Tag Archives: Business Content Marketing

5 Ways to Become a Lean, Mean, Blogging Machine

Many business owners recoil at the notion of regular blogging—and their concern is a perfectly fair one: They simply feel as though they can’t afford the time investment required for consistent, high-quality blogging.

To be sure, maintaining a robust business blog is going to require some man hours. With that said, there are ways to make your blogging endeavors more efficient—requiring less time, but still getting good results.

Indeed, with the right tweaks to your blogging strategy, you can become a lean, mean, content-creating machine—and we can show you how!

Become Ruthlessly Efficient in Your Blogging

Here are our five tips:

  1. Always start with an outline. One of the most time-consuming parts of blogging is going back through a post to review, to add or subtract points, and to bring shape and focus to your argument. One way you can cut back on revisions is to have a clear blueprint of all your primary points before you start writing. A simple outline will take a couple of minutes to put together, but it could save you a lot of time on the back end.
  2. Know your call to action in advance. A lot of time can be spent trying to land the plane—figuring out how you want your blog post to end and what results you hope to achieve. Those are things you should know before you start writing. Have a goal in mind—a specific call to action—and allow that to guide your writing. Again, this is a small investment of time on the front end that can make your process more efficient overall.
  3. Keep buyer personas handy. You should always know who you are writing for. Once more, this is imperative for keeping your writing focused and on-point. Start each blog post with a clear sense of who’s in your audience, and which problems or pain points you need to address on their behalf.
  4. Block off time for content marketing. Schedule an hour each week (or more) for content marketing activities, and treat it just like an appointment with a client—that is to say, don’t blow it off! Use this time to write a blog post, but also to put together the accompanying social media posts you’ll use to share that blog. Get all of these like tasks done at the same time.
  5. Keep a running list of blog ideas. Always be ready to write down a topic for some future post—meaning that, when you sit down to write, you shouldn’t feel stuck or have to spend too much of your time brainstorming.

Another Way to Save Time on Blogging

Of course, another way to minimize your blogging time—and still get great results—is to outsource the entire endeavor to the ghost bloggers at Grammar Chic, Inc. We’d love to talk to you about that. Reach out to our team today at either 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

 

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5 Ways to Turn Website Visitors into Subscribers

Getting 150,000 hits on your website is pretty good, right? Well, yeah, maybe—unless all 150,000 of your visitors leave the site without taking action. Then, it might turn out, all you’ve got is sound and fury—a lot of buzz, but nothing that directly improves your bottom line.

Traffic alone isn’t the most meaningful metric. What matters are conversions. Ideally, you want all your website visitors to buy a product from your business, though of course this is a lofty goal. A more reasonable one is to convert as many visitors as possible into subscribers; this, in turn, can help build brand loyalty and awareness, and ultimately lead these visitors down the sales funnel.

Okay—but then, how do you turn your website into a subscription hub? How do you coax as many visitors as possible into joining your inner circle? Here are five methods we’ve found to be highly effective.

How to Convert Website Visitors into Subscribers

Provide valuable content that matches user intent. What are search engine users really looking for—and how can your website provide them with relevant solutions? Those are the questions you have to ask as you develop your website content. If you’re a plumber, you can assume that search engine users are probably looking for authoritative answers to all their plumbing needs. If you’re an attorney, your users may want to know when, where, and why to engage your services. Your content should always convey valuable solutions, and provide the information search engine users are after.

Create fresh content regularly. If your website blog hasn’t been updated in a year, and if the top entry in your Company News section dates to 2011, then it may be hard for your visitors to imagine why they’d want to subscribe. You’ve got to show them that by taking the time to subscribe, they will receive meaningful updates on a regular basis.

Fill your website with diverse content. The goal here is to write content that appeals to as many different people as possible—that is, blog readers, video watchers, e-book downloaders, and so on. Be robust and varied in creating value-adding, solutions-focused content.

Include strong calls to action. If you want people to subscribe to your list, you’ve got to ask them to, and provide them with an easy lead-capturing form. Do so on every page of your website, if subscriptions are your goal.

Analyze your results. In marketing, analytics are everything. Make sure you track the results of your content, and pay attention to what works and doesn’t work in terms of subscriptions.

Does Your Website Convert?

The bottom line: Your website shouldn’t just be an online placeholder. It should be a conversion machine—and in many cases, that means a subscription generator. If you’re not seeing those results, reach out to our team for a consultation. Contact Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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5 Things to Do When Your Business Gets a Bad Review

No small business owner likes to see negative reviews pop up. Criticisms posted to Facebook, Google, or Yelp can sting. They can feel personal. What’s more, they can damage your business’ online reputation—causing potential customers to think twice about giving you their hard-earned money.

Still, negative reviews happen, despite your best efforts to make every customer happy. When you see a bad review, don’t panic. Instead, follow these five basic rules.

What to Do When You Get a Negative Review

First, acknowledge it. Ignoring online reviews doesn’t do any good. It might just encourage the reviewer to troll you even harder. Plus, other customers who see the review may wonder why you haven’t taken the time to help the customer with the complaint. The bottom line: Unaddressed reviews look bad.

