Content Marketing: Who's Your Best Bet?

Content Marketing: Who's Your Best Bet?

Given the growing importance of content marketing in the quest to attract sales leads and conversions – not to mention the significance of ‘social sharing’ and the contribution this makes to SEO – it’s not unreasonable to ask which marketing professionals will give you the best bang for your buck. By starting at the beginning and asking what are you expecting content marketing to achieve, you’ll have a clearer idea of who would be your best partner.  To be effective, content marketing must have high quality, original content at its core… content that readers will find useful, practical and valuable enough to ‘share’ on social media sites. This is a complex brief – and certainly not a job for the amateur.  To begin with, there must be a strategy that will target relevant content towards well-defined market segments.  This includes identifying the most suitable media platform and devising an editorial programme that will engage with your target audience. The challenge is to identify which group of marketing professionals can provide the most effective service.  That includes the skilful creation and placement of various types of ‘content’ – blog posts, articles, white papers, e-books, newsletters and so on.  (It may also include non-written content such as infographics, videos, podcasts etc). The wide-ranging demands involved in creating such a diverse range of content place varying expectations on the skill-sets of suppliers.  Take a look at the following options – then decide which is the most appropriate for your particular needs. IN-HOUSE – This is the first (and most obvious) option to consider – but do you have your own home-grown writing/design/production... 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...

SEO Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

I still have clients contacting me who are expert at putting carts before horses when it comes to SEO copywriting.  As anyone who follows Google’s latest diktats will know, SEO has been turned on its head since Pandas and Penguins got in on the act with their various algorithm updates. As professional copywriters, web designers or developers, we’re privy to Google’s latest rumours – and, let’s face it, there are plenty of those flying around about how the search engine’s latest pronouncements will affect the way we work and the effects this will have on client websites, their SERPs rankings and – most important of all – how this could affect their online business performance. For mainstream SEO specialists, this has been something akin to a natural catastrophe.  The old, familiar landscape has suddenly been replaced by a new and arid environment where old certainties no longer exist.  SEO techniques that had worked perfectly well for so long – and which many SEO practitioners thought they had down to a fine art – are no longer effective and, in some cases, could prove to be positively detrimental. Anyone with a professional vested interest in perpetuating the status quo, as far as SEO is concerned, would be loath to spill the beans to clients, especially if they were unsure about the best new direction in which to guide their clients.  Despite this reluctance, truth will out, and ultimately there’s no hiding place.  In short, for SEO professionals, the message was: adapt if you want to survive.   It’s ancient history Clients who are probably too busy running their own businesses... Read more...

Is Your Copywriting and Marketing Too Dependent On Google?

Has your business become over-reliant on Google when it comes to online copywriting and marketing?  Should you be shifting some of your online focus and re-balancing it with more offline activity? With all the changes that have taken place at the search engine over the last 12 months – we’re talking Penguin and Panda again! – you’d be forgiven for being a little uneasy, especially if a large percentage of your orders or business enquiries are generated through the use of search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques. Massive investments of time and money have been undone for many thousands of companies who’ve fallen victim to Google’s kaleidoscopic changes in their approach and responses to SEO.  We all know how important it is for website pages to rank highly with the search engines, with Page One ranking being the Holy Grail. Imagine the feeling – if you haven’t experienced it already – of waking up one fine morning to discover that the pages on your website that once ranked highly and generated lots of traffic have suddenly plummeted in the rankings!  Imagine the horror, the realisation, that your once-cushy cash-cow is now a dead duck! How could Google do this to you?  After all, you or your SEO people had followed all the Webmaster Guidelines in great detail to make sure you didn’t fall foul of their strictures.  Like a headless chicken, you’d be running around wondering what to do.  Sue Google? Sack your SEO advisors?  File for bankruptcy?  Slit your wrists – or worse? You’d given up on all that old-fashioned offline stuff two or three years ago.  ‘Online’ was where... Read more...

Article Marketing – The SEO Phoenix

Once upon a time, there was Article Marketing.  Get it right and you could improve the SEO performance of your website pages in a matter of weeks. Then, along came Google with its algorithm updates.  Almost overnight, article marketing as we’d come to know it was dead on its feet. Suddenly, article directories (and millions of other websites) found that their stock had plummeted in Google’s eyes.  Their rankings fell and articles that would previously have appeared in the first two or three search engine results pages (SERPs) now had little chance of SEO success. The link value associated with an article featured on all but the best article directories was now negligible.  It’s always been common knowledge of course that articles published by article directories never attracted a serious and widespread readership, despite claims that the articles would be taken up by other online publications. Simply put, the appeal of article marketing was primarily for the SEO back-linking benefits it generated.  (Now, with the explosion of social media, content can be leveraged to reach a wider audience, many of whom would be ‘real’ readers.) Pre-Panda – and the ensuing series of algorithm updates – in order to maximise SEO returns all you had to do was find a halfway-decent piece of distribution software (and maybe additional software that would ‘spin’ your article content to create several versions of the same article involving very little work) and the links would follow.  If you had the patience, there was also the mind-numbing option of submitting your articles to the directories manually.  Either way, there was a strong chance that you... Read more...
Has Copywriting inadvertently changed SEO?

Has Copywriting inadvertently changed SEO?

Who would have thought just five years ago that SEO Services would  be a fully paid-up member of the copywriting fraternity.  And yet, Buzzwords now has a new website page of the same name which we’re promoting through Online PR (practise what you preach, eh!). In many ways, it’s no surprise that SEO and copywriting have become such close  bedfellows.  If you look at the main elements of SEO that Google is rewarding in the wake of its many Panda Updates, you’ll see that the ‘quality content’ which is now top of the greasy SEO pole does in fact refer back to copywriting skills. Quality content is essential to the various skill sets used in link building programmes.  I’m thinking here of Online PR, for instance, or Corporate Blogging, On-page SEO Copywriting and Article Marketing. It’s fortunate that copywriting now forms the central essential skill required for basic SEO.  I’ve been writing offline press releases and articles for many years.  Not far behind is the time spent on website copywriting, blog writing and social media posts. Clients sill think that SEO is a black art that requires an in-depth knowledge of HTML and other esoteric online tricks.  I’m not saying that a knowledge of this aspect of SEO inputs doesn’t help – it does.  Five years ago, I was so much in awe of  this type of geek-speak – I decided to take a course in  it! As a website copywriter, I appreciated being able to go ‘behind the scenes’ as it were.  It allowed me to look web designers in the eye and – yo! – I could... Read more...