Tag Archives: Copywriting

Google Instant: Not Re-Invention of the Wheel, Just a Change of Direction.

As an SEO copywriter at heart, I have long maintained an avid personal and professional interest in this crucial digital discipline.  Needless to say, the arrival of Google Instant – an engine that delivers results *as you type* – has caused something of a stir in digital circles.  Will this spell a complete re-write (literally) of large digital websites?  Or will well-optimised platforms be nicely positioned regardless of the change in search method?

Here are some key pointers for digital marketers

i) A search by any other name is just as sweet…

Let’s not forget that Google Instant does the same as Google ‘normal’ (Google ‘un-instant?’) – it delivers results based on users’ search requests.  In theory, digital marketers with well-optimised websites should have nothing to fear.  The time and effort that has been invested in SEO will continue to serve to serve them well.  Google Instant is a change in search – but it’s still search.

ii) Redefine your keywords

Of course, this isn’t to say that Google Instant should be ignored completely.  Like it or not, Google is Caesar, and when in Rome…  If the masses do adopt Google Instant as their preferred search method, shorter keywords will become much more significant.  For example, if you have built your SEO strategy around long-tail search strings such as ‘cheap electrical goods with free delivery in the UK’, you may need to refocus this to ‘cheap electrical goods’.  Why?  By the time your customer has typed ‘cheap electrical goods’ – nay, even ‘cheap electrical’ – they will have a stream of search results before them already.

iii) Long-tail search is not dead

Despite the introduction of Google Instant, this does not spell the death knell for long-tail search.  If web users are looking for a specific search string, they’ll continue to type keywords until they find it.  It’s far too easy for businesses to get hung up on being found for a very generic keyword, but consumers are a lot more savvy than we give them credit for.  Don’t get me wrong; if you are a provider of ‘cheap holidays’, you have your work cut out for you – but then this is nothing new.  If you are a manufacturer of bespoke Isle of Wight Oak tree furniture, the chances are people will continue to seek you out traditionally.

In summary?  Google Instant will undoubtedly cause SEO copywriters and digital marketers some work over the next few months, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.  Good SEO copywriters know that you should regularly refresh your copy as best practice anyway, so Google Instant is not the doom-bringer than believe it to be.

This is an excellent opportunity for SEO copywriters and digital marketers to re-establish the keywords that they want to be found for, and to give their online presence a refresh.  Google has not reinvented the wheel – it’s simply given that wheel a new lick of paint and as SEO / digital marketers, it’s our job to ensure that that wheel remains on the right track.

Coffee Copywriting – The Perks of Persuasion

As a copywriter / marketing type, it naturally follows that I frequent coffee shops with alarming regularity.  Whilst this affords me a much needed caffeine-injection on a daily basis, it also hands me the opportunity to see first-hand a variety of internal recruitment advertising employed by various coffee shops.

In Costa Coffee this morning, I took my place in the queue alongside the ranks of pre-caffeinated, suited zombies, when this great piece of copy caught my eye:

Clean, simple and not over-complicated: this strapline is much like the Americano I ordered upon reaching the till.  ‘Thrills (not spills)’ is a fantastic piece of copy that plays on a famous phrase connoting excitement, as well as tying in nicely with coffee and the job itself – ‘no spills’ (which is more than can be said for the unfortunate Robert Green).

Examples of copy written for products, goods or services will often be some of the most creative, effective and impressive writing out there, but at the end of the day, its purpose is simply to convince someone to purchase a commodity.

Conversely, when writing copy for recruitment, you are dealing with a much more complicated commodity – people.  As part of your writing remit, you are in fact asking them to invest in a much more long-term relationship than simply buying an, ultimately disposable, product.  With this premise in mind, it naturally follows that recruitment copy should be even more evocative, appealing and creative than advertising copy for consumer goods – so why isn’t it?

So many recruitment ads are tired, clichéd, introspective and show little signs of any significant creative input, or indeed, genuine call-to-action appeal.  As surprising as this is, there’s no denying that this is still the typical modus operandi of several recruitment copywriters – which is why those switched-on to the intricacies of this market will inevitably succeed while others flounder.

Costa Coffee should be lauded for some clever, appealing and imaginative copy.  This well written piece of advertising illustrates how businesses employing persuasive copy instantly connect with their target audiences, which will always result in huge perks for their recruitment campaigns – as well as their brands.

Current. Concise. Creative.

A picture tells a thousand words. Quite simply, this is a supreme example of advertising. Hats off to The Guardian; great marketing.

Aviation Advertising: Benefiting from BA's Balls-Up

Although two years does not qualify as a long and illustrious marketing career, I’ve been around enough senior marketers to know that referencing your competitors in campaigns is an issue that splits hairs and divides opinion across the board.

I, for one, believe that each marketing campaign has its own set of rules, whilst many companies in certain sectors employ ‘comparative marketing’ as the de facto practice (supermarkets being the worst, and most repeat, offenders).

Although British Airways has now had its proposed Christmas strike deemed illegal in a High Court ruling, the past few days has seen a glut of aviation advertising, all of which has very cleverly referenced the farcical goings on at BA.

Here’s my favourite piece of press advertising from this week; a simple strapline from BMI. When commercial opportunity knocks, referencing the competition can be a clever and effective strategy – especially with copy this good.

Breathtakingly Simple…

Following on in a similar vein from the previous post, I have stumbled across yet another example of simple copy that results in a big impact. This American advert for Wonderbra, by Saatchi and Saatchi, simply uses the brand name, inserting an extra ‘d’ to connote the effects of the product in question.

Quite simply, breathtakingly simple.

Copy Doesn't Have to be Long…

Some of the most effective marketing communications are successful due to their simplicity. This stunning new anti-smoking advert uses only three words, but the impact is undeniable. Click on the picture to enlarge it…