5 Must Haves For Your Website Copy

You know what drives me nuts? Putting a lot of effort into something and then not getting much to show for it. I hate that, and I try to avoid it as much as possible. But sometimes it happens anyway.

And I know I’m not the only one. I often hear the stories of business owners who are frustrated that their marketing isn’t getting the kind of results they want, despite the investment they put in.

For example, take your website. You make a significant investment of resources into your website because it’s the place everyone goes to find out who you are and what you do. It’s your number one sales tool. Shouldn’t your website be bringing you lots of clients? If it’s not, let’s fix that.

Check to see if any of these critical elements are missing from your website copy:

  1. Benefits – what’s in it for them

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in telling people what we do that we forget to talk about why that’s so valuable to our clients.

For example, I could tell you that I write website copy, blogs, social media posts, sales flyer copy, etc., etc., but maybe you don’t feel that you need any of those things. However, if I tell you that I can help you create content that makes your sales materials more effective at getting you customers, I bet you’ll perk up. You may not be ready to whip out your wallet just yet, but you’ll at least be open to hearing more about how I do that.

It’s a noisy world out there, and the first hurdle you face is simply having people stop to hear what you have to say. Clearly communicating your benefits gets the people who need you to listen up.

  1. Your Why

What are your company’s values? What beliefs guide how you serve your clients? The answer the these questions are what will set you apart from your competition and draw in the kinds of customers that you most enjoy serving and who most appreciate what you do.

People buy with their hearts and then rationalize it with their minds. Is your website copy tapping into this powerful persuasive technique? If not, really take some time to explore this question to identify your authentic why. I recommend checking out Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk on this topic for inspiration.

  1. A clear statement of what you do

Some people are well aware that they need to communicate the benefits of what they do and why they do it, and in the process something ironic can happen: They forget to say exactly what it is they do.

Have you ever been to a website where they tell you all about how they’re changing the world, touching lives, increasing sales for clients, making you more successful… but you’re not sure exactly how they do that or what their product or service is?

That happened to me recently. I couldn’t tell from their home page. Or their about page. Or anywhere on the site. Epic fail! But you’d be surprised how easily that can happen. You get caught up in one important aspect of what you’re writing and accidentally leave off something else that is also important. Use this blog post as a checklist so that doesn’t happen to you!

  1. Call to action (CTA)

Speaking of important things people often forget to include… a call to action is what tells website visitors what to do next. Call this phone number. Sign up for a free consultation. Subscribe here. Click this link to find out what the next step is. Etc.

Remember that you’re not just imparting information, you want people to DO something. Go through each major page of your website and check to see if it asks them to take an action. Even if you have a CTA in a sidebar, repeat the call to action in the body text because people often overlook what’s on the side of pages because that’s where ads typically appear.

  1. Specific examples

Another mistake that I often see in website copy is talking in terms that are too broad and generalized. Instead, use specific, concrete examples that paint a picture in people’s minds of what you do and how you do it. This helps them imagine you doing it for them, which can make a huge difference.

Let’s say you have outstanding customer service. Ok, great. But everyone says that. Ok, sure, you really do have the best customer service compared to any of your competitors. Instead of insisting that your customer service is awesome, tell the story of a customer of yours and what precisely you did for them and how it impacted them. Talk about the specific results they got. Share how it made them feel, what a difference it made. Tell a story about the experience of working with you so that people who read it will want that experience for themselves.

How your website looks matters. What you say is critical.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the logistics of creating a website – what layout to use, getting the colors right, making sure there are no glitches, etc. – that the content ends up being an afterthought.

Even people who are really good at writing struggle to write their own marketing and sales copy. (For example, me.) It’s essential to have an outside perspective, someone who can see what you can’t see and help you clearly communicate what makes you unique in the marketplace. A professional copywriter can be invaluable in this regard.

If you’d like me to take a look at your website and show you exactly where you can improve the copy on your website so that it attracts more of the right kinds of customers for you, contact me at WriteSmithAZ.com.

Sara Korn is a freelance copywriter at WriteSmith, where she creates brand messaging copy and marketing content designed to help businesses stand out from the crowd and attract their ideal target audience.

