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Are You Asking These Useless Questions about SEO Copywriting

The questions seem to repeat themselves: “What ‘killer’ words must I use in my copy?” “How long does my copy need to be?” “What keyword-density ratio do I need to use?” Truth be told, it’s not about any “killer” words, the length of the copy or magic keyword densities. Those things aren’t the problem. The problem is, most copywriters and website owners are asking the wrong questions.

Instead of: “What ‘killer’ words must I use in my copy?”
Ask: “What language will appeal to my specific target customers?”

There are no one-size-fits-all words for copywriting. Even the king of such supposed super words – free – can backfire on you if used with the wrong target audience. For those in upper-income brackets who’ve worked their way to the top, a call for something “free” will be scoffed at. They’ll quickly tell you that nothing worth having is free, so whatever it is that you’re giving away must not be worth anything. Choose the words your target customers will respond to. Never depend on some arbitrary list to tell you what to say.

Instead of: “How long does my copy need to be?”
Ask: “Does a particular format apply to my copy?”

If you operate an ecommerce website, you’ll likely only have a few words to describe each of the products you sell. While, if you manage a business-to-business site, you’ll have all the room in the world to communicate with your visitors. Choosing the best length of copy depends on your target customer’s communication style, the demands of your website, how much educating about your products/services is required and the price of your product/service.

It’s my F.A.C.E. copywriting formula found in my Step-by-Step Copywriting Course. F.A.C.E. stands for Familiarity, Audience, Cost and Education. When you understand these four things, you know how much copy is required. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Instead of: “What keyword-density ratio do I need to use?”
Ask: “How can I write search engine optimized (SEO) copy that sounds natural?”

Forget keyword-density ratios. Google has gone on record numerous times as discounting keyword densities as far back as 2006.

Summary of the October 2008 Webmaster Chat on Matt Cutt’s blog:

“Keyword density is not really a factor. Yes, keywords should be present, but density is not important. Include the keyword but make writing sound natural.”

June 2008 Webmaster Chat archived on SEO Roundtable, Matt says:
“You may not believe this, but we tend not to think much about KW density here at Google, b/c our algorithms handle it pretty well. My advice is to pull in an innocent/non-search friend and have them read the text. If they raise their eyebrow…”

2006 Matt Cutt’s blog:
“I’d recommend thinking more about words and variants (the ‘long-tail’) and thinking less about keyword density or repeating phrases.”

Concentrate on not using keywords the same exact way every time in your copy. After the Penguin and Hummingbird updates/algorithm changes, exact-match keyword use is not a major factor. Google’s technology has progressed far past needing to match a site visitors’ search query with the same, identical phrase on your web pages.

As explained in my Writing With Keywords course, there is now a simple, 5-step process for optimizing pages with keywords so that you don’t get slapped for over-optimization. It’s easier to do now that it ever has been. As Google’s technology gets more sophisticated, writing SEO copy gets easier.

Stay up to date on SEO copywriting practices to get the best results. I find that 90% of the time, the issues people have with their search engine copy are related the use of outdated strategies that are now working against them.

Karon Thackston

About Our GE Network Expert - Karon Thackston

Karon Thackston is President of Marketing Words (http://marketingwords.com), a full-service copywriting agency specializing in web and search engine copywriting. She has over 25 years combined experience in marketing, advertising, copywriting and SEO copywriting. Karon has a strong understanding of the processes involved with creating successful advertising strategies.



 
  


13-creative-envelope-

How many times have you simply grabbed the nearest envelope for the posting of crucial business correspondence? Without knowing it, you could be harming the image of your business by sending important letters and documents via sub-standard, inappropriate or generic envelopes.

The first job of an envelope is to get its contents to their final destination safely. However, it also the first thing your clients and customers will see when you make contact through the mail. A neatly addressed envelope that is appropriate to the tone of its contents, and designed specifically for your business, can deliver five unexpected benefits.

1. Creates the right impression with new clients

If you are approaching potential customers and contacts for the first time, the envelope you use may be responsible for creating first impressions of your brand. If it looks the part, you may be able to impress people before they’ve even read the contents. If you are sending formal business correspondence, printed envelopes depicting your company logo may enhance your credibility and increase the chances of your mail being opened by the recipient.

