How Can You Optimize Content for Voice Search Queries?

The way people search for online information is fundamentally changing… and that has some seismic implications for content marketing professionals. Arguably the most significant shift of all has been the rise in voice search. These days, it’s as likely as not that a Google or Bing search query will come through a voice assistant (think Siri or Alexa) as opposed to physical typing. Indeed, some studies have speculated that, by the end of this year, more than 50 percent of all search queries will be voice searches.

So how can you ensure that your content shows up in these Siri and Alexa searches? How can you fully optimize to address new search engine user behaviors? Here are a few quick tips from the Grammar Chic team.

How Has Voice Changed the Way People Search?

The first thing to consider is how voice search queries differ from text ones.

Here’s an example. Say you wanted to see some movie showtimes for your favorite Charlotte movie theaters. If you were typing your query into a Google search bar, you’d probably keep it short and sweet: Charlotte movie times, or something similar.

But if you were using a voice search assistant, you’d probably phrase it more like a question, e.g., What are today’s Charlotte movie show times, or what movies are playing in Charlotte?

When developing content, it’s critical to accommodate these long-tail keywords, which can be as simple as writing conversationally; avoiding the “keyword stuffing” practices of the past; avoiding stiff, unnatural-sounding keywords; and, when possible, framing your content in question-and-answer form.

Something else to consider is the reality that many voice search queries are finely-honed and specific in nature. Simply put, most search users don’t ramble on to their voice assistant. They know what kind of information they’re seeking, and phrase their query accordingly. Some examples: Where is the nearest tire store? Or, find a Mexican restaurant near me.

Again, savvy content will address these more specific queries. An FAQ page is invaluable here. We’d also recommend blog posts that are designed to provide authoritative answers to these very particular questions.

Finally, be aware that most voice search queries are localized in nature. If you’re using a voice assistant, it’s likely because you want to find the closest coffee shop, the nearest oil change service, etc., specifically in relation to your current location.

Good content should be localized as much as possible. Include your business name, address, and phone number on each page of your website. Make note of the specific shopping center you’re in or a major intersection that’s nearby. (“Find us at the corner of…,” “we’re conveniently located behind the mall,” etc.) Also include information like your hours of operation, holiday closings, and so on.

Content That’s Made with Voice Search in Mind

The way people search is changing. It’s important for your content creation to adapt accordingly. That’s something the Grammar Chic, Inc. team can help with. Reach out today and set up a content marketing consultation with us. Connect at www.grammarchic.net or by calling 803-831-7444.

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Why Content Marketing is the Best Bet for Your Startup

Launching a brand new enterprise can be plenty exciting, but also a little bit intimidating. Startup entrepreneurs will always face some uphill climbs, and one of the steepest is getting the word out about your business. Building a marketing presence from scratch is not just daunting, but potentially costly; without it, though, there’s little chance of the company ever developing the customer base it needs for success.

Of all the marketing activities available to your startup, there may be none that fit more seamlessly than content marketing. Indeed, content marketing has a few intrinsic benefits that make it ideally suited for newly-launched or soon-to-launch businesses.

Content Marketing and Your New Business

Here are just a few of the reasons why content marketing works so well in startup or new business contexts.

  • It’s easy to scale. One of the most valuable traits of content marketing is that it’s incredibly simple to start small and build from there. You can begin with a small budget, doing a lot of the work yourself, engaging through a few carefully-chosen channels, and expand as your audience grows and your company finds its footing.
  • It’s easy to customize. With something like broadcast TV ads, you wind up paying a lot of money to reach a general audience. With content marketing, you can spend less money to reach a more precisely-targeted audience. With the right data and analytics, you can ensure your content is being directed to the people you’re most eager to reach.
  • It helps you build a brand identity. A new business is sort of a blank canvas; it’s up to you to paint a picture of what the company is and what it stands for. Through content marketing, you can do that, providing thought leadership that exhibits your expertise, your values, and the basic proposition you have for your audience.
  • It’s conversational. Content marketing is as much about listing as it is broadcasting. Through social media, for example, you can generate real dialogue with your audience, then use their comments and feedback to fine-tune your marketing message as well as your product offering.
  • It allows you to earn attention. There’s definitely a time and a place for paid ads, sponsored social media posts, etc. With that said, carefully-crafted content can give you an opportunity to earn shares/likes/retweets/forwards organically, which can in turn help you generate word-of-mouth buzz.