 

Content Marketing Strategy: How to Create Lasting Value in 2016 and Beyond

Content Marketing Strategy

We live in an information-driven economy. Creating content – the right content, on a regular basis – is essential. Doing so can also get expensive, but you can’t afford to be left behind, so how do you keep up and still stay on budget?

Here’s how you can maximize your content marketing strategy so you can do more with less.

Create Evergreen Content

While there’s a place for content about the latest happenings, the content marketing strategy that will give you the most bang for your buck over time is content that remains useful over an extended period.

What best practices and advice can you share with your audience that won’t go out of style? What aspects of your business do customers need to know about that aren’t likely to change? What questions do people ask you again and again?

Mine Existing Materials for Hidden Gems

You may be sitting on a gold mine of content without even realizing it. Take an inventory of what content you have so far. Look across all platforms, at all your product content and sales and marketing materials. Identify copy, videos, images, handouts – anything that you use to help your customers understand who you are and what you do, and resources that help them out.

Then…

Repurpose and Reuse

Look at your most popular blog posts – why not turn them into an e-book? Sell the eBook and add a low-cost revenue stream. Or you can use the e-book as a free giveaway to incentivize people to join your mailing list so you can get them into your sales pipeline.

Or maybe you want to start speaking and teaching courses. Take that e-book (or series of blog posts, or newsletter articles…) and use them to create your course curriculum and handouts. Or go the opposite direction and turn your course handouts into an e-book.

Have a client success story? Use that to write a blog post on how to implement your product/service once people buy. Send it out to your email list and offer to provide a similar service for new clients. Use the story to train your team on how to help other clients achieve the same kind of success.

Did you recently hire a professional to re-write your website copy? Make the most of that investment by copying key sentences into your email campaigns, your sales collateral, and your phone scripts. Update your 30-second commercial for greater impact at networking events.

In a value-driven content marketing strategy, you use content in multiple ways to market your products and services, or to create new products and services, or simply to build stronger relationships with clients. Write once, sell again and again.

Start simple – identify one piece of content right now that you could use in multiple ways.

Sara KornSara Korn is a marketing copywriter who specializes in crystal-clear messaging that gets the attention of the people who need you most. Connect with her at WriteSmithAZ.com.

Building Lasting Relationships with Content and Social Media Marketing

Social Media MarketingPeople buy great products and services from people they know, like and trust. But, how do you get people to know you if they won’t visit your store or call you for a consultation? You do it by building lasting relationships with content and social media marketing.

The process of building relationships hasn’t changed. You still build them through authentic engagement and conversation, but now your message can get out to many instead of only a few. Think of social media as the new telephone party line and content as the conversation that includes tips, news, jokes, inspiration, education and gossip. The combination of both builds the relationship, which eventually leads to permission to market to the buyer.

Understand Your Buyer

To begin building the relationship, start by understanding your buyer. Don’t try to sell to everyone. Know who you’re talking to and take the time to create the one or two perfect buyer profiles. Be specific and avoid generalities. For example, a day care business might target working women, age 35-50, who live in zip code 85048 and have young children under the age of 5. Knowing exactly who your audience is helps you craft the message you want them to receive.

Engage in the Conversation

Find out where your buyers hang out online and locally. Be present in those places, engage in conversation and help when someone asks for it. When you’re engaging in conversation on social media, pay attention to how the group responds to other posts. If they like inspirational quotes, helpful articles and cute llama pictures, then use them in your responses and posts. Be careful about being too pitchy or only chiming in when you’re trying to push your products.

Be Consistent

There’s nothing like going to a businesses website or social media site only to find that it’s out of date, not updated and looks like a ghost town. There’s no better way to say you don’t care about your business or your buyers. To mitigate this, make sure you’re scheduling time during the day to focus on creating content and engaging in social media. Hire an expert if you can’t find the time. Consistency is the key to keeping your business in front of buyers until they’re ready to buy.

Tracie RollinsTracie Rollins is the founder of The Rollins Advantage, LLC, a Phoenix-based content marketing firm that helps small businesses define and execute content and social media marketing strategies that attract interest, educates customers and delivers an amazing experience throughout the buying process. Tracie applies more than 18 years of experience to marketing strategy, research, and development of content that educates, influences and improves the lives of others. She believes that education provides knowledge, knowledge drives actions and actions change.

