6 Tips About SEO That You Need to Know

6 Tips About SEO That You Need to Know

SEOTOPIMAGEYou can’t sell to people if you don’t attract their interest first. SEO helps you put out the “welcome” sign. Read on for some easy SEO tips that can give your website a big boost right now.

It’s important to remember that your website has to impress both search engines and people, and while these tactics coincide in some respects, they diverge in important ways. In the end, it’s people who buy your products or services.

These easy SEO tips will build your reputation with people and algorithms:

1. Improve Your Visitor’s Experience

Google judges the quality of your site by things such as how long searchers stay on your site. You have to offer sterling content, but you also have to make it easily accessible.

If you make sure your website loads quickly, your home page is uncluttered, is visually appealing, and your site is easy to navigate, you’ll own the keys to customer and search engine hearts.

2. Think Optimum, Not Overkill

Too much of a good thing will put you on the outs with search engines, especially with Google. New algorithms are designed to suss out the intent behind your efforts. They can tell if you’re doing the right stuff for the wrong reasons, and they will punish you.

Two examples:

  1. Keyword Stuffing: Keywords provide the language where you meet up with searchers, but cramming them into your text right and left does not give you more “search points.” It simply makes your content hard to read. Phrase your text naturally, and people will actually want to read it.
  2. Faux-Guest Blogging: Matt Cutts, Google’s Webspam guru, is on a tear about this right now. Guest blogging has great value to build links, and that builds SEO. It can also give provide excellent content for your audience, but promoting unsolicited “guest blogs” purely to build links is very frowned upon.

Again, remember that SEO is built on quality and relevance, not quantity.

3. Optimize Blog Images

Images that aren’t content-relevant and visually interesting are wasted. Instead, use these easy SEO tips to get real value from your images:

  • Use descriptive words in file names.
  • Use descriptive words in your alt text.
  • Remember the caution against keyword stuffing. That applies here as well.

Relevance and well-targeted descriptors will improve your search results.

4. Mobile is Important – Go Mobile Friendly ASAP

mobile-180x180Maybe you’ve read the predictions where mobile search could eclipse desktop-based search by the end of this year. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s time to optimize ASAP, especially if you’re a local business.

Most mobile searchers are looking for local, immediate information – store hours, an address, price comparisons – not conducting in-depth research or making purchases. If you’re not a local-focused business, mobile is less urgent. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go mobile-friendly as soon as possible.

For now, you can:

  • Speed up your website’s load time. Your non-mobile visitors will appreciate that, too, and it will help improve your SEO.
  • Consider a more responsive website design. Use your analytics to see which pages mobile searchers are visiting now, use them as test pages and track results.
  • Simplify the small-screen experience with fewer click options, rather than showing all your navigation or sharing buttons.
  • Eliminate or limit overlay ads that make mobile navigation difficult.

5. Diversify Your Tactics

Dr. Peter J. Meyers suggested this as the top priority among easy SEO tips for 2013, and it’s just as relevant now. He’s talking about your:

  • Anchor text.
  • Links.
  • Traffic sources.
  • Marketing approach.
  • Entire point of view.

It’s time to cast fresh eyes upon your website. Get a second, professional opinion.

6. Leverage Remarketing

Wordstream’s Larry Kim knows a few things about SEO. His top pick for “actionability” is to make strategic use of remarketing. Why is this important? Organic SEO typically draws visitors who are new to your brand, so direct conversion rates are very low.

Remarketing allows you to stay in front of those visitors as they continue their travels around the internet. Staying top of mind, and all that. Remarketing is a form of paid search, but it can be well worth the investment.

 

To provide the best possible result oriented solutions available we have created the following websites and divisions to work in unision and under the umbrella of RCS Technology Soltutions, LLC : RCS Online Solutions , RCS Digital Marketing, RCS SEO Solutions , RCS Website Solutions , The Best Website Company  , The Best Internet Marketing Company , RCS Managed IT Services, RCS Computer Solutions  Besides that we have dedicated services for Boston, Massachusetts as well including The Best Website Company Boston  & The Best SEO Company Boston . RCS Technology Solutions, LLC is powered by Digital Marketing and Website Expert Ronald Couming who has been  providing expert solutions for more than a decade. Please contact us with any questions or help regarding our services fees  at 001-978-606-5432 or email at info@rcstechnologysolutions.com

Author Link: http://groovedigitalmarketing.com/easy-seo-tips/

What The Highest Converting Websites Do Differently

What The Highest Converting Websites Do Differently

Did you know that companies that take on a structured approach towards conversion optimization are twice as likely to see a large increase in sales?

Given this, you’d think more companies would test and run experiments. Yet 61% of companies do less than 5 tests per month.

My gut tells me the reason for this is MOST companies are too caught up in the “business as usual syndrome”, and they rarely take a second to stop and think about really focusing on conversion optimization.

