After putting it off for some time – or forever! – you’ve finally started making search engine optimized (SEO) copywriting for your business a priority. That in itself is worth celebrating – but celebrating is the last thing you feel like doing. That’s because no matter what you do, you’re not getting the results you’d hoped for.
Maybe you were hoping for more subscribers to your blog subscription, or additional inquiries about your business, or an increase in website orders. But you’re not seeing any of these outcomes, and you’re starting to get discouraged.
Before you throw the towel in on SEO copywriting, let’s figure out what may be the reason for it – together. Below, we’ve tried to make copywriting as simple as possible by outlining the top three problems many business owners face, plus how to fix them easily.
Simply having a website is no longer an option for you to remain competitive – your website needs to stand out. But with the variety of website builders, templates, and features available, it can be challenging to know what will work best. Here are five easy-to-follow steps when designing a website for your small business that will create winning results.
Step #1: Choose the Right Website Building Platform
WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, and GoDaddy. When it comes to building a website, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is choosing a website builder. And there are plenty of options out there – all with their own pros and cons.
Selecting the right website builder for your business comes down to evaluating your website goals. Are you looking for a quick, simple-to-use platform and don’t plan on growing your business? The drag and drop user interfaces on Squarespace or GoDaddy may be great options for you – but offer limited features.
Want something that offers extensive designs and customizations but requires a little more of a learning curve? WordPress (what we most often use – and for good reason) is your best bet.
Step #2: Invest in Great Copy
Sure, your website needs to be user-friendly and eye-catching, but what’s even more important?
The words found on the pages.
Having strong search engine optimized content helps your website rank on search engines and drives organic traffic to your site. Your content is what informs readers of your business’s offerings and helps convince them to contact you for more information, become a loyal brand follower, or – even better – purchase your product or service.
Poor copywriting does the opposite. It can quickly drive traffic away from your site (and to your competitors), lower your SEO rankings, and hurt your brand image.
When working with small business owners on limited budgets, we always suggest, at the minimum, investing in copywriting. The website design is easier to DIY than the content, which typically creates the conversion.
Step #3: Make It Stand Out
Your website needs to be aesthetically appealing, but also user-friendly. So when it comes to creating an eye-catching design, put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
With your traffic spending only 50 milliseconds to form a first impression of your business, no detail is too small to overlook. Does your website load correctly on mobile devices? Research shows that as of 2017, mobile has taken the lead as the global source of traffic. What about your layout – is it easy to navigate? Users want to find the information they need on your site quickly; otherwise, they may move on to your competitor’s website instead.
Security also needs to be paramount – and is especially important for businesses that are accepting payments online. Ensure your site has the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) protocol. If it doesn’t, website traffic will receive a “Not Secure” warning and be given the option to proceed to your site. Most of the time, they won’t want to take that risk.
Other tips for creating an amazing website design include integrating a modern look, matching your branding to your site, and using professional photography rather than stock images.
Step #4: Integrate SEO Strategies
Whether you’re working on your website design or copy, search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be a priority. This is typically where things start to get more confusing.
SEO is what helps your website rank on Google and other search engines. Regularly, Google changes its search algorithm – or the process used for ranking websites. This means that completing SEO is never done; it requires constant work to have your website rank and continue to rank.
Both your website’s design and content play key roles in creating a solid SEO foundation. On-page SEO factors include title tags, headings, URL structure, page load speed, and internal linking. The copy on your site should integrate keywords that your target audience is searching on Google and include helpful, relevant, and valuable information.
To help improve your rankings, you should make changes or updates to your site’s design and content regularly. Doing so flags Google to come back to your site and re-evaluate your site’s position on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Step #5: Trust the Professionals
As a small business owner, you’re well known for your versatility – and it’s no surprise why. Daily, you constantly face new challenges such as managing a product shipment delay, proactively handling a customer service complaint, or dealing with a bylaw issue. For many of your challenges, you must figure out solutions on your own. But that’s not true when it comes to building your website.
