5 Reasons to Avoid Cheap Copywriters

Cheap isn’t always better and when it comes to content, it’s always best to choose quality over quantity. There are so many choices out there (Fiverr, Elance and other content mills) that it’s hard not to be tempted. Stick to your long term goals and read more about why you should avoid using cheap, low-quality writers.

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1) Create Unique and Evergreen Content – Having unique website content is important. Additionally, you’ll want to aim for creating “evergreen” content that keeps bringing visitors back. If this isn’t your goal, the work you put into it might not even be worth the effort. Cheap content isn’t synonymous with quality – ever!

2) Quality Over Quantity of Content and Words – Adding pages to your website on a consistent basis is great. But it won’t help and can actually hurt your website if the pages are of low quality or duplicate from somewhere else. If something seems too good to be true, chances are that it probably is.

3) Your Reputation and Brand May Suffer – Hiring a freelance writer can be problematic if the writer can’t properly convey your brand’s message. When hiring a cheap writer, keep in mind that they may take shortcuts to crank out the content. This means plagiarizing, using incorrect grammar and spelling or using facts that aren’t correct. By saving some money on a cheap writer, your brand may suffer consequences in the long run. It’s just not worth the risk.

4) Cheap Is Time Consuming – Cheap content is just that – cheap. It can actually be more time consuming and not cost effective if you have to go over the content to make sure that it is fit to be put up on your website. It may also mean going back to rework sections, or the whole page, and correcting other mistakes that a qualified writer shouldn’t be making. This may involve more time and effort than it would actually take if an experienced writer wrote a decent page or if you wrote the content yourself. Think of your website as your house. You want to put quality work into it and not fill it up with cheap, quick fixes because you’ll have to pay a price for it down the road.

5) You Want Content That Converts – Content that’s written by a cheap, inexperienced writer probably won’t convert. That’s because they don’t have a call to action or conversion in mind. In their head, they may just be trying to hit a keyword minimum so that they can wrap things up quickly. Content is king and conversion is the key. You can’t expect to pay a minimal fare for that.

Read more about our web copywriting services here: http://www.emarketed.com/web-copywriting and call us at (877) 959-5322 for more information.

How A Good Copywriter Can Pull You Out of a Landing Page Rut

Never underestimate the power of a well-written landing page. Landing pages for paid search or organic search differ in some ways but the same basic principles for writing must be kept in mind. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a rut and find it hard to understand why a landing page that otherwise seems good on paper isn’t converting or converting the right type of customers. This is where an experienced and effective copywriter can come handy.

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Focus on Conversion

The main focus of a landing page is conversion. When we talk specifically about a PPC landing page, even better! Because the writer doesn’t have to keep SEO in mind. This brings us back to the good-old days of writing ad copy, without coming off as contrived or unnatural to please search engines. This means relying on tactics of: engaging reader emotion, establishing trustworthiness, creating a relationship and showing visitors why they have made the right choice by choosing your company.

Appropriate Ad Copy to Accompany Video

Nowadays, a video may often accompany a main landing page. But what about the content that accompanies the video? If the video is the selling point of the page, the copy must back it up. A video on an empty landing page isn’t going to sell it self or seem trustworthy or relevant. Even though the emphasis is on the video, there still has to be content. Content in this case can come in the form of relevant testimonials, blurbs about the company. The goal is to reinforce the visitor in their choice of staying on your site and watching the video.

Stand Out Among Similar Competitors

When customers are doing a search, chances are they’ll choose between a handful of companies. This is a tough playing field as you’re all targeting the same keywords. It doesn’t help that Google tends to bold these phrases in search results so you’ll literally be seeing the same thing over and over again.

A creative copywriter can help your ad copy and landing page stand out in the sea of monotony. This is where using similar phrases and synonyms, action verbs and adjectives help set your company apart from competitors. Create custom headlines and content to show your true voice, instead of just targeting the same old keywords everyone else is.

Be A Voice of Reason and Don’t Make Half Promises

Sometimes, landing pages may seem spammy when the content over delivers and fails to keep the initial promise. The page might be very simple with a form for information promising something in return. For example, a landing page advertising a FREE* product or service might have a small disclaimer of being “free” for X amount of days. Although this technically not lying because of the disclosure, it can be considered deceptive. With the help of a copywriter, a landing page can be transformed with language that says “COMPLETELY free”,”100% free” or “No Credit Card Required”. This is the kind of content that gets people to convert.

Have A Question About Landing Page Optimization?

