Dot Com Words blog

10 Dec 2013

The best website copywriting tool ever

The humble ruler

It’s hard to spot errors in your own work.  Your brain is already familiar with the content so it naturally skims, not reading words properly and therefore not noticing typing errors and—gasp—misplaced apostrophes.

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16 Jul 2013

Kids say the darndest things: how my kids help my writing

My kids often muddle up their words and come out with the best lines.

my little superheroes help my writing

my little superheroes help my writing

They give me great inspiration for finding creative turns of phrase.   As a website copywriter it’s easy to get distracted into finding keyword placement opportunities and forget about readability.   Our friends at Google are rewarding good content, so it’s more important than ever to make sure my writing is fresh, original and, well, good quality.

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8 Jul 2013

Facebook: how often should I post?

Big or small, most businesses these days have a Facebook page.

Research from MYOB found that businesses active in social media are more likely to increase revenue. In addition, research by the IAB Social Media Council in the UK found that consumers are more likely to recommend brands they’ve seen on social media. Clearly, it’s an important part of any marketing mix.

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25 Jun 2013

How to use blogging to boost SEO

Blogging is great!  You can use a blog to meaningfully connect with your customers, share your expertise, raise your profile and increase your revenue.

But of course, one of the main reasons businesses blog is to improve SEO.   With a consistent approach, you can use your blog to boost your search engine rankings and perhaps even reach that elusive page one result.   Here’s some tips to help get you started.

Get your categories right

Before you start writing, consider the broader categories that your blog could cover.  Advice, tips, videos, photos and case studies are all great subjects.  Choose five or so umbrella categories. For example, if you were in the dog washing business your categories could be:

  1. dog breeds
  2. tips for at home care
  3. before and after photos
  4. reviews of dog wash products

Naturally, these categories highlight and reinforce your key terms: dogwashing.  Too clever!

Resist temptation to have too many categories.   There’s nothing worse than a long list of categories with only one article.  Keep in mind that most business blogs are abandoned due to lack of time so start small with a commitment to blog regularly and build up your content for each category.  You can always create more categories later.

Vary your headlines with alternate key words

Your headline is one of the key criteria that search engines assess. So use it wisely and try to incorporate your keywords, or alternatives.  Be warned: your main priority must be readability.   Don’t use your keywords if they are not relevant to your post.

For example, if you are a naturopath, your best keyword could be ‘Suburb Naturopath.’  It would be tricky to weave this keyword into a headline on an article about the latest research.   However, your headline could read ‘research shows GPs give naturopaths the thumbs up.’  This way, your headline reflects your content and you have naturopath in the title.  Not ‘Suburb Naturopath’, but pretty close.

Avoid keyword stuffing

The quickest way to being banned by search engines is to stuff your blog with keywords.  Aim for natural, logical incorporation of your keywords into your blog, and keep repetition to a minimum. Search engines increasingly reward quality writing so repeating your keywords unnecessarily will not help your rankings.

 Add sharing buttons

Search engines such as Google rank shared content and rate it highly, so it pays to encourage readers to share content.  A simple blog plugin can create icons for sharing via Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, Facebook and many others.  Avoid share icons that are whizzing around the page and creating a visual distraction.  Make it easy for your readers and you’ll increase the likelihood of getting shares, thus exposing your content to new audiences and boosting your SEO.

Keep your old content alive

Over time you’ll have amassed a library of useful and compelling articles.  Search engines rate how often content is viewed, so leaving it sit undiscovered wastes the opportunity for SEO.  Just make sure it’s still accurate and relevant first.

Visually highlight your archive content on your page and encourage more readers to discover it. Highlight related posts to encourage readers to see more articles on similar subjects.   Link to old posts within your current blog copy where relevant. From time to time, share archive content via your social networks to get more eyeballs reading it.   Work on reducing the number of clicks to reach your articles via good pagination, as search engines don’t want readers trawling through endless pages.

With these tips in mind and a consistent commitment to blog regularly, you should see a change in your SEO rankings. Good luck.

14 May 2013

People who write good

No sharing of advice and insights in this blog post.

From time to time, every blogger should produce a self-indulgent post, raving about inspiring, awesome people.

This is my turn.  These people would be ideal web copywriters for Dot Com Words, but probably have other things to do.

These wordsmiths are gut-thumpingly terrific and I heart them.

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26 Apr 2013

Three cheap and easy ways SMEs can create content

Content is king!   Creating and circulating valuable content can bring enormous benefits.

But what if your business isn’t newsworthy?  You don’t have a natural news cycle, and you’re struggling to find content.   We all know content has to be valuable, engaging and relevant.  Sometimes, that’s not easy.

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2 Apr 2013

The Ferris Bueller approach to business


Forget your MBAs, executive retreats and coaches.   In business, the only mentor you need is Ferris Bueller.   Simply consider WWFD—What Would Ferris Do—to reach dizzying heights of business success.    Don’t laugh! Think about it…


1.       Cultivate relationships


Grace: The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.


Ferris is the master networker and few are immune to his charms. His popularity even transcends teenage cliques.   He’s generous to his fellow students, especially Cameron.

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5 Mar 2013

The unfortunate truth

No one cares about your product or services.

There it is.

Just take a moment to digest that.

Okay, a little clarification is needed here.  Perhaps customers care a little bit (and for some brands with super loyal customers, a little bit extra).

But mostly not.

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Content Marketing, Writing

No tags here

28 Jan 2013

How to be a good client


So you’ve got an agency.  You’ve finally found the budget, you’ve made your choice and the agency is all signed up and raring to go. Don’t cross your fingers and hope like hell they don’t waste your investment.  Whether that agency is helping you with HR, PR, SEO or finance, there’s ways to manage them to get the best value.

1.       Allocate resources

Someone must manage the agency to answer questions, approve drafts and supply information.  This takes more time than you think. When I lived in London, my agency had a client, an SEO optimisation company. A junior tech guy was allocated the job of managing us. It was a disaster. We were last on his priority list, he rarely responded to queries and he was slow to approve content.  Opportunities were missed; it made our job so much harder.   Allocate as much time and consideration to the appointment of the person managing the agency as you did in choosing the agency itself.   The person in you select must have the authority to approve content, the time to invest (especially at first) and the enthusiasm for the task.

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1 Jan 2013

Five SEO Resolutions

Don’t lose weight or quit smoking (okay, you should quit smoking).  Use our pre-prepared new year’s SEO resolutions instead.  Happy New Year!

1. I will sort out my images

Don’t title your web images JPEG00001. Whack in a keyword!

2. I will seek inbound links

Beg, borrow or steal.  Just get other sites to link to yours and watch the rankings improve.

3. I will secure guest blogs

Guest blogs are a great way to boost traffic to your site. Just give them good content, not B-grade material just because you’re saving the A-material for your own site.

4. I will refresh my website copy

Add to your blog regularly.   For other more longstanding pages, treat the copy like an employee.   If it’s still working for you and delivering results, keep it! If not, give it the flick and replace it with accurate, compelling and fresh copy.

new years

5. I will add value

Don’t sell sell sell!  Give give give!

Give your customers the benefit of your expertise.  Give them fresh ideas. G-I-V-E!

Don’t fret that you are giving away your ideas for free. The opposite is true: the more you give, the more readers, and subsequently more customers, you will enjoy.  Plus, people will think you’re smart.