What is copywriting and why every business needs it?

Direct Response Copywriting

Copywriting. This term can be condescending, I know.

The word “copywriting” can evoke baffling questions like these:

Is copywriting about copying? Is it copy-pasting?

No kidding, such questions are asked for real.

So, what is copywriting?

Copywriting is the art and science of putting words that absolve the reader’s objections and persuade the reader to take a pre-defined action.

Good copywriting is backed by a thorough study of the psychological behavior of the business’ audience. It involves a step by step procedure that gathers detailed information about the target visitor. 

In the digital age, copywriting is synonymous with web copywriting or direct response copywriting. Web copy is written to lead the target prospect to act on a CTA.

Copywriting is an intense process. As a copywriter, it is your responsibility to know your customer’s business in and out. The business functions, benefits, features, USP, value proposition, objections, problems, FAQs, mission, vision, audience and so much more.

What does a typical copywriting process look like?

  • Ideally, a copywriter gets business information from the client in the form of a questionnaire with specific answers. Specificity is the key. It is up to the copywriter to ask questions that fetch unambiguous information avoiding back and forth communication. 
  • Based on the information in the questionnaire, the copywriter studies the customer info and derives a customer profile.
  • The copywriter designs a wireframe sketch to make the copy come with a flow. The wireframe sketch decides the fluidity of the copy.
  • The positives and features of the product or service are aggregated and converted into benefits.
  • The copywriter comes up with a clear value proposition that tells the purpose of the business website. No beating around the bush here. It has to be clear and concise.
  • This is followed by rounds of editing, search engine optimization and testing the copy.

Note: A  prospect is determined by the business whose products are designed for a certain demographic. 

Why should a copywriter know everything about the company?

To define the value proposition

You are writing copy for the company’s customer. You are writing copy to convince the prospect. The prospective visitor comes with many questions. Answering all their in-mind questions on-page is the goal of web copy.

In order to answer their questions, you should know the business inside out. If you do not know about the company functions and operations unique to that company, your value proposition fails. If you do not know why the company does what it does, you fail to get the purpose in words. 

The value proposition is the most distilled version of the company’s prime purpose.

To understand and reproduce the purpose

When the “why” is not projected strongly, there is nothing that moves the prospect to establish an emotional connect. The emotional connect is not about instantly liking your brand. It is about a feeling your words can evoke

Let’s talk about a common activity you and I both do. Do you feel good shopping on a website that sells the products you love at your happy price? Do you see the key-points here? Love..Happy!

Ultimately, you do what you do to make yourself feel the way you want to. Even if it means trading money.

Jim Keenan, the author of Not Taught says you cannot sell to your prospect if the prospect doesn’t perceive value in your product or service. The “value” here can take any form. But it eventually boils down to a feeling. An emotional state of content that happens after an action.

Great copywriting is about salvation, not sales. – Aaron Orendorff

When you invest your money in a worthy product, you willingly trade your hard earned money because you have assigned a value to the product. That is all a customer pays for – Salvation. And, copywriting is the art and science that brings out the value out of a product and projects it in the form of words.

If you succeed to provide that reason of fulfillment your prospect is looking for, you have written good copy. That is when your copy becomes convincing. You don’t need to put any more effort, even in terms of fancy-glittery graphics. They do not matter. All you have to do now is drive your prospect to take an action. The sale is just a resultant action. And, congratulations! You just sold your product.

How to edit your copy?

To get the most pristine version of your copy, try removing one random word from one random sentence of your final copy. If you see a discrepancy, in any form, you put back the word and publish it. If not, repeat the distillation process.

Good copy is achieved when if you remove a word from the line, it obstructs the meaning of the sentence terribly.

Why is copywriting called copywriting?

The above definition implies that anything worthy of being reproduced to preserve its existential value is copy. This highlights the monumental importance copywriting holds in the business world. 

Why every business needs copywriting?

When I began my career as a copywriter, I wondered what copyblogger meant. It sounded weird. I get it, the word is formed by the amalgamation of two words copywriter and blogger. But why? Why would anybody do that?

Now, when I know why every business needs copy, I fully understand the profound reasoning behind naming the legendary website CopyBlogger. In simple terms, CopyBlogger is a resource that teaches you conversion blogging or business blogging but not limited to blogging. 

