How To Write Great Website Copy

An iMac keyboard, mouse, notebook, and pen.

 

 

 

 

 

 


There’s a lot that goes into creating a new website, from the site map, to the design, to the development features, and one of the most overlooked aspects is writing the copy. Unlike visuals, it’s your copy that gets you ranked higher on search engines. Not only that, but good copy gives your business personality, brand clarity, and can increase your conversion rate. Here are four tips to writing great website copy:

Answer the who, what, how, and why.

First thing’s first, every piece of copy on your website should have a purpose and every single word should mean something. To help you achieve that, you should start out by answering the who, what, how, and why of your business.

The ‘who’ is your audience. Who do you want to attract to your brand? Who do you wish to serve?

The ‘what’ is the problem your business solves. What do you hope to achieve for your clients and customers?

The ‘how’ is your process. How will achieve your ‘what’?

The ‘why’ is the reasoning for why you do the work you do. It’s always a good idea to share with potential clients how your business was founded when you write your ‘why.’

Don’t be salesy.

Sometimes when people sit down to write their website’s copy, they focus on saying things that make them sound ‘good’ or write out promises that aren’t realistic in order to prove their worth. Your copy shouldn’t sound salesy. It should make potential clients and customers who are the right fit for you feel connected to your brand. It should get to the heart of your business’ mission and values.

Write in short paragraphs.

People’s attention spans are shorter so you want to want to keep your copy short and simple. Don’t make things complicated by using big words. We also advise your paragraphs be four sentences long, if possible. Having shorter paragraphs will read well on all types of devices.

Utilize Google’s Keyword Tool to select your keywords.

When creating a new website, you want to make sure it’s optimized for search engines. One way to do that is to have the right keywords in the copy. You can find out what people are searching when they’re looking for your type of business and/or service by using Google’s Keyword Planner.

Need help writing your website content? At Sperling Interactive, we not only have the writers on staff who can do it, but we have the SEO expertise as well.

Thin Content: What It Is, Why It’s Bad, & How You Can Fix It

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At Sperling Interactive, when we look at SEO, we primarily look at five components: keywords on site, relevant links, your social media presence, having a mobile-friendly site, and dynamic content. Dynamic content refers to blogging. When you add blog posts to your website, it gives search engines new web pages and keywords to index. If you write six blog posts per month, that’s seventy-two more ways for Google and other search engines to come across you and promote you. With this in mind, it can seem that putting together any old piece of content will automatically boost your organic search results, but that’s not exactly the case. When creating content for your business, you should always avoid thin content at all costs.

What Is Thin Content?

Thin content is content that Google and other search engines thinks has little-to-no value to it. Google considers thin content as content that isn’t original, is stuffed with keywords, and is under 300 words long. It also interprets doorway pages (links that lead users to pages they weren’t anticipating to be directed to) and links to low-quality web pages as thin content. Thin content is essentially black hat SEO.

How To Avoid Thin Content

One way to avoid thin content is to have an editorial calendar. We advise being a month ahead in blog posts. So, since it’s July, you should focus right now on August blog content. And in August, you should be writing September’s posts. Most people stop blogging after the initial excitement of it. And if/when they do remember that they have a blog, they hastily put a post together to push out some content.

Another tip is keeping up-to-date with your industry. Follow blogs and publications that write about your industry so you can have related links in your blog posts and more ideas. Dynamic content includes a combination of internal and external links. Internal links being links to webpages on your site and external links being links to other websites. Be sure when you’re including links to external web pages, the websites are SEO-friendly, as Google values high-quality links.

What Should I Do If I Have Thin Content?

If you have thin content on your website, our best advice is to beef it up and revise it. If you have content that’s now out-of-date, update it and mention in the piece when you updated it. While you’re reworking your content, we suggest putting a noindex tag on the webpage so Google and other search engines won’t crawl it. When you’re ready for people to read the new and improved piece of content, put the content through Google Search Console and Bing so the two search engines can index it.

Are you finding that you need some more juice for your blog posts? Contact Sperling Interactive for some more guidance on how to spice up your blog posts!

E-Commerce Websites Will Have To Start Paying Sales Tax

A women on an ecommerce website.

 

 

 

 

 

 


On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court passed South Dakota v. Wayfair. It was a 5-4 majority, and it means that states may charge tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers. This new ruling has overturned Quill Corp v. North Dakota, which prevented states from collecting any sales tax from online sales back in 1992.

Since Quill Corp v. North Dakota was passed twenty-five years ago, there’s been an extreme increase in interstate sales via electronic devices. According to the Government Accounting Office, states lost over $13 billion in taxes they could not collect last year.