If you find it difficult to create your own small business’s website, you can always hire an expert. Sometimes, the time to learn a new skill – especially one as extensive as website design and copywriting – is not available to you as an already busy business owner. And even if you do manage to find the time, the result will likely not be as effective when compared to a professional creating it for you. So why not save yourself time, stress, and disappointment by hiring a website expert from the start?
At Sarah McKenzie Copywriting and Web Design, we act as your one-stop-shop when designing a website for your small business. From completing the design or copywriting to launching an entirely new website, we’ve got your website needs covered.
Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about our services as Toronto copywriters and website designers.
Freelance copywriting: all business owners can benefit from using it, but many don’t even know it’s an option.
Known as the process of writing words that attract, engage, and convince a target audience to take action – professional copywriting is beneficial for all sizes and types of businesses. You can find copy almost everywhere: from social media posts to email marketing campaigns to websites. When done well, it can help you build brand recognition, grow social media followers and blog subscribers, and most importantly, increase sales.
Unless you’re a large business, you likely don’t require a full-time copywriter on staff. And that’s where a freelance copywriter comes in handy! From what freelance copywriting is to hiring the right freelance copywriter, this article discusses it all. Let’s dive in!
When’s the last time you picked up the phone to call a business?
If you’re like the majority of consumers, it’s been a while. With the increased use of smartphones and mobile shopping, buying online is a part of our day-to-day lives. More than half (55 percent) of all customer interactions usually start online, with over a quarter of them beginning on mobile devices. And during recent lockdowns from COVID-19, online shopping was the most convenient way – and in some cases, the only way – to purchase the things we need and want.
Instead of talking to salespeople or handling a physical product, you’re relying on what you read online. With eighty-one percent of shoppers conducting online research before making a purchase, websites play a vital part in the decision-making process.
But a website’s only effective when it has two things: a user-friendly design, and strong copywriting. With copywriting being our specialty, we would argue that the latter is the most important! You need words that have the power to communicate value and influence a buying decision. In short, you need to write words that sell.
Use the following five tips to create copywriting for websites that converts.
When done right, copywriting has the potential to take your business to a whole new level. Stellar copy helps you build your brand image and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Search engine optimization (SEO) rankings can improve, leading to more clicks on Google. You can also use it to create customer loyalty and a reputation as an industry expert.
And for those business owners wondering how copywriting can affect their bottom lines? The results can be monumental! Great copy can persuade readers to take action, generate more leads, and increase sales.
To achieve any of these outcomes, you first need to have a solid understanding of what copywriting’s all about. In this guide, we’ll start with reviewing the basics – a copywriting definition, copywriting job description, and copywriting skills, before delving into what copywriting in marketing can do for your business. Let’s get started!
After reading our latest post, you now know what content marketing is and why it’s important for your business. Next up? Put that knowledge to use!
Developing a plan for your content marketing is a huge task – and one that needs to be done right. To help, we’ve created an easy-to-follow checklist on how to make a content marketing strategy for your business. Let’s get started!
Step #1: Identify Business Goals
When you create a content marketing strategy, you need first to determine your reasoning for why you’re creating content. Without defining your goals, it’s difficult – albeit impossible – to create great content.
You may have multiple reasons for developing a content marketing strategy – but try to focus on your top-priority goal. Is it to increase sales? Create cost savings? Develop a loyal customer following?
As HubSpot shows, content plays different roles during each stage of the buying cycle. That’s why it’s critical you’re using the right type at the right time.
You want to make sure that your content marketing goals are sustainable for the long-term and resonate with your company’s goals and mission. Ask yourself what your current marketing initiatives are failing to do and evaluate how a proper strategy can help you achieve your goals.
Step #2: Research Target Audience
If you’ve been in business for a while, you may think you can skip this step. But regardless of how new or established your business is, every business owner can benefit from completing audience research. The world of marketing moves quickly, and new opportunities emerge regularly. You need the most up-to-date information on your target audience to be able to produce the best content.
Developing an understanding of your audience will provide you with the insight you need to make an effective content marketing strategy. Creating audience personas – helpful information about your target audience, including demographic profiles, content engagement preferences, and informational needs and goals – can help you recognize the value that your content will provide. You’ll learn what type of content will best meet your target audience’s preferences and drive productive engagement.