It is all about conversions. You cannot grow your business without conversions. Can you?

You need copy to convert.

Copy that converts + A well positioned product = Sales that spike your revenue

And after all, sales is the ultimate goal of any ethical business. Now that you know why every business needs copywriting, what are the steps you are going to take to write copy?

How to achieve SEO in simple steps

How to achieve SEO in simple steps

SEO is overwhelming for beginners. You write an article and keep wondering if your article is good enough for search engines to pick it. Do you also scratch your head over the innumerable tips and tricks on SEO that confuse you? SEO in simple steps is possible.

The moment “SEO” is spelled out, there is a wave of scare in the air like it is something unachievable. If you own a website or a blog or a store, it is essential to know the basics of SEO. But, how do you learn about SEO without being anxious?

Quality content is a pre-requisite

Recently, a company approached me for an ad campaign. I had a look at the website and guess what? There was no information present. What is the product about? What does the company do? Is there a business model? What has it achieved? There was nothing relevant on the website except a few pictures and some videos as proof of sales. My first suggestion to the company was that they build on their content strategically in order to establish trust amongst existing customers and referrals. I am a huge fan of word of mouth marketing. Despite the lack of content, the company insisted on the ad campaign. I tried my best to convince them that even if the campaign worked, which was unlikely with no content on the website; even if the potential customers did land on the page, they did not have anything to convert them into customers.

Data Works

This is the Digital Era and data works. Information works. If sufficient information on the product, methodologies, and strategies is not provided, no ad campaign will achieve the base purpose you put up an ad campaign for.

For example, if you are trying to apply for jobs on LinkedIn and you have no data about yourself there, what happens?  Nobody trusts you if your LinkedIn profile is blank. Isn’t it? Likewise, nobody trusts the website if the product profile is a no-show. Hence, building on relevant content for your website is as important as your digital presence itself. Write for humans first, search engines later.

Once relevant content has been planned, little SEO tweaks can bring humongous power to achieving optimized data.

What are the little SEO tweaks?

Hashtags

At a point, much to my annoyance, everyone on Facebook had status updates with at least 15 hashtags. They seemed to serve the purpose of broken expressions. Was this an efficient way to use hashtags? Not at all! A hashtag is like a ticket to board that visibility train where you could meet people who want to meet you.

Hashtags and SEO
Hashtags and SEO

Hashtags are powerful search facilitators that help index the information achieve ‘discoverability’. Therefore, one would assume, the more hashtags there are, better the reach. However, research shows that the optimal number of hashtags to be used differs from one platform to another in terms of performance. Overdoing it can hinder the reach of the article or post. Do not underestimate the power of hashtags.

Low-Competition keywords

Ranking for keywords amongst business giants is almost impossible. In the SEO nation, the only way to get ahead of the competition is to cheat the competition. Expanding your keyword list walks you through low competition keywords that enable better visibility of your website. Learn how to find those low competition keywords and measure their power here.

Images

Using visual content spikes the growth graphs. Incorporating relevant images into the blog content adds immense value. Although adding images keeps the readers on-page, including videos drastically reduces the value of the content. Giving meaningful descriptions to the images boosts its reach.

Naming the images with appropriate keywords that describe the image is also an important factor. SEO is a little AI engine that understands. This gives the image more accessibility. Enabling alt tags is encouraged for this purpose. Search for a building in Google images and the pictures of buildings come up. Why? Because they have described the images as buildings in the alt description for SEO.

Fresh content

SEO loves fresh juice; why not squeeze it? Stagnant content does more bad than good, to your website. Fresh juice can be squeezed only once. Likewise, creating fresh content on a regular basis makes for better rankings in search engines, not rewriting the same content. It means planned, timely content. This is best achieved through blogging. An updated blog gets indexed again by search engines. Indexing again implies a revision of the ranking of your website. Of course, the content ought to be plagiarism free to be loved by the search engines. Fresh, original, educative and keyword rich content backed by appropriate reference links to any statistical data gets the content on top.

