Daily SEO copywriting candy: January 13, 2009

dreamstime_4079162It’s a grey, rainy day in Portland OR – which seems dreadfully unfair since we were promised sun (I know, I know…I live in the Pacific Northwest.  What should I expect?)  The good news is, it’s a great day to catch up on the latest online writing headlines…

Do you have a great SEO copywriting idea or article to share?  Ping me on Twitter (@heatherlloyd) or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Here are today’s hottest SEO copywriting posts:

  • Ah, I love clients who want to build a separate landing page (or micro-site) for everything.  I know, I know – separate landing pages can be useful in some cases. At the same time, if you don’t have a smart content strategy in place, you’re doing nothing but duplicating your efforts.  Really!
  • Thinking about starting a blog? Or do you have a blog now, but your posting schedule isn’t quite as…active…as you’d like?  James Duthie, from Online Marketing Blog, discusses five lessons he learned after his first year of blogging -  and yes, keeping a regular blog schedule was one of them. (Thanks to Jennifer Laycock from Search Engine Guide for highlighting this article.)
  • In the last Lipstick Jungle, Nico (who represents old-school print media) was upset that she wasn’t invited to the Skywalker Ranch  – especially since they did invite the blogger who worked for her. This got me thinking about how “old school” direct marketers perceive SEO…and now, social media. This rant by Sean Williams shows how one 30-year business management veteran feels about some social media advocates and their marketing experience (or lack thereof). Your thoughts…?

Daily SEO copywriting candy: January 12, 2009

CandyIt’s Monday already…and what a Monday it is!  There’s nothing like knowing that I’m traveling later in the week to keep me totally focused. First it’s to Victoria B.C. for a hockey tournament, and then I’m across the pond for a week.  But no worries – I’ll still be blogging (and Tweeting, too – follow me at @heatherlloyd).

Enjoy – here are the latest and greatest SEO copywriting posts.

  • From the “no way” files…Axe deodorant may actually make men seem more attractive?  The “Axe effect” shows how  emotional reasoning (if you buy Axe, women will chase you down the street) influences buying behavior and self esteem.  (Side note: the “Axe effect” was no longer effective when the men opened their mouths….)
  • Do you wince every time you hear “legal has to approve this before we can post it on the site.”  Legal departments – and what they do for their clients – are crucial.  But there are times when a legal cya may seem a little…overboard.  Check out Web Ink Now’s take on when legal gets in the way of PR.
  • I am so glad that I rediscovered this site today.  Sean D’Souza has been talking about the link between brain science and marketing forever…I remember chatting with him back in 2004 or so.  Finding his site again was like finding a favorite book that I hadn’t read in years.  The Psychotactics blog is definitely worth the read – check it out!

That’s it for today. And just think..tomorrow’s Tuesday. Ah, Tuesday. That doesn’t seem so bad…

SEO copywriting training in Austin, February 15-18, 2009

AWAI Web Writing Intensive

Attention online copywriting freelancers: Are you wondering how to transform your part-time online writing career into a profitable, full-time career you’ll love?

Now, there’s a conference just for you – plus, if you sign up now, you’ll receive a $1,000 travel credit.

I’m thrilled to be a part of AWAI’s Web Copywriting Intensive being held February 15-18th in Austin, TX. I’ll be speaking with the best of the best in online writing, including:

  • Nick Usborne (online writing)
  • Matthew Furey (email writing)
  • Andrew Palmer (PPC)

 
I’ve presented at AWAI conferences before and they are always fast-paced, fun and incredibly informative. Plus, I’ve spoken with folks who took what they learned from an AWAI conference and made their money back in just one or two clients. That’s a pretty fast ROI!

Come join me in Austin – it should be a great time (and…shhhh…I’ll be sharing my secrets to successful client relationships and building an awesome SEO copywriting strategy!).  Here’s the link again for more information:

http://www.awaionline.com/hl/webintensive

P.S.  This is also a great conference for in-house SEO copywriters who need online writing and SEO copywriting training.  Contact me if you have any questions.

