How copy can improve traffic and boost online sales
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How copy can improve traffic and boost online sales

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How a good web copywriter can increase your site hits and turn visitors into customers. Presented by Allen Palmer, the Web Copywriter, at the Associations Forum seminar on Website Usability at Sofitel ...

How a good web copywriter can increase your site hits and turn visitors into customers. Presented by Allen Palmer, the Web Copywriter, at the Associations Forum seminar on Website Usability at Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney, Australia on Tues Feb 23 2010.

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How copy can improve traffic and boost online sales How copy can improve traffic and boost online sales Presentation Transcript

  • Web copy that shines by Allen Palmer webcopywriter.com.au Tuesday, 23 February 2010 1
  • Typical approach to web development 1. Information Architecture 2. Design 3. Build 4. Usability 5. e-commerce 6. Hosting 7. Security 8. Trivial stuff (like Privacy) 9. More trivial stuff (like paying for images) 10. Even more trivial stuff (like copy) Tuesday, 23 February 2010 2
  • Why you think copy isn’t that important 1. You can write it 2. Copywriters costs less than designers 3. You misunderstand what a web copywriter does The job of a web copywriter is not to not to produce “well-written” sites. The job of a web copywriter is to boost online “sales”. Tuesday, 23 February 2010 3
  • Why you should care more about copy – Your Goals – Get members – Keep members – Educate members – Raise public profile – Influence govt (preferably without brown paper bags) – Sell stuff (e.g. Memberships, courses, manuals, etc) – A good web copywriter helps achieve your goals in 2 ways – 1. Increase traffic – 2. Turn more visitors into “customers” Tuesday, 23 February 2010 4
  • A web copywriter increases traffic – 80% of users find websites by search engine – Most of your web traffic is via your web address – Or people Googling your name or acronym – You can generate more hits through search – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) boosts ranking – People “buying” what you “selling” find you – Not about increasing keyword density – Good web copywriter boosts site hits Tuesday, 23 February 2010 5
  • A web copywriter turns hits into “sales” – Not enough to get traffic – Need to produce a “result” – Design important – Information Architecture important – Usability very important – But copy closes “the sale” – Your web copywriter is your online salesperson Tuesday, 23 February 2010 6
  • How a web copywriter can help you – My general impression of your sites – Not search engine optimised – Not selling hard enough – What you’ll learn today – Not “How to write more nicely” – 1. How to turn more surfers into visitors – 2. How to turn more visitors into customers Tuesday, 23 February 2010 7
  • How to turn more surfers into visitors – Goal: boost hits by improving Google search rankings – Need to know how Google works – Unfortunately no-one does – Most helpful? – External Links from sites with high PageRank – Focus today is on-page SEO – The key to on-page SEO is keywords Tuesday, 23 February 2010 8
  • Moving from selling to buying – What are keywords? – Words (or phrases) that people enter in Google – What do your customers search for? – Don’t think about what you’re selling – Think about what they’re buying – Don’t be inside looking out – Be outside looking in Tuesday, 23 February 2010 9
  • Moving from “selling” to “buying” – Selling - “plumber” – Buying - “leaky roof” – Selling - “osteopath” – Buying - “back pain” – Selling - “cabinet maker” – Buying - “built in wardrobes” – Selling - “We are ... “ – Buying - “I’m looking to solve this problem” Tuesday, 23 February 2010 10
  • Web copy that shines by Allen Palmer webcopywriter.com.au Tuesday, 23 February 2010 11
  • How to boost web traffic & lift online sales by Allen Palmer webcopywriter.com.au Tuesday, 23 February 2010 12
  • Tools to help you choose keywords – Wordtracker - www.wordtracker.com – Used by SEO professionals in US – US$117/mth – Disadvantage: Need to export results to SEM account – Search results relevant to Australia? – I prefer Google Adwords – https://adwords.google.com.au/select/KeywordToolExternal – Target specifically for Australian territory – Interfaces with your SEM account – Track the campaign & fine tune – Free Tuesday, 23 February 2010 13