Length of content

Long form content is king
Long form content is king

A lengthy post, anywhere between 1200-2000 words, earns more views than the short ones. This is true across platforms. More words in a structured manner with more specific information means that there is valuable, in-depth information on offer in the post. Long-form content has evidently proven to have garnered more conversions and higher ranking than content with less than 1000 words. For more information, delve into the study by Search Engine Land.

Title

The title tag should generally be less than 70 characters to fit into the results page completely without broken titles or explanations that leave the readers dangling. Ideally, the first 20-25 words of the post should be keyword rich for the web robots or crawlers to identify, weigh, prioritize, and rank your website. The title tag enables the outputting of the website when a search is made whereas a header tag introduces page content.

Header tags

Readability of an article increases when it is efficiently structured. A well-structured article consists of a promising title, connecting introduction, conversational tone to make the transition from introduction to the body smooth. Making use of appropriate headers to detail the subject being written is a plus. Header tags are not only for formatting purposes in HTML. Header tags can be exploited to achieve SEO preferences through categorization of content based on these tags.

HTML is a discerningly powerful tool disguised as simple UI language. The H1 tag is ideally the title of the post and therefore should comprise of the focus keyword. When a search is made, this enlists the valuable introductory content on the website that will persuade the visitor to seek more details. To diffuse the confusion that stems from a header tag and a title tag, read this.

To get a better understanding, search for say, “What is Copywriting?” Click on the first link that appears and view the page source. Compare the header tag and title tag by looking for the text on the website. You will be able to map what text fits in what tag.

Meta tags

Meta tags or Meta descriptions are snippets of text that introduce the web content to search engine crawlers. This description is embedded only in the HTML code and is not visible on the website. If you do not set a meta description for a page or post, Google picks up the initial lines from the content of the page as the meta description. To make the description more persuasive, customize it. The meta description is solely for human readers although the tag is for the search engine programs.

Example: The title tag is a Meta tag.

Slugs

Slug is a word that originated in the WordPress circle. A slug is the part of the link or URL that categorizes the post. Slug gives you the power to control the content that gets ranked in the search engines.

Internal Linking

Internal links direct you to another page from the same website. They make website navigation easy and also retain traffic. They also increase link juice which boosts the ranking amongst search engines. The tree hierarchy is the best way to design a website to increase its reachability. More information internal linking is here.

Sitemaps

A sitemap is an XML file which lists all other pages on your website. It comprises of URLs of all the pages. A sitemap is designed to facilitate the Search Engine crawlers with information that indicates the presence of other web pages. Do not confuse sitemap with internal linking. They are entirely two different concepts. Internal linking is for user navigation whereas sitemap is for site discovery purposes.

Robots.txt

The web artificial intelligence understands. The “robots.txt” is a text file with a set of commands. It is created to instruct the search engine spiders to crawl the pages on a website. There can be multiple robots.txt files on a website. If you do not have a robots.txt file for your website, learn how to create one here.

These are the simplified steps to achieve SEO. SEO is an endless ocean which takes time and effort to explore. But, this is how you get started. Of course, you won’t see results in a day or week or even a month. Why should you go ahead with it? Because it is slow yet effective medicine. Starting from the above steps can help you master SEO. Tell me in the comments if you could implement any of the above SEO techniques. What are the problems you are facing while you conduct a SEO audit on your website?

NOTE: More about low-competition keywords and long tail keywords will be introduced in How to achieve SEO in simple steps PART II.  

 Image Credits: 

https://pixabay.com/en/seo-search-engines-optimization-592747/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/hashtag-facebook-social-networks-1120301/ 

https://pixabay.com/en/content-is-king-online-marketing-1132259/

How a Business Blog can grow your company quickly?

Business Blog Generate 67% more leads

If you want to grow your business 10X faster, do what the other 86% of B2B businesses are doing. Get a Business Blog.

The customer isn’t a fool anymore.

She is well informed and will not fall for old-school advertising tactics. Hence, advertising has become extremely competitive.

The customer base is aware of the psychological schemes behind an ad.

They have learned to say NO to urgency based ads because they know offers are recurring. They have adapted to the parity of the persuader making standout copy a rare asset.

A B-Blog helps customers make informed decisions through educative posts. It is a web point that provides informative content in an ocean of chaos. It is a medium to prove your mastery in your industry by providing detailed information.

