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The dos and don’ts of SEO copywriting

Seo Copywriting tips

Are you worried about ranking behind your competitors when people do a Google search on your industry? You’re certainly not the only one! Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a crucial tool to put companies directly in front of their audience, first.

Optimised copy answers the search intent of your audience while remaining readable and natural. The days of simplistic Google algorithms to determine the ranking of search query pages are gone, but many old SEO myths are still going strong. The ranking system has become more intelligent and complex to display the most relevant and high-quality copy first.

If you are thinking about writing your own copy rather than using professional SEO copywriting services, we have prepared a list of tips for creating your own content.

DON’T keyword-stuff your copy

Many site owners believe that creating a relevant web page for a search query requires stuffing your copy to the brim with a target keyword as much as possible. Of course, your page needs to contain relevant target keywords, but sentence after sentence with the same word looks ridiculous and certainly makes for bad reading! Potential clients don’t respond to poor quality writing, and neither does Google.

DON’T write unnecessary copy.

It may seem that in order to cover all points of relevance to your audience, you have to write a lot of copy. Google does value in-depth copy, but you have to keep your audience in mind. Readers respond to compelling, well-thought-out text that gets to the point. If they see an overwhelming amount of copy, they might choose not to read it at all! Whether it’s a blog post or a landing page, make your copy comprehensive, succinct and genuinely enjoyable to read.

DON’T include hidden blocks of text with SEO keywords.

The ‘SEO trap’ is a common technique, but in truth, it is a waste of time and resources. The smarter Google gets, the more it values transparency!

DO take the time to understand your audience.

You can incorporate all the SEO techniques you like, but if your copy and entire website aren’t as relevant to your target audience as possible, you will not generate the traffic or leads you are hoping for.

To craft your website to your consumer, consider what they want from your product or service. What tone are they expecting? What problems are they looking to solve? What information do they need to see on your web page in order to make contact or hit the purchase button? The more you understand your consumer, the better you can create copy that satisfies the search queries they make, and therefore rank your website highly.

DO incorporate Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).

LSI keywords are semantically related to your main keyword. A lot of people think LSI keywords are synonyms. Synonyms are useful LSI keywords, but LSI incorporates all keywords frequently found together because they share the same context.

For example, ‘Apple’ and ‘iPhone’ and ‘smartphone’ are LSI keywords. However, ‘apple’, ‘juicy’ and ‘orchard’ are also LSI keywords; LSI ensures that the search query display shows pages relevant to the industry and topic your audience is looking for. Incorporating LSI, therefore, helps you better serve your user search intent.

Overtly stuffing your content with LSI keywords will, again, have you penalised by Google. Use them to help you rank, but do not let them interfere with the quality of your content. The idea of LSI is that you would naturally include the keywords as you write. You still need to create high-quality, well-written copy, but definitely with LSI keywords in mind.

Incorporating SEO into copy can take a lot of research and time – it’s completely normal to not know where to start! SEO research is particularly complex when it comes to small, niche (and therefore low search volume) businesses and products. To get it right first time and ensure the best results possible, you can bring in SEO and copy experts to optimise your site. At Creative Content, we use in-depth processes and techniques to make your site as ‘optimal’ as can be!

The Creative Content process:

As a professional web copy service provider, we make it our priority to create informative and inspiring website copy for our clients. We share our exact process for you so you can understand what is needed to complete a comprehensive plan for your business web content writing.

First, we need to understand your business including the services, the people and the company ethos. To do this we have developed a web copy questionnaire. Our goal is to understand what is unique about your business and the priorities of your potential clients. This helps us map your customer journey. We want to know how well-informed your customers are about your product or service before they visit your site, and what types of keywords you can think of that they would search to find you.

How to research SEO keywords

For particularly niche businesses, we have developed even more in-depth questionnaire to help web content writers create content specific to your very narrow audience. At this stage, we also do an analysis into the customer state of awareness about your product or service. For example; are your customers problem aware, but not solution aware? If so, we need to spend time explaining how your products solve their problem.

As part of our copywriting services, we use the questionnaires and work further alongside you to create the value proposition for your business. In essence, we identify why and how your customers would say ‘yes’ to your offer, and craft a succinct key message that often appears as a major heading on your home page, so readers are clear on the value of your business from the outset.

Armed with new knowledge about your business, we then utilise SEO software tools to generate target keywords and LSI keywords for you.

We follow proven structure elements that make your site easy to navigate and optimise it for search.

The ideal web copy structure

Headings that name the product in a way your target readers will understand.

Sub-headings briefly describing the benefit of the product to your market.

