Tag Archives: SEO

Black and white photo of a pair of shoes deciding which direction to take, as a visual analogy for Caroline Gibson's blog on choosing a digital marketing channel

Which Digital Marketing Channel Is Right For You?

There are so many digital marketing channels that can help your brand, product or service stand up and stand out above everyone else; some free and some you have to pay for. So, which one, or ones, do you choose?

B & W photo of shoes as visual analogy on choosing a digital marketing channel for Caroline Gibson's blog

My simple digital marketing channel guide tells you what you need to know at a glance, and where to delve deeper.

What Is Search Engine Optimisation?
SEO helps your website zoom up Google rankings organically and appear more frequently in searches.

How do you go about it?

  1. Sign up for Google Search Console. It’s a free service that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results.
  2. Ensure your content is fresh, unique and contains relevant keywords without looking like a shopping list of them. Chose keywords and key phrases that your customers might use to find you e.g ‘freelance copywriter’ or ‘Where can I find a creative copywriter in London?’
  3. Don’t forget to write and optimise your meta titles, meta descriptors, alt tags and H1 headers.

Learn more about Google Search Console

What Is Search Engine Marketing?
SEM is about paying for ads online that show up on Google and relevant websites. They’re also known as PPC ads (pay per click) because you only pay when someone clicks on your ad to visit your site or call your business.

How do you go about it?

  1. Create a Google Ads account, then create a campaign and decide on your goal and budget.
  2. Choose keywords (use Google’s keyword tool to help you), especially long phrases as these are more specific and targeted to your customers.
  3. Make sure you understand keyword matching options and eek out any negative keywords to avoid irrelevant searches triggering your ad.

Learn more about Google ads

What Is Display Marketing?
Ads, such as banner ads on websites or videos that promote a brand, product or service and link to a website for more information. You can even be targeted by creating a campaign that uses your data segments to show ads to customers who’ve been on your website or app.

How do you go about it?

  1. Create a Google Ads account, then create a campaign
  2. Select ‘Display Network only’ as the campaign type.
  3. Choose which types of Google Display Network targeting you want for your campaign. For example, based on interests and demographics.

Learn more about display campaigns

What Is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing lets you attract and engage customers on socials such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and YouTube, and also build a following.

How do you go about it?

  1. Identify your target audience based on factors such as demographics, interests and profession. For example, an accountancy firm is better off using LinkedIn, while a jewellery designer would be choose a highly visual route such as Instagram or Pinterest.
  2. Plan a schedule for your posts.
  3. Create engaging content through photos, videos, blogs with links to your site and hashtags where relevant.

Learn more about social media marketing

What Is Email Marketing?
Communicating with existing clients or customers (hot leads) and with new ones (cold leads) through emails or email funnels.

How do you go about it?

  1. Choose your email marketing platform. For example, Mailchimp, HubSpot or a paid-for one such as Drip.
  2. Create your own list of contacts or buy a list. You ned to give people the option to opt out of receiving emails.
  3. Create attention-grabbing and engaging emails that people will want to open and read.

Learn more about writing emails here

What Is Content Marketing?
Creating relevant and useful content such as through blogs, how tos, videos or posts to attract and engage customers, instead of pitching your product or service, and promote brand awareness.

How do you go about it?

  1. Identify your audience based around interests, demographics, profession, etc.
  2. Identify information that will be helpful or of interest: Google Trends shows what people are currently looking for, while  Google Question Hub collects unanswered questions directly from users to identify content gaps online
  3. Choose the right channel on which to share relevant articles, videos, infographics or podcasts to reach and engage your audience.

Learn more about content marketing

Choosing the right digital marketing channel can depend on a number of things. Do you want to boost traffic to your website or increase online sales or build a following and loyalty or improve brand awareness and reach?

These digital marketing channels vary in some way but they have one thing in common for success … good copy.


Written by Caroline Gibson, a freelance copywriter who can help you navigate your chosen digital marketing channel (and with good copy).

E: caroline@carolinegibson.co.uk  T: +44 (0) 7957 567766

P.S. Follow on Twitter

Angry man on phone saying " I need it yesterday"

How Long Does It Take To Create A Website?

Angry man on phone saying " I need it yesterday"

We’re terribly lucky, aren’t we? We live in a world in which we can get things instantly. Fancy a pizza? Yes, I’ll get onto Deliveroo.  Need a new ironing board? No problem, Amazon Prime will deliver it tomorrow.

Is this why clients expect the same when wanting to create a website?

In the last two days alone, I’ve been contacted by an agency wanting copy for a client’s 12-page website – within four days. And by someone launching a skincare brand and in need of an 8-page e-commerce site within a month. Any wireframes or designs to show? Nope.