In this post we’re going to go over what the highest converting websites do differently. But before we get into the details, we want to highlight a few points to get you thinking first:

  • You have 0-8 seconds to make a compelling headline and landing page. After 8 seconds, the majority of visitors leave.
  • Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.
  • The more landing pages you have, the more leads you are likely to get.
  • Product videos can increase purchases of the product by 144%.
  • A 1 second delay in your site speed can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • A/B testing is becoming the preferred method that has brought a lot of the companies the most success.

Got that? Ok, let’s get into what the best do differently….

1. They Make Their Unique Value Proposition(s) Clear

Visitors should clearly see on your homepage or landing page why they should do business with you and the benefit of it.

A great example of this is MailChimp:

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There are plenty of email service providers out there, so for a company like MailChimp it’s quite difficult to differentiate yourself from the pack. MailChimp made themselves different by focusing on making email campaigns easy.

If you think about it, whose usually tasked with sending out the email newsletter? It’s usually someone who’s specialty is not marketing, who’s not technical, and has a never ending “to-do” list. Making it easy is really important!

And by looking at their home page, they make this very clear:

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Not to mention, if you have ever used their service – everything from campaign creation to sending out your emails is really simple and clear.

Another example is Helzberg Diamonds. They are a little more subtle about their USP, but they definitely address “Why you should buy from them”.

For example they state free shipping on orders over $149:

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Scroll down the page a little bit, and you’ll see some reassurances:

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Certainly having 12,266 fans on Facebook doesn’t hurt their conversion rate, either.

What are the reasons customers should buy from you? Is it a money back guarantee? Free shipping? Find what yours are and make it clear.

2. They Test Their Calls-to-Actions

Hubspot featured a company on their blog that increased their conversions 105.9% by having a clear call-to-action that leads to a whitepaper. In this whitepaper, the company informs the visitor about the company & what they offer.

The company also made a more effective headline and used meaningful graphics to help guide the user.  Just these three changes led to more than doubling their conversion rate.

Mozilla increased downloads of their popular Firefox browser by having a stronger call-to-action. “Download Now – Free” performed better than “Try Firefox 3”. They made it clear that Firefox was free and called the viewer to download the program.

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Proflowers is a site known for high conversion rates, with some estimates being around 40%. They make it really easy for customers who are in a hurry to buy flowers – they can start by simply picking a day they need the flowers by:

ProFlowers eliminates any initial questions that the prospect may have. The prospect knows right away the answer to the question “can you get this to me by __?”  They’re helping to overcome any obstacles to a purchase. See if you can do something like Proflowers has done—answer one of your most popular questions in a clear, above the fold headline. If some obstacles to prospects purchasing from you are:

“I don’t feel comfortable purchasing from a small company like yours” – then some ideas to help overcome this fear could be:

  • Include a behind the scenes video of your company and how your operations work.
  • Include a banner at the top with customer testimonials, each one showing for a few seconds.
  • Give your unique value proposition right at the top. Tell how long you’ve been in business, how many orders you’ve shipped, customer satisfaction rate, etc.

How do you find out what questions your customers have?

You should always be asking your customers questions to get their feedback. Understanding your customer’s pain points, confusion and what they are really looking for can help you design a site that converts higher. KISSinsights is a tool that allows you to do just that:

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3. They Test Their Headlines

The headline can make or break your website, and possibly a sale. As mentioned in the intro, the first impression is formed quickly, and the headline is a big part of that impression. It’s important to test and see what resonates most with your visitors. There is no magic formula, but there are some good guidelines that you can follow.

37signals improved conversions of their Highrise product by 30% by having the headline “30-day Free Trial on All Accounts”. Their worst headline was “Start a HighRise Account”.

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The key lesson from this is that it’s important to have a clear headline with a unique value proposition. “Start a HighRise Account” doesn’t tell of any benefit. They don’t give a reason why they should sign up now. Consider having adding free trial in your headline or try “Save __% and start [enter the benefit of your product here]”. The important thing is to test to see what works.

CityCliq improved their conversions by making a clear headline that tells the user what they’ll get. First, the tested headlines:

  • Businesses grow faster online!
  • Online advertising that works!
  • Get found faster!
  • Create a webpage for your business

The winner:

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This is the best headline because it’s clear and avoids any language that you may find in your spam folder. Be creative with your headlines and inform the visitor of what you do or the benefits of your product.

One more tip: having a headline that addresses a pain point has in one case, increased conversions by 32%.

4. They Tend To Have Short Forms

Conversion expert Tim Ash recommends keeping forms to only the essentials. How many times have you been ready to sign up for something, continue and see 25+ fields that you have to fill in? I have many times and I’ll often just leave the site. It’s important to respect the users time. If you’ve gotten the user as far as wanting to sign up, it’s pivotal that you don’t let them drop off because your form is too long.

