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Failure as a Motivational Tool

Failure and MotivationalBusiness is about success, right? Success this, success that, every business that wants to work with you talks about their success, how they’ve made others successful, how you’ll be successful if you work with them. When you sell your product or service part of the pitch is success one way or another. “We’ve been in business for many years.” “We’ve served X number of happy customers.” “We have this award, that ranking with the BBB.” And it goes on. And that’s fine, we talk a lot about shifting the pitch toward what that means to the customer, we’ve covered why being “The #1 car dealership in whatever city” is less powerful than a good price on a sexy car. But it’s everywhere anyway, and is often the focal point of marketing. Success can build trust. It’s good background once you’ve broken through the recognition barrier and the affinity barrier to making a sale.

But rooting for the underdog is a powerful thing in the American psyche. It’s part of who we are. We root for the Cinderella team in the NCAA Tournament, we want the awkward guy to get the girl in the movies. We like it when great odds are overcome despite overwhelming adversity. It inspires us. (more…)

Want More Testimonials? Here’s How

testimonials, from your clients, seo1. Provide a good service or product.
2. Ask.
3. Tell them how to leave a testimonial and make sure it’s easy.
4. Bribe them with offers.
5. Have someone physically attractive and with a pleasant demeanor ask.
6. Yes, we’re serious about number five.
7. Make sure you have options to leave testimonials on all of your social sites and your main site, control what does and does not show up, and try to have an offer in place for anyone who participates. (more…)

Sales Letter How To Guide

Advice from a professional copywriter, for when you can’t afford to hire a professional.How to write good website content

  1. The tendency within a business is to get sort of too involved in the product or service to look at it from a consumer’s perspective. That’s understandable and probably helpful for a wide range of reasons having to do with running a business, where it does not help is in marketing and advertising, which is why the vast majority of the most successful marketing in history was outsourced to agencies or individuals not so invested in the business. And often those creative types had to fight to get their idea approved by the business despite the eventual success of the ad campaign or marketing just because from within the bubble of that business, it seemed very different compared to what they were used to. Be aware of that and do your best to take an outside perspective. It might take some effort but that is usually where the really good ideas lie, against the company grain.
  2. Clearly define a problem for your customer. Once you know the problem make the solution as broad as your imagination can get while remaining relevant and grounded. Let’s take plumbing since we use that a lot. So the problem is clogged pipes let’s say. But what’s the real problem? Inconvenience? Okay. Smell? Hopefully not, but maybe… how about embarrassment? Go beyond the simple product and get to the emotion underneath it, but keep it realistic. If you fix pipes don’t start thinking world peace or eternal happiness, but do get to the immediate emotional trigger.
  3. Prioritize benefits, or problems solved. Keep them separate in content. Don’t try to say everything at once, take it step by step from most important to least.
  4.  Once you have one main problem that you are going to solve, put it in words and make it the headline. Here’s an example of a headline that worked really well, “We have the cure for over 60% of all disease.” Sounds crazy right? There can’t be one thing that cures 60% of disease right? Well there isn’t if you are thinking pills or potions, but there is something and it is exercise. It was the headline for a gym that targeted baby boomers (if it was for a younger audience they would have wanted to focus on body and sex, not health per se, that’s thinking like a copywriter).
  5. In the next paragraph or two or three, use data to backup the existence of this problem, “By 2030 over 80% of Americans will be obese” etc. Chances are you have a lot of data about the problem your product or service solves, time to get it out and reword it in a concise manner. Keep sentences short. Focus on the most impressive stats. Use just enough to backup your main point because there is a thin line between convincing someone and boring them.
  6. Get personal. Use your own words to highlight a specific case. “Fitness is a passion of mine ever since my mother died of heart disease brought on by obesity. I promised myself that if I could save someone’s mother, someone’s father, someone’s child, that I would do it.” You don’t have to talk about you; you can talk about someone else. You need to make a human connection here though.
  7.  Next re-state the solution to the problems listed, in order of priority. Bullet points work great here.
  8. Have a call to action. You always need to tell them what you want them to do. In this example it’s obvious you want them to get a gym membership right? But don’t make that assumption. The exact same content converts almost 60% better when a call to action is added to the end.

5 Pieces of Bad SEO Advice You Will Hear All the Time

Which seo advices are bad for your site?Not all SEO advice is good. In fact some of it can be downright harmful. Here are some of the most common pieces of misleading advice you will hear over and over again.

