Tag Archive | "What’s"

What’s Actually Stunting Your Productivity (It’s Not Multitasking)

Lately, a common theme in productivity advice is bashing multitasking. “You suck at multitasking!” shrieks one headline. “Multitasking: the most dangerous productivity killer” hisses another. And they aren’t wrong. Studies have shown that trying to tackle different tasks simultaneously greatly reduces our cognitive abilities. But what if I told you there’s another type of multitasking
Read More…

The post What’s Actually Stunting Your Productivity (It’s Not Multitasking) appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

What’s Your Worst Writing Fear? Dread and Trepidation from Our Editorial Team

It seems straightforward enough. We human beings are innately verbal creatures. Writing is just taking the language we dream, think, and speak in, and arranging the words on some paper or a computer screen. So why is it so hard sometimes? I think it’s because the same inventive brains that gave us Harry Potter, A
Read More…

The post What’s Your Worst Writing Fear? Dread and Trepidation from Our Editorial Team appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

SEO ranking factors: What’s important, what’s not

This week, Google celebrated its 19th birthday. A lot has changed in nearly two decades. Rather than relying primarily on PageRank to evaluate the quality of web pages, Google now uses a whole array of techniques to suggest a wide range of content in response to queries, from simple direct answers…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

What’s Your ‘Desert Island’ Copywriting Technique? Answers from Our Team

You’ve been shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, somewhere with blue skies and dazzling aquamarine waters. But after some time passes, no matter how big a fan of sushi you are, the appeal of your solitary paradise starts to wane. You’ve amassed a fine collection of rocks — suitable for crafting, let’s say, a copywriting message.
Read More…

The post What’s Your ‘Desert Island’ Copywriting Technique? Answers from Our Team appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer?

the difference is strategy, perception, and a higher pay grade

I’ve been a writer for a long, long time. I’ve written something every day for around 30 years now. (Okay, I took about a week off when I had a C-section.)

I’ve been a content marketer since 2004, even though we didn’t call it that back then.

These days, I’m a Chief Content Officer — a job title that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

I love and respect writers, and I know a lot of them. Some are successful; some are struggling.

And I have some thoughts on what can make the difference.

You may know that we run a program to certify excellent writers as Certified Content Marketers.

What does that mean? What’s the difference between a good writer and a good content marketer?

(Spoiler alert: I kind of spilled the beans with the post image.)

But first things first: What is this content marketing thing, anyway?

Here’s how I’ve defined it in the past:

Content marketing is the strategic creation of text, imagery, audio, or video that delivers a relevant, interesting message to a customer or prospect, while at the same time paving the way for a sale.

Good content requires excellent writing. But the elements of strategy and structure need to be in place to get it to work as marketing. Which is, after all, what we get paid for.

So, here are five elements that separate high-quality content marketing from material that’s well-written but might not deliver the same business value.

1. It has to move the audience

You may have noticed that at Copyblogger, we often talk about audience, rather than prospects or leads per se.

The audience is made of people at many stages, including those who aren’t in the market for what you do or what your company does, but can spread the word about your content.

And audiences don’t stick around for weak commercials or carbon-copy content. They need to be moved. If your content doesn’t do it, they’ll go elsewhere. It’s a big web out there, full of delicious distraction to tempt them away.

This is where your art comes into play. If you want to take your marketing writing to another level, consider working on plays, screenplays, fiction, or poetry. Anything creative designed to create an emotional response will improve your professional work.

And yes, you can move your audience even if your topic is “boring.” Use humor, stories, or frustration. Everything we do as people creates mini stories — you can use those for content, even for technical topics like law, medicine, manufacturing, or accounting.

2. It has to earn attention

This is one of the core beliefs of a professional content marketer:

You are never entitled to the attention of your audience. You have to earn that attention every day.

Among your clients and employers, you may find that founders and CEOs can have a tough time with this. They often assume their businesses are riveting. It’s your job to help them see that the audience doesn’t have the same passion for the business that they do.

If your content isn’t successful, if it isn’t gaining attention — it might not be good enough. You may need to put in more work — find better angles, craft better headlines, and find the right tone and voice for that particular audience.

