Posts Tagged ‘Advetising’

Tips for Editing Professional Website Content

June 21, 2021

Before you start editing website content, review the following:

  1. All the notes collected in the client interview process
  2. The client’s existing website(s)
  3. The client’s Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Yelp reviews and any other any information you have about them

If you’re editing a page on a topic you’re not fully conversant in, take the time to do your own research before you start. Remember: As editor, you’re the last line of defense. 

Style Tips

Use contractions and a friendly tone to make the content flow as smoothly as possible. As Joseph Sugarman notes in The Copywriter’s Handbook, reading copy out loud is a great way to discover the version that sounds best.

For example:

That’s the way we like it. 

Flows better than:

That is the way we like to do things around here.

Never scold the reader. And don’t begin sentences with the words “you should.”

For example:

Brushing and flossing every day will protect your smile from tooth decay and gum disease.

Sounds a lot friendlier and less ominous than:

If you don’t brush your teeth, they’re gonna fall out. 

Don’t use highfalutin words. You don’t impress potential customers when you use words they don’t understand. In fact, it leads them to conclude that you just aren’t smart enough to say what you mean in plain English. And words like utilize, therefore and however make you sound snooty, putting distance between you and the reader, so use them sparingly.

Phrases like our goal is or we aim to should be omitted because they imply an incomplete action.

That’s why:

We’ll give you a smile you’ll want to share with friends.

Is more direct and convincing than:

Our aim is to give you a smile that you’ll want to share with friends. 

When describing the client’s services, use the active voice as much as you can. 

Instead of saying:

Clear images of your teeth and the hard and soft structures that support them will be generated using advanced diagnostic equipment.

Put your client in command by saying:

Using our advanced diagnostic equipment, Dr. Gonzales will generate clear images of your teeth and the hard and soft structures that support them.

Control/F Is Your Friend

When editing website content, you can use the Control/F keyboard shortcut to avoid the repetition of catch phrases that your writers like to use such as our veneers will make your smile shine like new.

You’ll also want to be careful about overusing common words and phrases. For example, there’s a limited number of ways to express cause and effect, such as since, therefore, this leads to, due to, consequently, that’s why, so, for this reason and because. The Control/F keyboard shortcut can be really helpful for prevent using one of these constructions too many times.

Consider the Connotations of the Words You Choose

Connotations are the feelings that a word evokes in addition to its official dictionary definition.

For example, the words cheap and inexpensive mean roughly the same thing, but they have very different connotations.

It’s more effective to say that Dr. Smith provides outstanding care than it is to say Dr. Smith provides outstanding treatment because the word care has all sorts of warm and fuzzy connotations

And don’t use words with negative connotations to assert a positive value. Legendary copywriter Herschell Gordon Lewis used to get really annoyed whenever he read copy that suggested a product would “drastically improve your life.”

Drastic is full of negative connotations — Instead, say This product will dramatically improve your life?

Two Quick SEO Tips

For SEO purposes, look for opportunities to add internal links whenever you feel it will enhance the User Experience (UX). This gives Google a better understanding about the structure of your website.

We know that the Google bots reward good grammar with higher rankings. That’s why you’ll want to follow the writing standards that your organization adheres to, such as AP format or your in-house writing guide(s). 

Using Headlines, Bullets and Bold Text

A solid wall of text is intimidating. Make your writing more inviting by using bullets and headlines to break it up into more palatable bites. This is especially important for improving mobile optimization. Research shows that the overwhelming majority of readers will read the headlines, bullets and bolded text first, so you want to make them stand out.

It’s essential to take your time when editing headlines. Use them to clearly explain how you’re going to solve the reader’s problem. In other words, sell the benefit in the headlinesas much as you can.

Weak Headline The Benefits of Veneers

Strong Headline — Veneers: Get a Beautiful New Smile in Just Two Visits

Remember to be specific. Tell the reader how you will make their life better by saving them time, saving them money, making them look better, making them feel better, or making other people want to be like them.

Bullet lists are extremely effective for highlighting the benefits that you’re trying to sell. But remember: the longer you make your bullets, the less effective they become.

You can also use bolding sparingly to highlight important points and for terms that will be new to the reader such as osseointegration.