  • Which keywords to choose? – Need to consider 3 criteria: – Popularity – Relevance – Competition Tuesday, 23 February 2010 14
  • Primary, secondary keyword phrases – Don’t just choose one keyword phrase – Have a primary and a secondary keyword phrase – A couple of additional phrases – Don’t choose keywords for the site – Keywords for each page – How do you use these keywords to optimise your sites? Tuesday, 23 February 2010 15
  • How and where to use your keywords – No Google manual – seomoz polls SEO experts for their opinions – http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors#ranking- factors – Where do you use keywords to boost Google ranking? – Stuff in the body copy, right? – Wrong. Tuesday, 23 February 2010 16
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% of experts consider important 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 17
  • Optimising for keywords - Page Title – What is Page Title? – It’s what you see at the top of browser page – http://www.smh.com.au/ – In the source code: <TITLE> Write your page title here</TITLE> – Very important to search engines – Don’t ever want to see “Home” – Or “Welcome to AMSCRAM” Tuesday, 23 February 2010 18
  • Optimising for keywords - Page Title – Tailor it to the specific page – 60 characters (including spaces) – Doesn’t need to include your association name – Doesn’t need to include your tagline – Doesn’t need to be a sentence – People don’t read it but search engines do – Include 2 or 3 keyword phrases – Try to double up - “back pain relief” includes “back pain” – Most of you aren’t exploiting your page Title Tuesday, 23 February 2010 19
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% keyword.org.au Tuesday, 23 February 2010 20
  • Optimising keywords - Domain names 1. Ideally domain name includes your keyword 2. www.cheaphotels.com.au 3. You possibly don’t have a choice for main site 4. But you could create micro sites with keyword domains 5. Buy up useful domains names 6. Redirect to your site Tuesday, 23 February 2010 21
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 22
  • Keywords in <H1> Tags – http://www.pavplumbing.com.au/ – <H1>Your page heading goes in tags like this</H1> – Only one per page – <H2>Secondary headings go here>/H2> – <H3>Tertiary headings go in here</H3> – <H4> And so on … </H4> – Tags other than H1 not so important for SEO – <H> tags have fallen out of favour – But not with search engines – Most of you aren’t utilising H1 tags Tuesday, 23 February 2010 23
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% 5. Keyword Use In Internal anchor link - 47% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 24
  • Keyword in internal anchor link – Google #1 for “mortgage brokers” – http://www.mortgagechoice.com.au/ – “award winning home loan broker” – “find your local mortgage broker” – Not all of their links are working for them – e.g. “Read our tips and checklists” – Better “Read our mortgage tips and checklists” – “Find out why we’re different” – “Find out why Australia’s leading home loan broker” Tuesday, 23 February 2010 25
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 26
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 27
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% – 8. Keywords in first 50-100 words - 45% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 28
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% – 8. Keywords in first 50-100 words - 45% – 9. Keywords in Sub-domain name - keyword.assn.org Tuesday, 23 February 2010 29
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% – 8. Keywords in first 50-100 words - 45% – 9. Keywords in Sub-domain name - keyword.assn.org – 10. Keyword in page name URL - 38% - assn.org/keyword/ Tuesday, 23 February 2010 30
  • Keyword in page name URL – Not http://www.webcopywriter.com.au/content.cfm?categoryid=2 – http://www.webcopywriter.com.au/website-copywriting/ Tuesday, 23 February 2010 31
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% – 8. Keywords in first 50-100 words - 45% – 9. Keywords in Sub-domain name - keyword.assn.org – 10. Keyword in page name URL - 38% - assn.org/keyword/ – Where is keyword density? Tuesday, 23 February 2010 32
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% – 8. Keywords in first 50-100 words - 45% – 9. Keywords in Sub-domain name - keyword.assn.org – 10. Keyword in page name URL - 38% – 17. Keyword density formula - 25% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 33
