Tag Archives: Business Content Marketing

4 Things to Include in Your Meta Description

Do you know what a meta description is? It may sound like an overly technical term, but really it’s not. Here’s how SEO Moz describes it: “Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise summaries of webpages. They commonly appear underneath the blue clickable links in a search engine results page (SERP).”

HubSpot, meanwhile, goes into a little more detail: “Meta-descriptions play a big role in search results. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a meta description is the snippet of information below the link of a search result. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description.”

Why Meta Descriptions Matter

In a nutshell: When you conduct a Google search, you’re given a list of links that match your search criteria, and under each link is a quick summary of what the page contains. That summary is the meta description. And it’s important that your own Web pages and blog posts have their own meta descriptions so as to take full advantage of this precious online real estate.

The meta description is an invaluable opportunity to capture some keywords and to make a strong first impression on search engine users—persuading them to actually click the link and visit your website. But in order for this to happen, you have to write a good, persuasive piece of copy—all while keeping it to 160 characters or less. (If it is more, Google will likely cut it off mid-sentence.)

4 Elements of a Strong Meta Description

There are four key elements that make any meta description effective:

  1. Your branded keywords. What we mean by this, generally speaking, is your company name. Grammar Chic blog posts always have our company name in the meta description, to start building some Google collateral and to make sure our content is clearly marked as our own.
  2. Additional keywords. One or two focus keywords, designed to attract search engine users, should also be worked into the meta description. For example, in a post that offers content marketing tips, we might include content marketing or content marketing solutions as our focus keywords.
  3. A statement of value. Why should search engine users click through to your content? Your meta description should summarize not only what the content is about, but how someone will benefit from reading it.
  4. A call to action. We’d also recommend a call to action—an insistence that your search engine user click through to read your content.

That may sound like an awful lot to encompass in 160 characters, but it’s more than possible. We’ll show you. Here’s the meta description used for this very blog post:

Writing meta descriptions is key to owning the Google SERP—but how is it done? Get meta description tips from the team at Grammar Chic, Inc.

You’ll see there our company name, a focus keyword (meta description tips), value (learning tips to own your Google SERP), and a call to action (Get…).

That’s just one example—but maybe you’d like to see how meta description writing could work for your content. We’d love to show you. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. to start a conversation. Contact us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Ways to Make Your Call to Action More Compelling

Around here, we recommend to our clients that basically every piece of marketing collateral they write include a call to action. The call to action helps direct the reader, helps show them what step they need to take next—whether that means buying a product, signing up for an email newsletter, or simply clicking to your business website.

The idea is that you can’t just assume people will do what you want them to do, any more than you might assume your teenage son will take out the trash for you. Generally speaking, if you want it to happen, you need to say so. That’s what makes the call to action so valuable. It’s a prompt for your reader to do the thing you want them to do.

Not every call to action is effective, though. You might ask the reader to do something, and the reader might effectively say thanks but no thanks. The good news is, you can make your call to action more persuasive, more effective, more compelling—and we’ll show you how.

Write with Repetition

The human brain naturally looks for patterns, and for repeated words and phrases. It seeks out concepts or ideas that are important. That’s a psychological feature you can exploit in your calls to action.

Here’s how. Say you want your reader to save money on their auto maintenance needs by choosing your oil change and lube shop over a dealership. You should write a marketing email or blog that uses that key phrase—save money—several times over. Then, when you get to the call to action, frame it similarly. Save money by scheduling your oil change with us now!

By that point, your reader’s brain has been trained to really hone in on that phrase, save money—and ultimately to associate it with your call to action. By clicking the link or calling you on the phone, they assume, they’ll be able to save money, as promised throughout your content.

Make it Urgent

Are you familiar with the concept of FOMO? The fear of missing out? It’s a marketing principle that hinges on this basic idea: People don’t like to feel like they’re being excluded, or that they’re somehow not getting the same perks that other people are getting.

