5 Key Ingredients of Effective SEO-Friendly Copywriting

What is the fundamental difference between traditional and web copywriting?

In a word, it’s visibility.

When your content appears in print, it’s already in a place to catch a certain audience’s attention. Your copy is visible to whoever decides to flip through your magazine, unfold your letter or shuffle
open your newspaper.

Putting your ad into print is like fishing in a well-stocked pond. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a bite, but you’ve at least cast your lure where it will be seen.

Writing web copy, on the other hand, can feel like dropping words into the middle of the ocean. How can you possibly hope to reach anyone, let alone your ideal prospects, in such vast waters?

The answer is a lot simpler than you’d think.

Why SEO Copywriting Matters

Ask yourself: how do you find stuff online?

The most common answer is Google.

Search engines are the single biggest source of B2B and B2C website traffic, responsible for 61% of all website hits worldwide. Nothing else even comes close.

Incredibly, only 10% of that is paid search advertising – meaning 51% of all website visits come from the search results that occur ‘naturally’ (known as organic search traffic)

When you drill down and look at where all that traffic is coming from, you’ll find that most of it happens on the very first page of search results. In truth, experts estimate that 71% of all Google users hardly ever venture past page one.

What does all this mean to you as a writer? Simple: if you write content that Google loves, Google will put it front of an audience.

Instead of drifting aimlessly in the middle of the sea, you’ll be back to casting into a pond that’s full of potential catches.

What Google Wants to See in Your Copy

The challenge is convincing Google that your copy is worth showing people.

That means crafting copy in a way that impresses the search engine algorithm – the digital mastermind that decides where your webpage should rank for different search queries.

Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Traditional ad copy plays on the whims and emotions of warm-blooded humans. Search engines are cold, heartless machines.

But Google doesn’t crawl and rank webpages all for itself. Google works for us. It was built to deliver accurate, relevant information and answers to every imaginable query.

Of course, search engines don’t look at a webpage the same way as you or I. Your copy and the webpage containing it needs to look a certain way for Google to know what it’s about.

Google loves copy that is:

  1. Unique.
  2. Enriched with relevant keywords and phrases.
  3. Organized with logical headings, bullet points and numbered lists.
  4. Surrounded by relevant images or videos.
  5. Comprehensive, complete and accurate

Here’s how that translates to practical SEO copywriting.

1. Make Your Copy One-Of-a-Kind

Imagine you’ve bought three books by three totally different authors – only to discover that beyond the unique covers, each book treads over the exact same content. Such a waste of time (and paper!)

You’d feel the same way if you clicked through three search results and found largely identical content. To avoid this annoyance, Google strives to fill its search results with pages that provide unique, distinct information.

If a site has two extremely similar pages – for example, ‘regular’ and ‘printer-friendly’ versions with the same copy – one of them is going to get filtered out. You can tell Google which version you’d prefer to show off in the search results using canonicalization.

But what if your website uses copy that appears elsewhere on the web? Say you’re running an online store that sells other brands’ products. You might’ve considered ‘borrowing’ some copy from the brand’s website on your own product pages to save time.

Resist the temptation. Duplicate copy can hurt your site’s search ranking. Google loves original content, even on the most well-tread topics.

2. Lock-On to Your Target Audience with Keywords

Search engines are great at picking up patterns. It’s one of the primary ways they process and understand what a webpage (and a website at large) is about.

When a particular word or phrase appears repeatedly throughout a webpage, the crawler clues in. If these terms are also surrounded by quality and relevant copy, it increases the odds of that webpage ranking for search queries that use the same important word. Hence the term keyword.

Keywords are at the core of SEO copywriting. Enriching your content with well-researched keywords is one of the best ways to help it reach the right audience.

3. Use Headings, Bullets and Lists

Have you ever had to speed-read part of a textbook moments before class?

No shame – we’ve all done it at one point in our lives.

Take a second to think about how you read a page when you’re down to the wire like that. You tend to flip through quickly, skim over paragraphs and focus on things that stand out:

  • Heading and subheadings
  • Lists, tables and diagrams

It’s not too different from how Google parses a webpage.