Improving Workflow

If anything is unclear, or if you need additional information from the writer or the client, post a note in your Project Management Tool (i.e., Trello, ClickUp, Mondays). You’ll also want to @ the writer, the project manager and anyone else on your team who’s involved in the project.

Questions you might want to ask when editing content for a dentist’s website include:

  • When was the practice founded?
  • Is Dr. Yu the only dentist at the practice who performs implant surgery?
  • Is Dr. Swartz involved in any activities that benefit the local community?

Make Your Client the Star

The Meet Our Client page on websites that promote local professionals such as dentists, lawyers or contractors should be among the most highly ranked pages on the site.

When editing your client’s bio, put the most compelling or appealing information first. Don’t start off by writing about their credentials and educational background. You can save that for later. Begin with something more endearing, such as a personal story about why they chose their profession.

Effective CTAs

You don’t have to wait until the end of the document for your CTA. And it’s perfectly ok to have two or more CTAs on the same page. 

Always include a button with the CTA.

Put the client’s phone number in the CTA text, making it easier for mobile customers to call. 

If the client features any special offers such as a free consultation, make sure to mention it in the headline that introduces the CTA.

by Richard W. Bray

Some Copywriting Tips for Content Writers

July 16, 2019

Legendary Adman Herschell Gordon Lewis

To be successful, a copywriter has to do everything a good salesman does without the benefit of a live customer to react to — you can’t look into your customer’s eyes and you can’t hear the tenor of their voice as they respond to your words.

Instead, you have to anticipate any possible reservations your reader might have and address them in advance.

Don’t Use a Bunch of Highfalutin Words

You don’t impress potential customers when you use words they don’t understand. In fact, it leads them to conclude that you just aren’t smart enough to say what you mean in plain English.

Make Your Writing More Inviting

When your readers see a massive block of text, it’s intimidating.

So use headlines, bullet points, and bold text to break up your prose and make it more inviting.

Most readers don’t read the whole thing all at once. Instead, they peruse the copy, considering the headlines, bullets, and bold text first.

A word of warning about bold text: Just like swearing, the more you use it, the less potent it becomes.

And generally speaking, headlines should be no longer than 10 words.

Start With a Bang

As the great Elmer Wheeler used to say (no, I’m not making that name up) “The first ten words are more important than the next ten thousand.”

That’s why it’s often a good idea to begin with one or two provocative questions or a short, direct declarative sentence.

Sell the Benefit

Legendary adman David Oglivy used to say that good copywriting shouldn’t call attention to itself. Instead, you should “make the product the star.”

Tell the readers precisely how whatever you have to sell will make their life better by saving them time, saving them money, making them look better, making them feel better, or making other people envy them even more.

Don’t Overpromise

If you make one unbelievable assertion, readers will automatically question everything else you have to say.

Say Their Name, Say Their Name—A Lot

As Dale Carnegie used to say: “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”

But you can’t address your customers by name. So use the words “you” and “your” as often as you can without sounding goofy.

We Think by Feeling

Modern brain research confirms that human beings “think by feeling,” just like the poet Theodore Roethke said.

Words evoke feelings. And buyers are overwhelmingly influenced by feelings. Legendary adman Joseph Sugarman reminds us:

You buy a Mercedes automobile emotionally but you then justify the purchase logically with its technology, safety and resale value.

Customers aren’t buying what you’re actually selling — they’re buying the way they hope it will make them feel.

The Right Connotations Are Crucial

Connotations are the feelings that a word evokes in addition to its official dictionary definition.

For example, the words cheap and inexpensive mean roughly the same thing, but they have very different connotations.

Which sentence sounds more warm and cuddly?

Dr. Smith provides outstanding treatment.

or

Dr. Smith provides outstanding care.

And don’t use words with negative connotations to assert a positive value. For example, legendary adman Herschell Gordon Lewis used to go bonkers whenever he read copy that suggested a product would “drastically improve your life.”

Drastic is full of negative connotations — so why not say “this product will dramatically improve your life,” instead?

Rhythm and Flow

Even though people will typically read your copy silently inside their own heads, the sound of the words you choose and how they flow together strongly influence the way your writing will be received.

Poetry and copywriting have a lot more in common than most people realize.

by Richard W. Bray