Product pages – How important are they for e-commerce in 2015?

Product Pages – How important are they for e-commerce in 2015?

Product descriptions

Product pages have long been considered an essential element of any successful e-commerce strategy. But as with any sector that constantly develops and changes, there are bound to be some dissenters to challenge the rule. Some of these were present in a recent round of #EcomChat, a weekly Twitter-based chat centring around all things e-commerce.

Towards the end of March, the topic for #EcomChat was ‘Ecommerce Product Pages’, and the first question was, ‘Is the product page still the most important page on most e-commerce sites?’ For many of those business owners, marketers and copywriters involved in the discussion, product pages appear to remain a crucial aspect, but some weren’t so sure.

“So many influencers for this,” pointed out Paul Rourke (@paulrourke), “the increase in quick view & quick buy from category/lister pages, the cost of the product…”

Stephen@firstconversion also felt that product pages may have lost some significance, tweeting, “Do the basics right and product pages are standard. More important: Homepage re: branding & email capture re: lifetime value.”

The continuing role of the product description

It may be true that there are other factors involved in whether a visitor buys a particular product or not. But the fact is that for many types of e-commerce the product description fulfils the vital role of informing the customer about the product and convincing them of its merits. It is also a key traffic driver, and as @jamesgurd pointed out during the discussion, “the product page is often >50% of all page views.”

For Jason Dilworth @JasonDilworth56, the position of product pages within the e-commerce purchasing chain makes them particularly important. He tweeted: “visitors don’t see payment page without seeing a product, while a product page can be entry point. More important IMO”.

You can find a handy roundup of the discussions key points at Prwd.co.uk.

The value of quality product descriptions

Despite shifting e-commerce trends and wider developments across the web, product description pages continue to serve several vital purposes:

  • They provide useful and necessary information to customers
  • They give you a chance to differentiate your products from those offered by your competitors
  • They also provide a space in which you can express your brand’s personality through the style and tone adopted by your product copywriters
  • They enable you to get across the unique selling propositions (USPs of your product and your brand).

It may be true that for some types of products, ‘quick buy’ pop-up screens can provide all the information that a customer needs, but even these can of course be classed as product descriptions in their own right.

During the #Ecomchat discussion, Stuart McMillan @mcmillanstu suggested that e-commerce businesses should, “try stripping back as much as possible, de-clutter that page.” This may be prudent for some e-commerce businesses, particularly those for which the image of the product is an important factor, but for others offering more technical items, a little more detail may not go amiss.

The length of your product descriptions and the weighting they may carry in terms of overall importance in your online marketing strategy will vary from business to business; what is important is that you have well written product descriptions which are fit for purpose and which match the wider brand image that you are trying to convey. Product descriptions written by a professional copywriter are your chance to really let your products shine, and whether you consider them to be the most important link in the purchase chain or not, they are certainly a crucial one that cannot be overlooked.

Get in touch with Big Star Copywriting if you require the services of an experienced team of product copywriters who can handle large projects on time and within your budget.

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4 ways travel businesses can boost their online content marketing

We live in an age in which there are thousands upon thousands of destinations for people to visit and almost as many companies who will take them there, accommodate them or handle all bookings on their behalf. With this much competition, if you’re part of the travel industry you need to do something extra special to stand out and get noticed online. Here we look at four ways that you can do just that.

Appeal to the culture of your target market

If you’re trying to appeal to overseas visitors then you of course want to make sure that you give them a taste of the culture that they will experience in your travel copywriting. But it can also be highly effective to take note of the linguistic intricacies of the people you’re trying to market to, and that’s what VisitBritain have been doing recently in their attempts to woo more Chinese visitors.

In China, there is a common trend that sees things, places and famous people renamed with monikers that describe what they are. So, as part of its ‘Great names for Great Britain’ campaign, the tourism agency asked Chinese web users to come up with alternative names for a variety of landmarks in Britain. The Guardian recently reported on some of these new names which will be used in future travel marketing, including:

  • ‘Zhai Xing Ta’ or ‘The tower that allows us to pluck stars from the sky’ – The Shard
  • ‘Qun Ying Hui’ or ‘The strong-man skirt party’ – The Highland Games
  • ‘Pi Tou Shi’ – ‘Gentlemen with long hair’ – The Beatles

In doing so, Visit Britain have struck upon a fun way to get Chinese visitors involved, as well as enabling them to communicate with them more effectively in future marketing efforts.

Find an intriguing hook for your content marketing

The Eden Project recently won ‘Best Integrated Campaign of the Year’ at the Travel Marketing Awards, for its Dinosaurs Unleashed campaign. Launched to promote a special family-friendly programme of dinosaur-related activities last summer, the campaign focused on all-things related to the huge lizards of old, and sought to evoke this in its copywriting. For example:

“As you walk through atmospheric morning mist, you’ll hear pterosaurs soaring overhead and smell the subtle scent of conifers in the air.”

By focusing on one specific area, Eden’s copywriters and marketers were able to get stuck in creatively and really concentrate on selling that one idea as a reason to visit the attraction.