Take a look at Dropbox’s signup form:

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Dropbox is only asking for what they need. No username, no security questions, no birth date, no verification code, no re-enter password field, nothing unneeded.

For Proflowers, they don’t force you to signup before you order. If you’re a first time buyer, they’re not interrupting your buying process at all. You don’t have to create a new account; you have the option to do that after you make your purchase. Proflowers is removing any obstacles to ordering.

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Building more concise forms is important.

Test the number of form fields!

Most conversion experts will agree that simplifying forms and making them clearer should be the direction you want to aim for when you ready to start iterating.

Sometimes, having more fields can improve your form conversion rate. However, in general, fewer fields tend to produce better conversions (it depends on what your form is for). The point is: Don’t look for rules of thumb, test and find out for yourself!

Other Techniques To Try

Implementing a “Chat Now” button increased free signup form fills by 31%.

Cars.com recently boosted their conversion rate 2.7% by having a security seal on their site.

Including discount information in the title (e.g. 15% off Product A vs Product A) increased add to cart conversions by 148.3%.

Benefits, social proof and credibility indicators led to a 144.1% improvement on landing pages.

Putting people on your homepage can have a huge impact on conversions.

Including a pain point in a headline increased conversions by 31%.

Changing your call-to-action button from green to red has been shown to increase conversions by as much as 34%.

Try moving around your Buy Now button. Appsumo did this (among other things) and doubled their conversion rate.

Changing a button from “See Plans and Pricing” to “Get Started Today” increased conversions by 252%.

Turning CAPTCHA off led to no conversions lost and very little spam mail in this case study.

Showing testimonials can drive validation.

Using natural language on forms has been shown to increase conversions by 25-40%.

Having a nice mobile site can double conversions.

Segmenting your users can increase conversion rates be giving more relevant content to the user.

Putting your call-to-action button can really improve conversions.

To provide the best possible result oriented solutions available we have created the following websites and divisions to work in unision and under the umbrella of RCS Technology Soltutions, LLC : RCS Online Solutions , RCS Digital Marketing, RCS SEO Solutions , RCS Website Solutions , The Best Website Company  , The Best Internet Marketing Company , RCS Managed IT Services, RCS Computer Solutions  Besides that we have dedicated services for Boston, Massachusetts as well including The Best Website Company Boston  & The Best SEO Company Boston . RCS Technology Solutions, LLC is powered by Digital Marketing and Website Expert Ronald Couming who has been  providing expert solutions for more than a decade. Please contact us with any questions or help regarding our services fees  at 001-978-606-5432 or email at info@rcstechnologysolutions.com

Author Link: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/what-converting-websites-do/

Why You Need to Optimize for Voice Search Now

Why You Need to Optimize for Voice Search Now

r1Do you know how searchers are finding your business online? Chances are, consumers are using voice search to find a business like yours right now – if you aren’t optimizing for voice search, you’re risking missing out on those potential customers. So, do you know how to optimize for voice search, or why you should?

What is Voice Search?

In case you’ve never tried it, voice searches happen when a smartphone or computer user speaks to the device they are using to search for a particular topic.

For instance, let’s say I’m driving home and I want to find a coffee shop – I can’t safely take my attention away from the road long enough to unlock my screen, open Google search, and type “coffee shop”. Instead, I’ll say “Okay, Google, where can I get coffee?” and let the voice search do the work.

But when we use voice search, we’re more likely to use a conversational tone – you don’t use the same language as you do when you type out a text search. The main difference here is a short keyword term and a long-tail keyword that, aptly enough, sounds more like something you would say out loud.

Why should small businesses optimize for voice search?

The use of voice search is increasing, especially among teens. In fact, one study found that 60% of the people who use voice search started using it within the last six months.

And voice search isn’t just for smartphones and other mobile devices. Consumers can use voice search on their laptops, tablets and PCs too.

Not convinced? Here are some additional, compelling facts which underline the rise of voice search.

  • Earlier this year, Northstar Research found that 55% of teens use voice search every day
  • 20% of all Google searches are now conducted via voice query
  • Google’s data also shows that 45% of teens and 36% of adults want to be able to place a pizza delivery order using voice search – while that’s not yet possible, it shows how important it is for restaurants to optimize for voice search.
  • 25% of all Bing searches are voice searches
  • According to ComScore, voice search will account for half of all searches by 2020

The research shows that voice search optimization should be a part of your local search marketing strategy, particularly if you want to attract ‘on the go’, nearby customers who are searching for your product or service on their smartphones.

How to Optimize for Voice Search

The important thing to know about optimizing for voice search (and local search in general) is that in order for your business to appear in search results, the search engine needs to think your business is a good match for the search query – search engines only want to give searchers the best, most relevant results for their queries.

According to Google’s local search document, Google determines whether your business is a good match for searches by taking into account three things for each search:

1. Prominence

Prominence has to do with how well-known your business is. Think number of reviews and star ratings, as well as inbound links and amount of directory listings.

