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Online / Web Copywriting. Levels of Internet/Web Engagement Placeholder Business brochure (online collateral) Image Development Vehicle Public Relations.

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Presentation on theme: "Online / Web Copywriting. Levels of Internet/Web Engagement Placeholder Business brochure (online collateral) Image Development Vehicle Public Relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Online / Web Copywriting

2 Levels of Internet/Web Engagement Placeholder Business brochure (online collateral) Image Development Vehicle Public Relations Tool Community / Network for Consumers E-Commerce Site Sales Promotion Tool Product Review Source (ok to disparage products you sell?) Source for Detailed Product Information and Links to Peripheral Sites/Information of Interest Social Media/Networking Vehicle

3 Online content options

4 Web: Advantages and Disadvantages Target Marketing Message Tailoring Interactive Capabilities Information Access Sales Potential Creativity Exposure/Speed AdvantagesDisadvantages Complement to IMC Poor reach Site Stability Annoyance Potential for deception Measurement problems Clutter Privacy High Targetability & Involvement Message/Offer Tailoring – Ad Serving Capability Interactive Audio/Video Layered Information Access Commerce Potential Availability & Self-pacing Short Lead/Change Times Measurable Poor reach Annoyance Potential for deception Demographics Measurement Problems Clutter Privacy

5 Modern Web Developments Web 2.0 to 3.0 transition Trend towards simplicity in content and navigation Web is becoming more visual, less textual Online is no longer web-centered – Mobile phones (apps, texts, mobile sites) – Email Integration of Social Media and Blogging SEO is still a (partial) mystery Social Media acts like classic search engines (i.e. google)

6 Three goals for online Get them to come Get them to stay Get them to come back

7 Consumer Activity Modes Online Browsing Information Gathering / Learning / Education Entertainment Transacting Networking Communication What will consumers do on your site / pages?

8 General Online Consumer Tendencies Web usage is still primarily functional Scanning Skipping around Eyes initially drawn towards whatever is most prominent 3-click rule Tendency to want to link around Backtracking (if easy…)

9 Bly’s Web Browsing Styles Artists: Drawn to images. Writers: Drawn to words. Explorers: Like to tour the whole page/site to get a general feel. Seekers: Get in, get what they need, get out – quickly! Recognizers: Do well with lists they can choose from Requesters: Control-freaks who like to create their own options and customized web experiences. Verifiers: Test and critique the features on your site. Lurkers: Want to see what everyone else on the site is doing/saying.

10 Three C’s of Website Marketing Community Commerce Content Must your site have all three?

11 Web Copy Guidance Most of the rules of print still apply: use inverted pyramid, use active vs. passive voice, be concise, use simple words, etc. Write relevant content: relevant to brand, page, site, consumer needs Write short (1-3 sentences), “one idea” paragraphs Write short sentences: Typical rule of thumb is that web copy should be half as long as print copy. Use lists instead of paragraphs when possible: Lists are easier to scan than paragraphs Limit lists to seven items and each list item to 7 words (magic # 7)

12 Web Copy Guidance Write short sentences: Typical rule of thumb is that web copy should be half as long as print copy. Use Subheads to make the text more scannable. Make your links part of the copy: They are functional and increase scannability. Proofread your work: Typos, bad grammar and spelling errors will cause people to leave your site. Focus on your readers more than on search engines Maintain a good visual hierarchy

13 Visual Hierarchy Welcome to Steve’s Used Car Lot! We have several high-quality car brands to choose from: Honda Toyota Nissan Click here to learn more

14 Domain Names All the best, obvious names are already taken The shorter the better Make up a new word that bears some resemblance to your concept Should be phonetically easy to spell and pronounce. Avoid extensions unless you are a non-profit (.org) or educational institution (.edu) Avoid using in domain names: “and”, double letters between words, punctuation When advertising, use capitals in the domain name:

