The Benefits of Keyword Research

Keyword Research and the Google Keyword ToolWhen it comes to setting up an online business, keyword research is absolutely crucial. If you get it wrong, you could end up wasting months of your time, and a huge amount of money, simply by targeting a keyword that no one’s typing in, or perhaps one that’s just too competitive and gives you no chance of ranking for.

When I started out as a freelance copywriter, I sat down for a good few hours to think about the keywords I wanted to target, and utilised Google’s Keyword Tool to analyse the competition and the number of monthly searches. It’s a fantastic tool and completely free for anyone to use, so if you’re thinking of starting up an online business, this is the place to go before you do anything else.

The search term “freelance copywriter” had 3,600 global monthly searches, “website copywriter” came back with 1,600, “SEO copywriter” returned 2,900 and “copywriting services” 2,900 as well, so all of these keywords showed a decent level of interest.

Enough people were typing in these keywords to make this a worthwhile business venture, so I went for it…

I was going to be a professional copywriter!

I chose these four keywords and then optimised separate pages for each of them. This is because Google and the other search engines rank PAGES, rather than websites as a whole. So within one website, you can rank for multiple keywords.

To give you an example, I optimised my home page for the keyword “freelance copywriter”, my website copywriting page for “website copywriter”, my SEO copywriting page for SEO copywriter, and so on, until all of my major keywords were covered.

Today, I’m ranking between pages 2-4 for these keywords, and rising all the time. And as a result, I’m getting a number of enquiries from my website, which I’m hoping will increase as I get closer to page one.

But the crucial point to mention is that this was only made possible because I conducted keyword research into the niche I was entering.

So if you’ve got a great idea for a business and you’re thinking of setting up a website, be sure to use Google’s Keyword Tool to find out what people are searching for.

You’ll be glad you did!

Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter

How Blogging Can Help Your Search Engine Ranking

Blogging for SEOWhen it comes to improving your search engine ranking, blogging is the number one tool. Blogs are everywhere these days, because people now realise just how crucial they are to a successful SEO strategy.

Sure, writing blog posts takes a little bit of time, but the rewards are well worth it. As a copywriter myself, I was advised by my web designer to include an integrated blog on my copywriting website. He explained that the process of adding regular, keyword rich content to my website every day would help it move higher in the search engine rankings.

And he was right!

This website is now performing very well for my main keywords; copywriter, freelance copywriter, website copywriter and SEO copywriter, while my sister site, Red Hot Sales Letters.com is now ranked highly for the terms sales letter, sales letters and sales letter copywriter.

So how have I done this?

Well, one of the main tactics I’ve used is to optimise each of my blog posts for the search engines, and here’s how you can do it, too…

1. Write content that people will want to read

When writing any blog post, it’s important that you focus on quality rather than quantity. If people don’t like what you’ve written and see no value in it, they won’t link to it. Backlinks are hugely important in SEO, because they essentially act as vote of confidence in your post. The more votes you get, the higher your website rises!

2. Use anchor text to link to other pages within your site

The more relevant you make your site to your main keywords, the higher it will rise in the search engines. To give you an example, if you’re targeting the term “certified nutritionist”, then every time you use that word in a blog post, try turning it into a link so that it directs the search engine spiders back to your home page. The more you do this, the more relevant your site becomes to the keyword “nutritionist”.

3. Use anchor text to link to external pages in your niche

External links are used to direct your readers to other websites, articles and blog posts that you like. This can be beneficial to the people you’re linking to, but it can also be beneficial to you, too. These outbound links can be used to develop relationships with people in your niche, and encourage them to link back to you in return. And when it comes to SEO, backlinks are like gold dust!

4. Think about your title

The more readers your blog post gets, the more potential backlinks you’ll receive. One way of achieving more readers is to think of a title that you think people will type into the Google search bar. To give you an example, lots of people type in “how to write a good article” (590 each month according to Google’s Keyword Tool), so you could make that the title of your blog post and aim to get it on page 1 of Google for that search term. You’ll get lots of readers if you do!