Yes, of course you can use Wix, Squarespace or WordPress to whip up something simple yourself. But have you really got the time, patience and inclination? (And if you’re planning on an e-commerce site, well now you’re talking a whole new level altogether.)

I asked Garry Burden, web designer and developer, and the guru responsible for every iteration of my site since the year dot, for his pearls of wisdom: ‘The quickest it’s ever taken me to develop a website is a few days for a five page site. The client had a logo, no particular design requirements and had all the content ready. I set up the hosting and did everything from scratch including sourcing a few stock images.’

And the longest? ‘Four years! I kept having to wait for content, images and changes yet the actual build process only took two weeks.’

Like anything in life, if something is worth doing then it’s worth doing well. So, let’s go through the stages …

What do you need to do first?

Starting a business from scratch? Pivoting your brand?

I’m often contacted by clients who tell me they’ve ‘had their branding done’. What they’re really talking about is a new look, with a new logo, typeface, colourways. But they’ve overlooked one vital step: before you can create a new website, you need a brand strategy. Because how you can you style a house when you haven’t built the foundations? How can you brief your developer/copywriter when you haven’t even identified what makes your brand distinctive and relevant?

Andrew Barrington, brand strategist at Breakfast Town, identifies these must-haves for a focussed idea of what your brand does and what it stands for:

What is your vision? (Beyond making money, what does success look like for your company?)
What is your mission? (What gets you up in the morning?)
What is your brand positioning? (What makes you relevant, distinctive and desirable?)
What is your proposition? (What is your key selling message?)
What are your values? (What drives you?)
What is your personality? (What characterises your company?)
What are your attributes? (What are your differentiating assets?)

Ok, so now you’ve got your brand strategy and your domain name and hosting sorted? Great. Let’s start.

What your web designer/developer needs to know or do to create a website

  • Scoping/Research: What does the website have to do and achieve? Who is it targeting and how will it be marketed? (This is where having a good brief comes in.) What are the features? Are there any existing brand guidelines and photography to use?
  • Site architecture: The structure of the site needs organising and plotting out so that its usability can be checked and any mistakes highlighted at this early stage. This blueprint is called a wireframe: it maps out how pages are organised and categorised, how they link and how the layout of key pages might look.
  • Design: Prototypes are created with suggestions for key pages and how they’ll also appear when viewed on a mobile. Your chosen design can then be tweaked.
  • Development: The website is coded, with visuals, content and functions in all the places they should be so that the site is both functional and accessible.
  • Testing: Does everything work as it should? Is the site compatible across all browsers? Is the navigation seamless? Are there any broken links?

What your freelance copywriter needs to know or do to create a website

  • Research: If a brief doesn’t exist, then I’ll send a link to my client briefing form. I need to know about your competitors, target audience and USP. I also like to know what other websites you like in terms of look and copy – but not necessarily in your sector.
  • Information: Will you supply the raw info? Do I need to do any research? Will I have to capture the info needed through a series of interviews?
  • Tone of voice: Do you have an existing tone of voice? If you’re a start up or in search of a refresher, I’ll create one for you. (You may like to read my blog What Is Tone Of Voice In Copy And Why Does It Matter?)
  • Content writing: I may provide a copy platform with an idea of what goes on each page or I may just start writing. I like to send through copy in stages for an ongoing process of writing, feedback and revising.
  • SEO: Keywords will be magically woven in. Don’t forget things like meta titles, meta descriptors and alt tags (I can write these too.)

Which comes first – web design or web content?

Ah, the chicken or egg scenario.

I’m often asked this. Garry adamantly says, ‘Always the copy. Because the purpose of the site is to provide that information to the user. The design is just the mechanism with which to show that and display it in the best possible, and most accessible, way.’

Personally, I’m happy to work either way but the parallel lines have to eventually come together – which is why I prefer to work with a web designer or web developer I know so that we can map out ideas and save the client time and potential headaches.

The main thing is to work out a timing plan and keep the conversation going. Things that usually create delays are if several stakeholders are involved in the decision-making process, a change of brief mid-way, and – the biggest delay-creator of all – waiting for client feedback.

The reality is that there’s no cut and dried answer to ‘How long does it take to create a website?’ because there’s no typical project. I cajoled Garry to give me an indication. He replied, ‘To design and build a basic five page marketing site from start to finish, I’d say four to six weeks. Within that period, I’ll typically allow a couple of weeks to create some designs, get them signed off, tweak the designs, start the build process and then do a final review once the site is built.’

The time taken doesn’t necessarily lie with the web designer/developer or copywriter but with the client. And the sharper the brief, the quicker the decision-making and the faster the feedback = the sooner a shiny new site will be up and running.

Written by Caroline Gibson, freelance copywriter whose own shiny new website will be launching in a month or so. Watch this space ….

E: caroline@carolinegibson.co.uk  T: +44 (0) 7957 567766

P.S. Follow on Twitter