Archive for July, 2008

Natural Language

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Natural language is, of course, engaging. It's the way that we talk, in a natural flow with relevant thoughts bubbling in and descriptive sentences playing out in rhythm.

Writing web content in a natural tone is a good idea for a number of reasons. For starters, human readers want to engage with content that creates emotional interest. It is hard to create emotional interest with bullet points and lists (although these tools do have their place).

Natural language is what search engines are looking for when they read through your content for indexing. Search algorithms look for sentence structure and patterns that indicate natural language. Why? Because this is a good way to measure the integrity of a site, and to find keywords in context.

What is Natural Language?

Natural language includes extensive vocabulary, as well as commonly understood syntax. It is expressive, and rich with descriptive terms and added insight. Most importantly, natural language includes structure.

Building structure into content is where the trick is, and it can be intimidating for inexperienced writers. However, it isn't that hard once you establish a method for getting your ideas onto paper.

The opposite of natural language is when you use extensive lists, bullet points, and 'word clouds'. As I mentioned, these tools do have their place, but they are not considered 'natural language' tools, and are not considered good practice in an organic content writing campaign.

Good examples of natural writing for marketing content can be found in our ListPipe blogs.

The Amazing Power of Simple Words

Friday, July 11th, 2008

In SEO copywriting, saying the right thing can make a world of difference.

This is true in all forms of writing, but is most critical when writing your marketing content. It is especially critical when writing for the web, because you are working to appeal to human readership as well as search engines.

I was treated to a wonderful video on the web that illustrates the powerful meaning of words. The video at the following link is five minutes long. I don't think you will find the time wasted; check it out.


The Story of a Sign

Geotargeting; What Does It Mean?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Geotargeting is an SEO strategy used to focus keyword optimization for a specific geographic location. If you have a geographically centric business such as a real estate office, insurance company, or a local car lot, you should be putting some effort into creating geocentric content for your website or blog.

The basics of geotargeting are relatively easy; you are selling to a specific area, so market to that area with specific keyword modifiers. For example, instead of discussing your new 'hair style shop', make sure you modify your keywords with your local city, or nearest large city. Here is my comparison using this example...

Don't use: 'We just opened our new hair style shop, and we invite you to come to our open house.'

Do use: 'We just opened our new Detroit hair style shop, and we invite you to come to our open house.'

By including the location in your copywriting, you are helping your local customers find you more easily, and filtering out all those people who are searching for a style shop in another part of the country.

Additionally, you are reducing the amount of competition you have for the keyword term. There may be several million sites vying for 'style shop', but only a relative handful competing for 'detroit style shop'.

You can combine geotargeting with specialty modifiers to reduce competition even further. For instance if you are a style shop that specialized in hair coloring, you might pitch yourself as a 'detroit style shop for hair coloring'. In this way, you reduce the number of people who compete with you for the key phrase.

Note that by getting so specific, you are also reducing the number of people who will be searching for you to a specific set of customers who may search for a hair color style shop in Detroit. Don't worry; what you have done is target your optimal customer, which means you have increased your rate of conversion because you have attracted a very specific search to an exact match.

The more general your terms, the more people you may attract, however you will also have to weed through a lot more searchers to get a single conversion. The more specific you can be, the fewer hits you will get, however the hits you do get will be more valuable.

Geotargeting is an important tool in web marketing, especially when you are a geocentric product or service.

Beehive Credit Union Blogs Discovered

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Beehive Credit Union is getting some big attention on the web this week. We are pretty excited about it.

NetBanker, a leading online finance and banking blog dedicated to reporting news about banking innovations, branding, financing and analysis found our Beehive Credit Union blogs and gave them a pretty exciting writeup. You can read the article HERE.

Of particular note, they mention the Beehive Credit Union blogs as evidence of two particular trends:

  • Developing a full Web presence from a blogging template
  • Creating custom websites for geographic areas or individual branches

We couldn't agree more; we are seeing more and more customers turning to blog websites as their one and only presence on the web. Blog technology has come a long way and lends itself well to customization. As you have heard us tout many times: blog software such as WordPress makes it easy to conduct organic marketing on the web with Powerful Custom Content™.

Secondly; creating custom websites for each geographic area of your business is becoming an essential tool as marketers realize that consumers search the web specifically for local services.

An example I will expand on in a future blog is my 'haircut' scenario. In a nutshell: you wouldn't go to a search engine and type in 'haircut' because you know it would return every style shop from New York to L.A. Most people know to perform a search including geographic location so that you get only places that offer a 'haircut' in 'yourtown'. This is how consumers search, and how smart marketers are found.

Beehive Credit Union is going at their marketing in a smart way: they have created individual blogs for each of their geographic locations, and customize their content for each location. This will ultimately raise their appeal for geographically localized searches. As a banking service, Beehive knows that their service appeals to a geographically oriented customer. Their personalized hometown approach makes this even more important for them. Delivering content in this way helps them get localized attention; the kind they want.

The NetBanker article about Beehive Credit Union is a great example of how a blog can garner attention for your business. In a case like this, blogs give news outlets something to talk about, and thereby spread the word. Our thanks to NetBanker for running a great story.

Notice, too, that NetBanker gives credit to Jeffry Pilcher at The Financial for actually finding the Beehive Credit Union blogs. The Financial Brand found the blogs and posted a link on their Branding Briefs for June 26th.

Take a look at the article by NetBanker. You can find the article here:

Check out the link from The Financial here:

You can see the blogs we are talking about by visiting our previous posting about them, here.

Ready to start your own web marketing campaign? Give us a call at ListPipe.