2. Distance

Your business will have a better chance of ranking high in local searches if you’re located near where the searcher is searching.

Never underestimate the power of consistency in your business’s citation information (name, address and phone number) – some 40% of voice searchers are looking for directions, so make sure your citation information is consistent and correct across directories.

3. Relevance

Everything the search engines know about your business will have to match the search query in order for your business to rank high in local searches. This is where your voice search optimization will come into play. You’ll need to give search engines the information they need so they can understand when your business is relevant for certain voice search terms.

So if your business is prominent and you’re in close proximity to the searcher, the only thing left to do is be relevant for the search query.

If you own a pizza shop, you really don’t want to show up in a search for “children’s clothing” but you do want to make sure you show up for any relevant pizza-related queries. So to be relevant for voice searches that are related to your business, you need to do some long-tail keyword research and then make sure you’ve plugged a few of those into your website’s content.

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Long-Tail Keyword Research

As we mentioned earlier, voice search often involves longer spoken phrases – “find me a pizza restaurant nearby” v. just “pizza.”

These longer phrases are called “long-tail keywords”, and in order for businesses to optimize for voice search, they’ll need to research long-tail keywords related to their industry and location. We’ve a few favorite (free) keyword research tools, including Keyword Tool, Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.

Using these tools, you can learn which terms consumers are using to search for businesses like yours. For instance, if you own a salon in Columbus, you might search for “Pedicure Columbus” and find that users are using voice search to ask “Where can I get a pedicure with fish in Columbus?”

Often, the search results for these two queries will differ.

Once you know what your long-tail keywords are, you can add them to your website’s content – but remember that voice search usually uses more natural language than text searches, so the long-tail keywords will also need to look natural on your website. In order for your long-tail keyword to be effective, it will need to closely match the voice search query.

Another voice search optimization tactic that incorporates long-tail keywords and natural language is to answer questions your customers might pose. When a searcher uses voice to ask a question and your website’s content answers that question, you’ll be more likely to appear in the search results for their query.

You could answer questions in your blog posts or in your FAQ section so that search engines can find your business when consumers use voice search to ask questions related to your industry. But, as always, don’t just optimize for search engines. Make sure you tailor your content to the people who are using the search engines to find your business by using natural language.

Voice search optimization is another way for small businesses to show up in local search results and get more customers, but don’t neglect the rest of your local search marketing just to optimize for voice search. Make sure you have a well-rounded digital marketing strategy so you have the best chance possible at being found online.

To provide the best possible result oriented solutions available we have created the following websites and divisions to work in unision and under the umbrella of RCS Technology Soltutions, LLC : RCS Online Solutions , RCS Digital Marketing, RCS SEO Solutions , RCS Website Solutions , The Best Website Company  , The Best Internet Marketing Company , RCS Managed IT Services, RCS Computer Solutions  Besides that we have dedicated services for Boston, Massachusetts as well including The Best Website Company Boston  & The Best SEO Company Boston . RCS Technology Solutions, LLC is powered by Digital Marketing and Website Expert Ronald Couming who has been  providing expert solutions for more than a decade. Please contact us with any questions or help regarding our services fees  at 001-978-606-5432 or email at info@rcstechnologysolutions.com

Author Link: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/why-you-need-optimize-voice-search-now

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How to Create Great Written Content

How to Create Great Written Content

You would think that everyone and every company would want to know how to create great written content. You’d be wrong. They don’t.

I believe most companies simply want to create written content – blogs, for the most part – and don’t care whether or not it’s great. And I submit, as evidence:

  • The Internet at large: It’s polluted with dreadful blogs.
  • The blog graveyard: A shocking percentage of bloggers pull the plug.
  • The proliferation of content farms: Low-cost writer brokerages continue to thrive because marketers want more pages, posts, URLs, emails… Essentially, they want more web real estate.
  • The atrophy of writing fees: Now that everyone and their cousin-in-law provide content writing services, it’s become Walmart.
  • The bell curve: As interest, and activity, in content marketing continues climbing, a normal distribution curve suggests only a small percentage will achieve excellence.

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Google Trends data indicates interest in content marketing has risen steadily since 2011. I suspect a line charting content quality would look different.

If it’s not great, then why?

I wonder if the masses that produce low or mediocre quality content understand content marketing, and in particular, the purpose of written content. It’s hard to deny many companies simply feel it’s an obligation of doing business, perhaps like getting listed in the Yellow Pages once was.

 

“The competition has a blog, so we should too” – that sort of thing.

I may fail to deliver new revelations here, but I’m going to reiterate what you can accomplish with content marketing. Understand, first and foremost, the purpose is to help get and keep customers.

 

Great written content can:

  • Rank high on search. The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), as it’s come to be called, is when a potential buyer performs an online search. At that point, your content (and brand) gets discovered or it doesn’t. Fittingly, I share what Google served first when I searched “ZMOT.”