These are just a few of the attributes that make content marketing a smart option for new businesses… so what’s the next step? We welcome you to reach out to the Grammar Chic, Inc. team to discuss some specific ways in which content marketing can help your young business grow. Connect at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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4 Ways to Delight First-Time Visitors to Your Website

You’re probably familiar with the old saying about first impressions.

Well, it certainly holds true in the world of online marketing. So many of our marketing efforts, from emails to PPC ads to social media posts, are designed to generate website traffic. But that’s just half the battle. Once you get people to your website, you’ve got to win them over with a strong, positive first impression. You’ve got to dazzle and delight them. And if you don’t, they probably won’t stick around, nor return to the website. Why would they?

Dazzle and delight aren’t necessarily easy to come by, but there are a few steps that can point you in the right direction.

Create Relevant Landing Pages

A common misconception is that anybody who comes to your website is going to come in through the front door, accessing the home page. This isn’t necessarily the case… nor should it be.

Say someone clicks on an ad you’ve placed on Facebook, Twitter, or the Google Display network. They’re going to want to see information on the product or service that snagged their interest. As such, you’ll always want to send people to a landing page with relevant, targeted, obvious information. Precision-honed landing pages are a great way to capture and maintain interest right out of the gate.

Offer Readable Content

Our writers obviously care a great deal about content that is well-conceived and properly worded. But something else we care about is content that’s well-formatted.

You tell us: What happens if you visit a website and see a huuuuuuuuge block of unbroken text, without any spaces or bullet points or room to breathe?

If you’re like us, you navigate away pretty quickly. Let that be a lesson to you. Format your website content so that it’s easy for your visitors to skim it and locate the information they’re after, without feeling overwhelmed.

Calls to Action and Content Information

We are on record saying that every page of your website should include a clear call to action. Today, we’ll add something else to that list: Every page should include contact information, too.

No matter how people access your site, and no matter when they decide to reach out to you for more information, you want to make it easy for them. It’s never a good thing when a website visitor asks, how do I get in contact with them?

Be Reassuring

Have you ever had the experience of clicking on a link, and then realizing it wasn’t quite what you wanted or had in mind?

Most of us have. You want to help your visitors avoid that fate, and one way to keep them on the page is to offer reassurance right out of the gate. Make sure each page of your website provides a clear heading, making it evident what the page is about. Always convey the relevance to your end user.

Develop Web Content that Dazzles and Delights

These are just a few approaches you can take to developing website content that creates a powerful first impression.

Interested in learning more? We’d love to chat. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Questions to Ask Your Professional Resume Writer

Hiring a professional resume writer can feel oddly personal; after all, in a sense, you’re essentially enlisting someone you barely know to tell the story of your career.

Actually, it’s not quite as strange as it seems. You obviously know your professional history and your value as an employee better than anyone, but a professional resume writer will know how to condense that history and capture that value in a way that hiring managers will notice.

Ideally, the relationship between you and your resume writer will be smooth and open; you’ll feel comfortable telling them about your professional life, and they’ll articulate and format it in a way that helps you shine.

To ensure this kind of relationship, we’d recommend clear, consistent communication even before you hire a resume writer; specifically, ask the right questions to make sure you’re picking the right person for the job.

What to Ask Your Resume Writer

  1. What are your credentials? Are you working with someone who has ample experience? Someone who has worked with key recruiters? Someone who’s well-versed in industry standards? Always ask your resume writer about their background and expertise.
  2. What services are included? When you hire a resume writer, you should seek someone who will provide you with a one-on-one consultation via phone or Skype; a full draft, complete with any necessary rewrites or revisions; and delivery of the document in a file format that you can work with.
  3. Are there any additional services you can deliver? In addition to a resume, you might also consider having a cover letter written, or your LinkedIn profile professionally optimized. Ask about having all of these tasks done at once!
  4. What is your process like? Make sure you have a good sense of how the resume writer will learn about your professional experience; and, how long the process will take. Also make sure you have clarity about how to request any necessary additions or revisions, e.g., if you forget to mention a few things in the initial consultation.
  5. Do you have experience in my industry? Some industries come with their own unique formal requirements; for example, teachers or military veterans may have resume needs a little different from, say, a marketing executive or a customer service employee. Additionally, federal resumes are different from corporate resumes aimed at the private sector.