Search engines are increasingly fond of copy that can be turned into quick ‘snippets’ – and we know for a fact that your layout is key to creating snippet-friendly content.

4. Compliment Your Copy with Awesome Images and Videos

Think your web copy can stand alone? Think again.

Visual content is so powerful when it comes to SEO that it’s practically mandatory.

To date, Google Image Search has indexed over 10 billion images and stands as the second-biggest search engine (earning about 23% MORE searches than YouTube) Incredibly, images also account for about 3% of all Google search clicks via image blocks.

The stats on video are equally enticing. One research firm estimates that having a video on a page increases its chance of a top Google ranking by 53%! Another has found that video boosts your organic traffic by as much as 157%.

Video and image files also serve as another clue to the topic of your page in the eyes of the algorithm. You might not give a second thought to your file names and metadata, but this information can really help reinforce the keyword or phrase you’re targeting in your copy.

5. Be the Authority on Your Subject Matter

Above all else, Google wants to make its users happy.

Why? Because more users mean more advertising revenue.

The people behind Google Search (and competing search engines like Bing) work tirelessly to develop a search engine algorithm that delivers the most accurate, relevant answers to your queries. As a result, the system tends to favour content that is more thorough, accurate and digestible than other pages on the same topic.

This doesn’t always mean your copy needs to be longer than your competitors’ pages. Rather, it should deliver more information and/or better information (ideally, it does both).

Smart keywords, quality visuals and good formatting are all valuable assets when it comes to writing for SEO – but they’ll fall flat if the copy doesn’t deliver. In fact, Google can even penalize your website if the copy doesn’t live up to the hype.

Start Writing Copy That Google Loves

Of course, getting people to your landing page with search-friendly copy is only half the battle. You’ve still got to turn those eager prospects into customers. That requires a calculated blend of persuasive writing, pitch-perfect web design and proven sales tactics.

It’s well worth your effort to get the ingredients right from the start.

Why You Can’t Just Set and Forget Your Ad Campaigns

The most important thing for any business is relevancy.

Countless businesses question why they don’t see their products on Google.

How do you go about doing that? By creating ads that you check and test regularly and making adjustments to improve performance.

Think Like a Customer

One thing to change about your ads is to tailor them to what people would search for.

Structure your ads how a user would search for the product. Titles, descriptions, images, and other attributes play an important role because it is what Google sees to recommend.

For example, say you’re selling Beatles t-shirts from a tour. You title the product “Band T-shirt.” Instead of this, you should include all relevant information for the user. This could be:

  • Brand
  • Colour
  • Size
  • Descriptive nouns or adjectives

A new title could be: “Beatles 1965 US Tour T-shirt Black.” This system not only will increase sales, but customers are less likely to bounce, and they feel like they are not misled.

Don’t Forget About Your Ads

With any industry, especially online, your competitors are innovating and creating new products to compete with the rest of the market.

Leaving your ad campaign without constantly optimizing it, hinders your relevancy. Letting the ad just run its course may lead to negative feedback or even errors that you could have prevented by monitoring the ad.

Split Testing

If your ads aren’t doing as well as you wanted, why not change them? Once you set an ad live, you have countless opportunities to see what might generate more leads for you.

One of those tests that may be beneficial is split testing.

Split testing is the idea that you take the same ad and make minor changes to the title, description, layout or the creative and monitor which generates more traction and sales. It’s then important to understand why those changes benefited your campaign.

One way to analyze this is through A/B testing. In order for this to be effective, it need to randomly subdivide your products into test and control groups. This then is presented to the customers and feedback is recorded.

A/B testing specifically for titles can end up with products performing 60% in cost per click and ad spend metrics.

The Benefits of Product Groups

When it comes to identifying which products to invest advertising budget, grouping products can be extremely helpful.

It’s important to not “put all your eggs in one basket.” Let’s say you have an ad group that consists of women’s t-shirts and it received 1000 clicks in the past month. You want to invest in ads to amplify these results, but this group is far too broad.

Some shirts will have done better than others. When you identify that the V-neck style actually had half the clicks, you can invest in that group and find better results.

Most strategies that include product groupings have a catch-all for the remaining loose ends. Check this group regularly for traction. If a particular product is gaining impressions, then it may be beneficial to add the product to another group or create its own.

