You’ll Read More Than This Headline, Right? Tips from a Copywriting Class

You’ll Read More Than This Headline, Right? Tips from a Copywriting Class

This month, I took a course called Effective Copywriting. I learned a lot in the class, and would like to share a few copywriting tips. Who knew commas could be this exciting? Punctuation is powerful! Commas and other punctuation marks can dramatically change the meaning of a sentence. For example: A woman, without her man, is nothing. A woman, without her, man is nothing. The lesson here is to remember your commas. They make a sentence, and they make a sentence make sense. The following, shared by the course instructor, demonstrates how omitting commas can create a monster. That’s the stuff of nightmares. Spend Your Time on the Headline The recommendation to spend as much time writing your headline as the body copy isn’t intuitive. Why should you spend so much time on a handful of words? Well, look at your reading habits. When was the last time you read an article all the way through? Compare your article to headline ratio. More likely than not, the ratio favors headlines. So, if an article’s headline is all you and most people read, put the time into writing a stellar one. Read Differently People read in many different ways. We skim, we read aloud, we read slowly, and we read quickly. To check for grammatical errors and copy quality, reading differently is key. I never noticed I read differently when editing. I read very, very, very slowly; and sometimes, I start editing at the end of my copy, finishing at the beginning. The copywriting course made me aware of my editing process, and for that, made me a better writer....
webShine Featured for Creative Holiday Facebook Contest

webShine Featured for Creative Holiday Facebook Contest

The webShine team is feeling merry, and not just because it’s the holiday season, and the lifts are spinning! ShortStack, an online platform that makes it easy to create contests for social media, recently highlighted a client’s Facebook contest in their holiday marketing email newsletter, Help for Holiday Marketing To-Do List. With the assistance of FootSteps Marketing, we created a Christmas-themed Facebook contest for Nyberg’s Ace. Here’s what ShortStack had to say about Nyberg’s Ace holiday contest: If you’re looking for a way to display the products or services you provide, but wishlists aren’t quite right for your business, then you might like our Pick a Box template. The “All I Want for Christmas” sweepstakes from Nyberg’s Ace uses the template in a unique way. Once users choose the product they like best, they are entered into a contest to win a $25 Nyberg’s Ace gift card. Each week there’s a new drawing, giving users the incentive to come back again and again to view new products throughout the holiday season. Check out the live Facebook contest (live November 28 – December 23, 2016), or view it below. Have a Contest in Mind? Are you interested in running a Facebook contest, or hosting a contest on your website? webShine can help. Contact us, and we’d love to hear what you have in...
Local Search & “I-Want-to-Go” Micro-Moments

Local Search & “I-Want-to-Go” Micro-Moments

Your shoes are talking. It’s high time to get a fresh pair. So, you whip out your phone, and search for “shoe stores near me”. You see a results page with a map showing 3 shoe stores just down the street. Out the door you go. Micro-Moments That’s a micro-moment, according to Google; and a micro-moment involving “near me” or “nearby” or “closest” is what Google calls an “I-want-to-go” micro-moment. These micro-moments are episodes wherein we want to get information (and get it quickly), so that we can take action. From Searcher to Customer Search queries involving “near me” show a lot of intent. According to a study conducted by Google and Ipsos, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day, and 18% of those searches lead to a purchase within a day. That data shows the serious intent behind a “near me” search. When someone searches for “shoe store near me”, “laundromat near me”, or “pizza near me”, they mean business. And that’s precisely why your local search game needs to be in tip-top condition. Size Doesn’t Matter In reference to “I-want-to-go” micro-moments, Google argues that “[w]hether you’re a small business or global brand, you need to deliver on needs in these moments. You can build upon these moments using beacons, too; but, we’ll leave that topic on the table for now. And to whet your beacon appetite, a lost puppy gets found with a beacon and a phone!...
Standard for Robot Exclusion: Excluding Robots Since ’94

Standard for Robot Exclusion: Excluding Robots Since ’94

The Standard for Robot Exclusion, which you may know as a robots.txt file, just turned 20 years old. To mark its two decades in existence, we thought it would be illuminating to take a closer look at the robots.txt files, and how they are used in today’s world. A blog post written by Brian Ussery on the topic is very educational, and illustrates this file’s complexity. Back in the ’90s, robots essentially ran unchecked on the web, and poked around in branches of certain websites in which they had no business. To limit access, the Standard for Robot Exclusion came into being. Though its purpose is a simple one, of playing bouncer to robots, the nuances of a robot’s response to the robots.txt file is intricate. To demonstrate, prohibiting robots from certain areas of a website does not guarantee their exclusion from appearing on a search engine results page (SERP). Because search engines operate on the premise of indexing the whole of the web available to them in order to deliver the best results, if a search engine recognizes a URL on a website that appears to be relevant to a certain search query, that search engine can bring up that URL on a SERP even if the URL is blocked by a robots.txt file. So, how then does a webmaster block robots while simultaneously ensuring the exclusion of a webpage on a SERP? This double exclusion can be achieved by using a meta tag on the page(s) in question. Place the following in the head section of the page(s). meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” Again, when dealing with robots, instructions...
Universal Analytics Now Out of Beta in Google Analytics

Universal Analytics Now Out of Beta in Google Analytics

This week, Google announced that they had taken Universal Analytics out of beta in Google Analytics. In Google’s words, Universal Analytics is an upgraded platform able to aggregate data from devices beyond smartphones and desktop computers. And now that Google has pushed it through the beta phase, Universal Analytics is a complete package, with all the functionality of Classic Analytics as well as several new and exciting features whose focus appears to be granting analysts the ability to fine tune data to meet business goals and strategy. Among the new features in Universal Analytivcs is the ability to specify a time frame, or what is called a timeout in analytics speak, for sessions and campaigns. Being able to set a session timeout, which is a single visit to a website and all of the visitor’s interactions with said website therein, is key, most especially for websites that host videos whose duration is longer than 30 minutes. In the Google Analytics Academy course, Google Analytics Platform Principles, course instructor Justin Cutroni brought up this exact scenario. The default session timeout in Google Analytics is 30 minutes, so if a website hosts a video whose length is beyond that, the Google Analytics of yore would end the visitor’s session after 30 minutes due to inactivity. Now, Universal Analytics allows analysts to tweak session timeout length, which is vital in collecting accurate data. Another new feature being introduced with Universal Analytic is time zone based processing, which like it sounds, is exactly what it does. Google Analytics data will no longer be subject to the time at Google’s headquarters on the west...