2. Gives your company exposure

Hundreds of millions of letters and parcels pass through the UK’s mail system every year, and most of them are generic and dull. However, by using custom made envelopes, you can grab the attention of your recipients, and persuade them that opening your mail is essential. There are specialist envelope manufacturers that will work with you on design aspects such as colour, logo and texture to create envelopes that truly grab the attention of recipients.

3. Delivers a cost-effective solution for customer communications

It doesn’t matter whether you order standard or bespoke envelopes, buying the right type for your business in bulk represents a cost-effective way of staying in touch with your customers, contacts, and clients. You may also find that by using printed envelopes that contain slogans and marketing messages, certain groups will be far more likely to open them and read what you have to say. This type of marketing using digital channels can cost a small fortune.

4. Enables brand consistency

It is important that all your communications with customers are keeping with your brand values. Envelopes can act as a fantastic marketing tool when it comes to spreading awareness of a particular brand – through the use of various colours, slogans, fonts and textures. As envelopes are the first thing new customers may see, they need to represent your products or services in a positive light. Select the right design, size and format, and the chances of customers remembering what your company stands for will increase dramatically.

5. Free advertising

Let’s face it; anyone can buy a plain brown C5 envelope for the sending of crucial information to customers. Of course, this could send out the message that you don’t take your correspondence seriously, or that you don’t treat your customers as individuals. However, it could also be a huge missed opportunity. Dozens of people will come into contact with your mail – from the moment you post it to the moment it’s slotted through a letterbox. If you’re sending thousands of custom made envelopes instead of generic ones, you can be grabbing the attention of postal workers and anyone who sees your correspondence arrive at its final destination.

Too many businesses in the UK rely on the kind of generic envelopes that can be bought in stationery stores up and down the country. However, bespoke designs could be promoting your business in ways you never imagined.

Article Contributed by:

Ace-Envelopes is one of UK’s leading suppliers of envelopes, over 25 million envelopes in different sizes, colours and shapes available for next day delivery services to meet your needs


rightmarketinhagency

Article Contributed by James Burbank

Most business owner whose business has just started to grow and who are getting into the whole marketing game find that the search for the right marketing agency is not the simplest task in the world. In fact, after a while, it becomes quite obvious that this is a task of herculean proportions and something that has to be approached with due diligence and prudence. In the following text, you will find a few questions that you need to ask yourself as a business owner when looking for your perfect marketing agency.

Will I benefit from the services of a marketing agency?

Before you actually start looking at different marketing agencies that are available to you, you need to take a good hard look at whether you actually need the services of such an agency. There are cases in which business owners hire marketing agencies simply because they think they earn enough and that this automatically means they need marketing experts.

You have to work out whether a marketing agency will be able to bring you new business and whether it will pay off for you. If it is going to be an uphill battle where you will be throwing money at an agency and they will be struggling to find a single new customer. It is a cliché, but it all comes down to the return on investment.

What do I need from my marketing agency?

Once you have definitely decided that you need a marketing agency, you need to work out for yourself what it is exactly that you need from them. You may need just a market research and a few ideas on what you can do; you may need a comprehensive marketing campaign that will last more than a year and that will involve your entire brand, it all depends.

The reason why you need to get this straight is that this will be the most important factor in choosing the marketing agency. You will need to find the experts in that particular field. It is unrealistic to expect that every marketing agency does everything perfectly.

Can I trust this marketing agency?

You will never hire a marketing agency just because their name sounds cool. You will be checking their reputability; you will be checking their track record and you will even be checking their finances if you are smart. You can find plenty of information on pretty much every agency these days and it has become very difficult for them to hide things that they do not want known. Still, with all the information that you can get anywhere you look, the best thing is to get a recommendation from another business owner that you trust.

Can I work with these people?

Sooner or later, you will meet with the people from the agencies that you have narrowed down your search to and this is where you need to ask yourself whether they are people with whom you will want to work. This is more important in this industry than in most other that may be involved with your business. For example, when you are looking for an accountant firm, you just need someone who is reputable and know their stuff.

With a marketing agency, it goes deeper. They will need to understand you and your business and you will need to be able to work with them towards getting the best possible service that you deserve. We are not saying that you need to be best friends with your marketing people, but they should be more than just a service.

