SEO copywriting tips – the title tag

Now then, the next piece of SEO copywriting advice I’d like to give you relates to the title tag. This tag is essentially the page title that will appear in the search results.

seo copywriting title tagsIt plays a crucial role in the indexing of your website by the search engines, so it’s vital that you include your keywords within it.

The title tag/page title is the first thing a search engine will look at when determining what a particular page is all about. It’s also the first thing potential visitors will see when looking at your search engine listing.

Here are some examples of title tags:

seo copywriters

Your main keywords should always be visible in your title tag (as the above examples demonstrate), as this will increase the relevance of your web page to the search term, and (should) result in your page appearing higher in the search engine results.

To demonstrate just how important they are to your rankings, try typing any search term into Google (dog training, real estate, credit repair, etc) and I guarantee that those keywords will appear in the title tags of most (if not all) of the page one results. The reason for this is that placing your main keywords in the title tag/page title is considered SEO best practice, and if that’s what the experts do, then you should do it too!

Your title tags should be brief and concise, and each page of your website should have title tags that reflect the actual content of that page. They should ideally be under 70 characters in length as well, as Google will truncate anything over this limit.

The content of the title tag will also appear in the title bar of your web browser too (shown below), so it needs to be relevant, and it needs to tell the reader exactly what the page is all about:

seo copywriting title tags

Title Tag Best Practice

1. Ensure the title tag is as relevant as possible to the page’s content…
2. Include your principle keyword(s) as early as possible…
3. Keep the title tag to around 5-12 words, and ideally under the 70 characters limit so the full title appears in Google’s search engine results page…
4. Make it clear what the page is about, just like the example given above…
5. Make sure each title tag is unique in relation to other pages on your site…
6. Remember to write your title tag for humans as well as the search engines. Do not include keywords at the expense of readability.

For the next seo copywriting tip, I’ll be revealing everything you need to know about the meta tag description. See you then!

Nick Cobb – SEO copywriter

Useful Resources:

All about the title tag
Title tag SEO tips
SEO tutorial – title tag

Sales letter copywriting tip: Create a back-story!

sales letter copywriting tipsWhen it comes to selling anything online, it’s crucial that you’re able to build a positive relationship with your reader, and one of the most effective ways of doing this is to create a relevant back-story.

And why is this so important?

Well to begin with, stories sell!

And that’s because the telling of stories goes back to the beginning of mankind itself. It’s how we communicate and it’s one of the most successful sales techniques ever used.

Why do you think soaps are so popular on TV? It’s because everyone loves a good story… And because of this you need to make sure that your copy resembles more of a story than a sales letter, and a back-story will help you achieve this.

Secondly, a back-story will help you to establish credibility…

The prospect needs to know that you’re a real person, you’re honest, and your product does exactly what you claim it does. You also need to create trust as quickly as possible, as this is an absolutely huge factor in a customer’s purchasing decision.

The best way I’ve found to do this is to write a back-story that explains where you’ve come from, and how this product or service has made your life better.

On many occasions, the person selling a product has created it to solve a problem of THEIRS. For example, muscle building products are often created by people who have been trying to build muscle for a significant amount of time, and the product in question is the result of their endeavours.

Likewise, products that aim to help people with things like migraines, acne and arthritis are frequently born out of an individual’s desire to combat their own personal problem. As a result, the product owner has a natural connection with the reader, because they’ve suffered from exactly the same problem and UNDERSTAND how it feels.

Consequently, when I’m writing sales lettersfor my clients, I often speak to the product owner to find out more about how and why the product was created, because a relevant back-story like this will help build a positive relationship between the product owner and the potential customer, build trust, credibility, and thus increase conversions.

All you need to do to write an engaging and relationship-building back-story is follow these two main pointers, for whatever product or service you’re selling:

1) Explain how you were once in the prospect’s situation, looking for a solution to the same problem…

2) Reveal how YOUR product/service fixed that problem, and how it will fix theirs too…

Address those two points properly, and you will have created a positive relationship with your reader, which will lead to more sales for you, and more money for your business.

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

Sales letter copywriting tip: Promote the fear!

sales letter copywriting tipsWhen it comes to writing great sales copy, promoting ‘The Fear of Loss’ is a tried and tested technique. It’s an old favourite of the salesman, because it turns undecided shoppers into hungry buyers!

Now, when I use the word “fear”, I’m not talking about scaring your readers! What I’m talking about is letting them know that if they don’t buy your product NOW, they either risk having to pay more at a later date, or lose out on the product completely.

It’s a very effective call to action!

Obviously, in order to reach a point where the prospect fears losing out on what you have to offer, your sales letter must have done its job in the first place, and convinced the prospect that your product is something they MUST HAVE.

You need to make the customer feel as though they simply can’t live without your product or service, and then give them a reason to buy NOW, or risk losing out on the fantastic offer that you’ve placed before them.

Here are four tried and tested ways of doing this:

1. Limited Quantity – “I only have 100 products left…”
2. Price Increase – “After December 15th, the price will have to rise to…”
3. Limited Memberships – “I can only take on 10 students…”
4. One-Time-Offer – “This offer is for TODAY ONLY…”

If we take the one-time-offer as an example, you could include a time limit on your product offer to encourage people to buy now. You could also offer your product at an introductory price of £49.95 for the first 100 copies, then after that, your potential customer will have to pay the regular price of £99.95.

In essence, they will be losing out on a £50 saving by not taking action straight away and ordering your product.

To increase your chances of making a sale even further, you could also use a clock counter on your sales page, telling the visitor that your offer will end in a certain amount of time, with the clock ticking to provide proof of this.

Clock counters create urgency and have the effect of kick-starting customers into taking action as they’ll fear losing out on what you have to offer. (Any website designer will be able to include a clock counter on your sales page.)

Another way of using this “hurrying” technique is to explain that the first x amount of customers to buy the product will receive a free gift, a special bonus or a huge discount, for example.

From my own experience, I can almost guarantee that if you include at least one of these techniques in your sales copy, your conversion rates will improve.

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

Useful Resources:

Using the fear of loss in your copywriting
What most people overlook when using the fear of loss
The fear of loss factor in sales

SEO copywriting tips – optimise your page name/URL

seo copywritingOther than hiring a professional SEO copywriter, one of the first (and easiest) ways to optimise your web pages for the search engines is to include your main keywords in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Otherwise known as your website address!

For example, if you have a business that repairs digital cameras, your URL should include those keywords.

The title of your site could be something like www.digital-camera-repair.biz or www.digitalcamerarepair.net, for example.

This is important because search engine algorithms look at the full web address or URL of a web page to help determine relevance (along with other information such as the page’s content (keywords), title, inbound links etc, which we’ll discuss fully later on in the blog).

With millions of web pages to choose from, the search engines are always looking for pointers of relevance to a particular search phrase. Therefore, in order for your web pages to rank higher, you need to help the search engines determine what your page is all about as quickly as possible. And as the example above demonstrates, you can do this by making your web page URL as relevant to its content as possible.

To make your website pages even more focused, you could include a relevant suffix at the end of each page’s URL, which includes your keyword.

To give you an example, let’s say that a mortgage company have two identical web pages containing information on UK house prices. One URL is named www.mortgagecompany.com/ukhouseprices, while the other one is called www.mortgagecompany.com/page12345678/

All other things being equal, it’s not hard to imagine which one would feature highest in the search results for the search term “UK house prices”. Obviously, the keywords in the first example will be picked up by the search engines who will determine that this web page is more relevant to the search phrase than the second example.

So, if you have more than one page within your website, then each page should have a different URL that reflects what that page is all about through the inclusion of keywords. Once again, this will help the search engines when it comes to matching up search terms and web pages.

The website www.moneysupermarket.com, for instance, has many other pages within the site, such as:

www.moneysupermarket.com/savings
www.moneysupermarket.com/insurance
www.moneysupermarket.com/motoring
www.moneysupermarket.com/mobilephones
www.moneysupermarket.com/shopping

And by making each page’s URL relevant to its content, they are able to attract more targeted visitors to their website.

Remember, having relevant URLs that match up to the page in question is the easiest thing to get right, and the best place to start when launching your own SEO strategy.

Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter

Useful Resources:

SEO tip #6: Using keywords in your URL
Using keywords in the URL

Words to avoid in your website copywriting

website copywritingIn the previous post, I revealed a few “trigger words” that are commonly used in headlines to (how can I put this?), sex ‘em up a bit! So after giving you a series of words you SHOULD use, it would be awfully unkind of me not to reveal the words you SHOULDN’T!

The fact is, while there are trigger words that produce positive results for your sales, there are also words that achieve the opposite, and the kind of words you shouldn’t be using are just as important as those you should!

You see, there are some words that illicit a negative response from customers and it’s vital that you steer clear of these if you want to make lots of sales. (These words apply to your main website copy, as well as the headline.)

To give you some examples, here are four words that you should try to avoid in your sales letters:

Buy
Purchase
Learn
Order

“Buy? Purchase? Learn? Order? “What’s wrong with them? I see those words used on websites all the time”, I hear you mutter. And indeed you may, but it doesn’t mean they’re the correct words to use.

Let me explain…

Firstly, it’s better not to remind potential customers of the fact they need to spend money in order to receive your product! The words “buy” and “purchase”, for example, are far too literal and potential customers may be put off if your headline is too pushy.

Always remember, visitors don’t want to “buy” anything. They would rather “invest” their money, as this denotes a positive step in terms of their future, and not a one-off impulse buy. Similarly, they would rather “secure” their product, as opposed to “order” it.

Also, the word “learn” has certain negative connotations. After all, people looking for instant answers on the internet don’t want to have to “learn” anything, because that requires work!

Jeees. Fancy that?

Instead, they want their problem to be solved instantly, so the path of least resistance would be to “discover” how to make money instead of “learn” how to make money. Avoid negative words in your headlines (and in your body copy) whenever possible and you’ll stand a much better chance of drawing visitors towards your order button.

Nick Cobb – Website Copywriter

Useful Resources:

5 words to avoid when writing your sales letter
Copywriting and advertising words to avoid

Using trigger words in your website copywriting

freelance copywriterAs we’ve discussed on this blog already, the headline on a sales letter can either make or break your product. The most successful headlines will invariably contain certain “Trigger Words” that help elevate the product in the mind of the reader.

To help you out when you come to write your own headlines, here is a list of 20 words that have been proven to produce sales. (I’ve also included a small example headline showing you how this word could be incorporated.)

1. Discover the fastest way to online riches
2. Now you can have the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of with [product name]
3. A new approach to losing weight
4. Proven techniques for making big bucks online
5. Scientific study reveals the #1 anti-aging ingredient for your skin
6. The Shocking truth about tax loopholes that the Government DOESN’T want you to know about
7. The incredible advertising technique that will boost your profit margin by 250%
8. STOP! Don’t do anything else before you’ve read this…
9. Breakthrough health drink could add years to your life
10. The top 10 secrets of an internet millionaire
11. The truth behind the world’s best fat loss system
12. Yes! You can now have the figure you’ve always wanted..
13. You can have younger looking skin with [product name]
14. How to beat the bookmakers at their own game and make a million
15. Revealed – The most successful sales letters ever written
16. Get guaranteed results in 24 hours with my revolutionary tooth whitening kit
17. How would you like to grab a copy of my e-book, absolutely free?
18. Announcing a breakthrough in migraine prevention
19. Make money from home with the [product name] system
20. Dominate your competition with the [product name]

Try to include some of these trigger words in your own headlines. You’ll be amazed at how powerful they can be!

Nick Cobb – Website Copywriter

Useful Resources:

Hot Trigger Words
Top 5 emotional trigger words
50 trigger words and phrases

Copywriting and the call to action…

copywriting call to actionI’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, right? Well, this has never been more appropriate than when trying to sell a product online. Whether it’s a traditional website or a sales letter, you absolutely must present the prospect with a direct “call to action”, such as filling in a form, signing up to a newsletter or clicking on your order button!

But how do you create an effective call to action?

To help you out, here are 3 of the most effective methods to enable you to achieve just that…

1. Use response-inducing language…

A good call to action needs to display the right message, and use words that will make the reader take the action you want them to take. For example, words such as “call”, “order”, “register”, “subscribe” and “sign up” make it clear what you want the prospect to do and serve to encourage them to take the desired action. If you make it clear what you want your visitors to do, more often than not, they’ll do it.

2. Make the call to action STAND OUT…

When attempting to convince visitors to take action, it’s important that you highlight the piece of text you wish to direct them towards. This might sound obvious, but I see many websites that completely fail to do this, and as a result, they inevitably lose many potential customers. The best way of making your call to action stand out is to use a different colour, or make the box/button/text much larger than the rest of the features on the page. You can also use white space around the call to action, which will help draw attention to it.

3. Include one on every page…

It’s always a good idea to add a call to action to all of your web pages, not just the home page. If you don’t do this, the visitor won’t be engaged and may well click away from your site. Your call to action doesn’t necessarily need to be the same for every page. Instead, you could include smaller actions that serve to lead the reader towards your ultimate goal.

While well-written, direct response copywriting is crucial to your website’s success, the design, positioning and regular use of your call to action also plays a significant part. So be sure you get this right.

Oh, and always remember; if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Useful Resources:

10 techniques for an effective call to action
25 examples of convincing call to action buttons
How to write call to action phrases

The perfect sales letter…

sales letter copywritingIf you need a sales letter, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire…

err, me.

Any need for an A-Team reference here? Not really.

It’s just a slightly more colourful way of saying that my brand new website, Red Hot Sales Letters.com has just launched. My choice of reference is down to a classic episode I’ve just sat through while eating my lunch, where Face, BA, Hannibal and Murdoch got themselves locked into a barn with nothing but a plank of wood, a pair of underpants and a bag of monster munch to hand, yet came out with a fully-operational tank to blow the baddies away with. Genius.

Anyway, enough A-Teaming, let’s talk shop.

What is Red Hot Sales Letters.com?

Well, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a website dedicated to producing direct response sales copy for online and offline businesses, so if you have a product to sell, and no one else can help, then why not head on over to www.redhotsalesletters.com and take a look at the packages on offer.

Ok, I’ll stop now. I promise.

A-grade copywriters

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

Useful Resources:

How to write a good sales letter
Creating a powerful sales letter
Outline of a good sales letter

 

Hiring a freelance copywriter…

freelance copywriterPick me! No, I’m just kidding.

Seriously though, pick me 😉

Ok, if you’re looking for a freelance copywriter and for some wacky reason you don’t choose to hire me, then here are five handy tips to ensure you don’t end up with a copywriter from hell…

1. Check for core competency – When researching freelance copywriters online, the first thing you should be doing is checking the writer’s website for any basic errors. Poor spelling, bad grammar, incorrect punctuation and an inadequate command of the English language are obvious indications of a sub-standard copywriter, and should raise alarm bells immediately.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but by failing to proofread their work properly and remove those mistakes, they’re clearly lacking the necessary attention to detail required to be a first-rate copywriter, as well as any real sense of pride in their own work.

2. Ask to see examples of previous work – Before making any financial commitment, always ask the copywriter if you can view some sample copy. A good quality copywriter will be more than happy to do this. However, to save you the trouble, many freelance copywriters will already have a portfolio page on their website, displaying some of their previous projects for your perusal.

3. Check for positive feedback – When it comes to purchasing anything online, it’s always nice to know that other people have used the product or service in question, and that they’re pleased with it. A good copywriter with many projects under his or her belt should be able to provide some feedback from previous clients in the form of testimonials. If they’re not displaying any testimonials on their website, you have to ask yourself why…

4. Discuss your project with the copywriter – It’s always a good idea to get in touch with a copywriter and discuss your requirements fully before you even think about making any kind of payment. You need to be sure that the copywriter you choose knows exactly WHAT you want and WHEN you want it. A good copywriter will understand this and will be happy to work with you in the formative stages of the brief. Remember, most copywriters will be keen to produce the best possible result so that you’re more likely to come back to them again in the future.

5. Don’t go with the cheapest quote – When you’ve researched a few copywriters online, the next step is to obtain a quote for the project. But remember, don’t base your decision on price alone, and certainly don’t opt for a copywriter simply because they quote the lowest price! You need to ascertain who’s more likely to produce the best results, based on the points above, and then weigh that up against the quotes you receive. I’m not suggesting that you need to spend a huge amount of money on your project, but the best copywriters are rarely the cheapest!

So there you go; 5 top tips for hiring a great copywriter. Of course, you can always save yourself a lot of time and effort and opt for My Freelance Copywriter instead!

Link Partners:

BlogCatalog

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

Useful Resources:

How to hire a freelance copywriter
Tips for hiring a freelance writer
Hiring a freelance SEO copywriter