Summaries providing all essential information about your product. These have to be extremely well-crafted, as often people won’t read beyond summaries! The text needs to address the problem your product solves and why yours the best solution.

Quotes from you showing the human side of your company and the ethos behind your service.

Customer quotes describing how they experienced the benefits of your product – we help collect these testimonials.

Calls-to-action that encourage and provide avenues for readers to take the next step. In order to get more conversions, you need to get more potential customers to carry out a specific decision on your website. Usually, that action revolves around accepting an offer or contacting you.

We discuss our SEO copywriting strategy further here.

SEO copywriting is crucial to making your small business site as visible to your potential customers as possible. Correctly implemented techniques generate a surprising amount of traffic and leads for your website. You’ll be quickly convinced by the results of your new SEO strategy!

If you’d like to discuss SEO copywriting with us further, or find out how our professional copywriters can help you, get in touch with us.

Check out our other tips for small business marketing here.

10 small business marketing ideas for 2019

10 small business marketing ideas for 2019

A New Year brings new opportunities, but if you are a small business owner, you probably have limited time when it comes to marketing your business. So, it’s vital that you know where to target your efforts to be the most effective. In this article we cover the 10 best small business marketing ideas in 2019.

1. Create a marketing plan for your business

If you think of small business marketing as the cake, your marketing plan is the recipe. And as any chef knows, without a recipe to guide you, your cake could end up a bit soggy in the middle! A marketing plan should include setting your goals for the year, and this should be targeted to focus your promotions. Ask yourself, which services do you want to promote? Which marketing channels do you want to try? If you are feeling stuck at setting your strategy or coming up with ideas, invest in professional help. Maybe all you’ll need is a video or marketing agency (even a copywriter). Make sure you start the year with a solid plan for the direction you want to take your business marketing.

 2. Make sure your business cards, brochures, and other promotional products are up to date

If your logo is dated, and your point-of-sale material looks like it could do with some help, it’s time for a revamp. Most businesses need to look at their marketing materials every 3 to 5 years, as brochures and logos can become dated very quickly. Always hire professionals for this – your son, niece, or well-intentioned neighbour is not the designer you want (unless they’re certified professionals with raving reviews on their portfolios). Remember your business card or brochure is designed to reflect people of your services. If you want your business brand to stand out and look professional, it’s imperative that your marketing collateral does the same.

3. Refresh your website

Keeping your website fresh is critical if you want to be found in 2019. Does your website look like a myspace site? Is it mobile responsive? Or, even worse, do you not even have a website? Unless you are so hipster it hurts, it’s time to hit refresh! As with your marketing collateral, your website is an investment, and you should only hire a pro. The website needs to be fully functional on all devices and user-friendly. Aim for a website that’s easily navigated, quick to load, and quick to inform your audience about your business. If you have too much content, or your site is slow to load and hard for users to navigate, it’s likely your customers will drop off your site and switch to the competition.

4. Be active on social media

If you’re marketing your small business on a smaller budget, social media is your best friend. While it’s no longer a free advertising tool, it’s still a lot cheaper than most other options. Its ability to convey targeted messages in real-time to a targeted audience also means way more bang for your buck. But user beware: due to social media’s popularity and constantly evolving nature, keeping informed and avoiding out-dated advice or “myths” can be a bit of a pickle. It’s highly recommended that you budget for professional help with your social media – even just to get you started.

5. Give free samples or trial periods of your product

Could you talk about your product on a Facebook Live stream or a webinar, or live stream your workplace activities? Or could you organise a Meetup event, perhaps hosted at your workplace, to talk about what you do? These are inexpensive activities that can create buzz around your brand, get people of your community together, and get the ball rolling about you and what you do at your small business. 

6. Look into video marketing

Video marketing is what’s trending right now. People are reading less and prefer to consume content in video format. Fortunately, good video marketing can be done on a budget. You can even use your phone (assuming it’s somewhat modern) propped up on a coffee-cup tripod to start practicing your video skills. If you’re too shy to appear in the video, you can use software like Loom to do a voiceover presentation, or to make animated explainer videos. Then upload the result to your preferred social media channel (don’t forget YouTube) with a title and good description. Simple as that!

7. Get your small business on directories and social services such as Google My Business, Groupon, Yellow, and Yelp

Thousands of people use these platforms to rate, ask questions, and discover new businesses every day. Registering for an account is free (you just need a Gmail address to access the Google My Business platform). These platforms make it easy to share information about your business and promote products and services through pictures and video.

8. Up your content marketing game

Content marketing is still strong in 2019. Love to write? Update your small business’ blog at least twice a month with useful information for your customers or think pieces about topics relevant to your industry. You could even write your own e-book about your personal business experiences, your industry, or your market niche. If you’re more of a talker (and don’t sound like Fran Drescher), you could launch your own podcast. A nifty app called Anchor is a brilliant tool for DIY podcasting.