5. Post regularly

Google and the other search engines love frequently updated content, and as a result, they love blogs! If your website has an integrated blog that you update regularly, you’ll stand a much better chance of rising higher in the search engines. The more content you add, the more your site will be rewarded. But remember, make sure that you place an emphasis on quality!

If you utilise the above techniques, you’ll stand a great chance of pushing your website higher in the search engines. In turn this will attract more visitors to your site, and you’ll receive more customers for whatever product or service you’re selling.

Useful Resources:

Blogging to increase your search engine ranking
Increase your search engine ranking
Can blogging improve a website’s search engine optimisation?

Go Blogz

Does Your Business Need a Web Presence?

6 reasons why you need a web presenceI was recently chatting to a good friend of mine who works for an architectural design company.

During the conversation he told me that his boss, a much older man, had steadfastly refused to consider advertising the company’s practice online. Despite the firm struggling to attract much business during the credit crunch, he still wouldn’t consider the option!

He came up with the typical reasons: “it’s too expensive”, “our client base doesn’t use the internet”, I don’t understand all that web nonsense!”

My friend couldn’t understand why he was so reluctant, and neither could I.

But the fact is, many businesses continue to turn a blind eye to the internet, and ignore the obvious benefits that a simple website and some basic online promotion would inevitably bring. Often, these businesses are run by older men and women who have got to where they are without the need for a fancy website, and their clients have found them without the use of Google!

But that was then, and this is now… the business world has changed dramatically in recent years, and the internet is where it’s at!

Put simply, if you don’t have an online presence, you’re missing out on a huge proportion of your target market. And there’s a very simple reason for this… While you might not be using the internet, YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS ARE.

The truth is, more and more of the world’s consumers are using search engines to find products and services. In fact, this figure is estimated to be around 90%! And Google alone receives more than 2 billion searches each day!

So if your business isn’t advertising its services online, you’re missing out on lots of potential customers. And that’s a fact.

Let me give you a few reasons why it’s time for your business to join the 21st century…

1. Increased visibility

Quite simply, a website will make your business more visible, and thus help you generate more business. There are numerous ways to promote it too, and many of them don’t need to cost a penny. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, forums, blogs, articles, press releases and video sites like YouTube can all be used to promote your products and services quickly and easily. Before you know it you’ll have more brand recognition, more customers, and more money in the bank!

2. A website doesn’t have to be expensive

Many people think that a website will cost them thousands of pounds. It won’t. There are literally millions of web designers out there, so competition is fierce, and as a result, prices are going down all the time. A professional, attractive looking site with all the pages you need can be set up for just a few hundred pounds. Most businesses wouldn’t even think twice about spending that sort of money on a traditional marketing campaign…

3. Your shop-front will be open 24/7

Unlike a traditional business which opens in the morning and closes in the afternoon, your website is open for customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So if a potential client is on the look-out for a product or service just like yours, then can find out all about your company and what you have to offer, whenever they like. And if you’re selling products online, you can process orders without even being there, and make money on auto-pilot!

4. Your business could be at the top of the search engines in MONTHS!

Naturally, some keywords are more competitive than others, but many businesses don’t realise just how easy it is for them to set up a website, optimise the pages for their main keywords, and then propel the site to the top of the search engines using standard SEO techniques. I know business owners who’ve gone from nowhere to page one of Google inside 4 months. And their profits have sky-rocketed as a result of their new online presence.

5. Global marketplace

Many businesses in days gone by were limited to selling their products and services to local customers only. The arrival of the internet has changed all that! Online businesses can now attract customers from all over the world, and increase their profits hugely as a result. Why limit yourself to a localised area when the world is your oyster?!

6. Your website can act as your salesman!

By hiring a professional copywriter to write your website content, you’ll be able to convert more of the visitors who do land on your site and increase your profits as a result. Many businesses use their own staff members to write the copy, but they often lack the experience and the skills to write powerful, persuasive copy that’s capable of convincing readers to click on the order button or pick up the phone. Furthermore, a good SEO copywriter will be able to write search engine optimised web copy too, which will help the site rise higher in the search engines for your main keywords.

