SEO Copywriting

5 Benefits Of Content Writing For SEO

5 Benefits Of Content Writing For SEO

In marketing, the term SEO gets thrown around A LOT. But hearing it coming from so many different directions doesn’t necessarily define its importance or why it should matter to you. 

Have no fear, FocusCopy is here to explain the benefits of content writing for SEO!

For starters, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In more basic terms, it’s the strategic process of getting your web pages to rank higher in Google’s search results. 

Are you wondering why Google is the SEO ledger board when other search engines are at play? According to Statista, companies that rank on Google are more likely to get the most business than those who rank on Yahoo or Bing.

When you search a topic in Google, do you sift through the results and choose to read an obscure article on the 8th page? 

Okay, so maybe you do. 

But the majority of audiences click on links closer to the top of the first page. It’s easier and safer to assume those results will be most in line with what you’re searching. 

How Content Writing For SEO Helps Your Business

Wondering if keeping SEO a goal in your content writing is worth it? Here are 5 reasons content writing for SEO helps businesses succeed.

FocusCopy can help your business create the right kind of buzz with successful content marketing strategies. Schedule a time to chat here.

1. Increases Your Google Ranking

Where your business ranks on Google can seriously affect your business. After all, you want your ideal audience to be able to find you, right?

If you’re not ranking high enough in search engine results, then you are severely limiting your brand’s reach. Content writing for SEO can help you seriously increase your rank and visibility to a larger audience.

However, it’s important to remember that content writing for SEO is a science. Successful content writers utilize specific elements to write quality content that positively impacts SEO.

Google’s algorithm uses over 200 factors to rank web pages. However, these factors also tend to change. This means copywriters, content writers, and other marketing professionals are responsible for always keeping up with the latest trends and changes.

To save you hours of valuable time, here are a few things to keep in mind for your content writing:

  • Strategic keyword placement
  • Formatting should include elements like H2 and H3 headings
  • Thoughtful use of the meta description and title tag 
  • Backlinks to your website and other credible sources
  • Legal use of personal or public images

However, the real science lies in utilizing these SEO boosting tools while keeping emotion-provoking content as the central element. More simply, don’t forget there are people on the other side of the screen craving a human connection.

2. Builds Your Brand Awareness & Authority

You believe in your business. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have started it in the first place. Give other people a chance to believe in and support your business, too. 

But to do this, you need to let them know it exists.

Content writing for SEO is a great tool for building your brand awareness. Even better, content writing for SEO can also elevate your brand as an industry leader. With more visibility and higher authority, your audience has more confidence in your business. Otherwise, you risk being just another business in a long line of results.

FocusCopy leverages your brand messaging and credibility to write content that helps your business reach and engage with a larger audience.

3. Keeps Your Audience Engaged

Capturing the attention of your target audience is one thing. But keeping that audience engaged requires an entirely different strategy.

If you consistently publish meaningful content that answers your readers’ questions, they are more likely to return to your website. And after finding value in your website, the likelihood of them converting into paying customers also increases. 

However, too many dead ends after clicking on your links will have your audience saying, “Thank you, next.” 

Don’t let your message fall flat. Instead, learn how content writing for SEO can have your audience giddy to see your latest newsletter, read your latest blog, and more.

Celebrate each stage of engagement as it is a stepping stone in your customer journey. Furthermore, nurture each engaging audience member because you would never want to alienate what could be your biggest lead yet!

Need help strategizing how to engage your audience and boost SEO? Connect with me here and let’s start planning!

4. Boosts Your Business’s Conversion Rates

Different from copywriting, the goal of content writing is to engage your audience with information or entertainment. But it’s important to realize that content writing is an effective tool you can use alongside copywriting. 

For context, the goal of copywriting is to persuade readers to take action. Think of content writing as copywriting’s sneaky sister.

Thoughtful content writing keeps your audience engaged. Meanwhile, the goal of both content and copywriting is to market your business’s offerings. 

All this to say, quality content helps increase your business’s conversion rates. This means you can effectively utilize your content to make more sales and grow your business. 

5. Helps Your Ideal Customers Find You

Word-of-mouth marketing can work in certain situations. But the problem is that it severely limits your brand’s reach. 

For your business to be successful, you need to get out of your social circle. Help all of your ideal customers find you by boosting your web presence. Opening up your brand awareness to a larger audience means higher conversions, sales, and, ultimately, revenue.

As marketing professionals, we’ve seen too many small businesses get caught up in the whirlwind of friend and family support. Some small businesses have even made the choice to scale based on their successful first quarter. But the problem is that you can’t count on your friends and family to be your main source of income. 

Instead, you should hold back on scaling until your business is successful among a broader customer base. 

Build Your Brand’s Credibility With Professional SEO Copywriting Services

FocusCopy is the non-agency copywriting firm that specializes in only writing copy. While marketing firms and agencies stack their plates with a plethora of services, I realized that writing is consistently the most grueling task that knocks other projects off balance and behind schedule.

By offering copywriting services, agencies, firms, small businesses, and entrepreneurs can outsource their writing needs. And this means they can focus on their most important tasks.

Whether you need an SEO-boosting blog, an engaging newsletter, converting website, or anything else copy related – the FocusCopy team is here to help. Schedule some time to learn how FocusCopy can help you meet your marketing goals today.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
what to look for when hiring content writers

What To Look For When Hiring Content Writers

How do you know what to look for when hiring content writers? 

You’re a small business owner, which means you must justify every cent of your budget. 

As a writer, it’s my job to delve into my creative superpowers. However, as a business owner, I also understand why it’s hard to know what to look for when hiring creative professionals. 

Writers tend to have resumes longer than a page and freelance work sprinkled into their experience. Because writers are part of the creative process, it’s also tough to put an exact number on a project’s progress (psst…I have a tip for this, too). But there’s more to finding a quality content writer than a lengthy resume. 

If you’re looking for a content writing professional, I suggest using these 7 qualities of a content writer before you make the big hire.

Don’t want to spend too much time and money sifting through what to look for when hiring content writers? FocusCopy is the jolt you need to get your copy going.

What Is A Content Writer? 

Content writers use a combination of creativity and optimization to ensure their writing hits the right goals and ranks higher on search engines. The first part is key to making your copy flow, while the second is crucial for your online presence. 

A content writer will work with you on your website to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), allowing more people to see your content. A quality content writer will usually work on creating consistent content rather than focusing on a one-and-done project.

Why Does Your Business Need To Hire A Content Writer? 

Copywriter, content writer, editor, and simply writer are all used interchangeably. But they don’t truly mean the same thing. A copywriter can tell a story or sell a product or service by engaging their audience and converting them with persuasive writing. A content writer focuses more on educational information and other technical aspects to get your content in front of your target audience faster.

Need a team of writers to take on your copywriting and content writing? FocusCopy is here to help.

7 Traits To Look For When Hiring A Content Writer 

There are many content writers out there, but here’s how you find the right one.

1. A Willingness To Learn

One of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein is,

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

Albert Einstein

Even after years of formal education and work experience, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new. Your content writer should be open and excited to learn about your business, operations, and anything else you can teach them as a professional in your field. Ongoing education creates room for better writing and a stronger connection between yourself and your content writer. A content writer who strives to quickly pick up your company’s purpose and turn those thoughts into words will be your winner.

2. Pride Is In Their Work, Not Their Voice

A good question to ask during your interview is, “How would you describe your personal writing style?”

Then ask, “How would you describe your writing style when it comes to your clients?”

It’s important to ask both because every writer has their own style, but their professional success depends on the work they produce – not typically their own voice. 

It helps to ask for a portfolio or samples of their writing before you decide who to hire. Their sample work will give you a good idea of what level of quality you can expect and insight into how they write across several industries. How you measure the quality of their work leads us to our next tip.

3. Substantial Documentation For Quality & SEO

Your content writer should track SEO content over time to ensure that it’s producing tangible results. A method to track quality content writing is done by measuring key performance indicators (KPIs). This can look like your:

  • Audience reach
  • Sales made
  • Amount of increased referrals
  • Number of calls to action made
  • Increased visits to your location or website

Don’t worry about using another business’s KPIs to determine your success. Find one appropriate for your company and use it to measure your success moving forward. 