Blog posts are educational and inspirational. A blog post doesn’t have an immediate sales objective, but it does have a marketing purpose. By sharing your knowledge, experience, and skills, you grow your authority. Once blog readers get to know you, like you, and trust you, it becomes easier to sell to them.

                                                                                               – Henneke Duistermaat

How is a BLOG the solution to growing your business?

The approach is more humane with a blog. A blog serves the purpose of an expert educator. This means it is about how much a reader gains from the valuable information.

By having a blog, you are devising an interface that opens up opportunities for both the parties. It is an opportunity for the customer to learn more. For a business, it is a pass to build trust amongst your customers by providing detailed information. An expert is deemed as the authority and has the power to persuade through higher knowledge.

For example, if you are looking to invest in a Marketing Solution like Hubspot, you land on their site and look for the product listing tab. 

Hubspot's Content Flow
Hubspot’s Content Flow

Once you have seen the product and pricing, you DO linger over the website to find out more about the product. What do you do next? You hit the very inviting “Resources” tab. 

What does the “Resources” tab tell you?

It throws arrays of options for the potential customer to derive value and access the company’s success stories. All the freebies, trainings, comprehensive courses, eBooks, Blog and everything under the tab is done for a purpose. The purpose is to provide VALUE.

A business can win over the trust of a customer only when there is the provision of value. Employing content strategy to design the website directs the business to bring in more leads. If you read the blog, notice how many links point back to Hubspot’s other content? That is visitor retention.

How do the FREE Resources benefit the business?

The FREE resources are designed to solve a particular set of problems faced by a certain set of audience. This set of an audience is the circle of potential customers to the company. When the company is investing time and effort to solve its audience’s day to day problems, it is building a relationship with the audience. Therefore, Relationship Marketing comes into the picture.

Now, because the company has already established a truly helpful relationship with the audience, the audience is willing to listen. The next step is to capture emails by proposing an enticing freebie offer, through a blog post.

How do the FREE Resources bring in prospects?

Access the blog and see how one blog arrives at a point of conclusion to point at another blog post. This creates the train of information that retains the visitor. At the end of every post, the content leaves the reader wanting for more of such helpful information. The cycle of continuous data consumption is triggered to keep the visitor feel interested. From one blog post to another and up comes the prompt with a “Download eBook” message.

The moment you see a ‘FREE Download’ image, you are willingly offering your email id in a quest to learn more about the subject. You did this because the information offered you value. You would have bounced if the headline promised something and delivered things you don’t want. And, you just became a prospect.

What happens after a prospect becomes a subscriber?

As a general process, a subscriber is scooped into the company’s information exchange community. She now receives tons of relevant information spiking her learning curve. Over a period, now that the company has helped the subscriber with her needs, the subscriber has a higher chance of buying a product from the company. Do you appreciate how the traffic is routed through the blog by providing targeted content?

A business blog acts as a source to display the company’s expertise and project mastery. By delving deep and denting those details, the business establishes authority in that niche. So, if you have a problem pertaining to that niche, you look up to the master and not the minion.

This is not the end. A purposeful blog post makes the reader FEEL more knowledgeable and powerful. By discovering knowledge in the areas of her interest, the reader feels the same relief as she would feel in finding a solution. That is the power of writing. The intrinsic synergy and excitement in the moment, persuade the reader to share the blog content online. This promotes the online visibility of the brand.

Why is online visibility a concern?

If you are reading this, you know that online visibility is important. Today, the spine of any business is its content system. If you do not distribute content, it goes stale. Content distribution or social media sharing brings warm organic traffic. A warm audience brings natural engagement and genuine distribution. This results in boosting traffic leading to some fresh link juice. This is a cycle that keeps generating traffic.

In the digital world, traffic is money. Website traffic coupled with power-packed copy and persuasive blog content is a goldmine for a business online. But, this is no cakewalk. Writing content that pleases the reader, as well as the search engine, needs experience. It involves strategy, planning and conviction. 

Do you have a business blog? What are the challenges you are facing with your B-Blog? Comment below or know more about Business Blogging here.

 

How Emotional Intelligence helps you in Marketing?