This way you can advertise only what will result in meaningful impressions and clicks.

Utilizing the Custom Labels for Better Results

Custom labels should not be static because of the flexible nature of them.

They are a powerful tool for managing shopping. For testing purposes, you can use label segments such as:

  • Clearance items
  • Price buckets
  • Margin buckets

These dynamic performance labels are used to pull data from your A/B tests.

Remove the Negative Keywords

Keywords are used to let Google know that you have products that people are searching for. They are useful for enhancing both titles and relevancy.

When we say negative, we don’t mean actually negative sounding keywords. Negative keywords bring unwanted traffic, or traffic that is not desirable for the products you sell.

Google’s goal is to appropriately match information to what people are searching for. Strong keywords help gain that traction but does not prevent all the unwanted traffic.

If a keyword that alludes to something that you think is irrelevant, then remove it.

When you research keywords, keep an eye out for poor conversion words or irrelevant terms and add them as negatives. It’s important to then follow-up on those work blocks to ensure the the traffic is filtered effectively.

There’s Always Room for Improvement

Today, there are countless opportunities to segment performance and bids. Even if your performance is doing great, you can almost always make small modifications and optimizations in order to improve in another area.

Since everyone else is also trying to remain relevant in the industry, you must always be on the ball. Monitoring and testing your ad campaigns is key to this.

Without proper monitoring, you’ll never know how your ads are doing and where you can improve.

How Instagram Removing the ‘Like’ Count Affects Marketing

Social media has been a huge marketing outlet for businesses today. How do we know if people are enjoying certain content? By the number of likes.

One of the major social medias, used by 1 billion people monthly and 500 million daily, is Instagram.

Have you noticed anything different about your current Instagram feed? If so then you are one of about 70% of Canada’s population affected by their test to remove the like count.

The focus is on the quality of the content, not the number of likes. Thus, only the account user will be able to see the count.

This puts businesses that utilize the algorithm of likes on their content for promotions in a different position. So how will it affect your business if it becomes an official change?

How Instagram’s Algorithm Works

In the past, Instagram organized its feed only by the time it was posted. The most recent could be found at the top.

In 2016, Instagram introduced a new algorithm that changed how user’s feed was shown. Simply put, the most relevant content was displayed further up in someone’s feed.

The factors that affect your relevancy to people are:

1. Interest

Instagram takes what users interact with and identify a trend between the posts. If you often comment on photos of puppies, then you are more likely to see puppies at the start of your feed. The goal is to identify what the users prioritize and show content related to that.

2. Relationship

Instagram wants the content it shows users to be something users enjoy seeing or interacting with. The more interactions you have with others, the more the algorithm will recognize you as having a relationship. This would include things like comments, enabled notifications, direct messages, or tags.

3. Timeliness

Now this is not to say that Instagram showcases feed chronologically. Instagram does showcase newer posts first but not the newest. For businesses and brands recency is more related to the idea of posting when people are active. Paying attention to when your audience is online will help indicate when you should post so it will be higher up in their feed.

The goal is to give users the content they want to see most, right away.

Businesses Without Instagram ‘Like’ Counts

A ‘like’ is easily given. It takes no time and no effort.

This shift forces businesses to become more deeply invested in the analytics of their posted content. Companies need to figure out what actually works, instead of guessing.

Identifying what kind of content thrives is going to be key.

Finding what drives conversions and stepping into a more authentic path for your services. Look at other metrics such as the save feature or reach.

For businesses it may be more beneficial to focus more on comment engagement when working with Influencers now. Commenters are more likely to invest in your brand since they took the time comment on a post.

What Removing ‘Like’ Count means for Influencers

Many people have developed a large following and have created businesses surrounding their online personalities.

Companies then partner with them to promote their products. For those that utilize influencers for conversions, this may make it more difficult. A clear indication of the amount of reach an influencer had would have been the number of likes on an average post. We may not have this anymore, though.

For Influencers themselves, it may be more difficult to establish yourself if you haven’t already. Brand are less likely to choose you over someone who they can clearly see getting transactions.  