As you see an increase or decline in results, have open conversations often with your content writer. Open communication while working together lets them adjust their methods when needed to reach your collective goals. 

4. Knowledge Of What Your Target Audience Needs & Wants

You wouldn’t consult with a dermatologist for heart surgery. You might talk to a general surgeon, but it’s ideal to speak to someone who specializes in what YOU need. 

Apply similar logic to find a content writer. If your audience expects a professional tone and industry-heavy jargon, find someone who understands this or has worked in your industry before. 

You can also find a content writer who can adapt their writing to the proper audience. Their writing should have the ability to connect with the reader and relate to them in a way that feels natural. Writers with various work backgrounds, agency work, public relations, and other marketing creation will most likely have the experience necessary to give you what you need. 

SEO is still important, but plugging in content that ranks higher on Google can feel robotic. A good writer will weave in optimized content while making the copy easy to digest.

5. Ability To Take Constructive Feedback Without Wilting

Have you ever heard that creatives can be sensitive?

While we all have our moments, we’re professionals like anyone else. Being able to take criticism and apply it with care is definitely one of the qualities of a content writer. This is important because then, you can talk to them freely and as an expert in your field about:

  • Making necessary changes
  • Rewording
  • Refreshing headlines and subheadings
  • Tweaking their style
  • Any glaring issues

Their process for feedback should be swift and responsive, so you can get back on track without missing a beat. If you need edits and revisions quickly, set this expectation beforehand so it’s clear moving forward.

6. Flawless Processes In Place

When searching for what to look for when hiring content writers, find one that is process-driven and organized. If you’re curious about this process, ask!

Processes will include things like:

  • Research and discovery
  • Outlining content
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Revisions

How they take on projects will give you a better idea of how they prefer to collaborate, communicate, and adhere to deadlines. This is a fantastic way to find out if they’re the right fit for the writing you need. 

7. Quality Proofreading

Yes, proofreading is mentioned above, but I’m repeating it because it’s THAT important.

The last thing you want is to hire a content writer who doesn’t check their work! No matter how many keywords appear or how relevant the content is, it doesn’t mean a thing if it has a ton of errors. Trust me. Your customers will notice if the writing itself looks sloppy. Your ideal content writer will check and double-check to ensure everything looks good before hitting ‘SEND’. 

Turn To FocusCopy For All Your Content Writing Needs

As a business owner, time isn’t usually on your side. Your decisions need to be intelligent and quick (but not too quick). 

If you’re looking for content writers with loads of experience, FocusCopy is the team assembled for you – ready when you are. Skip out on printing resumes and scheduling interviews, and fast forward to the part where your writing is taken care of for you. Why search for what to look for when hiring content writers when a team with all the qualities you need already exists?

Save yourself the search and schedule a call with the FocusCopy team today.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
Top Problems Website Designers Experience

Website Designers: There’s A Better Way For Copy

You didn’t become a website designer to…

Write copy.

Analyze word choice. 

Get words out of your client’s mouths. 

Wait on copy. 

No. You became a website designer to bring an idea to life and generate a platform for businesses to grow. 

After talking to dozens of website designers and developers across the United States, we’ve learned they all struggle with one thing. And that one thing can tank a project’s success or delay project timelines. 

So before we reveal the big struggle, what are the top problems website designers face? 

Top Problems Website Designers Experience In Their Business

There are many moving parts when it comes to website design: the branding, the copy, the design, the development, and the client themselves. But there are top problems website designers experience that rise to the top. 

Lack of Client Vision 

“I want a website.” But what do you want the website to do? 

One of the most frustrating things website designers experience is when their clients lack clarity. They don’t know what they want their website to do, how they want their prospects to navigate through, or what this website can do for their business.

When clients lack vision, expectations often go unmet. That usually ends in leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. And you definitely don’t want that!

Prolonged Timelines 

You might layout a perfect timeline for your clients with ample feedback windows; however, the timeline extends for several weeks (or even months) in reality. 

For example, one website designer in our network shared how they had one client whose project timeline was 3 months (a pretty standard timeline). However, two big issues extended the timeline up to 9 months – 3 times the original estimate. What happened? They let their clients write the copy themselves (even though they weren’t copywriters or experienced in writing website copy), and they were relaxed with their feedback windows. 

Unspoken Expectations

Expectations. The e-word. When there is no clear communication based on either party’s expectations for the project or relationship, it’s bound to end up in disaster. Unmet expectations usually end in a frayed relationship and poor feedback. 

If you’ve already passed the kick-off meeting and suspect that there are unspoken expectations, schedule a call with your client to understand what success looks like for them. Then you can either readjust to meet those expectations or share how you are already working towards those expectations. 

The Website Copy

We wouldn’t be writing this article if the website copy wasn’t the biggest problem website designers experience in their business. After meeting with dozens of designers across the United States, we’ve learned that there are two models: 

  1. The designer relies on their clients to provide the copy. There is no contractual agreement for the client to hire a copywriter. Usually, they write the copy themselves. It isn’t optimized for search engines and is typically way longer than needed. 
  2. The designer writes the copy themselves (and they usually hate themselves for doing that). It creates an unnecessary bottleneck in the business because copywriting isn’t your first or even second favorite part of the job. 

Instead of relying on your clients to write their copy or writing the copy yourselves, let’s connect how we can build directly into your process to create copy that reflects your client’s brand voice and resonates with their target audience. 

Schedule a discovery call with FocusCopy today to explore how we can support you. 

Options For Website Designers To Avoid Their Copy Problems

Now, we know the top problems website designers experience. But what are the options for website designers to avoid their copy problems? 

Ask The Right Questions

To find the best answers, you need to ask the right questions. Here are a couple of questions to assess whether the client can provide the copy or whether you need to enforce they use your copywriting skills (hopefully, provided by FocusCopy).

  • As for your website copy, are you writing your own copy, or are you hiring a professional copywriter
  • What does success look like for this website? 
  • Do you want to create meaningful engagement with your target audience on your website? 
  • How much time can you commit in [insert timeframe you want to copy] to write, edit, and deliver your copy to us? 

Stand By Your Timelines

If you’ve included it in your contracts, enforce your timelines. One thing we’ve seen help many website designers and marketers is to put into place a revision or feedback period. This not only makes this website project your client’s priority, but it allows you to better plan your resources. 

Find A Solution For Website Copy

Usually, investing in a website redesign and redevelopment is a big deal for companies. Emphasize that you wouldn’t make a big investment without actually doing it right. We have created a couple of options to help you improve your service offerings. 

Send Website Copy Templates

A blank page is your worst enemy. We’ve created a whole host of website copy templates that you can download directly from our website to help your clients fill out their copy. 

Click here to access (go to resources page).

Make Copy Completed By Professional Writers A Requirement For Your Clients

Another way to avoid the copy situation altogether is to require it as part of your website package. If you don’t have a copywriter on your team to supply the copy, you can partner with a company like FocusCopy to outsource the copy development. 

Interested in chatting with us? Schedule a call with us today to explore a potential partnership. 

Partner With The Website Copywriting Experts

As a preferred partner for website designers all across the nation, we work closely with your process to add value to your clients and streamline the most frustrating part of the design process – the copy.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
B2B copywriting

How Is B2B Copywriting Helpful For Businesses?

No matter the industry or product, every business can gain from copywriting. From bringing in organic web traffic to actually persuading customers to take out their wallets, copywriting helps businesses connect with their audience and create brand authority. 

Of course, copywriting does even more than this.

But for businesses who sell directly to other businesses, it’s essential to know how to write B2B copy. 

How Is B2B Copywriting Different From B2C Copywriting? 

While B2B copywriting (or business-to-business) is different from B2C copywriting (business-to-consumer), they share similarities. Copy should always be precise, focused, and engaging. A writer’s ability to convince a reader to take action is a key part of any marketing strategy’s success. 

However, B2B copywriting is different from B2C primarily because of the projects a B2B writer produces and the audience they target. 

For example, B2B involves selling and marketing to other organizations or businesses. B2C, on the other hand, markets straight to consumers. As you might imagine, a copywriter’s approach to these two audiences can look quite different. 