So there you go…

If you’ve been a little reluctant to take the leap into the online world, then I hope this blog post has shown you why setting up a website for your business is the right thing to do…

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

10 Ways to Make People Buy Your Products!

10 ways to make your visitors buy...Whether you’re selling a product via a sales letter or a conventional website, persuading your visitors to buy is your number one concern.

The fact is, if a prospect has made it to your website or sales letter, you can be sure that they’re interested in what you have to offer, so it’s imperative that you give them as many reasons as possible to purchase there and then, and absolutely no excuse to leave!

Here are my top 10 tactics for converting visitors into buyers…

Deadlines – If the prospect faces the possibility of missing out on your offer, they’ll be more inclined to purchase. As a result, “the fear of loss” is a powerful tactic to use in your sales copy. So the addition of a time limit can work wonders, either on a discount or on the availability of the product itself. “Offer expires in 2 days” or “Discount only available until Friday”, for example.

Scarcity – Likewise, employing a scarcity tactic can be equally effective at speeding up your prospects’ decision making process and convincing them to buy. If they’re interested in your product or service, they’ll naturally be worried about missing out if they delay too long. If you’re selling a physical product, you could say something like; “Only 4 copies remaining” or “Offer limited to the first 10 people who sign up”…

Guarantee – When spending money online, many people are naturally cautious these days, mainly due to the number of scammers and fake websites that have reared their ugly heads in recent years. By offering a 30-60 day guarantee, you’re telling your visitor that you can be trusted, and that you have faith in your product.

Trial Offer – This is a great tactic to use when selling subscriptions for membership sites. Many people will be hesitant to commit to a product that they know little about, especially if it carries a monthly rebill. By offering a trial membership for just £1 or £2, you’ll stand a far greater chance of getting sign-ups. And if your product is a good one, many of them will stay!

Testimonials – Having evidence on your website that your product or service actually works is crucial! It provides peace of mind for the prospect and shows them that other people have used what you’re selling and have been pleased with the results. Pictures alongside the names also work well, as they appear more genuine. Testimonials that just say “D.M, Texas”, don’t convince me! Who is D.M.? How do I know that it’s a real testimonial? The answer is, it probably isn’t!

Support – When selling anything online, it’s imperative that you offer some kind of after-sales support for customers who might need assistance. The addition of a dedicated email address or phone number will tell the customer that you won’t simply disappear once they’ve bought! If people know that they’re able to contact someone should they need help, they’ll be far more likely to buy. Fact.

Free Shipping – No one likes it when they decide to buy something online, only to see the price shoot up right at the end with the addition of shipping or delivery costs. Many will change their mind instantly upon seeing this. So not only should you avoid this when selling a physical product, you should go one step further by announcing “free shipping” or “free delivery” on your website’s home page.

Instant Delivery – As I’ve said a number of times on this blog, we live in what I like to call a “microwave society” these days. Consumers don’t want to wait for anything. They want it NOW! So a digital product that can be emailed to the customer immediately, and then downloaded within seconds of hitting the order button has a VERY good chance of selling!

Secure payment – If you’re a larger company using credit card payment processing, it’s crucial that you offer secure payment pages. When people see the “https” in the browser box, they feel safer immediately. With greater peace of mind, your prospects will be a lot more likely to punch in their credit card details and order.

Use a copywriter – Well I would say that wouldn’t I?! But seriously, by using a professional and experienced copywriter like my good self, you’ll receive wonderfully crafted sales copy that will engage the reader, keep them on the page for longer, and push their hot buttons. Ultimately, better copy will produce more sales.

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

Secrets of a Sales Letter Copywriter… Ssshh!

The secret to great sales letter copywriting!As a sales letter copywriter myself, I’ve written a lot of direct response sales copy over the years. Many of my sales letters have pulled in huge amounts of money for both my clients and their affiliates, and as a result, about 90% of my work is repeat business.

My clients love the results I get for them. And I love the fact that they’re happy with my work, and keep coming back to me.

But it’s taken time to get to this stage. Like anything in life, the more experience you have of doing something, the more you learn, and the more you improve.