Emotional quotient

I could easily say that I lacked what we called emotional intelligence, a few years ago.

I have come a long way as I have begun to understand myself better. It is also important to realize that the emotional state and stability are as important as the day to day cognitive functions.

A person’s cognitive ability is measured through the Intelligence Quotient. But is it the only way to success?

No! It isn’t enough if you have a good IQ score to succeed. Emotional Quotient is a factor that complements IQ to denote a success score.

EQ is as critical as IQ is to exist in this competitive world. Emotional Intelligence determines a person’s ability to network and communicate.

In today’s career path, it is impossible to go up the ladder without interpersonal skills. Understanding your ability to accept, acknowledge and work on your emotional stamina helps you achieve that prerequisite equilibrium. This state of equilibrium helps you to stay afloat, even during the most challenging of times. This, moves you towards success and achieve goals.

Any person’s EQ works alongside few verticals namely:

  • Awareness
  • Acceptance
  • Regulation
  • Determination
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal skills

Awareness

Exposure to information about anything makes an experience worthwhile. Be it a product or service or a place, more trust is established when you know more about an entity or case. Likewise, in order to function effectively, we need to be aware of our emotional stature. It is important to give a thought to your behavior. For example, if you have reacted to a situation with anger, it is always better to tell the inner self that you did experience anger. Swaying away from acknowledging your emotions leads to conflicting personalities resulting in more problems.

Acceptance

Once you acknowledge the problem, it is essential to reflect on the ability to react your emotions without being a conscience judge. By accepting the faults, you are making an effort to study and assess your behavior. This helps in giving yourself time before making an impulsive decision.

Regulation

Only when you accept your behavior and reflect on it, you become capable of regulating it instead of being tamed by your emotions. When you possess power over your emotions, you also become emotionally stronger which is of utmost importance to being successful at workplace.

Determination

High emotional quotient signifies self-confidence. It showcases your ability to handle effects of external pressure without compromising your behavior. This trait makes you a highly appreciated professional. And, no matter what the repercussions are, you will stay motivated and determined.

Empathy

The moment you begin to understand yourself better, your emotional spectrum broadens. When this happens, there is more space to empathize with your peers and understand their emotional needs. This brings in harmonious existence at the workplace, in the long run leading to success via a positive circle.

Interpersonal skills

With the exceptional ability to have a command over your emotions, your personality stabilizes leading to lasting relationships. Building relationships and a strong network base happens only when you possess desirable personality traits.

The above factors prove that emotional stability encompasses your scholastic ability in determining success. Thus your emotional quotient thrusts your career ladder, eventually resulting in success. Do you agree with me? Do you think you are emotionally intelligent? Comment below if you have had a mention-worthy emotional journey.

The Practical Guide to Naming Your Business

How not to name your Business

The name of your business is the first opportunity to make an impression. The name itself gets people thinking. Yes or No? Today, naming your business is not just about naming it. It is also about getting the right domain name without agony. Are you feeling hopeless about coming up with a good name for your company? Do you have a name but the domain is, sadly, taken? Fret not, you can still have a fabulous name with just a little bit of reasoning. 

An already registered domain makes the process even more painstaking, I know! Now that you are here, throw your fears out of the window. There is an effective solution to this seemingly nerve-wrecking task. I am going to walk you through few easy steps to come up with the best name for your brand. The procedure is simple and painless. When I was thinking of a name for my business, I was in the same boat. After unproductive methodologies and sleazy names, I thought that I had lost the capacity to be creative. But it was only exhaustion and brain burn. You ARE capable of giving your company, the best name it deserves!

To come up with a name for my venture, what I did differently was to brainstorm and strategize the hows of naming a business. The systematic approach led to the name that signifies the very purpose of its ideation and incubation.The name had to reflect what I was doing. The below-given methodology will teach you how to arrive at a fabulous name.

The 4 cardinal rules to avoid a bad business name

4 Cardinal Rules to avoid a bad business name
How you shouldn’t name your business!

Let us say that there is an artist named Wilhelmina who makes incredible oil paintings. Her work is popular in her social circle. She decides to put up an eCommerce site to sell her paintings. She purchases the domain www.wilhelminaschwarzeneggerarts.com and sets up her art shop. Since her customers already know her name, they make the purchases. The sales boomed and Wilhelmina wishes to expand her business. She decides to organize an event to market her business. Things go well during the event, but no sales happen at the backend. What do you think would have gone wrong? Her business name! People are confused. They cannot remember. They abandon it.

