To the previous week Jakob Nielsen’s five heuristics that are applicable for Copywriters to create an active content are highlighted. Let’s see the other 5 heuristics dealt with a content strategy.
“Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.”
In copy writing strategy, it is not just the content but also the user design plays an important role. In order to create the strong micro-content the language used must be simple so that it can be also error free. The complex words might sometimes lead to an ineffective micro-content as it may not reach to the communities in an effective manner.
Recognition rather than recall
“Minimize the user’s memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.”
The content must be created in such a way that it need to come inline with the process. There should not be any discontinuity in the content, making the reader to again get reminded with the task. Just like a baby walk present clarity and continuity in each and every step of content process.
Flexibility and efficiency of use
“Accelerators — unseen by the novice user — may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.”
As copywriters won’t have control over the general design and interface nothing effective can be made in those processes but the usage of links within the body can be enhanced in a better way by copy writers. The links included must be in a way of user’s expectations. For example, if you’re writing a product page for tuxedos include the link that deals with fashion updates. So that it makes user to have great flexibility and efficiency to use your site than the competitors.
Aesthetic and minimalist design
“Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.”
Use only the relevant information and data required for the site process. Don’t bombard with enormous content that are irrelevant to the covered topics. Cut down the contents in order to give an aesthetic presence that provides more convenient content visibility to the users.
Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
“Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.”
When you find any error messages don’t leave it as such, fix the error by explaining the hard jargon or rewrite using the simple language. Nothing benefits in writing an amazing error messages that gets cut down in half the way.
The word “Viral content” may sound simple but creating a viral content is not an easier task. It brings challenges to content writers to create a content that spreads very fast on the internet. The content can be of an article, a picture or can be of other types that tend to be so funny, informative or controversial in indulging people to develop keen interest of that topic. Now, know what are the key factors make content to go viral.
Emotional Appeal– The content will reach to large community only when it matches the similar emotional reaction that stands common for a large group. Focus on positive emotional responses that are in line with curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment, administration and humor rather putting your words to negative emotional responses.
Share worthy– Create a content that is share-worthy. Marketing professor Jonah Berger has pointed out 6 steps for creating an effective share worthy content. The recommended steps are: adding triggers, social value, emotion, using stories, a common/public inspiration and practice values are the strategies have to be implemented for making the content share worthy.
Time Factor– Timing factor plays a major role in letting out the content to go viral. Analyze the content which are claimed to be most in demand at various stages (time-days-week-year) and publish the content at the right time when most needed.
Visual Appearance– Visual appeal matters a lot; go with attractive design elements, bold and subtle colors, contrast and clarity images that add supplementary effectiveness to content.
Hummingbird is an entirely new updated search algorithm incorporating new technology combined with older features of the existing algorithms. It approaches search engine queries in an intelligent way that instead of looking at the individual words that match with the keywords of finding page, the algorithm aims to understand what the users intention was – figuring out the reason what exactly the user looking for to search. This release is basically a platform that enables Google to better handle “conversational” search queries.
Working strategies of Hummingbird
The major change what made Hummingbird to be so special than past versions of the Google algorithms is that its conversational search.
For example, if you search for ‘shipping companies near me’, then Hummingbird knows that ‘near me’ might mean where you are when you’re searching, it understands the user searches for the shipping services in his nearby locality. This clearly indicates many people are searching for results without using the appropriate keywords.
Hummingbird breaks this dismay by introducing Conversational Search concept- allowing user to ask Google a question, as you would a friend, and it answers you using contextual and background knowledge (just like a real person would).
Future with Hummingbird algorithm
It will take little time to get familiar with the new methodology but it’s an evolution of Google in elevating preference for quality content that address user’s actual needs in their own natural language. In future, it is no doubt that Hummingbird will extend its wing in elevating the search experience to new level.
Copywriting differs with various kinds, writing a copy to a site can be of both elaborated or crisp manner depending upon the requirement but when comes to mobile devices there are some limitations and procedures which has to be encountered. The copy which is written to desktop site cannot be easily transported to mobile devices as it could affect the clarity. Let’s look at some of the factors of what mobile copywriting has to be.
Cut down the descriptions– while writing copy/ content for mobile devices always prefer for precise descriptions than an elaborated one. The average content for desktop site may vary to 300-500 words but the same theme line has to be delivered with in 100 words when comes to mobile devices.
Prioritize the hierarchy of content– Prioritizing of content is more important. The main core services and key features have to be kept top of the hierarchy level in order to cover the main scenarios with in the limited space.
Use sub headers– Use of sub headers bring clarity to the content. Also enhances the readability of user to get idea in a better manner. Capturing catchy content would add additional essence to sub headers.
Contractions– Avoid using unnecessary words that doesn’t add any effect to your stuff. Better go with “you’ll” instead of “you will” when you look to limit your words.
The Digital Content Summit 2014 which held on February tracked the solutions for all content queries from experts which remained unanswered till date.
The Digital Content Summit was organized in addressing the content related issues. Content providers face many challenges when developing the content to new devices and platforms. How to adapt to those platforms in order to deliver the content effectively using various approaches is meant to be the basic theme of the event.