How can we tell if our content is worth consuming? If people consume and feel driven to share it. If it works for your audience, it works.

3. It has to have spark

The biggest problem I see with content is cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers stuff.

Our Certified Content Marketer training program teaches you structure and formula, but it’s your job to find the spark.

If you’re writing for a company, somewhere in your organization is someone with a passion. It might be the founder or a salesperson or a support person. Someone cares desperately and can show you where the spark is.

And if you can’t find anyone … you need to look for another company! I don’t say that flippantly. Companies without G.A.S. don’t tend to last long. And even if they do, they’re no fun to work with.

(Been there, done that. Not worth the t-shirt.)

As a professional writer, you are the scribe of the business you serve. It’s your role to take their beliefs and passions and give them a voice. I take this very seriously, and I think you should, too.

Be part of everything. Be curious about everything. Become a lifelong student of everything. It’s all material.

4. It usually relies on proven structures

Getting spark into your content doesn’t mean “winging it.”

There are structures that have been shown to work better, because they make your ideas easier to perceive and understand.

Here’s a nutshell structure for effective content. Copyblogger has lots of posts on these points, and of course we also cover them in depth in the Certified Content Marketer training progra.

Effective content is marked by:

  • A headline that instantly commands attention
  • A few sharp, focused introductory sentences that pull the audience in
  • Useful information that solves a problem the audience cares about (think about magazine content)
  • A single, focused point or “moral of the story” that the content is trying to teach. This could address a specific objection to purchase or a belief the prospect needs in order to buy, or it could lead to a call to action
  • Stories, metaphors, case studies, examples, and other techniques to engage the audience and illustrate that point
  • A well-crafted call to action that tells the audience how to take the next step

5. People have to know how to think of you

You may be more than able to handle everything above — but you also need to convey that to your clients or employers.

A successful content marketer knows how to market her own business, as well as her clients’ or employers’ businesses.

Let’s face it. You aren’t going to find the perfect gig that will keep your bills paid and your brain happy forever. It’s not how the world works anymore.

You need to position yourself for today and for tomorrow. You need to market yourself as the smartest, best solution. You need to take all of the authority and technique that you use for your clients and treat yourself as your most important client.

That doesn’t always come naturally to us, but it can be taught — and when you learn it, you will appreciate the benefits.

At Copyblogger, we love writers. We respect writers. And we want writers to be paid what they’re worth.

You run the show. The web revolves around words — and you are the creator of those words. We want you to get the respect (and pay) you deserve.

Are you a writer who wants to become a Certified Content Marketer?

Inside our Content Marketer Certification program, we’ve got a lot more for writers.

We designed this program to help writers make the most of their careers — to help them position themselves and their offerings, so that they can build profitable freelance writing businesses.

And we’re opening the program soon. Drop your email address below and you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Find out when our Certified Content Marketer training program reopens:

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on April 28, 2015.

Image via picjumbo

The post What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer? appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer?

the difference is strategy, perception, and a higher pay grade

I’ve been a writer for a long, long time. I’ve written something every day for around 30 years now. (Okay, I took about a week off when I had a C-section.)

I’ve been a content marketer since 2004, even though we didn’t call it that back then.

These days, I’m a Chief Content Officer — a job title that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

I love and respect writers, and I know a lot of them. Some are successful; some are struggling.

And I have some thoughts on what can make the difference.

You may know that we run a program to certify excellent writers as Certified Content Marketers.

What does that mean? What’s the difference between a good writer and a good content marketer?

(Spoiler alert: I kind of spilled the beans with the post image.)

But first things first: What is this content marketing thing, anyway?

Here’s how I’ve defined it in the past:

Content marketing is the strategic creation of text, imagery, audio, or video that delivers a relevant, interesting message to a customer or prospect, while at the same time paving the way for a sale.

Good content requires excellent writing. But the elements of strategy and structure need to be in place to get it to work as marketing. Which is, after all, what we get paid for.

So, here are five elements that separate high-quality content marketing from material that’s well-written but might not deliver the same business value.

1. It has to move the audience

You may have noticed that at Copyblogger, we often talk about audience, rather than prospects or leads per se.

The audience is made of people at many stages, including those who aren’t in the market for what you do or what your company does, but can spread the word about your content.

