to obtain the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision.
    • White papers are generally shared within an organization and read by corporate executives who are the final decision-makers, financial executives, IT managers, business managers, and end users of the prospective product or service.
  1. White papers help the company to build trust and credibility in the industry.
    • White papers can describe the technical features and benefits of the company’s products or services.
    • White papers can help a company recommend a new solution for a business problem.
  1. White papers help companies to build trust with their customers and credibility in their industry.
    • Customers prefer to do business with companies they trust.
    • When information is shared in a “non-salesy” manner, customers tend to believe the information is more credible.
  1. White papers help establish companies as leaders in their industries.
    • The number one reason customers invest in a new or updated product or service is to solve a business problem.
    • When your company repeatedly demonstrates through white papers that it understands the problems and challenges their customers face, it becomes an industry leader.
  1. White papers help marketing departments build momentum for future sales.
    • A white paper can be used as a guide for product evaluators, explaining the features and benefits of the prospect near the end of the buying process.
    • White papers are traditionally targeted as a position paper that presents an approach to solving a business problem and offering a single solution or set of solutions.

Overall, a white paper can be defined as 6- to 10-page narrative essay that is intended to provide pre-sales educational and practical facts for business people who are seeking understanding of an issue, a solution for a business problem, or decision-making assistance. Typically, white papers are distributed over the web as pdfs, but they can also be presented as hard copies during sales calls, in press kits, and at trade shows.

To schedule a professionally written white paper for your company, contact the experienced writers at Writing It Right For You. We look forward to working with you!

 

My team and I know “It Matters How You Say It,” and I would love to talk you about how I can help you achieve your copywriting, editing, marketing, publishing goals. Please feel free to contact me via email: phowens@teamowens313online.com, or by filling out the form on the contact page.