Strong SEO is a Start. But Wait…There’s More!

First–don’t shoot me for saying this. Traditional advertising isn’t cutting it anymore. I remember back in the day when I worked as a sales rep for a local TV station in Alaska, KYES Channel 5. It was 1998 and the station owner, Jeremy Lansman, wanted me to start selling ad space on our website. I thought he was crazy. Who in their right mind was going to spend money on website advertising when I could sell them $8 rotators? Looking back I have to giggle. Kind of ironic considering now I’m an internet marketer, however, it took a lot of years before I admitted it—but he was and still is… well, brilliant.

While print, television, and radio advertising are still very relevant in some industries, online marketing has become a necessary addition to traditional marketing plans, especially for businesses to be found by their audience.  Let’s face it, we’re more plugged in than ever! Thousands of people go to the web to search for goods and services rather than use a phone book.

Just for the sake of online search alone–there were 2,954,252,063 Google searches already performed today–at the exact time I wrote this piece alone!

Further—most of them aren’t using a laptop or a PC. They’re on their smart phones searching in real time. For businesses today, the key to being found is no longer the Yellow Pages, but having a presence online and one that’s mobile responsive. Basically what that means is that the site is the same on web, tablet, or mobile, and when visited “responds” by changing itself appropriately for a quality end-user experience.

It’s all about your business being relevant to what your potential customers want and with the new Google Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird (and the rest of the Google zoo…) algorithm updates, relevancy is nearly at the top of the ranking list. Especially when we consider the recent partnership between Google and Twitter where a company’s tweets will now appear in online search engine results. First impressions matter–if you look like a dingle-berry on Twitter, you’ll definitely look like a dingle-berry on Google. Yep, this relevancy thing is super important. You’ll have to get this right. We’ve also found that the best results come when using not just SEO, but social media marketing and search engine marketing in conjunction with one another. The power of the triangle really works and here’s why.

The Power of the Triangle - SEO, SMM and SEMBreaking it Down

Search Engine Optimization

Think of SEO as the foundation to your home. When you have the right keywords in place and all of your on-page SEO is set, all of the other efforts that you build on bring that house to life. You need that foundation all the time and on-going. You need to trust that foundation will be strong enough to hold the house in place if there’s an earthquake. Here’s an example:

At the rate that Google changes its algorithms your website needs to be constantly updated to accommodate them. Fresh content that is relevant to your audience, proper keyword usage, and knowledge of the latest Google updates are just some of the critical ingredients to SEO.

Here’s some stats to get your attention:

  • 61% of Global Internet UsersResearch Products Online
  • Google owns 5%of the search engine market share, Bing 18.4% and yahoo 10.3%.
  • 60% of all organic clicks go to theTOP 3 organic search results.
  • 70-80%of users ignore the paid ads on the results page, focusing on the organic results.
  • 75%of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

What does this mean for your business? You’re familiar with the riddle–“If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?” Exactly my point. If your potential customers can’t find you through a search engine, they. are. NOT. going. to find you. A good SEO strategy is necessary so your website is visible to the people who are looking for your goods or services. They’ll concentrate on your foundation and also the framing as the rest of your house gets built. Such as off page SEO strategies by way of citations and NAP (name-address-phone listings) consistency, among others.

Social Media Marketing Campaigns

You’ve read the articles and know all the stats. Social media isn’t just for kids anymore. Platforms like Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so many more are the medium for communicating with a wide number of people.

The average American spends 37 minutes on social media a day. If businesses are going to reach potential clients, they are going to need to have a robust social media strategy as part of their overall online marketing plan. However, the key is to unlock the engagement.

You can post to social all day long, but that’s not going to bring any traction. I witness so-called marketers do it at the expense of their clients’ marketing dollars. They go in claiming to be an authority to help small business owners by taking the social tasks off their hands while at the same time doing their clients an injustice.

The results are…well there really ARE NO results. There’s no organic growth and a serious lack of engagement which equals no traction.  It takes a strategic approach to break away from mediocrity and not simply spew junk content on their client’s social channels just to have something to post. Again…back to the dingle-berry reference above.