You can read more about that here: http://www.emarketed.com/landing-page-optimization. From copywriting to designing a download or brochure, Emarketed can help. Call us at (877) 959-8019 for more information.

How to Amplify Your Content

Content is king but with that being said, there is an extra step needed after the content is actually written. Good content will help keep visitors on the page and increase conversions. But good content alone can’t bring in visitors and can’t really be found without an additional boost. Luckily, there are a few ways you can do that.

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Social Media Marketing

Organic and paid aspects of social media are worth exploring. Of course, you can always push new blog posts and content on your social profiles. But don’t feel like you need to automate everything to post on every network at once. You can pick and choose topics that you feel would do best on each network.
Paid ads like Facebook Ads are an easy and affordable way to encourage readers to click on your click-worthy content.

The Old Fashioned Way

Email and newsletters are a more traditional method of sharing content. But at the same time, it’s easy and effective. It can be as simple as adding a blog link to your email signature or sending a recap of your new content and posts every month or quarter. They key here is to be consistent and share content that people would want to read. Don’t be afraid to send solitary pieces of content to your close friends and family and ask them to comment and/or share on their social profiles. Content can’t grow and amplify if you don’t put the effort into it!

Services/Tools That Help Grow Traffic

For a relatively “new” approach, there are tools like Pub Exchange, Story Stack on WordPress, Outbrain and Taboola. Have you ever come across a news site with a section at the end for Sponsored Stories or a “You Might Also Like:” section? With these services, you can bid to have your content placed on local or global sites. This is a great way for publishers to showcase their stories on venues that they wouldn’t get to otherwise, on sites like CNN, Cracked and the Huffington Post.

Why Bother?

Content amplification helps get your website and blog found in more places that just organic search. Sure, being at the top of Google search results is wonderful but you should always strive to grow your traffic and by more diverse means than just Google organic. These are just a few, easy methods to help boost your content. So go on, get out there and do it!

Enough with Bad Click Bait

In the marketing industry, click bait or link bait, is seen as something (anything) interesting to grab people’s attention and garner those highly coveted clicks.

Although click bait is generally a positive, there are many examples of click bait that we see everyday that are examples of something to avoid. The purpose of click bait is to “sell” a decent, reputable piece of content. The content is written and the headline worded in such a way that people would want to click and find out more. But in the world of sensationalist journalism, the story is a fluff piece is created to fill a ridiculous title.

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Tendency to Be Spammy

We’ve all seen those ads, “one weird trick to get rid of belly fat fast”… or something else along those lines. Click bait is used in ad copy because it gets people to click. In a case like this, the ad might lead you to some questionable diet pills. This is something customers and Google want to avoid, especially when it comes to YMYL (Your Money Your Life) content.

Tendency to be Misleading

Click bait is all about clicks. In some cases, people/businesses don’t care how accurate the information really is or if the headline can be misleading when read in a standalone manner. We know this for a fact because a majority of readers don’t actually finish web pages or articles and just stick to what they get from the title! Another problem is that some click bait is intended to mislead and deceive readers, especially when it comes to controversial or heated topics. That’s never a good thing for a business.

Tendency to Lack Quality

It’s easy to write a page of lackluster content and slap a crazy title on it and call it click bait. While this article might get some clicks, the actually substance (or lack of) will drive people away faster then it brought them in! Clicks and traffic are great but not when your readers are leaving immediately. The problem with click bait is that often, the goal is to get that first click and then… nothing else matters. They aren’t concerned about the quality of the traffic and website visitors, click throughs or even bounce rate of that piece. In terms of content, engagement and adding to your authority, bad click bait isn’t the route you want to follow.

For a more positive and ideal idea of what click bait should be, check out Matt Cutt’s blog post here.

Writing with Marketing in Mind

Getting over the crippling fear of writer’s block is even more difficult when you have to write about a very specific topic. It’s even worse when you’re writing for a business in a boring industry! One way to combat the boredom is to attack it head-on, in a potentially “boring” way. Here are some important points on how you can structure your writing with marketing in mind.

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Formatting: Just thinking of content structure is a good starting point. Are you thinking of writing: a short anecdote, Q&A, liveblogging/Tweeting, summarizing article/study/book, case study, interview, or even a poem? Once you have the structure down, the tie into marketing is the WHY. As in, why should your readers care that they’re reading anything you write?

Audience: Getting to know your audience will help your business in many ways. It helps with SEO because you’re attracting the right kind of traffic and visitors. It helps in everyday business because you know who you’re targeting and trying to satisfy one of their needs. Knowing your audience means that you’re marketing to the right type of customer. This gives you clues on how to write: for beginners, experts, or others who are looking for more information.