SEO Copywriting Snapshot: The Origin Solution

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a Web site that’s decidedly different than the rest? One that has personality and pizazz and is actually…well…interesting to read.

This is what came to mind when I was browsing The Origin Solution’s site. The company, based in Malaysia, specializes in Web design. There are certainly some things to tweak from a SEO copywriting perspective, but I’m going to ignore every single one of them for now.

Let’s delve right into the messaging.

Here’s their services page:

origin

If your first reaction is, “Wow, is that gray type on a dark background,” the answer is “sure is.”  Low contrast between the text and the background makes this page hard to read right off the bat.  But I digress from the messaging…

And the messaging  sounds like thousands of other design shops that offer similar services. It’s, unfortunately, boring and benefit-statement free.

Part of this could be because there’s not a clear target audience focus. The beginning paragraph states that the company “provides services to any organization.” But is that really true? For instance, does the company (just by virtue of the client list) work with a lot of attorneys? Or small, home-based businesses? Or ecommerce sites? If you want to connect with your audience, you want to speak to them in their language and mention benefits that are important to them – not you, and not another target audience. A one-size-fits-all copy approach is just like wearing a one-size-fits-all dress. No matter what, it never quite brings out your best qualities…

I would recommend that The Origin Solution (and you, too, if you’re in the same situation) figure out their primary and secondary target markets and brainstorm the benefits. Is the price point lower? Is Origin so specialized in X niche that it can increase client sales by X percent? Those “what’s in it for me” benefits are crucial – and what helps make the sale.

One incredibly powerful way to differentiate is by simply inserting personality in the copy. My two favorite examples are Eva Rosenberg’s Ask TaxMama site (Eva’s a long time Web expert and Enrolled Agent) and Peter Shankman, PR genius and owner of Geek Factory and Help A Reporter.

Review these two sites and tell me that you don’t automatically like these people. And even trust them…even if you don’t have any reason to trust them.

(Side note: Eva is wonderful, and she’s been a dear friend for years. I don’t know Peter (follow him on Twitter @skydiver) but he sounds like a fun guy to grab a coffee with.) THAT’S the power of targeted copywriting. They know their audience, they speak to their audience, and they let their personalities shine.

So, folks at The Origin Solution – I say define your target audience and speak directly to them…not the masses.  Find your voice, whether that be highly corporate, or casual like Eva and Peter.  And clearly discuss what’s in it for your target audience and what makes you different.  Sometimes, giving your site a tone and feel makeover is all you need for better conversions.

Want your site profiled in the next SEO copywriting snapshot.  Ping me on Twitter (@heatherlloyd) or zip me an email, today!

Daily SEO copywriting candy: January 7, 2009

CandyOh yeah, I’m feeling that mid-week “it must be Wednesday” lull.  When’s  the next holiday again…? Seriously, it’s great to be back in the swing of things.  The post-holiday lull ended this morning when my email box was more full at 9am than it has been in two weeks. That’s good. We like that!

Things are busy today, but not so busy that I haven’t been Tweeting the latest and greatest SEO copywriting tidbits. Check them out:

  • If you’re a print or online copywriter, you know the name Bob Bly.  Although he and I have debated about SEO copywriting techniques and when they’re useful, his knowledge around persuasive copywring techniques are second-to-none. His latest post discusses 27 secrets of internet marketing success – what secrets would you add?
  • Staples using a familiar fast-food technique to push office products? In today’s economy “cheap” and “value” are the buzzwords of the day – and promoting $1 sale items is a smart move.  But here’s a big “boo” to Staples copywriting department. If this sale is running NOW, why the heck isn’t it promoted on the home page? Duh.
  • What does the SEO copywriting and online copywriting future hold? Good question. The leading content experts weigh in with their thoughts in this Junta42 post.

That’s it for today – catch you tomorrow (Thursday, yeah!)

