How to Improve Your Customers' Experience with Great Web Content

When you’re creating web content, the golden rules you read from experts all over the Internet can become overwhelming. Add to that the ever-evolving trends and changing SEO practices you need to keep up with - and before long it can all seem a little out of your control.

I always say that the most important point to remember when you’re writing anything for the web is that you’re creating it for a customer. So, when you’re writing your content, think about how it can genuinely improve your customers’ experience of your website.

Not sure where to start? Here are my tips on improving your website’s customer experience.

Write for Humans

Your customers and website visitors are humans. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to begin to distance yourself from your audience, especially if you’re elbow deep in SEO keywords and product descriptions. Take a good look at the content you’ve created and ask yourself one thing: ‘does this sound natural?’

Of course you’ll need to take your own company’s branding into account, and what’s natural for one business might seem unusual or awkward for another.

Make it easy for yourself and put your metaphorical feet inside your customers’ shoes. Take a little browse around your site. Are there any pages that seem off to you? Could your writing use a little less jargon? Make a list and use this to inform how you amend your content.

Be Positive

You might not have noticed at first glance but you may be talking your business down. You need active calls to action in your web content in order for it to be truly functional, but increasingly savvy consumers are getting wise to this, and they don’t like it.

The best reaction to this is not to force it. Don’t try sneaking your ‘Buy it now’ links into text - and instead be upfront. Offer help, support and a friendly team member’s undivided attention to your customers  in return for a quick chat about their needs. It sounds much more positive than a fake offer or a ‘time’s running out’ deal.

Aim to make your customers happy and you’ll be glad you did.

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Offer Something Unique

Your customers are looking for value - and this is called ‘value propositioning’. They’ll understand what your company does quickly, and they’ll even grasp the basics of your products within a few minutes.

What you need to show them is why your business can offer something nobody else can.

  • How can you pique their interest?

  • How can you delight them?

  • How can you fix a problem they didn’t even realise they had?

  • What can you do that goes above and beyond?

  • Why should they subscribe to your blog?

Don’t just list your team members. Talk about who they are, why they’re great, what they can do for your customers. Use your web content to create a connection, and you’ll stand out far above the crowd.

Use More Straightforward Language

Just because you use acronyms within your office all the time doesn’t mean your customers will understand what they mean. Even if your industry-specific products come with long-winded, technical descriptions as standard, break them down so that anyone could understand their benefits and appreciate their usefulness. Think of it this way:

  • A parent could be buying this for their tech-savvy child

  • A newcomer to the industry could be looking for equipment they need

  • Acronyms could vary between countries and within industries.

Jargon can easily be misunderstood and can present a barrier through which your customers are unlikely to try and break. As long as you use the wording expected of your business and industry, speaking simply and in straightforward language will only make you seem more professional, not less.

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If you’d like to find out more about how to create great web content, or you’d like to chat about how I could support you with yours, contact me today. I’d love to help.

Until next time…

Three Resolutions Your Business Needs to Keep in 2019

It’s the start of January - and you’re probably full of good intentions and big ideas. I love the motivation the start of a new year gives me; what about you?

A new year marks a new start – a clean slate where we can forget the bad habits we accumulated over the past 12 months and dive into a year where we never forget to respond to an email, never eat chocolate for breakfast and never, ever forget our business cards.

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While some resolutions are doomed to fail (I’ll eat chocolate for breakfast if I want to, thank you very much) there are some great new year’s resolutions for your business that if you keep up, will help your enterprise grow and succeed. Here are some of the best new year’s resolutions you can make that’ll keep you motivated, bring in new customers and push your business to the next level.

Regularly Update Your Business Blog

Your company blog is vital to your success in 2019. Keeping your website updated with fresh content is essential for your search ranking, and it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about your new products, shout about your success and reveal new information about exciting plans that may be afoot.

Start off small. Setting aside half an hour twice a week to research, write and edit your blog posts means you’ll easily manage one blog post per week. Feel that achievement!

Of course, if you really don’t have the time, or you need a little support, contact me. Helping businesses out with their content is what I do best.

