If you consider yourself something of a writer, you know there’s a difference between “grammar” and “style.” The writing style that should be used in your company website content and business blog is radically different from any style of writing you will have practised before, unless you’re a professional trained copywriter (which is rare, given the low number of copywriting courses available. Writing for your online audience requires an in-depth understanding of how people read and interact with content online.
After their experience on the website, the prospect was motivated to contact QEDC – one of the key goals of the site was to increase contact points. Furthermore, the prospect wrote in their email, “Great website – easy to use”.
So not only did QEDC receive an inbound marketing request for sales contact, but they also created such a positive experience with their target audience through the website’s content architecture that they strengthened the relationship, communicated their values and made an excellent impression on their prospect.
Isn’t that how you want every sales experience to go?
You will too can get a Return on Investment (ROI) by hiring a good Content Marketing company who leads many website redevelopment projects each year and knows exactly which pitfalls to avoid – like going to a web developer instead of a copywriting company first when you need to revamp your website.
Here is the Case Story on “Aligning Your Website Words With Your Company Strategic Communications Goals”. If you aren’t sure how your company can benefit from using a Content Marketing Company or Website Copywriting Team, give us a call (416-779-7407) or take a look at other Case Stories to see services we have provided.
Checkout the testimonial from CEO, Chris King – “Tangible Words offered Professional short and long-term strategic communications and content marketing…”
Google’s new Hummingbird Algorithm has made companies and business owners consider how it affects their business website. With the focus on conversational language and answering questions our readers or potential clients have online, the question remains, how to ensure our business website is found and is useful to others.
Did you get a chance to read the Best of 2013 Content Marketing Articles for your business?
Unlike Google’s Penguin and Panda updates, the Google Hummingbird is a completely new algorithm and will affect your business website. Unique content became the focus and this has not changed with the new algorithm either.
Becoming an expert online by creating unique, engaging, useful content for your reader’s and potential clients is the key. But make sure you share this information on social networks like LinkedIn, your Business Facebook page, Twitter, etc.
Google has recognized that people search using ‘conversational’ language. Some businesses still believe that ‘formal language’ shows people how complex their products are and somehow convinces their readers that they must buy from them (Read Education vs. Business writing to learn more about the difference when writing online). Unfortunately this is exactly the opposite of what people are looking for online and in fact Google proves this by changing the algorithm to look for conversational language.
In the next article you will learn ways to ensure your business website answers reader’s and potential client’s questions. This is the focus of Google’s hummingbird algorithm and will help your business website become an ‘expert’ online.
When you’re in the market to revamp your business website, most companies go back to the website company they used before, or find a new website designer or developer and call it a day. But there’s a lot more to making a great website than just finding amazing web designers and developers that you want to work with.
Too often we meet companies who have spent thousands on their website but they still aren’t happy with their website. Going to a website developer or website designer first is simply not a good idea – and it’s not the web developers fault. Even though the design can look great, and the functionality can be good, there are big jobs that need to be done before you get to this stage, and if you skip them, the design and development won’t last you the 2-3 years (or longer) you expect your website to last.
When it comes to your company website, it’s all about your prospects and clients being able to easily find the information they need to make them trust and want to work with the company. That means, you need to map out the information you want them to see and write the user-friendly (and Search Engine friendly – SEO) content BEFORE you start tackling design and development of your website.
A lot of people we speak to feel overwhelmed by their website project – and you probably hear these complaints in your various social and work circles too.
And it can be really frustrating when that “redo our website” task sits on your “to do” list for way longer than you intended – you just feel like you never make any headway and can’t get out from under it; and in the meantime, your online “shopfront” just isn’t really saying how amazing you are and sadly, prospects pass you over. If you’re not a person who thinks about how to organise ideas and words on a website all day long, it’s hard to imagine how it will look on a page – let alone try to get the words right on your own.
There’s a lot of ‘one-stop‘ shop companies who claim they can do everything from redesign, to copywriting, but it’s impossible to do each of those things really well – and you won’t get to ensure that everyone on your team is working in accordance to your ideals. You might think the ideas of “specialists” means that it will be more expensive – but in the creative economy of experts who work with low overheads, it’s not. Even better, when you choose your specialists for each stage, it’s actually less expensive and you have the benefit of hand-picking the people you want to work with, so you can feel confident in your choices – that means you are two steps closer to getting that website project off your desk.