About the Author

James Burbank has spent years in marketing and brand promotion for US-based businesses in Australia and Europe and currently blogs from home on a number of subjects. For anyone’s marketing needs, he always recommends Marketing Angels, a marketing firm from Sydney, Australia.


entrepreneurfailHotShotEmai

What does your company email address say about you?

Nothing screams “newbie” as a free domain email address. And nothing dates you as much as a Hotmail or Yahoo! email address, especially if you are a technology-focused startup company. This is an #entrepreneurfail that can easily be avoided.

It is important that as you launch a company, you focus on building a sustainable business and not waste your time on unnecessary distractions. However, first impressions come from communication, preparedness, appearance and aptitude. Little touches such as your own domain name, and a web presence add significant credibility. If a potential client searches for your name or your company name, do they hear virtual crickets chirping? Or do they see a robust online presence including your:

  • Website – even if it just a landing page with contact information
  • LinkedIn profile
  • PR/Blog posts about your Business

And when future customers look to contact you, are they typing an unprofessional phonetic alphanumeric email address like “mybiz4u@hotmail.com” or a more professional one like “info@mycompanydomain.com”?

How did we tackle it?

We use GoDaddy and Gmail to solve for our email. GoDaddy provides us the domain and linking it with Gmail gives us the UI and the accessibility that we are all used to. Here are the steps we used.

  1. Purchase an operational domain name and a Gmail account.  Good luck to you if you need to find a domain name – see our post here for resources and inspiration to find yours!
  2. We used GoDaddy for the domain name; they give you 100 free email aliases with every domain you purchase. (This means you can create You@YourDomain.com, YourIntern@YourDomain.com, Info@YourDomain.com, Sales@YourDomain.com, etc a hundred times over).
  3. Forward the aliases to the appropriate Gmail addresses based on how your team is structured. For example, if you are wearing multiple hats, “You” and “Sales” can be forwarded to your Gmail account, while YourIntern and Info can be forwarded to your intern’s Gmail account.
  4. Remember to create a catch-all alias (or use an existing one as a catch-all), so you still receive emails that may have typos in the address. Now, at this point, you are successfully configured to receiving mail to YourDomain.com.
  5. To send email from your domain, we are going to leverage the free SMTP relay that GoDaddy provides when you buy a domain.
  6. To configure this, create a mailbox on GoDaddy and make a note of the credentials. (Their customer service can help).  It’s these credentials that will be needed to configure your outgoing email in Gmail, so it looks like its coming from your domain.
  7. Go to your Gmail account. Click Settings, then click Accounts. Here, Gmail gives you the ability to send email from a different email account. Follow the UI to add your applicable email alias using the SMTP settings from GoDaddy. You’ll have to update the SMTP Server, Username, Password and Port. (We used smtpout.secureserver.net and Port 25 but yours may be different).
  8. That’s it! Your team is now configured to send email from @YourDomain.com. You will see a drop-down choice in your “From” field in Gmail, which will allow you to select the email address you want to send an email from.

What do you think? Do you believe using a Hotmail or Yahoo address may hurt your chances of getting your next client? Or do you think it is too superficial to matter? Let us know in the comments below…

This comic and post were created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.


entrepreneurfailEntrepreneu

Attention budding entrepreneurs: How handy are you with tools?

Are you ready to get down and dirty and fix what needs it? I hate to break it to you but you have to be ready. Starting a company requires you to have the tools to fix anything that’s broken, coupled with the patience to make it happen.  Just as I have a reliable toolkit at home, to fix the leaks, creaks and freaks at my house, an entrepreneur must be able to do that for their own venture.

As Sir Richard Branson said: “Your decision will not always be the best decision. Everyone makes mistakes, but the best thing you can do in the face of a mistake is own up to it. Honesty isn’t just the best policy, it’s the only policy. When a mistake is made, don’t let it consume you. Uncover the problem and get to work on fixing it.”

So what are the components that should be in your toolkit?

  1. Blue Prints – Make a plan for the future
  2. Level – Level your expectations
  3. Nail – Nail down your value proposition
  4. Ruler – Size up the market
  5. Saw – Cut through the clutter
  6. Pliers – Get a grip
  7. Wrench – Tighten a hold on your market
  8. Hammer – Knock down obstacles
  9. Screwdriver – Don’t screw up

 Did we miss anything in your toolkit? Do you have any special tools? Let us know below. 

This comic and post were created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.



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GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.