Audience & Tone

Different audiences connect with certain marketing languages and advertising.  Think about the last time you were shown an ad for a product that just wasn’t your thing. 

We all have different needs.

We all have different problems. 

So, it makes sense to say a product that’s marketed to other businesses will probably be less relevant to a consumer audience, right? 

The biggest difference between copy that’s written for consumer audiences versus businesses is the tone of the writing itself. 

While B2C copy uses a lot of pain points and emotions to build a connection with the reader and persuade them to take action on your offer, writing for a B2B audience requires a stronger focus on how the product or service impacts the business (usually time, profitability, or operationally). 

You don’t want the copy to sound like a car manual (or, maybe you do!), but you do want it to include enough data, information, and logistics on how your product or services is helpful for a prospect to reach out. 

While in B2C copywriting, your target persona could be dog owners who want safe leashes.

In B2B, you could be writing for software programmers who have a ton of experience in their field.

Can you see how your copy could be different between these two groups? 

All this to say, think about who you’re writing to. You aren’t writing to a robot that is the total embodiment of a business – you’re still writing to a human who works at the company. They may just have different goals and needs than your B2C audience.   

Here’s how the two forms of copywriting compare: 

B2B CopywritingB2C Copywriting
Logical (must make business sense)
Educational 
Technical but not too technical
Professional yet personal
Pathos 
Conversational 
Eye-catching
Trendy

But don’t confuse B2B copywriting for something boring. 

What Are The Goals Of B2B Copywriting? 

Although the style and process of B2B and B2C copywriting differ, their goals remain largely the same: to close sales, bring in more customers, and create brand loyalty. However, the way in which B2B copywriting achieves these goals is not the same as B2C. While content projects may be similar or have some overlap, the content of the projects themselves will have some variation.  

Looking for a team of writers who can speak your audience’s language no matter the industry? Sign up for a virtual cup of coffee with FocusCopy so we can talk about your marketing goals. 

Reel In Organic Traffic 

In the same way B2C copywriting can help drive organic traffic to your website, B2B copywriting strives to do the same thing – its focus is just on the type of traffic you’re bringing in. 

Through SEO-optimized content, brand awareness strategies, and email marketing, B2B copywriting is still trying to get businesses interested in your product or service. 

The kind of content B2B writers produce for organic traffic may contain the following: 

  • Blogs 
  • Ebooks 
  • Social media posts
  • SEO landing pages
  • Direct mail 
  • Press releases

Convert Prospects 

Of course, B2B and B2C share the same main goal – to close sales!

B2B copywriting does this a little differently, so the content produced for their bottom of the funnel (or BOFU) will usually contain information-packed pieces like case studies or white papers. 

Sealing the deal often requires a B2B copywriter to thoroughly address each detail about the product. The decision to buy isn’t made by just one person, but often by a team within a business. So a B2B copywriter needs to be attentive to details and able to clearly communicate each feature of a product. All while backing up their claims with real data.

Content a B2B copywriter will produce at the BOFU: 

  • Reports
  • Case studies
  • White papers 
  • Brochures 

At FocusCopy, closing more sales for your business is our priority. Find out how we can help you grow by scheduling a discovery call

Build Lasting Relationships With Customers 

B2B-focused content also aims to help you connect with your clients and establish a long-term partnership. Including detailed manuals for your products, user guides, or even creating FAQ pages allows you to build trust with your clients after they’ve made the purchase. 

This is another area where B2B and B2C are quite similar. You want to ensure that a customer feels taken care of at each point of the marketing funnel. You can’t just sell a product without detailed instructions and expect a customer to feel satisfied with their purchase.

At this point, they should know how your product can solve their problems. But customers will want to be able to easily find guides on how to actually use your product. 

So, set your brand up to create loyalty with educational, in-depth material. That way, clients will continue to return to your business for years down the line.  

Here’s the type of content you’ll want to create: 

  • FAQ pages
  • User guides
  • Testimonial videos
  • Q&A / Demonstration videos 

Industries That Need B2B Copywriting

Several industries can benefit from B2B copywriting. 

From email marketing companies like Mailchimp to medical equipment manufacturers selling machines to hospitals, the B2B copywriting world is quite large. 

Here are examples of businesses that would market themselves directly to other businesses or scenarios in which B2B marketing is the goal: 

  • Telehealth therapy companies marketing to private practicing therapists 
  • Photographers selling their services to real estate companies 
  • Data compliance consultants to healthcare companies and law firms
  • Fruit and vegetable farms to grocery stores 

And… the list goes on!

How To Write Compelling B2B Copy 

Leaning into your industry knowledge is the key to writing strong B2B copy. 

When you’ve done thorough enough research to understand the problems the industry is facing, you can deliver relevant products and content. You’ll also be able to immediately recognize what language your B2B audience wants to hear.

Typically, you want to avoid jargony language in B2C copywriting and speak to your audience’s level. However, with B2B copywriting, including industry-specific language is not only a good strategy but is a necessity. If you must use jargon, make sure to explain what those jargon terms actually mean – just in case your reader doesn’t know.

B2B copywriting is all about being able to (and excuse the cliche) walk the walk and talk the talk. You need to be able to speak directly to the people who are immersed in the industry. That way, they’re able to feel like you actually understand the issues people are dealing with. And you need to be able to back up your claims with rock-solid evidence. 

While you should always offer proof to your promises in all copywriting, when you’re writing for B2B, it’s especially vital. 

Ready To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Copy No Matter Your Business Model Or Audience?

While you’re handling the day-to-day tasks of running your business, the copywriters at FocusCopy are hard at work crafting copy that speaks directly to your audience. 

Our goal is your goal: to grow your business! Let’s hop on a call to talk about how we can help you achieve your marketing endeavors.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
create backlinks

How To Create Backlinks & Drive Valuable Traffic to Your Landing Page

As you’ve transitioned your storefront and services online, you can’t help but wonder how people are going to find your website. You know that almost 88% of people in America shop online, but how will your business reach them? 

But on top of building or updating your website, you’re figuring out shipping logistics. You’re creating social media pages and finding quality IT support, (not to mention balancing your personal life obligations). Learning how to bring people in online is a problem to solve later. 

However, you understand that the more customers you have visiting your website, the more likely it is that you close sales.

And of course, you’d be right! 

Then, after all the hustle and bustle of getting your website live is over and things have calmed down for just a second, you keep seeing the term SEO pop up when you’re googling strategies for online marketing. But it might as well be gibberish – search engine optimization? What even is that? 

As it turns out, the way to generate more web traffic has a lot to do with SEO – especially a little term called backlinks. 

What Are Backlinks? 

Backlinks play a huge role in your SEO ranking on search engines – especially Google. 

Basically, backlinks are links within a piece of content that sends a reader to another website when they click on written text. 

For example, if you were writing a blog article about “How to Make Cold Brew Coffee”, you might want to talk about the best brand of coffee for the brew. Including a link to the coffee vendor’s website is an effective way to provide your readers with even more information or resources. 

After you hit publish and the blog post is live, the business you linked has now earned a backlink from you. This makes search engines give their website a vote of confidence – so to speak. 

When this happens, Google begins to recognize the linked website or article as providing valuable information. Backlinks are like your digital reputation or credibility in the eyes of Google. So when more websites link to your own, search engines see that you’re providing value to users online, and thus, raises your ranking in its index.  

Which, in turn, leads to more organic traffic! 

Simple enough, right? Well, “how do you actually create backlinks?” you might ask. 

1. Create Exemplary Content 

Quality content is first and foremost the secret ingredient to successful SEO marketing. 

The returns from high-quality written content for your SEO game are two-fold. First, well-researched, properly formatted, and grammatically sound content written by professionals will signal to Google that you produce quality information on your industry. Copywriters and content marketers know how to not only capture your brand’s voice and speak in the direction of your audience, but they know how to incorporate keywords into their work. That means when someone searches Google with certain words or asks a question, your website will come up – ready to solve their problem or steer them in the right direction. 

All of this already gives you a massive boost to your SEO standing. 

