Entries from July 2010 ↓

The Importance of Telling Your Reader What to Do

copywriter First off, when I say “The Importance of Telling Your Reader What to Do” I don’t mean that your copywriting should become prescriptive and demanding. That would just be silly. After all, a copywriter is supposed to build rapport with her readers; she’s supposed to get to know them, work out what makes them tick. She’s not supposed to shout at them and give them orders.

Or is she?

Softly at first

If you want your copy to work, you’ve got to build a realtionship with your reader. You must immediately show them that you understand what they are looking for. By telling them how your product/service will benefit them will show them that you care, you are willing to listen, and you’ll make their life better.

Aren’t you great?

By the time they’ve finished reading the inital paragraphs of your website they’ll be your best friend hanging on your every word.

Then what?

Well, now’s the time to build on your new found friendship. By now your reader trusts you and is ready to be lead by you to the next stage of the relationship.

But there’s a problem. You’ve told them how you’re going to improve their life. They love your product/service and realise that it is exactly what they’ve been looking for. But now, after doing all the hard work and convincing them they need it, you’ve left them high and dry.

They’ve read to the end of the page, ready to do whatever you ask, but there’s nothing. Zero. A big fat zilch. Just empty space.

Now they’re confused. They panic and hit the back browser and go to another website in the hope that will tell them what to do next.

So what did you forget?

You forgot one of the most important sections of your copywriting. It may only be a few words, but they could be the most important few words on the entire web page.

What’s the point in creating superb copy that has convinced your reader to buy if you forget the call to action?

“But they know they want to buy the product, why should I have to tell them to buy it?”

A very valid point, but if you don’t have a line at the bottom of your page that says Click here to buy now, or perhaps Call us today on 123 456 78 and book your appoinment, your reader won’t know what to do. Why should they go hunting round your website trying to work out what to do next if you can’t be bothered to tell them.

It might sound laughable that people forget to add a CTA but it happens all the time. I’ve lost count of the nimber of websites I’ve seen without one leaving the owner wondering why their conversion rate is so low.

Go and take a look at your website now – do you have a CTA? If the answer’s “no”, before you do anything else today add one to every sales page. Don’t leave anything to chance, if you want your reader to buy, tell them.

Copywriting – Is It For My Readers or the Spiders?


In the red corner is your reader, in the blue corner are the search engine spiders – so who will win?

Well, sadly, when companies create their own website copy the spiders tend to win.

Every business owner wants their website on the front page of Google for their identified search terms. But the belief is still that this can only be achieved if you stuff as many of your keywords as possible into your copy.

Will this get you good rankings?


Will it get you loads of traffic?


Will it get you loads of sales?

Most probably not.

How to get great rankings, more traffic and a boost in sales

Those three things are at the top of every businesses wish list.

But to achieve them you need a great website that is SEO friendly, loads of backlinks, and some great SEO copywriting. For the purposes of this post I will concentrate on SEO copywriting.

But before we even consider the SEO aspects of great copywriting, it’s time to go back to basics.

Q: Who will visit your website, read your content and use that as a basis to decide to get in touch and buy your product? Your readers or the search engine spiders?

A: Your readers.

So if you know that, why isn’t the content of your website written for your reader? When they land on your website the only question  they want answered is “what are you going to do for me?” Therefore the type of information they won’t want to read about is:

  • When your company was established
  • How many staff you have
  • What your premises are like
  • Anything else that shouts about you

Your website pages have to be all about your reader and what you’re going to do for them.

Take a look at your website now. How many ‘we’s are there within your copy? If there is more than 1 there are too many. If you want your copy to resonate with your reader you must talk to them, and that means using ‘you’ and ‘your’. This writing style isn’t something that comes naturally but it is the only way to engage with your reader and drawn them in.

But if you stuff your copy with keywords your reader won’t be able make sense of it. It will come across as clumsy and unprofessional – not someone they would want to do business with.

Take a look at this example:

bad seo

Can you believe it? This was taken from an actual SEO Copywriter’s website! They have squeezed the term ‘search engine optimisation’ into that small piece of copy 17 times! The result is unreadable. Would you want to do business with someone who writes like that?

Absolutely not.

Yes your keywords have to be present but not at the expense of clarity. The location of your keywords is far more important as any SEO Copywriter worth their weight in gold will tell you. They have spent many hours studying SEO and understand what it takes to write great copy that will ‘speak’ to your reader whilst providing enough tantalising keywords to keep the search engine spiders happy. So don’t take chances with the effectiveness of your website. If you’re serious about internet marketing and getting the most out of your website, invest in a good SEO Copywriter who really knows what they are talking about.

Why You Should Monitor Your Social Media Marketing

copywriter Are you utilising social media marketing to promote your business?

Applications such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging etc., are making it easier for businesses to build relationships with potential clients. Plus their marketing can how reach parts that traditional marketing simply couldn’t reach.

But blindly interacting through these applications without monitoring them is a bit like driving a Ferrari blind folded – your message is getting out there quickly but you could be about to hit a brick wall any second.

Once upon a time the only way you found out about a problem with your business was when you either received a letter of complaint or suddenly lost customers. By that time it was often too late to do anything about it. But with the advent of social media marketing you can now jump on problems and solve them before they get out of hand.