But it shouldn’t all be on your shoulders here either. You’re great at what you do – which is presumably not working on websites all day. So it’s understandable that you would need help developing the content strategy for your company website. That’s why Tangible Words is adamant in recommending that you talk to a content strategist and SEO copywriting company with a Quality Assured Process BEFORE you talk to anyone else about your website. You’re going to save money by working with a company who takes the time to understand what you do from the first point of contact, and who breaks down the process in digestible stages so you can build the site RIGHT from the ground up.
You need to have a plan for your website content before redesigning your business website, and it helps to have someone who can give you an external perspective on your company and who is an expert on the website building industry, by your side, the whole way. That way, if you ever need help speaking “tech” with the developers or designers down the road, you also have a liaison on your side, who knows your company and your industry to listen to you and communicate with the techie team behind you. Hiring a Professional Website Copywriter first means you will have someone who “speaks web” to help you commission the right company, and to work with the web developer team on your behalf ongoing to get the functionality you really need for your new business website.
Stay tuned for ‘5 Reasons You Need A Content Strategy Before You Need a Website Developer‘. We will also discuss how website copywriters should PLAN not just WRITE your content.
In the last post, we discussed using posts not pages to make your website more customer friendly.
1) Categories indicate to which genre your posts belong. For instance, if you’re not blogging for business, you may see a topic about “Using WordPress Posts vs Pages” and feel interested. Perhaps you’re just about to start a travel blog for your friends while you leave Melbourne (Australia) and go travelling to Canada for the year. Once you see the Post actually belongs to a topic group called “Content Marketing” you might think—I don’t want to read that! It sounds too much like work, and I’m going on sabbatical!
Thus, business bloggers: it’s a really good idea to brainstorm what Categories you might need before you start making your WordPress Categories.
Not only will customers be overwhelmed by the lack of topic organisation—you will be, too, as with each Post you write it will become harder and harder to pick one Category to which the Post belongs.
Instead, if a Category name (e.g. “Content Marketing”) really excites your website visitor, with a click they can bring up the entire Category feed and browse all the articles in that Category feed.
Yes, you can change the Category at a later date, but you might lose effectiveness of groupings. I learned this the hard way with the first version of the Tangible Words copywriting website: it’s pretty hard to go back later and find a topic that applies to a whole group of articles. So it’s better to select your overarching site Categories ahead of time.
When we follow our Quality-Assured Process for website writing, we always help the client plan out the categories of the site so that we can store secondary information in Posts rather than relying solely on Pages.
2) Tags: recognising that you often want to add more detail to a Post than a Category allows, a few years ago WordPress developers updated the software to allow for “Tags”. Since users often aren’t sure what they are searching for on your company website, Tags allow customers a second path to finding information that appeals to them.
A Tag Cloud on your website shows website readers all the associated details with the articles on the site. So you might come onto a copywriter’s website looking for Content Marketing articles. Once there, you see a bunch of articles tagged with “WordPress” – another interest of yours since you are thinking about rebuilding your website with a software that allows you to easily adjust content. Suddenly the visitor has come to your site for one thing, but found a second stream of interesting information. You’re building your credibility with your website visitor by demonstrating the quality and quantity of knowledge you have to share.
People often wonder about the difference between Tags and Subcategories. But I heard and agree with this idea: A good strategy is to wait until you have enough tags before making a sub category.
3) A Search Tool Bar. Using keywords on each Posts will also your Search Tool bar to help users Seek and Find answers to questions they have within your site.
79% of people who want your service, are using the Internet to judge you.
If you’re acutely aware that the flaws in your website are worse than a divet-filled golf green, it’s time to think about redeveloping your website design—and your website content.
To minimize the “gap” between what your website says you do, and what you actually do, consider an internal team-meeting, or an external professional consulting service to help you articulate what you do and what your customers love about your services.
1) Planning your website content with a website storyboard is one of the best ways to ensure your company message is communicated in a way your customers will want to listen.
A website storyboard should be much more thorough than a list of page names. Think about:
2) Use Graphic Text (Headlines, Interlinks, bullet points, etc.) to make it easy for the reader to go through your website content. Get rid of all that long text you likely have on your old website and break it up using graphic text.
3) Offer, Incentive, Action – after you have spent all of that time and money to make sure that people find your website online, now you need to make sure they actually “DO” what you want them to do. You don’t want them to just visit and leave without contacting you, buying something, or at least downloading helpful information.
Other helpful Content Marketing articles:
How do you write website content that builds rapport?
Is your website content grabbing all the business you can?
Not sure where to start with website copywriting? Join us at one of our workshops or webinars.
March 21st, 2012: “How to Improve Your Website Content and Build Your Business’ workshop – Markham
– 1pm to 5pm; Hwy 7 and Warden.