Keep calm. If it looks bad to leave negative reviews unanswered, it looks even worse to fly off the handle and respond to a customer in rage. No matter how unreasonable you think the customer is being, remember: People are watching. They want to see how you respond. Take some time to cool off, and don’t reply until you’re able to do so without any anger or hostility.

Offer a solution. A negative review presents you with an opportunity to show real customer service skills—and if you can do so effectively, it might end up enhancing, rather than detracting from, your brand. Try to think of some ways to make things right with the customer who’s complaining. Go above and beyond, because again—people are watching!

Flip the script. Negative reviews also provide a great chance for you to reiterate what makes your company great. Saying something like “We’ve been in business for 10 years, and maintain 99 percent satisfaction scores from our clients” can be a great way to emphasize that your reputation is for excellence, and that you’re committed to impressing your clientele.

Ask to take the conversation offline. Arrange to speak with the customer privately, over email or phone, to make things right—rather than airing your dirty laundry for all the world to see. If you can turn that unhappy customer into a happy one, you might even ask for them to revise their review accordingly.

Now, there’s just no pleasing some customers—so if you follow these tips and still can’t get through to them, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just focus on providing great service to your other customers, and hopefully winning some positive reviews to offset the bad ones.

Need additional tips for responding to online feedback? We’d love to offer our advice. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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3 Timeless SEO Rules Anyone Can Master

Google’s algorithms are constantly shifting, the technical rules of search engine optimization (SEO) regularly changing. That can be frustrating, especially for small business owners who don’t have a technical background. The good news is that, though details may vary, the big picture remains more or less the same: Google wants to provide its search engine users with value, and if you help them accomplish that, you’ll probably get decent enough rankings. That’s something that even the complete novice can latch on to.

Specifically, there are three basic SEO principles that we believe will guide you toward a smart, savvy approach—and they don’t require any great technical know-how on your part. Here are those three principles, which are timeless and evergreen.

It’s Always About the End User

Again, Google is a business, and it wants to provide its customers with a great product. In this case, that means providing search engine users with relevant and valuable results.

A lot of small business owners get caught up in writing for the search algorithms—but that’s backwards thinking. You don’t need to write for Google. You need to write for the end user. Write content that is clear, well-structured, informative, and full of actionable takeaways. Writing for actual human beings is the best way to appease the algorithms.

Be One of the White Hats

Do you know the difference between black hat and white hat SEO? Basically, black hat SEO seeks to cheat the system and circumvent Google’s stated rules, while white hat SEO abides by those rules. Black hat tactics can sometimes generate quick results, but they’re never lasting results. A solid, enduring SEO presence requires a white hat approach.

So, don’t try to game Google. You don’t need to resort to gimmicks, or buy links. Just focus on providing valuable content that includes natural, judicious keywords and that earns links from other websites. Skip the shortcuts and do the real work instead.

Make Use of Every Opportunity

If you’re wondering how many keywords you can cram into your content, you’re thinking about it all wrong. The key is to use keywords organically. With that said, you definitely want to optimize every square inch of online real estate that’s available to you. That means focusing not just on writing good content, but also writing strong title tags and meta descriptions.

Not sure that you’re following these timeless rules properly? Our team of SEO-savvy copywriters can help. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today to talk about getting your Web content ranked better. Find us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Content Marketing with RankBrain in Mind

How does Google determine which content ranks where on the search engine results page (SERP)? That question is at the heart of SEO, and it’s also important to content marketing. Answering it is, truthfully, close to impossible; Google’s algorithms are complicated, and ever-changing. There are a lot of factors in play, and the way Google balances and prioritizes them is somewhat veiled.

With that said, Google has been clear about one thing: RankBrain is one of the most important of all ranking factors. In fact, Google has stated that it’s in the top three. So, if you want to write content that ranks well, you have to know what RankBrain is—and how to appease it.

What is Google RankBrain?

RankBrain represents the artificial intelligence and machine learning aspect of Google’s algorithms. RankBrain works to understand user queries and content topics, and to match the right content with the search request— evaluating all the content out there and formulating the best possible results for the search engine user.

In other words, RankBrain is a machine that’s actually capable of learning about content and user search queries, and of judging which content provides the most relevant and actionable results for a search engine query. That’s really pretty cool, especially when you consider that these editorial decisions are made strictly by AI; there is no human assistance required for RankBrain to do its thing.

Again, RankBrain is not the only factor in determining search engine rankings—but it’s a major one. This brings us to our ultimate question: How can you design content that appeals to RankBrain? How can you get your website or blog ranked well by this AI system?

3 Tips for Mastering RankBrain

There are three tips we can offer here.