9. Invest in SEO

Long term, being in first position on Google is going to bring you your ideal clients. But as a small business, how do you get there? Being on the first page of Google can be near impossible – especially if you are operating in a highly competitive market. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The easiest strategy is to try to rank for unique services (which will have less competition) or what is called “Long Tail Key Words”. This is definitely an area where you need to call in the experts. Ideally, pick a marketing agency that can see the big picture and help you achieve great search results in the long term, while maximising any marketing activities in the short term for more instant wins.

10. Do some good

Do something really out of the box and good for your community, like volunteering or sponsoring a local event. Organise free workshops or classes related to your craft to the kids from local schools and universities. Giving is not only good in itself, but is good for the image of your business, and also gives you some extra promotion. Alternatively, go without your company name and just ride off the positive vibes, man…

Start 2019 with your right foot forward and market your small business in the right way. You’ll improve not only your cash flow but also your community. If you need help, give the marketing team at Creative Content a call to see how you can kickstart your marketing this year.

5 Creative Content Marketing Myths

creative content marketing | Creative Content NZ

In the modern marketing world, content is king. And with so many online resources, you may feel you’ve got a pretty good grasp on how to create it and use it well.

But as this marketing method’s relevance and popularity increases, so too does the number of myths and false expectations around it. Before these content creation traps trip you up, let us dispel some of the most common falsities.

Myth #1: Creative content should be highly produced

The reality: You don’t need to create a fantastic content marketing strategy with a high production value. Instead you should be focused on how to provide value to your audience.

Try to solve a problem that is relevant to your audience, answer a common question, or share an interesting new finding. You can do this easily in a 20-second video, a 400-word blog post, or even a simple post on social media. The point of difference in content marketing is how timely and “human” it is – over-production and big budgets won’t necessarily achieve that.

Myth #2: Produce content every day, because more content means more social reach

The reality: You should focus on providing better-quality content that helps your audience. If you’re focusing only on quantity, the quality is going to suffer.

Bombarding your audience with information every single day will make them ignore you. And the quality of your content and its social impact will diminish. Only better content delivers better reach.

Myth #3: No one is doing creative content marketing like we are, so we’re doing it right

The reality: Don’t assume just because you’re taking a different approach to creative content marketing it will be effective.

There’s a good chance someone in your industry is already making content to grab the attention of your audience. It might be video, podcasts, email, blogs, or some other type of creative content.

Just because you’re doing it differently, doesn’t mean you’re killing it!

It’s essential you understand how your audience wants to receive and digest information. This is just as important as knowing what kind of information they’re looking for.

Myth #4: Our creative content marketing is going to drive serious cashflow

The reality: The right kind of marketing can undoubtedly make you stand out. In a perfect world, you would see new customers roll in every time you publish new content.

However, that is rare even for major brands. Most of the content you create won’t directly increase your sales. And, if it does, it certainly won’t happen immediately.

Creative content marketing is a slow burner. It’s great way to nurture relationships and build a loyal audience who may eventually tumble to the bottom of your sales funnel and make a purchase. But first you have to win them over with your charming brand personality and your titillating creative content. So, don’t expect instant results.

Myth #5: We’ll only post long content because that drives the best results

The reality: It’s entirely possible to tell a story and make an emotional connection in content that is fast to consume. We can see this in the initial smashing success of platforms like Vine and Snapchat. You don’t necessarily need a lengthy blog post or a 10-minute video every day to succeed.

Of course, if you’re writing for a business-to-business audience you may want to put focus into longer posts to help build trust. But this is not essential, especially if your brand is focused on consumers. People don’t want to read anymore – they prefer videos and images. So, why not give them that?

Creating successful content can require a bit of trial-and-error. But from our experience, once you understand these basics it becomes a lot easier – and a lot more beneficial. Find a mix that works best for your audience and strive to deliver the value they’re looking for. And if you need more help developing a winning creative content marketing strategy adapted to your audience and your brand personality, contact us!

10 of the most useful apps for creating digital content

10 apps to help create digital content

If you run a business, it’s likely you have to do some of your own marketing. This might be as simple as creating Facebook content or as in-depth as building a website. If you’re creating content without the help of a professional graphic designer, it can be a challenge to make your content look consistent and professional. Whatever your marketing needs, this list of 10 of our favourite digital marketing apps and Chrome extensions is for you. These are the apps that will ensure efficiency with everything from design to organising to communication. And even better, they don’t cost a thing.