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  • Earn traffic. The marketer’s hope is the result of ranking high is getting a searcher to click-through to the company’s website. The value of having your content listed and seen on search pales in comparison to prompting a visit. Understand visits from search have a relatively high intent to buy compared to visits from other channels.
  • Generate leads. Great content draws the prospect closer to the brand. This may mean the prospect requested a subscription, a downloadable offer, an opportunity to attend an event, a demonstration, trial, consultation, meeting, evaluation, or any number of actions indicating interest.
  • Sell. A satisfied content consumer may develop trust in the brand and consequently become a customer.
  • Earn loyalty. Content should target existing customers for a variety of reasons: satisfaction, retention, upsell, referrals and brand advocacy.

The benefits above are more standard than complete. Great written content can accomplish additional objectives, say, secure donations (for a charity); inspire applications (for an HR department); and so on.

Poorly written content will accomplish none of the above. There’s no point in wasting resources, however slight, on writing and publishing shallow, uninspired, copycat content.

Let’s talk “who” before “how”

It takes a threesome to create great written content. You need a:

  1. Strategist – Great written content comes with context. It’s created to help fulfill a business objective.
  2. Subject matter expert – Content writing for marketing purposes is not news reporting or journalism. The great stuff showcases the insights of experts.
  3. Talented writer – It’s unlikely your strategy and subject matter are unique. You have competition. In the long run, the prize goes to the producers of the best-written content.

Your threesome may or may not comprise three people. One person may fulfill one, two, or all three roles. Just be sure someone wears these three hats.

14 ingredients found in the tastiest written content

I did a good deal of searching and reading before writing what follows and I’ll quote some of the nuggets I found. Unsurprisingly, I found a useful “ingredients” infographic from Damian Farnworth at Copyblogger with an emphasis on writing style. And a post by Zach Bulygo and Sean Work on the Kissmetrics blog hammered home nine important points.

Still, I didn’t find a list of the “ingredients” or “elements” of great content which I felt was thorough or complete. I came up with a list of fourteen. I’ll expand on each, but first, let’s look at the list in the form of a nutritional label. (You’re welcome to copy, republish and share it.)

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1. Purpose

In the nutritional label, I explain, by “purpose”, I mean your message should have a clear point. Neil Patel expands on this nicely on the Entrepreneur blog:

“An article is supposed to communicate a point. When your article has a point, it gives readers something memorable to latch onto. They’re more compelled to share it, comment on it, and engage with it. An article with a point is an article that accomplishes a mission and is therefore successful.”

I’ll expand on “purpose” with another idea, an even bigger purpose, if you will. If you missed it, go back and read the final part of the label: Content Marketing Institute’s definition of content marketing. It includes the purpose of content marketing: driving profitable customer action.

Perhaps the idea could be simplified to simply “sell.” You could make a case some written content aims to entertain instead of sell. Additionally, you could make a case content marketing is more effectively when it avoids “hard sell.”

But don’t lose sight of the prize. If you’re creating content in the interest of marketing, it should elicit action – or you won’t be doing it for long.

2. Relevance

Your written content should address the reader’s pain and/or help bring them pleasure. It should enhance their life at work, at play, or in some way. There’s only one way to pull this off consistently. You have to develop empathy for your reader.

You have to relate to be relevant.

3. Education

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.”

~ Nelson Mandela

I found that quote in the post Why Education is a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy, by Joe Pulizzi of CMI.

Education has changed the marketing world too.

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I’ve shared this before. I love it. It’s a quick exchange of ideas in the comments stream of the post I mentioned.

So much has been written about this simple idea. I dug into it in one of my favorite articles, Your Guide to Mastering the Most Critical Content Marketing Skill.

The skill is teaching, which is the essence of most effective content marketing efforts. Think about the role of the teacher and how it maps to content marketing:

  • The teacher is the authority.
  • The teacher sets the agenda.
  • The teacher delivers the lessons.
  • The teacher answers the questions.
  • The teacher instructs the student what to do.

4. Emotional triggers

Here’s where content marketing writers and copywriters have the same job: move readers.

Don’t make the mistake of believing your readers rely on rationale to make decisions. It’s what we feel that drives our decisions. While effective written content is purposeful, relevant and educational, it can become great when it trips the reader’s emotional triggers.

5. Timeliness or timelessness

Here’s the definition of “news,” according to Merriam-Webster.com:

  1. a report of recent events
  2. previously unknown information
  3. something having a specified influence or effect

It’s not easy to publish news. You have to act fast. In other words, be timely.

Here’s the definition of “evergreen:”

  1. having foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season — compare deciduous
  2. retaining freshness or interest:perennial

We could do without the (a) part, but it does reveal why the word’s a popular metaphor in the content discussion. Evergreen content is timeless. It’s easier to create timeless vs. timely works, but it’s far from easy.