Here’s a workshop to help you transform your website into a powerful sales tool. You’ll learn and apply 5 strategies to make your website content compelling to prospects. Understand how people read online, discover how to share your expertise, and get feedback on your writing all under guidance of an e-literacy expert and website copywriter.
Learn from multiple examples, asking questions and time to rewrite your website homepage. So you will leave the workshop with:
BONUS inclusions for this workshop:
Business Blogging is essential to building rapport with your clients online. As a website copywriter we cannot encourage you enough to create trust and nurture relationships through blogs, e-newsletters and of course your business website.
We hope we have helped you with understanding the importance of business blogging:
Business blogging is essential for any business using online for marketing. AKA if you have a website, you may want to think about adding a blog to provide advice, knowledge, tips etc. to build rapport and trust to your online clientele.
In our previous Business Blog Series articles we have discussed:
1) All in One SEO plugin – this should be your #1 download. Without this, Google and other Search Engines won’t be able to read your blog articles very easily. This plugin is used to add in your keywords, description, and title. Think about what your clients would type into a search engine to find you. Use these in this plugin.
2) Google Sitemap – All search engines need you to send through your SiteMap for your website or Blog. By adding this plugin, this is done automatically and it updates your site. Without this plugin, Google will have a difficult time ‘spidering’ your blog which means you might not appear.
3) Google Analytics for WordPress – with all the effort you will put into your business blog, wouldn’t it be nice to analyze it once in a while to see what posts were most popular, where your readers are coming from, and what strategy to implement next. This plugin will gather data for you.
4) Contact Form – in online content marketing and website copywriting we always discuss the importance of a ‘Call to Action’. If your business blog is separate to your website, make sure to add a Contact Form so you make it easy for people to get in touch with you.
5) AddThis Social Bookmarking – help people share your blog articles through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
6) WP Polls – this is a great way to have your audience interact with you. You can add Polls to the side of your blog (in a widget) or you can embed into the content of your blog article. Make sure to keep it relevant to the blog article you are writing and think about how the information will help your business and be interesting for people to respond to.
Of course there are so many more plugins that are worth taking a look at, but if you start with these, you are well on your way! Next week, let’s discuss how to publish posts on your business blog.
But wait, how about filling in one of our Polls?
In the past two articles in our Blogging Series we discussed:
Many people ask us in our Business Workshops about WordPress. The in’s and out’s of WordPress, what to look out for, what plug-ins are helpful, and even how to implement WordPress into an already existing website.
1) The great advantage to using WordPress for your business blog is that you have full control over it and can add, and change things whenever you want. But remember when using WordPress since you do have full control it also means that you have chosen to maintain this part of your website as well. Don’t forget to update WordPress and any plugins when prompted. If you don’t, you could be vulnerable to virus attacks.
2) Getting a comment on a blog article feels fantastic but make sure you read it carefully. Does it sound legitimate (are all sentences in proper English)? Is it coming from a real website or email address? Only approve comments that really are from a reliable source or you could be dealing with blog spammers. But why are spammers targetting blogs?
3) Although WordPress works well, make sure to do your research and find out what blogging software works best for your business. We prefer WordPress as it has great functionality, a variety of plug-ins and is quite reliable. Click here for more on what blogging software should you use?
In the next article of our Business Blog Series we will discuss what plugins are helpful when you are starting a business blog or when you are expanding or enhancing the capacity of your business blog. Until next time…
In the first Blog article of our Business Blog Series we discussed how to establish your business as experts and create trust online.
In the 2nd part of our Business Blogging Series we want to discuss how often you should write a blog and how to find time away from your business to write every post.
Realistically businesses don’t have a lot of time so you must decide how much time you will spend on all your social media strategies. Whether that is Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogging, Twitter etc. Be strict with your time. For example, decide that first thing in the morning when you usually open up new emails and send a few responses, spend 30 minutes of that time going through you social media and updating where needed.
1) At least one post each week (although some believe in order to really increase traffic on your website, a new article needs to be published 20 times a month!
2) Have a Content Strategy. I cannot recommend this enough because so often we see businesses who have lost interest or don’t know what else to talk about so they stop. Planning, like in any other part of your business, is essential for success. But how do you create a content strategy that works for your blog?
3) To really get the most out of your blog, you should:
a) be committing time each week to comment on other blogs. They should be related industries or topics where you can share your opinion and then share your blog URL or partiular article.
b) notify your other social media strategies that a blog article has been written. Often this can happen automatically with it being tweeted or added to your business fan page on Facebook.
So now what? Once you have a blogging content strategy, alloted time to create blog articles and comment on others, you now need to make sure you understand the platform you are using. Next week find out the pro’s and con’s about WordPress including what to watch out for and what to never forget.