Daily SEO copywriting candy: January 6, 2009

Wrapped candy

It’s a rainy, gray day here in Portland, OR.  Actually, it’s the perfect kind of day to hide in a cafe, curl up with Starbucks’ latest tea creation (London Fog latte…yummy!) and check out the hottest SEO copywriting articles.

Want your daily SEO copywriting candy served up hot and fresh?  Check me out on Twitter (follow me at @heatherlloyd.)  You’ll be in the know before anyone else. Really.

OK, here’s today roundup:

  • Have you ever asked your clients just what the heck they’re trying to do (OK, maybe you didn’t ask quite that way…but I bet you were thinking it!)  Branding issues tend to get mixed up, confused and generally mangled…and this has ramifications for a client’s business model. If this sounds like you, the article “The Difference Between Building a Business and Building a Brand” may provide a useful client reference…
  • Pet peeve: Companies who think their “about us” page ain’t no big thing. Check your analytics, people.  Prospects DO read your about us page – and wouldn’t you rather wow them than put them to sleep (or worse, make them worry if you’ll do a good job.) Please, please read “5 Keys to Crafting a Really Good ‘About’ Page. Your prospects will thank you.
  • I remember debating with an ex (who shall remain nameless) who used to work in national politics.  He believed that political candidates would never, ever turn to search, blogging and Twitter to raise awareness. I’m pleased to say that he was wrong.  Check out how Google grabbed most of Obama’s 16 million in 2008.

That’s it for today, folks. Catch you tomorrow with the latest and greatest…

What I did during my holiday vacation

Wow, is it 2009 already?

December was a whirlwind month, both personally and professionally. Although the SEO copywriting blog has been quiet, a lot has been happening behind the scenes. It’s fun and scary and completely exhausting – all rolled up into a sleepless ball o’ fun.  Here’s the latest:

  • We’re launching a SEO copywriting mentor program.  This is a fun opportunity for freelance writers to work with me one-on-one and learn how to build your SEO copywriting brand.  We’re only accepting a few mentor-ees a quarter, so just let me know if you’re interested.
  • The SEO copywriting blog is completely changing…soon.  The new logo is complete (I’ll upload the new graphic in a few days) and the new look is in development.  If all goes well, the new site will be launched before SMX West (you’re going, right? You gotta go!)
  • I learned to love, embrace and (somewhat obsess) over Twitter. If you’re in marketing, a copywriter, or just need some sort of human interaction in your work-from-home world, check it out. Really (and don’t forget to follow me at @heatherlloyd.)
  • Finally, on a personal note – I’m thrilled to announce my engagement to a wonderful man named Ron Blanchette. Although he has asked to not be a subject of my blog posts (which is too bad, ’cause our debates could make some fantastic blog-fodder) he’s awesome enough to deserve an engagement shout-out. By SES San Jose, I’ll be a married woman. Very cool.

Daily SEO copywriting candy: January 5, 2009

Looking for some tasty online copywriting goodness? Here are my fav SEO copywriting articles that I Tweeted out to the world today.  Enjoy!

And hey, if you were following me on Twitter, you would have read these articles by now!  Join the SEO copywriting community here!

  • “Everything you need to know about being persuasive, you learned before you were 20.”  Now, how can you resist a line like that? Check out master copywriter Clayton Makepeace’s article on advanced persuasive copywriting techniques.
  • Need a jump-start on your 2009 content planning (although you should have been thinking about that last year…but whatever…) Check out this resource of cool content creation and brand marketing books from Brain Traffic.
  • Have you discovered Twitter yet (if you’re a freelance SEO copywriter, learning to connect via Twitter is a must!).  I adore Twitter, but it tweaks with my ADD.  I either spend way too long sending Tweets and watching the updates fly – or the thought of Tweeting overwhelms me so badly that I don’t do a damn thing. Enter Nicole Nicolay (@nik_nik) with a Tweet master plan posted in Darren Rowse’s TwiTips blog. Bless you, Nicole and Darren. You’ve made my life a little easier. 🙂