Keep Your Social Media Ticking Over

How’s your Twitter account doing? Are you answering all your Facebook messages?

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Ignoring your social media accounts can seem like the only way to deal with them when you’re busy but honestly, in 2019, your customers will be reaching out to you via social media more than ever. Making your accounts a priority will make them far less scary and gain you new business. I promise.

Take a look at Buffer’s useful tips on using social media to your advantage, and while you’re at it, have a gander at their post scheduling tool. I use it, and honestly, it saves me so much time.

Carry Out A Web Audit Twice a Year

Ever wondered what your customers think when they reach your website?

Take some time to walk in their shoes by carrying out a web audit. If you’re not sure what one is, don’t worry, I’ve written about them before in my blog. A full web audit means talking a deeper look at the content on your website, and running through it with a fine-tooth comb to see what needs to be amended, what needs to be removed and what could be enhanced to make your website earn its keep.

Trust me, it’s well worth doing.

Want some help getting that new year’s motivation going? I’ve got plenty to go around. Get in touch today and let’s talk about how a freelance copywriter like me can help you make the best possible start to 2019.

Until next time..

 

 

Why hire a copywriter?

You know how important good content and communications are for your business, but perhaps you just don't have the time to put fingers to keyboard and get cracking. So what now?

If you’ve never outsourced your work to a copywriter before, it may be time to try that out. After all, what better way to make your website stand out than with the help of a professional who specialises in copywriting for businesses?

There are plenty of reasons to hire a copywriter - and I’ll be going over five of them in this blog post. Read on...

They Free Up Your Schedule

You can say 'cheerio' to your hectic schedules when you hire a copywriter. You shouldn’t have to spend hours figuring out why no one’s clicking on your website, or what the heck crawl stats are (hint: you can find out in Moz's Beginner's Guide to SEO). Pumping out engaging content takes up a lot of time, so leave that to the pros!

Copywriters will do the technical stuff you’re struggling to do and give you the time to focus 100% on your business. Rather than stressing over how to write copy that draws traffic, you’ll now be able to give your undivided attention to the things that really matter.

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They Can Really Sell Your Service

Yes, copywriters write, but they also spend time doing research that leads to richer, more vibrant content. You’ll find plenty of copywriters who specialise in an industry-specific niche. If you sell handmade baby clothes, for example, you’d do well to find a copywriter who specialises in the industry that caters to mums.

A copywriter can capture the essence of your service and sell it to your audience in a way that is both engaging and fascinating.

They Provide Consistent Content

Let’s be honest for a moment: churning out consistent, new content can quickly get tiring. It can be easy to recycle old content by tweaking a word here and there, publishing it, and hoping readers won’t notice you wrote about the same topic two months ago, but please don’t do this.

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When you have a freelance copywriter on your side, you don’t have to worry about that. They can whip out fresh, high-quality content to capture your readers’ attention like nothing else. Even better, avoiding duplicate posts will turn your site into a Google-approved page. Who can resist that?

They Know How to Speak ‘Google’

There are plenty of SEO guides out there on the Internet, but it can still be tough to learn if you’re also trying to juggle your business on the side. Rather than try to force-feed this information to yourself, hire a copywriter who’s already familiar with SEO.

Copywriters can keep your website looking up-to-date and polished. No matter how many tweaks Google makes to its search engine, copywriters will keep on top of it so you don’t have to. Leave the technical mumbo jumbo to them.

 They Can Boost Sales Organically

Adverts are important for maintaining an online presence for your business, but organic traffic is just as important. After all, you’re more likely to get legitimate, long-term customers this way, rather than hoping someone scrolling through Facebook clicks on your ad.

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Copywriters will reach out to potential clients by creating fresh, original content for your social media accounts, and then by crafting equally brilliant content on your site that will keep visitors once they get there. By going the organic route and going easy on the adverts, you could see a significant bump in your sales.

