Online video marketing: How long should your video be?

How long should a video be for online video marketing? The facts may surprise you!

How long should a video be for online video marketing? The facts may surprise you!

It’s amazing how often people with no experience in a matter will have strong opinions on a topic.

Online video marketing is one of those topics.

Everyone seems to be an expert in how long a video should be – but that opinion is more likely to be based on that particular individual’s attention span, than on any hard evidence.

Me, I like facts… and using facts as a basis for decision making can be a lot more beneficial than listening to someone’s opinion.

Facts on video length for online video marketing

The guys and gals at Wistia, a video marketing platform, have compiled data based on the thousands of videos they host. This covers all different types of videos:

Wistia

Source: http://wistia.com/blog/does-length-matter-it-does-for-video-2k12-edition/

Key learnings about video length for web videos

Here are the key learnings from Wistia’s data – and I’ve added my own pointers to these:

  • Surprisingly few people will watch your video to the end – even if it’s short.
    Cornelia’s takeaway: Don’t get too hung up on the drop-off rate; not everyone is going to be interested in your message. And not everyone is going to be a potential customer.
  • The drop-off is quite steep till the 2 minute mark, then it flattens out.
    Cornelia’s takeaway: Lots of people have low attention spans. In my business, I do best with clients who have reasonable attention spans, so I don’t even bother going after the short-attention-span market. Think: What kind of person are you targeting?
  • The difference in engagement for a 2-3 minute video is about the same as for a 4-5 minute video.
    Cornelia’s takeaway: Don’t get too hung up if your video is 2 minutes or 5 minutes, it really doesn’t matter that much. (And people who say it does matter don’t know what they’re talking about.) The main thing is that your content/script is well-paced and engaging. Videos (just like movies) only drag if the script and plot aren’t paced very well.
  • 20-30% of people will watch a long video of 3- to 60+ minutes
    Cornelia’s takeaway: People do watch long videos – if the content is interesting to them!
  • The drop-off rate for 45-60 minute videos is about the same as videos of over an hour in duration.
    Cornelia’s takeaway: Again, people do watch long videos – your job is to ensure that the content is interesting and presented at an appropriate pace.

Conclusions

The data above is helpful to some extent when planning a video. But the main thing is that the script is paced in such a way to keep people engaged.

That means that the web video shouldn’t be slow and drag… or people will yawn and start looking at the time – and closing their browser.

Similarly, don’t try and go to fast to ‘lose’ your viewers. If they can’t keep up with what you’re saying, they’ll give up and look elsewhere.

Above all, your video should geared to achieving a specific strategy, so you can measure your performance. You can read about some of the different video marketing strategies here.

 

 

Newsflash! Copywriter for the Best Small Business of the Year

My client, Keola Homes, with the Business of the Year Award (plus a trophy for being a Finalist for Excellence in Innovation).

My client, Keola Homes, with the Business of the Year Award (plus a trophy for being a Finalist for Excellence in Innovation).

Last week a copywriting and marketing consulting client of mine won Small Business of the Year in the Westpac Auckland West Business Awards. These Awards are a big deal in this part of the world, and there was strong competition from more than 100 businesses in all industry sectors.

Yours truly was the writer of the winning award entry. 🙂

My award-winning client is Keola Homes, a 4-person small business that specialises in designing and building luxury architectural houses on difficult plots of land.

I am proud to be the copywriter and marketing consultant for the Small Business of the Year!

I’ve been working with Keola Homes on a monthly retainer basis since May 2012. I’ve worked on various projects with Keola Homes during that time:

  • Writing this winning Award entry for Small Business of the Year (plus they were Finalists for Excellence in Innovation).
  • Writing a previous Award entry, where Keola Homes won Bronze for a Commercial Project.
  • SEO website copywriting: the Keola Homes website now generating more website traffic, and more conversions. 42% of sales have come from the website in the past year (compared to next-to-nothing before that).

Here’s what Sanjesh Lal, owner of Keola Homes, says about my award writing work:

Sanjesh Lal, Keola Homes

Sanjesh Lal, Keola Homes Ltd

“Cornelia has been instrumental in preparing applications for 2 prestigious awards this year for us: The NZ Commercial Project Awards and Westpac Small Business of the Year. We are proud to have won both awards!

There was a lot of data for Cornelia to sift through, and she created meaningful applications backed up by firm statistical data.

Cornelia has used her skills in copywriting and good clear graphical representation of data to create award winning entries both times.

She has presented our ‘story’ in such an amazing and credible way, that judges have found us worthy of awards. I could not have done even half as good a job myself.” – Sanjesh Lal, Keola Homes Ltd

Quality results

When it comes to copywriting, I’m not the cheapest person out there (nor the most expensive), but the writing work is high quality and geared to helping you achieve your business goals.

More details about my copywriting services are here:

Availability of copywriting services

So if you have any projects you’d like award-winning copywriting and marketing for, I’d suggest you contact me soon. I take on new clients on a strictly first-come, first-served basis, and there is often a waiting list of a month or two.

Cornelia Luethi has a strong track record in award entry writing.

Cornelia Luethi has a strong track record in award entry writing.

Next step:

Simply tell me a bit about the project you’d like help with. You can use the easy-peasy form here, and that’ll get the conversation started:

http://wordsbycornelia.com/contact

And if you have any questions, just ask!

Cornelia

Cornelia Luethi  BSc (Hons) DipM
Copywriter and marketing consultant, Auckland, NZ

What is the purpose of a website?

The purpose of a website is to (1) Attract traffic, and (2) to Convert readers into prospects. Here's how to get optimum performance from your website.