But as an added bonus, the better your content is, the more likely it is that other websites in your industry will link back to your articles. So you’ll earn Google’s stamp of approval for producing good content and when others in your industry recognize your thoughtful work. 

Need a team of master writers to support you in all your SEO endeavors? Our copywriters are on standby. Sign up for a discovery call with us today

Skyscraper Content (Or How To Rise Above The Rest)

Skyscraper content is a type of content that rises above every other existing piece of content on the same subject. While challenging and time-consuming, (skyscraper articles should be 1,500+ words, ideally, even more!) investing your energy into creating long-form skyscraper content could give you an edge. 

Similar to pillar content, you can use skyscraper content as an opportunity to create in-depth educational guides and online courses. Or you can focus on a single question being asked by your audience and answer it extensively. 

If creating a skyscraper piece sounds a bit intimidating, you can always create a smaller version first. Then over time, add more to the piece. Plus, constantly refreshing your content can also improve SEO

Guest Blogs: Share Your Perspective & Insight! 

Another way content creation can create backlinks is through guest blogging. Reach out to other professionals or publications that are in your industry, and ask to write a blog for them in exchange for a backlink to your website. Doing this may even expand your network and make you new connections. 

However, you’ll want to be sure your values align with the publication’s, and that you have some work to show as a reference.  

Find Broken & Old Links, Then Pitch Your Content As Replacement!

Once you have quality content in your arsenal, try digging around online for a while, reading various articles about your industry. Sometimes, older backlinks can take readers to a website that was taken down after the article was originally published. That means the backlink is basically broken and isn’t providing value to the reader or the website that’s hosting it. 

When this happens, reach out directly to the website owner and pitch your content as a replacement backlink. Finding broken links might take a while, but you might be surprised at how many you discover. And, reading those articles provides an opportunity to learn more about your industry.

Either way, finding broken backlinks is a surprisingly effective way to build up your backlink portfolio. 

2. Collaborate & Connect With Your Industry and Network

Another way to build up backlinks besides just creating content is by connecting with others in your industry and network. What’s more, this gives you an opportunity to dive deeper into your industry and audience (and even create professional connections). 

Get Listed On A Resources Page

One of the simpler ways of building up your backlinks is by having your content featured on a resources page. While exploring websites in your industry, look to see if they have a “master list” of website links to other domains. 

Many websites put together a page for their readers where they can learn more about a specific topic. For example, food blogs may have links to websites with more recipes. So send a message to the admin with a link to your content! 

Hop-On A Podcast 

Found a podcast in your industry that you love? Reach out to the host and see if you can join them for an episode.

Joining a podcast allows you to dive right into the heart of the conversations taking place in your industry. You’ll hear perspectives from other professionals, engage directly with your audience, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with the community. 

Not only is this great publicity for both you and the podcast, but you’ll also have the chance to earn a quality backlink on their website as well. 

Help Out A Journalist

Sometimes, journalists need to speak with experts in certain fields to interview credible sources. You can volunteer your time to answer questions about your industry to help a journalist complete their story. Just ask them to link to your website in the finished article! 

This strategy can set you apart from competitors because a journalist has chosen you to act as a thought leader. When someone who has limited or no knowledge of your industry reads the journalist’s story, they’ll be sent right to your website. 

Ask For Testimonials 

After you’ve been working with a client for a while, ask them if they would like to exchange testimonials about each other’s services. For example, in exchange for your testimonial, you’ll display their testimonial on your website, and then backlink to them. Not only will this generate more backlinks, but it may also bring in more clients since you’re actively promoting each other’s work. 

3. Be Wary Of Quality Backlinks vs Toxic Backlinks

While you might think more backlinks are better, the SEO benefits from backlinks come from the quality of backlinks, not the quantity. 

Originally, Google’s algorithm looked at the number of backlinks more than the actual quality of the link. Naturally, buying and selling links was common practice to quickly accumulate links and rise to the top of Google. 

Now, Google considers backlinks generated in this way as “toxic”, and they harm your SEO ranking instead of bolstering it. 

But, this is just one example of a toxic backlink. Additionally, if websites with similar pages all link to your website with the same hyperlink or anchor text, search engines may register you as trying to build links quickly and maliciously like the tactic above. 

Either way, when you have a toxic backlink, Google’s algorithm will automatically penalize your website. That harms your ranking on the index. 

Want to guarantee that all your backlinks are high-quality? First, you’ll need content written by the expert writers at FocusCopy! Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business grow

How To Remove Toxic Backlinks 

Before you work to remove any potentially toxic links, you’ll have to identify which links could be causing you trouble. 

The Backlink Analytics tool from Semrush generates data about your backlink portfolio and can identify which links might be harmful. And thankfully, there are some ways in which you can remove a toxic backlink from your website. 

For starters, you can reach out to the website’s host and ask them to remove the link to your content. If the link is actually coming from a quality domain but Google incorrectly categorized it, you can ask for a manual review of the link from Google themselves

You can also use Google’s “Disavow” tool from their search console to remove toxic backlinks. WARNING: You’ll want to read up on how to properly use the tool to ensure you don’t harm your website’s search performance. 

Partner With The Content Experts & Create Backlinks

Content really is king when it comes to SEO. But when you’re juggling business obligations and your personal life, there’s simply not enough time to create content yourself. 

To grow your business, you need a team of copywriters who can support your content creation, make your brands stand out from the crowd, and help you bring in more leads. So, reach out to us at FocusCopy! We’d love to talk about your goals and how we can help you achieve them. Schedule a discovery call today.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
improve your website copy

5 Signs You Need To Improve Your Website Copy

How do you know for sure when it’s time to rework and improve your website copy?

There are a few tell-tale signs, but the biggest indicator is that your business is slowing down. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. But there’s no need to panic because you can help yourself by making changes to your website right away.

Maybe you’ve reached a lull in your day-to-day. You may find yourself spending less time speaking to customers and making sales. Or you could be having an entirely different problem altogether. Perhaps you are talking to people, but they’re the wrong crowd. This may leave you asking yourself, “Where are these people finding me?”

You’re not alone. It happens to businesses everywhere. But what most companies don’t know is that it could be their website. And since 88% of users won’t revisit a site once they’ve had a bad experience, altering your copy for the better is something to consider. If your website isn’t self-explanatory, concise, or geared towards the right audience, it may be time to improve your website copy.

Need new website copy on a timeline that works for you? Reach out about our web writing services.

When To Improve Your Website Copy

If you’re running into these problems, it’s time to reevaluate what your website is truly telling people.

1. You Keep Answering The Same Questions In All Your Calls

Picture this… You pick up the phone or respond to an email, and you end up answering all of the same questions all day long. What gives!?

If you know for a fact that people are visiting your website but continue to call anyway, they may not be getting the correct information they need upfront. This can be frustrating for several reasons. It’s a waste of time repeating yourself and is disheartening for both you and your customer. Wouldn’t it be better if everything they needed was right there online? Chances are, you’re paying for your website anyway. So, you might as well get the most out of your money and make it go further with fresh copy.

Update your website copy and make sure to include the following:

  • Who you are
  • What your business does
  • How your business helps customers
  • Easy-to-find FAQ answers
  • Contact information throughout the website
  • Pricing upfront (you can always give a starting point)

Have each one of these elements ready to go on your website, and you should be golden.

2. The Leads You’re Getting Aren’t The Ones You’re After

There’s nothing more disappointing than talking to someone who you realize doesn’t need your services at all. It can be even more confusing if they end up asking for a business or service similar but not the same as yours. So, where do you go from here? Take a look at your website’s copy and then have others outside your organization give their honest feedback. Find out what it’s saying to them and where there’s a disconnect. Then, when you see where your website is having trouble, approach the following areas with rewritten copy:

SEO

Target the right keywords. You can also pinpoint keywords you audience is searching for when looking for your business. For example, some SEO tools may tell you to rank for “health coach” but you know your audience would search for “functional medicine”. SEO tools are simply that… Tools! Use your brain to steer your keyword research.

Homepage Copy 

Be direct and let customers know what you offer and how you can help. Don’t forget a call-to-action button. Nearly 70% of small businesses end up leaving one out! If you don’t want people calling you, don’t list a phone number. BUT if you want people to schedule a discovery call instead, link your calendar to the primary button.