Highlight some of the key attractions in the destination area

If you’re flying people to a destination or providing them with a place to stay once they get there, you do of course want to give them an overall flavour of the place that will offer a tantalising glimpse. But as well as looking at the bigger picture, you should also spend a little time highlighting some of the specific attractions that will provide customers with fun/ romance/ relaxation etc. By drilling down to the macro-level, you can make it easier for web users to imagine themselves experiencing one of your holidays.

Focus on the experiences that await travellers

If you can really paint a picture of what your holidays are like from a customer’s perspective, they should practically sell themselves. A talented travel copywriter should be able to put themselves in the reader’s shoes (or flip-flops for that matter), and walk them through the experiences that await them. In your marketing content, try to capture the mood of relaxation and indulgence of the spa, the exhilaration of the mountain climb, and the excitement of exploring new places.

At Big Star Copywriting we’ve created content for some of the biggest names in travel. If you want to find out how we can help your bookings soar above the clouds, get in touch today.

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How to use eBooks to promote your online business

How to use eBooks to promote your online business

eBook

In our last blog post we looked at how you can use infographics as a potent tool in your content marketing strategy. This week we’re going to explore the potential of eBooks for online marketing, and discuss how to use them to effectively promote your business and increase your brand exposure.

Why eBooks?

eBooks have grown in popularity as a means of conveying larger bodies of information in the past couple of years, buoyed by the development of smart phones with large screens and of dedicated eBook readers with paper-like screens. More and more people are now reading fictional eBooks for entertainment, but there is also a considerable market for shorter, more functional electronic volumes.

By providing customers and clients with useful information for free, you can develop a reputation as an authority in your field, and lodge your brand firmly in their memory. In addition to this, by encouraging people to share your eBook with their friends and colleagues, you can quickly benefit from increased brand exposure.

Offering a free eBook in exchange for contact details can also be a useful tactic for capturing email addresses that you can then add to your email newsletter distribution list (with the recipients approval of course).

What should my eBook be about?

The core topic of your eBook should obviously relate to the products or services that your business offers. But it should not be salesy or self-serving – no one wants to download a 20-page advert for your business, unless they’ve agreed to download a sales catalogue. Your eBook should instead offer value and useful information that the reader can use. Your first step in creating your eBook then is to identify a topic or theme that is relevant and useful to your customers. If it’s also topical then all the better.

To find a suitable topic, you might try asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • What problems/ challenges do our customers commonly experience?
  • What is currently a ‘hot topic’ within our industry?
  • Is there a relevant subject that our competitors haven’t covered?
  • What specialist knowledge can we impart which will be useful?
  • What kind of information or tutorials would someone new to our specialist area find particularly useful?

When you’ve decided on a broad topic, you should drill down further to create a concept for your eBook which is more tightly defined. Doing so will make the eBook easier to research, write and market for you, and easier to digest for the reader.

Structuring and researching your eBook

Once you’ve arrived at a suitable topic and a provisional title, you need to think about what specific information will be contained within the book. Come up with a list of sub-topics within your main topic, and then think about what the most logical way to order these is. In doing so, you should also be able to get an idea about what areas you need to do more research in, and what elements of your existing knowledge and/or data will feed into it.

Getting the eBook written

Writing an eBook requires a considerable investment of time, as it may take many hours to conduct the necessary research, to write it and then edit it to optimise its effectiveness in fulfilling the initial aim. Unless you’ve got a dedicated copywriter working for you then finding this time can be difficult. In addition to this, if you or the member of staff charged with writing the eBook don’t have professional copywriting experience, the results can be quite far from what is desired. That’s why many businesses opt to outsource the actual writing, and even some or all of the research, to a professional eBook copywriter or agency.

In doing so, you can develop a polished marketing product which can be used over and over to promote your business, without losing precious time that you can spend on other areas of your business.

Big Star Copywriting provide professional eBook copywriting services, and we can also help you to identify a suitable topic and take this from concept to customer download. Get in touch for a friendly chat to discuss this or any other content marketing needs you may have.

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Infographics: How to use them in your content marketing

Infographics: How to make and use them in your content marketing

In marketing your business online you have a variety of tools in your arsenal which you can use to boost your brand and increase your exposure. Some of them, like blog posts and social media, you’ll use frequently to keep your content marketing machine ticking over. Others meanwhile you’ll tend to use more sparsely, but when used at opportune times they can score you massive results in terms of increased brand exposure, building authority and generating additional interest. Infographics fall into this latter category.

What is an infographic?

Chances are you’ve seen them in one form or another, but let’s take a moment just to crystallise the concept. Infographics, as far as marketers are concerned, are striking and attractive visual representations of previously collected or compiled data. That data might be your own, or it might be outside data you’ve collated together and are referencing to support a larger picture. Either way, the purpose of an infographic is to convey data that could otherwise appear dull and inaccessible, in an easy to understand visual format.

Infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why should businesses and marketers use them?