The purpose of a website is to (1) Attract traffic, and (2) to Convert readers into prospects. Here’s how to get optimum performance from your website.

A website is a vital business tool: it’s as essential for a business as having a phone number, or email address, or business card. But what is the purpose of a website, exactly? 

How can a website help a business?

In my view, the purpose of a website is 2-fold:

Firstly, the website should attract traffic (i.e. visitors).

Secondly, the website should convert as many of those visitors as possible into a prospects who contact you in some way.

Let’s take a look at these two purposes in more detail…

Purpose of a website #1: Attracting traffic

There’s no point having a website if no one can find it or no one knows about it.

Your website needs to get visits from as many relevant prospects as possible.

There are a number of different ways in which you can get traffic to your website. Each of these tactics is approached in a different way, and has benefits and drawbacks:

  • Free search engine traffic: Attracting search traffic rarely happens by itself: you need to take proactive steps to make your website attractive for search engines (and for human readers). This is called search engine optimisation (SEO). It takes a bit of work to set it up, but if it’s done well it can potentially generate traffic to your website for years and years to come. For most businesses, the return on investment is very good.
  • Paid search engine traffic (e.g. Google AdWords): This can be effective, but you only get the traffic if you keep paying for it. This can work out to be expensive after a number of months, unless your business has a very high average dollar sale and high profit margin.
  • Online display ads and banners: with “pay per click” or “pay per view” advertising, you only get the traffic if you pay for it. This too can be very expensive – especially for businesses with modest average dollar sales and profit margins.
  • Links from other websites: This is a good strategy to pursue, but in practice many businesses find it hard to get meaningful links. It is important that the links come from high quality websites: if they come from poor quality, spammy websites your website’s online reputation could suffer as a consequence. So think quality rather than quantity.
  • Links from directories: The success varies, as any directory these days is secondary to Google. Think carefully about paying for listings: crunch the numbers upfront; and monitor the results.
  • Links from social media: You have to be committed to social media for this marketing channel to work. That involves having a clear social media strategy and making the updates consistently. Social media might be free to use, but it takes a good amount of skill and commitment to get it to work or to get any traction. Social media sites to consider include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest. There are many others, too, but those are the main ones. Use the ones that your customers use: e.g. there’s no point tweeting like crazy, if your target market isn’t on Twitter!
  • Include your website address on your business cards and other printed stationery: Yes, you need to do this, but your reach will be limited, so don’t rely on this alone.
  • Include your website address on any sign writing, e.g. premises, vehicles, etc.: This can be very effective, but again, your reach is limited.

Tip: Before you commit to spending money on any website traffic attraction strategies, carry out a break even analysis to see if what you’re considering is likely to be pay dividends – or be an expensive waste of money. It’s far better to discover that upfront before you spend a cent!

I’ve seen businesses work wonders with some of these attraction methods. Some businesses do really well with Google AdWords. One person I know gets a substantial amount of his business from LinkedIn. A small business with multiple vehicles on the road gets crazy good results from their vehicle sign writing.

But there’s one website attraction technique that works consistently well for most business types. And that is, search engine traffic – which usually comes from Google, seeing as they have 89.69% global market share (as at September 2013).

Source: gs.statcounter.com

How do you get more Google traffic?

When it comes to websites, traffic is a good thing!

When it comes to websites, traffic is a good thing!

Getting traffic from Google comes down to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There are different SEO techniques; I’d argue that the most effective technique I’ve seen is to write website content that targets the keywords users put into Google when conducting their searches. This is known as “SEO website copywriting” – in other words, writing content that uses keywords.

I earn my bread and butter from writing SEO website copy for my clients. Here are some of the results I’ve achieved for my clients:

  • A client with a multi-million dollar business is getting 42% of his business from his website. (He measures this data carefully, so that’s an exact number.)
  • A one-man band in a service industry reckons he gets 95% of his work from his website.
  • Another customer is steadily getting $50k worth of business from her website year after year… she may have spent say $5,000 dollars on the website and content, so that’s a 900% Return on Investment! And the website keeps delivering more customers year after year!

So if you’re wondering why your website isn’t attracting more traffic, maybe it’s because your website hasn’t been set up with this in mind. (This is very common: many website developers aren’t aware of SEO techniques.)

I’d suggest you look into this to find out if optimising your website content for search engines would bring you more traffic.

Remember, if this is done well, the search engines are likely to keep delivering traffic for you, year after year. So if you want to turn your website into a cash machine (or at least a prospect generation machine), then check out SEO website copywriting.

Aren’t you biased because you do SEO website copywriting for a living?

Yes, I write SEO website content for a living… but the reason I started specialising in that area is because of the staggering results it achieves.

I firmly believe that small business owners need marketing techniques that are sustainable over a period of time, and will generate returns for them. I haven’t come across any website attraction techniques that deliver such good returns in the long term as SEO website copywriting.

Of course, results vary: some industries are more competitive than others. Or if you’re in a fledgling or niche industry, the search volumes may not be that high.

But with the bullet point list above, of the different ways to get website traffic, you can start evaluating different tactics to see what might work for you.

Attracting website traffic is the first purpose of a website – now let’s look at the second:

Purpose of a website #2: Converting readers into prospects

The second purpose of a website is to convert readers into prospects. What this means exactly will depend on your business model.

Conversion could mean any combination of the following:

  • Getting people to call you, email you, or fill in a contact form.
  • Getting people to download your Free Report or white paper.
  • Obtaining email subscribers.
  • Making an online purchase.

These are the best kinds of conversion goals, because they are measurable.

