October, 2010

Simple steps for a successful Google AdWords campaign – guest post by web design agency, Padmedia.

Search engine marketing is an effective way to reach a large audience through the results pages, and to generate traffic and leads to your website. It’s effective because it targets people who are already searching for the types of products or services you offer.

There are three dominant tools in search engine marketing – Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Google has always had the largest share and that’s why it’s always best to start with Google AdWords.

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Think like your customer

Setting up internet banking for an account that’s been open for 18 months proved rather more difficult for my partner, Graham, than he imagined.

I won’t go into everything that went wrong; I want to highlight one thing in particular to show how important it is to be clear and put ourselves in our customers’ shoes. Nowhere is that more important than in our copy.

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Don’t make marketing promises you can’t keep

I’m in the business of writing succinct, punchy copy for my clients. It needs to engage their audiences and persuade them to buy a product or service. But neither my pithy, persuasive copy nor their eye catching designs count for anything if my clients can’t back up their claims.

Yet all too often we are lured in by smart advertising and clever words, only to find out that the service doesn’t live up to our expectations.  And if my experience this week is anything to go by, I’d suggest banks are the worst offenders.

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Alternative remedies – simple words for clearer business writing

It really does grate on me when I read letters, adverts, leaflets, or whatever, that sound like the written equivalent of a telephone voice. You know what I mean – when someone suddenly adopts a style they wouldn’t normally use. I think they do it to appear intelligent. However, it makes them sound dull and stilted. It also makes the copy pretty unpleasant and uninviting.

This is going to be a regular post (every two months). I’ll feature two words that are common culprits each post and give you some alternatives. Together we can rid business writing of these stodgy intruders!

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End apostrophe abuse

There I was tucking into my porridge, when a leaflet from my local leisure centre dropped through the door.

I like having something to read with my breakfast so I started to flick through it. There was a rather large ad on the back page (so a good, prominent position that most likely cost quite a bit) and the heading read:

“Wedding Video’s.”

Oh dear. Not a good start. Misplaced apostrophes are my bugbear and for the life of me, I don’t understand why anyone thinks it’s correct to use one in a plural. Reading further down the ad, I came across:

“Children’s Party’s”.

Breakfast now totally ruined, and indigestion setting in, I decided to write about apostrophe abuse again.

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An ‘infestation’ of ‘inverted commas’

“Anything that causes you to over-react or under-react can control you, and often does,” reads the quote in the book I’m reading. It’s a book about improving productivity and the quote is absolutely correct.  However, it was more relevant at the moment I read it than the author could possibly have imagined.

I found myself very much over-reacting to his over-use of quote marks. He’s wrapped them around anything and everything. On one page alone there are nine instances of totally unnecessary inverted commas. And the very fact I’ve bothered to count them shows I’m over-reacting, and that these seemingly innocuous little punctuation marks are indeed controlling me.

I find them distracting. They force me to pause and emphasise the framed word in a particular way and with a very particular voice in my head that I heartily dislike. So that (and counting the marks) means my productivity is slowed right down: the total opposite of the book’s point.

So when and where should quotation marks be used?

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It’s just so ironic

Let’s start with a little sing-song. All together now…

“It’s like rain on your wedding day

It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid

It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take

And isn’t it ironic … don’t you think?”

Well, no actually I don’t. Bad luck – yes. Ironic – no. So when should you use the word ironic?

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

Click here to find out a bit more about me.

Word Alchemy Blog