And audiences don’t stick around for weak commercials or carbon-copy content. They need to be moved. If your content doesn’t do it, they’ll go elsewhere. It’s a big web out there, full of delicious distraction to tempt them away.

This is where your art comes into play. If you want to take your marketing writing to another level, consider working on plays, screenplays, fiction, or poetry. Anything creative designed to create an emotional response will improve your professional work.

And yes, you can move your audience even if your topic is “boring.” Use humor, stories, or frustration. Everything we do as people creates mini stories — you can use those for content, even for technical topics like law, medicine, manufacturing, or accounting.

2. It has to earn attention

This is one of the core beliefs of a professional content marketer:

You are never entitled to the attention of your audience. You have to earn that attention every day.

Among your clients and employers, you may find that founders and CEOs can have a tough time with this. They often assume their businesses are riveting. It’s your job to help them see that the audience doesn’t have the same passion for the business that they do.

If your content isn’t successful, if it isn’t gaining attention — it might not be good enough. You may need to put in more work — find better angles, craft better headlines, and find the right tone and voice for that particular audience.

How can we tell if our content is worth consuming? If people consume and feel driven to share it. If it works for your audience, it works.

3. It has to have spark

The biggest problem I see with content is cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers stuff.

Our Certified Content Marketer training program teaches you structure and formula, but it’s your job to find the spark.

If you’re writing for a company, somewhere in your organization is someone with a passion. It might be the founder or a salesperson or a support person. Someone cares desperately and can show you where the spark is.

And if you can’t find anyone … you need to look for another company! I don’t say that flippantly. Companies without G.A.S. don’t tend to last long. And even if they do, they’re no fun to work with.

(Been there, done that. Not worth the t-shirt.)

As a professional writer, you are the scribe of the business you serve. It’s your role to take their beliefs and passions and give them a voice. I take this very seriously, and I think you should, too.

Be part of everything. Be curious about everything. Become a lifelong student of everything. It’s all material.

4. It usually relies on proven structures

Getting spark into your content doesn’t mean “winging it.”

There are structures that have been shown to work better, because they make your ideas easier to perceive and understand.

Here’s a nutshell structure for effective content. Copyblogger has lots of posts on these points, and of course we also cover them in depth in the Certified Content Marketer training progra.

Effective content is marked by:

  • A headline that instantly commands attention
  • A few sharp, focused introductory sentences that pull the audience in
  • Useful information that solves a problem the audience cares about (think about magazine content)
  • A single, focused point or “moral of the story” that the content is trying to teach. This could address a specific objection to purchase or a belief the prospect needs in order to buy, or it could lead to a call to action
  • Stories, metaphors, case studies, examples, and other techniques to engage the audience and illustrate that point
  • A well-crafted call to action that tells the audience how to take the next step

5. People have to know how to think of you

You may be more than able to handle everything above — but you also need to convey that to your clients or employers.

A successful content marketer knows how to market her own business, as well as her clients’ or employers’ businesses.

Let’s face it. You aren’t going to find the perfect gig that will keep your bills paid and your brain happy forever. It’s not how the world works anymore.

You need to position yourself for today and for tomorrow. You need to market yourself as the smartest, best solution. You need to take all of the authority and technique that you use for your clients and treat yourself as your most important client.

That doesn’t always come naturally to us, but it can be taught — and when you learn it, you will appreciate the benefits.

At Copyblogger, we love writers. We respect writers. And we want writers to be paid what they’re worth.

You run the show. The web revolves around words — and you are the creator of those words. We want you to get the respect (and pay) you deserve.

Are you a writer who wants to become a Certified Content Marketer?

Inside our Content Marketer Certification program, we’ve got a lot more for writers.

We designed this program to help writers make the most of their careers — to help them position themselves and their offerings, so that they can build profitable freelance writing businesses.

And we’re opening the program soon. Drop your email address below and you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Find out when our Certified Content Marketer training program reopens:

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on April 28, 2015.

Image via picjumbo

The post What’s the Difference Between a Professional Writer and a Content Marketer? appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?

are you writing copy or creating content?

From a traditional marketing standpoint, the answer to the question in the headline above is simple.

Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers — and customers into repeat buyers.