Page Ruler

This Chrome extension is simple yet surprisingly handy. Page Ruler lets you measure pixel dimensions and positioning of any webpage element. This is useful for creating or recreating the look you want and keeping consistency throughout design elements. The ruler is a great tool for producing much tidier work, especially when you’re building your website.

Snip

Snip is a faster, easier way of taking screenshots – just click the snips and away you go.

The app has a feature that allows you to write or draw on the ‘snip’, which comes in handy for things like communicating edits to someone digitally, or showing your mum who lives 700 kilometres away where the ‘save’ button is.

Snip saves your screenshot image to your chosen file as a PNG, so you can insert it into documents, emails, social media, anywhere else that lets you add a picture. This app is a Windows feature, but if you are running on Mac there’s a similar version available in the App store.

Nimbus

Like Snip, Nimbus is used to take screenshots, but more specifically for web. The big benefit is that Nimbus allows you to capture shots of entire pages in one click. Similar to Snip, you can save the image as is or write and draw on it within the app. You’ll then have it saved as a PNG for later use, which is a major asset if you need to clearly explain specifics to web developers, designers, or clients.

Eye Dropper

Ever wanted to know what shade of blue the Google ‘G’ is? Or maybe you need the exact colour used on your webpage, but can’t get hold of your designer. Eye Dropper is a Chrome extension that allows you to pick, view, and copy colours from the web. Simply click the dropper on the colour you’re after and it will save to the app. It then shows you the colour formula in a range of formats so you can match it in any program you need.

WhatFont

Have you ever met a designer who can just look at a font and tell you what it is? Well, this is the more efficient (and less intimidating) app version.

WhatFont temporarily converts your cursor into a font detector that shows the name of a font as you hover over text. If you want to know specifics, simply click and it’ll show you the font family, style, weight, size, line height, and colour. This is super handy if you want to borrow another brand’s aesthetics (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all) or if you’ve simply lost your style guide.

Loom

We’ve talked about Loom before in our Top 10 Apps to Market Your Business, but it’s so good it’s worth another mention. Loom can be used to create quick videos of your desktop as you use it. It’s great for creating walkthrough videos that you can then share or link to. We use it to provide advisory services to clients who can’t meet face-to-face, but it’s also great for communicating clear, concise instructions or for creating social media content.

Lasso – Bookmark Manager

Lasso wrangles selected pages to bookmark, helping you herd them efficiently either into folders or by searchable tags. Each bookmark is saved under a ‘card’ that gives a brief, editable visual and description of the page. The interface of the app is a much more user-friendly way of managing bookmarks, especially if you have so many saved you forget what they all are (or why the heck you saved them in the first place). The dashboard also allows you to invite individuals or ‘teams’ to access chosen bookmarks or folders.

Reshot

Finding great stock images is key to creating good content. But if you have to post a lot of social media content this can get pricey if you’re paying $10 – $15 an image.

Enter Reshot: Reshot is a stock photo site that avoids cliché stock imagery.

Unlike the standard stock image libraries, the photos on Reshot reflect a photographer’s point of view. This means the photos are generally more interesting and higher quality than those on many other free stock photo sites. The site uses a simple license and terms that give you a lot of flexibility for using the photos.

Reshot photos are free, although you can also find photos for sale from Reshot partners. To browse the images or learn more, visit the website.

TinyPNG

If you are uploading images to your website, app, or social platform, you need to compress them to a small file size so they don’t slow down your website. Web app TinyPNG is an online PNG conversion tool that does just that. It makes your PNG image files tiny – or at least tinier then they were. It does this by selectively decreasing the number of colours in the image, which in turn reduces the file size. The visual changes in the image are practically undetectable and it can preserve any transparency (i.e., if it’s a clear-cut logo). TinyPNG can even convert animated PNGs. Converted PNGs can be used on your platforms but will use much less bandwidth, meaning they will load much faster.

Crop Photo

Crop Photo allows you to easily crop pictures without fiddling around with Adobe or other editing programs. Crop Photo features a bunch of templates designed to make cropping images for social media super easy, or you can use custom dimensions for your own projects (i.e., cutting an ex out of an otherwise great photo). You can then choose to save your image to your desktop, Facebook page, or Google Drive account.

So that’s our rundown of the 10 most useful marketing apps and extensions for digital marketing. Whether we are building a new website, creating digital content – or, let’s face it, just geeking out – we use at least one of these apps every day. For more great tools check out our previous blog Top 10 Apps to Market Your Business. And if you’ve got any projects that need a professional touch-reach out to us at Creative Content, we can help you to build your website, create great content and increase your online profile.  Get in touch with us Here.