When I first started out, my sales letters weren’t converting anywhere near as well as they do now. And it didn’t have anything to do with how hard I was working for my clients. I mean, I was spending hours (even days) on research, analysing the competition, delving into the market so that I understood everything involved, and I would write and re-write the sales letter over and over until both myself and the client were 100% satisfied.

But I was still missing one crucial element…

And until I realised what it was, my sales letters would never reach their true potential.

So what was it? What did I add to the sales letter mix that now makes them so much more profitable than they ever were before?

Well, the answer is very simple…

You see, most online purchases are based on emotional decisions, rather than logical reasoning, and once I realised this, the conversion rates of my sales letters exploded overnight.

These days, all of my sales letters are written with this mind.

You see, most successful sales letters generate an immediate emotional response on the part of the reader. Whether the prospect is looking to build muscle, lose weight, improve their health or make more money, it’s emotions that dominate an individual’s decision making process. And if your sales letter can push your readers’ emotional hot buttons, you will make more sales!

So when you come to write your own sales letter, always think about where your prospect is coming from emotionally, and what they’re looking for. What’s likely to have driven them to your sales page in the first place?

Why do they want to lose weight? Why do they need bigger muscles? Why do they need more money? Why do they want to improve their health?

The answers to these questions are universal. So whoever it is that lands on your sales page, they’ll be looking for the same thing, and their emotional triggers will be similar.

Bear this in mind, and your sales letter will sparkle!

Nick Cobb – Sales Letter Copywriter

The Benefits of Article Marketing

Article Marketing and SEOIf you run your own business, then you’ll no doubt be trying to position your website(s) higher in the search engine rankings for your main keywords. And a really great way of doing this is to engage in something called article marketing…

If you haven’t used this method before, article marketing involves submitting articles to article directories like ezinearticles.com, articlesbase.com, goarticles.com, articlecity.com, etc.

And they help to give your website a rankings boost in two different ways:

1. They provide back-links

The most obvious benefit of submitting your articles to article directories is that you’re allowed to place a back-link in your author resource box, and turn it into anchor text. To give you an example of how beneficial this is to your ranking, my resource box often says something like:

Nick Cobb is a website copywriter online marketing consultant and the founder and Managing Director of Write For You Ltd, a copywriting agency based in London, England. His principal website; My Freelance Copywriter provides a wide range of copywriting services to domestic and international businesses, both large and small.

Now then, as you can see, I’ve created anchor text links out of my main keywords. This is crucial because it means that Google and the other search engines will associate my website with that search term, and the more back-links I have, the more relevant my site becomes to that term!

As a result, I’ve signed up to many different article sites, and submitted a whole host of articles with my anchor text links included. This has resulted in my website moving swiftly up the search engine rankings for my main keywords; copywriter, freelance copywriter, SEO copywriter and website copywriter, in particular.

So follow this tactic, and you website will see similar results!

2. They can be syndicated

Another benefit of using article directories is that they’ll often syndicate your articles to many different websites, which produces more and more readers for you. And if your articles are good enough, people will use them on their own websites and blogs, too.

Don’t worry though, this is exactly what you want! By using your articles (with your resource box included), you’ll receive even more back-links from a variety of different sites, and then further readers as a result!

It’s a win/win situation. The people using your articles on their own websites receive free content, while you receive further back-links which helps to push your site higher in the search results. Furthermore, the increased numbers of people reading your article can often result in more and more people visiting your site directly, and becoming future customers.

Think Quality Over Quantity

So an important thing to bear in mind is the quality of your article writing, because if it’s not good enough, it will stand far less chance of being picked up, and then syndicated by the article directories. As you can imagine, a poorly-written, error-filled article will not be used very much, and as a result, you’ll receive very few back-links, and very few new customers.

So always think about the QUALITY of your article writing, because it’s absolutely crucial when it comes to promoting your business, generating increased traffic to your website and helping to push your site higher in the search engines.

And remember, if you’re not able to write quality content and reader-friendly articles, then you can always hire an experienced copywriter like myself to help you out!

Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter

Useful Resources:

Article Marketing Tips
The Two Main Benefits of Article Marketing

You Chose… Wisely

How not to choose an SEO companyIf any of you are big fans of Indiana Jones like myself, then you’ll get the headline above. If not, then you chose poorly when it came to action-packed 1980s cinema.

