Does Your Website Suffer from These 4 Common Copywriting Mistakes?

You can have a well-designed website. You can even have an optimized website that ranks high in the search engines for top keywords. But if you don’t have conversion-driven copy, it’s all for nothing. Simply put, your website copy is what determines whether or not a visitor becomes a customer. The good news is writing web copy that sells is actually easier than you might think. The key is to avoid these common copywriting mistakes. Too much “we-we” talk—I hate to burst your bubble, but your customers don’t want to hear you rambling on and on about how great you think you are. Customers only care about one thing: What’s in it for me? With that in mind, you shouldn’t be saying “we, we, we”, but instead, you need to say “you, you, you.” Here’s a cool tool I like to use when writing web copy: We We Calculator or this one. It grades your copy based on how custom-centric it is. The copy is difficult to scan—Eye-tracking studies show that users tend to scan online content rather than read it word for word. In fact, online readers scan in an F-shaped pattern. That means you need to focus on making your copy as easy to scan as possible. You can do this by using short paragraphs, bulleted lists, bolded phrases, and by putting the most important information at the beginning of each new paragraph. Weak headlines lose readers—Your headline should never be an afterthought. It needs to be something you put a lot of thought and effort into. Remember, this is the first thing a new visitor will...

Link Building with Google Alerts and RSS Feeds

Link building is something a lot of people struggle to do effectively. The problem isn’t always knowing how to build links, it’s sticking to a couple of tactics and ensuring they yield results before moving onto  the next one. In this post I am going to discuss to one tactic you can implement straight away using Google Alerts & RSS Feeds. 1. Building Ideas One of the biggest mistakes people make is treating link building as a numbers game. They build a bunch of links and never think about them again. You should treat every piece of content as a sales piece for the site you are promoting. The content should be topical and relevant to the industry you are in. It should be themed around popular subjects.. To get ideas for your content, build your own RSS Feeds as follows: a. search.twitter.com You can enter keywords in search.twitter.com and build a social feed for them. If you use RT “keyword”, it will tell you what people are retweeting. The feed is available at the top right hand corner. b. Digg / Delicious / PopURLS These 3 sites are not only great sources of information, but can be used to highlight popular content around your target keyword. All of them allow you to search on a particular keyword and sign up to that RSS feed. Again this will allow you to quickly scan through content and see what is being marked as popular. 2. Stalking Article Writers Once you have decided on your content from step one, do some investigating on where this kind of content gets picked up....

Top Generic Keywords or Longtail? Which Should You Go After? (Part 2)

Longtail Keywords The less competitive and more specific ‘longtail keywords’ are the epitome of opportunity. There is almost endless amounts of longtail traffic out there and if optimised in the right way, sites can capture a great deal of them. But is it worth spending time creating lots of content and optimising it to pull in longtail traffic? Pros: Firstly, websites don’t necessarily need to be all that powerful to rank for longtail keywords. This means that if you have new or weak site and you cannot compete for the top terms yet, you can always tap into the longtail search at some level. It is very difficult indeed to rank well for a whole host of generic terms as well, whilst there isn’t really anything stopping you ranking for many thousands of longtail terms. This post shows that in order to pull in more longtail traffic, 50% of the work you need to do is onsite work, compared to only 5% onsite work for the top level keywords. With this in mind, if you are not proficient in link-building, but can look after your onsite optimisation and copy, you can still perform well under your own steam, rather than having to outsource any offsite work. The most important thing to say about longtail search terms though, is that they convert much better. As mentioned earlier in part 1, longer keyword searches perform better than short, and so even though traffic might be lower with longtail, sales can still be higher. Cons: Longtail search terms can be something of an unknown entity when it comes to predicting just how...

Top Generic Keywords or Longtail? Which Should You Go After? (Part 1)

There is a tendency in SEO to go blazing after the most competitive “glamour keywords” in an attempt to get them ranking high in the SERPS. This is certainly not a fool’s pursuit as there are benefits to ranking for such terms. However, more SEOs these days are waking up to the potential power of longtail search terms and some are even finding they give a much better ROI. So which should you be going after, the head or tail of the search term beast? Top Generic Terms The competiveness of top level terms within each niche varies. Trying to rank for “fishing equipment” for example, is likely to be a lot harder than trying to ranking for “tree surgery equipment”. However, as the SERPS become more competitive each day, it can require a lot of time and effort to reach the first page in even the smallest markets. So should we really be investing our blood, sweat and tears in trying to rank a few measly keywords. Pros: First of all, the most generic keywords tend have the highest search volumes. Therefore, if you can get into a good position in the SERPS, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get some traffic from them. Also, by going after the top level terms and building links using these terms in the anchor text, you’re likely to pull in a number of the longer-tail keywords at the same. For example, if you do a lot of work on the term “car insurance” and you see movement up the rankings, you’re likely to see some boost for terms such as “car insurance...

Link Building & Comics

I am reposting this content. I originally wrote it as commentary for our SEO comic, Link Building 500, at RankedHard.com. Please visit and get your funny bone tickled. As any quality SEO company will tell you, link building is crucial to any successful SEO campaign. Of course your on-site optimization needs to be done right – keyword density, the right titles and so forth, but without links you are left with a site no one will ever find via the search engines. At Big Oak SEO link building is part of the monthly work we do for our client and it is mandatory. Often I will talk with unhappy clients coming to us from other SEO companies, and they will complain, rightly so, the fact that they spent thousands of dollars with little to show for it. My first question is what type of link building did they do? A moment of silence usually follows and then the response, “I’m not sure.” or “None.” Well, besides the fact that every client should know exactly what their SEO company is doing, I am shocked that any true company who claims to be providing SEO services is not heavily involved in link building. And a few minutes of sleuthing it is easy to see that little to no link building was done and the client was basically paying for a ranking report to be run every month. Too many suspect “SEO companies” rely on an initial optimization and then cross their fingers and hope for the best. Or more likely they just don’t care and look for the next desperate site...