Enter SEM—Search Engine Marketing

Yes, we love social media but where we make a difference is when we start with the foundation of SEO and build our social around the overall marketing strategy. We have a proven strategy that works; when a social plan is combined with a strategic search engine marketing campaign, the results are astounding!

In a study by Marin Software, they found that marketers who combine search engine campaigns with social media campaigns had nearly twice as many conversions and DOUBLED their revenue vs. using only social or search campaigns.  According to the study, people who clicked on social AND search ads spent nearly twice as much as people who only clicked on social ads.

Impact of Search on Conversion Graph Search Campaign Performance Graph

What does all of this mean for you and your business?

Implementing a strategic marketing plan that uses both SEM and SMM with a solid foundation of SEO is the much needed approach for being relevant in all aspects of your online presence. Have a sit down with your marketing professional and look at implementing a plan that will both drive engagement and give you the SEO rise you’re looking for. The power of the triangle will make a difference if done right, we promise!

kristi-churchKristi Church is the owner of Infinite Reach, a full service marketing and visual communications agency that specializes in SEO, social media marketing, graphic design, website builds and corporate photography. For additional information, please visit: http://infinitereachagency.com.

Rank higher in search results by making your website mobile friendly

Laurie_webGuest post by Laurie W. Anderson of Cactus Creative.

2014 was a turning point for mobile web searches. For the first time, mobile devices accounted for up to 50 percent of web searches. So, from a marketing standpoint, it is imperative for business owners to offer a mobile friendly website to these users. Google is continuing to reward mobile friendly or “responsive websites” with higher SERPs (search engine result pages).

Mobile-friendly tag in search results

In late 2014, Google announced that it had added a “mobile-friendly” designation to websites that are optimized for mobile devices, and that designation affects SERPs.

Google continues to focus on improving the mobile user experience and directing you to mobile friendly sites, so they recently stated “Starting on April 21, 2015 mobile-friendliness will be considered an important ranking factor for mobile search results.”

How does Google determine “friendliness”?

There is an easy way for you to see how Google will tag your firm’s web site–
take Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. What exactly makes a site mobile-friendly? Here is the list of criterion that Google checks:

  • Avoid software that is less supported on mobile devices, like Flash Player.
  • Use an appropriately-sized text so users do not have to “pinch and zoom.”
  • Use phone optimized navigation (large links).
  • Automatically size content to the user’s screen to reduce horizontal scrolling.
  • Use “responsive programming” to ensure your web design responds to any device size.

Enjoy the results!

Optimizing your company’s website for mobile-friendly use gives your website higher scores, and a significant edge over your competitors, who may not yet realize the importance of compatibility. Then, simply enjoy the benefits of Google boosting your firm’s site in its rankings.

Laurie Anderson and Jim Varner are the owners of CactusCreative.Net and report frequently on changes that affect all aspects of marketing. Contact them at Laurie@cactuscreative.net or 480-414-4711.

Members, if you would like to submit a guest post for the NAWBO blog, contact Sara Korn.

October is Women Business Owner Month

Promote your business and the impact it has in the community! Download and share these free social media facts and update your social media profile picture.

Use the #NAWBOPHX

NAWBO-socialmediagraphics-1 NAWBO-socialmediagraphics-2 NAWBO-socialmediagraphics-3 NAWBO-socialmediagraphics-ProfileImage

Thank you to Gravity  Web + Design! 

Market Your Business with NAWBO

Looking for addition exposure for your business and a great way to keep up to date on all things NAWBO? Here is the NAWBO Marketing channels and how you can connect:

1. Like NAWBO’s:
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/NAWBOPhx
Twitter https://twitter.com/NAWBOphx
Add NAWBO Phx to Google+ Circle and
Join the LinkedIn Group
2. Subscribe to the NAWBO Phx Blog – visit nawbophxblog.com and enter your email in the Subscribe box to receive emails when new content is posted

3. Post Photos from events on your profile and use #NAWBOPhx in the status. This applies to all social media platforms including facebook, twitter and google+

Example: ” I spent the night networking with the top business owners in Phoenix. #NAWBOPhx ”

4. Like or comment on all NAWBO posts- Visit the NAWBO Facebook Page at least twice each week

5. Share NAWBO Posts – including posts about upcoming events you are attending inviting people to attend with you

6. Encourage other Members to post usING the #NAWBOphx

7. Submit content for blog. (Email Suzanne@nawbophx.com ).  Submit at least 2 blogs for yourself including one expertise blog and one member’s success story. Contact Sara Korn and she will help.