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% – 8. Keywords in first 50-100 words - 45% – 9. Keywords in Sub-domain name - keyword.assn.org – 10. Keyword in page name URL - 38% – 17. Keyword density formula - 25% – 21. Keyword in Meta Description - 19% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 34
  • Keywords in Meta Description – Not important in SEO – But Description appears on Google Results page – http://www.google.com.au/ig?hl=en – Helps drive people to your site – Needs to “sell” – Maximum 160 characters (including spaces) Tuesday, 23 February 2010 35
  • Where keywords boost Google ranking – 1. Keyword in the Title tag - 66% – 2. Keyword in the first few words of Title tag - 63% – 3. Keyword Use in Root Domain Name - 60% – 4. Keyword Anywhere in H1 Tag - 49% – 5. Keyword Use In Internal Link Anchor - 47% – 6. Keyword in External Link Anchor - 46% – 7. Keywords in first words in H1 tags - 45% – 8. Keywords in first 50-100 words - 45% – 9. Keywords in Sub-domain name - keyword.assn.org – 10. Keyword in page name URL - 38% – 17. Keyword density formula - 25% – 21. Keywords in Meta Description - 19% – 24. Keyword in Meta Keywords - 5% Tuesday, 23 February 2010 36
  • Why content matters – We’ve been looking at On-page keyword-related SEO factors – But seomoz also ranks On-page non-keyword SEO factors – 1. Substantive, unique content - 65% consider important – Keyword density in content not important – Content matters – And not just for boosting Google ranking and traffic Tuesday, 23 February 2010 37
  • 2. How to turn visitors into customers – Most of your sites are competently written – Not necessarily good web copy – 3 areas to improve – a. More targeted – b. More direct – c. More clickable Tuesday, 23 February 2010 38
  • a. More targeted web copy – Most of your sites don’t sell – Most of your sites house information – More like libraries than arcades – Not clear who the target audience is – Not clear what you’re selling – Not clear what you want them to do – Don’t need to become better at writing – Need to become better at selling Tuesday, 23 February 2010 39
  • How to write copy that sells – Before you pick up a pen, ask 3 questions: – 1. Who is your target audience? – 2. What do they want to buy? – 3. Why should they buy from you? Tuesday, 23 February 2010 40
  • 2. How to turn visitors into customers – Most of your sites are competently written – Not necessarily good web copy – 3 areas to improve – a. More targeted – b. More direct – c. More clickable Tuesday, 23 February 2010 41
  • Good web copy is more direct – Good brochure copy is “well written” – Good brochure copy doesn’t make good web copy – Short attention span – People tend to “scan” rather than read – Huge blocks of relentless text are a turn-off – But search engines like lots of content – Solution? – Make it “scannable” – Structure your copy into snack-sized bites Tuesday, 23 February 2010 42
  • Structure your copy into snacks – Short sentences – Max 25 words – Short paragraphs (3-4 lines) – 50-100 words max – http://www.essentialsofborrowing.com.au/ – Short pages? – But search engines love content – Long pages but links above the fold – http://www.moneysolutions.com.au/Learning-More/Starting- A-New-Job.aspx Tuesday, 23 February 2010 43
  • Structure your copy into snacks – Use Headings and subheadings – Use <H> tags – Keywords first – Don’t use puns in headlines – Search engines have no sense of humour – Use bullet points – Link bullet points to content if possible – Remember: internal links improve SEO Tuesday, 23 February 2010 44
  • How to write opening paragraph – Can’t save the best for last – Journalistic style rather than wannabe novelist – Inverted pyramid style – First paragraph needs to summarise the page – Hooks reader & improves SEO – Only introduce detail as the reader digs down the page Tuesday, 23 February 2010 45
  • How to write for the web – 3 guiding principles – Shorter sentences – Simpler construction – Less formal language Tuesday, 23 February 2010 46
  • How to write for the web Formal language Informal language By means of ... By ... As a consequence ... So ... In the event that ... If ... Is capable of ... Can ... Is required to ... Must ... Might be able to ... Could ... Would not Wouldn’t ... We would We’d ... Tuesday, 23 February 2010 47
  • How to write for the web – Before: “This Help Sheet describes diverticulosis, who gets it and some of its most common forms. It describes some early signs of diverticulosis and emphasises the importance of an early medical diagnosis”. – After: “What is diverticulosis, who gets it, what are the early signs and why early diagnosis is critical”. – Eliminate redundant words (e.g. “this help sheet describes ... “) – Eliminate formal language (e.g. “emphases the importance of ... “) Tuesday, 23 February 2010 48