However, getting those conversions is no mean feat, as it generally means getting complete strangers to trust your business right away.

Your website need to build trust quickly

You have something like 5 to 9 seconds to grab readers’ attention, and compel them to read on.

A big part of the reader’s decision making is based on trust, so your site has to instil trust and confidence with complete strangers – and very quickly.

Here are some resources to help you:

http://wordsbycornelia.com/marketing-resources/increasing-website-conversions-101/

You’ll find comprehensive resources via that link.

But if you just want some quick tips, then check out my quick, 10-step guide to building trust online.

http://wordsbycornelia.com/your-quick-10-step-guide-to-building-trust-online/

Have a clear and obvious call-to-action

One important thing to mention about converting readers into prospects is having clear and obvious calls-to-action. In other words, what is the next step a prospect should take to buy from you? This may be obvious to you, as the business owner, but on many websites this is very unclear and ambiguous.

  • Should people phone you? Or email you?
  • Is there a consultation? If so, is it free or paid for?
  • Do you provide written quotes or estimates? Are they free or not?
  • Do you have a shop, showroom or office? Can people just pop in, or do they need to make an appointment? What are the opening hours?

Your call-to-action should be clear and obvious on every page of the website. And if your buying process is more complex (e.g. architects, builders, business consultants, etc.) then include a page called ‘The Process’ or ‘How it Works’ or something like that. Once people know the steps involved in the buying process, they can start to picture themselves going on that journey. Conversely, if people have no idea what’s involved, they are far less likely to contact you to take the next step. It’s up to you to explain your process clearly and concisely – and encourage prospects to take the next step.

Hint: If you’re thinking of re-writing your website’s content to attract more traffic, also look at the content in terms of conversion. Are there things you could do to the content that’ll help transform more readers into prospects?

After all, if you’re going to re-work the website content, it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s converting well as well as attracting traffic. This way you can kill two birds with one stone.

Summary: Why a website is much like a car…

Like a car, a website needs fuel and maintenance for optimum performance.

Like a car, a website needs fuel and maintenance for optimum performance.

If you’d like an easy analogy to describe the purpose of a website, a website is a bit like a car.

You buy a website development like you buy a car: that part of the investment is like the technological nuts and bolts.

But to get your car anywhere, it needs fuel. And that’s where the content comes in: words, pictures, videos… and for a website to really travel the distance, it’s a good idea to keep topping it up with fuel (content).

A car also needs regular servicing to keep it running smoothly. If you don’t do that, the car might break down. Similarly, a website needs tweaking and reviewing regularly, too. The most successful websites are continually tweaked and revised, and the results tested and measured – just like a racecar is continually fine-tuned for optimum performance.

I’m known for telling my customers that “a website is never finished” – this is much like car maintenance and re-fuelling being an on-going task. It is definitely a worthwhile task: there are few marketing channels as effective as websites.

Where the analogy ends is traffic: in a car, we don’t like traffic – but for our website we want lots of it! 😉

So go on, fuel up your website and get your business moving in a whole new direction, and with more momentum. Vrooooom!


Next step: Products to help you with your website

Looking for ideas on how to rev up your website?

The Website Owner's Manual is written in plain English to help small business owners get better results online.

The Website Owner’s Manual is written in plain English to help small business owners get better results online.

If you know you need to rev up your website, but you’re not sure where to begin, the Website Owner’s Manual will help you.

The Website Owner’s Manual:

  • Explains SEO (search engine optimisation) basics.
  • Lists 14 essential elements to help with trust building and conversion tactics.
  • Gives you ideas for extra content you could add to your site… stuff that your prospects (and the search engines) will love!

The Website Owner’s Manual costs less than a tank of gas for your car, and it’s written in plain English for normal, non-technical people.

CORLUE---eBook-Call-to-Action-Button

Do you want to do your own SEO work?

Keyword Research: Discover my SEO website copywriting secrets.

Keyword Research: Discover my SEO website copywriting secrets.

Want more search engine traffic? And want to do your own SEO (search engine optimisation) work? The Keyword Research training goes through my whole SEO website copywriting process:

  • Brainstorming keyword ideas.
  • How to use the free Google Keyword Planner to get data on keyword search volumes.
  • How to format the data so it’s easy to work with.
  • How to create a keyword strategy for your website.
  • How to use keyword strategy and optimise the page content.

This is the exact same process that I use for my SEO website copywriting clients – and it gets phenomenal results!

Training-Call-to-Action-Button

 

How to get more Google love with photo keywords

Unlock the secret to using photo keywords for SEO...

Unlock the secret to using photo keywords for SEO…

Let’s be honest… when you’re adding content to your website, adding photos can seem like a big, time-consuming pain-in-the-butt job.

Chances are that adding a photograph to your new web page is the very last thing on your To Do list, and once you’ve done that, you can put your feet up for the day and do something fun. Like go out to dinner, or take the dog for a walk, or enjoy a nice relaxing glass of wine. Or crack open a nice, cold beer while you fire up the barbecue.

In short: adding photos to your website is something you probably want to get over with as quickly as possible… Am I right?

Whoa, slow right down!

Good photos not only make your website look more appealing, but if you use them in the right way they can also help improve your search engine rankings.

Many website owners I’ve spoken with over the years aren’t even aware that (a) Photo SEO (search engine optimisation) exists, and (b) that it can make a difference to your site’s rankings… but it can! 

Photo SEO: How to keyword photos

Here’s how to keyword photos. There are a number of different aspects to photo SEO:

1. Image file size

First things first… and that is, you need to make sure that the photograph’s file size is appropriate.