Copywriting gets a reader to take a specific action. Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also be subscribing to your email list, signing up for your content library, or calling you for more information.

Content marketing is blogs, podcasts, and email autoresponders.

Copywriting is sales pages, ads, and direct mail.

Two different critters, right?

Well, not if you’re doing it right.

Content without copywriting is a waste of good content

There are some blogs out there with seriously good content — and only a few readers. (Maybe yours is one of them.)

If you’re writing great articles that people would love to read, but you’re not getting the traffic you want, the problem may be ineffective copywriting:

  • Your headlines might be too dull. When your headlines are boring, they don’t give people any reason to click through to the rest of your writing.
  • Your headlines might be too cute and clever. If this is the case, you’re simply showing how smart you are without communicating any reader benefits. If your headlines are too dull or too clever, learn how to write magnetic headlines.
  • You haven’t explicitly thought about how your content benefits readers. Just like a product has to have a benefit to the buyer, your content has to be inherently rewarding to readers or they won’t come back to your website.
  • Your content isn’t building any rapport or trust. You can always get social media attention by being a brat, a pest, or a train wreck, but attention doesn’t translate into subscribers or customers.
  • You haven’t leveraged any social proof. It’s tricky to show readers your blog is a cool place to hang out when you don’t have lots of readers yet, but we have a few tips for you.
  • You don’t have a clear, specific call to action. A call to action lets people know what you want them to do next.

Remember, copywriting is the art of convincing your reader to take a specific action. And yes, it’s still copywriting if it takes place in a podcast or video … if you’re doing it well.

The thoughtful use of copywriting techniques on your blog will get readers to subscribe to your content, opt in to your email list, and share your great articles with other readers. That’s how you build a large, loyal audience.

Copywriting without content is a waste of good copy

So, is copywriting everything? Will the effective use of copywriting techniques propel you automatically into the ranks of the world’s most popular blogs?

Sadly, no.

If you do a brilliant job packaging and marketing crap, all you do is efficiently get the word out about how bad your crap is. Not the result you’re looking for.

Smart marketers still need to keep these principles of great content marketing in mind:

  • Be generous. Generosity is sexy. When your free content is so valuable that it makes you a little uncomfortable, you know you’ve got it right.
  • Produce enjoyable content. Only ad men like advertising. If your content looks like an ad, it will be overlooked or thrown away. Make your “advertising” too valuable to throw away by wrapping it in wonderfully beneficial, readable content.
  • Attract the right people. Content marketing helps your SEO efforts, but don’t make the mistake of writing for search engines. Always write for people first, and then make your content search-engine friendly so new readers can find you.

And, of course, always remember the first rule of Copyblogger.

Really good content is unsurpassed at building rapport, delivering a sales message without feeling “salesy,” and getting potential customers to stick around.

That’s why many of the sharpest copywriting minds now favor a “content net” approach. They combine strategic copywriting with great content to get the best of both worlds. Which is exactly what Copyblogger’s been teaching readers for the past 10 years.

How about you? How are you using content and copywriting to get more traffic and then convert your site visitors into fans and customers?

Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on January 11, 2011.

The post What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting? appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Solar Power – What’s in It for Me?

Solar energy has several benefits over conventional energy. Although it will cost to retrieve energy from the sun, the energy itself is free. Solar energy is unlimited. The Earth’s atmosphere will not be damaged by its emission gases. Many homeowners opt to use solar energy because of the positive impact they will have on the environment.

Solar energy, unlike fossil fuels, doesn’t produce the harmful pollutants to blame for increasing the greenhouse effect which leads to global warming. Solar energy is a clean and sustainable source of energy that you can use for solar electricity, solar heating, solar cooling, and solar lighting.

The financial aspect is also a key factor for homeowners.

The financial benefits of solar energy can be seen in decreased utility payments as you use solar energy for electricity, heating, cooling, and lighting. Besides, by reducing your homes operating costs you are also increasing the value of your home.

By using solar solutions, you will reduce your dependence on the utility companies. You will no longer need to have electricity delivered to your home as you will be able to produce your own solar power electricity. So you will be free from fuel rate increases.