Branding 

If you need to make adjustments in your branding of any kind, ensure that’s reflected in your website copy as well.

3. It’s Time To Improve Your Website Copy Because The Line Is Dead

Here’s the worst-case scenario… You’re not getting any leads at all! Again, this is disappointing but shouldn’t hinder your efforts to make a change. 

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure out where you should start:

  • Is my website easy to navigate? Are there any broken links?
  • Am I working on my SEO?
  • Are there any significant errors in my website’s writing?
  • Is my contact information all there?

If anything seems to be completely off, now is the time to act and change it. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can even make a checklist of what you need to do before you get started.

4. Business Has Changed Due To The Pandemic Or For Other Reasons

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on businesses worldwide. Many companies scrambled to make drastic changes to their business models. However, while doing so, you may have missed updating your entire company website. That’s okay because you can do it now.

Go page by page and read through your business’s website copy. Find out where you need to make changes or updates and write them down on a to-do list. Consider improving your website copy for the following COVID-related reasons:

  • You’ve made alterations to safety protocols
  • Shipping and delivery has changed
  • You have team members listed who no longer work there
  • Appointments or scheduling is different

In addition to changes prompted by the pandemic, you might have changed your branding and need your website copy to match it. It’s essential to keep your website copy up-to-date, primarily if it affects your customers.

5. Your Website Has A High Bounce Rate

For starters, your bounce rate is the number of times someone views your website and ends up leaving quickly. This type of behavior typically tells us that your website isn’t what they’re looking for or the information on it is insufficient enough for them to take action.

There are a few tools you can use to check your website’s bounce rate, including:

  • Google Analytics (free)
  • Statcounter
  • Parse.ly

What Is A Good Or Bad Bounce Rate?

You’ll want to aim for a bounce rate between 26 to 40 percent. An average bounce rate is between 41 to 55 percent. A bounce rate between 56 to 70 may mean you want to make improvements to your website copy. If you see a bounce rate of over 70 percent, it’s time for a facelift for your website.

When Your Website Isn’t Speaking The Right Language For Your Industry…

There’s FocusCopy. We’re a team of writers who connect with you to understand what you do and who you are. We dive deep into your business goals and what you’d like to accomplish. Then, we take on the task of writing for your business with your target clientele in mind. Download our free guide to start updating your home page with ease.

When Was The Last Time You Updated Your Home Page?

Answer these 6 questions and spruce up your home page in 15 minutes (or less).

SEO Copywriting Tips

12 SEO Copywriting Tips You Can Implement Without An SEO Specialist

Right now, your company needs to invest in SEO – especially if you’re struggling.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. And SEO is what improves your ability to grow your traffic organically (free traffic). After you have your traffic on your website, then it’s only a matter of converting that traffic into customers. 

You don’t need to be an expert to start making improvements! In this blog, I’ll go over 12 tips for great SEO copywriting that you can implement without an SEO specialist.

What is SEO Copywriting?

SEO copywriting is a style of writing that prioritizes humans, while still keeping SEO in mind. It seeks to achieve the perfect balance between writing for visibility and writing to create genuine engagement with your audience.

SEO Copywriting vs. SEO

Why does SEO Copywriting beat out SEO when it comes to writing strategically online? 

When writing purely for SEO, you will sound mechanical. It sends a message that you’re writing for an algorithm that places your copy higher in the search list rather than engaging with and selling to your audience. 

Remember, Google doesn’t pay you – humans do!

Why SEO Copywriting Needs to be a Bigger Priority

So, if humans are the priority, why do we need SEO at all? 

The truth is, well written content still needs to be found by search engines. And in order for that to happen, SEO should still be kept in mind while writing. Striking a balance through SEO copywriting will ensure that your content is valuable for your audience and easy to find. 

Before we get into tips for SEO copywriting, let’s go over a few SEO strategies to keep in mind.

Types of SEO Strategies

SEO copywriting usually refers to on-page SEO; however, it would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the different types of SEO strategies that companies need to pay attention to.

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO refers to the things that you include on a web page to drive organic traffic and increase visibility. This helps your audience find you more quickly through a Google search.

Strategic on-page SEO can help your web page rank high on a search engine results page (SERP). And there are two philosophies for getting there:

  • Black hat – stuffing keywords in a nonsensical way into your content just to rank. Avoid this like the plague
  • White hat – including a typical amount of keywords into your content, but not overdoing it.

As the names suggest, white hat is the ethical approach to on-page SEO. Black hat methods might help your page get a higher SERP ranking, but your audience won’t stay on your page long if your content is nonsensical keyword soup.  

On-page SEO requires extra copy development time to achieve and maintain consistency. If you’re starting from scratch, expect 3-6 month time lag before you see results. The best way to get started is to write content – like blogs – on a regular schedule (weekly or bimonthly). 

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to your website’s backend settings that make it function optimally for the user. This ties into the overall experience that your audience has when interacting with your content. You are trying to make it easy for your audience to navigate your website

If you ever clicked on a link because the headline seemed spot-on for what you were searching for, but then the website…

  • Took forever to load
  • Wasn’t optimized for mobile viewing
  • Was difficult to navigate
  • Seemed like spam because of the URL

… You probably left within seconds. The average user’s attention span is under 5 seconds per click (unless they find what they are looking for).

Even if the headline of a web page is a perfect match for your search, you’ll only stay if the website looks safe, easy, and organized.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to the things you do outside of your website to draw attention to it. It helps your audience decide if they can trust your website and determine if it is an authority among its competitors.

Think about how you approach hiring talent for your company. Many people might apply for the position with the skills you’re looking for. But an applicant with several beaming references and a successful work history will stand out the most, and you’d be more likely to trust them than Joe Schmoe. 

Similarly, off-page SEO is like having “references” for your company’s website that helps build trust online.

12 Tips for Great SEO Copywriting That You Can Implement Without An SEO Specialist

Now that you have several SEO strategies you can implement without an SEO specialist, let’s talk about how to combine them with copywriting for an optimized SEO copywriting approach.

1. Genuinely Communicate With Your Audience

Prioritize a strong connection with your audience by writing genuinely – not robotic. Not only will authentic communication provide better value for them, but it can be beneficial for your company’s SERP ranking too…  

“When you’re writing for humans, search rankings will rise because bounce rates will be lower and time-on-site will be higher. It’s all about the user experience.”

Dan Moyle, Impulse Creative

It’s a win-win. Search engines use metrics like bounce rate and the time spent on a given page in their algorithm to rank your website. 

2. Don’t Be Spammy

If it sounds like spam, it probably is. Avoid writing content that looks like spam. If your content looks like spam, people will be less likely to stay on your site. Avoid using…

  • Black hat SEO approaches. Don’t stuff your content with keywords. Your audience can spot unethical approaches from a mile away (even if they don’t know what they are looking at), and this will reflect negatively on your brand.
  • Stock images in your blog posts. Instead, opt for images that are uniquely yours (e.g. photos of yourself, your products, or services). You can even include your own screenshots for how-to’s. Schedule a brand photoshoot to create your own photos.

Above all, if the copy sounds or looks spammy, change it.

3. Use Practical URLs

Another way to avoid having your content mistaken for spam is to use practical URLs. Best search results have URLs between 50-60 characters long and a top-level domain (TLD) of ‘.com’. Bypass gibberish symbols and letters; they can imply there is something shady or you are trying to hide something. 

Instead, include logical, intuitive URLs that are associated with the content of your webpage. Not only will this help your website look more legitimate, but it will also portray your company as being logical and organized.

For example, the slug – the phrase that follows the domain in the URL – for this page is https://focuscopy.com/seo-copywriting-tips. You can expect to learn SEO copywriting tips in this blog. But if the slug was https://focuscopy.com/6&sct12, you would have no clue what to expect. It may be exactly the same as the first page, but it may also be a scam – you can’t tell.

4. Have an SSL Certificate

While we’re on the topic of URLs, another great SEO copywriting tip is to have an SSL certificate. 

