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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.

 

Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
2 Tips to Write More Readable Copy
Nov 26, 2014

When was the last time you checked your copy's grade level reading scores? American's reading ability is declining. And you...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
If Your Site Is Not Mobile-Friendly—Fix It Now!
Nov 25, 2014

If you rely on search to assist new users in finding your site, you must now make sure that your...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
Direct Mail That Worked on Me
Nov 25, 2014

I admit that I am very interested in direct mail. So I like to look to my mail box both...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
A Postal Wish List for 2015 - I Wish I Could Say I Am Thankful
Nov 24, 2014

We are amid the Holiday 2014 mailing season, based on my home address catalog count of 33 so far (since...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
Death of the Salesman
Nov 21, 2014

There's no question that the Willy Lomans of this world have been dying a slow, agonizing death—only instead of losing...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
How Do You Spell ROI?
Nov 20, 2014

Return on Investment: Everybody's talking about ROI, but not everyone agrees on what it is. Given the various ways that...



Mobile-First Marketing

Greg Hoy
Tracking Mobile Ad Effectiveness With Real-Time Data
Nov 19, 2014

The volume of mobile data and the speed at which it is created continues to increase as the global population...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
The Power of Interstitials … Are You Using Them?
Nov 18, 2014

Whether your goal is cross-selling or lead generation, interstitials are a great way to get your website visitors' attention and...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Moving Upstream on Cart Abandonment
Nov 17, 2014

After speaking at a conference on the topic of email automation for your online store, I was approached by more...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
Social Selling on LinkedIn Doesn’t Require Thought Leadership (Part 2 of 3)
Nov 14, 2014

This social selling best practice is actually the worst—causing frustration and failure. I'm talking about "becoming a thought leader in...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Take Along, Share and Simplify: Essential Verbs to Enhance Your Brand Strategy in 2015, Part 2
Dec 9, 2014

Back in November, I shared with you two essential verbs to enhance your brand strategy: amaze and respect. Now I...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Not All Databases Are Created Equal
Nov 6, 2014

Not all databases are created equal. No kidding. That is like saying that not all cars are the same, or...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
What the Growth of Inside Sales Means to B-to-B Marketers
Nov 4, 2014

I heard an arresting comment at the LeadsCon conference in New York in August. The speaker claimed that inside sales...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Marketing Success Is (Almost) All About the Data: Optimizing Customer Loyalty Behavior Initiatives
Oct 7, 2014

Much of what I've learned over the years about sales, marketing and customer service has to do with the critical...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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)...



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.