Category Archives: Writing

Web Copy Is Like ‘Show and Tell’ for Your Readers

Web Copy Show And Tell For Readers - Eminent SEO

Content needs to shift almost as fast as lightning, almost. But lightning never strikes in the same place twice.

Web content does, daily. At least that’s what every business owner hopes – to have multiple hits on their web presence from the same user. Content trends indicate that the possibility is more than likely.

The Content Marketing Institute-Marketing Profs study in 2016 showed that most North American business-to-business marketers planned to increase their content generation. How they will develop content strategies going forward will be representative of a difference in today’s web copy mindset. It’s all about the storytelling – and then some.

Web Copy Plays Show and Tell with Your Business and Its Customers

Whereas content was once looked upon as food for thought to fill a blank web screen, content is now deemed more serious than ever. The disdain for “fake news” and Snopes-worthy stories (that are rumors at best) has borne a new kind of web consumer: the truth seeker.

The demand for solid, substantive web content is not only echoed from businesses and consumers alike, but from Google analytics as well. Why?

Effective and Efficient – Either It is or It Isn’t

Google has reset the way it values content. Content optimization is still important, but the quality of content versus quantity of SEO indicators has been brought back into balance.

Consumers aren’t just hungry for great content: They want to be able to bite their teeth into it, leaving them chomping at the bit for more. It’s a business’s dream come true.

Today’s content needs aren’t just about having accessibility to all things information. It’s about time: the value of our time – and not having it wasted.

We want the right information on the first click or swipe. Content needs to possess effectiveness and efficiency. No bait-and-switch copy. No guts-without-the-glory gab. It should be “just the facts, ma’am” with a little entertainment on the side.

Scroll, Stop and Share

According to an article last year in Adweek, more than 82 percent of video views come from mobile devices. More than 65 percent of consumers make purchases online through mobile as well.

When creating web content, most digital marketers struggle to have their desktop content translate well to mobile devices. It’s not an easy task.

Content strategists mull over this dilemma, looking to find alignment between effective messaging and efficient delivery. It’s now all about the scroll, how to get the user to stop and share your story. Results matter. Don’t they?

Content Breeds Opportunity

Web copy, on a company site, can effectively do two things: establish a brand presence and execute sales enablement. Sure, there are other sub-categories within each, but brand presence and sales enablement are the large-scale objectives.

Your web copy strategy should also involve:

  • Prospecting
  • Lead generation
  • Customer retention
  • Nurturing relationships (with customers and affiliate partners)

But before you can go there…

…Your web copy has to start here:

The Audience Says, ‘Are You Talking to Me?’

Ayn Rand Contradiction Quote - Eminent SEOWhether your online audience is a specific niche or broad-based, your web copy must speak their language – literally and figuratively. The story told should be compelling, yes, but it should be laden with texture and color.

With words? Absolutely. Here’s how.

Great copy should:

  • Create a picture
  • Create an experience
  • Evoke viewer emotion
  • Elicit viewer response

In sales, there’s an adage, “You don’t get if you don’t ask.” Use that analogy for web copy. If you don’t ask for a response, you most likely won’t get one.

Use actionable words that entice the user and drive engagement. Where warranted, use the talents of industry experts to help create pertinent content to generate authenticity, which speaks volumes to your business community.

Southern-Fried Chicken Ain’t for Yanks

In marketing and in life, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Once you’ve got a good grasp on who the audience is, remember it with every breath of copy exhaled. It is the crux of web success.

This was evident in an online creative campaign I once worked on for an assisted-living company located in the Southeast. They wanted to appeal to three audiences: those who need in-home care, loved ones of those needing care, and potential health care partners.

In an effort to position this company as an industry resource with empathy for its audience, we created a vlog and blog strategy based on a character named Grace who spoke eloquently with a Southern drawl, of course. Going on about “fixin’ to eat bean pie” may not appeal to a viewer in New York or Arizona, but it didn’t have to. We were targeting the South.

Expectations Are Like Opinions, Everyone Has Them

Now that the importance of audience identification and language, tone and manner has been established, let’s delve into the realm of expectations.

Web copy directly and indirectly sets up the following expectations about your business:

  • Culture
  • Brand
  • Experience
  • Products or services
  • End result

Take a web walk through your site to ensure that the above-listed expectations mirror what your content speaks.

Words Can Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

Copy can be overzealous in approach, dialect and rhythm. But at the end of the consumer web experience, did the copy tell a good story for story’s sake, or did it pitch the truth?

Put a filter on self-serving creativity. It might get you an entry into The Webby Awards, but that doesn’t mean you’ve attracted your viewers, much less represented your product or service honestly.

The No. 1 Question in Web Copywriting

With every piece of content you put out there to support your business, ask yourself (from the reader’s perspective), “Do I care?” The answer should be an unequivocal, “Yes!”

The Best Web Copy Show and Tell Safeguard

To stay a head above your competitors’ web positioning, think hats. Your brand positioning is one hat, and your audience is another hat. With the right web copy, you can show and tell your company’s story in a manner that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand.

And then your two hats effectively become one. Isn’t that the point of your website?

Let Us Create a Better Brand Experience for You

Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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Be Careful Not to Choke on Your Aspirations, Content Writers

Are there any audiences less forgiving than readers on the web? Many content writers ask themselves this question on a regular basis, and their assumptions aren’t far off.

According to data collected by publishing intelligence firm Chartbeat, a majority of users (55%) spend less than 15 seconds on a web page before moving on to the next one. Dang! Talk about the importance of a first impression.

After reading this report and reflecting on how hard it can be to hook and engage online readers,  I was reminded of another audience with even less patience than readers on the web: the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.

After all, who could forget how quickly the iconic Star Wars villain dismisses information he deems inconsequential or subordinates who have lost his confidence. If you equate “bounce rates” to “being strangled to death with the Force” then the parallels are actually pretty hard to ignore.

It’s important to note that much like Imperial officers, content writers are enthusiastic about providing their audience with valuable information. Unfortunately, our eagerness to please and grand designs for our copy sometimes can get in the way of providing the audience with the answers they are actually looking for.

So let’s take a closer look at how a handful of Star Wars characters meet their demise at the hands of Darth Vader and see what their deaths can teach us about the wrong ways to engage with a demanding audience.

Don’t Mislead Your Reader

Capt Raymus Antilles Darth Vader Dialog - Eminent SEOThough technically a member of the Rebel Alliance, Captain Raymus Antilles has the distinction of being that very first person we see being throttled by Lord Vader in the opening minutes of “A New Hope.” He is quite bold in telling Vader that his ship is merely on a harmless “diplomatic mission,” considering the last scene of “Rogue One” features the Sith Lord watching them jettison away from the docks of Vader’s personal flagship. And to be fair, he isn’t lying, from a certain point of view.

However, his word choice certainly isn’t intended to guide his audience to the truth. In this way, Captain Antilles provides a great example of what happens when you underestimate the intelligence of your audience.

As a content writer, you may sometimes feel tempted to quote data or a report that doesn’t entirely support your argument. You may be in a rush to meet a deadline or feeling frustrated with the research process, and settle on quoting evidence that, at best, has some tangential relevance to the point you are making in your copy. This is the way of the Dark Side.

Taking this approach assumes that your reader not only knows less than you about your subject, but also lacks the presence of mind to check your references. If you’re found out, your credibility with your audience is shot for good and your reputation as a writer is put into jeopardy.

While this outcome may be less dramatic than your trachea being crushed by Darth Vader’s prosthetic metal hand, the consequences of misleading your audience are very real.

Don’t Get Personal or Political

Admiral Conan Motti Darth Vader Dialog - Eminent SEOAdmiral Conan Motti gets choked about 30 minutes into “A New Hope” during a debate among Imperial officers aboard the Death Star about how to deal with those dastardly rebels. Ignore the fact that Admiral Motti’s extreme skepticism of the Force makes absolutely no sense given that the Jedi Council was the galaxy’s most influential nonprofit just 20 years prior. Instead, focus on his obvious misstep in anticipating the experience of his audience.

Death Star Other Planet - Eminent SEOAdmiral Motti might have been able to persuade Vader to his side if he had stuck to verifiable claims about the military and strategic value of the Death Star. Instead, he allowed his own personal distaste for Vader’s religious background to color his rhetoric.

As copywriters, we should always be aware of how our personal biases can influence how we write and what we write about.

First and foremost, we must remember that we are representatives of our clients. Part of our responsibility is to make sure the client’s voice and perspective trump our own when producing copy for their website or a digital asset.

We must also acknowledge the potential for our personal biases to color our writing, and that our readers are capable of seeing through our mistakes. After all, an easy way to lose your audience is to make them feel like your copy is antagonistic toward something they hold dear. If that audience includes an evil space wizard, you might lose your audience and get choked to death.

Don’t Expect a Fair Shake

Admiral Kendal Ozzel Darth Vader Dialog - Eminent SEOIf you’ve been writing for the web for any period of time, you’re well aware of the importance of the opening line. Hooking readers is key to keeping them on the page. At the same time, a carefully curated opening line can do wonders to disarm a personal bias that might prevent a reader from fully engaging with the rest of your page.

Admiral Kendal Ozzel demonstrates life-threatening ignorance of these principles in his abrupt conversation with Lord Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Remember that shortly before Vader summons Admiral Ozzel onto video chat, the Sith Lord had been stewing in his personal chambers over the officer’s tactical blunders during the siege of Hoth.

It seems pretty clear that Vader is Facetiming the admiral specifically to choke him to death with the Force and promote his nearby subordinate. If Ozzel had any chance of avoiding his grisly fate, it would have to be with his opening line.

Unfortunately, Ozzel did not anticipate that his audience was entering the conversation under the influence of a powerful negative bias. He led with a bland, predictable opening that probably encouraged Vader to snuff him out that much faster. More importantly, he lacked sufficient familiarity with his audience to anticipate these negative feelings and subvert Vader’s expectations.

We as content writers must learn from Ozzel’s errors if we have any hope of improving bounce rates and user engagement on our pages. The opening line matters.

Don’t Fail to Deliver

Director Orson Krennic Darth Vader Dialog Rogue One - Eminent SEOOrganization and delivery are key to producing high-quality content. These qualities are equally critical when it comes to designing and manufacturing an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Director Orson Krennic learns this lesson the hard way during “Rogue One” after reoccurring spells of incompetence lead him to a potentially deadly encounter with the Sith Lord.

Leah Max Vader Spaceships - Eminent SEOAs content writers, we can draw out a few useful nuggets of information by examining Krennic’s near-death-by-Force experience with Vader.

First and foremost, it is clear from Vader’s tone that Krennic had under-delivered in the past with regard to the development of the Death Star. As a result, the trust of his audience (Darth Vader and, more importantly, Emperor Palpatine) had already began to erode.

Content writers can likewise compromise the goodwill of their audience by promising one thing in titles and headers then failing to follow through in the copy.

Second, Krennic’s first reaction when confronted with feedback from his audience was to deny wrongdoing and deflect blame. This course of action results in him being strangled by a mystical energy field that controls his destiny.

Similarly, content writers have a choice when they fail to live up to the standards of their audience. They can either run from blame or take responsibility and commit to improvement.

(Don’t remember Darth Vader’s affinity for choking insubordinate members of the Empire – both by hand and by Force? Watch a “highlight reel” here.)

Trust DARTH

We’ve discussed in detail all the wrong ways to approach your audience as a content writer. But what can we take away as far as positive examples? Unfortunately, the Galactic Empire is such a dysfunctional workplace that it’s extremely difficult to find positive examples within the organization of successful, consistent communication.

Instead, I’ve devised a simple mnemonic device to help fellow content writers remember the lessons we’ve learned from the Empire’s finest:

DARTH Standard For Web Copy - Eminent SEOBy following the DARTH Standard, content writers can feel confident that their copy will meet the needs and expectations of their audience. Writers will have to continue to adapt their tone and style to each client, but approaching this challenge with the right mindset will make it much easier to engage your audience before they make the jump back into hyperspace.

Got some of your own tips for managing your audience’s demanding expectations? Reach out with the Force and leave a comment below!

Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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Writer By Day, Writer By Night: 6 Tips for Balancing Digital Marketing and Creative Writing

Tips For Balancing Digital Marketing And Creative Writing - Eminent SEO

During my undergraduate years at the University of Arizona, my writing professors constantly warned me and my classmates about the risk of writing as a day job.

They cautioned us against living a double life as a writer. They told us to stay wary of burnout and losing our way as artists, suggesting that this was a very real possibility if we planned to make our living on SEO and marketing content.

I was an insufferable suck-up in class, so I nodded vigorously in response to these ominous predictions. Internally, however, my gut response to these warnings was akin to the infamous shrug emoji.

I was even less interested in hearing this advice during graduate school, when I was living the double life in full swing. It was hard to nod as vigorously as I did during my undergraduate days: I was already balancing a full-time job producing marketing content during the day with attending class and drafting my memoir thesis in the evening.

Today, as a full-time marketing copywriter and content strategist, I am still tasked with finding the right balance between my life as a marketing content professional and my goals as a creative academic. Is it easy? Certainly not! Is it impossible? My answer is an equally vigorous: No way!

That being said, I can now see that the bleak scenarios described by my writing professors actually helped to shape the very strategies I now use to stay sane and productive. The following tips and strategies are meant to help those content writers who struggle to balance their daily copywriting duties with their passion projects.

1. Use Your Downtime

A common mistake that writers make when balancing a double life is trying to separate creative and content writing into separate mental silos. Anyone who attempts these mental gymnastics for long will find that the effort is worthy of Sisyphus.

That’s because we as writers only have so much control over the creative process. Ideas will come and go with no regard for your convenience. As a result, it’s important to make use of downtime at the office effectively when your creative brain flips on and starts generating good ideas.

Consider keeping a notebook handy during your work day. If you have an idea, jot it down quickly before it leaves your mind and then get back to work. Likewise, make use of your breaks and lunch time to review your notebook of drafts, edit a paragraph or simply brainstorm about your next creative project.

Every bit of creative writing you can sneak into your day goes a long way toward your achieving your goals, whether they revolve around publishing or expanding your audience as a blogger. You might even enjoy your work hours a bit more when you allow your creative brain to churn out creative thoughts throughout the day.

2. Flex Your Skills

As a writer, it’s very easy to see the SEO- and link-focused nature of website marketing content as a restraint on your creative process. I felt this way for years. By the time I was in graduate school, however, my horizons had expanded and I’d come to appreciate the idea of creative restraints.

Consider forms in poetry. The Elizabethan sonnet, with its strict rules concerning meter and rhyme, is a great example. Forms do constrain the writer’s choices but also encourages them to think outside of their own tried and true artistic strategies.

What if you thought about SEO keyword and header requirements the same way you might think about a writing prompt or a formal assignment? Imposing limitations on the creative process not only produces results in your own writing, but can also help encourage you to exceed expectations at the office by producing some truly sublime marketing content.

You also present yourself as a prime candidate for promotion. Take it from my experience: A little boost to your paycheck will go a long way toward making you feel more comfortable about your double life as a writer.

3. Leverage Your Research

The longer you’ve been a writer, the more likely you are to take your inspiration from unlikely sources. Openness to the unexpected muse is a critical skill for those balancing a content marketing job with craft development in their free time.

In order to generate a steady stream of high-level marketing content for the web, one must become a very effective researcher. Most writers have experience doing research from their academic days, but deadlines and large workloads force content producers to become even more efficient at scouring the web for information.

If you find yourself short on ideas when you sit down to write at home, try expanding your research process at the office. As you scan the web for data and sources, make sure to scan your results for interesting, newsworthy or inspiring stories. Bookmark these links, then browse them in greater detail after your work day has ended. Fitting in a bit of creative research into your daily workflow will also take pressure off of yourself to put in that time when you get home.

4. Find Your Fortress


Batman has his Bat Cave. Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. Just as a superhero needs a secluded headquarters to retreat to, a writer needs a place to think, reflect and appreciate the quiet.

Considering how much time you’ll spend writing for work, it’s more important than ever to stay productive during your free time. Otherwise, you risk falling into the uninspired rut my writing professors warned about. With this in mind, find a place where you can disconnect from the world, including the work assignments waiting on your desk for the next morning.

After moving back home to Phoenix, Arizona, I selected my old local library as my personal bastion of productivity. Free access to high-speed WiFi, limited noise pollution and a very low chance of bumping into anybody I knew from high school made my local branch an ideal spot to spend a few hours each day reading and writing.

5. Obey Your Schedule

Another piece of advice I heard constantly from my writing professors, especially at the graduate level, was the importance of having a schedule as a writer. No pithy rejoinders here. They were absolutely correct.

This maxim goes double for writers that balance a double life. The importance of meeting deadlines at work is a given for most, but few commit the same focus to the writing they do for themselves. Unfortunately, those who fail to work on their craft consistently are at the greatest risk for letting their work writing consume their lives.

I’m sorry to say that there aren’t any easy strategies for becoming a disciplined writer. It’s something we all have to work on every day. Thankfully, applying some of the other strategies I mentioned above can make this challenge a bit less daunting.

Start by assigning yourself some deadlines. Identify a few hours each day that can be dedicated to writing, whether they be early in the morning or after you get home from work. Do everything in your power to obey your schedule.

You probably won’t get it right all at once, but that’s OK. Just setting a schedule and paying closer attention to how you choose to spend your time (when you should be writing) are major steps in the right direction.

6. Honor Your Process


It’s easy to get discouraged as a writer. After all, we can be pretty sensitive. That’s why it’s important for you to make a habit of carrying your projects to completion. Denying yourself the internal encouragement that comes with finishing a poem or prose piece just makes it harder to stay motivated as a creative writer.

On the other hand, beating yourself up over how long it’s taken to finish a novel in your spare time is not an effective strategy. Your creative process is unpredictable, and it’s not typical for your free time and your feelings of inspiration to line up consistently. This is especially true when you are tasked with a full workload of blog posts, newsletters, email campaigns and content pages during the day.

Just as the style and voice of your work are unique, so too are the strategies you’ll employ to balance a double life as a marketing content professional and a creative writer. As long as you are able to secure a quiet place to work, set a reasonable schedule and stay disciplined, the specifics are up to you.

In short, the double life is one worth living. Just figure out what works for you, stick to it and keep your pen on the pad.

Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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Why Well-Written Social Media Copy Makes a Difference

Why Well-Written Social Media Copy Makes Difference - Eminent SEO

To succeed in the social media sphere, businesses must populate their various accounts with consistently strong writing (in addition to strong imagery). It might surprise you to learn, however, that not all social media managers deem themselves writers.

The good news is that writing social media copy isn’t complex. Nevertheless, learning how to write for social media is worth it. Here are some tips on how to write better content for social media – and why it matters.

Why Writing Well Matters

Writing For Facebook & LinkedIn - Eminent SEOEach social media post communicates a business’ brand to its clients. A well-written post paints a positive and polished image of a business, communicating to users that this business has something valuable to say and/or offer.

Meanwhile, a social post that is unfocused or disorganized reflects poorly on a business, hurting any rapport the company had built with existing or potential customers. Poorly written content doesn’t do a business justice and can undermine an organization’s success. Therefore, well-written social media posts are important.

Conciseness

A successful social media writer is informative yet concise. A large amount of value has to be communicated in as few words as possible. A strong social media post compels the reader’s attention with carefully calculated word choice. In short, writing well for the internet involves learning the right style, which we’ll get to later.

Consistency

Social media writing must be consistent. A Facebook page must share the same message a connected Twitter page does. Businesses should give an even level of attention to all social media accounts (unless one platform is clearly fostering better results). If a business is raving about a 50 percent off deal on all products on Twitter but crickets are chirping on its Facebook page, then there is inconsistent communication. The only exception is if the company is pushing a platform-specific offer.

Tailoring the Message to the Platform

On the other hand, consistency in content does not mean universal writing styles for all social media websites. A Facebook post has a 63,206-character limit while Twitter allows no more than 140. A LinkedIn post is intended to be formal and informative, while a tweet’s purpose is to be eye-catching and clever.

The same style and word choice of writing will not work for all social networks, but there must be common ground regarding communicated content over all platforms. This makes mastering the art of social media copywriting all the more challenging.

How Long Can the Social Media Copy Be?

This is the wrong question. Instead of asking how long a social media post can be, you should ask how long the post should be. A tweet can be up to 140 characters, but it shouldn’t be your business’s standard to run every tweet right up until the limit.

Finding the ideal character count for a specific Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn post may sound impossible, but thankfully, researchers have done the heavy lifting to produce ideal word count figures. Here are the findings:

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Character Post Limits - Eminent SEO

  • Twitter: Post limit: 140 characters. Ideal post length: 71–100 characters. Keep in mind that including any link removes 24 characters. Also, many social media experts recommend using 1–2 hashtags per tweet.
  • Facebook: Post limit: 63,206 characters. Ideal post length: 40 characters. The 60,000+ character limit includes the content that stays hidden unless the user clicks “Read More.” In reality, the character limit before the “Read More” link shows up is only 400.
  • LinkedIn: Post limit: 600 characters. Ideal post length: 25 words. As mentioned earlier, it’s recommended to keep your LinkedIn copy more straightforward and professional than on other platforms.

How Should Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Posts Be Written?

Each social media network is unique. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn posts have different end goals and different audiences they attempt to reach, and keywords can be specially utilized for each. Therefore, your social media copy should be tailored to fit these expectations.

Here is how the different social media networks operate, and how you can make the best use of keywords on each.

Writing for Twitter

Twitter is essentially a news platform camouflaged as social networking. There is a heavy emphasis on retweeting and content circulation. Twitter is the epitome of something “going viral.” A business that intends to share blog posts or promote website content should find Twitter to be a valuable tool.

As a rule of thumb, resharing article headlines as Twitter post copy should be used in moderation. It is best to tailor the social copy to the content an article is conveying. This entails giving a synopsis of the story or a unique insight, rather than a regurgitation of the article’s headline. In general, try to write complete sentences and clear thoughts on Twitter.

Using Twitter Hashtags and Emoji

Getting Your Hashtag On - Eminent SEO

It is a well-known rule to include hashtags at the end of a post. This will ensure they receive extra attention than they would otherwise. A healthy hashtag limit is 2–3 per post, so do not overuse them. Focus on using important keywords as your hashtags. With a high enough volume of sharing, the keywords can become successful.

In the same way hashtags should not be overused, neither should emoji. However, these icons can be beneficial addition to tweet copy when used economically because they add character to the content.

Including URLs

URLs are helpful to add to tweets. Adding them about 25 percent of the way into the tweet is better than including it at the tail end, according to research. This requires formulating a short introduction, embedding the URL, and then adding a longer explanation.

Writing for Facebook

Laptop Writing For Social Media - Eminent SEOFacebook distributes the most website referral traffic. The audience’s expectation of reading a   Facebook post is for both news and entertainment. Going forward, Facebook will continue to place a greater emphasis on video content.

Keywords are difficult to track through Facebook, but not impossible. You can use keywords in your Facebook status updates, and then click the “See All” option near “Insights.” This should help you quantify the number of users your keywords are reaching, and how viral these terms are.

Contrary to popular opinion, Facebook posts should be short: 40 characters short, believe it or not. Facebook also lowers promotion-heavy posts in its feed. This means posts that include phrases such as, “Act Now!” or, “Purchase Now!” should be avoided because Facebook’s algorithm will flag it. The tone of a Facebook blurb for a blog post or article should be concise, witty and conversational.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-centric site, so a company’s content needs to appeal to this mindset. LinkedIn is the site of choice for professional content and business article sharing. As a side note, LinkedIn created LinkedIn Pulse in 2015, which is a content publishing and distribution feature.

LinkedIn writing is clear, concise and respectful. The most important rule for LinkedIn writing is remembering that a professional audience is reading the post. Avoid confusing language, get straight to the point and maintain a professional voice.

For keywords, the most important places to use them are in your location, your professional headline (120 available characters), your personalized URL, your summary of experience, and your overall profile summary. Use these spaces to advertise yourself and your business for best results.

Social Media Copy Can Make or Break Your Business

Stellar social media copy should be a weapon in every business’ arsenal. The written word powers social media (although images and video help, too). Guiding this power effectively through deft writing skills and audience reconnaissance leads to success in the social media realm.

Eminent SEO can help give your business’s social media efforts a boost – either through consulting or even taking control of your many social accounts, ensuring that each receives plenty of enticing, head-turning content every month. Click to learn more about our Social Media Marketing Services, or simply call 800.871.4130 today.

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Words Will Sometimes Hurt You: How to Use the Right Words on Your Website to Drive Conversions

Use The Right Words Engagement And Conversions - Eminent SEO

“It’s not what you said. It’s how you said it…”

We’ve all played the role of victim or accuser, whether in a relationship with a significant other, a parent, sibling or even those with whom we work. Miscommunication is at the root of most conflict.

Therefore, effective communication, while subtle, can pay huge dividends – in relationships and business alike. But don’t just take our word for it: Social psychologists and copywriting experts have done the research and strongly agree.

One Word Can Make or Break You

Did you know that a single word can mean the difference between someone buying in or opting out of your message? Social psychologist Ellen Langer once conducted a study that tested the power of a single word. In her experiment, she asked respondents if she could cut in line at a Xerox machine, varying her phrasing slightly in three separate trials to test the effect of her wording.

And what were the results?

  • When Langer phrased her request as, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine,” she found that 60 percent of respondents agreed to let her cut in line.
  • When the request was rephrased as, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush,” she noticed that 94 percent of respondents acquiesced.
  • When the request was rephrased to, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies,” the number changed to 93 percent.

It’s interesting to note the differences between the first and the latter two of Langer’s experiments. As strange as the last question sounds, the real lesson of note is in the barely noticeable drop in positive responses.

What Does This Mean for Me and My Business?

Simply put, if you want people to take action, you need to give them a reason. In fact, the presence of the reason is more important that the reason itself.

People just need a why. If you think about it, it makes sense: Your why is your value proposition, or your mission statement. Which of these requests sounds more enticing to you: “Click here!” or “Click here to find out how to save on your next vacation”?

Clicking on a link, subscribing to an email list, opening an email, and clicking on a new product are just a few examples in a long list of small “sales” that ultimately lead to the final sale, and revenue for your business. And those sales can come oftentimes down to a single word.

Turning Clicks to Cash

Word Choice Definition - Eminent SEOAs you can see, getting new customers to buy into your brand or product is tricky business. There’s a reason why companies and universities spend millions of dollars annually to study what makes you say yes or no.

When it comes to conversion rate, especially, wording is everything. Fortunately, companies like Ogilvy & Mather have done the dirty work for us, compiling lists of the most persuasive and influential words to use to increase conversion rates.

It should come as no surprise that words like you, free, because, instantly and new are at the top of the list for most persuasive words in the English language. Here are some examples of email subjects using those words to generate high open rates:

  • “Thank you, Chris!”
  • “Sneak peek of our new video”
  • “Update your profile instantly”

Of course, email opens, while important, are not the only type of conversion. David Ogilvy, the marketing mastermind behind Ogilvy & Mather, went a step further and published a list in 1963 of the most influential words in his industry. Some examples are:

  • Suddenly
  • Now
  • Announcing
  • Introducing
  • Amazing
  • Sensational
  • Remarkable
  • Revolutionary
  • Startling
  •  Miracle
  •  Magic
  •  Quick
  •  Easy
  •  Hurry
  •  Instantly

If you look carefully at these words, you should notice some thematic similarities between them. Each of the terms on this list either appeal to a sense of novelty, or to a sense of instant gratification. This is a powerful concept – one taps into the complex wiring of the human brain.

I Want It Now!

Think back to the first time you tried a new flavor of ice cream that you loved, or the first time you made it to a new level on your favorite video game. The rush of satisfaction that you felt was your brain’s production of dopamine, the chemical released in our brains that signifies a reward.

According to Kelsey Libert in her article This is your Brain on Viral Content: What Psychology Says You’ll Click On, the region in the brain that is responsible for motivation and reward-processing (aka consumer decisions) responds better to novelty than to the familiar.

Put simply, “When the brain discovers a novel idea, it releases a reward (dopamine) that inspires us to go searching for more.” In the wrong hands, this is the root of insatiable drug addictions. In the hands of savvy marketing, it is the foundation for an effective conversion.

When you consider that the same rush of dopamine happens when we experience instant gratification, it is no wonder that Ogilvy’s list of influential words all trigger novelty and instant gratification.

Use The Right Words at the Right Time

Thought Corrupts Language George Orwell - Eminent SEOYour work isn’t done once you have chosen powerful words. The best marketing involves the most powerful words in the right situations. For example, Leo Widrich of Buffer and Social Media Today once compiled a list of “189 Phrases That Influence, Persuade, and Convert.” Widrich told us that in order to encourage community, use phrases such as:

  • Join
  • Become a member
  • Come along

Remember that pyramid by Abraham Maslow that you had to memorize in high school Psychology? As it turns out, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs brilliantly explains why marketing that encourages a sense of belonging satisfies a deep psychological need within our brain. Similarly, by using influential phrases that imply scarcity like “only 3 left” or “limited offer,” marketers can appeal to our most basic needs.

Final Word(s)

At the end of the day, it seems that no matter how smart we think we are as consumers, we’re all slaves to our desire. Any self-aware business will partner with a marketing firm that understands these desires and knows how to turn them into sales.

To put it bluntly, we want what we want when we want it. And even if we don’t want it, you can convince us that we want it if you can use the right words at the right time, give us a reason, and associate it with our basic needs.

If you need help with optimizing your website with high-quality, strategic copy that can drive clicks and conversions, try out Eminent SEO. Learn about our Landing Page Optimization Services here, or call 800.871.4130 today.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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What You Need To Do About Google Authorship Right Now

This entry was posted in Content, Writing and tagged , on by .

Have you seen those little pictures of people’s faces just to the left of the search results?  You know, like the one you see below:

That nifty little photo there looks cool when you go through the search engine results, but it does much more than that.

In one case, for example, Copyblogger noted some studies where clicks on results with photos increased by as much as 150%.  In fact, the better the headshot, the more clicks some users saw.

And you also see in that photo where it says, “by Danny Sullivan – in 1,769,122 Google+ circles?”  That’s also a huge credibility booster. You know it’s not just some average Joe writing on a topic for the first time. Instead, it’s someone highly respected, so search users are even more likely to click on that search result.

But There Are Some Questions About Authorship’s Long Term Usefulness…

AJ Kohn notes that the Authorship Project at Google was led by Othar Hansson… who now works on the Android search team. Additionally, Sagar Kamdar was the product manager for Authorship, and he now works on Google’s Project Loon.

And the truth is, even though many important authors already use Google Authorship, there are many who do not.

So, how can Google make Authorship an important factor in its search rankings if many major thought leaders don’t use it?

Even Though Not Everyone Uses It, You Should Use Authorship

There are simply too many benefits to ignore using Google Authorship. Even though it’s not used by everyone, it is used by many reputable people across the web. And, Google’s looking for a way to establish unique identities on the internet in order to help searchers find credible, relevant results.

Besides increasing click-throughs and building your credibility, it also:

  • Makes you easier to spot in the search results (numerous eye tracking studies, including this one from Moz, have shown people look at these images first before headlines)
  • Allows you to claim ownership of your content (that puts a damper on plagiarism)
  • Builds your reputation and authority as a digital writer
  • Distinguishes you from other people on the web who may share your name

There is a Catch…Isn’t There Always?

One catch about authorship is that it’s kind of quirky at times. It’s a comparatively simple thing to do, but it may (or may not) throw some curveballs in your direction. If you think it’s a good idea, read this post to learn how to get it set up (whether you write content on your own site or another).

The Nutshell…

Although there is still debate over the long term value of Google Authorship it is still very much alive and the data speaks for itself. If you want to increase the popularity of your site, the authority of your brand and the number of clicks to your blog, then Google Authorship is a great opportunity.

Happy Writing!

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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How Writers Can Make Their Services More Desirable

Jobs for Writers EminentSEO

Being a writer has never been the easiest job. Even throughout history, when books were the most popular media format, writers often struggled to prove their worth as a writer to publishers, editors, and even their general audiences. Today, as print media is quickly becoming outdated and obsolete, many writers are struggling more than ever to prove that a talented writer truly is needed in the digital age.

Firstly, all hope is not lost for writers. There are actually many opportunities for freelance writers out there; you just have to know where to look, you must have the necessary expertise, and you have to realize that you will not always be writing the pieces of your dreams.

Secondly, with this being the digital age, you must expect to be writing for primarily digital copy on websites, in applications, and other online content locations. This puts-off a lot of aspiring writers, as their hopes of being a writer include being published in leather-bound books, and eye-catching glossy magazines. If you truly wish to pursue a career in writing, get used to the fact that the demand for written content is more likely to be limited to blog posts, copywriting, non-fiction articles, web copy, than that fiction story you have been writing in your spare time.

Thirdly, if you are a writer, have been looking for work, but can’t seem to find anyone that is willing to pay for your writing services, you must take a look at what you are offering and adjust to what paying clients are demanding, and provide that service at the highest of quality. Here are some examples of how to audit what you are offering.

  1. Writing Examples and Showcasing Your Experience – You must really grab your potential employer’s attention and prove to them that you are the perfect writer to provide what he/she is looking for. Be prepared to send a potential employer 5-10 original content writing pieces that are varied in their scope, style, approach, and voice; this will showcase your versatility as a writer, and will also show that many varied businesses have sought out your expertise on past projects.
  2. Explain the Techniques that you Plan To Use in Writing, That Will Increase the Value of the Written Content – Whether the writing is supposed to be selling a product, selling an idea, informing readers of a topic, or offer entertainment, be sure to explain how your writing is going to use techniques or tactics in order to connect with the readers and push them in a desired direction. Basically, how are you – as a writer – going to write the piece to make it effective?
  3. Offer Something More Than Other Writers – “Great, so you are a writer,” a client might say, “why should I pay you to write it when I can just write it myself? You may hear this from many clients while you are searching freelance writing gigs, and it is a very valid question. What can you offer that other writers can’t, and can you offer something more to prove that you can get more done than just the writing? Being a writer is a full time job, but you really need to couple your writing expertise with other desirable skills. A freelance Web Blogger – for example – should have highly-sharpened skills in web platforms such as WordPress and Blogger, and have a basic to intermediate knowledge of HTML, other coding languages, and development. A writer that writes everything and makes sure that the copy makes it live on the web and looking good, is worth more than a writer who just wants to write it, submit it, and just get paid.

 

Writing jobs are out there, they are great gigs, and you certainly can make a living off of 1-off writing projects. But you have to remember that anyone in the world that is literate can call themselves a writer. Ok, so you can write… What else do you have to offer? Build up your arsenal of skills, expertise, and industry-related knowledge, and you will be more attractive to those that are looking to pay for writing.

Zachary Ankeny

After attaining my Associates Degree in Visual communications in 2000, I set off on a long career as a freelance writer and graphic designer. I have designed and headed many marketing campaigns for companies big and small all around the country. It is my belief that graphic design and writing go hand-in-hand, as they are both forms of communication. My non-fiction works have been published in dozens of magazines and publications. I have written for – and worked with – organizations such as: Banner Hospitals, The Jerome Historical Society, The Arizona Historical Society, City of Tempe, City of Bakersfield, Town of Gilbert, Wildhorse Ranch Rescue, Cynic Magazine, e|Fiction Magazine, and many more. Writing and designing is my passion and I look forward to continuing on with it for many years to come.

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