Tag Archives: professional writing services

5 Ways You’re Botching Your Blog’s SEO

Blogging is one of the things we’re most proficient in here at Grammar Chic, Inc., and it’s a true honor to have so many small and medium-sized businesses entrust us with their blogging needs.

When new companies come to us wanting help on the blog front, they tend to have a couple of different emphases. First, they want something that will be compelling to their customers—compelling enough to elicit social media shares and perhaps even light up their phone lines. Second, they want something that will rank well on Google. After all, what’s the point of a business blog if no one can see it?

And here’s the tricky thing about blogging: It can be an absolutely critical tool for improving search engine visibility, but only if careful attention is paid to a few technical dimensions of the blog itself. Far too often, we see business blogs that have been written well, but not necessarily optimized well. Simply put, there are some key blunders that make otherwise-good blog posts less than SEO-friendly.

Naturally, you’ll want to avoid these blunders. Allow us to point out some of the most common ones.

Forgetting Keywords

There’s been a curious shift in the way people perceive keywords; where they used to be overemphasized, now they’re all too often overlooked. So let us clear this up: You definitely don’t want to force a bunch of ill-fitting keywords into your content, but you do want to have a couple of target keywords to guide your content creation. Use them as organically as you can, and try to smoothly work them into the following places:

  • Your title
  • Your meta description
  • Section sub-headings
  • Body content—not excessively, but wherever they naturally fit

Not Creating a Meta Description

Speaking of the meta description, each individual blog post should have one—roughly 150 characters to summarize your content, lay out your value proposition to readers, work in a keyword or two, and end with a call to action.

Not Formatting for Readability

Keep in mind just how many of your blogs will be read by people on their mobile devices, waiting in doctor’s officers, stuck in traffic, or taking a quick break from work. Making for fast, easy readability is key. Think:

  • Bullet points
  • Lists
  • Section sub-headings
  • Short paragraphs
  • Images and/or embedded video

Not Including a Call to Action

Every blog should have a strong call to action, inviting the reader to take the next step. Include your company contact information here for best results, especially in terms of local search.

Not Offering Value

A good blog post should be substantive and value-adding—which means providing take-away points for your readers; enough length to do your topic justice; and some external and/or internal links to related resources. Remember that by writing for the end user, you’re ultimately making your blog more appealing to Google.

Blog Better. Avoid SEO Blunders.

These are all potentially serious errors, yet they can also be very easily avoided. One way to steer clear of them: Trust your blogging to the pros. Learn more by contacting Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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

Four Ways to Ensure an Effective Cover Letter

Do recruiters and hiring managers actually read cover letters? Our resume writing professionals get this question all the time, and the short answer is yes, they absolutely do. A cover letter, when done right, provides a quick, concise window into the resume itself—and helps recruiters determine whether it’s really worth their while to investigate the job candidate further.

But wait. You’ll notice we said something about cover letters done right. Not all of them are, and a bad cover letter can hurt your case more than it helps it. So how can you be sure your cover letter is crafted to get results?

Make it short.

There are four recommendations we’ll offer, and the first is to keep it concise. Remember that the cover letter is a summary of your resume, so it doesn’t need to be as long as the resume itself! What we recommend:

  • Keep it under a page.
  • Write an introductory paragraph, then a paragraph or so of career summary—basically explaining why you’re the right person for the job.
  • Include three or four bullet points, highlighting your biggest career accomplishments.
  • Wrap it up with a conclusion and a signature.

Make it specific.

Remember that old writer’s rule, show, don’t tell? That’s certainly true when you’re writing a cover letter. Don’t just tell the recruiter that you’re dedicated or hard-working or energetic; those are just clichés. Actually furnish them with specific achievements that set you apart. Use stats and numbers whenever you can. You’re not going to go through your whole career history in the cover letter, but you can hash out a few high points.

Make it personalized.