Substance Over Art: Writing is an art form but in many ways, it’s also a science. Marketing is also definitely a creative art, but there are specific formulas for success. The art and science in writing successfully can’t exist without the other. The trouble comes when content becomes so convoluted in the “art” that it loses the business meaning.

Write with Emotion: The most effective type of ads trigger a feeling which makes the message and brand memorable. These feelings can be: happiness, anger, shock, nostalgia, excitement and humor. Assigning a specific emotion to your content gives readers a reason to care about what you’re writing. Not only do they want a solution to their problem, but real human emotions makes it easier for your message to be conveyed through your content.

Just Write: Practice makes perfect. And when you ask the best writers, and even marketers, what the best writing exercise is, it’s to write more! Writing professionally can be stressful and not fulfilling as you hope. Which is why you don’t have to stop there. Writing personally, like in a journal, or casually in Tweets or microblogging can help you write through the marketing slog.

Download The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Good Well here . For more ideas and tips on writing, check out our whitepapers: http://www.emarketed.com/white-papers and let us see what subjects you’d like to see!

Does Word Count Matter in Content Marketing?

Since the inception of SEO, writers and marketers have searched far and wide to crack the word count code. There’s no such thing as the perfect word count and arguments can be made for both short and long content. If you’re OCD about keeping good track of the most search engine friendly word-length, it’s time to look at the good sides of both and see why there’s much more than relying on a “perfect” number.

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Reasons to Keep it Brief

The article, You Won’t Finish This Article, Why people online don’t read to the end explains just that! In today’s world, people are quick (or lazy) readers. Most of the time, readers can’t be bothered to read more than the headline and the first paragraph.

In the author’s words, “The more I type, the more of you tune out. And it’s not just me… It’s everywhere online.” On average, most readers read about half of an article and most also view all content (such as video and pictures). We live in the world of “skimming” and your short webpages, blog posts, updates, and social media updates should cater to that audience.

On this side of the argument for short content’s sake, keep it simple and short.

In-Depth Articles and Long Form Content

Just as you’re about to STOP writing, here is one good reason to keep going. Google loves informative, interesting and high-quality content. They associate well-written content with authority and trust. Google is working on rewarding that by displaying Google Authorship on in-depth articles. Although there is no set amount of words, it’s a safe bet to aim for 1000 to 2000 words.

Long form content is often what comes to mind when we talk about evergreen content such as guides, tutorials and whitepapers. This is content that sticks around and what people come back to time after time. The benefit of long content is that you can target and capture many different readers.

Finding a Middle Ground

Just like Goldilocks, you might find it hard to find the content length that is just right. Short content is easy to write and digest. The casual nature of it makes it easy to share and entertaining. You might throw in a short anecdotes, interesting statistics or funny video. The purpose of this content is to bring in a wider audience who can relate to a short, easy-to-read piece of content.

On the other hand, if you’re building out content for a site that is considered to be “Your Money Your Life” content, you’ll want to invest the time and effort into writing longer content.

Content length on your website and blog doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s good to vary the word-length on pages and posts. Instead of saying if one is better than the other, it helps to understand the purpose and benefits of each so that you can better use them to your advantage.

There’s More To Writing Website Content Than Writing

As a writer, there is so much more to the craft than just writing. Writing website content actually involves more skills and parts of your brain than you would imagine!

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Inspire

Nothing is worse than writer’s block. Writing content for a website isn’t something normally associated with a “creative” endeavor. But it can really take a lot out of you just to think of some new, interesting, and unique to write about.

As an SEO content writer, it helps to draw from your own personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Making these correlations and translating them into fully formed thoughts is a starting point for inspiration. You can be inspired by many things that happen throughout the day. If you’re not feeling so inspired, all it takes is a few clicks to see what others are thinking and writing about. Not only does it help you write about something you’re passionate about, but it gives you a better idea of what people want to read about.

Brainstorm

How do you write about something that a thousand people have already written about. It’s important to think about why you want to write about something, not just that you need to write it. Even though your topic has been written about, you need a plan of attack to differentiate your words. Sure, writers have deadlines but that doesn’t mean you should cut corners. Especially, with an important first step of brainstorming. Brainstorming for website content will give you a good idea of what you want to accomplish and what needs to be accomplished. For example: a step-by-step tutorial, a 3 part series or an FAQs page.

Organize

No matter what your style of writing is, there is a certain standard layout to follow. There will always need to be some sort of introduction and conclusion. You need to establish what you’re going to talk about, why and sum it up. Somewhere in the middle there, it’s up to you to fill up the bulk of content with interesting thoughts, shocking facts or statistics and real-life examples.