So why is monitoring a good idea?

  • You can measure your effectiveness
  • Find out what people are saying about you and your business
  • Identify problems/opportunities and react quickly
  • Discover who are the leaders in your industry and what they are saying

How to monitor what people are saying about you

I use two methods to find out what people are saying about me online.

Google Alerts

This is a great tool to find out what people are saying about you on the web. You can easily set these up to monitor any phrase – I use one on my name (Sally Ormond) and another on my business name (Briar Copywriting).


By simply completing the fields above, Google alerts will email you whenever your search terms are found on  the web. This is a brilliant way to find out who is talking about you and what they are saying. Then, should anything be derogatory, you can act immediately and make a potentially bad situation good.

Social Mention

Social mention offers you real time social media search and analysis. It’s a bit like Google Alerts but for social media. Basically if anyone mentions your sepcified search term within social media, you’ll receive an email alert. This will help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, alert you to any comments being made about your brand or company or even about you.

Again, Social Mention is very easy to set up. Just complete the fields with the information you want to monitor and create your alerts.

Why do you need to know this?

If you are going to use social media marketing to boost your business, it pays to keep one eye open. Numerous large companies are utilising applications such as Twitter to find out what people are saying about them and their brand. As soon as someone uses twitter, forums, blogs etc to tell the world about the problem they have encountered, the company is alerted and can act immediately.

This proactiveness is what will make you stand out from the crowd and show your customers you really do care.

Search Engine Optimisation – What is Keyword Research?

search engine optimisation - keywords If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that Search Engine Optimisation is a frequent subject that is visited.

It is vital for all internet marketers to get their heads round the concept of SEO as it is probably the most effective long term solution to gaining great Google rankings. And yet, many businesses are still opting for PPC campaigns which are not ideal long term and simply generate traffic quickly (if done correctly).

So what happens when your budget runs dry and you have to back off the PPC for a while? You guessed it, no traffic.

Investing in SEO may not give instant results but, if done correctly, will over time provide great organic listings and a constant stream of traffic.

So what’s the first step?

Keyword Research

One of the most important aspects of any SEO strategy is identifying the keywords you want to target. If you are unfamiliar with this term, your keyword(s) are the words and phrases real people (i.e. your potential customers) would search for to find your business.

But you have to be careful not to be too general in your choice of words. For example, copywriter in Google UK returns in the region of 3,820,000 results and is therefore a very competitive term. But, by going for a more regional term, such as Suffolk Copywriter (which returns 50,700 results) there is less competition and consequently more chance of you hitting the front page.

Keyword Tools

There are a number of tools available out there, but the most popular is Google’s Adwords tool. But, to get the most out of it, you have to learn how to use it effectively. I recently came across  this post on dailybloggr.com – “Tips to Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool Effectively” which will help you understand how to find the optimum keywords for your industry to ensure you attract the right traffic to your website.

Why not pop over there now and take a look and take the first step on your SEO journey.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter

Copywriting Content – Quality Vs Quantity

copywriter Content is King!

How many times have you been told that?

Well, it is true. Internet marketers have been telling you for years if you want more organic traffic you must publish more web content targeted at your long tail keywords. Finally, you’re taking notice and more and more companies are adding page upon page to their websites of new content.

But of course, hiring a talented copywriter doesn’t come cheap. So, adding hundreds of new pages of content to your website is going to be expensive.

Now, there is a group of you out there who think you’ve found the perfect solution to this. I can see you patting yourself on the back because you think you’ve got the best of both worlds – shed loads of new content without the high price tag. If that’s you, you’ve probably done one of two things:

  • Out sourced your content writing to an Indian company or elsewhere in the world where you can pick up loads of articles for next to nothing
  • Decided to take the DIY approach and written it yourself

Big mistake!

Yes, you are increasing your web content at a great rate of knots – but at what cost? And I’m not talking about how much you’ve paid for it; I’m talking about the cost to your reputation.

Why you shouldn’t value quantity over quality

Watering down the quality of your website content in this way could have a seriously detrimental effect on your rankings. Remember those? You’ve quite possibly spent years working on your search engine optimisation to achieve great rankings, do you really want to jeopardise them now?

A big part of your SEO strategy is building back links. Of course, people will only link to you if you provide great content. If you start to water down the quality of your content with poor articles, people won’t want to link to you. And if they don’t link to you…you got it, you’ll start sliding down the rankings faster than soap down a helter-skelter. If you want to attracts links, your content must be entertaining, intertesing and appealing.

But there is a more serious consequence – yes, even more serious than affecting your rankings. Low quality content will have a detrimental effect on your company’s image. Now for the science bit – take a look at these equations:

Great Content = Increased value + Positive effect on your company’s image

Poor quality content = Disappointed readers + Negative effect on your company’s image

OK, so maths was never my strong point but I’m sure you get the gist.

Why am I telling you this?

Because, if you don’t invest in quality content for your website you are going to do some serious long term damage to your reputation.

If you’re not particularly bothered about anything I’ve warned against here, go and hire a company that will generate oodles of content for you for just a few pounds. But if you do care about your image and reputation, invest in a quality freelance copywriter and focus on getting quality content. Yes, it will cost you more but the long term benefits speak for themselves.

The choice is yours.