I recently posted about how to make your veterinary blog easy to read by writing with shorter sentences.
Since short ones are easier to follow and digest, they improve readability.
Compact writing doesn't mentally tax your blog visitors. On the other hand, slogging through long, winding text does. Readers will lose patience if they struggle to read and understand your writing.
Remember, your blogging goal is quality content, so concise communication is vital.
The bottom line is that poor readability creates a bad user experience. And bad experiences drive traffic away from your blog.
More tips to improve readability
Since readability is essential to a positive experience for your audience, what more can you do to improve it?
Allow me to make some suggestions …
A helpful online writing assistant/tool that catches problems plaguing writers and suggests corrections. If your writing gets wordy and long, Grammarly recommends revisions to improve clarity and conciseness. (Such as splitting long sentences!)
This test rates how easy text is to read based on a 100-point scale. The higher the score, the easier it is. The calculation formula looks at the average number of syllables per word and words per sentence.
The rule of thumb for easy reading is a score between 60 and 70.
As the name implies, this test scores readability by grade level. For example, an 8.0 score means that an eighth grader in the U.S. could understand the text.
The recommendation is to score between 7.0 and 8.0.
The Flesch Reading Ease Readability tests guide you in determining if your writing is easy to read.
And both tests are included in Microsoft Word under the Review tab on the menu.
Oh, and one other thing about readability, it can impact your search engine optimization (SEO).
Don't lose traffic with those technical veterinary terms pet owners don't know
You know that Google and other search engines aim to give users the best information.
And we know that through SEO, Google will give users content based on the keywords they're searching with.
But what happens if your blog posts or articles don't include those keywords?
Suppose you want to build traffic to your veterinary website. You may be writing articles that include many technically correct veterinary words.
But if your audience is pet owners, they most likely wouldn't use that technical terminology in their searches. So the search engines wouldn't direct them to your site.
And if users did find your site, they probably wouldn't understand those words or the message you're conveying.
This situation defeats the purpose of your blog, which is to offer high-value content.
To prevent this, explain technical terms in plain English with words that pet owners will likely use.
In short, Google doesn't rank content on readability; its algorithms don't calculate this.
But it can affect SEO if your language doesn't match the language users are searching with. Or if technical words pepper your text and speak over your audience's head.
From the user experience and SEO perspective, we agree that readability is key!
Let's talk about that writing project you've put off; email or call me at 508-277-4929!
I'm a content writer/consultant and former veterinary assistant specializing in the animal health and veterinary markets. I dive into the intricacies of writing excellent content so you don't have to!
You own a veterinary practice, and you've decided to start a blog to stay in touch with your clients.
Great idea -- because as a practicing veterinarian, you're in the business of animal health. So why not take steps to help your practice thrive and keep clients returning?
A blog can be an effective way to do this.
But before you put your fingers on the keyboard and publish your first post, here are some tips for writing an outstanding one.
Choosing topics for your veterinary blog
As you choose topics, remember that you're writing for your readers, also known as your target audience.
And most people read blogs to learn something. Especially pet parents keen on animal health because they want the best for their pets!
What you write about should be something that will help them, whether it's the benefits of a particular flea and tick product, the best way to trim nails, or answers to questions you field every day like, "Should I feed my pet a raw diet?" or "Why does my dog eat cigarette butts?"
Tone and format of your veterinary blog
Blog readers don't want to be pitched, so avoid selling your product or service outright; keep that lowkey.
Instead, be personable. Write conversationally with a story-telling approach. Tap into insights from your day-to-day experiences to tell stories that will make your posts interesting.
For instance, maybe a recent euthanasia case raised a point you'd like to share. Readers will appreciate your perspective and advice on this sensitive subject; this builds trust. And trust builds relationships.
Another thing to pay attention to is the format of your post.
Avoid long sentences and big chunks of text; they can be tiring to read. Use headings with paragraphs to break things up, making it easier for readers to skim what's written or jump from one section to another.
Depending on your topic, include statistics when possible. Verify the stats by linking to external sources, which is helpful for a few reasons.
Give readers more helpful content with external links
Linking is akin to citing a reference. It supports your writing and provides readers with additional valuable information.
Linking to quality sources inspires search engines to view your post favorably. External links to other relevant sites add credibility to your post. And that improves search engine results.
Here's an article explaining external linking best practices to learn more.
Help readers discover your blog with search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO plays a role in blogging because its practice, when done well, drives readers to your blog.
But not just any readers, the right readers.
In a nutshell, you optimize your blog and web pages to stack the deck, so to speak, so the people most interested in what you have to offer will find you.
Although many steps are involved with SEO, one of the more important ones is choosing keywords.
Essentially, the keywords you select for your blog post should be the ones your target audience is googling. And to find those keywords requires keyword research.
Keyword research takes time and effort. I could devote a lengthy blog post to this topic, but instead, here's a link to a comprehensive keyword research article.
