Posts Tagged 'copywriting'

Words Matter in Website Copy

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When you’re “surfing the web” you’re reacting to two main parts of every website: What it looks like (design) and what it says (the copy). If you looked at a report of the amount of time you spend on a website, you’d be shocked at how quickly you usually jump from page to page. I once tracked my time and what I thought was whole minutes on pages (because I seemed to have gone through so many pages and remembered so much material) turned out to be a second or two on most pages.

When you’re putting together your web pages, remember that you’re trying to get people to do something. And that is an act of convincing. So, to do that, you have to make sure your website’s content get’s to the point and clearly demonstrates why what you’re offering is what your readers need.

When it comes to SEO copy writing services and navigating the copy writing market, it can be hard to give voice to what you’re looking for. That’s when you find yourself seeking out language to describe the style your after. And that’s when most of us get into language that make the people we’re interviewing or have already hired tilt their heads quizzically and say “uhhhhh, okaaaay.”

Then hands start flying and voices rise, and, well, no one gets what they want. That’s also when you might start looking to do the work yourself and search for “10 steps to high quality copy writing” and “copy writing tips for beginners” and other articles on small business website content writing. After all, you went to college and write beautifully. And with advertising copy writing rates where they are, frustration high, and creative copy writing often feeling a little too “creative”, its easy to start thinking you can do it yourself.

Well, as with everything else in marketing, you need a plan. Copy writing strategies are important because, if nothing else, they force you to ask “What content do I use on my website and what content should I use on my website?” And choosing content for your website is critical to your site’s success.

Whether you’re tackling general web site copy writing or specifically SEO copy writing you need a strategy, you need some high quality website copy writing services in your corner, and you need language to describe what your looking for. Start by reading this fantastic article “Words that Zing” by Colleen Jones. Then do a thorough website content evaluation.

We offer our clients a lot of tips on writing website content, and guidelines for website content. But the key factors are know what you’re trying to accomplish, and being able to communicate that to your copywriter. Hopefully that copywriter is us – but that’s another story 🙂

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Copywriting Tip: Drop the Hyphen… Words, Unite!

You might be feeling correct whenever you write “email” by its traditional spelling “e-mail.” But did you know that many consider the hyphen to be superfluous and anachronistic? In fact, some resent the hyphen so much that they have a petition against it. Today, the more appropriate spelling of web-based terms tends to avoid hyphens and combine two words together (see “online,” “website,” and “blog”).

Dictionaries like Webster’s still use the hyphen in “email,” but that may change soon. Continue reading ‘Copywriting Tip: Drop the Hyphen… Words, Unite!’

Copywriting Tip: The Long and Short of It

Sometimes, it will happen when you are reading a blog or an article, but it often occurs with academic content. For some reason, while you are reading, your eyelids droop, your heartbeat slows, and you start to slip into a dreamy lull. The content isn’t the problem. In fact, the subject matter is interesting, so why are you feeling increasingly comatose? Continue reading ‘Copywriting Tip: The Long and Short of It’

How Keyword Placement in Your Content Influences Search Engines

How often and how well you place keywords in your content will have have great effect on search engine spiders. You should afford some finesse in the writing; you don’t want to repeat your keywords in a clunky fashion, or it could deter users from actually reading your content. However, here are a few guidelines you should consider when inputting keywords into your text.

Continue reading ‘How Keyword Placement in Your Content Influences Search Engines’

10 Classic Headlines That Will Lure Visitors

Although we operate in an exciting new medium with a great deal of potential, Internet marketers still benefit from traditional marketing wisdom that goes back for decades. As stated repeatedly before on Hiring the Internet, original content is key to bringing in customers or clients. After all, search engines are all about bringing forth useful and interesting subject matter, and web users can feel betrayed or disappointed when a website’s content lacks intrigue or relevance.

But how do you get those web users to even come in the first place? That crucial step belongs to the headline. Although hyperlinks to websites should be SEO-worthy, they must also speak to the visitor, who is filtering a big load of information when surfing the Internet.

What makes a headline worthy of a click? To be honest, the chances of success can be hard to predict, but there are a handful of headline standards that have stood the test of time. You will find that they either get to the crux of the subject matter right away or they lure the reader in with a bit of mystery. Here are ten basic templates for striking, engaging headlines:

1. How To
The phrase “How To” in a headline pretty much sums up what type of article the visitor will read. A great many searches are for procedural information. It is such a popular search keyword that iGoogle offers a daily list of “How To” wikis.

2. Rank and File
Another immediately informative headline type is the Rank and File. The Best and Worst of Whatever Lists are always found on popular websites such as Yahoo! or MSN. Mentioning the number of things that you will list is another prevailing one. (Did you note the headline of this blog post?)

3. Startling Facts
Sometimes, a bold-faced fact or statistic will give the picture right away, while drawing people in for further explication in the article. “U.S. Bees Are Disappearing” or “Nicotine in cigarettes up 10 percent” are short declarations that get people to click to read about the details.

4. Puns and Other Wordplay
This is a very common technique in print media, particularly magazines. “Bad Fashion That Will Leave You in Stitches” is a good example of playful language. You give the reader the general angle of the article, but you present it with a well-known saying or pun. It’s best to think about your subject matter and then think of word associations you may use for a good witticism.

5. Testimonials
Case studies and testimonials can work for both expository and marketing text. “I quit smoking in a week” is a startling way to get someone’s attention. It’s also another kind of title that can either astonish someone or goad the web user into reading the article to find out the facts.

6. Question
There are many headlines that are posed as questions, but some are more effective than others. “Are You Making These Grammatical Mistakes?” is one that is specific to a subject, but is posed in a way that makes it of personal interest to the reader. If you can, try to impart a direct address to the reader with words such as “you” and “your.”

7. Demand
Beside the question and declarative phrase headlines, there are command headlines. “Save yourself 10% on designer shoes” or “Give your children the best education” are commands that get to the point. Use a marketing angle when bossing people around, perhaps by using…

8. Unique Selling Points (USP)
A traditional marketing technique is to present the unique selling point of your product or service. What sets you apart from the others in your industry? “Completely organic lip balm” or “Energy-saving kitchen appliances” are examples of good features being highlighted in the headline. Adjectives like “only” and “original” make for a strong starting point in thinking up ways to underline your product or service.

9. Popularity as an Indicator
One of the best unique selling points is evidence of popularity. Saying that you are the #1 laundry detergent or the most used computer repair service is a powerful technique in increasing web traffic.

10. Upfront Offer
One unique selling point that is external to your product or service is the upfront offer. Particularly with short text ads, like Google’s, it’s a good idea to give the reader extra incentive to click on you. “Free shipping” or a special discount are likely ways to get visitors to check out your pitch.

There are many more headlines that could entice visitors to your site, but these are well-known maneuvers that have proved themselves time and time again. Lastly, there is one more consideration you must make before you craft your headline. The purpose of the headline is to get people to click on your article or blog post. You do not necessarily have to sell in the headline. Your primary objective should be to attract readers to engage in your content.

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