  • How to write for the web – Before: “This is the official home page of the Australasian Beekeeper Association. It is intended to provide information about the Association and its members as well as current activities and meetings. The mission of the ABA is to lead and promote bee health in Australia and New Zealand and to advance the professional interests of its members." – After: “The Australasian Beekeeper Association (ABA) promotes bees and beekeeping in Australia and New Zealand.” – Eliminate redundant words and get to the point Tuesday, 23 February 2010 49
  • How to write for the web – Before: “The spirit of sharing, collaboration and innovation is solid within WWA and along with our many industry partners and sponsors WWA will pursue every opportunity to ensure our industry is well placed to support, protect and conserve what our communities’ value. – After: “WWA’s mission is to ensure Australia’s weather forecasting services are able to support and protect our communities.” Tuesday, 23 February 2010 50
  • How to write for the web – http://www.superannuation-advice.com.au/ – Not like this – Remember the inverted pyramid – First paragraph needs to summarise Tuesday, 23 February 2010 51
  • How to write for the web 1. Before: “BBP’s strategic direction for the next seven years is guided by five key Goals. These goals are a high level statement of the outcomes BBP wishes to achieve.” 3. After: “Over the next 7 years, BBP has the following 5 goals:” Tuesday, 23 February 2010 52
  • How to write for the web – Before: Tuesday, 23 February 2010 53
  • How to write for the web The designer of the next Empire State Building - could it be your child? – A fun, new, interactive website helps children explore what it’s like to be a civil engineer and invites them to take “The Skyscraper Challenge”. – Get in their shoes Tuesday, 23 February 2010 54
  • How to write for the web – Before: MBA: Don't Include Cram Down in Regulatory Reform In response to discussion today in the House Financial Services Committee raising the possibility that a regulatory reform bill could include provisions allowing bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages on primary residences, MBA Chairman David Kittle issued the following statement. "Allowing judges to retroactively modify borrowers' mortgage balances will destabilize a mortgage market that desperately needs stability right now. Tuesday, 23 February 2010 55
  • How to write for the web – After: Cram Down Bill could hurt 50 million American homeowners If bankruptcy courts are allowed to amend mortgages on primary residences, the cost would be borne by the millions of homeowner who don’t declare bankruptcy. Tuesday, 23 February 2010 56
  • 2. How to turn visitors into customers – Most of your sites are competently written – Not necessarily good web copy – 3 areas to improve – a. More targeted – b. More direct – c. More clickable Tuesday, 23 February 2010 57
  • Making your copy more clickable – Having worked out what you want people to do – Make it easy for them to do it – Images and clickable buttons – Keyword Links in your opening paragraph – Keyword Links in middle paragraphs – Keyword Links at the bottom of the page – Enhance SEO – Drive more sales Tuesday, 23 February 2010 58
  • The psychology of selling – Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely – Economist subscriptions – Version A – Web $59 (68%) – Print & Web $125 (32%) – Version B – Web $59 – Print only $125 – Print & Web $125 Tuesday, 23 February 2010 59
  • The psychology of selling – Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely – Economist subscriptions – Version A – Web $59 (68%) – Print & Web $125 (32%) – Version B – Web $59 (16%) – Print only $125 (0%) – Print & Web $125 (84%) Tuesday, 23 February 2010 60
  • What I hope you’ve learned today – 1. Web copywriter most important member of team – involve earlier – pay more – 2. Their job is not to produce a “well written” site – Their job is to sell your association – Deliver more web traffic – Convert visitors into customers – 3. Areas where your sites can improve – SEO - Page Titles, H1 tags, links – More targeted - who, what & why – More direct - shorter, simpler, less formal – More clickable - link early and often Tuesday, 23 February 2010 61
  • –] allen@webcopywriter.com.au Tuesday, 23 February 2010 62