  1. Age of the site plays a significant role in where it is ranked – This has been an accepted theory for years and almost everyone in SEO is guilty of making the correlation between age and searchability. Some may even think there is a correlation. There is no evidence of this though. Searches return newer results all the time after all, does that mean that those sites are just super amazingly good at all other aspects of SEO? Maybe. More likely the age of a site has become a false correlation. The older the site the more likely it is to have good links, to have more visits, and to have become trusted in the eyes of search engines like Google. Remember, the goal of a search engine is to return the most relevant results for users. The age of a site has nothing to do with how relevant it happens to be. What effect age has is that it give Google time to determine its legitimacy and users time to decide if it’s the type of site they click on and stay or if they click on and leave immediately (a major factor in ranking which is why relevancy is so important). But once those factors have been determined, additional days, months or years that site is online likely has no impact.
  1. Don’t report spam – Um, what? This is more an insider SEO code of silence thing. It’s dumb though. If someone is spamming in order to boost their ranking, then report them. They’re going to get caught anyway, why should you have to sit and wait for it to happen while your ranking sinks? Of course if you are spamming and involved in black hat SEO tactics, then it might be a problem. Make sure your hands are clean first, or get them clean at least.
  1. Make a different Headline and Title Tag – The theory is that you can cover a couple of different keyword phrases, and also make a more searchable Title Tag for Google and then when they get to the page something more relevant or more attractive to the reader. A lot of well respected SEO experts do suggest this, but there is no actual data that really says that there is a search benefit. It may turn off readers though. Imagine you click on a search result with one title and see something totally different when the page opens. You may think the site has been jacked or that you’ve been redirected, or worse, the site you clicked on just tricked you! There is some wiggle room, but at the least make the Title Tag and the Headline very similar.
  1. Never exchange links with other sites – The idea behind this advice is that if you are doing a link exchange, then you are automatically linking to things that are irrelevant for the sole purpose of having another link, which Google and other search engines hate. That is good advice usually, but there are times when there is nothing wrong with a direct link exchange. Linking to a news article about your product or service, linking to partners, even linking to relevant sites is all okay and even helpful, even if it is a straight exchange.
  1. Keywords and content structure are more important than actual content when it comes to searches – This could not be more misleading. Good structure and the right keyword phrases will help search ranking more than great content of course, however, full page reads, links, more visitors staying longer, all of this impresses Google way more than any keyword of phrase in the title and content. Ideally a writer can balance these two; you are always better off with great content in the long run though.

How to do a Quick on-page SEO touchup

quick onpage seoGetting your on-page content to attract search engines while not turning off your potential customers can be tricky, and in the long term should probably be handled by someone who specializes in content. There are some things you can do yourself that should give your site a boost though. Just follow these quick and easy steps.

  1. Find your keywords/key phrases – Doing this the right way can take a lot of research and specialized knowledge, making an educated guess is better than nothing at all though. Do a Google search of the phrase you think your customers are using most often when they are looking to buy your product or service, for example “puppies for sale”. On the first page you will see 10 results. Notice the bold words within the content? Those are important. For “puppies for sale” the first result as of the time this is written was breeders in bold along with puppies for sale. It looks like the other words that show up are puppy and dogs for sale.


How to Do On-Page Keyword Saturation

Content , paper, printed, green markerThis refers to the actual words on your web page and it is one effective way to increase your website’s searchability, particularly for a local market.

  1. You’re not actually saturating. More is no longer better, in fact it hurts. The right amount varies by keyword, market, and how it is written. Generally speaking, one at the beginning, end and one per 500 words or so is fine. If there are multiple keywords these can overlap.
  2. Use your city name. If you sell mainly locally, after you discover the most common keywords or phrases, add your city name either before or after. For example if you sell lug nuts and that is your keyword, use “Las Vegas lug nuts”, “lug nuts in Las Vegas” etc.
  3. Keep it natural. Far more important than the number of keywords or phrases is the actual language. Search engines are becoming very good at ferreting out bad grammar and syntax and they often penalize sites that are poorly written or written as if they were made for search engines instead of people.
  4. Key phrases don’t have to be in the same sentence. From the example above, if the key phrase you want to use is “Las Vegas lug nuts” you don’t want to keep saying that exact phrase because it starts to sound kind of silly to your customer. Instead, if you have a sentence ending in “Las Vegas” , like “We love our customers in Las Vegas.”, you can begin your next sentence with the word “lug nuts” and it has the exact same effect on your SEO rating. “We love our customers in Las Vegas. Lug nuts are essential for all kinds of projects…” – something like that.
  5. If you can’t fit your keyword or phrase in, don’t. There are many factors that contribute to SEO, and no single aspect is as important as the impression the actual words on your page make on your human customers. If you cannot fit a keyword or a phrase in naturally, don’t try to force it.
  6. Hire a professional – There are probably plenty of local advertising experts who specialize in content. Look for a local copywriter and let them handle the content for you.