Users will see “https://” in the URL, which lets them know your website is safe with:

  • Secured user data
  • Ownership verification
  • Website authenticity

Plus, it might hurt your SERP ranking if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Google is about to stop ranking non-SSL sites and may flag them as “Not Secure”.

5. Cover Topics Comprehensively

Another way to practice effective SEO copywriting is by covering topics comprehensively. It increases the quality value that your audience receives from your content, helping you stand out among the competition.

Try using content splintering to be more comprehensive in your writing. When you’re more comprehensive about a specific subset of a topic, you will be more targeted and have more opportunities to crosslink to other blogs or pages. 

Don’t worry – you won’t have to post everything back-to-back. In WordPress, use categories and tags to cross-link related content. This will logically organize your content together, even if they aren’t published one after another. 

6. Use Keywords that Resonate With Your Audience

Ideally, you should use keywords that are broad enough to reach your target audience and specific enough to stand out from the crowd. Above all, make sure your keywords resonate with your audience.

For example, suppose you’re a CPA based in Boise, Idaho who wants to start marketing your services as tax season rolls around. Here are two keyword approaches you could take:

  • SEO: “tax CPA boise idaho”
  • SEO Copywriting:  “tax and accounting help in boise”  

SEO alone includes long-tail keywords with the goal of ranking top of an SERP.

On the other hand, the SEO copywriting approach includes keywords that your target audience would actually use in a search. You’ll maximize visibility while centering your audience.

7. Incorporate Relevant Headers

Relevant headers are a staple of SEO copywriting. They make your page easier for your audience to read and enable search engines to readily parse (understand) what your page is about. Make sure your headers are relevant by…

  • Incorporating keywords or keyword synonyms
  • Including calls to action
  • Making them readable 

8. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Viewing

Today, many people access web content through their smartphones. Ensure their mobile experience is as effortless as possible by making your site mobile friendly. You don’t want your audience to lose patience trying to find what they need. 

Optimize your website for mobile viewing by… 

  • Resizing text and images
  • Restructuring page formats
  • Creating an easy-to-use navigation bar

9. Make Your Content Easy to Share

Make your content easily shareable to social media platforms with a customized preview image, SEO title, slug, and meta description. This is what it looks like when you use the Yoast SEO plugin. 

For example, here’s what it looks like when someone shares a FocusCopy blog on their Facebook page.

10. Establish Backlink Equity 

Backlink equity is an SEO Copywriting approach that leverages off-page SEO. It helps your site establish trust and authority online. Build a variety of backlinks. Examples of potential backlink opportunities include:

  • Articles on Medium
  • Interviews on Voyage or a local news channel
  • Publications on reputable .gov, .edu, or .org website 
  • Press releases

11. Build a Backlink Network 

Don’t stress out if you can’t get published on a large, reputable site. Try creating partnerships with other companies and build pages or posts to refer traffic to them. It’s all about building a backlink network.

Since COVID-19 has been difficult for many of our friends and clients, we wrote several blog posts to create backlinks to their websites. Check those posts out here:

12. Cross Link Your Posts or Pages

Linking isn’t just an off-page SEO strategy. It’s also fantastic for on-page SEO copywriting too. Here’s how cross-linking works…

Imagine you have a huge mansion with many bedrooms, ballrooms, and more. But you walk in and realize there are no doors. You can’t explore the other rooms. So you turn around and walk right out – there is nowhere for you to go! The mansion is useless.

But you’re a smart person and put doors between each room. So your guests can come into your fancy mansion, go from one from one room to another, and get lost in the beauty and splendor of your palace. 

The same is true of your website. Google and your audience needs to be captivated and get lost in the different sections of your site. Cross link your pages or posts so they can move around and even go back to places they’ve already been.


So there you have it – 12 great tips for SEO copywriting that you can implement without an SEO specialist. However, we understand that writing isn’t for everyone. If you’d rather hire an expert to do your content writing for you, reach out to our FocusCopy team


Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion

Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion & Engagement (Even When Your Business Has Been Put on Hold) in 7 Simple Steps

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has impacted businesses all over the world. I talk to at least 5 business owners a day that have either had to put their business on hold, are overwhelmed with growth, or are somewhere in between. If you’re one of the companies in limbo, this blog is for YOU. Downtime can be discouraging. But, it’s so important to stay positive and keep the ball rolling! One way to do just that is by investing in your marketing. That’s why we put together this guide on updating your website copy to increase conversion and engagement (even when your business has been put on hold). 

What’s Website Copy? 

So, what’s website copy? Website copy is all the words on your site. But more than that, it’s what communicates to your audience what their need or problem is (if they didn’t know already), your solution, and why you’re the right decision for them. What does your customer need to hear to make a buying decision?

Now more than ever, a majority of the interactions clients have with your business will be through your website. Well-written website copy ensures your site is helpful for existing clients and makes a great first impression with new ones.

Why Update Your Website Copy?

A website should be 100% organic – that means it should change, evolve, and be updated as time goes on. A hard-coded website or one that is difficult to change in a moment’s notice is going to lock you into something that’s not working for you. 

So why update your website copy? 

We see lots of companies who put up a website home page and then never invest in their marketing again. After 10 years, it’s still the same home page. Their business has changed over that decade, but their website copy doesn’t reflect the changes. 

It’s stagnant. 

Keeping your website organic will encourage your clients to engage with your business more, and help convert those engagements into successful transactions.

How Website Copy Impacts Engagement & Conversion

How can updating your website copy impact engagement and conversion? Here are a couple of examples…

It Conveys Reliability

Suppose you used to offer a service that you no longer do. You’ll want to reflect those changes on your website. If clients who visit your site discover the information isn’t up-to-date, they’ll get the impression that your company is unreliable and engage with it less in the future. To encourage engagement, offer updated website copy.

It Makes It Easy For Clients To Find What The Need

Has your business started to offer new products or services since your last website update? As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. Your clients can’t buy your new services or products if they don’t know you’re offering them! Conversion rates will grow if you make it as easy as possible for your audience to find what they’re looking for and convince them your solution is the best.

If your business has had to slow down in the past month, take advantage of the downtime to rebuild engagement and increase conversion by updating your website copy. 

Determine If You’re Doing Minor Changes or A Massive Overhaul

Updating your website copy doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. You can make minor changes or get creative with a massive overhaul. 

Minor Changes

Even minor changes to your website copy can go a long way! 

Refine Your Headline Keywords

Are the keywords on your website specific enough to help your clients find what they need? Something as simple as re-phrasing your headlines to target your audience can help increase traffic – and eventually engagement and conversion rates.  

Make Small, Regular Updates

Are you keeping your clients in the loop about how current events impact their access to your business (especially in the midst of COVID-19)? Adding regular updates to your site will keep clients informed about how to continue to use your services or buy your products – in times of a pandemic or otherwise!

Massive Overhaul

When business is busy, marketing often slips by the wayside. If you haven’t had the chance to update your website copy, it’s not too late to get started on a massive overhaul! 

Does your website reflect your company’s values and brand? Does the copy highlight your current products and services? Can clients request them online? Is your website optimized for mobile viewing with easy-to-use navigation?

These are all places to look for opportunities to improve engagement and conversion. 

Updating Your Website Copy to Increase Conversion & Engagement in 6 Simple Steps

Whether you’re gearing up for major or minor updates to your website copy, it’s important to keep in mind both what to improve and how to improve it. Here are 6 simples steps to start updating your website copy to increase conversion and engagement.

1. Build a Brand Voice Guide 

Updating your website copy doesn’t have to be time-consuming and you don’t have to be a gifted writer either! When you build a Brand Voice Guide, you’ll be able to let someone else do the heavy lifting for you. In your Brand Voice Guide, you’ll outline which emotions and tones writers should use to update and edit your website copy. That way, you can rest assured that everything on your website is aligned with your company’s brand. 

Creating a Brand Voice Guide streamlines the copywriting process and fosters familiarity with your brand to improve conversion and engagement. You’ll get more growth with less effort. Check out our blog for more on why having a brand voice is critical to business growth

2. Record Your Baseline Metrics

After building a brand voice guide to expedite the copywriting process, where do you start making improvements to your existing copy? You can evaluate where changes should be made by taking down your metrics. 

