Copywriting – The Champion of Change

Copywriting – The Champion of Change

‘Change’ is the word on everyone’s lips at the moment. You’ll probably hear it whispered in the same breath as Brexit. The good news is: business will always adapt to economic change – and, as the handmaiden of marketing, copywriting will never be far behind. For copywriters, ‘change’ is a way of life. First came the Internet; then Google; then SEO. All of these changes, and more, transformed the world of copywriting in little more than a decade. In this context, Brexit is little more than a blip. Dare it be said: the word ‘opportunity’ has even been heard in some quarters!   ‘Opportunity’ Is The Brexit Keyword The enforced changes we all have to face in the post-Brexit era will bring new and unexpected opportunities for those who are ready to exploit them. In the world of business, that means new and improved marketing. In the world of marketing, it means persuasive copywriting, inviting content and innovative channels that will best bring piggy to market. Bear in mind that this is a new scenario where consumers’ pockets could well be raided by a depleted pound, rising inflation and a receding economy. With a little judicious aforethought, however, copywriting will stand out as the most flexible tool for achieving marketing success. New opportunities exist in new markets. For existing customers, fresh approaches can be devised to out-strip the competition. Anyone who runs or manages a business will be on the lookout for OPPORTUNITY. And although the dust has far from settled on the UK’s rapidly evolving political and economic landscape, those who are prepared to take measured risks will... Read more...
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...
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...

Website Copywriting Makes The Link With Content Marketing

‘COPYWRITING SHORTS’  #104 With ‘content marketing’ being the catch-all phrase of the moment, it’s hardly surprising that website copywriting is right up there, riding in the slipstream. As a highly experienced copywriter, creating ‘content’ is what I’ve always done.  The trick nowadays is to align your content with a meaningful marketing strategy – and therein lies the challenge. The optimal starting point has to be with your website.  This is the home of your online content, the hub to which everything else you do is linked.  The ‘content’ we’re talking about here includes what goes on your web pages, what goes into your blog, and what external content you choose to provide or engage with. These building blocks of your online content marketing strategy can be brought together brilliantly by social sharing on the sites of the usual suspects – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al.  In case you’re not sure, ‘social sharing’ has become the go-to skill-set for post-Hummingbird SEO. How your content marketing strategy dovetails with the totality of your online marketing activities is a topic for another post.  In the meantime, you can find an introduction to copywriting techniques for your website and SEO by visiting the following Buzzwords’ pages: Web copy: www.buzzwords.ltd.uk/website-copywriter SEO:... Read more...

Seismic Shifts In Search: Google’s ‘Land-Grab’ For Online Revenues

Website copywriting is something I’ve been doing for over ten years.  During that time, changes have been many and far-reaching.  The techniques that drive and define online ‘success’ today are vastly different to what they were, even two or three years ago. Anyone who follows this industry will know that Google has been exercising its SEO muscle.  They’ve been hard at work driving out the ‘black hat’ SEO merchants who’ve used every trick in the book to help their clients achieve top search engine rankings for the most lucrative keywords in their industry. To be fair to Google, I’d say their actions are long overdue.  On the other hand, a major flaw in the search engine’s modus operandi has always been that the companies which achieve top rankings on search page listings (SERPs) are not necessarily the best at what they do.  They are top of the pile because their SEO is better than the next man’s. An attempt to change that came with Google’s Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates to the many criteria that go into creating what they call their ‘algorithms’.  Unfortunately, in driving out the ‘black hat’ SEO people, Google has also made it difficult for those who play by the rules to implement workable techniques. Rich Promise One by one, Google has all but trashed the techniques which have hitherto delivered on their promise of higher rankings.  Examples include keyword placement in meta tags and on-page copy; link building; online PR – and many others. Aspects of these criteria are still valid of course.  Keywords will always have a degree of significance (or how else... Read more...

Are Synonyms the New SEO?

Until recently, keyword research had been about what DIFFERENTIATES the meaning of words.  Hence the SEO obsession with targeting long-tail keywords.  In the wake of Google’s algorithm updates – Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird – a new and more subtle approach may be needed to accommodate more clearly what UNITES the meaning of words… and thereby extend the DEPTH OF REACH of SEO copy. For more effective SEO copywriting, we should be looking at using keywords or phrases that are broadly synonymous – as semantic ‘alternatives’ rather than ‘options’.  This observation was prompted by a recent article on Wordtracker’s blog – but also by my own vast experience as a website and SEO copywriter. The difference between ‘alternative’ and ‘optional’ may not be immediately apparent, but consider this nugget from a 2011 Google patent (that was also quoted in the Wordtracker article): ‘A search query for a search engine may be improved by incorporating alternate terms … that are semantically similar to the terms of the search query.’ Now this can obviously be open to interpretation – especially what looks like the mis-use of the word ‘alternate’ – but here’s how I see it from a copywriting perspective… The best copywriting response to a ‘search query’ (as Google describes it) is obviously a keyword-based solution.  If Google then says that a specific search approach can be ‘improved’ by including ‘alternate terms’, it obviously places a totally different onus on the copywriting response! Setting language free… Long before Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird, I had often felt that optimising web pages for a narrow keyword range was somehow missing the point in... Read more...