By ‘appropriate’ I mean that the photo should be large enough (in pixels) to display OK… you don’t too use too small a file, or it will look pixelated and grainy, which looks very unprofessional.

However, you need to make sure that the file size (in KB) is reasonable. Slow loading photos (and slow loading web pages) cause users to abandon your website, and that can actually decrease your website’s search engine rankings.

The goal is for your website to load fast ‘n’ snappy, with sharp looking pictures.

(Note: Re-sizing photos and the software to use is covered in my eBook ‘How to Choose and Use Eye-Catching Photographs for your Marketing‘.)

Bonus Tip: Whilst you’re using the image editing software, if the photo you’re using is your own (i.e. an image that you have taken yourself, or created yourself), then you might want to include your copyright information on it. I do this on the cartoons I draw and use on my websites, for example.

2. Photo file name

While you’re using your image editing software to re-size the photos, take this opportunity to re-name the image file.

Why re-name the image file?

So that you’re using your focus keyword in the photo file name, of course!

Example: If an image comes off your digital camera as ‘DSC1234.jpg’ that’s not going to tell Google very much about what’s in the photograph.

Instead, say your focus keyword for a web page is ‘plumber Auckland’, then use that for your photo keyword too. Re-name the image as ‘plumber-auckland.jpg’.

Why use hyphens to punctuate the keyword?

Punctuating a keyword with hyphens is a technique I learned at Search Engine Bootcamp a number of years ago: it’s been considered best practice for a while. I’ve been implementing this ever since, and the (many) photos I’ve keyworded in this way get really good visibility on Google. Punctuating with hyphens works!

If for some reason you’re using a website infrastructure that doesn’t allow hyphens (for example, it may use the underscore instead), don’t worry. It’s just a small thing, and I don’t think this one small thing in isolation will matter if the rest of your web page is optimised well with keywords.

What about using uppercase and lowercase letters?

Google isn’t case sensitive – i.e. if you do a search in ALL CAPS or all lowercase (or something in between), you’ll get exactly the same results.

So consequently it doesn’t matter if you use UPPERCASE, lower case, Sentence case or Title Case for your photo keywords.

3. Photo captions

I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about using photo captions…

For one thing, photo captions are twice as likely to get read as the body copy. So if you’re not using photo captions, you’re missing out on getting your message across.

What’s more, photo captions give you another opportunity for photo SEO. So be sure to include your photo keywords in the caption that you write.

Hint: If you’re struggling with writing photo captions, here are some articles to help you:

Be sure to write your photo captions so that they’re meaningful and interesting to human readers, first and foremost. Using photo keywords is just the icing on the cake!

4. ALT attribute

Think that your work with photo keywords is done? Think again… there’s still the ALT attribute! And this is something that many people miss out when keywording photos and images…

What’s the ALT attribute?

The ALT attribute (also known as the ALT tag) was developed so that blind and visually impaired people can interact with graphic elements on a web page. Visually impaired people use a screen reader that reads out the content of a web page. And when a screen reader comes to an image, it reads out the ALT attribute. So a well-written ALT tag lets blind people know what’s in an image, even if they can’t see it.

Google accesses the ALT attribute too, so if you use your photo keywords in the ALT tag, you’re not just letting visually impaired people know what’s in the image, you’re also letting Google know. So I’d suggest taking some time and care in writing a meaningful ALT attribute – whilst using your photo keywords, of course!

Using your photo keywords in the ALT attribute is an important part of photo SEO, but be sure to write ALT copy that makes sense to human readers, first and foremost.

You need to use photo SEO in combination with other SEO techniques

Don’t keyword your photos in isolation and expect a huge surge in your Google rankings or visitor numbers: you need to keyword the rest of your web page as well.

It’s the cumulative effect of all of these SEO techniques that will give you the best results.

Using photo keywords for photo SEO is a step that many website owners skip, so if you do this (as well as other SEO techniques), there’s the opportunity to make some gains on your competitors.

Summary

  • Make sure image sizes are optimised for quick downloading – but without noticeably degrading the image quality.
  • Use your photo keywords in the image file names. Punctuate the file names with hyphens.
  • Write a meaningful photo caption that also includes your photo keyword.
  • Write an ALT tag that’s both meaningful and keyworded.
  • Photo SEO won’t boost your website rankings in isolation, you need to use other SEO techniques as well.

 


Discover my keyword research secrets...

Discover my keyword research secrets…

PS. Are you wondering where you get the photo keywords from?

You get your photo keywords from doing keyword research.

In my book ‘Keyword Research‘ I go through the keyword research process I use in detail. (My bread-and-butter is writing search engine optimised website copy, so keyword research is something I do nearly every week!)

In fact, this book contains the keyword research secrets I use for my customers’ SEO website copywriting projects – it’s all there!

See details of the Keyword Research eBook →

Bye bye Google Keyword Tool – and hello Keyword Planner

Yes, Google has now retired its Keyword Tool has gone… in its place is the new Keyword Planner.

And if you’re anything like me, you went ‘ugh’ when you saw the interface

Let’s just say that the interface of the Keyword Planner isn’t exactly intuitive.

After all, it’s designed primarily for Google AdWords advertisers, and it has a bunch of features you don’t even need to touch for SEO keyword research!

Luckily for you, I braved it and have written step-by-step instructions (and made a step-by-step screencast video) on how to use the new Google Keyword Planner for organic SEO keyword research:


 
 
 
How to master the Google Keyword Planner for organic SEO keyword research – quickly and easily.