15 Links Link text has to be very concise: “order now”, “learn more”, “sign up”, etc. Avoid inserting too many links. – Find healthy balance between linked and non-linked text. – Goal is to have linked text stand out while non-linked text supports the linked text and remains a readable entity in its own right. Use pragmatic, clear words for links (i.e. “Order now”, “About Us”, “blog”, etc.) Make sure links go where they’re supposed to go. Order links from general to specific Buttons vs. text links? Link colors: Never the same as regular text colors

16 Links, continued Avoid using “click here” as the only link text. – If using, follow with a reason/goal/action: “Click here to begin shopping.” – Or just write: “Begin Shopping” in a button or text link. Review analytics to see what people are searching for on your site. – The most commonly searched words should be links to other parts of your site. Links should link to content, not more links. – Warn readers they’ll be taken to a link page, i.e. “List of websites with more content”

17 Navigation [Kyrnin, adapted] Navigation should be: Accessible – Simple text or buttons easily distinguishable from surrounding content – Easy to spot links in standard places (top and side) – Always include an “Easy Way Out”: (1) Home link, (2) Logo link to home, (3) breadcrumbs Meaningful / Understandable – Use standard link terms where possible (i.e. “About”, “Blog”, “Order Now”, “view more”) – User should know exactly where he/she is headed to before clicking the link – The main general user activities should all be included in the site navigation – Images/icons can be used for links as long as they are accompanied by mouseover text. – Create use cases: How will typical users navigate the site? Prevalent – Global navigation should appear on every page of your site. – Global navigation need not be 100% identical across all pages, but it should be similar.

18 Navigation example

19 General Web Design Principles Repeat key themes throughout a page and throughout the website. Layer your information. Layered information is a key unique advantage of web advertising. Site has to sell AND be functional. Above-the-fold rule: Make as much immediately visible as possible without scrolling or linking. Home/Landing pages are portals and matchmakers – not deep selling devices or closers. (Think pre-approach-approach-…close sale, AIDA, etc.) Remember the “3-click Rule”: Get users there in three clicks or less, or else…! Produce the final edited version of text before integrating it into your website design. Minimize clutter. Adhere to modern conventions of website layout – these change over time! Murphy’s Law for web development applies: Double or quintuple the amount of time estimated to complete your website.

20 Landing Pages Main Purpose: Triage page – Quickly gets visitors where they need to go. All website pages are technically “landing pages” and need to be designed as such Sets the tone for inner/sub-pages. Outcomes: (What did visitors come for?) – Browsing – Information Gathering / Learning / Education – Entertainment – Transacting – Networking – Communication

21 Landing Pages Users come to Landing Pages through: – Links on other sites, blogs, social media sites – Search Engine results (i.e. google, bing, yahoo) – Links from your own website – Typed-in links gathered from traditional media (i.e. print, billboards, radio, etc.) – Friends recommendations in email and social media messages – Website directories

22 Landing Pages – Typical Elements [Bly, adapted] Strong headline that orients the user to the site and/or concept Site Introduction Concept Introduction Organizational Philosophy or Positioning Site Menu / Navigation / Beginner’s Navigation News and Current Events Contact Vehicles Forms / Enrollment Forms Privacy Statement Visuals that reinforce or complement any of the above

23 Landing Pages – Guidance [Huey, adapted] “Strong, clear welcome” that reminds users why they visited Landing text needs to have a likeable personality. One clear theme that appears on the LP and carries throughout the rest of the site. Graphics should be used strategically and judiciously and should not delay page loads. Should entice the reader to navigate further into the site or take immediate action.


25 “About” Pages Do not have to be called “About Us” or “About” pages – i.e. “Our Story” Can re-purpose brochure content Don’t assume people know who you are or what you’re about Provide basic information about the company / concept / brand – Brief history – Founders bios – Major product / service lines – Why the brand / concept / company is unique – Why you should do business with them – Accolades, distinctions and testimonials Can be one page (typically smaller companies) or a series of pages linked to from an “About” menu (typically bigger companies)

26 Banner Ads

27 Banner ads

28 Tips for banner ads Think billboards Keep it very simple Offer an incentive Tell users what to do (learn more, buy now, shop, etc.) Have a well-defined place to click Change up the offer to see what does best Don’t forget the mention the brand Don’t annoy the user with fancy designs, unnecessary motion, flash, etc.

