By TAMARA PATZER
1) Be Local, Local, Loco!
You are sitting there overwhelmed by your mission of localizing your Website that you think you might just go loco!
The good news is that there is so much information available that all you need to do is decide what’s important to the people you serve in your niche market area. In the World Wide Web arena, hyperlocal is the buzz word these days. There is a wealth of information about real estate, financing, help programs, things to do in your area, etc. that you just need to focus on a few to help make your Website shine like a beacon.
After you have chosen your keywords and phrases, you now will need to write pertinent copy using them. For example, let’s say you did a Google Analytics on the phrase “FHA 203k” and you have found that it is a hot topic in searches for information in your area.
The best source of pertinent information about FHA 203k is the HUD FHA site operated by the federal government. Check out http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/203k/203kabou.cfm Note: You can get the information in both English and Spanish.
You don’t have to write a book, just 200-300 words that incorporate information from our local area with the information about the program.
The following is a sample of how you might localize this content.
Note: Some keywords include: FHA 203k, rehabilitation, down payment assistance, Sarasota County, Florida. . .
In Sarasota County, Florida, there are many excellent housing rehabilitation programs including FHA (Federal Housing Administration) 203(k) programs, which are designed for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. In Sarasota County, FHA approved lenders can provide detailed information about how you can buy a property to rehabilitate and repair it. Sarasota County residents can also get down payment assistance through the local SHIP program…..Help-U-Sell® Real Estate can help you find more information about Sarasota County’s down payment assistance programs, please call us at (941) 951-7707 or email Tami Patzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(etc., etc., etc….)
2) ‘Smash and Grab’ Headlines Made Simple
If you have ever had your purse/camera/anything stolen out of the front seat of your car, you know what a “smash and grab” is. It’s quick, it’s clean and it’s unforgettable. That what you want your headlines to be on your website!
Eight out of 10 people read headlines, but only two out of 10 people will read the rest of the article. So this means headlines are important to your content because they are typically the first thing a visitor sees when they arrive on your site. Headlines are also the first thing that search engine spiders see, too. With this in mind, you want to write eye-stopping, brain-igniting headlines that satisfy both human and robot minds.
Keywords at work
Let’s take a moment and think about how keywords will help make your headlines drive more traffic to your Website, create more customers in the long run. First, search engines are looking for popular word searches and if you use these “magical” words and phrases in your headlines, your Website’s “organic” or free page rankings will find their way to the top three – where most people will click when they are looking for information about a certain topic.
Remember, use Google Insights to help you find the top 10 keywords in your market area related to your business.
Example: Free Down Payment Assistance from FHA
Brainstorm your headline ideas. Have fun with it.
Keep the following in mind:
A) Keep it simple and direct. ( How to get the $8,000 tax credit )
B) State the benefits (Save thousands!)
C) Announcement of big news (Tax Credit Expanded! Get free money!)
D) How to (How to save thousands on selling your home)
E) Command! (Stop wasting money on Real Estate Commission!)
F) Offer useful information. 7 Steps to Selling Your Home Fast!)
G) Testimonials. (Get and use testimonials.)
3) Breaking Up is Easy to Do
Breaking up your content using sub-headlines or subtitles is easy to do. You can use subheads when you change topics in your article.
Using Subheads and Keywords
If you are writing about an interesting topic, your readers will follow you as long as you make it worth their time. Subheads are creative easy ways to grab their attention and to pull them deeper into your story.
4) Is it spelt wright? Proofreading and Error Checking
Use Spelling and Grammar Tools
The final step in any writing and editing process is proofreading and error checking. If you use Microsoft Word or nearly any other word processing software, you have spell check and grammar check built into it. USE IT!
Spell check and grammar check will help you find common errors in your writing. However, be sure to read your copy carefully to be certain the words you thought you typed are correct in both spelling and usage. For example, there means place; their means possession; and they’re means they are. Other common misused words include: its and it’s; are, our; where, wear; whether, weather. . .
5) Read it Aloud!
After you use the spell check and grammar check (you need to understand the basics of grammar to successfully use grammar check because sometimes it’s wrong) . . . print out your work and read it aloud.
Reading content aloud helps you hear the rhythm of the words. You will catch wordy phrases, jumbled and/or awkward subject/verb placement and other interesting audible flaws.
6) Upside Down and Backwards
Another excellent way to proof copy (content) is to read it from the bottom up.
Scanning copy from this point of view helps you see typographical errors and missing punctuation. It’s an old copy editor’s trick that has been passed down from the days when printers use the letterpress. Type would be set upside down and backwards, so when it pressed against the paper it would read right side up and from left to right. Try it! It is guaranteed to help you see errors you wouldn’t have caught before.
7) Two sets of eyes are better than one!
Everyone needs an editor! You might be a Pulitzer Prize winning author, but you still need an editor. At this stage of the writing game, your content should be polished and nearly ready for publishing. Ask someone else to read it for typographical errors, spelling errors, double words, punctuation, and just general continuity.
It is definitely true, two heads are better than one! Every writer has his/her own set of quirks related to writing and editing. Some people are excellent spellers, but they miss the use of double words like: the the. It is hard to see your own errors: plain and simple. If you must be the only reader of your content, use the techniques described to help you proofread your own work.