  1. Write content that is focused. RankBrain evaluates content to determine—basically—what it’s about, and whether it answers the user’s question. If your content is all over the place, jumping from topic to topic and presenting a hodgepodge of information, it’s unlikely that the algorithms will be able to reach clear conclusions. Content like this almost never ranks well. Make sure each blog post and each website has a strong, singular topic—and that everything within the content points back to that topic.
  2. Structure content in a logical way. Along the same lines, your content should be structured in a way that leads the reader (or the RankBrain algorithms) through a logical argument. Present your main topic or point in the first paragraph, then use section sub-headings to advance the content, one step at a time, until you reach a clear conclusion or CTA.
  3. Test everything. You won’t be able to guess your way to ranking success. Instead, you’ve got to constantly consult your data and analytics—seeing which content works and which doesn’t, learning from your SEO successes and failures alike.

Step Up Your Content Game

Effective content has to appeal to human readers and to Google’s machine learning system—and that’s a tall order. We can help. Get some seasoned, SEO-minded content writing professionals on your team. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. to learn more: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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6 Extensions to Broaden Your AdWords Reach

More and more, marketers are blurring the division between paid and organic reach—often marrying content marketing with PPC in order to claim larger sections of online real estate. For instance, a focus on content marketing can lead to more organic search listings, while an AdWords campaign will land you further visibility at the top and along the margins of the SERP. It’s only through using both strategies in tandem that you can truly dominate the search listings.

Something else to consider: Some AdWords ads take up more of that online real estate than others. By making an ad bigger, you can actually increase your visible dominance of the SERP—and also increase the odds of people clicking the ad. The way to make your ads bigger is to take advantage of AdWords extensions.

These extensions come in different types, but they all do basically the same thing—they make your ads bigger. So which ones should you be using in your AdWords campaign? Allow us to highlight six of the most essential and versatile AdWords extensions.

AdWords Extensions You Should Be Using

Sitelink Extensions

Rather than just including one link within your ad, this extension will allow you to showcase up to five—your regular link, then four extras. You can pick a unique description for each link, too, and the cumulative effect is a single AdWords listing that looks like five separate ads! There’s really no better way to expand the reach of your paid Google ads.

Location Extensions

This option will automatically display your physical address to customers who happen to be nearby—so, it’s a really good option for brick and mortar businesses looking to increase their foot traffic.

Call Extensions

Display your phone number in your ads—allowing search engine users to give you a call without even needing to click on the ad.

Callout Extensions

If you’re running an ad for a particular product, this extension will allow you to highlight some of its key features; you’ll need to practice brevity, but the extension will let you pick out a few key words or phrases to include in the ad, forming a list of benefits for your reader to consider.

Price Extensions

Include the prices of your services and products within the ad itself—a great option for companies whose affordability is a key selling point.

Review Extensions

If you’ve received rave reviews from reputable blogs or magazines, you can showcase that feedback with a review extension—a powerful way to build credibility and trust.

Get the Big Picture

AdWords extensions can be valuable—but only when you implement them within the broader context of an integrated marketing strategy, with compelling content at its core. What does that mean for your company? We’d love to talk with you about it. Reach out to the Grammar Chic team to find out more, at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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3 Reasons to Marry Content Marketing with PPC

One of the oldest debates in digital marketing is the ongoing clash of organic versus paid reach. Should you focus your marketing efforts on earned users (i.e., through compelling content and organic SEO) or paid users (i.e., through online ad placement)?

The answer, of course, is that there is no reason why you can’t do both, and in fact, we believe it is increasingly vital for content marketers to pair their organic approach with pay per click (PPC) ads, which might include paid Facebook ads, sponsored tweets, and Google AdWords placement.

Paid ads and content marketing work best when they work together—and in this post, we’ll offer you three reasons why.

Dominate the SERP

One reason to consider content marketing and paid search as two sides of the same coin: When you do so, you can expand your reach over the search engine results page (SERP). Through content and SEO efforts, you can earn listings within the organic search results themselves—but what about the rest of the page? What about the paid ad spaces at the top and along the column of Google? You can only claim that real estate through AdWords.

In other words, you need both PPC and organic reach to blanket the SERP—and when you do so, you not only increase your brand’s visibility, but you earn trust. Any company that’s present in both paid product ads and organic search listings can’t help but be seen as a primary contender within its industry.

Get More Eyeballs on Your Content

Your content is only meaningful when people have a chance to see it and engage with it—and paid ads can help with that. Consider Facebook. You can use paid ads to get more likes for your company page, and then, once people engage your page, you can keep them there with regular, organic content updates. This is a perfect example of how these two disciplines can work harmoniously.

Span the Entire Customer Journey

One of the big pushes in marketing these days is the search experience—that is, using all the tools at your disposal to address the needs of customers at each stage of their journey. In other words, you need to be working to build awareness for your brand, then to educate your leads, and ultimately to lead them through the conversion process. Even after the conversion, you need to stay in touch with clients to earn repeat business and referrals.

PPC and content marketing both speak to different stages of the customer journey. For instance, content marketing can be a great way to build brand awareness, to educate, and to earn trust. Paid ads, meanwhile, can encourage conversions during searches with commercial intent, while paid remarketing can help you to stay close to former customers.

It All Starts with a Plan

How can you integrate paid and organic marketing on your brand’s behalf? The first step is to develop an integrated marketing plan. That’s something we can help with. Reach out to Grammar Chic to start a conversation. Connect at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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