29 Website Promotion

30 Web Promotion tips Feature URL in traditional media Create one or several landing pages with unique URLs SEO: Hire an expert! It’s very complex… Limit Flash – it’s not searchable Consider sponsored search and buying key words – Google AdWords and AdSense

31 Organic Search Engine Optimization What is it? – Getting a better position (rank) on search engines like google, bing and yahoo. – Better search engine visibility = more hits = more action (i.e. sales, inquiries, shares, etc.) – Less important for established brands, but still matter


33 Organic Search Engine Optimization What needs to be optimized? – Keywords – Meta data – Content – Inward Links – Header Tags – Alt Tags – Internal Links – Website structure, theme and code Items in blue are controlled by copywriters.

34 Google and SEO Google essentially controls SEO Google Webmaster Guidelines “White-hat” vs. “Black-hat” optimization – Lower page rank – Blacklisting

35 Google Webmaster Guidelines Design and Content Guidelines Technical Guidelines Quality Guidelines

36 Google’s Design and Content Guidelines Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link. Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map has an extremely large number of links, you may want to break the site map into multiple pages. Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number. Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it. Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the ALT attribute to include a few words of descriptive text. Make sure that your elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate. Check for broken links and correct HTML. If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few. Review our recommended best practices for images, video and rich snippets.imagesvideorich snippets Source:

37 Google’s Quality Guidelines Quality guidelines - basic principles Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?" Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field Source:

38 Google’s Quality Guidelines Quality guidelines – Specific Guidelines Avoid the following techniques: Automatically generated content Participating in link schemeslink schemes Creating pages with little or no original contentlittle or no original content Cloaking, Sneaky redirects, Hidden text or links CloakingSneaky redirectsHidden text or links Doorway pages Scraped content Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient valueaffiliate programs without adding sufficient value Loading pages with irrelevant keywordsirrelevant keywords Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badwaremalicious behavior Abusing rich snippets markuprich snippets Sending automated queries to Googleautomated queries Engage in good practices like the following: Monitoring your site for hacking and removing hacked content as soon as it appearshacking Preventing and removing user-generated spam on your siteuser-generated spam Source:

39 Keywords Guidance Target key phrases in addition to single keywords – Example: “Massage Evaluation Service” instead of “Massage” or even “Massage Evaluation” Target specific keywords instead of broad ones – Example: “Massage” is far too broad but “Massage Evaluation Service” is more specific. Target several variations of keywords – Example: For a massage clinic: Target “massage”, “bodywork”, “Swedish massage”, “Spa massage”, “Therapeutic Massage”, etc. Each page will need its own keywords, but there is usually some overlap. File names for pages should use the “best” keyword – Example:

40 Keywords Guidance Use Wordtracker or the Google Keyword tool to assess the competitiveness of your chosen keywords and keyword variations – Tools will generate similar keyword variations to consider. – Want keywords with: Low to moderate competition (i.e. search volumes) Relevant to your site / content – Ok to include highly competitive keywords in your content / meta data, but don’t expect much of a yield. View source code and content of your competitors’ sites and use any of their keywords that make sense for your site.

41 Keywords Guidance Don’t use “Stop Words” in meta data, links or header tags. Ok to use them in user-visible content. Google’s crawler skips over “Stop Words” when indexing pages Stop Words: a, and, the, in, on, of, be, I, me

42 Find and Analyze your Competitors Choose your keywords / key phrases Enter each keyword/phrase into google search and see which websites rank the highest (3-5) on these terms. One or more websites will consistently appear across (the highest ranked) keyword search results – these are your top competitors Consider using the same meta-data used by these top competitors See which sites are linking to competitor sites

43 Content and SEO Google’s main criterion for ranking pages is relevance. When it comes to SEO, content matters most. So most of your focus should be on the content (i.e. body copy).