If your written content is neither, it’s likely old news or bound to be. And neither is great.

6. Truth

“All I want is the truth now. Just gimme some truth now.”

~ John Lennon

Lennon didn’t want to hear, see or read “a pocketful of hope” (or soap). He wanted the truth. As do I. As do you. As do your readers.

There’s a dreadful amount of conjecture flying around the web. Content writers shamelessly misinterpret, re-use, misuse, and abuse statistics and quotes to support their position. Credibility flies out the window.

Take care to backup the points you make with research, facts and quotes you can cite to the original source.

Want to tell a story to color your content? Fine. Tell a true story. Want to illustrate a point? Great. Share research that can be traced and substantiated. Want to state your opinion? All good. Just make sure you state that’s what it is.

“Research is necessary for quality blog posts. To provide the highest quality information, you should only use authoritative sources such as universities, government agencies, trade associations, research studies, and other expert material. Any opinions you offer should be backed up by citing relevant sources.”

Thanks to Nicole Karlis, who shared these ideas on the Scripted blog.

7. Ease

This is interesting…

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As you see, in this CMO Council study from 2013, “Ease of access, understanding and readability” ranked second in the most valued characteristics of B2B content.

Many content marketers blatantly fail the “ease” test. And many do so unknowingly by not recognizing the online reading experience differs from reading words on paper. It’s really that simple.

On paper – that is, in books, newspapers, magazines, and mail – readers are prone to tolerate pages densely populated with copy. Online they don’t.

Heed this reality and compose your pages accordingly. Think skimmability.

  • Write shorter passages
  • Use more white space and increase line breaks
  • Use ample visual cues
  • Add images and captions
  • Set key points apart to break the monotony
  • Include subheads generously
  • Create lists (You might have skipped these points if I crammed them all into a paragraph.)

Great written content isn’t great at all if its presentation deflects readers. Content writers must also design a satisfying reading experience. Easy does it.

8. Originality

“Perhaps the best lesson that I ever learned as a blogger was that people are drawn to others who speak their mind, who have something unique to say and who say it in a creative and fresh way. Say what everyone else is saying in the same way that everyone else is saying it and you’re almost guaranteed of being largely ignored.”

Nicely put, back in 2007, by Darren Rouse on ProBlogger.

And I have little to add. “Regurgitation” sounds bad because it is.

9. Voice

Find your voice. If you’ve read writing lessons, you’ve heard the tip before. And usually, the directive is followed by some advice for pursuing it. But is it a pursuit? Is it something you can find? Don’t you already have a voice?

Tricky stuff.

“The best way to find your voice is to write more. Writing brings clarity, deepens our understanding, strengthens our ideas.”

That’s blogger extraordinaire Henneke Duistermaat, from Why You Should Stop Searching for Your Authentic Voice.

I like Henneke’s point of view. You need not go looking for what you already have. Perhaps better advice than “find your voice” is “use your voice.” Where writers stumble is where they try to write like someone else.

Note Darren’s advice again, where he says you shouldn’t say things in the way everyone else does. Great content is, can, and will be, written about common topics.

Imagine being advised not to write a story about falling deeply in love with someone from “the other side of the tracks.” Shakespeare did that. You can’t out-write Will. It’s not good advice. Good advice would be don’t try to write like the Bard.

Be your own bard. Of course, you should edit your copy. But don’t cut out the “you” part.

10. Great headline or title

In the nutritional label, I suggested a headline needs stopping power. Would it be more accurate to call it “going power?” A great headline compels readers to go forth and get into it.

Call it what you will, but call this content writing rule number one: Thou shalt aim to arouse the reader with a magnetic title.

 

There are an infinite number of ways I could have written the rule. I chose one. But I considered many. And rather than attempt to deliver a headline writing mini-course here or walk through the headline formula hall of fame, I’m going to ask you to settle for this one tip…

Write a lot of headlines. I might have written 25 for this post.

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I even put 12 of my favorite contenders through the blog post headline analyzer tool from CoSchedule. It’s not foolproof, but it does score headlines by tapping into a ton of data to help you gain social shares and SEO value.

A great headline is one that __________________________ .

If you asked 101 content writers, you might find that blank filled in 101 different ways. My answer would be: makes a promise. (And hopefully the piece that follows delivers on it.)

BTW, I don’t mean to be stingy. You can read (and save) my HEADLINES cheat sheet here if you’re hungry for more.

11. Friendliness

“Pretend that you’re having a conversation with a friend and write like that.”

~ Darren Rouse, again, this time from The 4 Pillars of Writing Exceptional Blogs.

Yep. The best way I can think of to expand on Darren’s thought is to drop the “pretend” part. Simply write to a friend.

That’s what I’m trying to do here. And my friend, we’ve been hanging out for nearly 2300 words now. If you’re reading at an average speed (and not clicking through to the resources I’ve provided links to), we’re about 11 minutes into our rendezvous. We’ve probably done this before. And I hope we will again.

