SEO: Update Your Virtual Mullet
Tom Chu and Dominic Leung, owners of Luster Forever, found themselves in need of an extreme search engine optimization content strategy makeover.
The partners launched their jewelry Web site in July 2008. Chu, previous owner of another successful site, eAutoWorks.com, created the design. Leung wrote the initial copy. They worked with a consultant to nail down the target market—fashion-forward women ages 18-35. The partners even traveled to China and hand-picked hard-to-find pieces.
Their launch met with so-so success. The copy wasn’t converting, average order volume was low and the site wasn’t seeing significant organic search rankings.
So, the co-owners made a savvy search engine move: They developed an SEO content strategy—and their rankings, conversions and average order volume transformed from drab into fab.
If your company hasn’t uploaded new copy since President Bush (No. 43) left office, read on. It’s time to update your SEO content strategy in seven easy steps.
No. 1: Find Your Site’s Unique Corporate Style and Benefits
Some sites suffer from a mishmash of competing voices; a consistent tone and feel is nowhere to be found. Or, the tone, feel and benefit statements are outdated for today’s target prospect.
Consider the best approach to reach your target audience today (as opposed to what worked a year ago). What benefit statements work best? How should your new copy read? Will it have a fun and irreverent style like Despair Inc. and Clear? Will it read best if it is tightly targeted toward women, like Femail Creations? Or if it is benefit-oriented B-to-B, such as Cisco?
Finding your site’s unique tone, feel and style means trying on different content approaches, testing the results (Google’s Website Optimizer is great for analyzing copy) and modifying your messaging. You’ll find that like a custom-tailored jacket, a customized tone and feel sprinkled with tightly honed benefits gets noticed right away.
Luster Forever faced a major tone and feel switch as part of its content strategy. Like many sites, the writing style appealed to everyone but was targeted toward no one (the writing referred to the hottest young adult trends and Oscar de la Renta in the same sentence). Now, the text is closely targeted toward trend-setting hipsters. And the conversion rates have been slammin’ since.
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.