Category Archives: Writing

The Chicken Wins — Or How to Write SEO-Friendly Content

The Chicken Wins — Or How to Write SEO-Friendly Content

Recently, a group of British scientists claimed that they had solved the age-old question — which comes first, the chicken or the egg? They determined that the chicken comes first because protein found in the chicken is needed to form the egg. So what does that have to do with marketing communications?

I often hear the question, “What comes first, web content or web design?” It seems like a similar conundrum as the chicken and the egg. While I am not a scientist, I am going to come down squarely on the side of content. If you want your website to be effective, that is, to attract visitors and keep them coming back, you need relevant copy and lots of it. Here are some tips to help you build a content-rich site.

  • Start with your marketing message. Before you launch your website, your company should have a strong marketing message that includes the customer pain points your product or service addresses, your solution to those pain points and what makes your solution better than that offered by your competition. Your marketing message should be included on every page of your website. If possible, have your designer incorporate it into the page design.
  • Make the case for your message. Your marketing message is a succinct statement that should cause people to ask questions. Answer those questions in your web content.
  • Think like your visitors. What information can you share that would be of interest to your website visitors? Learn to think like your customers and prospects. While you may be very proud of your long company history and achievements, your customers are more interested in what you can do for them. Tell them!
  • Arrange information so it is easy to find. Once you understand what information your customers and prospects want, make it easy for them to find. This will help you determine which pages you should include on your site and what content you should include on each page. As you develop content, remember that you do not have control over which pages visitors read first or how many pages they will visit. Key information should be included on each page although with different emphasis.
  • Use relevant keywords. Website copy serves two purposes — it helps visitors find your site when they do a search and it keeps them interested once they land on your site. Use keywords that visitors are likely to use when searching for the products or services you offer. Use these words frequently and preferably in the first paragraph or two of your text.
  • Make your site content rich. If you want your site to be found in a search, add relevant copy often. It is critical that you have a powerful copy management system that allows you to add content on a regular basis. If you write a blog or a newsletter, include that copy on your site as well.

So, what about the egg? Although the chicken may come first, clearly the egg is an important part of the equation. Likewise, design should play an important role in your website, complementing your message and growing your company brand.

It’s or Its, Who’s or Whose

It’s or Its, Who’s or Whose

There is a wonderful quote by British playwright Shelagh Delaney making the rounds on the Internet and Twitter recently. “Nothing passes. Everything stays with you. Everything makes it’s (sic) mark.” But horrors! This wonderful quote also includes a glaring misuse of the maligned possessive and apostrophe. I rather doubt Shelagh Delaney used the word, “it’s,”… Continue Reading

How to Find Not-So-Obvious Writing Errors

How to Find Not-So-Obvious Writing Errors

American journalist, author and grammarian William Safire once said, “If you re-read your work, you can find on re-reading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by re-reading and editing.” Mr. Safire’s tongue-in-cheek comment makes the need for editing obvious. The problem for many writers, however, is finding the not-so-obvious errors. Here are some… Continue Reading

How to Develop Compelling Website Content

How to Develop Compelling Website Content

If you want to increase the time visitors spend on your website,  here are three key ways to ensure that your website content is compelling: Understand your customers. Any time you market your business or organization, your starting point should be your customers or target audience. Learn as much as you can about your customers, especially… Continue Reading

Sharpen Your Grant Proposal

Sharpen Your Grant Proposal

Deadlines have a way of sneaking up on even the most seasoned grant writer. When that happens, it’s easy to lose focus and simply write to get the proposal completed. When the clock is ticking, develop a winning grant proposal with these five strategies: Focus on your mission. Before you start writing a grant proposal, consider how the… Continue Reading

Content Marketing Builds Key Relationships

Content Marketing Builds Key Relationships

More and more businesses are using content marketing to build relationships with their customers and prospects. It sounds easy enough. Share information and grow a loyal customer base. Unfortunately, however, not all content is created equal nor does all content deliver great results. If you want to truly engage your audience with your content, try these… Continue Reading

Strong Writing Seals the Deal

Strong Writing Seals the Deal

One microsecond — one millionth of a second — is all it takes to make a lasting impression, good or bad. That’s what Alex Todorov, a Princeton University psychologist, and Janine Willis, a student researcher, determined when they showed research subjects a mere microsecond of a political candidate on video. The research subjects predicted with… Continue Reading

About Us

With more than 35 years of experience in marketing communications, Joan B. Marcus Communications knows what it takes to build your brand through the power of words. We understand the big picture. We sweat the small stuff. We take writing seriously.

Contact Joan B. Marcus Communications today to build your brand through the power of words.