Are You Reaching Your Audience?

Your engagement metrics tell you how good your website is at reaching your audience. This includes how many visitors your website typically gets per month, how many of these are new visitors, and how long each visitor spends on each page. 

Do you have many visitors to your homepage but not nearly as many for your services page? This doesn’t necessarily mean that visitors don’t want to engage with your services – they might just have a hard time finding them! 

Take note of which pages of your website have low engagement metrics so you can create a strategy to improve them. 

How Often Are People Taking Action (Buying, Subscribing, or Enrolling)?

Your conversion metrics tell you how often a client takes an action that you recommend to them. How often are clients buying your products or services, scheduling a consultation, or signing up for your newsletter? You’ll know that your copy needs improvement if your website has a lot of visitors, but few are following through with these actions. 

Don’t worry – low conversion metrics don’t necessarily mean clients aren’t interested in what you’re offering. A lot of the time, it simply means you need to update your copy to better communicate to clients how they’ll benefit from your offers.

3. Save Existing Copy Into A Blank Document

Storage is cheap, but your time isn’t! Before you dive into making any changes to your website, be sure to save the existing copy into a blank document. While some of your content might be new, a lot of it can be updated from what was already there before. It’ll also show you where you’ve been and where you don’t want to go again.

4. Write Emotionally With Benefits Taking The Lead

Your company offers valuable services and goods. But how can you express this value to your clients? Keep your audience at the forefront by writing emotionally with benefits to your client taking the lead. 

If you ask Harvard Business Review, people find the most value in products and services that serve their functional and emotional needs. Companies that address these in their writing have greater customer loyalty and growth. 

What does your client need practically and emotionally when they seek out your business? Address these needs, and offer a solution in your copy.

5. Review It Thoroughly

Next, you need to review the copy thoroughly for grammar, syntax, flow, and clarity. At FocusCopy, we always have at least 2 sets of eyes on each piece of copy we send out. Usually, we have 3 sets of eyes – 2 sets that haven’t worked on the development side. 

Check out our proofreading tips that we use to review every single piece of copy.

6. Update the Live Page

Before you update the live page with your newly written and thoroughly reviewed copy, take a before photo. You can add extensions to your browser that take a full screen capture – taking a photo of the entire page without you having to merge multiple screenshots of it.

Once you have the before photo, reveal your fresh look to the world. If your remodeling included major changes, send out an email to existing customers to highlight what your exciting new site features make easier for them! 

7. Test & Continue to Refine Copy

Remember, great website copy is truly organic. Continue to take down your metrics, compare them with old metrics, and refine your copy accordingly. You can also take advantage of split testing of headlines or landing pages to see which keywords and images resonate the most with your audience. 

Your company may be experiencing downtime, but there’s always a place to move forward and grow with your online marketing.

Looking for some help getting started? We write copy that communicates how you (the company) transforms your customer’s lives. When a customer feels heard, they are much more likely to engage with your brand and ultimately convert. Learn more about FocusCopy’s copywriting services here.

Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

Why Developing a Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

Have you ever seen a company whose copy was just all over the place? Better question… Have you ever seen a big brand publish something that seemed entirely off-brand with the voice they used?

Probably not.

Because those companies have developed what we call a brand voice. But you don’t need to be a Fortune 1000 company to have a brand voice! You can start it now. Today.

In this blog, we’re revealing 4 reasons why developing a brand voice is critical to business growth.

What is a Brand Voice?

A brand voice a set of emotions, tones, and descriptions that describe how you want to communicate to everyone who comes into contact with your company. It’s like an external culture.

We help craft brand voices for companies in what we call a Brand Voice Guide. This guide allows for anyone to read and use to write for the brand itself.

It’s not what you say… It’s how you say it.

Why Companies Needs a Brand Voice

Often, the CEO or the founder is the face of the company – meaning their time becomes more limited as their company grows. They cannot spend the time they used to commit to writing blogs, articles, website copy, or social media posts.

There are two options here: 

  1. Wait until the CEO or founder of the company has time to write
  2. Hire someone else to write in place of the CEO or founder

The problem with option #1 is that the copy or content that needs to be written almost never gets done in a timely manner, or at all. It also sometimes creates friction within the organization because the marketing department is trying to adhere to a content schedule. The marketing department then finds themself in a catch-22 – following a schedule vs. annoying their employer (which is something that we do not suggest doing). 

Option #2 can go one of two ways. 

First, it can look sporadic, unprofessional, and messy because the ghostwriter doesn’t fully understand the voice they are mimicking. Additionally, the customer or subscriber will immediately be able to tell that it’s a different writer – losing trust and credibility. No one wants that. 

The other way option #2 can go is… 

The CEO or founder appears to be active, personal, and trustworthy to their customers without ever touching a keyboard. How can you accomplish this? By documenting your brand voice guidelines.

4 Reasons Why Developing a Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

Not convinced enough that you need to develop a brand voice? Here are 4 reasons why developing a brand voice is critical to business growth and your success.

#1 It Streamlines Your Editing Process

Who doesn’t need more time? Oftentimes, the most time is spent in the editing and proofreading stages of copywriting and content production. 

If we take an average blog length (1000-1500 words or 2-4 pages) with a light edit, it will take approximately 30 minutes. This of course assumes that the writer is an excellent writer and nailed down the brand voice. 

Using the same number of pages or words for a heavy edit, it will take over an hour to edit the same exact blog. 

And that’s just an average technicality.

If your blog is significantly technical, you’re going to find the editing process is a lot longer. The most common reason for this increased time is not because the writer is trying to perfect the copy. It’s mostly because they have to completely rewrite the piece because they didn’t get the brand voice across originally. 

When you create a brand voice, it streamlines your editing process by removing one less thing you want to worry about when editing. A brand voice guide decreases the number of edits or complete rewrites. 

#2 Your Customers Need to Recognize and Remember Your Voice

A consistent voice builds a recognizable voice that your customers will remember. The goal is for your customers to think of you as many times as possible. How do you accomplish that? You make it easy for your customers to remember you – even if they are just scrolling through Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. 

Examples of Memorable Brand Voices

Let’s take a couple of examples… Can you guess who they are before checking out the link? 

Brand Voice is Critical to Business Growth

“We know men have thicker skin and luxurious facial hairs to grow classy mustaches and thick beards if they so choose. We built our products uniquely for your face, the face of man.” (Hint: men’s grooming.) 

Did you guess it right? 

“A top-shelf grooming routine. Personalized for you. No two people are the same. Tell us what you like so we can pick the right products.” (Hint: they changed this industry.) 

“For a pop of color to brighten any palate, go floral. Our in-house artists hand-painted a variety of beautiful floral prints for this collection, and we think you’ll agree—they’re the perfect nod to spring. (These amazing vases start at just $14.) And for an even more lush look, layer in faux greenery or delicate dried stems.” (Hint: a girl’s favorite hangout.) 

“It’s finally happening. Buy one [burger] and get another for just $1 when you place a mobile order. This is one of those rare cases where the sequel is better than the first—because this sequel has six more strips of bacon for one dollar more. So good you’re gonna wanna see it again and again.” (Hint: we’re big fans of their social media team!)

Now, this may be a little harder to get…

“Love, for all the right reasons.” (Hint: it’s a car company.)

How’d you do? A brand voice helps your customers remember you and think of you the next time they’re looking to buy. 

#3 It Improves Customer Engagement and Conversion.

People don’t change overnight – they evolve over time. So when a prospect feels like they know your brand like the person in the cubicle next to them, their best friend, or even their family, they are more likely to engage. 

The higher engagement rate, the higher conversion rate. 

Think about the coffee giant Starbucks. When you look at its 18.4 million followers on Instagram, you see at least 110,000 likes and comments – translating to an average 0.78% engagement rate (last 3 posts as of January 5, 2020). While that rate seems low in our brains, it’s consistent with their social presence and they are engaging hundreds of thousands of people every single day – even if they don’t like or comment. 

Top of mind. 

How does social media engagement translate to conversion? 