To gather accurate customer data for your personas, use a combination of the following:
Interview your customer service employees to learn about typical consumer behaviour
Conduct one-on-one customer interviews to hear about content preferences first-hand
Complete external research, such as profiling data, industry blogs, and standardized forms
Compare analytics data from your website’s back-end and Google Analytics to reveal important insights into your audience’s interests
Step #3: Create Valuable Content
Remember, your content isn’t all about you. Instead, it should always focus on your target audience – that persona you built-in step two. To accomplish this, make sure your content’s unique, addresses pain points, and offers value or entertainment.
Even the best content is useless if your audience doesn’t see it. Using the information you learned about your audience persona, distribute your content using the most suitable platforms. Maybe your audience is looking for answers on social media sites, or perhaps they’re more interested in reading professional blog posts. More than likely, you’ll end up using a combination of the 100+ content platforms available.
As for content that you’ve already created? Complete an evaluation to see what’s working and what’s not. Old, broken, or neglected content should be addressed. Otherwise, it can hurt your user experience and SEO score.
Quality is key when it comes to content, so never create content for content’s sake. Do everything possible to make your content stand out – like determining your unique brand story. Why should someone purchase your products or services? What sets you apart from your competitors? What type of value does your business provide? Make your brand story come to life through successful brand storytelling.
To determine the right topics to include in your content marketing strategy, be sure to complete some keyword research. What’s your audience searching on Google? What issues are currently trending in your industry? Craft some of your content around these terms.
Keep your content organized with an editorial calendar. Map out the key topics and themes you want to discuss, decide on a posting schedule, and outline your content’s key distribution channels. If you have a team, an editorial calendar is especially useful for keeping everyone on track with your marketing strategy.
Step #4: Review Your Results
You may be producing a lot of content – but do you know if it’s effective or not? To determine whether your content is delivering results, you need to get some feedback.
To start, access the same analytics data you did in step two. Consider the Average Time on Page, Bounce Rate, and Pageviews. What type of content has the most engagement? What has the least?
Next, review your social media sharing metrics to see what content is getting shared the most, which platforms are being used, and what content is producing conversions. Any other type of metrics you have access to – such as sales or lead metrics – should also be reviewed.
Your customers are also an excellent source for suggestions. Ask them for honest feedback about the type of content you’ve been creating and what kind of content they want to receive more of from you.
Combine all of this information to craft even better content in the future.
There’s a never-ending supply of content all over the Internet, so your content needs to stand out.
Finding the time that’s needed to create a content marketing strategy may seem impossible. But trust us: spending the time to develop a strategy now will reap you many future benefits. No longer are you left scrambling to come up with engaging content for your audience – which often leads to rushed, poorly written content. Plus, you’ll see improvements in social media traction, your authority online, and the number of leads and conversions you generate.
Without a proper content marketing strategy in place, marketing often gets forgotten about – which eventually shows in your bottom line. If you cannot find the time for strategy creation, our Toronto copywriting team can always help!
How often do you post to social media? Write new blog articles? Create fresh content for your email distribution list?
If you’re like many other small business owners, content marketing is something that’s squeezed into your day – often at the last minute (or sometimes not at all). And it’s no surprise why. Continuously coming up with suitable content to publish and distribute takes time and energy, neither in abundance as a small business owner.
But what if there was a way to write, design, and make great content for your target audience that will generate results – and is doable, no matter how busy you are?
Think about the last time you went into a store and received poor customer service. Did you ever go back?
Like physical locations, websites have one opportunity to leave a first impression – good or bad – on a visitor. That’s why you need to do everything possible to ensure your website experience is a positive one. Here’s what you should know about user experience design and how to improve it on your website quickly.
For most business owners, your website is your best marketing tool. You use it to attract new traffic from Google, provide further information about your products and services, and direct social media traffic. But only a great website can achieve these goals.
Website design and functionality are important – super important. Without them, brand image, user experience, and marketing metrics can suffer. But in the end, they don’t matter much if web traffic isn’t receiving the information they need from your site – and what makes that happen is effective copywriting.
Wondering if your website copywriting is working as hard as it can be for you? Here are five of the biggest reasons to consider updating your website content.