When you are writing website content, you know what you want to say. The struggle lies in how you want it laid out for the reader. Don’t scare readers away with your lack of organization!

Research

Research includes finding out more about your topics, current news and what peers/competitors are saying. Competitive analysis certainly counts as research. Reading different types of information is important in your research. It doesn’t help to get information from the same source, especially if it’s one that you keep going back to. This is why you need to include: whitepapers, articles, blog posts, press releases, and even social media updates in part of your research. Diversifying your sources in research helps you form a well-rounded opinion and helps support your point of view. This is what you want to see when reading website content!

Educate

As a writer, it’s your job to educate yourself before you educate others. Misinformation (especially deliberate) isn’t going to go over well with your readers. In industries like SEO, best practices are always changing. It’s important to stay educated through watching webinars, undergoing training and attending conventions. Education is a foundation of the writing process whether you’re writing about canopies, health services, scooters or precious metals!

Optimize

In many ways, optimization stands alone and outside of the writing process. But it today’s world of website content, it’s best when a writer can do both. Remember, that content is meant for readers first and search engines after. Optimizing web content means creating engaging titles, delivering what you promise, linking relevant sites and giving readers a reason to read and link. You want to attract natural links through the power of your words/content alone.

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Create

At the end of the day, a content writer wants to create something that is meaningful. It’s a good thing that useful content isn’t just something reserved for text on a website. There’s so much more you can do, including: infographics, social updates, videos and pictures. There’s so much more to writing than typing away, get out there and create!

What to Showcase On Your Home Page

Hot on the trail of this popular blog post about home page content, it’s time to think about your own home page. One thing is for sure, with the changing search algorithms, the “old” format of home pages will need to be transformed.

Think of your home page as a window to the rest of your website or “home”. What type of window is it: stained glass, decorative, bay, tinted, mirrored? What do you want people to see? Thinking about a home page in these terms will help you think about what should be featured on an effective home page for 2014.

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Compelling Header

At first glance, a home page header says everything about your business. This is the space you want to take charge of your branding and send a strong message. This can usually be achieved with a high quality picture paired with a strong statement or call to action.

While big headers were thought to be something to avoid in the past, they are a hot commodity nowadays. The only thing to keep in mind is the load time of the image and space you use “above the fold”. People are used to scrolling through a home page, on desktop, tablet and mobile. You just have to give them the right reason to.

Navigation to Other Relevant Parts of Your Website

The new golden rule for a home page ISN’T to keyword stuff and feature everything all on one page. Instead, it’s more helpful to show visitors different areas of your website and make it easy to navigate to that area.

A home page shouldn’t be so cluttered that all different pages and keywords are working against each other. Just think about it, as every page on your website isn’t a landing page or equal in importance, your home page forces you to focus and choose exactly what you want to showcase on one important page. Make a good first impression!

Keyword Focus

The home page is no longer a place to throw around all different keywords. It was common practice to include terms and phrases that you aren’t even optimizing for on that exact page. Instead, focus on the general term/idea and make it a point to brand yourself as a reliable, trustworthy and authoritative business.

Q&A Content

Gone are the days of home pages with blocks and blocks of content. No one wants to sift through a load of content on a home page. This is where you break things up and feature FAQs in bullet points or sections, that could lead to other relevant sections. The point here is to make your content short, sweet and straight to the point. Not only will this appease reader appetite, but it’s exactly what Google Hummingbird is looking for.

CTA and Contact Information

There are 3 major options when it comes to contact on a home page. You can either
1) Prominently showcase a phone number or email
2) Push visitors to fill out a contact form
3) Both
Either way, it’s most likely the most important thing to add a phone number somewhere that’s big and high up on the page. A real, number with a local area code will help give visitors a sense of location and also send a good signal to Google about your local business.

In many ways, some of these pieces of a home page are self-explanatory and straightforward. There are just a few new concepts that we have to keep in mind, such as scrolling on the home page and big headers. Check out our portfolio and give us a call at (323) 340-4010 for an analysis of your home page.

Does Your Website Content Qualify as “Your Money Your Life/YMYL”?

YMYL. It’s not the next YOLO, but something much more important and meaningful when it comes to your website content. Google loves preaching website quality but is often vague about what quality content is. Depending on your topic and field, the definition of a “quality” website can vary quite a bit. This is why it’s so surprising that Google has been so upfront about the quality of “Your Money Your Life Content” or YMYL. The name itself is confusing so this is what Google is referring to:

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There are some pages for which PQ (Page Quality) is particularly important. We call these pages ‘Your Money or Your Life’ (YMYL) pages. They are pages that can have an impact on your current or future well being (physical, financial, safety, etc.). YMYL pages should come from reputable websites and the content should be created with a high level of expertise and authority.

