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SEO Website Audit

It’s What You Say AND How You Say It, Part 1 of 2

September 4, 2007

The old cliché is wrong.  All our lives we’ve heard, “It’s not what you say,
but how you say it.”  That may occasionally be true, but for the most part
it’s what you say AND how you say it.  Case in point: Announce It!, a custom
candy-bar-wrapper manufacturer, had copy on their home page that was
acceptable.  It mentioned pretty much all the important things a site
visitor would need to know about ordering candy wrappers.  Yet the copy
wasn’t pulling as well as it should have been.

 

The Problems

 

The target audience consists mostly of women.  In addition, these women
order favors for special occasions.  That means (stereotypically speaking)
you have people who ask a lot of questions and are especially cautious of
buying something they can’t touch, feel or see (in person) for use at a
major life event.  Communication (what the copy says as well as how it says
it) is vital.

 

The text had to convince women that they could trust Announce It! to produce
something they would show off in front of all their family and friends for
important occasions such as birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings,
showers and more.  That meant answering the questions these women have as
well as instilling confidence that their party favors would be the hit of
the event.

 

Technically, the copy was OK.  But it lacked excitement.  No, not hype…
excitement.  It needed to reach out to women and make them feel welcome
while also reinforcing that Announce It! was the perfect solution for them.
You can see the original text here (PDF).

 

As I’ve always said, you never want to “we” all over your copy.  The content
needed to speak to the site visitor, not talk about the company. The old
text was full of “we’s” and “our’s” and hardly even acknowledged the site
visitor.

 

From a search engine standpoint, the site was bouncing around a good bit.
According to the site owner, “For a long time, I held the #1 position for
many of my keywords.  As search engines evolved, my site started bouncing.
It was time to hire a professional.”

 

The Solution

 

The plan was to make the text more inviting and supportive while providing
information that was easy to immediately identify.  I wanted to help
Announce It! differentiate itself from other candy-bar wrapper and favor
sites.  That meant making important benefits clearly visible. In addition, a
glimmer of excitement would be added to the copy to get the women in the
mood to buy.

 

A complete change of focus for the copy would also happen.  Rather than “we”
and “us” the copy would be directed toward the visitor while still
communicating important benefits about buying from the company.

 

Lastly, correcting an elementary mistake would help the copy read better and
assist with SEO.  The hope with SEO was to give Announce It! some stability,
as it had a history of bouncing back and forth between the first and second
pages in the SERPs.

 

The overall goal was to increase conversions for this site.  As the site
owner herself said, “Without conversion, your rankings don’t mean as much.
You really have to convert the visitors once they get to your page.”  Oh so
true!

 

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll look at the rewrite and the results of this
copywriting makeover so you can see firsthand what effect the changes had
for Announce It!

 

Karon Thackston
Copy not getting results? 

Already know how to write, but need help using keywords?