How to master the Google Keyword Planner for organic SEO keyword research – quickly and easily.

The Keyword Research eBook is written by me, Cornelia Luethi, a specialist SEO website copywriter.

In ‘Keyword Research: How to use the Google Keyword Planner for SEO: a step-by-step guide’ you’ll discover the technique that I use when creating SEO website content for my copywriting clients.

The Keyword Research book covers:

  1. The brainstorming process, to generate keyword ideas. Time spent on this yields better results, or you could miss out on some important keywords.
  2. How to use the Google Keyword Planner: step-by-step instructions with screenshots.
  3. How to format the data in Excel. You may end up with thousands of keywords, some of which will be duplicated or irrelevant. Find out how to deal with them!
  4. Formulating a keyword strategy: Now that you’ve got the data, you need to make some sense of it. I cover my keyword strategy techniques, including how I use keywords in SEO website copywriting.

Training

 

Get up-and-running with Google’s Keyword Planner in minutes, with Cornelia Luethi’s training.

Get up-and-running with Google’s Keyword Planner in minutes, with Cornelia Luethi’s training.

Cornelia

Cornelia Luethi  BSc (Hons), DipM
Copywriter, marketing consultant and author of Keyword Research

PS. There’s a 60-day money-back guarantee!

You can evaluate the Keyword Research eBook risk-free to see if it’s right for you.

See details and buy online.

 

How to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts – for Mac and PC

Website and copywriting tasks are much quicker if you know how to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts.

Website and copywriting tasks are much quicker if you know how to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts.

You can save yourself a huge amount of time if you know how to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts.

In this blog post you will find step-by-step instructions, as well as a video to show you how to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts.

Common things you might want to copy and paste include:

  • Sending a website address (URL) in an email, or putting it in a document.
  • Someone’s contact details, such as their website address or phone number, from their email signature.
  • Information from an old document (e.g. a proposal, letter, or fact sheet) into a new document.
  • Keywords you’ve brainstormed into a keyword research tool.

… There are limitless ways in which copying and pasting is useful!

And if you know how to do it quickly and efficiently, it can save you a lot of time.

Note: Giving instructions on how to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts might seem quite basic to some readers here… If that’s the case, give yourself a pat on the back from being so smart. I know for a fact that there are a lot of people out there who don’t know how to copy and paste at all – let alone with keyboard shortcuts!

We all have to begin somewhere, and this video and article will make it nice and easy for you to learn…

Why use keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste?

You don’t have to use the keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste… you can use your mouse and go to Edit > Copy and then Edit > Paste. But this method is very time-consuming. If you do a lot of copying and pasting in your day (like I do), then using the keyboard is far more efficient, and it will save you time for more important things.

You’ll still need your mouse to highlight the text and position the cursor, but by using keyboard commands for copying and pasting (instead of navigating to the Edit menu), it’ll be quicker for you.

First things first: how to select the text you want to copy

You use your mouse to control the cursor on screen to select the text you want to copy. There are a number of different ways to select the text:

  • Click the left mouse button and drag the mouse to select the text you want to copy.
  • To select a whole word, double-click on it with the left mouse button.
  • If you want to select a whole paragraph or website address (URL), triple-click on it with the left mouse button.

You can tell which text you have selected, as it will be higlighted, as per this example:

highlighted-text

How to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts: on a PC

To copy and paste using the keyboard on a PC you need to locate the following 3 keys on the keyboard:

  • Control (often labelled as ‘Ctrl’)
  • The letter ‘C’ 
  • The letter ‘V’

Keyboard-PC-circled-500

Step-by-step instructions for PC:

  1. Select the text you want to copy (as per the instructions above).
  2. Press down the ‘Control’ and letter ‘C’ buttons together at the same time: this is the ‘Copy’ command, which puts the data on your computer’s clipboard.
  3. Then navigate to where you want to paste the information: place your cursor with the mouse.
  4. Press down the ‘Control’ and letter ‘V’ buttons together at the same time. This is the ‘Paste’ command, and the text you selected should now be inserted. 

How to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts: on a Mac

To copy and paste using the keyboard on a Mac you need to locate the following 3 keys on the keyboard:

  • Command key (the one with the squirly pattern on it)
  • The letter ‘C’
  • The letter ‘V’

Keyboard-Mac-circled-500

Step-by-step instructions for Mac:

  1. Select the text you want to copy (as per the instructions above).
  2. Press down the ‘Command’ button and letter ‘C’ buttons together at the same time: this is the ‘Copy’ command, which puts the data on your computer’s clipboard.
  3. Then navigate to where you want to paste the information: place your cursor with the mouse.
  4. Press the ‘Command’ button and letter ‘V’ buttons together at the same time. This is the ‘Paste’ command, and the text you selected should now be inserted.

Video tutorial on how to copy and paste using keyboard shortcuts:

 

Voila! It’s that easy!

There are many more keyboard shortcuts, and many are universal between apps.

But copying and pasting is the one keyboard shortcut I use the most – and it’s likely to be the shortcut you’ll use the most too.

 

Time management tips from Cornelia

Hi there,

Here are a couple of videos I recorded with time management tips.

The videos are for my other website (The Leaky Bathtub, which is for DIY small business marketing) – I hope you enjoy them too!

Why you need to take time out from your business


 
 
 
FREE Marketing Tips:  http://wordsbycornelia.com/marketing-tips/

How to get more stuff done (without working longer hours)


 
 
 
FREE Marketing Tips:  http://wordsbycornelia.com/marketing-tips/

PS. Yes, this is me, Cornelia, in the video!