How do business names like www.wilhelminaschwarzeneggerarts.com come across as professional? They can’t. Always follow the four cardinal rules to check if your business name sounds professional and relatable.

  • Is it easy to pronounce?
  • Is it easy to remember?
  • The domain name is not too long to type
  • The name does not carry an unpleasant connotation in any language, region or culture (remember, your website is open to readers across the globe)

www.wilhelminaschwarzenegger.com is a very genuine domain. But, it fails three out of the four steps. It isn’t easy to pronounce. It can be misspelled. The name is definitely not easy to remember unless it is an already established name like Google or Yahoo (though they are strangely named).

Self-branding can go wrong if you have an uncommon name. But here is the good news, you CAN have a much better name by brainstorming a little more.

Identifying keywords that make your business

What do you identify your work with? What solutions are you providing under your services? How are you different? What is your value system? Who is your target audience? Make a list of keywords associated with your business. Make a table like the one shown below, with the system of words that matter to you as a business. This helps you soak in the raw muddle of ideas and come out clean with sharp annotations.

 

 

Purpose of you starting a businessQualitiesUniqueness
Provide content solutions for businessesClarityDeadline-Oriented
Simplifying mind-wrecking proceduresQuickInsightful
Creating helpful guides and processesQuality over QuantityCommunicative

 

Exploit domain name generator sites

Choose a couple of keywords you identified in the previous step and play around to generate name combinations. The best part about Lean Domain Search is that it also throws available domain name extensions for any given keyword. Since my company’s goals revolve around writing about ‘Business‘, I chose to put business as the keyword.

Enter keywords to generate business name ideas
Enter keywords to generate business name ideas
 

Create buzzwords or combine words to make a snazzy name

After arriving at these factors, determine the ones that you best resonate with and search for synonyms. For example, in my case, “Creating helpful business-guides” is what stood out for me. If you see synonyms for “guide“, there are many words that mean the same and also sound better. I chose ‘Primer‘ because it signifies the elementary principles.

Getting to the foundation of your purpose brings clarity to your objectives. The manifestation of the basics of your business is the launchpad to your success. It helps you see your vision and mark your mission. It brings clarity to what your business is meant for. Choose words that elevate the power of your purpose and add magic to the name. I want my website to be the first point of reference for any business need in the coming days. Hence, the suffix ‘Primer‘ was achieved.

So, I enter ‘businessprimer‘ as the keyword and the query throws thousands of arrays of options to choose from. Since businessprimer.com was taken, I prefixed ‘the’ to the name and arrived at ‘www.thebusinessprimer.com‘.

How to arrive at your business name
How to arrive at your business name and also assure a domain name

The green names are the domain names that are available. Of course, not all combinations can be a good fit. It is up to you to choose or reinvent the best names. This is how The Business Primer was born! The name is easy to understand, easy to remember and doesn’t take forever to type. Plus, it means business!

Conclusion

Always follow the fool-proof 4 cardinal rules and you will never have a bad business name. Once you decide on a name, let the name sit for two days. Let it sink in before you buy the domain name. You might come up with better alternatives. Zero in on to the best name and go buy the domain.

Bonus:

Why don’t buzzwords necessarily make a good name?

If you are someone who wants to add more jazz to your company name, you could follow this method to arrive at a spicy name. But, things can go wrong. For example, AnalTech is a technology-based company. Everything sounds good about the company till the buzzword is analyzed. The current day web filters may block the company due to the presence of such words. This was a gentle warning to help you choose the best name for your company.

Did you find this useful? Do you have any questions? Comment below if you would like to brainstorm. Now, try this quick and easy formula to name your business and comment your new domain name below. Go!

 

The Guide: Social Media for Business

The path to social media excellence is not a gaily prance. The data consumed is enormous. Riding on the success of other’s social media strategies is not a good option to implement in your business. Here is a generalized, yet customizable infographic guide to help you design your own social media strategy.

social media