By asking the right questions, you can feel more confident about the resume writer you hire. And of course, if you want to ask us any questions, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Grammar Chic, Inc. and ask to speak with one of our resume writing professionals at your next opportunity. Reach out via www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

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4 Powerful Ways to Reuse Your Blog Content

A good blog post represents a significant investment of your time and resources; and, a major depository of your subject matter expertise. So, what happens when you polish off a post, publish it to your website, and spread the word on social media? Hopefully, you’ll see a big spike in hits, likes, comments, and shares… but eventually, all that activity tends to taper off. That can be a deflating feeling.

But what if there was a way to extend the usefulness of your blog post? To really mine it for all its worth? As it turns out, there are a few ways to get the highest possible ROI from your content investment.

Here are our favorite strategies for truly maximizing the usefulness of each blog post.

Turn it into a “Pillar” Article

A pillar article tends to be a longer, evergreen piece of content that takes a comprehensive look at a particular topic. Once you write a pillar article, the next step is to break it down into individual sub-sections, ensuring that you include plenty of hyperlinks from the pillar to the sub-sections and vice versa. This strategy can enhance the user experience and lead to robust SEO results.

So take a look at some of your most popular blog posts. Could any of them qualify as pillar posts? For instance, maybe you have a lengthy Top 10 list posted to your blog. Consider breaking down each individual point into a smaller post of its own, using the pillar page as a jumping off point for more narrowly focused, supportive posts.

Make a Video

If you have a popular blog post that eventually loses some steam, one way to reinvigorate it is to use the blog as fodder for a video. In other words, once you’ve made a splash on Google, turn your attention to YouTube!

This doesn’t have to be an elaborate video, either. Simply use the blog post as an outline, talking through some key points, perhaps putting together some bulleted slides. It’s a great way to extend the life of a blog post and take your subject matter expertise to a new venue.

Make it into a Guest Post

You’ve shared your insights on your own blog, but there are still plenty of people who remain unreached. But if you know the topic has some juice, you can always write a second edition, ensuring to keep the same points intact but change all the wording, then submit it as a guest post to an industry blog or publication.

Not only does this help you get a little extra mileage from your original post, but it also gives you a way to generate some backlinks to your website, a major SEO win.

Update the Original

Finally, note that many topics will warrant regular updates. If you have popular posts from a year or two back, there may be some merit to reading back through them and seeing if anything’s changed. Are there new developments, trends, or technologies worth mentioning? Some supplemental materials you could include as links? Has your own thinking or perspective evolved in some way? Updating an older post with some new text can sometimes breathe new life into it, and possibly even trigger some new SEO benefits.

Take a Second Look at Your Best Blogs

There are plenty of ways to stretch out the usefulness of a good blog post. And whether you need help brainstorming some content refreshers or drafting a post in the first place, Grammar Chic, Inc. is here to help. Reach out to us when you want to chat: 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Ways to Make Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday Emails Stand Out

Is it too soon to talk about the holiday shopping season?

Not if you work in advertising, marketing, or digital commerce. After all, Black Friday and Cyber Monday— two of the biggest shopping days of the year— will be here before you know it. The time to prepare is now.

In this post, we’re going to offer some email marketing tips. You’re certainly going to want to take advantage of these prime time shopping days, sending emails to your customers and clients and stimulating some interest in current products, specials, and holiday promotions.

But here’s the thing: You’re not going to be the only one to have this great idea. All your competitors are going to be sending Black Friday/Cyber Monday emails, as well, and your customers will be deluged. The question is, how can you make your emails stand out?

We’ve got a few simple suggestions.

