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3 Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Marketing

With over 760 Million users and 30 million businesses, LinkedIn has quickly grown into one of the largest social media platforms. 

As the user base continues to grow, new research from eMarketer’s report predicts that more than half of marketers will be using LinkedIn in 2021. 

Aside from creating fantastic content, here are a few tips to make your LinkedIn marketing strategy a great success.

Optimize your profile

The first and foremost point of focus should be making your profile as optically pleasing and easy to find as possible.

Be sure to set up your own custom URL that is short and sweet (typically your business’ name). Use targeted keywords in your headline and/or summary sections to increase search results.

LinkedIn Groups

You can join groups on LinkedIn relating to certain topics. Try joining a group (or a few) related to your business and adding to the discussion happening there. 

If people in the group like what you have to offer, they’re sure to come and look into finding out just what your business is all about. You can even create your own uniquely yours branded group and invite others to join. 

LinkedIn Groups are a great way to branch out to those who already have an interest in topics related to your business.

Don’t try to sell

The last tip for your LinkedIn marketing strategy is knowing that marketing with LinkedIn is quite different than marketing on other social media sites. 

People are not on LinkedIn to be sold to, and if you try to sell there, it will most likely annoy many of the users. Instead, you’ll want to focus primarily on building brand awareness.

Some LinkedIn-specific content ideas include; sharing career advice, inspirational stories, status updates, and motivational messages.

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5 Reasons Responsive Design is Important

We all operate in what is called a “multi-screen landscape”, viewing content on our computers, tablets, and phones. Due to this, we need responsive design to be able to create websites that adapt accordingly to the device being used. 

With responsive design, we can create products that are flexible, user-friendly, optimized, cost-effective, and well managed. I will now go on to explain each one of these benefits a bit further.

Cost-effective

By using responsive web design, one can eliminate the need for maintaining separate sites for separate devices. This will save money because you will only need to spend your money on one design to appeal to all of your website’s visitors.

Flexible

With responsive design, any changes to your site can be quickly and easily applied to the site on all device types. You won’t have to needlessly worry about making changes to two or more sites to keep everything consistent. Changes that need to be made only need to be made once.

User-Friendly

If someone visits your mobile site but it takes too much time to load or your pictures are not properly optimized, it can make your brand and product seem unprofessional, and therefore untrustworthy. With responsive design, your website will offer your visitors a better experience and they will be more likely to have a positive overall impression of your brand and product.

Optimized

Responsive design can help with search engine optimization because Google gives preference to websites that are mobile-friendly and places them higher on the search ranking. This in combination with many other SEO tactics can greatly increase traffic and legitimacy to your website.

Well managed

Responsive design allows you to make necessary changes to your website without the particular touch of a professional designer. This in turn allows for quick and easy stress-free management of your website.

Responsive design is an important step in the creation of your website and failure to incorporate it into your process will only be to your detriment. 

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The 4 Types of User Personas

There are four distinct perspectives that your personas can adopt to ensure the best overall design of your website. There are goal-directed, role-based, engaging, and fictional personas.

Goal-directed personas focus on what the user wants to do with the product. The objective here is to examine the process that a user would prefer in using your product. What is the user’s expected workflow? To know this, you will need to do the proper research on your user. You need to know what the user hopes to achieve and the motivations for their actions. 

Role-based personas are primarily data-driven focusing on the roles that our users play in the real world. Your users are grouped together based on the functions they perform. Typically, but not always, roles are defined by what someone’s job title is. An individual’s knowledge, skills, and behavior are all taken into account.

Engaging personas have the ability to incorporate both goal-directed and role-based personas within them. These personas are meant to move beyond personas based on stereotypes and create realistic ones that the designer can identify with (much like a character in a story). The process involves examining the user’s emotions, psychology, and backgrounds, then mapping all of that information onto the user’s goals. 

Fictional personas do not require any user research like the three others. Instead, the fictional persona is based on the experience of the ux designer(s). For this persona interactions with the user base and the product are looked at carefully to make assumptions about what the typical user may like. Fictional personas are quite likely to be less accurate than other personas but can be helpful in the early design process.

Creating the aforementioned personas will assist you in better understanding your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. To create a great product, you will have to step outside of yourself and understand the different needs that others have. Doing so will allow you to create the best user experience possible for your website.

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The Honeycomb Principle of User Experience

The Honeycomb Principle asserts that the user’s experience should be useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable.

As creators, we must ask ourselves seven questions regarding our product to ensure it serves the basic needs of the user. 

Useful

Is our website helping the user to solve their problems in a quick and logical way? We need to make sure that our product serves its purpose to the consumer, that is how we know that it is useful. Understanding your target market (or user personas) can help with this greatly, as different people have different uses for products. What is useful for one is not always useful for another.