It may give Influencers more creative freedom in their posts. Most Influencers feel they can’t post content that may fall flat in user engagement. If their posts lack that conversion, the brand may not work with them. Without visible ‘like’ counts, they have more artistic freedom.

Focus When Posting

Instagram is unique in that it allows you to showcase your products. This could be through photos, videos, and Stories.

This new system could actually allow you as brands or businesses to assess the content you are posting. To make changes that reflects what you wish to project to your audience.

By no longer focusing on a like count, it can allow you to narrow-in on content that generates more buzz with comments or saves. This can actually be more beneficial to you as those people are more likely to generate conversions and sales.

Targeting on LinkedIn Is the Newest Way to Grow your Audience

There are so many ways to define your audience that finding the “perfect” one for your company can be overwhelming. How do you know if you’re reaching the right group?

LinkedIn’s newly released audience targeting system could provide you with the right connections.

In early 2019, LinkedIn released an exciting new advertising model that uses three main methods to help expand your business reach and propelling your business further:

  1. Lookalike audiences, which finds people who look like the audience you already have.
  2. Audience templates based on commonly related characteristics such as job titles and skills.
  3. Interest targeting for the most relevant topics or themes to your ideal audience.

Here’s a quick introduction to how you can use LinkedIn’s targeted advertising to reach your perfect audience.

1. Lookalike Audiences

A lookalike audience is similar to your core audience with one important difference: these individuals are not completely dedicated to your brand yet. But the potential is there because they have visited your website or engaged with your mobile app.

By enticing this audience through ads that reflect their interests or professional careers, you can expand your audience and grow. Those who are already engaging in mild ways with your site are the most likely to convert and grow your business.

Getting Started with Lookalike Audiences

The best step to begin this process is to find a specific starting point within your audience and develop the group from there. It’s important to not make overly broad audiences such as “all purchasers”. How would you know if they were one-time purchasers or consistent buyers? Identify your important customers.

After you’ve identified segmentation of your core audience, determine if you want to optimize based on similarity or reach. Typically, between 1%-5% of the target demographic will find you a group closely resembling your core audience.

For reach optimization, aim for anything near 10% of the target demographic. While you are targeting a greater number of users, they will be less similar to your core audience.

Why LinkedIn Lookalike Audiences?

What sets LinkedIn apart from other companies that help develop lookalike audiences?

  • Ability to reach farther with active users and convert them.
  • Scale results not just with a wide reach but with quality conversions.
  • Find audiences you may not have considered before.

With 500 million people actively using the site and 9 million companies, you have access to a huge pool of people to expand your audience from. This software was built on their information, where people are motivated to keep their information up to date so they can network for future job opportunities.

Only active members within your target audience receive the advertisement campaigns. Meaning you are more likely to get traction on your ad from active users that are going to engage. During their pilot testing, companies were able to tailor their ads to their desired demographic and received 5-10 times more reach while still having quality customers.

Prior to any campaign launch for your business, LinkedIn has developed a system that predicts the general outcome of the ad. You can then make improvements before it goes live, which results in even more success with your campaign.

2. Audience Templates

LinkedIn provides a variety of different pre-set packages regarding their targeted advertisements. They are based on commonly related audience characteristics such as:

  • Company size, name or industry
  • Job title or function
  • Seniority level
  • Schools
  • Degrees
  • Skills
  • Fields of study
  • LinkedIn member groups

Businesses can easily begin their reach campaigns but don’t have to spend hours setting up the specifics.

3. Interest Targeting

Interest targeting is the idea that you are serving your ad campaign to people who are interested in that topic or a general theme.

The initial pique of interest, followed by content that they engage with, helps create a receptive and responsive audience. In the future, they will seek your content, products and services.

LinkedIn ads offer interest targeting based on content that users are responsive to. Relevant ads and content match a user’s interests using at least one of the 200 professional interest categories, including:

  • Arts and entertainment (music, visual arts, literature, television, and film)
  • Business and management, (company acquisitions, business funding, and human resources)
  • Finance and economy (the stock market, corporate finance and financial matters on a personal, state, or federal level)
  • Marketing and advertising (market research, advertising strategies, and brand management)
  • Politics and law (law practice, social issues, and activism)
  • Sales and retail (sales channels, lead generation, and retail merchandising)
  • Science and environment (human health, social interactions and infrastructure, engineering, and consumer electronics)
  • Society and culture (religion, family and personal relationships, and social issues)
  • Technology (biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and internet technology)

There are also sub-categories within these broad categories. ‘Top’ categories will widen your reach, while sub-categories will find you more similarity.