How to Differentiate Your Holiday Emails

Send a Teaser

First, note that you don’t have to wait until the big day to hit SEND on your marketing email.

In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to show that sending a teaser or two, a few weeks before Black Friday, can actually be really helpful.

You can send your teaser email any time now, really, letting your readers know to watch their inboxes for BIG sales and promotions.

This can increase the odds that your actual email gets opened when the time comes. And, it can give your customers and clients a reason to stay subscribed!

Emphasize Urgency

Another suggestion? Underscore the urgency of your promotions and offers. Let your readers know that they need to act now to take full advantage of your offer. Some examples of this:

  • 24-HOUR FLASH SALE!
  • One day only to save 25 percent!
  • LAST HOUR of our Cyber Monday sale!
  • Order today to ensure Christmas delivery!
  • FREE SHIPPING if you order by December 1.

Make it clear to your recipients that they can’t afford to set your email aside for later.

Extend Your Offer

Cyber Monday and Black Friday can be stressful days, even for the most seasoned shoppers. It’s not unusual for people to simply forget certain offers.

One thing you might consider is offering an extension. Send an email a day or two after Cyber Monday and tell readers you have a special surprise for them; by popular demand, you’ve decided to extend your sale or promotion for another week, etc.

Define Your Differences

Another strategy we recommend: Use your emails to outline the things that make your business different.

You’re probably not the only company to offer a particular product or service, but maybe you are the only company to offer free shipping, or moneyback-guaranteed satisfaction, or expert installation, or a 24/7 support line, or whatever else.

Make these differences clear! Give shoppers a reason to choose you over the competition.

Start Planning Your Holiday Marketing Efforts TODAY

The bottom line: Some of us are still trying to decide what we’re going to be for Halloween this year… but remember, the holiday shopping season always arrives sooner than you think. Don’t be caught off-guard. Start planning your email marketing strategy today.

Our team can help. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. if you’d like to chat. Hit us up at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Content Marketing, Email Writing

6 Content Marketing Metrics to Keep an Eye On

Are your content marketing efforts really working? It’s not a rhetorical question. Content marketing requires a real investment, both of time, money, and brand capital. It’s only appropriate to assess the return on that investment using real, hard metrics.

There are a variety of statistics and numbers you can look at to get a sense of how your content marketing efforts are trending, including metrics available in your email marketing platform, your Google Analytics, and the social media dashboard of your choosing.

Amidst all the possible data and reporting options, here are six metrics we think are especially noteworthy, often quite revealing as to the true merits of your content initiatives.

Email Clickthrough Rates

Start with your email marketing. When you send out your weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletter, how many of your recipients not only read the content but also click through to your business website? One of the main purposes of email marketing is to encourage more website traffic, and if your emails are actually accomplishing that goal, it’s a pretty clear indicator that your content is doing its job.

Email Subscription Rate

You can also look at the rate at which your website visitors are subscribing to your newsletter. If the subscriber base is steadily growing, it shows that somehow or another you’re enticing them… and that can’t help but involve some strong, persuasive copy.

Dwell Time

Dwell time references the amount of time visitors spend on your website before they head elsewhere. If most people reach your site, stick around for two seconds, then leave, that’s obviously not a great sign. But if your website users can spend a good long while on the site, that means your content game is solid.

New Leads

Content marketing can serve many purposes, but one thing that’s always nice is when your content actually yields new leads. There are a number of ways you can measure this: Email subscriptions, sign-ups for a white paper or other downloadable offer, basically anything that provides you with the name and contact information of an interested customer or client.

Social Shares

This one’s obvious: If your content is getting shared on social media, it means that the content is valuable, and it also means you’re growing your audience size. Note that likes and comments are great, but shares/retweets are especially helpful. Email forwards are also beneficial!

Anecdotal Evidence

For all this talk of hard numbers, we’ll close with something that’s not as easy to measure, but is still worth noting: If you have new clients/customers who actually reference your content (“I saw your latest blog post and it made me interested…”), that may be the best indicator of all that your content marketing is connecting with people

Content That Works

Ready for a content marketing effort that really works, and helps you see those metrics surge? We’d love to chat. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Web Content