Usable

Is our website easy to use? Usability is all about effectiveness and efficiency. For example, how many clicks does it take for your user to reach their desired goal? Every part of the site should be optimized to increase speed and effortless use. There are many great tools online to help with testing for usability, Usabilla is one good one.

Desirable

Are we creating something intriguing and inviting? Desirability is about creating a quality product. Always think about how each feature you add to your website creates value for your user, if it doesn’t, maybe consider leaving it out. It’s all about the satisfaction of the consumer as with any product. Give them a reason to keep coming back to your website and not another.

Findable

Is our user able to easily find what it is they are looking for? For this, you’ll primarily be looking at navigation. Analyze your navigational structure, noting how intuitive it is. Find ways to condense down menus and sections and keep things organized and sleek. Increasing the number of elements on the user’s screen makes it harder for them to find it is what they are looking for. The longer it takes them to find what they are looking for, the more likely they are to leave the site. Making sure things are findable will greatly impact the success of your website.

Accessible

Is our website restricted to some users or easily accessible to all? You want your website to be accessible to people with a full range of abilities. Accessibility focuses on those with disabilities and ensures that they are able to use your website with ease the same as every other user. Designing for accessibility will ultimately improve your website’s SEO rank and enhance your professional image.

Credible

Do users feel safe and secure browsing our site? You want your users to be able to trust your site and the services you provide. You gain the user’s trust by having great accuracy and conducting yourself in an ethical manner. So you need to provide a product that lives up to all that you promise. It’s all about building customer loyalty. If your website fails to gain trust from the user, they will more than likely never return to it. Provide your user with only content that is reliable and useful and you will naturally gain their trust.

Valuable

Is the website useful to the user? Value is the most simple of the seven pieces to the honeycomb principle. It involves simply providing your user with value-creating customer satisfaction.

Using this principle and asking ourselves all of these questions can help us to know whether or not we’ve achieved a good user experience. By moving through and chipping away at these seven questions and checking them off our list, we can ensure that our product is meeting our user’s needs.

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Social Listening

Social listening can be used to monitor your brand name, keep tabs on recent/potential customers, and to contribute to the general conversation. We need to listen to our customers to better understand what it is that they need. 

Social listening in terms of social media monitoring involves taking a look at metrics such as; brand mentions, relevant hashtags, competitor mentions, and industry trends.

Why Social Listening is Important

If you don’t use social listening, you’re missing out on a lot of valuable information about the attitudes and feedback of your customer base. 

The bottom line is you want to know what people are saying about your business. Usually, if you listen enough, your customers will end up telling you exactly what it is that they want from your business, and you’ll be there to give it to them.

Social listening can be used to monitor public perception, analyze discussions within an industry, analyze competing brands or products, and to monitor your consumer’s response to your product or service, and see how things are resonating.

Once you’ve gathered together enough data you’ll be able to find your most frequently asked questions, customers’ most common issues, and see whether or not the general consensus about your brand or product is positive or not.

Utilizing every opportunity to engage with your customers will help build a better relationship and to ensure every interaction is a positive one.

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Email Marketing

The best way to garner new email subscribers is to invest in some Email-Based PPC Marketing. This can be done by creating an ad on a Google search results page for your company. When the user clicks on the ad, they will be directed to your email sign-up form.

This is a great way to optimize who your target as an audience, breaking down whom you target into categorical segments. 

The Power of Social Remarketing

Social Remarketing can boost your audience engagement by three times, and double conversions! The best customers to sell to are your current ones. Remarketing with social allows you to reach the right people, with the right message at the right time. 

Increase Open Rates

One way to increase the rate at which emails are opened is to write a great subject line. Another (if you have the customer’s information already) is to personalize the email directly referring to the customer by name.

Keep your emails short and sweet. Include links and always have a call-to-action for every email.

Also, be sure to optimize your emails for mobile so that they display correctly when opened on a smartphone. Send test emails to yourself before any else to make sure that everything looks correct and in order. Look into your email analytics and see how things are landing.

Using these methods will drastically increase the success of your email marketing campaigns.

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22 SEO Tools for Copywriters

SEO stands for search engine optimization.  It is about making online content that ranks higher on the list of search results on sites like Google.

Search engines have a whole process for determining how sites rank up. There are two factors that determine rank; content relevance, and use of keywords.

SEO keywords help you to optimize your web content to match up with what people are searching for.

Your job as the SEO copywriter is to get your brand noticed. 95% of the world’s internet searches happen on Google. If your content is not in the search results, it might as well not exist.

Here are the twenty-two online tools to improve your SEO copywriting.

1. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer; helps you to craft the perfect headline. Plug your headline into the extension and it will provide you with a score and detailed analysis. It will let you know what needs work, so you can make the necessary adjustments. 

2. Ahrefs; a great SEO tool (not free to use). It will suggest keywords and allow you to see search volumes for each one. Using this tool, you can find the keywords that will work best for you. Also, look at your competitors and what keywords are working best for them.

3. KWFinder; another great tool to find the right keywords for SEO (also a pay-to-use platform). Much like Ahrefs, it will help you to choose the right keywords.  Search keywords based on location to better target your content.

4. MozBar; an SEO toolbar plug-in for Google. It allows you to view the Google rank (page authority and domain authority) of pages. The quickest, easiest way to see instant page metrics.

5. Google Ads: Keyword Planner; generate thousands of possible keywords to use for SEO (free with a Google Ads account). View keyword search volumes and forecasts.

6. Yoast SEO: WordPress Plugin; optimize your page for search engines. Check your content and get feedback on how to improve SEO. See a preview of how your content appears on search engines before it goes live.

7. Google Analytics; check user traffic and behavior on your site. View the number of visits to your site, how long users spend there, what pages they view the most, where your traffic is coming from, and much more.

8. Hemingway App; evaluates your text on several levels. It will determine what level of education you are writing at, do a word count, and highlight dense sentences. It will even tell you if you are writing in a passive or active voice. A fantastic tool to quicken your editing workflow.

9. Grammarly; checks your spelling and grammar; highlighting problematic words, phrases, and punctuation. Another must-have for quick copy editing.

10. Copyscape; checks for originality to ensure you aren’t stealing someone else’s words. Also, will scan the internet to ensure no one is stealing your words either.

11. WordCounter; will let you know how often you use certain words. Knowing what words you are using the most can help you to select keywords for SEO later.

12. Wordable; allows you to import your copy from Google Docs into WordPress with one click. If you are using WordPress, this can save you a lot of time editing from one platform to the next.

13. Thesaurus; the best source on the web for synonyms and antonyms. 

14. Google Scholar; for free peer-reviewed academic and professional source material.

15. BuzzSumo; see what topics are currently trending around the web. Analyze and view data. Track mentions of your brand with the option to receive alerts. Find the words and phrases that get the most shares. A great tool for writers, digital marketers, and internet content creators.

16. HubSpot; can help you to generate ideas worth writing about. Type in a noun and the site will generate several topics or phrases to get you going.

17. Quora; another great tool to generate ideas. Quora is an online forum where people can ask questions about anything. See what questions people are asking, and conduct market research on a potential audience.

18. Scrivener; allows for easy organization of notes and ideas. This tool lets you put all your documents into one location. Create a logical order, structure, and procedure for your method. You can zoom out from your documents to view them all in an outline format and rearrange from there.

19. FileZilla; allows users to store and share files on a cross-platform server. Encrypts data to keep it secure.

20. CrashPlan; another back-up server that can store your data (a pay-to-use service). It has a support staff to help users and answer questions on a regular basis, while FileZilla does not.

21. Canva; create your own original images and graphics. No previous design or art experience needed.

22. Shutterstock; another great tool to add images to your copy (requires a paid monthly subscription). Get access to 300 million royalty-free photos.

This list should help to get you started in SEO Copywriting. But, there is still a lot of work to do before you can land that job.

You’ll want to have a hands-on working knowledge of this and a portfolio of work to display your excellence. Learn more by checking for content panels, writing workshops, or online classes.

Some companies will even hire interns with nothing but a good attitude to show. So keep your options open and look for a way to get your foot in the door.  

For more on copywriting, check out my previous blog post about the copywriter’s skills list.

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3 Skills for New Copywriters

If you are new to the world of copywriting, like me, you may be unsure where to start. I did some digging and pulled from my research the skills that are essential for a career in copywriting.

Here are the three skills new copywriters should focus on developing.

1. English skills

Know grammar, punctuation, and rules of the English language. Use Grammarly to double-check your work. Make content that flows well. Be able to break down difficult ideas into easy ones. Use Hemmingway to keep your sentences short and to the point.

Tell a good story. Be convincing and connect with your audience. Stay organized, craft an outline, and plan ahead. Tools like Scrivener and Evernote can help you succeed at this.

2. Research skills

Get familiar with the topic you are covering. A lot of times you will have to write on topics that you are not familiar with. Reach out and talk to an expert in the field. Choose trusted sources. For academic research use Google Scholar. Check out Zotero; a free to use research tool.

3. UX Skills

Always have the user in mind. Who is visiting your site or viewing your ads? What are they looking for, and how can you help? Create the best content possible. Reach the needs of the consumer. Get to know your audience. Consider your reader. Try to walk in their shoes. Check what’s trending on BuzzSumo.

Conduct market research. Send out email surveys with Google Forms. Read online forums like Quora. See the kind of problems that people are facing. Spend the extra time to craft the perfect headline for your piece. Use a tool like Coschedule Headline Analyzer to help.

Create lasting and positive relationships with your readers. Focus on providing the most accurate, relevant information first. The audience will grow as the quality of content improves.

There you have it folks, the three essential skills that make up the copywriter’s skills list.