Up until now, online retailers were not required to charge consumers a sales tax on out-of-state sales, unless the retailer had a physical presence in the state where the buyer was located.

In a recent article regarding this new ruling, The New York Times wrote: “Americans have done more and more of their shopping online in recent years, drawn by the promise of low prices, wide selection, and buy-from-home convenience. But e-commerce has also had another edge: Many of those sales taxes were, in effect, tax-free.”

Another reason South Dakota v. Wayfair passed is to level the playing field between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. Online retailers will be required to collect sales taxes from customers in individual states, even if they do have a physical presence in those states.

According to Entrepreneur, states can now choose to tax most internet sales as well as most mail orders. While all fifty states are not currently taxing across state lines, it’s only a matter of time before each state applies this next tax because it will increase state revenues.

What do you think of all of this? Have you thinking about adding an ecommerce section to your website? Contact Sperling Interactive today for a consultation.

Google Is Now Labeling HTTP Sites As “Not Secure”

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This month, Google Chrome has started identifying websites listed as HTTP as “not secure” to its users. This new update comes with Google releasing Chrome 68, its 68th version of Chrome.  

For the past few years, Google has been urging people to make their websites HTTPS, incentivizing them through the potential boost in website ranking if they do so.

Google first announced it would eventually be listing sites as “not secure” back in September of 2016. In January 2017, when version 56 came out, Google Chrome started listing websites that take sensitive information, like credit card information and passwords, that weren’t HTTP as “not secure.” As of this month, Google Chrome will mark all websites that are not HTTPS as “not secure.”

Due to all the efforts Google Chrome has made over the last couple years to make our web more secure, 68% of Google Chrome traffic on Windows and Android systems are currently protected with HTTPS. Approximately 80% of Google Chrome traffic on Chrome OS and Mac is similarly protected.  

To continue to get more websites to make the switch, Google has been offering support for website owners and developers that have mixed content on their website(s). Mixed content is when they’re is HTTP and HTTPS content loaded on the same webpage.

HTTPS deals with encryption. It prevents anyone from tampering with your website. When your website is HTTPS, no one can tamper with the traffic or spy on what your visitors are doing. People can also not access your router and Internet service provider and inject malware.

Emily Schechter, Google Chrome’s security project manager, said “we think that in July the balance will be tipped enough so that we can mark all HTTP sites.”

Do you need help transitioning your website from “not secure” to secure”? Do you want to learn more about Google Chrome 68? Contact Sperling Interactive today. As a full-service web development company, we’re happy to help you with any of your website needs.

What’s Instagram TV?

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Over the past couple of years, Instagram has really experimented with the ways in which users can publish and share content on its platform.

  • A year after Instagram was founded in 2010, it added hashtags so users could find new users to follow. 
  • In July of 2013, it went from being an exclusive photo app to being a video-sharing app as well.
  • A year later in August of 2014, Instagram became advertising-friendly for brands. 
  • In October 2015, Boomerang, a silent video comprised of the first five photos from a one second burst, became all the craze. 
  • In August 2016, Instagram launched Instagram Stories where users can publish short photos, videos, and boomerangs that exist on Instagram for up to 24 hours.

Most recently on June 8, 2018, Instagram introduced what is probably their biggest new feature to date:  IGTV. IGTV is a new product for long-term video content. There is a standalone app for IGTV, but you can also watch IGTV content within Instagram app as well. It’s the TV icon to the left of the direct message icon on the homepage of Instagram.

What makes IGTV different than Instagram Stories is the videos aren’t limited to 15 seconds. Content creators can publish videos in length up to an hour long.

Like YouTube, IGTV has channels and the users are the content for the channels. Interestingly enough, you can upload IGTV content via the web into addition to the app, which has never been something Instagram has allowed before.

Right now, many news outlets and magazines have adopted IGTV. Among them that are using it are BBC News, ITV News, Sky News, Vice, The Economist, Vogue, Fact Magazine, NME,  Esquire, and Exposed Magazine. They are all hoping IGTV will help them reach more people in the 18-29 age bracket.

When Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, broke the news last month he said “people are watching 60 percent more video than they did just last year.” He also addressed “teens may be watching less TV, but they’re watching more creators online.” For businesses with target audiences comprised of teenagers and young adults, IGTV is definitely a new tool they should start strategizing for.

There are no ads on IGTV right now, but Systrom did elude it would become a very “reasonable place” for advertisers to promote their products on eventually. Only time will tell when Instagram will roll out advertising for IGTV. We reckon if IGTV will be as big as Instagram is predicting, advertising will happen very soon.  When Instagram announced IGTV, they also shared their platform has just reached 1 billion users.

What do you think about IGTV? Have you started watching content on it yet? Would you ever use it as a way to promote your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.