Web Content That Sells

Sooner or later, those who want their Web sites to produce must recognize that it's not all about code and algorithms -- it's about persuasive, targeted content.

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Location: Cocoa, Fl, United States

U. of Miami grad, journalism, NCAA basketball scholarship, advanced studies at MIT and Boston University Graduate School of Mass Communications, right brain creative, love to explore the human condition, 10 years as senior staff writer, hi-tech Fortune 500's, 5 years marketing communications manager, 7 years freelance copywriter, former reporter in Germany, sailing instructor in the British West Indies, professional jazz/classical guitarist, articles/essays published in national magazines, currently specializing in optimized content for Web sites. Email me at woods.lee1@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Few Samples

For a list of Web sites, print ads, slogans, trade press articles, and other marketing communications copywriting, please email me at lbw10@gnc.net.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Give the Spiders What They Want

You have a business, or you work for an organization that wants its Web site to gain a higher position in search engine rankings. Understood. Don't we all. But how? One way depends on how you decide to optimize your site. You can spend all your time chasing the magic algorithms of Google, Yahoo, and MSN, among others, or you can turn to what those tricky little "spiders" are really looking for-- relevant content.

Don't Be Such a Digital Diehard

Those who think only in digital terms will spend all their time working code, tweaking algorithms, and continually trying to outsmart the engines. And they will lose, because that's not how a Web site gains its position in the rankings. The key phrase here, again, is relevant content. That's what the search engines are looking for. If you write content aimed at your target audience -- content that is designed to capture and hold their attention based on their search terms -- then you will have gone a long way toward keeping those spiders coming back again and again.

Once you've based your content on that premise, then you can go back and add key words and phrases. Just don't go crazy with it. Stick with about a two percent keyword/phrase density, with one key topic per Web page. Remember, the spiders are smart, smart, smart. They know when you're trying to spam them.

Write content for your target market -- the people who want to buy now-- not for the search engines. They're never going to buy a thing from you. After all, you've already got the left-brain digital stuff down. Stretch your horizons a little and let that right side -- the analog language side -- talk to both your audience AND the search engines.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Write Content That Brings Your Customers Into the Action

Reprinted with permission. Robin Nobles, the Idea Motivator (see www.sew-wrc.com/idea-motivator)

In yesterday’s post, we talked about using the five senses in our Web site content. Today, we’re going to talk about writing content that will bring your visitors into the action of your content.

For example, in sales copy, we know to write about benefits versus features. Your visitors want to know the benefits of that mountain bike (reduce stress, get out from behind the desk and enjoy the great outdoors, fitness, speed, etc.) versus features (29″ wheels, Tektro Alloy Mini V-brake, Alloy fork w/rack mounts, Atomic 13 R Double Butted Aluminum, RE2P Geometry, etc.).

However, let’s take it a step further by putting your customers into the action. Fiction writers do this all the time, to where you forget what’s going on in your life and focus on the “setting” the fiction writer has created for you. The same thing can be done with creative writing.
Listen to this wording from a bicycle Web site:

“Bicycles are simple, elegant, efficient and fun. A bicycle can take you back to your childhood, be a vehicle for exploration and adventure, or simply give you a fun way to get to the local coffee shop. Whatever aspirations you have for riding a bike–fitness, commuting, racing, or just cruising with family and friends–Raleigh has a bicycle that’s right for you. We understand, because we’re out there for the same reasons.”

Isn’t that phenomenal? Notice the nostalgic angle? This copy appeals to those who are interested in fitness, those who commute to work, and families. It appeals to the adventure crowd, the racing crowd, and the crowd that likes to hang out with friends in local coffee (or other) shops. They describe bicycles in the simplest of terms, which is extremely effective.

This Web site has many target audiences, but they’ve managed to mention quite a few in that copy. They’ve put their customers into the action by appealing to them personally.

Use words that bring your customers into the action of your content. Make them feel like they’re part of the “scene.” When you do, the “Buy Now” button becomes a NEED rather than a WANT.

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