Daily SEO copywriting candy – Gee, honey, I’m SO sorry!

Sorry heartSometimes, all companies can say is….”Oops…sorry”

And then shut up, put their heads down, and start doing some major damage control.

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship can recognize “that moment.”  You say something that’s not meant to be bad. Hell, it may even be meant as a compliment. And then you see your partner’s eyes narrow, their mouth do that “I’m pissed off,” pursed thing,” and steam start flowing out of their ears.


One of the most interesting things about SEO copywriting (and marketing in general) is you have to be very, very careful about how you say what you say. In your head, you may be thinking one thing. However, your target audience is perceiving things a completely different way.  What you think is clever and edgy can actually be…well…insulting. Here’s some examples:

  • Who hasn’t been somehow touched by the financial crisis? During a time when layoffs are incredibly common, G2’s latest ad comes across as “insensitive to the unemployed” according to AdAge. Oops.
  • Let’s face it: It’s funny to read something  that’s been translated so very badly. In the business world, however, translation and localization is a big deal.  Yes, I know that you’ve already written your copy once already (for a U.S.-based audience.) And yes, I know that it’s so much cheaper to run your copy through free Web translation sites. But really, do you want to be one of those companies that win awards for major, major gaffes?  Learn why translation and localization of your SEO copywriting  is incredibly important for international business. As the article says, “even one misunderstanding is too many.” Agreed.
  • There are many “celebrity SEO’s” who are actually more well-known than their company. Although some people argue that this is a good thing, promoting your personal over your business brand can be dicey. I’ve heard of many companies feeling mighty offended that their employees were brand-building on company time – even if that branding ultimately leads to business. As in any good relationship, a smart conversation about boundaries is helpful.  If you’re an employer, define what you need and leverage your team member’s talents – and don’t just get pissed because your employee is a better marketer than your company. And if you’re the employee, stay within those boundaries and show how you’re providing value – and not just promoting yourself. At the end of the day, it’s all about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes – and knowing that saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can cost you some pretty major conversions.

Are you feeling the need to confess your own SEO copywriting relationship sins? Zip me a Tweet on Twitter.

2 replies
  1. Chris says:

    If I’m not mistaken, I think I just read a piece about you in Internet Marketing Heroes. Am I right? I need to get my hands on your book!!! Great article shoutouts, particularly the one by Dick Shaw.

    • Heather says:

      Hi, Chris!

      ::blush:: Yup, that was me. I was quite honored to be interviewed for that book, especially considering the other fantastic and super-smart folks they interviewed. The book is being pulled off the market for now and will be bundled with my new Small Business SEO Copywriting Online Training…but let me know if you want a copy and I’ll make it happen. :)



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