Finding Your Audience on LinkedIn

Ultimately, customers care about their interests. They won’t purchase something they don’t like.

Businesses can shape their brand perception and appeal to the target audiences by associating ads with the interests of the people they wish to reach. You can reach many communities through targeted interest advertisements.

LinkedIn is a platform all businesses should consider utilizing when they wish to expand their core audience and get more traction and engagement. They have made ads user-friendly for both the business and the customer.

How Smart Businesses Are Using Facebook Messenger Bots to Win Over Customers

As we increasingly shift toward a digital world, new technologies arise that promise to be the next new way to save time and money. Chatbots, specifically Facebook Messenger Bots, might be able to do just that. 

Are you interested in implementing Facebook Messengers Bots into your digital lead generation strategy? Here’s all you need to know about what they can do and how they can improve your business.  

What is a Facebook Messenger Bot?

Generally, bots are described as a program that simplifies or automates a task.  

Simply put, a Facebook Messenger Bot is software designed using artificial intelligence for automated communication with people. It reads ordinary language as structured data, which it then uses to understand and learn from. Additionally, it can store relevant information about the user. 

Bots can communicate quite seamlessly with customers using friendly and sophisticated language. Instead of calling, emailing or searching, customers can just message the bot like they would anyone else they want to reach. 

What Can Messanger Bots Actually Do? 

Providing customer service and saving customers time are the main functions of such software, but bots can be used for a multitude of services, such as: 

Customer Service and Qualifying Leads 

Bots can answer inquiries customers have and assist with issues at any time they need. For example, being able to change reservations at a restaurant or learning about redeeming points directly.  

Messenger Bots can also collect any preliminary data that the company needs from users. They can identify and advance the most qualified leads for human representatives.  

E-Commerce Transactions 

A bot can deliver special promotions and advertisementsMarketers can use the data bots to collect from a customer’s purchasing history and send the customer relevant information such as personalized coupons.  

Collect Data 

From an SEO standpoint, bots can help support organic results. They track commonly used and reoccurring searches or keywords to identify how customers phrase their inquiries. This information can then be incorporated into the site copy. This can also be used to identify frequently asked questions to form a foundation for blog content, videos, etc.  

Increase Loyalty with Customers 

One of the most important things Messenger Bots do is develop a connection and relationship with customers. Customer loyalty can be built through two-way conversations and providing helpful, relevant information to the customer. It can also build brand awareness by letting people know what your company does and what its core message is.  

Why Messenger Bots are the Future

With Facebook Messenger having over 1 billion active users every month, it is no wonder that Messenger Bots can provide a unique service for so many customers and businesses. Being able to access the audience of one of the most-used apps in the world is indispensable.

The customer builds the business, especially when it comes to customer service. And with Messenger Bots, customers can access the services you provide more easily than ever:

This mean two important things:

  1. Customers are more likely to move down the marketing funnel of your business
  2. Transactions are less likely to be dropped off

Your business will have more sales just by making things more accessible and automated.

Messenger Bots can also use the data they have stored to reengage with customers. Did the shoes they purchased fit well? Are they interested in the latest promotion that has a similar style?

Bots can deliver relevant content that is personal to the customer. They can even remind users that they sent their aunt something for her birthday at this time last year! It is with these types of interactions that loyalty and connections are formed between the customer and business.

Customization for You

As a business, you can customize everything your bot can do, right down to the questions it can answer. If you find it daunting to start setting up your own Facebook Messenger Bot, here are some tools that can help (that vary in difficulty):

Bots are still a new technology they are still learning and improving today. You will still have to monitor your bots to some degree for questions it can’t answer, and you may need to help customers understand how to use them.

By monitoring the overall experience your customers have with your bots, you can add and make changes to improve the quality of your bot which can make your business run smoother and make users happier.