Archive for February, 2011

4 Persuasive Writing Tips to Boost Conversion

February 28th, 2011 by Allison Yagesh

Whether you’re writing content for your company’s website, email marketing or social media posts, the goal is to engage the reader and encourage action. You want to sell more of a product or service and in order to do that, it is essential to convince the audience that they need your business’ products or services. A common method utilizes compelling calls to action, though an important element that is often overlooked should be incorporated: persuasive writing. Use the following techniques to create compelling content and boost conversion:

Address Potential Objections

Engage the audience with transparency by directly addressing a few potential objections. Provoke curiosity to strengthen the call to action. By answering common objections openly, you will connect with readers. It is imperative to leave them wanting more!

Be Direct

Keep the message clear by directly addressing the matter at hand. Don’t leave the audience guessing. Communicate a succinct message using short sentences. A direct tone conveys importance and transparency that aid in inspiring action.

Empathize and Offer Solutions

Draw in the audience by empathizing with them about the situation that has garnered a need for your product or service. Offer solutions to the problem in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Use clear language to lead the audience to the best solution: choosing your business!

Clear Out Clutter

Remove any words that don’t add value. Adjectives, adverbs and prepositional phrases are often redundant and dull the message. Sharpen every sentence to ensure that your message is clear and concise.

Google Art Project

February 10th, 2011 by Jessica Runberg

Last week, Google unveiled its latest pet project: Google Art Project. It appears that the search-engine giant is not only documenting the world website by website and street by street (with Google Maps), but it’s now documenting the world’s best art.

So far, Google has extensively photographed 17 galleries around the world using Google Map’s Street View technology to give visitors a virtual tour of the most beloved art galleries. Google Art Project enables visitors to browse the galleries as if they were actually there—virtually strolling the museums’ wings. State-of-the-art technology enables people to zoom in on the works of art and experience a level of detail that can’t be appreciated in person. You can even step outside the museum and roam the surrounding area or create your own art collection to share with family and friends.

Whether you want to take a sneak peak at a museum you’re planning to visit soon (hello, Versailles) or want to stroll down memory lane and wander the halls of one of your all-time favorites, Google Art Project won’t disappoint.

What to Expect from Google Algorithm Changes

February 9th, 2011 by Allison Yagesh

Google has gotten a lot of flack about search spam lately from both search experts and everyday users. Whether you’ve noticed or not, you probably see some form of search spam every time you enter a query into Google, Bing or any other search engine.

What is Search Spam?

Search spam is the high-ranking query results that seem to match what you were looking for yet offer no real information. Typical methods of achieving this involve keyword stuffing and manipulating relevance in order to trick search engines like Google and Bing into indexing a page as relevant.

Examples of Search Spam

Last week, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, confirmed changes made to Google’s algorithm that will specifically target content scraper sites and content farms. The former are low-quality sites without original content and the latter are websites designed purely to answer search queries, such as eHow.com and about.com.

Blekko Takes the Spotlight

Time will tell if the algorithm changes make a difference in prevalence of spam in Google’s search results. An up-and-coming search engine called Blekko isn’t waiting around to find out. In light of the recent publicity surrounding Google’s webspam problem, Blekko has announced that they have banned the top 20 content farms from their index. This includes well-known websites such as eHow.com, encyclopedia.com and thefreedictionary.com.

Overall Impact

The end result of search engines efforts to curb search spam mean more relevant results for the user. It will also give smaller content-driven sites an opportunity to rank higher in search results that have previously been dominated by spam.

Good (SEO) Housekeeping

February 3rd, 2011 by Jessica Runberg

Is your SEO becoming stale? If you implemented SEO several months or years ago, but haven’t done anything since then, your site is probably in need of a little housekeeping. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just implement SEO and then expect to see a huge influx of traffic overnight. And you can’t count on “old” optimization to give you the same boost it did when you first implemented it.

Here are three simple housekeeping tasks that will give your SEO a boost!

  1. Fix broken links. Broken links happen. But they’re not only bad for SEO, they’re also bad for site visitors. Fixing, redirecting or omitting broken links will clean up your site and make it look like you’re on top of your business (to people and search engines!).
  2. Add fresh content. Search engines LOVE fresh content, which is why websites with frequently updated content tend to get high rakings. If your inventory doesn’t change over often or you don’t otherwise have a reason to add content on a regular basis, consider blogging. If you write it, they will come!
  3. Do your homework. If you’re not already tracking your analytics data through Google Analytics, now is the time to start! There’s a plethora of data just waiting to be mined that will give you clues about how you can improve your website. Harnessing this data will enable you to make adjustments to your optimization—both big and small—that will help you create a better site experience for visitors.

It’s time to get out the proverbial SEO housekeeping broom and get to work!

Evergreen Web Content

February 2nd, 2011 by Allison Yagesh

Need to add more content to your website? Unsure of what to write? Here are three content strategies to help you move past writer’s block and engage your audience with useful information.

1. Answer Common Questions

Create a frequently asked question section to answer common inquiries about your business. Remember, you are the pro, so this is your chance to answer all of the questions that you are repeatedly asked about your business. This is also the ideal arena to address any misconceptions about your company or industry.

2. Expert Advice

What problems do your customers have in common? Pinpoint three to five typical issues and write about the best solutions to each one. Keep it simple and don’t use jargon. Write the problems and solutions in a conversational style, as if you were giving advice to a friend.  Keep the tone honest and refrain from anything that sounds like you are trying to sell something. Transparency is key.

3. Transcriptions

If you post videos or podcasts on your website, add a transcription to the page. Some people prefer reading to watching a video or listening to a podcast, so a transcription accommodates a broader audience. Be sure edit transcriptions for any slang or filler phrases to ensure readability. While “um” and frequent use of “like” may not be jarring when spoken, they typically don’t make for easy reading. Added bonus: the additional on-page text will help boost search-engine rankings.