Google’s 5 Examples of YMYL

YMYL content pertains to websites or pages that:
1) Ask for personal information – Like the DMV website
2) Are used for monetary transactions – Such as e-commerce sites
3) Offer medical or health information – Think WebMD
4) Offer advice on major life decisions – Like a teen advice website
5) Offer advice on major life issues – Like an attorney website

Why Does Google Care?

The serious nature of YMYL content means that they can greatly affect your money and your life. Because of that, Google holds a much higher standard of quality. This helps searchers find authoritative sites with correct, helpful information that help them in their life choices. And Google does have the right idea with these guidelines. If you run a celebrity gossip site versus a bankruptcy how-to site, there has got to be a distinguishing factor on importance and credibility.

What You Can Do to Ensure Quality Content

As with all content (including that which does not qualify as YMYL), it’s important to always think about quality and whether you would want to read that content yourself. But Google has also been kind enough to provide a checklist of sorts. Make sure to include:

Clearly visible contact info: Contact information isn’t just helpful but it’s an important part of your local SEO efforts. There’s not a good reason to hide your contact info.
Good reputation: Sure, just about anyone can say that they are a reputable business. But what have you done to really earn that title? This is where you need to display professional affiliations, awards, endorsements or reviews.
High quality content, written by a credible author:  If you run a health or medical website, where are you getting the information and when was it written? Think of it as a scholarly paper that needs reputable citations and proof. There’s a big difference between soliciting advice on a health forum and searching for advice on a reputable health website.
A professional looking, regularly maintained/updated web site: Nothing’s worse than going to a legal or financial website that is a decade old. Many professional industries require updated information as laws are always changing.

Thoughts?

Like it or not, these guidelines are here to stay and could get even stricter for YMYL content. Luckily, these items are pretty much self-explanatory and appropriate for the type of content. If you look at it in the grand scheme of things, it probably couldn’t hurt to apply this to your site regardless of the YMYL category!

5 Ways to Make Your Content Seem a Little Less Boring

No matter how you spin it, content in certain industries just seems so boring. It’s quite a challenge to make something like plumbing, insurance or real estate seem interesting to a wide audience.

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1) Fake it until you make it – The golden rule is to set yourself up with this mentality. If you start to think negatively and dread writing, it will really show through in your content. There’s really nothing worse than reading mundane content with a vibe that somebody painstakingly typed it out to reach a certain word limit.

2) Rack up the social shares – Regular shares on all the big social networks will help your business gain exposure. More people are curating content for their own newsletters, weekly top reads and just things that grab their attention. By consistently showing that you blog, your brand will be out there with all the other “regulars”.  Getting those numbers counted toward your social share count is definitely a plus.

3) Think outside the box –  No matter what your niche is, you don’t always have to stick to the book. There is such thing is being over the top so you’ll have to know your limits. But human interest stories, and topics loosely related (or not related to your industry at all!) will help reach a wider audience… especially during the holidays. Think about those pictures of cute animals and sweet old couples that get Shared and Likes all over Facebook. Keep the viral factor of those things in mind! While it’s probably not a good strategy to do this with every webpage or blog post, it’s a change of pace that your site can use every now and again.

4) Look up the competition and do it better – Sometimes, you just can’t help it to feel bored while writing about a boring topic. This leads you to look at the competition or research related articles. One quick and easy way you can drum up some creativity is to search, let’s say a top 10 list for your industry. You can now create your own top 10 of how to do XYZ even better! This can also be an opportunity to dispel common myths and showcase what the reality, as you see it, is.

5) Visualize your content – Paint a vivid picture by incorporating yourself, telling anecdotes and adding personal details that make stories your own. It’s easy to tell when someone is writing about something they are passionate about, and telling you about it as if they were speaking with you. You can also get more ideas by using general topics and situations that people can relate to.

Using your very own pictures also help. Pictures of people, your staff and even pets! Bring on the human factor. Although they can be pretty nice, you don’t need to always rely on stock photos. Instagram and other photo filters and editors will help your content stand out with unique pictures that you’ve taken yourself.

Need help with creating an infographic? Infographics are a creative way to add a little oomph to accompany some good content. Don’t be afraid to think of more than just words when you’re trying to make your content a little more interesting and fun.