But enough about Dr Jones and his whip-cracking escapades… This blog post is about something equally exhilarating – search engine optimisation.

In particular, this post is about SEO companies using spamming techniques to generate business…

If like me, you receive hundreds of spam emails each day, then you’ll know what a nuisance they can be. Of course not all of them are. Some of them offer fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime financial opportunities. I’m currently assisting the King of Brunei to smuggle $100 million out of the tiny, oil-rich Sultanate. He says I’m going to be handsomely rewarded, and he wouldn’t lie about that.

I’m still confused as to why he contacted me, but that’s not important right now. I’m going to be rich.

Anyway, emails from oil-rich Sultans and friendly Nigerians with unpaid hotel bills are increasing by the day. And so are solicitations from search engine optimisation companies “guaranteeing” me top Google rankings for any keyword I want.

Yep, that’s right. I recently received a few emails from SEO companies, too. And that got me thinking… If they’re continuing to send out these kinds of emails, then the practice is obviously working.

So I thought I’d sit down and write this post to warn people that SEO companies who send out “unsolicited” emails are nothing more than spammers. And if this is the way they procure business, then you can be pretty sure that they’ll be using spamming techniques in their SEO strategy as well. I mean, these are clearly not the sort of companies who only employ ethical “white-hat” SEO techniques to boost their clients’ rankings!

I’m a freelance copywriter and I’d never dream of spamming people’s inboxes. Firstly, I wouldn’t be able to take the rejection, but secondly, it’s just not the way I like to do business.

So if you’re thinking of hiring an SEO company to improve your website’s rankings, then whatever you do, don’t hire one that sends out spam emails to anyone and everyone. If you want to stand a chance of ranking for your main keywords, then it’s absolutely crucial that you use only white-hat and ethical SEO methods, because if you get on Google’s wrong side, it’s getting increasingly tough to backtrack.

An SEO copywriter like myself will be able to help you with your on-site optimisation, and I’ll also be happy to suggest some good SEO companies to use. But if you go it alone, make sure that you research the company fully, and employ a firm that has the best interests of your company at heart.

Choose wisely. Just like Indi did.

Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter

The Importance of First Impressions

Website copywriting and first impressionsBack when I was working as a deputy editor for a travel magazine, my editor once told me that in the week leading up to going to press, about 70% of his time was taken up working on the front cover.

“No way”, I thought… “Is a front cover really that important to sales?”

Well, yes, it is. Just think about it for a minute. Imagine walking into a shop and seeing a whole host of magazines sitting on the shelves. What’s the most important aspect of every single one of those magazines you see?

Exactly! It’s the front cover.

And that’s because it’s the only thing you can see. And if the cover can convince you to pick up the magazine, then you’re already well on your way to buying it.

And the same principle applies to your website. If someone lands on your home page, they’re going to make a decision VERY quickly as to whether or not you’ll be able to help them. And if your website is amateur looking, messy and loaded with spelling mistakes, you won’t be presenting your business in a particularly good light!

You see, it’s the first impression that counts. The front cover for a magazine, or the home page of your website is the first impression. It has to jump out at the reader, grab their attention, and make them want to read more.

So here are five useful tips to bear in mind when you come to creating your own home page…

1. Polished Web Design – If you want to create a great first impression, then good website design is paramount. I’m not saying that you have to spend £2,000 on it, but you certainly shouldn’t scrimp on this aspect. The visual impact of your web page can have a huge bearing on whether or not a visitor sticks around or clicks away. A slick and polished design will show your business to be professional and image conscious, and represent you in the best possible light.

2. Check Your Copywriting For Errors – I’ve spoken to many people in business and one thing they all agree on is that website copywriting littered with spelling mistakes and bad grammar is a big, big turn off! Basically, it’s saying to the visitor, “I care about my business so much that I couldn’t be bothered to check my website for basic spelling errors!” If your own home page screams “unprofessional”, then any visitors you do receive won’t have much faith in your ability to help them achieve what they want.