9. Did you recently win an award? REACH A NEW BUSINESS MILESTONE? Or have a new innovative business strategy? We are looking for success stories to promote to media outlets locally and nationally that shows the impact that women business owners have on improving the community. Email the Laurie our Media Director for more information. Laurie@cactuscreative.net

Build relationships online. Remember: People like to participate where they see others participating. The more you interact on the NAWBO social media platforms, the more likely other members are to join in.

A Second Chance at Valuable Social Media Info

social-media-experts-cropped-for-webWe had a full house at this month’s luncheon where experts in ten of the most effective forms of social media and online marketing shared actionable tips and tactics that businesses can use to further their reach, expand their networks and ultimately grow their business.

The feedback has been great, and in fact the biggest complaint was that there was only time to visit three tables, not all ten! Several of the experts who presented shared handouts, and in an effort to spread the education even further, they’ve agreed to make those available here on the NAWBO blog. Click on the link under the description of each handout.

A special thanks to all the presenters who shared their time and expertise!

Nancy Sanders

Develop Your LinkedIn Strategy

presented by Nancy Sanders, founder, Galaxy Consulting Services

Tips for creating a targeted LinkedIn strategy to support your business growth.

Get the LinkedIn handout

Follow me on twitter: @galaxyconsultg

Connect to Nancy Sanders on Linkedin

 

Susan SchneiderGenerating Leads: What Works and What Doesn’t

presented by Susan Schneider, account director, LeadQ

Although this blog post is written for our attorney niche, the information is definitely transferable to most B2C business models and many others as well.

Get the Generating Leads article

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LegalLeadQ

Connect to Susan Schneider on LinkedIn

 

Sara2010_close250x250The Minimalist Guide to Taming Twitter

presented by Sara Korn, content marketing writer, WriteSmith

Wondering how to use twitter in your business? Get this 2-page guide that tells you what you truly need to know to get started. (Hint: Hashtags isn’t one of them.)

Get the Twitter handout

Follow me on Twitter @SaraKornAZ

Connect to Sara Korn on LinkedIn

 

Tracie RollinsGetting Started with Content Marketing

presented by Tracie Rollins, content strategy manager, InfusionSoft

Your prospects and customers are looking for answers to problems that can be solved with your products or services. Are you reaching them with a clear content marketing strategy?

Get the Content Marketing handout

Add me to your circles on Google+

Follow me on Twitter @OneBadAssLife

Connect to Tracie Rollins on LinkedIn

 

Neil SchneiderOptimize your business with YouTube

presented by Neil Schneider, founder, Sonoran Studios

I will be presenting my YouTube program as a 30 minute webinar on May 29 from 10:30-11am. The most productive 30 minutes you will have right before lunch this month!

Direct Link to Webinar registration: http://j.mp/NAWBOYouTubeWebinar

My four page YouTube handout will be provided to participants at that time and you can also get it here.

Connect to Neil Schneider on LinkedIn

 

TaraHusteddePublic Relations

presented by Tara Hustedde, founder, Pure Public Relations & Marketing

Contact Tara directly for her handout at tarahustedde@pureprinc.com.

Connect with Tara Hustedde on LinkedIn

 

 

Do you still have social media questions? Post in the comments below.

Membership Benefit – How to use NAWBO social media to highlight your business!

 

Learn how to use NAWBO social media to highlight your expertise!

Learn how to use NAWBO social media to highlight your expertise!

Communications and Marketing Guide

Harness the Power of Social Media for Your Business

It’s no secret that many businesses are tapping into the power of social media to build customer relationships, expand their authority in their niche, and even generate new leads. But how to do all this… that’s a lot less clear.

That’s why the Phoenix NAWBO chapter has invited experts in 10 of the most popular and effective forms of social media and content marketing to share actionable tips, tricks, tools and tactics that businesses can immediately use to further their reach, expand their networks and ultimately grow their business.