For businesses, infographics serve a number of useful purposes:

  • They can boost your image as an authority in your field
  • They can be used to support ideas and concepts central to the uptake of your products or services
  • They can bring substantial amounts of additional traffic to your website
  • Because they’re catchy and easily digestible they’re often shared online, and can even go viral

Making your infographic

Before you create an infographic, you should think about what you’re trying to communicate to those who view it. What are the key themes that you want to explore and the more specific points that you want to get across? Once you have firmly in your mind what your infographic is about and what its purpose is, you can begin the process of creating it.

Step one:  Gather your data

The data or information that you are presenting forms the meat of your infographic. It should be:

  • Interesting
  • Illuminating
  • 100% accurate

There are a variety of ways in which you gather your data. You might simply be presenting the results of a customer survey you ran, or it might be the result of extensive testing. Your data might also be the result of many hours of research into a specific topic, and may bring together data sets or information from multiple sources. Wherever your data comes from you should make this clear in the infographic, and properly reference any information from outside sources.

Step Two: Identify your key findings

Once you have your data you should begin exploring what it means and which trends are the most interesting and relevant to your audience. It’s important to consider this at this point, as it will set the tone and overall message of the infographic.

Step three: Translate your data into visual form

At this step you should consider how best to represent your information. Do you have data which readily lends itself to pie charts, quirkily illustrated soundbites, lists of statistics or treemaps? Your finished infographic may well combine any number of these elements and other forms of visual representation.

Step Four: Illustrate, write and compile

The final stage is the actual creation of the infographic. For this you might use a number of different staff members or freelancers. A professional illustrator can give your visual representations an extra edge that draws people in and encourages them to share, while a professional web copywriter can help ensure that the textual information is easily understood and memorable.

Promoting and sharing your infographic

Creating an infographic represents a significant investment of time and money. Therefore you want to get as much mileage as possible out of it to receive maximum return on investment. As well as featuring the infographic prominently on your website, you should also post it on your blog, include a teaser link to it on all of your social media accounts, and promote it in your email newsletter campaigns.

If you need any help creating an exceptional infographic that works hard towards your marketing goals, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Big Star Copywriting.

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SEO copywriting VS customer engagement – How to achieve the perfect balance?

SEO copywritingSEO copywriting VS customer engagement – How to achieve the perfect balance?

Creating a successful online presence can at times feel like balancing on a tightrope. On the one hand you need to work hard at creating search engine optimised content which will give you the traction you need in the results pages of Google and the other search engines. On the other, you need to create content which will draw in the actual flesh and blood people who will become your customers, and which will resonate with them to the extent that they stick around. Doing both at the same time is not an impossibility – in fact it is a necessity.

SEO copywriting versus web copywriting

There may once have been a distinction between ‘SEO copywriting’ and other types of copywriting for the web, but in 2015, all online content should be SEO optimised. Conversely, content that is created for SEO purposes should not merely exist for the purposes of wooing the search engines – that simply won’t work.

The fact is, when you create content which is search engine optimised, you are aiming to give the search engines what they want, in a bid to improve your positioning within their results. And what they want today is content which is useful and of value to users who are searching for information and products in a specific niche. Who are these people? Your customers of course.

There are inevitably a multitude of technical elements that feed into SEO, but as far your actual content is concerned, you simply need to create great copy which engages with your customers and is useful to them.

Keywords and relevance

Since the dawn of SEO there has been a near incessant chatter about keywords. Though they are not as important as they once were, keywords are still necessary to provide ‘markers’ which tell the search engines what your content is about. But in creating content which engages your intended audience and gives them information which is relevant to them, you should be generating plenty of these keywords naturally without even trying.

Obviously doing some keyword research to discover what specific search terms are the most popular will enable you to more effectively target your content, but by just creating high quality relevant content you will improve your SEO no end. Do this first and foremost, as generating content with keywords as their primary consideration is a little like wagging a dogs tail to make it happy.

Structuring content for man and machine

How you structure your content will have a significant impact upon how it is viewed by both the search engines and by your customers. Because the search engines are on the lookout for content which is accessible to their users, they tend to like the same features within the text as people. These include:

  • Short descriptive titles – Tell your users and the search engines exactly what your piece of content is about
  • Subheaders to break up the content – When reading online, people tend to ‘scan’ the screen for interesting information that is relevant to them, and subheaders provide handy signposts. They also give you another chance to pick out the themes of your content for the search engines to find.
  • Short paragraphs and sentences – Usability studies have repeatedly shown that web users find it far easier to read content which is broken up into numerous paragraphs than they do two or three large chunks. The search engines have also learned this and so favour content which follows this pattern.
  • Bullet headers which give quick access to key information – Like these ones.

All successful businesses target their customers’ needs first and focus on pleasing the whims of the search engines second. But as you can see, these are today so closely aligned that you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other. If you require any help with creating content which appeals to man and machine, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Big Star Copywriting.

 

 

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5 questions to ask when creating your content marketing strategy

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5 great duplicate content checkers for businesses and copywriting agencies

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Duplicate content: What it is, why it’s bad and how to avoid it

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