So now that I’ve given you five reasons to hire a copywriter, I’m here to give myself a (shameless) shoutout. Need a hand with your business? I’m a copywriter based in Yorkshire - but I can work on your project remotely - wherever you are in the world. Let's chat!

For updates, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Productivity 101: How I Stay Focused

 

Working from home with the option (I say, 'option' because it isn't a reality for me!) to slob around in your PJs; what's not to love? I'll start with the main drawback to my life as a freelance copywriter: staying focused.

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While I've never missed a deadline and I pride myself on the fact I 'under-promise and over-deliver', motivating one's self (oooh, I sounded like the Queen for a second there!) can be tough. And the reason for that is this: without the threat of a boss man (or woman!) hovering over your desk at a second's notice, copywriters like myself can notice that the urge to put fingers to keyboard can wane a little, with the lure of Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube, poking its cheeky little head into view.

So, in the absence of a boss (oh wait, that's me!) and a lack of colleagues tapping away at their computers to spur me on, how do I get stuff done?

Nothing is as important to me as meeting my clients' deadlines and exceeding their expectations, so here's what I do:

1. I Work in Threes

Now I don't mean I work with two other people; rather my to-do list never contains more than a trio of items. Plenty of people will attest that this works. And hey, it works for me too - so it shall long remain one of my top productivity tactics - until someone introduces me to another one.

2. I Set Alarms

If I have more than one project on the go, I divide each into timeframes - and set an alarm on my phone to ensure I only work for, say, three hours at a time on one job. That way, my mind is clearer (better for ensuring the ideas keep flowing) when I revisit a piece of work - and it helps me keep better track of hours spent per project, too.

3. I Keep a Routine

So, the hardest part of a freelancer's life is sticking to a routine. While you may begin the day with good intentions (with plans to get up at 7am, and take the long (joke) work commute from bedroom to your study by 9am) it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes, you'll find yourself downing tools at 3pm, taking an extended break, and then working until 11pm. It isn't always the best way to work; keeping to 9-5 hours is the best thing you can do for your motivation as a freelancer - and your social life!

 

4. I Get Out of the House

Being stuck indoors and communicating with NO ONE (sob!) is no good for your motivation levels - or your soul. So, I make sure I take at least one trip out during the day - even if it's just a walk around the block. It gives me that little burst of energy when I've been staring at my laptop all day, and it's even how I formulate many of my ideas for clients' websites.

And when I'm really pushed for time...

5. I Get TOTALLY Serious About Things...

...and deny myself a tea and biscuit break, a slice of cake; even a trip to the toilet. I'll tell myself: 'no, Lauren. You're not putting the kettle on, or going to the loo - not until you write another paragraph.' It may seem harsh - and possibly even a notch crazy - but hey, being your own boss can be tough; you've got to find the motivation from somewhere.

How do you stay focused when freelancing? It'd be good to pick up some more tips here at Lauren Holden Freelance. Why not comment on this blog with your own freelance copywriting tips and we can all learn from each other, eh?

Until next time...

Romance Ain't Dead; Here's Proof...

Has no one lavished you with flowers and chocs yet? More fool them, I say. ALL of them. Don't they realise how utterly lovely you are?!

But before you throw an almighty paddy...sit down, relax...get the kettle on. And remember that I love you. I really do.

If you've dropped by my site (even for a second), read my blogs - or better yet - used my services - thank you. It's people like you that keep a little old freelancer like myself in business. No really...cheers!

And because I want to send a little bit of love (woahhh, not like that - you cheeky scamps!) your way, I'm bringing you a special Valentine's copywriting discount*, to be redeemed anytime between now and Friday, February 17. Hey, I might be a cold and unromantic soul most of the time, but today you're in for a treat.

Enjoy 15% off any of the following copywriting services:

* Blogs

* E-newsletters

* Press Releases

* Flyers

* Proofreading

Interested in taking me up on this LOVEly, one-time offer? Get in touch at freelance@laurenholden.co.uk and quote the code 'LOVE15' in your email.

Over and out.

Right, I have a bag of chocolate truffles waiting for me (cheers - you know who you are!) and they won't eat themselves...