This video is filmed on my iPhone using techniques learned from iPhone Video Hero… you can get a FREE eBook on iPhone Video Marketing here.

(And if you’re wondering about my other website, The Leaky Bathtub is for business owners who want to DIY their marketing… whereas this website, Words By Cornelia, is about my copywriting service.)

PPS. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

 Like my videos? Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel… it’s free!

Why you’ll get more sales if your marketing materials are easy to skim read (and how to do it)

You'll be doing your readers a big favour if you make it easy for them to skim read your marketing materials... And it helps your sales, too!

You’ll be doing your readers a big favour if you make it easy for them to skim read your marketing materials… And it helps your sales, too!

When was last time you read a company’s marketing blurb (be it a website, brochure or whatever) word for word?

It’s rare to read marketing materials word for word – unless you’re really interested in what they’re saying, right?

Your own prospects and customers are no different.

Skim-reading is a way of life in the fast-paced, high-tech world we live in.

Therefore, for your marketing to be effective, you need to acknowledge that and make it easy for people to skim-read your marketing.

(This is especially true online, where attention spans are particularly short and your competitors’ websites are just a mouse click away.)

What are the benefits of encouraging people to skim-read?

Encouraging your prospects to skim-read is a good idea.

Why? By letting their eyes glance at the information in a way that they can absorb it quickly means that your prospect is more likely to retain the knowledge and information.

In turn, this means that you’re more likely to make the sale!

Not convinced?

If you’re not convinced that letting people skim read will help your sales, imagine the opposite scenario. In this instance, imagine big huge chunks of dense text.

Yep, we’re talking solid walls of words… no paragraphs, no sub-headings, just a big, never-ending mass of words. (Think: like a school essay or some kind of scientific report.)

Unless you’re an academic, the big chunks of text are visually very daunting. You subconsciously think, “yikes, that looks intense and boring” when you see a solid mass of words.

Example: two articles from the same magazine…

In the photo below are two articles from the same magazine.

Here are two articles from the same magazine: the one on the left is easy to skim read, thanks to the sub-headings, bullet points and bold formatting of key points. The article on the right is visually very intimidating to read because of the dense text.

Here are two articles from the same magazine: the one on the left is easy to skim read, thanks to the sub-headings, bullet points and bold formatting of key points. The article on the right is visually very intimidating to read because of the dense text.

The article on the left has sub-headings, bold, bullet points… whilst the article on the right is a solid mass of words, with no “breathing space” around them.

Which would you rather read (if they were both on the same topic)?

I know which I’d prefer to read… and your prospects are no different. They’d rather read information that’s broken down into digestible, consumable chunks than be confronted by intimidating blocks of information.

Here’s how you can make your marketing materials nice and digestible for your readers…

7 tips on how to make your marketing materials easy to skim read

1. Use headlines

An enticing heading is the important first step in making sure that your marketing piece gets read.

After all, if your piece doesn’t grab the reader’s attention, your effort is wasted!

Here are some articles to help you:

Why are headlines important?

What makes a good headline?

Here’s an easy-peasy headline-writing technique you can use right away…

2. Use sub-headings

Meaningful sub-headings help to break down the information on the page, and let the eye navigate the information.

Notice how this article uses this technique to break down the information into easy, navigable chunks. You can quickly pick up the main messages of this article, even if you don’t read every single word.

Make sure you employ the same technique in your own writing!

The trick is to make the sub-headings meaningful (i.e. longer than just one word), and to put them in bold so they stand out. Sometimes it’s nice to use a larger font size than for your body copy, too.

Bonus tip: Use colours for your headings and sub-headings: this helps them to stand out. Pure black-and-white copy can look very flat and dull. Choose a colour and use it consistently (it should be a colour that matches your corporate colour scheme).

3. Keep sentences and paragraphs short

Marketing and sales copy should be snappy and punchy – and that means using short sentences.

Using long sentences confuses readers… and why make it difficult for people to read your materials?

Short sentences are easy to read, and easy to understand. And “easy to read and easy to understand” are highly-desirable characteristics of sales and marketing copy!

Notice too how I’ve used short paragraphs in this article. In fact, most paragraphs are one to five sentences long.

There are two reasons why short paragraphs are a good idea:

(a) The white space between the paragraphs gives the copy some “breathing space”. This is attractive to people visually, so they are more likely to read your content. So it helps with attracting attention and getting read.

(b) The “breathing space” allows readers to digest the information you’re telling them. The gaps between the paragraphs are like little mini-breaks for the brain, that allow new information to sink in, bit by bit. So this helps with readers absorbing what you have to say, and taking action.

The golden rule is to have just one idea per paragraph. (Yes, even if that means just one sentence per paragraph, that’s absolutely fine! Remember, you’re writing marketing and sales copy, not a school essay!)

4. Emphasise important things in bold

Headings and sub-headings should be in bold, but other important words could be in bold too, so that they really stand out.

A word of warning though: don’t be tempted to over-use this technique, or your marketing piece will look cluttered. Use this sparingly!

5. Use bullet points for lists

Do you have a whole list of things to say?

Then put them in a bulleted list!

Again, this breaks down the information nicely. It’s simply a lot easier to read a bulleted list than a long, rambling line of information.

Bonus tip: Put the most important words at the beginning of the sentence. This will help the reader pick up the important information even if they don’t read the whole sentence. Why? People tend to scan vertically down the left hand side as they read. So if the important words are all on the left, the words will get noticed.

Extra bonus tip: When you’re using bullet points and putting the most important words at the beginning of the sentence, consider making those important words bold. This will help them to stand out even more and your copy will be super-skim-readable!

