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Reading. Writing. Using. Online Copywriting

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Overview of guidelines and best practices when developing copy for online distribution.

Published in: Marketing
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Reading. Writing. Using. Online Copywriting

  1. 1. Vicki Dirksen Plaid Swan PLAID SWAN Media. Marketing. Creative.
  2. 2. Strengths of Online Information  Easily accessible.  Wealth of information.  Access to different sides of the same issue.  Easy to comparison shop.  Always available.
  3. 3. Weaknesses of Online Information  Unsubstantiated claims.  Easily misguided.  Rely on search engine’s algorithms.  Can be hard to find information.  Websites change frequently – information may not always be available.
  4. 4. “Choosing A College”
  5. 5. Ranking #1
  6. 6. Ranking #2
  7. 7. Ranking #3
  8. 8. What Do You Remember?  Images  Navigation  Headlines  Links  Page Copy  Other
  9. 9. How People Read Online Web copy is totally different than print copy.  People scan copy online – they don’t read it.  They are hunting for information.  They make quick decisions.  They want easy answers found quickly.  They don’t want to think.
  10. 10. Simple Statements Work Best  Put important information first.  Break content into small chunks.  Use headlines to emphasize main points.  Minimize punctuation.
  11. 11. Make a Visual Impression  Left justify paragraphs - we read left to right.  Easier for our brains to absorb information.  Leave space in between paragraphs.  De-clutter.  Evaluate at a glance.  Format headlines.
  12. 12. Avoid Empty Content  Fluff is unacceptable.  Content needs to be useful and relevant.  Answer a question or solve a problem.  Provide a clear call to action.
  13. 13. Encourage Interaction  Understand your audience.  Ask for feedback, comments, and questions.  Respond to all as soon as you can.  Use a spam filter if that is a concern.
  14. 14. Use Relevant Images  Images can reinforce copy points.  Don’t over use them as that can be distracting.  Add captions to emphasize your point.
  15. 15. Hyperlink Appropriately  Use hyperlinks to provide access to full content.  Can be used to drill deeper into your site OR  To access articles written by others that reinforce your statements.  If using external links have them open a new window so the user can easily get back to your site.
  16. 16. Proofread & Spell Check  Remember your spell checker can only catch misspelled words.  Proofread to catch incorrect spelling of real words (e.g. hear vs. here).  Properly use grammar.
  17. 17. Grammar Test Can you use these correctly? 1. “Your” / “you’re” 2. “There” / “they’re” / “their” 3. How is “could’ve” spelled? 4. “To” / “too” / “two” 5. “Its” / “It’s” 6. “Then” / “Than” 7. “Loose” / “Lose”
  18. 18. Grammar Answers 1. Your house vs. You are going to their house. 2.There is your house. vs. They are at your house. vs. It is at their house 3. Could have not could of 4.Let’s go to your house. vs Can I go to your house too? vs There were two people at the house. 5. That house is showing its age. vs It’s older than the house next door. 6.We shopped and then went home. vs I would rather go home with you than with Dad. 7. My pants were too loose. vs I always lose my keys.
  19. 19. Write For A General Audience  Write at a 3rd grade reading level.  Remember people are scanning the page.  Always explain acronyms – at least once.  Use familiar words – avoid large words.  Explain terms most would not know.
  20. 20. Content Should Be Easy To Read General Guidelines:  Headings = 8 words or less  Sentences = 15 – 20 words  Paragraphs = 40 – 70 words  Page Word Count = 250+ words
  21. 21. Write For How People Search Search engines are how your website is found. 1. Brainstorm search phrases. 2. Research how often they are used. Wordtracker.com b. Wordstream.com c. Keywordeye.com a. 3. Incorporate those phrases into your copy.
  22. 22. Effective Headlines Headlines are the most important piece of content. Keep them to 8 words or less. 2. Include important keywords. 3. Avoid using adjectives & prepositions (and, a, of, the) 4. Be clear and concise. 1.
  23. 23. Make Connections Use links to allow people to delve deeper into your site. Short statements with clear links to more information. 2. Links should be presented using action words. 1.
  24. 24. Summarize Effectively Answer these summary questions: 1. Who? 2. What? 3. When? 4. Where? 5. Why? 6. How?
  25. 25. Exercise Write a heading and one paragraph about any topic.
  26. 26. Why Worry About SEO? SEO = Search Engine Optimization People use search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing to look up information about anything and everything. Search engines rank information based on how well it relates to the search terms used and the content available on the landing page. Create high quality, updated and unique content people want to read and to share on social media.
  27. 27. Use Keywords Effectively Don’t:  Just add a list of multiple keywords to your site. Do:  Research possible keyword phrases relevant to your planned content.
  28. 28. Write Original Content Don’t:  Plan on posting once and never again. Do:  Publish original, relevant, fresh content on a consistent basis.
  29. 29. Craft Descriptive Headlines Don’t:  Write lengthy “sales focused” headlines. Do:  Use headlines to grab your reader’s attention. Compelling and descriptive headlines will make your content more shareable.
  30. 30. Create Share Worthy Content Don’t:  Write one way articles that go no where. Do:  Create an opportunity for people to engage and share your content.
  31. 31. Format Your Content Properly Don’t:  Write long, drawn out sentences and paragraphs. Do:  Use lists, subheadings, bullet points, and paragraphs to make it easy to read and follow your content.
  32. 32. Use Data Responsibly Don’t:  Present a lot of charts and graphs that don’t mean anything or are hard to understand. Do:  Use infographics to share statistics and data from reputable sources – be sure to give credit to your sources.
  33. 33. Treat Links as Copy Elements Don’t:  Provide links only through a “click here” reference. Do:  Incorporate links as part of your copy.  Link to reputable sites to establish authority and trust.
  34. 34. Exercise Brainstorm possible keyword phrases to support the content you wrote previously.
  35. 35. What Are Pay-Per-Click Ads?
  36. 36. Not Much Space 25 characters for the headline 70 characters of ad text 35 characters for the Display URL Purpose is to generate clicks to your webpage.
  37. 37. 8 Common Traits of Successful Ads 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Use numbers Use ASCII symbols Focus on benefits Offer proof/credibility Use quotes Ask a question Make a strong offer Include a call to action
  38. 38. Logo Design Guarantee      Use numbers Use ASCII characters Focus on benefits Make a strong offer Include a call to action
  39. 39. North American Spine  Use numbers  Use ASCII characters  Focus on benefits  Include a strong call to action
  40. 40. Proflowers.com / From You Flowers  Use numbers  Use ASCII characters  Offer proof/credibility  Use quotes
  41. 41. POC Hiring  Use numbers  Use ASCII characters  Focus on benefits  Ask a question  Make a strong offer
  42. 42. General Elements of Successful Ads Don’t sensationalize or hype. 2. Stand out from the competitors. 3. Extensive testing. 1.
  43. 43. Questions For any future inquiries, I can be reached at: Vicki Dirksen Plaid Swan www.plaidswan.com 563-556-1633 vicki@plaidswan.com

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