Here’s 5 Search Engine Optimization Things You Should Be Doing

Image of Freshen up your websites content1. Freshen Your Content: Search engines typically scan your site every 18 days, so make sure you are adding fresh content which makes your site relevant to search engines. If your site content doesn’t change often, your site needs a blog because search spiders like fresh text. Blog at least once a week with good, fresh content to feed those SEO crawlers. The goal of a search engine is to return the most relevant results to users. What part of your site would benefit most from freshness?

How to link text and pictures to your website2. Linking: Put text links somewhere on your page for the search spiders to follow, and the quickest way to get your site spidered is by getting a link to it through another quality site. One single, good, authoritative link can do a lot more for your site than a dozen poor quality or irrelevant links.

photo of: use special words from search analytics3. Special words: Here’s something you may not have thought of – use the words “best”, “image” or “picture” in your photo ALT descriptions and captions. A lot of searches are for a keyword plus one of those words.

4. Keyword Phrases: Be sure you have your important keyword phrase in your title tag on every page of your site. Use keyword rich captions with your images. If your company is a well known brand use it in the title, if not use other keywords instead.

SEO for phrases and keywords5. Google Webmaster Tools: Features You Should Be Using. Once your site is set up, it’s time to log in and get to know the interface. If you need an introductory tutorial, here’s a good overview.  At its core, Google Webmaster Tools is all about metrics: what’s getting indexed, what’s getting linked, and what’s getting traffic.

5 Reasons to Use Numbers Instead of Writing Them

The best marketing and writing tipsNumerals have been tested to be an advantage in advertising and social media writing, and when used correctly, they may actually attract 10 – 20% more readers than an article that uses only letters. Whether writing for print or social media, it definitely helps to know how to use numbers to your advantage.

Numbers writing in business and marketingOk, ok, all the old rule books say spell out numbers under 10. Use nine instead of 9. But there’s an ah ha! The exception in most writing rule books says use figures (even when the numbers are less than 10), for numbers of technical significance: percentages, pages, sizes, money, measurements, clock time, coordinates, etc.
For example:
See page 6 for the explanation.
Since 2004, turnover has been approximately 9 percent.
Tickets for the 2 p.m. webcast are almost sold out.

5 best reasons to use numbers

Now for My Best 5 Best Reasons to Use Numbers …

1. Numbers attract readers
Psychologically, people are naturally drawn to numerals more than words. They’re visually different from most text, so readers are Marketing writingmuch more likely to take notice of them. This works to your advantage when you want to draw attention to a particular element of your writing, such as a benefit customers will receive (“Buy 2, get 1 free!”). Numbers also represent facts, so they naturally attract people who are searching for concrete information.

2. Facts and statistics create authority: so use numbers
numbers-McDonalds
Cold, hard facts are almost always more effective than generalizations. McDonald’s doesn’t just say “We’ve served lots of people!” They spell it out for you: “Over 10 billion served.” If you can assign a specific number to your claims, your writing will come across as much more authoritative.

3. Shocking info: Numbers read faster
It takes a lot less time to read “525″ than “five-hundred and twenty-five.” Fewer characters means that your writing will take up less space and be quicker to read, which ultimately means that your audience is more likely to read what you have to say. This is especially important for headlines, which are designed to get your reader interested with an extremely limited amount of writing.

4. Let readers know what to expect by numbering your points
writing for business and marketing
When you write a headline using numerals (such as “10 Reasons to Choose Product X”), the audience knows exactly what to expect. Taking away the mystery of your content makes it easier to get the audience interested because they know they’re not going to be stuck reading a 20-page article.

5. Numbered lists are easier to read and write
Not only are numbered bullet points a great way to make it easier for readers to skim your content, they also make it easier to keep track of which bullet point was just read. Also, a numbered list format allows you to split up a large topic into several digestible bites; simply create a basic numbered outline of the various elements you plan to write about and fill in the appropriate fields.

If you have discovered 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 reasons for liking and/or sharing this blog, please do so, thanks!

Creating a Product Installation Video

I’ve gotten many requests from companies asking, “How much information should I include in a product installation video?”  The simple answer is; depends on the type of product. The better answer is; because the visitor is watching your video online, more than likely the customer just wants the big picture of what’s involved in installing your product. If your product requires complex installation procedures, it’s best to use a printed document or a PDF file.

In an installation video, you have the opportunity to also reinforce your product’s quality by stating benefits and value. Keeping it short. I have seen so many installation videos where they show almost every bolt being inserted, or the process in real time. Forget that! People get that once they have seen one bolt go in, the other 10, 15 or 20 go in the same way.

Brand your videos. Create a graphic and music intro and ending that develops brand familiarity. Here’s an example of removing an old boat seat and replacing it with new seats in less than 4 minutes. The total time to shoot and edit was around 4 hours.

I can’t believe she left after only 10 seconds

OMG Fact: The  first 10 sec. of a visit to your website, blog or other social media is critical for a visitor’s decision on whether to stay or leave. Here’s what you need to know …

Why visitors leave quickly: The probability of leaving is very high during the first few seconds because visitors are extremely skeptical, having experienced countless poorly designed web pages in the past. People know pretty quickly when a site is not going to provide what they need – and they leave to avoid wasting more time than absolutely necessary on pages that don’t give them the information they are looking for.

What happens after 10 seconds ? If the Web page survives the first 10-second judgment, visitors will look around a bit. However, they’re still highly likely to leave during the subsequent 20 seconds of their visit. Only after visitors have stayed on a page for about 30 seconds does the drop off rate slow down. Visitors will continue to leave every second, but at a much slower rate than during the first 30 seconds.

What you need to do: If you can convince visitors to stay on your page for half a minute, then there’s a fair chance that they’ll stay much longer — often 2 minutes or more, which is an eternity on the Internet. How do you do that?  To gain several minutes of a visitor’s attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds! Communicate the reward, payoff, or benefit the visitor will receive from spending their valuable time reading your web page. They need to know in 10 seconds or less what are they getting for their time, and if you can provide what they need.

  –> Click here for my short blog about Value-based text.

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Part 2: THE SECRET to WRITING ATTENTION GETTING HEADLINEs

Catch this bright idea … How to write a headline that gets people to start reading your message. 

Marketing headline copywwriting

A great catchy headline can engage visitors of websites, blogs, and other social media – you’ll be turned on and ready to start writing after you read this!

Below are five more ideas on how to write attention getting headlines – fast!

6. What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank].  This type of headline is a big curiosity draw, and it acts as a challenge to the reader to go ahead and see if they are missing something.    For example; What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Great Headlines, or What Everybody Ought to Know About Saving Money on Car Insurance.

7. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem].  People love quick and easy when it comes to solving a nagging problem. For example; Here’s a Quick Way to Write a Headline, or Here’s a Quick Way to Fix a Hole in Your Wall, or Here’s a Quick Way to Get Rid of Carpet Stains.

8. [Do something] like [world-class example].  Gatorade milked this one fully with the “Be Like Mike” campaign featuring Michael Jordan in the early 1990s. For example; Learn to Quarterback Like Tom Brady, or Dress Like Jennifer Lopez, or Invest Like Warren Buffet.

9. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of.  Appeal to vanity, dissatisfaction, or shame. For example; Build a Body You Can Be Proud Of, or Have a Smile You Can Be Proud Of, or Build a Website You Can Be Proud Of.

10. Now You Can Have [something desirable] [great circumstance]  The is the classic “have your cake and eat it too” headline — and who doesn’t like that? For example; Now You Can Quit Your Job and Make Even More Money, or Now You Can Meet Sexy Singles Online Without Spending a Dime, or Now You Can Own a Cool Mac and Still Run Windows.

The purpose of a headline is to draw the reader in so they read the subhead, which intern should compel the reader to read the body copy, then the call to action, etc. Each part of the text has it’s role – more on that in a later blog.

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The Secret of Writing an Attention Getting Headline

How to write an effective headline - easily!
Headline writing method using words like Secret, How, Who, Method, and Get Rid of…

Here is a method that is helping websites to get more hits and traffic. Writing a great catchy headline can pull in visitors of websites, blogs, and other social media, as well as readers of ads and other marketing materials. Headlines are your first impression! So what’s the secret of writing an effective headline? How do you write a headline like a pro? I have 10 ideas that won’t shock you, but they are effective. Here are the first 5, and the next five attention-getting ideas will be in a follow-up blog – so “follow me” to make sure you don’t miss the next 5 headline writing ideas.

5 Ways to Create Attention getting headlines

 

1. The Secret of [blank].  This headline format is used quite a bit, but that’s because it works so well – share perceived insider knowledge and translate it into value for the reader. For example;  The Secret of Writing a Successful Headline, or The Secret of Creating Financial Independence.

2. Little Known Ways to [blank]!  For example: Little Known Ways to Get Blog Readers Attention, or Little Known Ways to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely. You can make it a stronger by adding a number – 5 Little Known Ways to Save on Your Air Conditioning Bill, or 10 Little Known Ways to Grab a Reader’s Attention.

3. Who Else Wants [blank]?  Starting a headline with “Who Else Wants…” is a classic advertising strategy that implies an already existing desire for what you have, whether it is knowledge, products or services. For example; Who Else Wants to Make Money Working from Home, or Who Else Wants my Secrets to Writing a Catchy Headline?

4. Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank].  Simply identify your target audience and the value you can provide them, and then just fill in the blanks. For example;  Here is a Method That is Helping Vacationers to Save Hundreds on Travel Expenses, or Here is a Method That is Helping Marketing Professionals to Get More Leads.

5. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All.  A classic formula that identifies either a painful problem or an unfulfilled desire that the potential customer wants to remedy. For example; Get Rid of Your Credit Card Debt Once and For All, or Get Rid of Joint Pain Once and For All.

Headline writing tips: 5 of 10Those were the first 5 of 10  Secrets of Writing an Attention Getting Headline. The next five will be in a follow-up blog, so please  “Like” if you did so, and  “Follow Me” to make sure you don’t miss the other 5 headline writing tips.

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Create better marketing materials in less time!

How do you make something better in less time? For larger companies and small business, these not so shocking ideas are simple but very effective.

Think Process. Ugh, process stuff? Yes but wait, do you have a simple who-does-what list for developing marketing materials – from conception to final signoff? Where does it start, and how many people are in the review process? It could be as simple as creating a check-off list in an excel spreadsheet.

8BallPut these 8 suggestions in your pocket. Create a form or guide to help someone get started when writing a marketing piece that asks these 8 questions; 1. What is the purpose of the piece?  2. What are your customer’s needs?  3. What are the solutions to the customer’s needs? (Make sure you are communicating value, click here later if you need help on what value is)  4. What is the company’s expertise and value to meet or exceed those needs?  5. Why is your solution different?  6. Is there a compelling story to support the product or service?  7. What is the desired out come for the piece?  8. What is the call to action?  When the person starting the marketing document passes the answers to these questions on to the next stage in the process, it should make things go much smoother.

Who is adding value and who is just a pass-through? What value does each person add by participating in the process? Here’s a simple, yet shocking idea: Create a short list of bullets that helps each person know what value they are required to add to the process, so when they pass it on to the next step, the next person has what they need without backtracking.

BottleneckGet rid of bottlenecks in your process once and for all. Is there a step or two in your process that takes longer than you think it should – based on the value being added and the time it takes to move the piece to the next step? No finger pointing or blame, because everyone is busy, but if there is a bottleneck there could be many reasons for it. It’s typically the process that needs fixing, not the people. Most times it’s either not the right person in a process step, or they are having to add value that people before them left out because the people before them are lazy and just wanted to move it off their desk, or the required input and value each person adds wasn’t properly defined in the process.

Any process could be improved with specific requirements of the value each person adds – but if you are creating value-based marketing materials from start to finish in 2 to 3 weeks, then you probably have a pretty smooth running process.

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