Solar energy also gives you a level of reliability and protection that other energy sources can’t match. As you bring about your own electricity and heat, you will not be affected by power cuts.

A solar water-heating (also known as solar thermal) system uses panels fitted to your roof to warm up water for use around the home.

Maintenance costs are very low – most solar water heating systems come with a 5-10 year guarantee and require little maintenance. There are no extra costs once you’ve had the equipment installed, except, in most cases, a little amount of electricity needed to run the pump as it uses the sun’s heat. Under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, from October 2012, householders with solar water heating systems will qualify for financial backing.

In England, planning permission for most solar water installations is no longer needed – and governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently discussing introducing similar initiatives.

Your roof must be strong enough to take the heavy solar panels, especially if the panel is to be installed on top of existing tiles.

We’ve used the Sun for drying clothes and food for thousands of years, but only recently have we been able to use it for generating power.

All our power needs can be met many times over by a tiny fraction of the sun’s energy that hits the Earth. If we could properly harness the suns energy enough arrives at the earth every minute to meet our needs for a entire year.

Many grants are available to help you install solar power in your home. So – What reason do I have to not install a solar solution? – is the question you should be asking.


Latest solar news

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Here’s What’s About To Hit Netflix

As you know, content comes and goes on Netflix. Each week, we’re bringing you a list of titles that you’ll be able to stream in the U.S. in the coming days. As always, dates are subject to change.

I really can’t tell you much about any of this week’s titles so let’s just get right to it.

Available on 09/04:

Baby Daddy: Season 4 (new episodes)

A 20-something bachelor bartender becomes an unlikely parent when an ex-girlfriend leaves a baby girl on his doorstep.

Bad Night (2015)

Lauren Luthringshausen, Jenn McAllister, Julianna Guill

When Kate (Lauren Luthringshausen) and Abby (Jenn McAllister) are mistaken for famous art thieves (Julianna Guill and Judy Marte), their fun night out quickly goes from good to bad, and Mrs. Goldstein’s (June Diane Raphael) boring class field trip turns into the trip of their lives. But now they have to contend with a roller-skating Russian Mobster (Matt Walsh), a “method painter” with one ear (Adam Pally), a pregnant tattoo artist (Casey Wilson) and The Collector, a Bond girl turned Bond villain (Molly Ringwald). Whether or not the BFFs can survive is as much a question as whether or not their friendship can.

Madame Secretary: Season 1

Ex-CIA agent Elizabeth McCord is living the quiet life of an academic when a plane crash and a presidential request present a challenge she cannot refuse, and she finds herself thrust into the spotlight as the newly appointed secretary of state.

Melissa & Joey: Season 4 (new episodes)

Single politician Melissa has her life turned upside-down when she is made guardian of her niece, Lennox, and nephew, Ryder. She hires Joe, an unemployed stockbroker, as a live-in “manny” (male nanny) to help out, a job he hopes will be temporary.

Available on 09/08:

6 Years (2015) – NETFLIX EXCLUSIVE

Taissa Farmiga, Ben Rosenfield, Joshua Leonard

As a volatile young couple who have been together for six years approach college graduation, unexpected career opportunities threaten their future.

Love At First Fight (2014)

Adèle Haenel, Kévin Azaïs, Antoine Laurent

When he meets the intense, muscular and beautiful Madeleine Beaulieu on France’s southwest coast,mild-mannered Arnaud Labrède becomes obsessed with her — so much so that when she signs up for a military training course, he follows suit.

Available on 9/9:

Teen Beach Movie 2 (2015)

Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Grace Phipps

Modern day teens Mack and Brady get a real world visit from Lela, Tanner, Butchy, and other surfer and biker pals from the beach party film within a film, Wet Side Story.

Available on 09/10:

Fugitivos: Season 1

Julián and Esperanza, both unjustly imprisoned, form a passionate bond behind bars and conceive a daring scheme to prove their innocence.

Longmire: Season 4 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson, this contemporary crime thriller focuses on a Wyoming sheriff who’s rebuilding his life and career following the death of his wife.

Available on 09/11:

About Elly (2009)

Marila Zare’i, Mani Haghighi, Taraneh Aidoosti

After years abroad, Ahmad returns to his native Iran to recover from his recent divorce, where he joins some old pals on a trip to the Caspian Sea. His friends also invites Elly, a young teacher who may be the cure for Ahmad’s broken heart.