Below, our member guest experts have shared the top reasons why the social platform they’ll be teaching about may be a great fit for your business.

Emily SchwartzBlogging

presented by Emily Schwartz, The Time Diet

“Blogging is a great way to have a consistent touch point with potential customers that keeps you top of mind. People might not remember the marketing postcard you sent them, but the WILL remember the helpful blog you posted. They might even share it with their friends!”

ChooTay

Facebook

presented by Choo Tay, media88

“Having a Facebook presence helps enhance your company’s brand awareness and develop relationship with your fans and prospects. It is also a great marketing tool to grow your business if you have a good plan and strategy.  If done correctly, convert leads into prospects with relatively low budget compare to other media.”

 

Nancy SandersLinkedIn

presented by Nancy Sanders, founder, Galaxy Consulting Services

“LinkedIn is THE best platform for building business-to-business relationships – it’s more personal than a business card and it provides a platform to clearly demonstrate your value and engage with business professionals, prospects and clients.”

 

Susan SchneiderOnline Lead Generation

presented by Susan Schneider, account director, LeadQ

“Lead generation strategies are critical for generating new client inquiries within your niche. The right lead gen strategies allow small to medium-sized businesses (who have limited resources for marketing) to compete against multi-disciplinary firms or big box retailers.”

 

Christina KehoePinterest

presented by Christina Kehoe, InfusionSoft

“Pinterest gives your business the ability to attract new audiences, engage brand advocates, gather insights and create a compelling brand presence. Instead of hoping and praying your content is stumbled upon, your content could have a fighting chance if your pins are optimized properly.”

 

TaraHusteddePublic Relations

presented by Tara Hustedde, founder, Pure Public Relations & Marketing

“PR isn’t dead. Technology has changed the publicity landscape in some ways, and it is now easier than ever for small and medium size businesses to get media exposure. With some key best practices in your toolbelt, you can harness the power of PR in the 21st century.”

 

Sara2010_close250x250Twitter

presented by Sara Korn, content marketing writer, WriteSmith

“Twitter provides a great way to spy on the marketplace to see what is popular, what industry leaders are doing, and what your competitors are up to. It’s also surprisingly easy meet influencers and start building relationships 140 characters at a time.”

 

Tracie RollinsContent Strategy

presented by Tracie Rollins, content strategy manager, InfusionSoft

“People buy from people they trust. But how do you become the trusted expert that people naturally gravitate towards? You help them get the answers they need in order to make an informed decision without being pushy or constantly asking them to buy your stuff. Content marketing is the combination of strategy and tactics that builds brand awareness, guides your target customer through the buying process and maximizes the value of each customer. It’s the engine that keeps customers coming through your door.”

 

Neil SchneiderYouTube

presented by Neil Schneider, founder, Sonoran Studios

“Until the launch of YouTube in 2005, only large media conglomerates controlled video advertising content in America. Now, your business can have a high quality video channel, that runs 24 / 7 / 365. FREE. But you don’t. Your company is NOT maximizing the impact of this FREE social platform and you are missing out on video SEO, integration with your other social outreach, and most importantly subscribers.”

 

Heather DopsonGoogle+

presented by Heather Dopson, social media manager, Infusionsoft

“Some people are saying Google + is a ghost town and isn’t worth our time. The fact is, G+ has a deeper impact than many people realize. While many view G+ as a standalone social media site, it is actually a social layer that ties together all Google products and verifies your digital presence. There’s no denying how prolific Google is, and G+ is still worth the time and effort for some brands.”

 

Today (Friday 5/9) is the last day to register for this event, so act now! (Walk-ins are accepted if there are still spots left, but registration is strongly encouraged.)

The luncheon is on Wedneday May 14, from 10:45 AM to 1:00 PM. Each attendee will choose three of 10 available topics that they would most like to explore. They will then rotate to participate in each small group discussion, facilitated by that topic’s “expert” who will share strategies, best practices, and tools and tactics they can immediately use to further their reach, expand their networks and ultimately grow their business.

So register now and give yourself the know-how to harness the power of social media for your business!