44 Other Optimization Techniques Host a blog. Google loves new blog content. Write unique content - do not copy other sites! – If crawled, you avoid having to “split the keyword pie” with competitors. – Or Google may just ignore your page. Get rid of any dead links! Arrange pages in a hierarchical order so that longer, more descriptive URLs are formed for your pages. – Example: Mutliple “About Us” pages in a parent-child format. Register your website with google, bing and yahoo Create and submit your sitemap to google.

45 Inward Links Optimization Inward Links are essentially websites that link to yours (i.e. referrals). The more inward links you site has, the better your pagerank. The better the pagerank of the inward link site pages, the better your pagerank. Deep links (page-specific) are better than shallow links (home page) Links coming from sites having content relevant to your site are better than links with non-relevant content Many ways to acquire links: Directories, contacting other site owners, creating a useful tool/widget, blogging, purchased links, etc.

46 Header Tags Optimization H1, H2, H3, H4 … The larger the Header, the more important its keywords are for google. Use headers sparingly. Many sites avoid the use of headers entirely. Try to use main keywords in bigger headers. Most important heading here Less important heading here Some additional information here Lorem Ipsum dolor set amet....

47 Alt Tags Optimization Google cannot index images (jpeg, gif, and png files). Alt tags describe images which makes them searchable. Include keywords within the Alt tag that describe the image in relation to the page theme.

48 Page Title Tag Optimization Most important tag to optimize. Describes the content of the particular page. Use main keywords in the page title tag that relate to the particular page content and website theme. HTML Reference The content of the document......

49 Page Titles Showing in Google

50 Page Title Tag Optimization Most important tag to optimize. Describes the content of the particular page. Use main keywords in the page title tag that relate to the particular page content and website theme. HTML Reference The content of the document......

51 Meta Description and Keywords Optimization Description: A brief summary description of your website or company/concept/brand. – Example: “Feedback Massage Evaluation Services help massage therapists improve their massage skills and keep clients longer.” – Google usually ignores your description and generates its own. – Should be a well-written sentence. Not a string of keywords. – Is page-specific, but can be used identically across pages. Keywords: Describe the specific content of the page (i.e. what appears in the body copy). – No longer the most important tag. – Include: Main keywords, abbreviations of full keywords, similar keywords (Wordtracker results), incorrectly spelled versions of main and similar keywords, plurals of keywords – Body content should contain the main keywords (at a minimum) included inyour keyword meta tags. Description → General Content Keywords → Specific Content

52 Use keywords throughout your body copy Every therapist wants more satisfied massage clients and as much repeat massage business as they can get their hands on (literally). But according to a recent survey, only 20% of first-time massage clients ever return. Even well-trained, highly skilled therapists lose clients at an alarming rate due to client dissatisfaction. Now think about it from the client's perspective. Clients want relaxing massage, not an obligation to critique therapists on their technique, professionalism and "what they could have done better." Ironically, paying clients are often a poor source of information for practicing therapists. That is where we come in. FeedBack offers intensive Review Sessions for massage therapists in most of the major bodywork modalities (Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Shiatsu, Acupressure, etc.) to help therapists recognize their professional bodywork strengths and weaknesses in a caring and supportive atmosphere of learning and self-introspection. We are the only service that focuses exclusively on helping you understand the customer experiences your work creates. FeedBack administers the FeedBack Review - the massage industry's only comprehensive massage evaluation system that rates therapists on four major points of importance: Technique, Pace, Flow and Professionalism. Therapists use their FeedBack Review results to improve their massage skills and to advertise to prospective clients. Massage clients use FeedBack ratings to locate the best massage therapists for their massage goals.

53 Use keywords throughout your body copy Latent-Semantic Indexing: Google’s algorithm for determining whether phrases are similar – similar but different = more relevance = optimized Don’t over-use the same keyword. Use variations instead. No: massage, massage, massage Yes: massage, bodywork, Swedish massage, therapeutic massage, acupressure, etc.

54 Writing body copy for optimal SEO The most important words occur in: – The first and last paragraphs – The first sentence of any paragraph – The first few words of any sentence – The first two words in headlines Keep copy short and to the point

55 Sources “Get to #1 on Google” by Ben Norman Google Webmaster page website

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