Most of the time, you should be able to avoid the general To Whom It May Concern greeting, addressing your cover letter to the specific recruiter you’re meeting with. If you don’t have the name handy, some social media research or a call to the company’s HR department can often give you what you need. Keep it personal if at all possible.

Make it job-specific.

You can’t afford to have just one go-to, generic cover letter in your arsenal. You should be customizing it to fit each position you apply for, honing in on the skill and accomplishments that best fit the job description.

With these four points, you can ensure that your cover letter is built to garner attention—and to lead recruiters deeper into your resume. And of course, our resume writing team can assist you in putting together both resume and cover letter; reach out to us to learn more! Connect with Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Cover Letters, Resume Writing, Resumes

The Art of Writing Strong FAQ Content

There are certain website pages that are more or less standard. Every company website has a home page, for example. Most have an About page, and perhaps a page for Products and/or Services. A Contact Us page is also commonplace.

And then we come to the FAQ. While this is not a requirement for your business website, it is by no means uncommon, either. But would your company website be improved by an FAQ page? And if so, how can you write one effectively?

Do You Really Need an FAQ Page?

We’ll note from the get-go that not every company website needs to have a page for frequently asked questions. The Grammar Chic, Inc. site does not currently have one, for example. However, there are a few good reasons why you might consider adding an FAQ:

  • You actually do receive a lot of common or repeat questions, and wish to provide your customers with a quick and convenient resource.
  • You have a product or service that is a bit unusual or unfamiliar, and wish to build confidence and trust.
  • You believe there are some specific things that set your company apart from the competition, and want to articulate those in an FAQ. (For example, having a “how much does it cost?” section can be beneficial if you know your business bests all the competitor’s prices.)
  • You simply want to create a page that includes a lot of content/topics/keywords for SEO purposes—an FAQ can certainly be a good place to put a big bunch of content.

Again, the FAQ page is not for everyone—but if any of these bullet points resonate with you, perhaps it’s time to consider drafting one.

Writing a Good FAQ Page

The next question is, how do you write effective FAQ content? Here are some pointers.

  • Remember that—as with all of your online content—it’s not really about you. It’s about your readers and your customers. Make sure you’re writing an FAQ that’s actually helpful and value-adding—or else, don’t write one at all.
  • Going back through customer comments and emails to find real questions or areas of interest/concern is the best way to ensure your FAQ is relevant.
  • Be concise; offer the necessary information, but no fluff.
  • Remember to format for easy skimming, as most people aren’t just going to read an FAQ from top to bottom. Numbered lists and bullet points are key.
  • Remember that a good FAQ page will build trust, so avoid your sales pitch or marketing spiel here. The point of this content is to help the reader feel more at ease, not like you’re hammering them with your talking points.

Professional FAQ Writing Services from Grammar Chic, Inc.

One more thing: The Grammar Chic, Inc. team provides diverse Web content writing services for businesses all over the world, and as such as have plenty of experience writing compelling FAQ content. We’d love to write one for your business. Learn more by reaching out to us for a consultation. Hit us up at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Is Your Content Marketing Working? Take Inventory.

When you publish a new piece of online content—whether a video, a blog post, or a simple tweet—it can be exciting. It can also be very uncertain. You have big aspirations for how your content will impact your brand, but no way of knowing, in the moment, whether those lofty plans will pan out.

That’s what makes data so important, of course; by digging into website analytics, you can get some sense of how well your content is (or isn’t) working.

But even armed with numbers from, say, Google Analytics, it can be a little bit challenging to determine just how well your content is working out. As you take an inventory, consider these seven questions. Your honest answers may reveal much about the quality and efficacy of your content marketing endeavors.

Ask the Right Questions About Your Content Marketing

What keywords do people use to locate my content? Hopefully, you have a list of keywords you’re using on blog posts as well as PPC ads. And ideally, your Google Analytics show you that these keywords are indeed relevant to your website traffic. But if you don’t even know your keywords, it probably means you haven’t laid a good foundation for content marketing success.

What types of content do my readers engage with the most? Do you have a sense of which topics and channels get the most traction—and do you have data to back that up? Again, if you don’t know the answers, it suggests that you’re flying blind.

How long do readers stay on my website? A high bounce rate means the content on your site isn’t doing its job, plain and simple—and that it’s time to make your online presence more valuable and appealing.

Is your social engagement increasing? Using your social media dashboard of choice (say, Hootsuite) or simply the internal data provided by Facebook and other channels, you should have a good idea of whether your social engagement is growing, shrinking, or remaining static. Hopefully, your likes and shares are becoming more numerous over time.

Is your content creating website traffic? Are your social media pages primary traffic referrers for your company website? It’s always a good sign when they are!

Is your email list growing? If more people are signing up for your company email list, it bodes well for the kind of content you’re producing.

How is my online reputation? Do a quick Google search for your brand, and see what comes up. If it’s positive reviews, favorable mentions, and your own digital assets, that’s definitely a good sign.

Get Content Marketing That Works

If you’re not pleased with your answers to these questions, maybe it’s time for a consultation with content marketing professionals. The Grammar Chic, Inc. team can help you develop content that gets real results. Contact us today at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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Is Your Resume Making You Look Unprofessional?

What if you walked into a job interview wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt, ripped jeans, and bright orange sneakers? In most cases, the interviewer would rightly conclude that you’re not very professional. You may actually be a supremely talented and hard-working employee, and a great fit for the company—but your lack of professionalism could rob you of the opportunity.

In much the same way, a resume can sometimes scream “unprofessional” to whoever sees it. That may not be a fair appraisal of your character, but it’s what the resume conveys—and just like the tie-dyed T-shirt, this lack of professionalism can cost you a career opportunity.

But how do you know your resume is giving off an unprofessional vibe? Here are a few dead giveaways.

Goofy Email Handles

Going by the RunnerGal77, WeezerFan_01, or a similarly flippant email handle can actually be a turn-off to employers, for the simple reason that it comes across as juvenile and, well, unprofessional.  Make sure your resume has a clean, reputable email address on it—some variation on your name, with a recognized email platform like Gmail. Recent grads might also use their school email handle.

Typos of Any Kind

A true professional would take a few minutes to proofread their resume rather than send sloppy writing to a potential boss. Make sure your own resume is free of these unfortunate errors.

A Wall of Text

A resume needs to be readable, and as a courtesy to hiring managers, yours should include plenty of white space, section headings, and bullet points. If it’s just a big lump of unbroken text, that’s a headache for the reader—and not very professional at all.

Pure Fluff

A true professional is able to articulate his or her value and achievements—so a resume that just lists dates and job titles, without going into any kind of depth, is a missed opportunity.

Attempts at Being “Unique”

You should stand out for your achievements, your skills, and your experience—not because you were the one goofball who used Comic Sans, or laid out your resume with a bunch of strange colors.

Inject Professionalism into Your Resume

Your resume should exude professionalism from top to bottom—and we can help you achieve that lofty goal. Reach out to our professional resume writing team today. You can connect with Grammar Chic, Inc. at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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7 Things to Do Before You Start a Content Marketing Campaign

It’s never too late for your company to launch its own outbound marketing strategy—building authority, establishing trust, and boosting conversion rates though compelling content distribution.

Though content marketing is nothing new, we still encounter many business owners who are coming to it for the first time, eager to drive value through blogging, video, social media, and beyond.

Enthusiasm goes a long way in content marketing, but wait: Before you get swept away, we have a few foundational steps you should take.

Before You Start Content Marketing…

  1. First, make sure you understand what content marketing actually is. Don’t do it just to do it. Do it because you really understand how value-adding content enhances your brand, cultivates loyalty, adds SEO power, and leads your buyers down the sales funnel. Take some time to read up on content marketing and to understand the merits of “selling without selling.”
  2. Set some goals. What do you hope to achieve through content marketing? How will you measure results and define success? Are you seeking better online reviews? Increased website traffic? Higher search engine visibility? A more robust and engaged social media following? Define your objectives and your major benchmarks before you get started.
  3. Know your audience. For whom are you creating content? Which values, pain points, and common queries should your content address? Create detailed buyer personas so that, when you start building a content portfolio, you’ll have someone specific to whom you can address it.
  4. Define the right channels. Most small businesses simply can’t spare the resources needed to maintain activity on a half dozen social media platforms, plus a blog, a YouTube channel, etc. Trying to do so can actually dilute the impact of your content, so it’s generally better to be focused and strategic in the content distribution channels you choose. Both your goals and your audience are relevant to this decision.
  5. Research your industry. What do your competitors do for content? What are the hot topics? What seem to be the best ways to garner attention? What room is there for your brand to carve out a niche for itself?
  6. Make an editorial calendar. You won’t succeed by creating new content on the fly, with no broader timeline or plan. It’s important to exercise some forethought in your content creation.
  7. Consider ghost bloggers and content marketing strategists. Content marketing can sometimes be a full-time job, and one that requires a high level of strategy. If you feel like it’s going to be a strain, reach out to the content marketing team at Grammar Chic, Inc. We’ll offer a free consultation about our services, answer any questions you have, and provide a detailed proposal.

Get Grammar Chic’s take on things, and make sure you have the foundations for content marketing success. Reach out to us at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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The Right Way to Use SEO Keywords in Your Company Blog

One way to add SEO value to your written content is to include keywords. This is one of the oldest practices in all of digital marketing, yet also one of the least understood.

There have been a lot of pendulum shifts in the way marketers understand keywords; for a time, keywords were gleefully stuffed into every piece of content, and then there was a season when many wondered if keywords were on their way out.

The truth is that keywords still matter a great deal, and inserting them properly can add tremendous SEO value to your writing—yet judicious and strategic keyword use is something that requires some forethought and some discipline.

In this post, we’ll offer some basic practices for ensuring that, when you add keywords to your content, you do so effectively.

Keywords Drive Content—Not the Other Way Around

First, it’s really ideal if you use keywords as your starting point. Come up with your targeted keywords before you do any writing, and allow them to guide your approach—your topic selection, your structure, etc. This way, the keywords are worked into your content more organically.

The alternative is to write a piece of content and then add keywords after the fact. This isn’t optimal because it means the keywords will likely stick out like sore thumbs, or disrupt the flow of the writing. The goal should always be for your keyword use to be natural and seamless.

Keywords Reveal Something About Your Readers

Another important concept is keyword intent. If someone is searching for a particular keyword, it’s because he or she is seeking a certain kind of information. Think about why your buyers would be searching for a particular set of keywords, and what it says about their pain points and their ideal solutions.

This allows you to craft content where your keywords are not only present, but used in such a way to address the reader’s questions and provide a real sense of value. In other words, your keywords are in the content as answers, not just as SEO add-ons.

The Best Places to Include Keywords

Getting caught up in how many keywords is usually a dead end, but we do recommend trying to include keywords in a few strategic locations. Here are the places where keywords offer the most SEO value.

Headline

Include a keyword within the first 65 characters of your headline, if at all possible.

Body Text

The body of your blog post should have keywords used naturally throughout. Remember to never force them or stuff them; just use them where they fit naturally, ensuring that the content still reads well.

URL

A vanity URL slug, with your keyword included, is a great SEO feature.

Meta Description

Another great, often-overlooked place to add keywords is in your blog’s meta description.

Write Blogs with SEO Value

Keywords aren’t everything, but they can make your content more discoverable among search engine users. The Grammar Chic, Inc. team offers unsurpassed expertise in writing blog content with SEO value in mind. To talk to one of our ghost bloggers today, contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Web Content