Along similar lines, people don’t like to think that there’s a really great offer that could pass them by. Your call to action can be more effective when it connects to this sense of urgency, then. Include phrases like limited time offer in your call to action, and motivate readers to follow through before they miss their window!

Focus on Benefits

This may be the most foundational, more important call to action rule of them all. If you want people to do something, you’ve got to show what’s in it for them. You’ve got to tell them that they will be better off for having done the thing you want them to do. You have to convey benefit to them.

That’s why your call to action won’t work as well if all it says is contact us today. Why should people contact you today? What value will it provide them? How will the experience enrich them? Those are the questions any good call to action must address.

Take Away Risk

One final way to make your call to action more compelling: Eliminate fear and risk. Let the reader know that they have nothing to worry about. Call today for a free consultation—with no obligation. Order today, and we guarantee you’ll love our product—or your money back. Those are the kinds of reassurances your customers are ultimately looking for.

And speaking of which: There’s no risk and no obligation when you call the Grammar Chic team to ask about our content writing services. We’d love to chat with you about how we can transform your calls to action into real money-makers for your business. Contact us to begin the process: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Why Content Marketing is Perfect for Brand New Companies

Launching a new company is always a little daunting—and one of the greatest challenges of all is building a name and a reputation. A well-established brand like Coca Cola can fall back on decades of associations and general consumer familiarity; when you have a startup that nobody’s ever heard of, though, generating buzz can feel like an uphill climb.

One of the best ways to stake out a name for your company is to invest in content marketing. Indeed, we’d say that content marketing is uniquely helpful for brand new businesses—and we’ll tell you why.

Content Marketing Makes You Credible

Why should consumers trust you with their hard-earned money—especially when you don’t have much of a track record to fall back on? To cut through their distrust and cynicism, it’s vital that you prove yourself to be reputable and authoritative.

Content marketing can help you do that. You can display real thought leadership, and offer invaluable insight and advice. You can prove that you know what you’re talking about through helpful blog posts, how-to videos, etc.

The secret here? You have to give away content that’s actionable and valuable. That’s the only way buyers will know that they can trust you to truly help them.

Content Marketing Drives Traffic

The website of a brand-new, not-yet-established business offers limited interest to the average consumer. Social media posts and blog entries that speak more immediately to consumer needs, though—those things can grab attention. And in doing so, they can also send people to your website.

Content marketing is the gateway. It’s what gets people through the door. But once they’re in, you can use compelling calls to action to point them to your website, where you can lead them down the sales funnel. As a subset of that, you can always use content marketing to grow your contact list; for instance, by asking for a name and email address in exchange for a really compelling white paper or downloadable PDF.

Content Marketing Can Clarify Your Value Proposition

The bottom line, really, is that consumers may have a hard time wrapping their head around what, exactly, your new business offers—or what’s in it for them. Content marketing can be your vessel for identifying problems and pointing to your company as the solution. And by showcasing your know-how in a non-salesy way, you can ultimately help consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you, providing them a better sense of how you can deliver value—and how they can benefit.

If you’re starting a new business, you can use content marketing to get a head start on your branding—and we’d like to help. Have a conversation with the Grammar Chic content marketing team today: Reach out at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media

Are You Undermining Your Own Content Marketing?

We meet a lot of small business owners who have only the best intentions for their own content marketing efforts—but, well, you know what they say about good intentions. Sometimes, you can be totally committed to a content marketing plan but also subtly, unintentionally undermine it, diminishing its impact through a haphazard or misguided strategy.

We’ll show you what we mean. Below, we’ll list some common ways in which content marketing is set up to fail. We’d encourage you to steer clear of any of these potentially disastrous practices.

Common Errors in Content Marketing

Putting Together a Sloppy Editorial Calendar—or No Editorial Calendar at All

You should have a basic road map for your upcoming blog posts and social media shares; we’d recommend planning at least a week in advance. This ensures that, even on a busy day, you still have an idea of what you’re supposed to be posting that day, and that there aren’t any gaps in your social sharing. A slapdash editorial calendar—or the complete lack of one—means you’re marketing without a clear sense of the big picture. If you need help putting together a good, well-organized editorial calendar, contact Grammar Chic, Inc.

Pouring All Your Effort into One Type of Content

Variety is needed for a strong content strategy. Blogs are usually going to be foundational, but we also recommend emails, white papers, video, images and infographics, and more. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

Having the Wrong Goals

It’s great to dream of your content going viral—but not only is that unlikely, it’s also unneeded. You need your content to resonate with a specific, targeted audience—the local consumers who might buy from you. That’s both a more modest goal and a more achievable one.

Not Sharing Enough

How many times do you share a company blog post, on average? If the answer is just once, you need to up the ante and start getting more mileage out of your content!

Not Considering Mobile Users

Do your blog posts and company Web pages look good on mobile devices of all kinds? If you’re not sure, now is the time to check—and to ask your Web developer for some help if you don’t like what you see. You can’t afford to leave mobile users out in the cold, as they likely make up more than half of your user base.

Ignoring Metrics

Metrics and analytics show you how well your content is performing, and which types of content seem to get the most traction with your readers. To ignore your metrics is to fly blind through your content marketing efforts.

Bring it All Together

There are a lot of little ways in which your content marketing efforts can come up short—which is why we recommend working under the guidance of professionals. We’d love to chat with you about breathing new life into your content marketing. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. to learn more, either at www.grammarchic.net or at 803-831-7444.

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5 Rules to Improve Your Email Marketing

Tired of sending emails to your subscriber list and getting nothing in return? There are some simple steps you can take to transform your email marketing campaign into a powerful, results-getting arm of your broader content marketing strategy. In this post, we’re going to break it down for you, with some foolproof tips and strategies.

Rule #1: You MUST Write Compelling Subject Lines

You’ve got a short window of time in which to make a strong first impression and to persuade your recipient to actually open and read your email. Your email subject line is where you do that, so it’s got to pop. Put some time into this. Force yourself to keep it to seven words or less. Convey value in your subject line. And make it sound personal, without including a specific recipient name. You’ll also want to keep playing around with new subject lines, A/B testing them and finding what works and what doesn’t work for your audience.

Rule #2: You MUST Segment Your Email List

Your emails need to convey value that is specific to each recipient—and while you can’t afford to write a personal email to everyone on your list, you can at least break down your list into some sub-groupings. Here at Grammar Chic, we have clients who come to us for marketing and clients who come to us for resume services, and it wouldn’t make much sense to send marketing-related emails to resume clients. That’s where segmentation becomes invaluable.

Rule #3: Your Emails MUST Offer Value

What’s in it for me? That’s what your recipients will be asking as they read your email. They need to walk away from it with something of value, whether that means news on an upcoming product, a discount, a promotion, or an actionable tip. Make sure your emails have substance. Make sure they convey value.

Rule #4: Your Email Campaign MUST Have a Clear Goal

To tell whether or not your email marketing is succeeding, you’ll need to define success. Are you looking to get phone calls? Website traffic? Buys for a specific product or service? Your email marketing objective will impact your metrics as well as your actual CTA.

Rule #5: Your Emails MUST Be Brief

Nobody has time to read a 500-word email. Get to the point. Be light and engaging. And be fun to read. Really, those are invaluable traits for any successful marketing email.

Transform Your Email Marketing

These rules will help you turn your email marketing list into a true asset. To really take things to the next level, we’d invite you to consult with our writers and email marketing pros. We can help you craft email messages that get results.

Learn more by reaching out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today, either at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Business Writing, Email Writing

5 Things That Compromise Your Mobile SEO

When someone pulls out their smartphone to search for a local business—whether they’re sitting at home on the couch or walking down the street, plotting the next phase of their errand-running—you want them to find your business. That’s why you have invested in a good mobile website. It’s why you keep up with the rigors of mobile SEO.

But be careful: There are a number of things that can cause those mobile SEO efforts to fall flat. Here are just a few of them—things to be careful of as you try to reach as many mobile consumers as you can.

Where Mobile SEO Goes Wrong

Slow Site Speed

Did you know that a majority of Google search users say they give up on a site if it takes more than three seconds to load? Three seconds! That’s not a lot of time to get your page up and running. Do some tests, on multiple devices, to make sure it loads quickly—and if it doesn’t, talk with your developer about how to speed things up. (Some possible solutions: Remove large images and video files from your home page, or create shorter content for your mobile pages.)

Pop-Up Ads

Not only are pop-ups potentially draining to your site speed, but they can also take up the entirety of a mobile browser screen—and if they are hard to get rid of, users will likely just navigate away. Even if your pop-up has a really killer CTA, you should think seriously about jettisoning it.

Unplayable Content

Does your video/multimedia content play properly on all types of devices? Are you sure? Not only does this content cause slow speeds (again), but it can be really frustrating when it doesn’t work—and it frequently doesn’t.

Generally Bad Mobile Design

Your site should be easy to read and to navigate on all types of mobile device—period. Tiny fonts, cluttered screens, hyperlink text that can’t be read—these are all deal-breakers.

Bland or Mushy Content

Mobile users need you to get right to the point, which means your content should immediately convey value—and come with plenty of strong calls to action. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t be surprised when the site fails to make much of an impact.

Step Up Your Mobile SEO

There are a number of potential problems that can drag down your mobile SEO efforts—but none of them are problems without solutions.

If your issue is content-related—if you don’t know the best way to make your value proposition punchy, or if you need help crafting the perfect CTA—we’d love to talk with you.

Contact the Grammar Chic content writing team for a consultation today. Reach us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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6 User Experience Errors That Will Sink Your Content Marketing

We’re often asked about the best strategies to marry content marketing with effective SEO. The basic premise is really simple: If you want to find favor with search engine algorithms, it’s important to first find favor with human readers. Making your content easy to discover, to read, and to digest—that’s all Google really wants you to do.

An implication of this is that, if you sacrifice the user experience—if you create content that doesn’t provide value to the reader, or that makes that value difficult to excavate—it’s inevitable that you’ll see a drop-off in Google traction.

This introduces a question. Is your content user-friendly? Or, to come at it from a different angle, are you doing anything in your company blog posts and in your Web content that’s compromising the user experience—and, thus, sinking your SEO?

Allow us to point out just a few common user experience errors that can make your content difficult to digest—and thus, less likely to find favor with Google’s algorithms.

Where Content Marketing Goes Wrong

Insufficient Substance/Length

We’ve blogged recently about word count, and about how there’s no simple answer to the question of how long your content should be. With that said, the basic principle to keep in mind is that you need to offer value without fluff—and a blog post that’s just 200 words probably isn’t fully addressing your readers’ questions. Aim for posts that really tackle your topic thoroughly and substantively; skimpy posts do not provide for a satisfying user experience any more than overly long, rambling ones do.

Bland and Boring Layouts

What’s the old saying about pictures and words? Well, we’d say you need both. A boring, black-and-white layout isn’t going to capture the reader’s attention. Make sure you embed pictures, videos, and other rich and colorful content into your blog posts and throughout your website.

Misspellings or Bad Grammar

If your content is laden with typos, it’s not going to come across as trustworthy or authoritative—so you can’t expect to see much in the way of backlinks. Readers won’t put up with poorly proofed content for long.

Unbroken Content

You need content breaks to make your posts easier to maneuver—and to skim. Make sure you break things down with section subheadings, bullet points, lists, etc.

Rambling Paragraphs

Similarly, avoid unbroken streams of text that just run on and on forever. Short paragraphs are key!

No Call to Action

A good blog post or website will direct the reader to what they need to do next; it will crystalize their action steps. That’s what a CTA is all about—so don’t neglect them!

Write Content That Gets Read

Our suggestion for you? Talk with Grammar Chic about improving the user experience in your content. We know how to write content that gets read—and content that gets ranked. Reach out to us at 803-831-7444, or at www.grammarchic.net, to start a conversation.

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Filed under Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media