God Bless the Child (2015)

Harper Graham, Elias Graham, Arri Graham

When their depressive mother abruptly disappears, five children are left to their own devices, with 13-year-old Harper assuming the role of caretaker.

Madame Bovary (2014)

Mia Wasikowska, Laura Carmichael, Ezra Miller

In this faithful adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s immortal novel, young Emma Bovary’s passions overwhelm her solemn vows of marriage when the dashing Marquis d’Andervilliers captivates her heart, ultimately leading her down the path to ruin.

Image via Netflix

The post Here’s What’s About To Hit Netflix appeared first on WebProNews.


WebProNews – WebProNews

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

What’s In A Name?

Many SEO love keyword-loaded domain names. The theory is that domains that feature a keyword will result in a boost in ranking. It’s still a contentious topic:

I’ve seen bloggers, webmasters and search aficionados argue the case around the death of EMDs time and time again, despite the evidence staring them in the face: EMDs are still all over the place. What’s more, do a simple bulk backlink analysis via Majestic, and you will find tons which rank in the top 10 while surrounded by far more authoritative domains.

No matter what the truth of the matter as to the ranking value of EMDs, most would agree that finding the right language for describing and profiling our business is important.

Terminology Changes

Consider the term “startup”.

This term, which describes a new small business, feels like it has been around forever. Not so. Conduct a search on the time period 1995-1998 and you won’t find results for start-up:

It’s a word that has grown up with the web and sounds sexier than just business. Just like the word “consultant” or “boutique” sounds better than “mom and pop” or “1 person business”. (You must remember of course when “sanitation engineer” replaced “trash man”.) oI just did a search to see the use of the word startup from the period 1995 to 1998 and came up with zilch in terms of relation to business

Start up does sound sexier than “mom n pop” or “one person business”, or “a few stoner mates avoiding getting a job”. A pitch to a VC that described the business as a “mom n pop” may not be taken seriously, whereas calling it a startup will.

If we want to be taken seriously by our audience, then finding the audience’s language is important.

SEO or Digital Marketing Or…..?

Has SEO become a dirty word? Has it always been a dirty word?

SEO’s don’t tend to see it that way, even if they are aware of the negative connotations. They see SEO as a description of what they do. It’s always been a bit of a misnomer, as we don’t optimize search engines, but for whatever reason, it stuck.

The term SEO is often associated with spam. The ever-amiable Matt Cutts video’s could be accompanied by a stern, animated wagging finger and a “tut tut tut” subtext. The search engines frown on a lot when it comes to SEO. SEO is permanent frown territory. Contrast this with PPC. PPC does not have that negative connotation. There is no reputation issue in saying you’re a PPC provider.

Over the years, this propaganda exercise that has resulted in the “SEO questionable/PPC credible” narrative has been pretty effective. The spammer label, borrowed from the world of email spam, has not been a term the SEO has managed to shrug off. The search engines have even managed to get SEOs to use the term “spammer” as a point of differentiation. “Spam is what the other SEOs do. Not me, of course.” This just goes to show how effective the propaganda has been. Once SEOs used spam to describe their own industry, the fate of the term SEO was sealed. After all, you seldom hear doctors, lawyers and retailers defining what they do against the bad actors in their sector.

As traffic acquisition gets broader, encompassing PR and social media, new titles like Digital Marketer have emerged. These terms have the advantage of not being weighed down by historical baggage. I’m not suggesting people should name themselves one thing or the other. Rather, consider these terms in a strategic sense. What terms best describe who you are and what you do, and cast you in the best possible light to those you wish to serve, at this point in time?

The language moves.

Generic Name Or Brandable?

Keyword loaded names, like business.com, are both valuable and costly. The downside of such names, besides being costly, is they severely limit branding opportunities. The better search engines get, and the more people use social media and other referral channels, the less these generic names will matter.

What matters most in crowded markets is being memorable.

A memorable, unique name is a valuable search commodity. If that name is always associated with you and no one else, then you’ll always be found in the search results. SEMRush, MajesticSEO, and Mo are unlikely to be confused with other companies. “Search Engine Tools”, not so much.

