Entries from July 2013 ↓

Can a Non-optimised Site Outrank Yours That is Optimised?

If you need to know anything about SEO (search engine optimisation) there’s only one person to ask, Matt Cutts of Google.

This is the first in a series of posts that looks at various aspects of SEO. This one relates to a phenomenon you may have seen – how an apparently non-optimised website can outrank your site that’s been optimised to the hilt.

This is what Matt Cutts has to say on the matter:


Hmmm, so things aren’t always as they seem. But then again, if achieving top rankings was easy it would make a mockery of the whole search ranking process.

The next instalment will look at the qualities of a good site.

See you soon.


Sally Ormond

Copywriter @ Briar Copywriting Ltd

Follow me on Twitter and Google+



Joined Up Marketing: Content + Social Media + SEO

Let’s get one thing straight. Joined up marketing

Content marketing is great. Social media will widen your reach. SEO (search engine optimisation) will boost your visibility. But if you really want to make an impact you must do all 3.

By combining the power of great content, social engagement and search visibility you will become an unstoppable force, pushing aside your competitors.

[Like that image?]

So what should you be doing and how do these 3 elements work together?


Blogging is the most popular form of content marketing.

It’s a great way to share your knowledge with the world and promote your business through your expertise.

But if you simply write and publish, you’re limiting your reach.

Make sure your blogs are written with keywords in mind to help their SEO potential. Then, make sure you promote them through your social media outlets to widen your audience.

Newsletters and email marketing

There’s no better way to get your content out to your customers than through newsletters and email marketing.

When you’ve got great content you want to shout about, send it to them, or a snippet with a link back to your blog. And make sure your social media links are clearly shown so people can choose to interact with you through those channels too.


To further your reach and influence, make a list of industry websites, magazine and bloggers and ask if they will consider you as a guest blogger.

Writing your articles with SEO in mind will boost your visibility as will the link you’ll get back from the publication.

To get an extra lift, make sure you shout about your article through your social media channels.

Social networking and social media

Both of these have become part and parcel of everyday life, so your customers will expect you to be using them.

Use them to engage and chat with your audience as well as promote your blogs and articles.


Have you noticed how much time you spend on your smart phone?

More and more people are using them to browse the web, so it’s essential your website is mobile friendly to increase your potential audience.


Last but not least.  Video is a very powerful marketing tool and, when coupled with great SEO and social sharing and promotion, can draw shed loads of traffic your way.

There you go – content marketing, SEO and social media have to work together if they are to be effective.



Sally Ormond – copywriter, blogger, tweeter and Google+


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Content Markteing is Killing SEO – or is it?

I’m confused.

There are lots of blog posts out there pronouncing that content marketing is killing off SEO.

Who’s writing them?

Are they content marketing companies trying to convince companies that SEO (search engine optimisation) is no longer the way forward because search is social now?

Or, are they narked SEO companies trying to cling on to their huge retainers?

Want to know what I think?

[Doesn’t really matter because I’m going to tell you anyway.]

As far as I’m concerned you can’t have one without the other.

The only reason I can see for SEO companies to throw their toys out of their prams is that they are practitioners of the dark arts. You know the type of company I mean. They are the ones that buy links and use black-hat techniques to trick the search engines into giving their clients good rankings.

But the only way to get quality links is through great content, so don’t the SEO companies and content companies need to work together?

If you’re scratching your head trying to work out where to put your sizeable marketing budget, my best advice is that you need both – you can’t be successful with only one.

A website with sheds load of content is just a dusty online library that may or may not be found. But a website with loads of content and good SEO is a super-charged knowledge bank that will enlighten the world.

Whichever way you look at it if you have content you need SEO and if you have SEO you must have content.

So, no, content marketing isn’t killing off SEO. They should be working together to create a richer, more rewarding search experience.

That’s what I think anyway – what’s your take on this debate?


Sally Ormond is a copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd

Find her on Google+

Why Short and Simple Words Speak Volumes

I once had a client who said they’d hired me as their copywriter because they wanted me to make them look intelligent.

Needless to say, once the content was written, they were most disappointed to see that I’d used simple words.

‘But I thought you were supposed to make me sound intelligent.’

No, a copywriter does not exist to make their clients sound intelligent; they are there to convey the benefits of your product/service simply and clearly so that it can be understood by everyone.

Using ‘big’ words doesn’t make you sound intelligent. All it does is create something that can be difficult to read and looks as though you’ve tried to hard.

Why use the word ‘procure’ when ‘get’ is much clearer. And you don’t have a ‘compulsion’ you have a ‘need’.

Come on guys, it’s not rocket science.

Yes, this is a very short post, but it doesn’t need to be any longer.

Simple words are far more effective. So ditch the thesaurus.

Thanks for listening.

How to Get More Newlsetter and Blog Subscribers

Woohoo – look at all those visitors you’re getting to your blog.More subscribers

But are you getting any benefit from them?

Are they sharing?

Are they coming back?

Are they signing up for your RSS feed or newsletter?


Ah, that’s a problem.

If you’re getting shed loads of traffic, but not doing anything with it, what’s the point?

People are coming to your blog, but they’ll only subscribe to it (or your newsletter) if you ask them to.

It’s true.

So how do you do that?

Boosting your sign ups

Well the best place to start is by adding a passing comment along those lines in your blog posts. Add a footnote, or something in your author’s bio that lets them know you offer a newsletter, what it usually contains and how often it’s sent along with a call to action to get them to sign up.

Social media is also another great tool to boost your sign ups. Send a tweet out or Facebook update before your next issue is due out, urging people to sign up so they don’t miss out. If you’ve hit a milestone (such as your 100th newsletter), shout about it.

A great way to boost your blog subscribers is to announce that you will be publishing a series of blog posts on a particular subject. Of course, they won’t want to miss an instalment, so they’d better subscribe to your RSS feed today.

Of course, then there’s the good old-fashioned call to action. Make sure these are liberally dotted about, especially at the end of a really hot blog post. You know the ones – they’ve been attracting loads of traffic for days or weeks, so make the most of that exposure by placing a sign up call to action at the end.

By following these simple steps you’ll see your subscription numbers soar, boosting your exposure and reputation.



Sally Ormond is an international copywriter and founder of Briar Copywriting Ltd.