6. Use photos and graphics – and write captions for them

A picture really does paint a thousand words.

Good graphics help to get attention – and they also help to lock your message into readers’ minds.

How to choose eye-catching photographs for your marketing

Don’t just use a photograph without putting it into context – otherwise it could raise more questions than it answers. Instead, be sure to write a meaningful caption with every photograph that you use.

Here are some articles I’ve written to help you with caption writing:

How one measly sentence could double your readership

How to write photo captions that’ll get remembered

Understanding features and benefits and how to use them in photo captions

7. Two common formatting mistakes to avoid

You have more formatting tools at your disposal than I’ve mentioned here, but there are a couple of things you should avoid:

(i) Avoid underlining

Underlining words for emphasis looks amateurish. Pick up any book, and I bet there will be no underlining. Professional typesetters and publishing companies simply don’t use underlining.

The only time when it’s OK (and preferable) to underline is online, for hyperlinks. This is a good idea for usability because it lets readers know that the text is a hyperlink.

(Conversely, it’s super-annoying online when people underline copy that isn’t a hyperlink!)

(ii) Avoid excessive italics

To demonstrate this point, I am purposely writing a whole paragraph in italics. Perhaps you’re tilting your head to the side a little bit to read it… maybe even squinting your eyes a little… am I right? In other words, large chunks of text in italics are difficult to read – and even more so online than in print. I have no idea why that is, but computer screens and italics do not go well together! This applies to email marketing (newsletters, autoresponders and sales emails) as well as to website copy. 

You may use italics selectively for emphasis, for perhaps a word or a sentence… but no more than that, please!

I often see people putting testimonials on their website in italics, and this is incredibly hard to read. You are better off using your normal type style, and putting the testimonial-giver’s name in italics.

Why make it hard for prospects to read your testimonials?! (Or any of your other copy!)

Summary

  • It’s more enticing to read copy with “breathing space” than words that are crammed tightly together. 
  • If your copy lets prospects easily skim read it, it is therefore more likely to get read. 
  • The “breathing space” also lets readers’ brains absorb the information, so your message is more likely to stick.
  • Here are 7 ways in which you can make your copy easier for people to skim read:
    1. Use headlines
    2. Use sub-headings
    3. Keep sentences and paragraphs short
    4. Emphasise important things in bold
    5. Use bullet points for lists
    6. Use photos and graphics – and write captions for them
    7. Avoid making the common mistakes of underlining for emphasis (except for hyperlinks) and excessive italics (just a word or sentence for emphasis is enough).

 


Do you need help with your copywriting projects?

Cornelia Luethi (founder of The Leaky Bathtub) specialises in writing website copy, email autoresponders and articles for English-speaking clients the world over.

Visit Words By Cornelia for full details on these copywriting services.

Words By Cornelia - putting the sizzle into your marketing messages

 

How to choose eye-catching marketing photos

When you’re choosing marketing photos to go with your copy, you need to think carefully about where you’re directing your readers’ eyeballs.

Discover why the Mona Lisa Effect is a no-no for most marketing photos, and why a Non Mona Lisa image will help your message to get across more effectively.

FREE Marketing Tips: http://wordsbycornelia.com/marketing-tips/

When you’re choosing marketing photos, there are 3 things you should look for.

1. The marketing photo should be aspirational

The photo should be positive and inspiring, so it creates an “I want that” factor.

2. If possible, use marketing photos with a person in them

People are far more drawn to photographs of people than of objects.

3. Pay careful attention to where the person in the photograph is looking

There are two main types of “people” photos:

1. The Mona Lisa Effect

This Mona Lisa style of picture, where the model is looking straight at you, is effective for magazine covers and other scenarios where the role of the picture is to get attention.

I call this style of photograph the Mona Lisa Effect, and it works well in crowded magazine stands. This is because the photos job is to make eye contact with you, so that you pick it up and buy the magazine.

So yeah, the Mona Lisa Effect is great for magazine covers. (But not so great for most marketing photos.)

2. Non-Mona Lisa

A Non-Mona Lisa photo is one where where the model is looking into a space.

What you do with that photo is to add a strong headline into that space. That way, your prospects’ eyeballs will be lured into reading your headline, as they’ll naturally follow the model’s gaze.

This is a technique that works on websites, brochures, advertisements… just about anything where you have a headline.

And this eyeball controlling technique really works! This has been tested with heatmaps based on where people are looking. So use this technique for marketing photos and really take your marketing message to the next level.

Summary

How to choose eye-catching marketing photosWhen you’re choosing marketing photos:

  1. The photograph should be aspirational and positive.
  2. It should have a person in it.
  3. The model in the photograph should be Non Mona Lisa, that is, looking into the copy space.
  4. Add a strong headline into that copy space.

This technique doesn’t take any extra time, or cost extra money, but it gets your prospects to read your message.


Next step: Discover even more ways that you can use photographs to grow your sales

Don’t risk losing sales because you’re not using marketing photographs – or you’re using the wrong type of photos.

My eBook shows you exactly how to use photos to leverage sales

Are your marketing photos making or breaking your sales?

Are your marketing photos making or breaking your sales?

Here’s what a reader says about the book:

“The book takes you through the whole process of using photos in your marketing materials, starting with how they can add impact to your copy. If you’re like me, you’ll find it fills all the gaps in your knowledge (including gaps you didn’t know were there!).

The book is crammed full of examples showing you exactly what works (and what doesn’t). It also has detailed explanations of why these techniques work.