If you are interested in learning more about how to Build an Effective Business Blog, please attend our full day workshop in Kingston on Thursday, February 9th, 2012. If you are not in the area, please let us know as we are conducting full day workshops across Ontario and will begin offering webinars. To register, go to our Business Seminar and Workshop page.
No doubt you’ve heard about blogging. But do you realize it is the most effective way establish your business as the experts, and create trust online?
If you’re already establishing yourself as an expert, attracting more customers by consistently communicating your brand and being found online: you’ll increase consumer confidence. Here’s one way to communicate your business brand consistently.
Consumer confidence makes your brand the obvious choice in the face of competition.
The traditional way of creating consumer confidence is to business network. You meet a lot of people and you gain their trust. You can do the same thing online with a blog. Here are 5 Ways Blogging will Benefit your Business and here’s how do you get started with a business blog.
But how often should you write a blog and how do you find time in your business to write a blog? Stay tuned for our next blog article…
Jan 31st, 2012: “How to Improve Your Website Content and Build Your Business” – Kingston (KEDCO) 9am to 3pm
– a light lunch will be provided
*Workshop fee is $85 dollars*
Here’s a full day workshop to help you transform your website into a powerful sales tool. You’ll have the whole day to learn and apply 5 strategies to make your website content compelling to prospects. Understand how people read online, discover how to share your expertise, and get feedback on your writing all under guidance of an e-literacy expert and website copywriter.
Learn from multiple examples, asking questions and time to rewrite your website homepage. So you will leave the workshop with:
BONUS inclusions for this workshop:
Feb 2nd, 2012: “How to Improve Your Website Content and Build Your Business” – CFDC, 26 Chemaushgon Road, Bancroft, Ontario: 9am – 3pm
November 25th, 9:30am – 11:30am – Everything You Need To Know About Starting Your Business Blog Cost: $25.00
Finally, a chance to learn about business blogging (and create one!) in a single session. Here is all you need to know about what blogging can do for your business, and how to get started. Spend time in the workshop figuring out what you would write your business blog about, and leave with the simple steps to create one when you get back to the office.
After this session you’ll know:
– why a business blog is exactly what your customers seek
– your blogging plan so you don’t run out of time or energy
– the simple steps to creating your company blog now
– To register please click here to sign up.
I bet you already know, customers are busy people with lots on their minds.
When your toilet is broken at home or in your office, you want an expert to come and fix your plumbing–fast.
As a consumer, you’ve probably been in a similar situation yourself. Something’s wrong–maybe a computer–and you need it fixed immediately. So you go “shopping” and doing “research” online.
As a business owner, when a hunting prospect is seeking your services online–they are impatient (think of how you surf the net–don’t you want good information fast?).
For businesses, prospects who come looking for you and who want information fast are the proverbial ‘low hanging fruit’ with whom you want to work. These prospects are usually ready for a purchase, or they wouldn’t have bothered with the search.
So here they are, ready to buy, and they’ve come to your website which tells them you’re the perfect person for the job, right?
Wrong. If your website content doesn’t convince this juicy prospect in 3 seconds or less, you’re not going to look like the right person for the job.
I was shopping for a dehumidifier this summer. I knew very little about dehumidifiers. I had to make a purchase that day, but I had no idea what I was looking for. So I started reading the boxes (because even disinterested customers still do ‘research’).
Fortunately the boxes had content on them (some better than others) and I quickly became educated enough to make an immediate purchase.
1) They’re ready to buy.
2) They’d like to make an educated purchase and tick the purchase off of their “to do” list.
The reason I bought one dehumidifier and not the other three was because one company gave me the benefits of buying and not just a feature list.
The winning company = the one who explains the benefits of their features.
The company who got my business was the one who explained why I should use them. They gave me all the benefits of using their dehumidifier, and then let me make up my own mind; so I could see if their product was what I was looking for. You might not realize, but this is exactly what customers are thinking everytime they come to your website to do ‘research’ on a purchase.
1) 65 pint capacity which covers a 1600 sq ft room. (the other boxes didn’t tell me to which size room the pint-capacity referred. Since I’m not an expert on pint-to-room translation, how was I supposed to know what size I needed? Thankfully, these experts told me so I knew I could buy from them and have my needs fulfilled).
2) 2-speed fan for a quieter running (and I thought: “yeah, that would be handy, I want the dehumidifier to go in my TV room”. I wouldn’t have known this was an issue if the writing on the box hadn’t told me).