So how do you have conversations? You ask questions.

What else? You keep it casual. You say “you.” You don’t overthink what you say.

You try to be sensitive, responsive, respectful, non-judgmental and fun.

You share. Share thoughts. Share opinions. You crack jokes. Good or bad. Sentence fragments? Whatever.

You lighten up. You don’t complicate shit. No one likes that.

12. Direction

Here’s Neil Patel again, purveyor of fine (and seemingly infinite) blog posts…

“You have all this wonderful long content with an amazing point, a beautiful structure, internal links, great images, and flawless style and grammar. Now what?”  

“Every post needs a call to action. The reader is ready to respond, to do, to click, to engage. What do you want them to do? Whether it’s capturing an email address, visiting another page, purchasing a product, or downloading an ebook, you need to have an explicit call to action for each article, every time.”

Tell you reader where to go. And how to get there. And why.

Try to exercise some influence and powers of persuasion.

13. Shareability

If your written content is great, readers will want to share it. And that’s great. Having your content shared might even be the ultimate indication of its greatness.

Don’t make it difficult for readers to do you the favor of sharing. Display share bars that are easy to find and use. Feed readers suggestions and shortcuts for sharing your content.

Embellish your content with digital flourishes people are prone to share: images, quotes, infographics, GIFs, video clips.

Ask for shares. And share your appreciation when you get them.

14. Optimization

If great content falls in the forest, that sucks. It’s not a philosophy; it’s a reality. It’s tough to call content great when it fails to reach an audience.

While you may have a decent mailing list and an active approach to sharing your content via social media, the best way to find new readers over the long haul is to earn a spot on page one of search.

You have to optimize your written content for search engines. It’s not as complex or scary as it sounds. You need to:

  • Understand SEO
  • Understand keyword research and semantic search
  • Apply on-page optimization tactics
  • Write informative meta descriptions for the search engines
  • Understand the most important ranking factors

So there you have it. I’m finally done running down and through the list of ingredients I believe get mixed into the recipe for great written content. And it feels great.

To provide the best possible result oriented solutions available we have created the following websites and divisions to work in unision and under the umbrella of RCS Technology Soltutions, LLC : RCS Online Solutions , RCS Digital Marketing, RCS SEO Solutions , RCS Website Solutions , The Best Website Company  , The Best Internet Marketing Company , RCS Managed IT Services, RCS Computer Solutions  Besides that we have dedicated services for Boston, Massachusetts as well including The Best Website Company Boston  & The Best SEO Company Boston . RCS Technology Solutions, LLC is powered by Digital Marketing and Website Expert Ronald Couming who has been  providing expert solutions for more than a decade. Please contact us with any questions or help regarding our services fees  at 001-978-606-5432 or email at info@rcstechnologysolutions.com

Author Link: http://feldmancreative.com/2016/06/make-written-content-great/

, ,

The Hottest Landing Page Trends of 2016 So Far

The Hottest Landing Page Trends of 2016 So Far

 

As you may know, we at Wishpond eat, sleep, and dream landing pages.

We’re always in a mad rush to bring the hottest technologies and trends to our landing page builder and lead generation tools to maximize the ROI our users get from their marketing. The more value you’re able to provide to your landing page visitors the higher conversions you’ll see.

Since we spend countless hours staring at, building, and optimizing landing pages we thought it would be cool to tell you about the hottest landing page trends we’ve seen in 2016 so far.

Landing Page Videos

The impact a video has on the conversion rate of your landing page can be huge – a video explaining your product, for example, is the next best thing to having the product directly in your consumer’s hand.

Videos are effective on landing pages for a few reasons:

  • People are inherently lazy – Watching a video is easier than reading a long description. A landing page video will save the viewer time and provide an added element of entertainment.
  • They’re entertaining – People have been watching TV for ages for a reason and this makes it a comfortable format to consume.
  • High quality production raises the credibility and legitimacy of your company – Nothing compares to a well produced video when it comes to building confidence in your consumers.

Let’s not forget that videos can also be displayed in other formats. Many business now use video backgrounds on their landing pages that play automatically upon entry.

SquareSpace is known for their beautiful website templates and the landing pages they use are the same. They’ve created a video background for their landing page to show off their easy-to-use website builder as soon as you land. landing page trends 2016

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Airbnb shows off their flair for design and community building with a background landing page video.

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Free Tools on your Landing Page

Having a free tool on your landing page for visitors to instantly test a small portion of your software is a hot trend for companies that deal in that offering. It gets your visitor’s foot in the door and helps them to clearly understand your business and the value of engaging with you.

CoSchedule, a scheduling tool for content marketers, has a free tool that lets creators test their headlines for effectiveness. The free headline tester tool attracts their target audience – content marketers – and prompts them to upgrade to a paid plan to take action on their headlines.