If you’ve avoided using images in your marketing material, either because you’re more of a ‘words’ person, or don’t really think images matter or because you’re unsure how to make images look professional, then this will be the best $$ you ever spent“.
 – Juliet Fay, Wales, UK

CORLUE---eBook-Call-to-Action-Button

It’s not cheap if it never breaks even…

Don't be like Sara the Witch throwing your marketing budget down the drain - do a break even analysis before you spend a cent on advertising!

Don’t throw your marketing budget down the drain – do a break-even analysis before you spend a cent!

Recently I met a customer, JC, for the first time.

She told me: “I’ve saved thousands of dollars, thanks to you”.

How so?
(I was super curious, as I hadn’t met this lady before… she’d bought an eBook from me, and now we were meeting for her Marketing Consultation for the first time.)

JC revealed that she’d bought the Premium edition of my eBook, The Leaky Bathtub, and with that you get a break-even calculator.

This break-even calculator makes it very simple for you to work out if a marketing campaign is likely to pay for itself – or be a huge waste of money.

JC uses that break-even calculator to assess all of her campaigns

JC told me that the break-even calculator had proven to be a real eye opener as to which campaigns would be profitable, and which campaigns would be an expensive flop.

In other words, she had saved a massive amount of money on advertising campaigns that would never have worked out, and instead has been able to grow her business by investing wisely.

Little wonder that JC’s business is flourishing!

What kind of marketing campaigns can you assess with the break-even calculator?

You can assess any kind of marketing campaign with the break-even calculator. It’s particularly helpful for new customer campaigns, such as:

  • Google AdWords campaigns
  • Facebook advertising
  • Online display advertising
  • Print advertising
  • Flyers and brochures
  • Letterbox drops
  • Exhibiting at expos

The Leaky Bathtub eBook

You can use the calculator over and over again, as many times as you like.

It takes just a few moments to input the numbers, and BAM! You’ve got your result.

the-leaky-bathtub

I used the calculator myself last week…

I was curious if a Facebook advertising campaign would stack up… after all, it’s so cheap to do Facebook advertising, right?

Well, the calculator told me straight up that for this particular campaign I’d NEVER break even.

(Just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean that it’s worth spending your money on, or that you’ll get a return.)

Who needs a crystal ball when you can use this tool for less? (And this will pay for itself the very first time you use it!)

For more information or to use the break-even calculator risk-free for 60 days, click here now:

The Leaky Bathtub eBook

Cornelia Luethi, author of The Leaky Bathtub, will show you how you can stop your marketing budget from leaking away.

Cornelia Luethi, author of The Leaky Bathtub, will show you how to stop your marketing budget from leaking away.

Till next time,

Cornelia

Cornelia Luethi  BSc (Hons), DipM
Author of The Leaky Bathtub

PS. Remember, you also get The Leaky Bathtub eBook… the break-even calculator is just a bonus goodie!

See more details of how The Leaky Bathtub can grow your business by saving you money

 

How to get more stuff done (without working longer hours)

Does it sometimes seem hard to reach the long-term goals for your business?

If you work long hours but sometimes your goals still seem out of reach, this video is for you…

FREE Marketing Tips: http://wordsbycornelia.com/marketing-tips

How to get more stuff done (without working longer hours)

… Hi, this is Cornelia Luethi from The Leaky Bathtub, and most of the business owners I meet work long hours. After all, they want to make their business a success.

Also, when you enjoy what you do, it can be hard to stop… you just want to keep going!

But here’s the problem. It’s just too easy to fill up your day with unimportant stuff

The capacity in your day is limited – like this drinking glass. There’s only so much you can put in it.

The sand represents all those trivial, time-consuming tasks… like admin, accounts, and replying to emails. Yes, those things need doing, but if you let them take up too much time, there’s not enough time for the important stuff.

These pebbles represent the important things in my life. Like writing and launching books. Billable client work. Exercising, so I stay fit and healthy. Spending time with my family and loved ones. Taking breaks.

So to make sure you achieve what’s important to you, you need to schedule the important things first… and then fit the more trivial tasks around them.

You literally need to schedule time for your goals into your schedule

How to get more stuff done (without working longer hours)In my case, I make time each day for exercise, writing books, billable client work, etc.

As for this mid-winter break, I scheduled it 6 months ago. As soon as I get a new wall planner, I get out my highlighter pen, and block out some time for breaks.

Sure, you can be more spontaneous than that, but personally I like having breaks to look forward to. It keeps me focused and motivated.

So to make sure that you get what you want, make sure you schedule your time appropriately

It’s up to you how you fill your day, so make sure you fill your days with something that makes you happy!

Enjoy your day!

 

How to choose eye-catching photos for your marketing

When you’re choosing photographs to go with your copy, you need to think carefully about where you’re directing your readers’ eyeballs.

Discover why the Mona Lisa Effect is a no-no for most marketing photography, and why a Non Mona Lisa image will help your message to get across more effectively.


 
 
 
(Yes, this is me, Cornelia Luethi in the video, and here’s the link to the FREE Marketing Tips: http://wordsbycornelia.com/marketing-tips/)

When you’re choosing a marketing photograph, there are 3 things you should look for:

  1. How to choose eye-catching marketing photographsThe Marketing photograph should be aspirational. You know, something positive and inspiring, so it has an “I want that” factor.
  2. Get a photograph with a person if you can. People are far more drawn to photographs of people than of objects.
  3. Pay very careful attention to where the person in the photograph is looking. Readers will follow the model’s gaze.
  4. Add a strong headline into the copy space.

Those 4 steps will make your marketing message more prominent and get more attention.