Category: Glossary/Wiki

The Differences Between a Proofreader and a Copywriter: Who to Hire and When

Many people do not know the difference between a proofreader and a copywriter. It’s no surprise, because their roles in writing are similar and easy to confuse. If your small business needs assistance with writing in any form, whether it be blogging, newsletters, eBooks and so on, it’s best to know which of the two you should contact. Though similar, they both offer very different skills.

A Copywriter is someone you contact during the early stages of your writing project. Their goals are to help you create. If you were writing an eBook or even a novel, they would help you make it publishable. A copywriter would offer creative advice to help you make the best finished product. Think of them as a mentor to lead you towards your goal of a great piece of writing. If you want to incorporate pictures or other visuals into your writing, a copywriter would be able to tell you the best places to put them, as well as help you choose which pictures would look best. They can also be helpful in telling you what content is best left out of a blog, book, newsletter and so on.  You can work with a copywriter, together creating the finished product you’re looking for or you can opt to let them work their magic and create the entire piece for you.

A Proofreader provides the finishing touches to your writing. Their only intentions are to make the product free of spelling and grammatical errors. They have no interest in the style or the flow. So if you need help in the actual creation process, a proofer is not going to be choice for you. They are very important in the world of words, but the skills needed are less than a copywriter, so it is usually considerably cheaper to hire a proofreader.

Does your website’s blog need the creative touch of a copywriter? Does your eNewsletter require a second set of eyes to proof it before sending it to your clients? Outsourcing to experts is a great way to improve your small business design and achieve positive results with your website writings. It’s okay to be too busy with your business to worry about the finishing touches of your blog, let someone else handle the dirty work for you!

What is Flash and is it suitable for your business?

Flash is software that uses animation to create multimedia elements for websites. Flash on a web page is usually used to establish interactivity with visitors. It could be a button, form, movie, cartoon, or even a game. Take a look at the following examples of different uses of Flash:

Flash focused sites (full Flash sites):
Moodstream (brainstorming tool)
Uniroyal Fun Cup (racing game)
Chipotle (restaurant)

Sites with Flash elements (not full Flash sites):
Atlantic Vegas (only the game selections are done in Flash)
American Academy Casablanca
(home page has a Flash photo gallery)
Conference Torquay
(home page has 3 small rotating Flash photo galleries)

To use Flash or not?
There are few things to consider when thinking about using Flash on your website: your budget, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and your industry type.

Consider your web design budget
A standard website can cost you anywhere from $500 to $3000 and that doesn’t include Flash. There are many factors that go into the price of a website, but Flash would be considered an added feature and therefore would cost you hundreds extra. So, when considering including Flash on your website, first take a look at your budget and see if you can afford it.

SEO and Flash
There are a couple of reasons why you would like to have a Flash site for your business, it grabs visitor’s attention and it’s interactive. On the other hand, you might not want to have a full Flash site for your business because they’re made up of graphics and graphics are not search engine optimized (SEO). It is very important to have your website be SEO friendly, but that’s a different topic. Your website can of course have Flash elements like those shown in the examples above.

Is your business in an industry that’s ready for Flash?
The type of industry that your business is in has also a factor of how much Flash on your website you should use (if you decide to use it). For example, if you’re in a Health Care industry your website doesn’t need any Flash, but you may still use Flash elements minimally. The main reason for this is because the visitors that would come to your website would not typically wait for the Flash to load, they just want to get in, find what they’re looking for and leave. But if you’re in the Arts and Entertainment industry, than it would be good for your website to have at least some Flash in it. I would at least suggest for your website to use a Flash photo gallery. When people come to an entertainment type of website, they are more interested to interact with your website and take their time to view things such as slide shows.

So before you consider to have your website designed in Flash, first thing about your budget, your search engine ranking and your industry type.

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Landing Pages: What They Are and Why You Need Them

If you’ve been considering an online advertising campaign for your small business, you’ve probably come across the term “landing page.” The concept of a landing page is new to many small business owners, so don’t worry if you aren’t sure what it is or how it’s different from the other pages on your website. It’s actually a very simple concept that can really increase the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

What is a landing page?
A landing page is exactly what it sounds like—the page a potential customer lands on after clicking a link. Technically, any page on your website can be a landing page. However, the most effective landing page is one that was created to match the needs of the person who clicked on the link that leads to it. The goal of a landing page is to capture the visitor’s attention and get them take an action you desire—make a purchase, for instance, or fill out a sign-up form.

Why you need a landing page for your advertising campaign
When you create an advertisement, whether it’s a banner ad or an email to your client list, you craft it with a specific goal and audience in mind. You do this to connect with your customers and encourage them to click on the link to your website. But your interaction with your customers doesn’t end there—you want them to take a certain action once they reach your website. This is where the landing page comes in. Sending people to an ad-specific landing page on your website will provide them with exactly what they came to find, making it more likely that they will make a transaction.

Here are a couple examples to illustrate what a landing page can do for you:

Imagine that you own an online store that sells women’s clothing. To market your website, you create an advertisement that promotes your new swimwear collection for summer. To go along with this advertising campaign, you design a landing page that features the top-selling swimwear items. People who click on the swimwear ad are more likely to stick around if they land on this page and immediately see what they’re looking for than if they’re directed to the homepage of your site, which has just a small link to the swimwear section.

Or maybe your marketing goal is to get people to sign up for your email list. To do this, you offer them a free e-book in exchange for their name and email address. When people click on this offer, they’re sent directly to a landing page that contains the form they need to fill out in order to receive the e-book. This will be much more effective than sending them to your website’s homepage, where they will have to hunt on their own for the link to sign up for the e-book. You’ll get many more people to sign up for your email list if you create a landing page specifically for this purpose.

Essentially, a landing page increases the effectiveness of your advertising campaign by immediately engaging visitors who are attracted by your ad. How many times have you clicked on a link only to find yourself on a webpage that seems completely unrelated? That was an example of a bad landing page, and chances are you hit the back button on your browser within seconds. Keep that from happening with your ads with a well-crafted landing page.

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What is a third-party testimonial

A third-party testimonial is a testimonial about a company’s goods or services that is located on another website other then their own.

Learn Why Authentic Customer Testimonials are Important for Your Small Business and why it’s best to have third-party testimonials instead of just writing regular text testimonials on your website.

Quick Tip: Keep Your Website’s Main Content “Above the Fold”

In website design the term “above the fold” is referring to content on your website that the user sees first without needing to scroll. Keeping your most important content above the fold of your website, gives you a better chance to get your point across as soon as the user enters your website.