If you have an online retail site you may be tempted to use the
descriptions you receive from the manufacturers. There are many reasons to
take a little extra time and write your own unique product descriptions.
*Google is looking for unique text*
With all of the changes to Google’s algorithms it can be confusing to know
how to keep your search engine rankings up. Writing unique product
descriptions is one way. Google is on the lookout for repeat content and
will decrease the ranking of any site that uses repetitive content.
Unique descriptions are also a way to make sure that your website will
stand out from the crowd. Especially if you sell a product that is widely
available and you need to give your customers a reason to use your service
instead of another website’s.
*Allows you to use keywords that your site is already using*
If there is a set of keywords that has been successful for your website
you can incorporate those same keywords into a product description. There
is no guarantee that a manufacturer’s description will have the same
keywords you want to use.
Don’t forget to put your keywords into your meta-descriptions either. By
adding a relevant keyword or two to your meta-descriptions you can improve
your SEO. A well written meta-description can also let your customers know
what to expect when they use your site.
*You can craft your descriptions to speak to a specific audience*
You can improve your connection to your customers by writing your
descriptions as if you’re talking directly to them. You do this by
identifying real needs your customers have and then explain why a specific
product can fit that need.
By talking directly to a specific audience you can make sure that your site
will not blend into the background of online stores. The better your
customers remember your site the more likely it is that they will come back
to you time and time again.
*You can give your customers a lot of useful information*
Providing reviews on the same page as the description means that your
customers don’t have to search the internet for reviews. It also provides
vital information about how people have used the product and how well it
Along with the reviews you can include pictures. Some images from the
manufacturer do not give your customers all the information that they may
want. By providing multiple images from different angles your customers
have a very clear idea of the product they will be purchasing.
If you are so inclined you can even add a video description so that your
customers can actually see someone using the product.
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Affect is a verb. The construction zone *affected* my commute.
Effect is a noun. The construction zone had a lasting *effect* on my
Than is used in comparisons. This is larger *than* that.
Then has multiple meanings. The two most common are referencing a specific
time and in addition to something. A good rule of thumb is anywhere you
aren’t comparing two things, using than, you should use then.
These are probably the most common mistake and can have a big effect on the
meaning of your sentences.
You’re is a contraction of you and are. *You’re* a great writer.
Your is possessive. *Your* writing is fun to read.
Second to the confusion between your and you’re, the difference between
it’s and its leads to many confusing sentences.
Its is a possessive that does not have an apostrophe. The dog licks *its*
bowl while waiting to be fed.
It’s is a contraction of it and is. *It’s *finally Friday!
Fewer is used when you can count the items you’re talking about. I have
*fewer* books than I used to have.
Less is used when the subject can’t be counted. I have *less* time to read
*6. ** They’re/there/their*
They’re is a contraction of they and are. *They’re* coming to visit us this
There indicates a specific place. Are we going to take them *there* when
Their is used as a possessive when many people own something. Should we use
*their* car our ours?
Loose is used when there is nothing restraining something. No one knew
whose dog was running *loose* through the neighborhood.
Lose is when something is misplaced. I always keep my dog on a leash
because I don’t want to *lose* her.
Misusing literally is becoming more common and only makes the statement
Literally is only used when something has actually happened. 2014 is
*literally* over half over.
Anything that has not actually happened is figurative. I *figuratively *died
of shame after I forgot the lyrics to the song.
Most possessive words have an apostrophe (its is the exception) but it can
be confusing to decide where that apostrophe goes.
If the noun is singular and does not end with an S then add an apostrophe
and an S. A *dog’s* dish.
If the noun is singular and ends in an S then add the apostrophe after the
final S. The *dress’* zipper.
If the noun is plural add the apostrophe after the S. My *coworkers’* desks.
*10. **Misplaced modifiers*
The most common sources of unintentional hilarity are misplaced modifiers.
The hunter chased the bear with a gun.
Sentences need to be reorganized to ensure that the modifier does not apply
to something it doesn’t refer to. The hunter, with a gun, chased the bear.
The easiest way to find these misplaced modifiers is to read a sentence out
loud. The modifier will sound odd when you hear it out loud.
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*1. **Practice, Practice, Practice*
Writing is both an art and a skill. Like any other skill it is important to
practice it often. The best way to get in a regular amount of practice is
to establish a habit of writing. Sitting down and writing at the same time
every day and writing for the same amount of time every day is the perfect
way to establish a good habit of practicing.
*2. **Read anything and everything*
When you aren’t writing it is important to be reading. While you’re reading
be sure that you read a wide variety, don’t lock yourself into one single
topic or writing style. Reading will give you examples to follow,
especially if you know what makes good writing good.
Also read the news or current event articles because this will keep you up
to date on topics that your readers will be thinking about as they are
reading. By reading the news you will also be able to trace the allusions
to current events that may come up in other writing.
*3. **Finish what you start*
Many writers have pages of many novels but very few have actually finished
one. It is important to finish any writing project that your start so that
you can see some results which will keep you motivated on those days that
you may not want to write.
Another, scarier, component of finishing a writing project is sharing your
results with other people. It may feel like you’re letting these people
look at a part of your soul but you will need their feedback if you want to
improve your writing.
*4. **Cut the fluff*
There is no point wasting time writing a long complex sentence if the same
idea can be told in a short, simple sentence. This is especially true if
you are writing to a web audience, no one wants to wade through long
sentences and paragraphs to finally reach the main point.
An easy way to get rid of useless words is to switch from a passive voice
to an active voice. Not only will this switch give your writing a bump up
in impact it will also improve the readability.
*5. **Edit, edit, edit.*
Even if your first draft is well written it will always benefit from a
second read. Every time you read through your writing you will see some new
ways to improve your writing.
If you regularly update a blog a search through your archives can generate
a post that can be edited and reposted. Not only will this give you an easy
new post it will also show you how far your writing has progressed over
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*1. **Look at your website’s content first*
The first place to start when you’re thinking about improving your
website’s content you want is to look at what your content looks like. By
doing a little bit of research you can find out what keywords that are
drawing people into your site. You can also do more research and find out
what keywords you should be using.
While you’re looking at your own content you can also look at what your
competitors are doing to see if there are any ideas that you can adapt for
your own use. Researching your competitors will take a little more work but
it can give you new ideas for your own content.
*2. **Look at your social media content*
While you’re looking at your content on your own site you should also take
a close look at your presence across social media sites. Using social media
is an easy way to promote your content to a much wider audience.
Another aspect of social media to be considered is blogging. Having a
well-run blog is one way to increase your connection with your audience.
This connection is only strengthened when you provide information that is
important to your audience; blogs are not the place to only talk about
yourself. So it is in your best interest to provide your readers with
useful information that won’t become outdated as soon as you post it.
*3. **Make sure your content can be seen across all platforms*
While writing your content keep in mind that more and more people are using
mobile devices. Always keep in mind what your content will look like on a
smaller screen and you won’t create content that is too busy or overwhelmed
by media. Simplifying your site is the only way to ensure that you don’t
lose visitors from mobile devices.
*4. **Make sure your content is unique*
With the many changes to Google’s algorithm one thing has remained
constant, unique and high quality content will always rank higher than
content that is duplicated in multiple sites. Focusing on quality will not
only increase your search engine ranking it will increase the number of
people who will read and share your content.
An excellent source of unique content comes from your own users. If you
have any reviews for your site or products be sure to highlight them. Your
users will enjoy reading the opinions from other users.
*5. **Have a strategy*
No matter what you decide to do in order to improve your content marketing,
be sure you have a strategy in mind. Having a strategy will keep all of
your content consistent across all platforms.
The final important component of any good strategy is to wait long enough
for all of your hard work to show results. Some of the changes may take
longer to show results but all of your hard work will pay off as long as
your focus on creating quality content that your customers will want to
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