Catherine Toole’s speech was considered to be one of the effective speeches as she elaborated with the tips and solutions for How to get content signed off when ‘Stakeholder says no’.
The next summit (The Mobile Content Summit 2014) is to take place on October.
Major components related to mobile content are to be addressed
Some of them are:
- How to build customer loyalty content
- Designing a cross-platform content delivery system
- How to gain maximum reach without diluting brand
- How to design content that supports to different devices
The summit is open to all who look to build a sustainable business model around their content.
Jakob Nielsen is the world’s leading expert on Web usability. He developed the 10 heuristics meant for user design that is also applicable for Copywriters in order to have an active content
Listed are some of the methods:
Visibility of system status
“The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.”
Generate quick response to users after their feedback on visiting your site. Keep the site active through interaction contents.
Match between system and the real world
“The system should speak the users’ language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order.”
Use simple and common terms that reach your target audience effectively than the technical usage.
User control and freedom
“Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.”
While writing copy for online banking process or transactions, make sure you have sight of error text, “back” and “close” buttons that meant to enhance user ease accessibility.
Consistency and standards
“Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions.”
This relates to using plain language, especially for copy that supports practical user tasks like product research, online purchase and other types of conversion.
Help and documentation
“Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user’s task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large.”
When writing the content for support and FAQ avoid jargon as it can cause misinterpretations on user’s point of view have the content clear and simple that is understandable by everyone.
Google one of the popular search engines has redesigned its search page in order to give new look and feel to its readers. Let’s look at the significant changes made by Google.
- Size of result titles got much bigger compared to earlier search pages
- Underlining the context got removed
- Uniform line heights are introduced
- Encountering character limit for page titles
- Spacing for Meta descriptions got changed
With Copywriters these changes do not affect the actual content but the appearance of the site got revisited. Even then, presenting page titles in a precised manner that attract audience will be a challenging task. Meta descriptions have to be also maintained with in 155 character limit. These new changes are made to be effective in order to enhance readability and create an overall cleaner look.
So, attention content writers now it’s our job to present the content more flexible in line with the new changes.
Apple’s success can be sited as they are the pioneers in experimenting with the ground-breaking tech innovations. But the way it brands and markets its products also has a massive impact.
Apple’s word choice is so simple that it can be understood even by any lay man. Steve Job’s uses words like “magical”, “revolutionary”, “cool”, and “great” to perfectly describe technological wonders. Apple’s marketing team scrubs every sentence free of mind-bending jargon and boils their message down to something anyone can understand and appreciate.
Magic of promoting readability
Writing should be of such a manner keeping things simple and understandable. Apple’s magic of words lies in eliminating anything that a 6-year-old couldn’t understand. Big words may sound smart but they may confuse readers. Instead of highlighting with jargon, expressive “benefit stories” can be used to grab more attention on the product’s features. When it comes necessary to include any technical terms, sufficient time has to be invested in explaining it in the perception of layman’s terms.
Many people think Copywriting and content writing remains one and the same but there exist the distinction between copywriting and content writing. The difference actually lies in the goal of what the written text is designed to achieve.
Copywriting- Copy is the written text that is designed to sell something, which means that copywriting is the practice of writing the text with the means of selling a product or a service. Here is a basic outline of how the copywriting structure has to be:
- The first paragraph must introduce what is being sold.
- The following paragraph must highlight the advantages and benefits that the product or service offers.
- The end is defined by a clear call to action aimed at the reader (“call now,” “schedule an appointment,” “ask us for a quote”).
Content writing- Content is the written text that is designed to inform, educate and engage people. The quality of content is defined by its ability to effectively reach the audience, rather than to sell them. When content is used for marketing purposes, it should follow the principle that you earn the readers’ trust before you try to sell to them.
SEO friendly content helps the website to become more established and fetches consistent traffic to the website without needing to survive through ads across the web. The SEO friendly content plays a predominant role in ranking the site higher than others.
Keywords are the most important SEO element for every search engine.
Choose the right keywords to optimize.
Avoid using more keywords on a webpage because it can be taken as spam.
Don’t overuse the keywords that tend the text to read in an unnatural way.
Meta Descriptions are a paragraph that describes the information that searchers can find useful and relevant to what they are searching.
Meta descriptions should be in a summarized manner with the maximum word limit of 150 characters.
Never copy Meta tags descriptions, create dynamic and distinctive descriptions.
Compelling and descriptive headlines of an article makes the content more shareable.
Conduct keyword research in order to find relevant keywords on search terms of customers.
URLs are designed to substitute IP addresses which computers use to communicate with the servers.
The well-written URL can serve its own anchor text and give ranking credit to the page.
Have a short URL and set up content with subfolders instead of subdomains.
SEO Link Building
The search engines can analyze the popularity of a website & page depending on the total and reputation of pages linking to them through links.
Link optimization is important in order to bring traffic and search ranking success.
It is effective to keep your links fresh, continue updating with additional links.
Write Quality Content
Make sure to write quality, useful, original and engaging content.
Content should be short and direct, use appropriate keywords to make content more effective.
Proofread the content before publishing.