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SEO & Content Marketing Revue

SEO & Content Marketing Revue

By Heather Lloyd-Martin

About Heather

Described as a fast-talking, fiery redhead, Heather Lloyd-Martin is a 20-year marketing veteran, a recognized author and considered the pioneer of SEO copywriting. Recognized worldwide as a first-generation search marketing expert, she has been training corporate in-house SEO copywriters and creating revenue-driving Web site content campaigns via her consultancy, SuccessWorks.

 

Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
Mindset and Measurement
Jul 2, 2014

In her book, "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck purports that people possess one of...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
Is Every Door Direct Mail Right for You?
Jul 24, 2014

Every Door Direct Mail is a service designed by the USPS to help businesses reach every address in a neighborhood....



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Linger Longer: A Branding Imperative
Jul 23, 2014

"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language," wrote Henry...



Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
Stimulating Action With Color
Jul 22, 2014

There is growing scientific evidence of how the brain processes color and how color impacts our feelings and how we...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
The Mailboxes of My Memory
Jul 21, 2014

In my life, I've had a lot of mailboxes. My current box (New York, N.Y.) is part of an apartment...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
Trickery Is Not a Marketing Strategy
Jul 18, 2014

Despite what some people may think, I was not born yesterday. But lately I feel like I've been duped by...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Big Data Must Get Smaller
Jul 17, 2014

Like many folks who worked in the data business for a long time, I don't even like the words "Big...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Avoiding the One-Night Stand
Jul 15, 2014

Stating that all customers are not created equal is hardly an oversimplification. But, just like the pigs in Orwell's "Animal...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Collaborating With Sales for Sales
Jul 14, 2014

I presented the Bottoms-Up Marketing webinar a couple weeks ago, and following the event found the same question had been...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
LinkedIn Prospecting: What Should You Post on LinkedIn and When?
Jul 11, 2014

What should you post on LinkedIn and when should you post it? These are common questions for B-to-B marketers and...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
B-to-B Marketing Is Falling Down on the Job
Jul 9, 2014

I heard a horror story the other day—a consumer packaged goods executive ranting about a meeting with a vendor. "I...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
Google: The Elephant for Search Marketers
Jul 8, 2014

Pierre Trudeau, the former Canadian Prime Minister, once remarked about the United States: "Living next to you is in some...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
How to Create High Performing Sweepstakes for Lead-Gen Efforts
Jul 1, 2014

OK, I know what you're thinking … viable leads typically don't come from sweepstakes and contests. And when not done...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



Who's Your Data?

Rio Longacre
Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?
Dec 19, 2012

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does...



The Whole Magilla

Ken Magill
What Marketers Can Learn From Maine's Political Email Idiocy
Feb 24, 2012

It finally happened. Politicians' idiotic email practices had a measurable negative effect. "Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted...



Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch
The Internet Can Make You a Chump—Forever!
Sep 25, 2010

Trouble is, the Internet is rife with misinformation and if you get caught advertently or inadvertently propagating this nonsense in...



5 Ways to Make Your Product Copy "Pop"

5
 

Yesterday, I got a call from a highly frustrated e-commerce marketer: "We have a smart in-house SEO and our platform is solid. The problem is, our product pages aren't ranking. What are we doing wrong?"

I surfed over to their site and noticed a major problem. Their product content was pulled directly from the manufacturers' copy.

That may not sound like a big deal. But it is. Here's why.

Imagine that you're an e-commerce retailer selling, say, a high-end ergonomic office chair. And let's say that you upload the exact verbiage that appears on the manufacturer's site (which is the "official" product description).

Sure, this sounds like an easy way to go. After all, rewriting or "tweaking" thousands of product pages sounds like a daunting task. But here's the problem …

Chances are, many of your competitors are using the exact same strategy—and their Web page copy will read exactly like yours. Exactly.

Suddenly, seeing prime search engine rankings is that much harder. You're not just competing with other companies that sell the same product. Your company is competing in the search engines with hundreds (or thousands) of companies with the exact same sales copy.

Who do you think is going to be No. 1 for that product search? Unless you're the manufacturer, it's probably not your company; your site sounds the same as everyone else. Heck, your product page may not even position in the top 100 search results with that strategy.

The "winner" will be the company that spent the time to wordsmith its content—and make its product copy "pop."

A huge untapped opportunity for a plethora of e-commerce sites is revamping (or significantly tweaking) their product copy. Think about it: Product-label copy isn't keyphrase-rich. It's not constructed to maximize its search engine ranking potential. Nor is it necessarily targeted towards your customer base.

In short, it's great as offline product copy. But for online … not so much.

The key is to spend time writing your product copy in a way that pops off the page. You need to include the product specs and features, yes—and that may mean using some existing product copy.

But it also means having a savvy content marketing strategy in mind so your product copy does well with search engines and your customers.

Here are some things you can do:

1. Include user reviews. Reviews provide fantastic user-generated content, and they often naturally use the main page keyphrases (for instance, people would probably include a brand/product name like "Kodak EasyShare C180" in their review). Reviews provide your company "free" additional content that's a huge value-add to your site visitors. Plus, keyphrase research shows that people search for "product review" keyphrases. Why not give your customers what they want to read?

2. Want to keep the product spec copy? Give yourself the best of both worlds. Include the product copy, but add some paragraphs to make the page keyphrase-rich, benefit-heavy and unique. You don't have to wax poetic and write more than 1,000 words. Depending on what you're selling, a paragraph or two is ideal. But those paragraphs can have a tremendous effect on your rankings and conversions.

3. Are certain products highly important to your bottom line? Completely rewrite those product pages. Yes, it's a pain and yes, it can be expensive. At the same time, you're ensuring the product copy is laser-focused towards your target audience. Companies that have created product pages from scratch often see better conversions compared to pages that weren't rewritten.

4. Create a compelling, clickable title. Remember that your first opportunity isn't when a customer hits your site—it's the search engine results page. If you create titles like:

<title>Kodak EasyShare C180 - 25% off and free shipping</title>

... you'll probably see better clickthroughs than with a title that reads:

<title>Kodak EasyShare C180 - Buycameras.com</title>

5.  Don't forget to weave in benefit statements. Remember, buying anything—from a new office chair to heavy machinery—means appealing to "what's in it for your customer." Focus your product copy on how your product will help your prospect. Will it save them money? Help them work more efficiently? Increase revenues? Penning specific benefit statements can transform your so-so copy into a high converting powerhouse.

Altering your product copy can seem overwhelming, especially when you have thousands of SKUs. But with the right content marketing strategy, you can have content that "pops" off the page—and see top-positioned content that converts like crazy.

5

COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Emily Foshee - Posted on May 13, 2010
Great article, Heather. Putting extra effort in at the beginning when you're creating a website is crucial to its success. Also, companies will benefit from doing a keyword search to determine which key words in their niche are getting the most traffic to help them determine which keywords to incorporate into their copy. The keywords getting the most hits aren't always the best choice to use in headlines and copy because the competition is greater for those words. But, that's a decision each company must make.
Heather Lloyd-Martin - Posted on April 21, 2010
Kim and Brian, thank you! I've worked with a number of retailers who drug their feet around the whole "changing up the product copy" thing. And I completely understand why they did - the thought of massaging all that product copy must have been highly overwhelming. Yet, when they *did* do the extra work, they saw such great returns that they wondered why they didn't do it earlier (isn't that always the case?!) Thanks so much for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.
Kim Butler - Posted on April 19, 2010
I completely agree Heather. In my experience, when the manufacturer's description is used verbatim, you can kiss that natural placement goodbye. I like your suggestions about the title. Great advice, once again!
Brian V. Hunt - Posted on April 19, 2010
As usual, Heather, great article. This is an area of SEO that I would not have considered. It clearly could be a bonanza for good freelance writers who know how to write copy that converts traffic into customers.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Emily Foshee - Posted on May 13, 2010
Great article, Heather. Putting extra effort in at the beginning when you're creating a website is crucial to its success. Also, companies will benefit from doing a keyword search to determine which key words in their niche are getting the most traffic to help them determine which keywords to incorporate into their copy. The keywords getting the most hits aren't always the best choice to use in headlines and copy because the competition is greater for those words. But, that's a decision each company must make.
Heather Lloyd-Martin - Posted on April 21, 2010
Kim and Brian, thank you! I've worked with a number of retailers who drug their feet around the whole "changing up the product copy" thing. And I completely understand why they did - the thought of massaging all that product copy must have been highly overwhelming. Yet, when they *did* do the extra work, they saw such great returns that they wondered why they didn't do it earlier (isn't that always the case?!) Thanks so much for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.
Kim Butler - Posted on April 19, 2010
I completely agree Heather. In my experience, when the manufacturer's description is used verbatim, you can kiss that natural placement goodbye. I like your suggestions about the title. Great advice, once again!
Brian V. Hunt - Posted on April 19, 2010
As usual, Heather, great article. This is an area of SEO that I would not have considered. It clearly could be a bonanza for good freelance writers who know how to write copy that converts traffic into customers.