Once you have your keywords, judiciously place them in your blog post, such as in the title and headings, and sprinkle them throughout the content.
You don't want to just slap the keywords in there or overuse them. Search engines will be suspicious of this behavior and may view your content as spam.
I like to write the post first and then go back and insert keywords. This approach lets you focus on the point of your article without worrying about where to put the keywords.
Get your blog post read with a blockbuster title
So let's imagine you've just written a gem of a blog post with content sure to please your audience.
How do you get them to read it? With a title that catches their eye and sparks their interest!
The title has to inspire, entice, or intrigue so the reader opens and reads your post. Coming up with a blockbuster title is no small feat, so don't treat your title selection as an afterthought.
Spend some time thinking one up. And don't necessarily go with the first one that comes to mind.
To create an irresistible SEO-friendly title, I use CoSchedule Headline-Analyzer.
This tool ranks your title's potency based on phrasing, word count, emotional impact, and more. The higher the score, the stronger the title.
Successful titles frequently ask a question, use numbers, and, most importantly, clearly describe the blog post's contents.
Nothing is more frustrating than reading a blog post that doesn't deliver. You don't want to burn your audience.
So, are you ready to get started blogging?
It's an effective way to stay in front of your veterinary clients and build relationships, but it requires time, effort, and patience to produce consistent blog posts that your audience will find and read.
Otherwise, why bother?
If you'd like help with blogging for your veterinary practice or business, please email or call me at 508-277-4929. I'm happy to assist!
Staying competitive in the search engine rankings race is never-ending for an online catalog.
Search engine optimization (SEO) for product pages is a continuous activity, and a successful strategy can reap many rewards.
For the catalog copywriter producing content for product pages, you walk the tightrope of writing sales worthy, benefit-rich copy that is also attentive to SEO needs.
Search engine optimization covers a lot of ground, for sure. But the tips I’m about to mention below are easy to put into use and can be a boost to an online catalog’s SEO efforts.
1. A simple way to determine the number of words to use in a product description.
The first recommendation I’ll make here is, don’t exclude a product description. Sounds crazy, I know, but you will see on some product pages just the image of the product with no corresponding text. This is bad for SEO because the search engines can’t see images. Blank pages do not impress Google.
Here’s a method to determine how many words you should use: Count all the default words that appear on your blank product page. Default words are words found on the navigation bar, sidebar, footers, etc. Whatever this number is, the product description word count should at least exceed this.
Since the search engines like content, the longer the product description, the better, and a skillful catalog copywriter will increase the word count with clear, benefit-ripe copy that addresses all the questions and concerns of the customer.
If you’re still scratching your head as to how long your descriptions should be, you may want to do some testing on conversions to see which lengths perform better.
2. Don’t copy content from other web sites.
This practice is seen fairly often online and it does search rankings no favors. Search engines penalize this behavior. (Don’t have the time to create fresh content? Maybe you should consider hiring a freelance catalog copywriter…)
In a similar vein, don’t use a manufacturer’s copy, either. They’ll distribute content to various online catalogs and all that duplicate content gets punished by Google. Also, manufacturer’s copy is frequently less than adequate from a selling viewpoint.
3. Take full advantage of product reviews.
Fresh content. We hear these words constantly in SEO discussions. Product reviews can provide that cherished, new content…for free. And, depending on which source you check, shoppers are purportedly influenced by online reviews from 80 percent on upwards. They seek out reviews prior to making purchases. If a site doesn’t allow for reviews, it’s missing a huge chunk of the action.
The continuous generation of content from product reviews keeps the search engines coming back more frequently, a boost to any online catalog’s SEO efforts.
And from a copywriting perspective, product reviews offer tons of insight directly from customers, which can be spun right into a product’s copy.
Every catalog copywriter who writes product descriptions for online catalogs can contribute to a catalog’s SEO strategy by implementing these three simple tips.
where to learn about seo
SEO (search engine optimization).
What does SEO have to do with catalog copywriting?
Actually, a lot. For your online catalog.
Search engine optimization is what drives all the search engines to your ecommerce site, crawl its pages, analyze your content, and then determine the most fruitful results based upon what the human being with the electronic device had typed into the search field. And that human being, by the way, is your customer.
And the purpose of this post is not for me to educate you about SEO, but to provide you with some useful resources that can educate you.
There’s a ton of information on the Web about search engine optimizing for your ecommerce site. And that in itself can be overwhelming, because the practice of SEO is continually evolving, so some of the stuff out there can be dated.
That said, I’d like to suggest a couple of places to check out to learn the basics.
An excellent place to start is Google’s own Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.
As the title states, this guide is designed to start you down the path of search engine optimization knowledge. It’s in-depth, and it’s authored by Google, the king of search engines.
Another useful resource is SEO 101: Everything You Need to Know About SEO (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Pole Position Marketing. This guide is an easy read and provides much helpful information, so you can get a good foothold on what makes SEO tick.
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter