SEO Copywriting and the Alchemy of Linking Inking

SEO Copywriting and the Alchemy of Linking Inking

SEO Copywriting is corporate gold dust whose off-page incarnation relies for its efficacy on various shades of link building – planned or opportunistic. Either way, it’s been given greater impetus and recognition by the rise of Content Marketing.  SEO Copywriting of the off-page variety can be seen as part of the Content Marketing phenomenon. Of course, Content Marketing is about much more than SEO. It is, in fact, an end in itself that goes way beyond the narrow (albeit valuable) confines of aspiring to be top dog on Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Some would say that Content Marketing has given SEO a certain respectability it had lacked hitherto. By association, SEO Copywriting has benefited from the broad strategic scope of Content Marketing with its emphasis on the twin pillars of quality and authority.    Exploring the Interface   In exploring the interface between Content Marketing and SEO, the obvious questions are about how far they’re complementary, or whether they operate largely independently of each other? Without ‘content’, off-page SEO would not exist. Likewise, any editorial planning must always have an element of SEO at the heart of its strategic plan (notwithstanding other significant non-SEO benefits). ‘Content’ at its best should be part of a coherent SEO strategy. Call it old-fashioned integrated marketing if you will, but even Google acknowledges the validity of having a consistent theme running through all pieces of content. Without substance, ‘content’ can never amount to anything. And without a theme to the substance, the search engine has nothing to evaluate on behalf of its content-hungry searchers. Where ‘content’ has its own standalone validity is... Read more...
Notable Copywriters – Elmer Wheeler

Notable Copywriters – Elmer Wheeler

Whilst he may not fit the conventional ‘copywriter’ mould, Elmer Wheeler was nevertheless a hugely influential figure – a pioneer of persuasive writing. Wheeler’s great innovation was to establish the ‘Testing Institute’ in New York City. This was where he tested many thousands of words and sentences used by American advertisers in the Great Depression era. From this mine of information, he synthesized his five great principles of selling, the most famous of which is ‘Don’t sell the steak – sell the sizzle.’ His powerful insights (‘Wheelerpoints’ as they became known) found their way into his landmark book on selling, ‘Tested Sentences That Sell’, first published in 1937. Wheeler’s book remains the key reference point for advertisers and copywriters who want to tap into his tried and tested techniques that identified how language – and especially the written word – can be used to commercial... Read more...
Does Content Marketing Take Too Much Time?

Does Content Marketing Take Too Much Time?

The Internet is drowning in a sea of content – and the main culprit has to be so-called ‘content marketing’… The first-fruits of this come-lately type of marketing are supposed to be enhanced SEO/SERPs results; establishing yourself as an ‘expert’ in your field; and providing visitors to your website with the type of useful information that will encourage them to re-visit the site and/or share the content on social media. No-one could argue that these are laudable aims with tangible benefits. Everyone gains and this kind of activity earns valuable SEO brownie points from the search engines, whilst also validating their raison d’etre. One of the major problems with content marketing, however, is that an ‘average’ company will run out of the content that meets Google’s criteria for original, useful material in a relatively short space of time. Creating quality content – regularly! To produce content on a regular basis, so many companies are forced into dredging up sub-standard material from within their own industry or re-cycling material that’s already in the public domain. The net effect of this is the deluge of ‘me-too’ stuff that no-one really wants to read. It helps of course if you have a copywriter or marketing agency to come up with new and useful content, but you may well be left wondering about how many ways there are to skin a cat. For companies who may not want to invest in professional content creators, and for those who are sceptical about the ROI for these activities, there is always the DIY route. As everyone knows, ‘content’ is all around us – potentially… and... Read more...

Integrated Marketing and The Endless Echoes of Mad Men

In case you hadn’t noticed, ‘integrated marketing’ has come full circle. Back in the day, when Mad Men roamed Madison Avenue and TV advertising was the new kid on the block, everyone wanted a slice of the marketing action. In late-1950s Britain, television sets in everyone’s living room marked the end of post-war austerity and, with it, the beginnings of an affluent consumerist society that continued throughout the 1960s and on into the present day. TV advertising was a powerful tool of mass communication that eclipsed print media, direct marketing and PR almost overnight, particularly among those with bigger budgets. It’s often said that history repeats itself. That would certainly seem to be the case with integrated marketing. To get a handle on the historical perspective of it all, you need to compare the Mad Men era and the arrival of TV advertising with the emergence in our own era of Internet marketing and Google. Both of these phenomena transformed marketing as it was known hitherto – and both ended with an aftermath of integrated marketing that sought to make sense of a new and dominant marketing force. The underlying driver on both occasions was the realisation that we shouldn’t risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.   In The 1960s… TV advertising in the 50s and 60s was a potent and entertaining medium with the power to engage and persuade like nothing that had gone before. Or was it? Apart from being incredibly expensive, TV advertising in 1960s Britain had a limited platform of only one commercial TV station. Even if your company could afford it,... Read more...
How To Create Effective Press Ads

How To Create Effective Press Ads

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #103 As a copywriter, I’ve noticed an increasing prevalence of press ads that show no creative skills whatsoever.  Typical of this is where a photo of the product/service is placed above a large headline, with maybe a few lines of body copy, plus one or two contact points. No effort has been made to devise a creative concept that unifies both the image and the sales message.  It’s as though whoever created the ad has no understanding of how a decent ad should work in pursuit of maximising its impact on the page. This may be down to several factors – time constraints perhaps; no experience of preparing an ad that goes beyond basic design practices; or even a disregard among certain online specialists for anything that is ‘offline’ and therefore off-limits as far as their creative focus is concerned. There’s no doubt that time must be invested in preparing an ad that will be both creative and effective.  Having a complete awareness of the selling points of a product or service is essential before a single word is written and before images are sourced. This involves a certain amount of research – in technical USPs and features for B2B ads, and in emotional triggers for consumer press advertising.  In all cases, a full appreciation of the target media and its readership should be a given. For more information about Buzzwords’ approach to creating effective press advertising, visit:... Read more...

How To Produce Creative Advertising Concepts

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #102 Coming up with powerful creative concepts that have the simple and direct capacity to PERSUADE is an elusive construct that sometimes never happens.  In those cases, you see ads that don’t really work. They don’t have the unmistakable magic that a great headline has when it blurs beautifully into a perfectly linked image.  For a copywriter to achieve this level of creativity requires innate visual thinking and an exceptional facility with words – never forgetting a seamless familiarity with the vernacular that differentiates natural-born English speakers who’ve taken on board all the cultural and mass media influences that shape our Westernised identities. The very best ads, of course, are typically produced by creative teams – copywriters working with art directors.  Even here, however, you can often recognise which creative skill is dominant – much in the same way you can recognise whether it was John Lennon or Paul McCartney who did the creative spade-work in their highly effective song-writing partnership. Copywriters, at the very least, should be able to enhance an art director’s ideas – and then produce flawlessly relevant copy that flows from the headline, regardless of who came up with the original concept.  At best, a copywriter’s facility with words should be able to extract every ounce of meaning from creative concepts as applied to almost any type of advertising.  That is pure talent. To find out more about Buzzwords’ approach to creating effective advertising concepts, visit:... Read more...