Will the generic name become less valuable because generic names are perhaps only useful at the start of an industry? How mature is your industry? How can you best get differentiation in a crowded market through language alone?

The Strategy Behind Naming

Here are a few points to consider.

1. Start Early

Names are often an afterthought. People construct business plans. They think about how their website looks. They think about their target market. They don’t yet have a name. Try starting with a name and designing everything else around it. The name can set the tone of every other decision you make.

2. Positioning

In mature markets, differentiation is strategically important. Is your proposed name similar to other competitors names? Is it unique enough? If you’re in at the start of a new industry, would a generic, keyword loaded name work best? Is it time for a name change because you’ve got lost in the crowd? Has your business focus changed?

Does your name go beyond mere description and create an emotional connection with your audience? Names that take on their own meaning, like Amazon, are more likely to grow with the business, rather than have the business outgrow the name. Imagine if Amazon.com had called itself Books.com.

3. What Are You All About?

Are you a high-touch consultative company? Or a product based, functional company? Are you on the cutting edge? Or are you catering to a market who like things just the way they are?

Writing down a short paragraph about how you see yourself, how the customers see you, and your position in the market, will help you come up with suitable names. Better yet, write a story.

4. Descriptive Vs Differentiation

Descriptive can be safe. “Internet Search Engine” or “Web Crawler”. There’s no confusing what those businesses do. Compare them with the name Google. Google gives you no idea what the company does, but it’s more iconic, quirky and memorable. There’s no doubt it has grown with the company and become a natural part of their identity in ways that “Internet Search Engine” never could.

Sometimes, mixing descriptions to create something quirky works well. Airbnb is a good example. The juxtaposition of those two words creates something new, whilst at the same time having a ring of the familiar. It’s also nice to know if the domain name is available, and if the name can be trademarked. The more generic the name, the harder it is to trademark, and the less likely the domain name is available.

5. Does Your Name Travel Well?

Hopefully, your name isn’t a swear word in another culture. Nor have negative connotations. Here are a few comical examples where it went wrong:

Nokia’s new smartphone translates in Spanish slang to prostitute, which is unfortunate, but at least the cell phone giant is in good company. The name of international car manufacturer Peugeot translates in southern China to Biao zhi, which means the same thing.

This is not such an issue if your market is local, but if you plan to expand into other markets in future, then it pays to consider this angle.

6. There’s No Right Answer

There is probably no universally good name. At least, when you first come up with a name, you can be assured some people will hate it, some will be indifferent, and some will like it – no matter what name you choose.

This is why it’s important to ground the subjective name-choosing process in something concrete, like your business strategy, or positioning in the market. You name could have come before the business plan. Or it could reflect it. You then test your name with people who will likely buy your product or service. It doesn’t matter what your Mom or your friends think of the name, it’s what you think of the name and what your potential customers think of the name that counts.

7. Diluting Your Name

Does each service line and product in your company need a distinctive name? Maybe, but the risk is that it could dilute the brand. Consider Virgin. They put the exact same name on completely different service lines. That same brand name carries the values and spirit of Virgin to whatever new enterprise they undertake. This also reduces the potential for customer confusion.

Creating a different name for some of your offerings might be a good idea, Say, if you’re predominantly a service-based company, yet you also have one product that you may spin off at some point in future. You may want to clearly differentiate the product from the service so as not to dilute the focus of the service side. Again, this is where strategy comes in. If you’re clear about what your company does, and your position in the market, then it becomes easier to decide how to name new aspects of your business. Or whether you should give them a name at all.

7. Is your name still relevant?

Brands evolve. They can appear outdated if the market moves on. On the other hand, they can built equity through longevity. It seems especially difficult to change internet company names as the inbound linking might be compromised as a result. Transferring the equity of a brand is typically expensive and difficult. All the more reason to place sufficient importance on naming to begin with.

8. More Than A Name

The branding process is more than just a name and identity. It’s the language of your company. It’s the language of your customers. It becomes a keyword on which people search. Your customers have got to remember it. You, and your employees, need to be proud of it. It sets you apart.

The language is important. And strategic.

Categories: 

SEO Book

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Advert