3) Automatic shut-off once the dehumidifier is full to avoid spills. (Presumably, the other boxes also had this essential option, but they didn’t tell me about it, so it was easy to ignore them, whereas the winning company caught my attention and gave me one more reason to choose them over their competitors. So choose them I did.)
Prospects are looking at your website. What more could your website content explain to get them to choose you?
Here’s a list of Business Seminars presented by Tangible Words in Toronto and Kingston.
Please see details below that will be updated periodically. If interested in any of the business seminars, please contact Tangible Words or click the appropriate links below.
Sept 14th: “Lunch and Learn” Enewsletter Seminar in Kingston (KEDCO)
Topic: Keys To A Better Sales Letter, and E-newsletters
Need to get in touch with new and existing clients? If you’re wondering what it takes to get prospects to respond to your letters and e-newsletters, learn it in this session. Create the campaign your clients want to grab onto, and gain the confidence that make prospects listen.
– REGISTER NOW
October 14th: “Business Blogging” presentation in Toronto.
– See description above. REGISTER NOW.
October 21th: “Enewsletter” presentation in Brampton (location TBD) (BYO lunch and learn
Topic: Keys To A Better Sales Letter, and E-newsletters
Need to get in touch with new and existing clients? If you’re wondering what it takes to get prospects to respond to your letters and e-newsletters, learn it in this session. Create the campaign your clients want to grab onto, and gain the confidence that make prospects listen. REGISTER.
Nov 8th: “Website content” 8:30am breakfast with Company of Women .
Topic: How To Improve Your Website Content Today, And Build Your Business
Your website is a powerful selling tool–or is it? Learn 5 strategies (which you can immediately use on your website) to make your website content more customer-friendly. From understanding how people read online to sharing your expertise, let a literacy expert and website copywriter take you through what it takes to put your best foot forward online. (Plus, get individual feedback on your website afterwards!) REGISTER.
NOW Presenting in OTTAWA! For more information please look at Business Seminars in Ottawa.
When you buy an iPod, you want it to be the same product whether you bought it from an Apple store or a department store, right? So it might seem strange when I tell you that your business website needs to show readers why you’re different.
I mean, it’s true that there is a certain standard behind products and services expected to be uphead. If you print business cards, they should still look like business cards. So doesn’t that mean that your business doesn’t have to be very different?
This is usually called your U.S.P. (Unique Sales/Selling Proposition).
Think about the iPod example in a different way. We all bought the iPod because it was different to any product we’d seen before. And it still (despite multiple many early glitches) has showed that it is different: in it’s sleek shape, it’s multiple sizes, it’s access to resources like iTunes, and it’s innovation with products like the iChip and iPhone.
You have to be chosen over the competition. Customers want to buy something unique. It’s essential you explain why you’re different on your company website; and that’s a key way to improve your website content.
So all you have to do is improve the way you communicate to your prospects online. Show how unique you are on your business website, and you’ll see immediate improvement on your sales. To get started on improving your website content, think about how you’d answer these questions:
Leave a comment (below) if you’d like some feedback as you try to articulate your answers.
Finally, an easy way to have more clients come to you with the peace of mind your great ideas won’t fall by the wayside ever again!
Looking for a consistent, affordable way to get new clients?
Start your new campaign stronger with flexible copywriting: You choose which units you need.
Each quarter you decide which type of marketing will be most profitable. ‘Flexible copywriting units’ means in July, you might ask for 3 webpages re-written; in October you desire a better brochure or some Christmas fliers? No problem. January could be when we start up your NEW quarterly newsletter.
From now on, your business communications are created on-time and written for success.
By now, you’ll have heard about blogging and you know blogging is good for your business. But do you know what to write about on your business blog?
One of the services Tangible Words helps clients is to sit down with business owners to help you determine your online content strategy. But if you have the time, here are a few ways to determine what you should blog about on your business blog. So how you decide what to write about for your business blog…
1) Research: what are your potential audience’s needs? Write them down so you can brainstorm what needs you could address.
2) Deliver: consider your audience’s needs. If you can solve some of their problems with your expertise you’ll build credibility.
3) Listen: In your field, what are other people writing about online? Just like your marketing strategy find a gap in the conversation and contribute.
4) Tell: What paths can you use to show them you have the solutions? Think about other blogs and online articles that you can comment on. This is a great way to show existing markets your business blog exists.
5) Start: Just start your blog. You can set up a free blog on wordpress.com or blogger. But choose 10 topics you might be able to write about. Then commit to writing one blog a week until you have a bit of content you can promote on other online spaces like Twitter, and like-minded business blogs.
Related Tangible Words Articles