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BuzzSumo, everyone’s favorite content discovery tool, allows visitors to perform free content searches but locks out list items beyond the top five as well as the advanced features unless you’re a paid user.

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Landing Page Popups

Now that many web users have become accustomed to browsing online, we’ve developed what is called “banner blindness”.

Banner blindness describes the fact that we now, totally subconsciously, ignore the advertising and calls to action placed around the content we read. We’re bombarded with ads all day so we’ve developed the tendency to ignore everything that’s not immediately important to us.

To fight banner blindness and the new desensitized nature of users we have popups. Popups are effective because they demand the attention of your visitors. Whether it’s to claim an offer or to close the popup window, popups force visitors to act in some way — snapping them out of their tunnel vision.

Jeff Bullas has a visually effective entry popup – also known as a welcome mat – that visitors are presented with right when they land on his blog. He offers up a free ebook filled with tactics and tips to grow your web traffic. This welcome mat allows him to present his demonstrated value right away (5 million visitors a year) and collect emails for his email list.

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Popular global menswear retailer, Frank & Oak, employs an entry popup to let their visitors know of any current sales and promotions. This is effective because provides immediate value to visitors before they begin their shopping experience.Ronald Couming, Ronald E. Couming, Ron Couming,  Website, Website Design Billerica, Website design Boston,  website conversion, SEO, local SEO, Search engine optimization, internet marketing, digital marketing Boston, digital marketing Billlerica, email marketing, SEM, Social media, Conversion, Website traffic, PPC, infograpics, Internet marketing Boston, best website company Boston,

 

Interactive Design

Websites and landing pages are not as ugly as they used to be. Many are now fully interactive experiences that take visitors on a journey through a brand’s story.

A basic or poorly designed site is increasingly a sign of a brand which doesn’t care. It leads to high bounce rates and poor user experiences – not to mention subsequent penalization from Google. Modern web users value fast response time, appealing design, and refined functionality on the websites they visit.

Freelance designer James Barnard observes:

Users are far more web-savvy than marketers tend to give them credit for. It’s a given that a landing page should be well designed, meaning that poorly crafted sites stick out like a sore thumb.” If good design is assumed and users are wise to the standard trend of big and bold call to actions, “then we have to appeal to them at an emotional level.”

We’ve seen that web users make decisions based on their current mood, so the more your landing page can do to get a visitor into the right mood, the more conversions you’ll see.

BEOPLAY, the portable speaker by Bang & Olufsen, uses a completely interactive product landing page with moving parts and incredible imagery to present their new speaker. The BEOPLAY website takes visitors on a visual journey to explain the form and functionality of their new speaker. Bang & Olufsen, a brand known for their eye catching design and flair for the minimalistic, aims to create a landing page experience akin to the portable speaker they so excellently designed.

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It’s now commonplace for brands to create unique buyer experiences from discovery to checkout so that their customers are fully invested in their purchasing journey.

Thank You Page Optimization

After visitors have converted on your landing page they should be presented with a ‘Thank You’ page outlining the next step in your sales process. Thank You page optimization is an often overlooked opportunity to further your relationship with visitors.

Your Thank You page has huge potential for your visitors to…

  • Gather more information on your audience
  • Share your website/product/service with their friends and family
  • Increase your sales with upsells and conversion prompts
  • Gather customer service feedback

Social Media Examiner optimizes their Thank You page for further conversions by:

  • Having a video that explains how to allow their emails to reach your inbox and avoid spam filters
  • Suggesting other content they produce, like their podcast
  • Having calls to action to share their website with your friends
  • Having links to blog posts you might be interested in

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Wrapping Up

As the web continues to evolve and become a more complex system of communication, user behavior will change as well.

The smarter and more aware users become, the more they will be skeptical of what is presented to them online.

The fact is, most of the online population are impulse shoppers (I can’t tell you how many useless things I’ve bought late night on Amazon). The more you can do to keep your landing page looking up to date, clear, well-designed, and engaging, the more your visitors will convert.

Experiment with these six hot trends today and bring your landing pages into (the second half of) 2016.

To provide the best possible result oriented solutions available we have created the following websites and divisions to work in unision and under the umbrella of RCS Technology Soltutions, LLC : RCS Online Solutions , RCS Digital Marketing, RCS SEO Solutions , RCS Website Solutions , The Best Website Company  , The Best Internet Marketing Company , RCS Managed IT Services, RCS Computer Solutions  Besides that we have dedicated services for Boston, Massachusetts as well including The Best Website Company Boston  & The Best SEO Company Boston . RCS Technology Solutions, LLC is powered by Digital Marketing and Website Expert Ronald Couming who has been  providing expert solutions for more than a decade. Please contact us with any questions or help regarding our services fees  at 001-978-606-5432 or email at info@rcstechnologysolutions.com

Author Link: http://blog.wishpond.com/post/115675436714/the-hottest-landing-page-trends-of-2016-so-far