3. Clean & Tidy – It’s always best to ensure that your home page has a clean and uncluttered look to it. Regular website users have short attention spans and don’t like to work too hard to find what they’re looking for. Too many boxes or panels can become confusing and distract the prospect from reading your website copy – which is there to sell your services and keep the reader on your site.

4. Be Crystal Clear – Again, you need to make it clear what your website is all about, and exactly how you can help your visitor. As a website copywriter, I see many sites that fail to describe exactly what they do, and they lose potential customers because of it. I recently saw a marketing website where the owner’s main piece of sales copy said this; “I’m a marketing strategist and businessman with a history in the development, creation and conceptualization of a variety of business concepts.”

What?

5. Don’t Use Pop-Ups – I hate these. I really, really do! Many sales pages use pop-ups or scrolling boxes to force you into giving them your email address or other contact details. They follow you relentlessly down the page like a terrifying stalker… “Leave me alone”, you shout as you doggedly attempt to actually read some of the copy on the page – copy that they’ve probably paid a freelance copywriter to write for them. Why?! When you won’t even let me read it!!

Sure, the five pointers above maybe fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many websites I see that make these basic errors. So when you come to create your own website, always consider first impressions, because they can make or break your business.

Nick Cobb – Freelance Copywriter

How to become a freelance copywriter

How to get started as a freelance copywriterHaving worked as a freelance copywriter for quite a few years now, I often receive emails from people asking me for advice on how to become a copywriter themselves.

It’s a question I certainly don’t mind answering, because when I was first starting out I received some very useful advice myself from a number of copywriters, and without it, I may not have had the courage to quit my job and start my own business.

So in this blog post I’m going to answer the four most common questions that I receive, in order to give you all the help and motivation you need to become a fully-fledged freelance copywriter.

1) How do I get started?

So then, how do you get started as a freelance copywriter? Well, the most important piece of advice that I could possibly give is this: have faith in your own ability and just do it! Don’t doubt yourself. Don’t be intimidated by the competition that you see on page 1 of Google.

If you feel that you’re a good writer and copywriting is something that you REALLY want to do for a living, then commit to it fully.

To begin with, write the website content yourself (I don’t think you’ll need to hire a copywriter for this!). A home page, about us page, services, testimonials, terms and conditions and a blog page (to help your website’s ranking through SEO) will suffice. Then choose a name for your business and select a domain name via GoDaddy.com.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to hire a website designer to put the site together. I paid around £450 for www.myfreelancecopywriter.com, which is a pretty good price. Be prepared to hunt around for a while though, and make sure that you get a number of quotes, just as you would do if you needed a plumber or a builder.

And remember to negotiate. There are a lot of web designers out there and competition is fierce, so don’t settle for the first price they give you.

And don’t worry about payment. Many people obsess a little too much about this issue, but the fact is, it doesn’t matter too much. I have a business bank account, but 95% of my transactions are done through PayPal, so just set up a PayPal account in your business name and you’re done…

You’re now ready to start!

2) How do I find clients?

Once again, finding clients isn’t as hard as you might think. The route that I took was to work on my website’s ranking via standard SEO methods. These included writing blog posts to add content to the site, and then using internal linking to optimise the site for my main keywords.

I also wrote a number of articles on directory sites like ezinearticles, amazines and articlesbase, to name just a few, and created anchor text links in the resource box which directed readers back to my site, as well as helping to improve its ranking.

After a few months, my site started to rise higher and higher in the search engines, which then started to bring in business. My articles then began to be used on a number of other people’s blogs too (with my name and website being referenced at the bottom), which then created more queries and more business.

In the meantime, I used other, more direct methods to obtain further business. By signing up to freelance job sites like elance.com, freelancer.com and oDesk.com, I was able to bid on projects that employers had added to the site.

So if you’re worried that you won’t be able to obtain any clients, don’t be! Just follow this advice, read my blog posts, and within a few months you’ll have a flourishing copywriting business that you can be proud of.

3) How can I obtain clients with no portfolio?

This is a question that I’ve been asked a few times, and one that I worried about myself when I first started out. Obviously, in order to secure business, you need to show what you’ve done for clients in the past? Potential clients will want to see that you have experience in the service you’re offering. But what if you don’t have any track record to call upon?