Go run by a Starbucks sometime today. Every table is taken, the drive thru line is long, and the baristas are pushing our drinks as fast as possible. 

While Houston’s coffee scene is on fire right now, many people often go for the easy route when scheduling a coffee meeting – Starbucks. They will always know what to expect from a Starbucks. That starts with the very foundation – the brand.  

#4 More Writing Projects Can Get Done

Because your company writing process has already been streamlined because of the brand voice, your writers can work on more writing projects. Thus creating more opportunities to increase revenue. 

Additionally, the company’s founder or face doesn’t have to write everything. No one would ever know unless you revealed that yourself. 

What type of writing projects can you get done with a brand voice guide?

The possibilities are endless when you have a brand voice guide because anyone will be able to use it. 

Develop Your Brand Voice Today

If you need help developing a brand voice, learn more how you can access a Done-For-You Brand Voice Guide here. 

Proofreading Tips From Pro Copywriters

Is there anything worse than when you catch grammar mistakes on websites, social media posts, or worse… printed material?

Personally, when I find a grammar mistake, I become so fixated on that mistake that I go on a treasure hunt to find more mistakes. If the author of that piece of copy only knew… Phew! I sure am not taking the intended action on that page.

In this blog, I’m revealing all my proofreading tips that we use to dramatically improve our client’s existing copy and make it easier for their target audience to want to take the next step in the customer journey.

While there is a stark difference between editing and proofreading, we think it’s important that both of them happen. Editing is working on the messaging and the actual content itself. This is a much larger undertaking than its opponent. Proofreading focuses more on the flow, typos, and grammar mistakes. When we talk about proofing in a general sense, we also include editing into that. 

Every Piece of Copy Needs to Be Proofed & Edited

Plain and simple… Every piece of copy needs to be proofed. When copy or content is not proofed and there are mistakes littered throughout, you risk losing credibility, customers, etc.

Imagine this… Your all-star client sends you an email letting you know about a typo in your latest blog. 

Ouch.

It not only hurts to hear that from that client, but think about these two things…

  1. Other prospects aren’t as kind or forgiving as your all-star client. They’ll click to the next company because they don’t want to waste time with a company who doesn’t care enough to actually proof their copy. Potential revenue… Gone. Your competitors are benefitting from your careless mistakes.
  2. If your company cannot do something as simple as writing without grammar mistakes, then what other areas of quality are you skipping? Product manufacturing, quality control, product delivery, etc.?

Proofreading Tips From Pro Copywriters

As copywriters, we must be in the business of proofing too. In fact, we spend just as much, or even more, time proofreading and editing than it takes to write the entire piece of copy

Here are our 3 proofreading tips that every person writing content or copy should follow. This includes any emails going out to clients from the CEO to customer support and everyone in between.

1. Print It Out – Then Recycle

There is nothing like putting a pen to paper and ripping the content apart. It’s personal and keeps you connected to the art of writing. Some people claim they can do it on screen, but we’ve found it requires less effort and results in fewer errors when marking up the printed copy! Think about it… You read it, mark it up, then you re-read it as you edit your live copy. That’s 2 whole rounds of proofing, not just one (as it would be if you proof on-screen)!

So print out the copy (2-sided), and start marking it up. I’ll share a few of my editing marks later in this blog.

Proofreading Tips

Another alternative to printing it out is to switch on the Editing or Suggesting mode in your document provider (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.).

2. Read It Out Loud

While you have it printed out, read it out loud. 

Every last word. 

Why? Because it should flow easily and sound natural. 

If you find yourself stumbling over a sentence or a phrase, reorganize the sentence while you’re reading through it. Then read it back out loud. Repeat until it sounds natural. If you don’t read it out loud, then you actually start to read what you think you wrote, not what you actually wrote. Verbalizing it eliminates this human trait.

Another thing that we do – especially when we are in the thick of editing – is to read it out to another person. They will be able to help you to catch all the errors, syntax issues, and content issues. This works especially well for large or complex pieces of copy. Yes, it burns the other person’s time, but it ultimately saves time, and therefore money every time.

3. Mark It Up

Finally, mark it up. Here are some short hand notations you can use while you edit. 

Proofreading Tips

You can read other proofreaders’ marks in the Chicago Manual of Style.

Proofreading Tips

Don’t have access to a printer? Or don’t want to waste paper? Many document providers like Microsoft Word or Google Docs has a suggesting tool where you can market it all up. Then you have the right to refuse or suggest the edits. They are good, but often you can do better with pen and paper.

Things to Look For When Proofreading

Now that you have a system, it’s time to figure out what you’re looking for. One thing that we commonly do is attack the entire copy with one perspective (i.e. spelling then flow) at a time then move onto the next. It helps you keep focused on the task at hand. 

Clarity of Message

First things first… Is the message you are writing about as clear as possible? Now, this isn’t a true and hard science. It’s helpful to put the copy in front of someone who has no clue what your writing about or who you are writing for. This is extremely helpful when explaining something technical or complicated. They will be able to indicate if your message is clear and universally understandable. 

Read more about our CFE Framework where the first step is bringing clarity to the topic. 

Focused Message

After you have deemed the message clear, it’s time to determine if it’s focused. In other words, this is where you cut the fluff, extra embellishments, and filler words or phrases (e.g. “like”, “as such”, “in order to:, etc.) that add to the word count but not to the effectiveness of the copy.

Spelling Mistakes

The most obvious thing to look for when proofing is spelling mistakes. While spell check has made it extremely easy to catch spelling mistakes, there are so many words that are used interchangeably wrongly. 

For example:

  • Except vs. Accept
  • Too vs. To
  • Their vs. They’re vs There
  • Your vs. You’re
  • Loose vs. Lose
  • Insure vs. Ensure

Sometimes, spell check corrects your misspelt word to a word with a completely different meaning. It now says there are no spelling mistakes, but some sentences may have completely different meanings or simply don’t make sense. This is where proofing comes in!

Syntax / Flow

The next thing to look at is the syntax or flow of your content or copy. Syntax is the set of rules, principles, and/or processes that determine sentence structure, usually including word order. Does it sound natural? Not clunky?

A great way to check for the flow is always to read it out loud. I know we’ve said this before, but it’s really important not to skip over.

Brand Voice

Another thing to take a look at is your brand voice. Is the piece of content or copy synonymous with your brand voice? You need it to sound consistent with the rest of the content on your website or your copy.

Readability

Finally, a good test of readable content is to check its readability score. There are two tests that we use frequently with our copy…

  • Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
  • Gunning Fog Index

There are many readability tests online where you can paste your copy into their test and it will rate it. 

Proofreading Tips

The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score was originally developed to determine the ease of military processes and procedures. Business writing needs to be around a 65; however, anything between 60 and 80 is considered a good score. 

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is similar to the readability score; however, it determines the grade level the text is catered to. Most business writing targets the grade-level 7.5; it used to be 8th grade but it has since been changed. Writing at this level means the copy is complex enough to engage interest but simple enough not to strain the brain. Writing at 20th grade (which some writers do) is only intelligible to post-graduates with three or more degrees. While my co-founder Stuart Broderick may be able to understand that language with his Ph.D. in physics, the rest of us will pass. 

Both measurements focus on word length (syllables) and sentence length. For example, if there are too many sentences with over 20 words in them, then you risk reducing your readability score. 

Finally, there is the Gunning Fog Index. Its scoring mechanism is based on the grade level of which the text is appropriate for. For example, a 12 would be suitable for seniors in high school or 18-year olds. Most text should be at or below a 12 if you are in a B2B setting. If your intended audience is extremely wide, it is best to aim for 7th or 8th grade. 

There are many other readability scores or grade level scoring indexes, but they all focus on the same thing – how easy it is to read a piece of content.

Avoiding Proofreading All Together

There is one sure way of avoiding proofreading all together. 

Hire professional copywriters or retain a copywriting firm.

This only applies when you hire professional copywriters that are obsessed with quality. At FocusCopy, we have quality controls to ensure that a single piece of copy does not leave our office without being proofed by at least 2 people. Why? Because the value is in the copy and the value can be immediately lost if there are grammar or flow issues. 

Have any other proofreading tips? Let us know about them in the comments below.