Free Web Page Advertising: Why Ignore What’s Free?


Content writers have it tough these days. There’s so much content. How do you get read? You get read by “selling” your stories, and getting free Web page advertising from Google and the other search engines.

I’ve been writing copy for over 30 years. Therefore I tend to look at everything in terms of advertising not only because that’s what I do, but also because it makes writing easier. Writing’s the art of communication. These days, when there’s more “communication” than any person could read in a thousand lifetimes, you need to sell everything you write.

Selling starts with your audience.

Who are they? What do they respond to? Why? What’s the story? Storytelling’s the big new thing in content creation; it’s hardly new, however. Copywriters — PR spin doctors and PR people in general — have always spun a sliver of news into a story. Often they do without the sliver, and just plain lie.

Britain’s tabloid press are past masters at this. 80% of the “news” comes from press releases; journalists spin. Watch the TV news: it’s news as entertainment. It’s almost impossible to sort the real from the nonsense these days. (Journalists get spun too, as well as spinning — viz this.)

Pay attention to your free Google advertising

It’s understandable therefore that in the battle for attention, content writers don’t pay as much attention as they should to the free advertising Google gives to Web pages. (I admit that Google’s capricious about this.)

Yes, Google gives you free advertising — via pages’ meta data. (Maybe, if you’re lucky and the wind’s in the right direction.) All your website pages (Google ranks pages, rather than sites) have meta data. Search engine bots scoop up the meta data, and display it to searchers. So, if you’re not paying attention to your page title, page description and keywords, you’re ignoring your chances to advertise for free, plus a major source of traffic.

As Search Engine Watch says:

At this point you may be thinking, “But we’re talking about Google organic. Aren’t ads for AdWords?” Technically the answer here is “yes”, but thinking of your web page titles and descriptions in terms of ad copy is a useful way to really understand what they are and what they can do for you.

I’ve been nagging clients for years about meta data as advertising snippets. It just takes a minute or two to create proper page titles and descriptions. Why miss out on free Web page advertising?

Yet, they do. My writing students forget the meta data advertising freebies too, so I nag them as well.

Are you ignoring free Web page advertising? Stop doing that. Search engines can’t read, or take action, so you’ll always write for readers… but don’t forget the gold hiding in your webpages’ source code.

Collaboration Made Easier: CollabFinder


Working on a project and need help, but aren’t sure what kind of help is available? CollabFinder may help.

Need developers, designers and creatives to grow your business? Meet CollabFinder. | DIY Business Association offers an article which makes what the site does clearer:

“‘CollabFinder makes it easier to meet new people and build a team that will help you develop something amazing,’ says the company’s founder, Sahadeva Hammari, whose beta launch has attracted an active community of collaboration-minded entrepreneurs, tech folks and creative talents.”

If you need skills which are complementary to your own, give CollabFinder a try. I’ll be signing up for it; maybe I’ll meet you there. :-)

If you’re a freelance writer, CollabFinder may be just what you need too — the site may help you to take on larger projects.

I’ll be keeping the site in mind for my writing students, who are often hesitant to take on projects for which they’d need a developer or designer. They’re not sure what skills are needed, so they can’t look for help on the outsourcing sites.

Australian Retailers: We Want to Buy From You, But…

Dyson vacuum cleaner

Thank you, Dyson!

If you’re an Australian retailer, pay attention. Read this article, Why no one shops from Aussie stores online:

“I don’t mean to be harsh to Australian retailers. I get that you’re struggling and I’m actually on your side. When possible, I try to shop local. I even have your loyalty cards crammed into all corners of my purse.
But it’s time for some tough love and to let you know that  1998 called and it wants its website back.”

A couple of weeks ago, I had a wonderful experience shopping online, with Dyson. I’m still shocked. The site’s shopping cart worked, and the product arrived either 24 or 48 hours later — either way, it arrived FAST. Thank you, Dyson. I truly appreciate the convenience.

That’s not a normal experience shopping with an Australian online store, sadly. As Kasey Edwards says in the above article, a buyer’s experience with an Australian online store is usually an experience in frustration.

That’s why Australians prefer to do their online shopping in US or UK stores. Not only is it easy, it’s fun, and fast. Just yesterday a friend showed me a pair of Chanel sunglasses she bought from a UK online retailer. She’d rather shop in Australia, because the product would arrive sooner.

Another holiday shopping season is starting.

Holiday shopping: where?

Australians who prefer to shop online, will shop via Amazon and other overseas stores. News flash: they’d rather shop local.

I had to grin at Kasey’s comment: “1998 called and it wants its website back”.

Shoppers understand that you’ll need to spend money to create a great online shopping experience. If you do it however, they’ll shop with you.

More to the point, they have money to spend. Where they spend it is up to you.

If you’ve been hoping that the whole online thing is just a fad, get over that notion. Yes, Australians will still go shopping when it’s 35 degrees Celsius, but more and more, they’ll skip the trauma of driving around in the heat looking for a parking spot, and will do their holiday shopping online.

They want to spend money with you, but…

Web Content Strategies: Monetize Your Mobile Website

Mobile websites

I’ve been working on a couple of client websites, creating mobile content strategies.

While most of my clients are well aware that they need to optimize for mobile devices, few are taking it to the next level: deliberately monetizing their mobile traffic.

If you’re just getting started with a mobile website, this article, Mobile – Nine Tips for Building a Solid Mobile Website : MarketingProfs Article will help. It suggests that you:

Monetize intelligently

When you create a good mobile website, your mobile traffic is sure to surge. Have a plan ready for monetizing your mobile traffic.

If you rely on advertising revenue, note that your desktop banner ads will be too big for your mobile website. Sign up for a mobile ad network like IntoMobile or Google AdSense for Content to display ads according to the mobile visitor’s choice.”

PLAN for monetization, as you plan your mobile site.

If you’ve already commissioned a designer, put that on hold, until you do some thinking about your customers.

For example, if you’re running an online store, could you create some “mobile only” special offerings? These would be very easy to promote on social media. Make it easy for your customers to buy, too. You never know, you could end up with a new revenue stream.

On the other hand, if your website strategy involves bookings, consider how you can make that easy for your mobile visitors.

Tip: don’t get too heavily invested in a strategy until you do some testing. You can’t know until you know, and only hard data will show you that the best way to monetize your mobile website.