Well, one tactic you can use is to offer your copywriting services for nothing!

Now, this isn’t something that I ever did, but I know quite a few copywriters who did. And believe me, it works. All you need to do is contact websites that look as though they need a bit of help, and say that you’ll rewrite the content for them for nothing. Trust me, they’ll say yes! And if they choose to add the new content to their site (which they probably will), you’ve got yourself a brand new example for your portfolio!

Another tactic is to use sites like freelancer.com, elance.com and oDesk.com, as I suggested earlier. Here you can bid on projects quickly and easily. You might not be able to make a massive amount of money this way (as many “copywriters” from abroad will underbid you), but if you do get the job, you’ll have something to use for your portfolio.

And crucially, if you do a good job, then the employer will no doubt come back and use you again.

So there you go! If you’ve been sitting there worrying about whether or not you have what it takes to become a freelance copywriter or you’ve been repeatedly asking yourself those questions, then I hope the above answers have helped to motivate you and give you the confidence to just go for it!

SEO Copywriting Tips: Where to Place Your Keywords

SEO copywriting and keyword placementHaving worked as a freelance copywriter for a number of years now, I’ve written website content for a huge number of start-up businesses, and assisted them with keyword research and SEO copywriting.

And when it comes to keywords and SEO copywriting my workload is growing by the day. Yaaay. This is because more and more businesses are now realising that if they want to open up their products and services to new markets and reach a wider customer base, it’s imperative that they get to grips with SEO and target their main keywords more effectively.

Most of the people I speak to understand the concept of SEO and the role that keywords play in the context of traffic generation and promotion. However, not everyone understands HOW or WHERE these keywords should be incorporated into their websites…

Common Mistakes with SEO Copywriting

One common mistake I see is people loading their home page with ALL of their main keywords. This is NOT the most efficient way of optimising your website.

To begin with (and this is crucial), a home page that contains a huge number of keywords isn’t going to read particularly well, and this is going to have a negative impact on the amount of people who stick around on the website and ultimately purchase.

A home page should focus on the task of grabbing the reader’s attention, convincing them that they’ve reached the right web page and then drawing them further into the site. Sure, use your main keyword on your home page, maybe even a couple, but ensure that you’ve always got the customer in mind, because at the end of the day, people are going to be buying your products, not search engines…

The Key to Keyword Placement

The best way of optimising your website for a full range of keywords – and consequently get the best of both worlds – is to use a different keyword on each web page. Don’t forget, there’s more than just one page to your website, and Google knows this. That’s why they index each page individually – because they’re all just as important as each other!

As a result, you should be targeting different keywords on different pages. And these keywords should also be present in your page titles and URL structures. This way, you’re targeting one keyword at a time, and therefore maximising your chances of achieving a high ranking for each page, rather than trying to target 6 or 7 keywords on just one of them.

To give you an example, let’s say that you’re a nutritionist and you’re sitting down to write the copy for your new website…

Your main keywords are nutrition, nutritional therapist, nutritional therapy, nutritional consultation, nutrition consultation and nutritionist. You’ve decided to select “nutrition consultation” as your main keyword because that’s the specific service you offer and it carries the highest global monthly search volume according to the Google Keyword Tool…

So on your home page you could target “nutrition consultation”, by placing that keyword in your page title, H1 tag and H2 tag, as well as including the term a few times in your body copy. On your About Us page, you could target the keyword “nutritional therapist”, and so on and so on, until all of your main pages are targeting individual keywords.

This will then give each one of your pages a greater chance of ranking for your main keywords, and it’s certainly a lot more effective than adding them all to the home page and ignoring the rest of your website.

Ultimately, this is the most effective way of optimising a website for your most important keywords, while simultaneously creating captivating, reader-friendly content that will encourage people to buy your products and services.

So when optimising your website, remember that each page is just as important as the next, and therefore make sure that you utilise them all when targeting your keywords. If you do, you might find your website ranking highly for multiple keywords, rather than just one!

And believe me, that will generate many more customers for your business.

Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter