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Copywriting

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Finding the exact words to tell a company’s story isn’t as easy as you may think and the copywriters who manage to do it successfully deserve a round of applause.

Visiting websites with bad copywriting can be cringeworthy as well as just plain boring!  Never-ending stories without a real ending, purpose statements, uninteresting paragraphs on product descriptions and yawning lists of statistics are a few other reasons you will ‘X’ out of a poorly-written website.

Website owners know that people who visit their sites want to see eye catching pages that grab their attention at the first glimpse.  The pages need to have captivating images and language to keep you wanting more from them. Unfortunately, only a handful of websites out there know how to effectively do this. Companies struggling with copywriting can learn a lot from intelligent copywriters. Below are a couple firms who deliver clever copywriting.

EAT 24 is known for their clever blog posts – I think their copy needs to be recognized too, as they are right on track with it.  Their homepage has these funny catchy phrase slider ads:

Do Dinner

Find Out

Funny copy which clearly describes their product.  If you think their smarts stop here, think again. It’s also on their job description tab, email subscription call-to-action and on their meta descriptions too.  They are doing everything in their power to make sure they are reaching all targeted areas.

You us

Eat24

HipChat takes more of an innovative approach to copywriting.  They wanted to provide companies and teams a chat service that was built for them and around them.  It is entertaining but still explains what their software does and how it will help you now and in the long run.  Love the banner on their home page:

hipchat

Those were good right? Now take a look at a few examples of bad copywriting. There are many companies out there that don’t know how to effectively write copy and they should really take notes from the ones above. Or get some training.

I found this site Blinkee and they offer blinking and glow in the dark products.  They have a black background and their wording is all in neon colors (to stand out). They’ve listed images to show their products and every picture is blinking and the images are too small. This site setup is very distracting and painful to look at with way too much going on. They need to focus on the selling aspect of their products more, not the flashing and blinking that their products do. With this setup I just want to hit the “X” button right away and close this site out.

Blinkee

I ran into this site Lingscars and just had to laugh at the whole set up. My eyes are criss crossed from the design they have going on here. Honestly, what were they thinking? They have flashing, blinking and moving images going on all over the page. The background has bright colors and in a paisley design. A crazy gimmick song plays when you first enter the page. Their purpose is to lease a car, but with all the other stuff they have going on, you totally miss the concept you’re too busy looking at the picture of him, odd ads and videos. So much for what they are actually trying to do, which is lease their cars, as I just want to remove this image from my mind!

lingscars

Bottom line, your copy shouldn’t take itself too seriously. To appeal to your customer, your web copy should be interesting while representing your brand in a witty or unique way.

Andrea Sig

 

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When did you last feel fully recharged?

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The only thing you really need to work on is your energy. I don’t just mean your physical energy levels which are affected by factors such as lifestyle and diet. What I’m talking about is your mental and spiritual energy.

What are the thoughts you’re holding about a certain situation? What story are you recounting in your head about yourself or another person? Holding onto negativity turns some of your thoughts into energy vampires. Of course, throughout the course of our lives we have all had experiences that were challenging and painful on a deep emotional level. These would be obvious sources of negative energy. And because your lazy brain is looking for shortcuts, it will bury them in your unconscious so you keep repeating the same old patterns day after day.

Your body, emotion, mind, energy and soul together form the whole person.  It is only by dealing with each part of the whole within the whole that we can have vital and energetic health.  Spirituality is the practice of love-based attitudes, practiced individually.  These attitudes can be shared with others but do not require organized grouping for their practice. Meditation, yoga and walking in natural surroundings are a few ways to get in touch with your spiritual side.

Mental energy starts with fueling our brains. The mind is one of the biggest contributors to energy levels. The benefits of having high levels of mental energy include happiness, confidence, focus, and increased willpower, motivation, and productivity. Motivate that lazy brain of yours! An example would be stimulating your mind with puzzles or mental challenges to avoid becoming bored and lethargic. Try something new like hypnotherapy if you feel stuck in a rut. Start being fully passionate about what you do with your life, whether you feel it right now or not. If you’re struggling to find your passion for what you do, get some coaching from me.

There are some things that can help both your mental and spiritual side at the same time. Remind yourself of the things you are grateful or thankful for in your life.  Surround yourself with AMAZING inspirational people. Take time each day to have fun; having fun stimulates your brain in a way that improves energy levels. Most importantly, be in the present moment, accept the situation you’re in and take the best action you can.

The end of the month is approaching very quickly, and it’s the last chance you’ll have to get in on the deal I’m offering on my coaching program.  It’s the perfect time for you to give yourself and your business the boost you’ve both been waiting for.

 

Andrea Sig

 

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Why Resisting Change Makes It Painful

We each have up to 50,000 thoughts every day and – perhaps more surprisingly – 98% of those are the same thoughts we had yesterday. We tend to resist the thought of change and that’s why it seems so difficult. Whether we fear what it will mean and what impact it will have on our neatly ordered lives, our first thought is usually to RUN away from it, far, far away.

Yet change is a crucial part of achieving your goals. If you lack the ability to adapt and grow, you’re hurting yourself.  When you’re not challenging your brain enough, you can involuntarily cause negative unconscious thoughts. Don’t get me wrong – change can sometimes be painful or at the very least uncomfortable. When I faced bankruptcy and homelessness in my early 30s it certainly wasn’t a state I relished. And of course sometimes circumstances are thrust upon us and we just have to do our best. But with the benefit of hindsight, I’d needed to alter my course for some time and when I lost everything it gave me a chance to rethink my future. We ended up living in a castle, swanning about like millionaires so it can’t have been all bad! The lesson learned here was that eventually when the avoidance of change catches up with you and your comfort zone is no longer comfortable, the pain of NOT changing becomes greater than the pain of changing.

Accepting change can be done easily if you welcome it and take small steps every day. That way the brain can process what is happening at a reasonable rate without being overwhelmed so you’re less likely to back out and run from it. If your goal is to make a huge change, split it up into smaller chunks and then do those one at a time. Small success leads to more success.

You might fear change because of failures you’ve had in the past. That’s understandable but won’t move you forward. It’s time to CHANGE your old story and the way you think about ‘failure’ and turn it into a learning experience. I can help you do that. Know that everything happens for a reason, and one misstep doesn’t mean the dance is over. Like the saying goes “fall down nine times, stand up ten.”

There are times when you don’t even realize you need to change course or you aren’t convinced that change is what’s best. Look at it this way, the world changes constantly and it’s your choice whether or not to embrace and evolve with it. In my experience it’s often best to make the first move!

Changing your ‘story about how things are for you can enlighten your life in unimaginable ways. Doors will open that you may have thought were permanently closed and the experiences you will have and the valuable lessons you will learn will bring tremendous satisfaction to your mind and soul.

If you’re worried about change and need some valuable step-by-step advice on how to ease your vision or business into a new future, I’m here to help. For this month only I’m offering One-on-One Coaching that will show you the way to bring your brand back to life. Places are filling up fast so be quick 🙂

With Love,

Andrea Sig

 

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Upcoming Events

‘Dragon Boat Festival’– Speaking Event on June 28th, 2015

FREE ENTRANCE & CHANCE TO WIN AN iPad. On Sunday, June 28th 2015, our school invites you to our Dragon Boat Festival at Moordown Community Centre 21 Coronation Ave., Bournemouth BH9 1TW from 1.15pm to 5.00pm.

The Dragon Boat Festival, also often known as the Tuen Ng or Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and statutory Holiday originating in China. The festival is best known for its dragon-boat races, especially in the southern provinces where there are many rivers and lakes. Typically, these are boats paddled by a team of up to 20 paddlers with a drummer and steersman. The boats have a carved dragon as the head and tail of the boat.

If you’re going to be in Bournemouth, I invite you to come join in the FUN of the festival along with me! I’m their guest speaker.

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Web Copywriting Tips – Tip #10

Web Copywriting TipsTip 10 – Update Content Regularly

Your website needs regular attention if it is to become your 24-hour salesperson. Updating content at least once a week (preferably 2 or 3 times) will keep your customers and the search engines interested. Google indexes web pages according to how often the content is refreshed.

This doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul – sometimes a few tweaks will do the trick. If you have a blog or news section, add optimised articles as often as you can. If you proactively submit these as press releases too, bloggers and journalists will start to build ‘link juice’ for you… another way to improve your search engine rankings.

Thanks for reading

We hope these tips will help you construct compelling, original website content. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this yourself, or need some help with your online marketing strategy, please contact Purplefeather on 0141 202 0637 or email hello@purplefeather.co.uk

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Web Copywriting Tips – Tip #7

Web Copywriting TipsTip 7 –  Write every page as if it’s a landing page

It’s easy to forget that visitors to your website will not behave as you’d expect them to. People tend to read web pages diagonally, not left to right, and often scan headlines and images before they read your body copy.

Also, when you’re well-represented in search engines like Google, your customer journey is going to change. For example, if you’ve optimised all your pages individually, have invested in online videos and are active on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, you are likely to have quite a presence on search engine results pages. This means that your potential customers will be coming to your site from all directions and will not necessarily land on your homepage first.

Each of your web pages will therefore need to be fairly self-contained. If you can write each page as if it were a landing page, with clearly defined headings, images and calls to action, you won’t go far wrong.

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Top 10 Web Copywriting Tips – Tip #2

Top 10 Web Copywriting TipsHere’s the second in our series of top 10 web copywriting tips:-

2.    Structure your pages

If you’re selling products or services on your website, you should be aiming for 3 or 4 clicks between your homepage and your final sales page. Momentum is key – keep the customer journey as simple as possible, help people move through your site with minimum effort and you’re less likely to lose them along the way.

The homepage needs to showcase the products and/or services you offer and should lead to a secondary information page. This is where you pre-sell your goods. Not everyone uses the internet to buy; some people like to research and compare products and services. If you can make this process easy for them, you’re more likely to inspire their trust and hopefully their custom.

Your homepage should clearly showcase the services or product categories you offer. Think of it as your shop window. Remember, your potential customers probably already know what they’re looking for and if it’s not clear on your homepage that you can help them, they’ll go elsewhere.

Your homepage will link to pre-selling pages for each of your products or services. This is where you start building the trust. Use these pages to give more detailed information, but don’t forget they still need to sell. Bullet points can be good if you’ve got a lot of information to convey.

And finally, there’s the sales or enquiry page. Don’t wimp out at this point – if your customers have got this far, you definitely don’t want to lose them. Keep your copy strong, summarise the benefits of purchasing from you and make sure you mention any after-sales care or money-back guarantees you’re offering. Finally, make sure your Buy Button is prominent and attractive!

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Top 10 Web Copywriting Tips – Tip #1

web copywritingOne of the questions we get asked a lot at Purplefeather is:-

Q: ‘How does writing online copy differ from writing my brochure/flyer/sales letter etc?’

A: Copywriting basics remain the same. Your copy still needs to sell your product or service, presentation is equally important and accurate spelling and grammar will never go out of style.

The main difference between writing online copy and writing for traditional offline media such as brochures, flyers etc is that your online customers are likely to have an idea of what they’re looking for when they search for your site. That puts them in the driving seat. Whereas the main purpose of offline material is to grab a reader’s attention when they’re doing something else, online content has to respond to the needs of someone who may already be quite well-informed about the product or service you’re offering. As it’s much easier to compare web-based information, there’s also more competition online, so every word has to earn its living. Of course there are also the search engines to consider…

Writing effective web content is therefore a careful blend of art and science.

Tip 1. Research your keywords

Search engines such as Google send out ‘spiders’ that ‘crawl’ through web pages looking for relevant content. When I say ‘relevant’ I mean well-structured copy that features keywords. If your keywords match those typed into a search engine by a user, your pages will rank higher on Google and attract more traffic.

So how do you find out which keywords people are using to search for products and/or services like yours?

Shop around. There are several free resources you can use, such as Google’s keyword tool, or you can pay for more specialist tools like Wordtracker.

Once you’ve uncovered your primary keywords, make sure you also research niche keywords that may bring you more quality traffic. For example, your primary keyword for a page might be ‘luxury London hotels’ and your niche keyword would be ‘hotels near Park Lane’.

As a general rule of thumb, each of your pages should be optimised using a primary and secondary (niche) keyword within the body copy. Don’t forget to include keywords in:-

a)            Metadata e.g. title tags, descriptive tags, alt tags

b)            Contextual links (links within your text that take you to another page on your site)

c)            Headings

The Top 10 tips we’ll feature in the next few posts are offered as a guide to web copywriting but are by no means an exhaustive list. We’re always interested in learning more about our craft, so if you have any other tips to add feel free to share them below.

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