SEO copywriting, keyword check

Website copy testing for SEO

I hired a copywriter to do the website home page – but how will I know if what they wrote WORKS?

Great question – I got this from a customer who did not hire me… but had the savvy to ask the right question. It looks nice but is the website home page copy doing its job? Bringing inbound traffic, showing up in SEO, right keywords and key phrases.

Testing web copy

After the copy has been published on your website leave it in place for a week so that the search engine spiders can crawl the site and index it fully.
Then do a test to see how you are performing.

Natural Search Copywriting

I will show you how to find out if what they wrote is showing up in natural search with the right keywords.
[Getting Google to show your website when someone searches online is a sign of GREAT copywriting.]
Go to this website, put in your URL and look at the results.  This client has 17 keywords and 0 visitor traffic. (It’s a new website so I’m not concerned about traffic volumes right now).
  1. Are these the right keywords for [your business]?
  2. Check the visitor traffic from New Zealand (it defaults to USA)
  3. What keywords are you showing up for? Do they look sort-of right?
  4. Check the search difficulty (right hand column) the lower the number the easier it is for you to compete for it

What next?

Your copywriters job is complete if the keywords match your business products and services – the type of search phrases you would expect someone to use when looking for a business like yours.

Now hand over to the marketing team – they will work out how to get website visitor numbers UP, how to start conversations with prospective customers and how to get customers to return and buy from you over and over again. [Inbound marketing; outbound marketing; loyalty repeat customer marketing; testimonials.]

Website traffic and Key word count

SEO copywriting, keyword check

Hello sign

B2B email spam laws

A refresher for on the rules around sending email (and SMS) to prospects.

New Zealand privacy and email marketing

With regard to the NZ Privacy Act 2017 and updated 2020.

Top level obligations

  • Be transparent. Don’t hide anything.
  • Make sure you have consent.
  • Always give people the opportunity to opt-out or unsubscribe.

Deemed consent is what most B2B marketing would be using for email marketing.

[Quote from article linked above]

However, the area of ‘deemed’ consent is still an area open to interpretation in New Zealand. What was Keith’s advice on this?

“In New Zealand, if you deem your service or product is relevant to the person whose data you’ve collected (or whose contact information is publicly available), then you have permission to send them communications as long as this is covered in your Privacy Policy.” However Keith pointed out that this is actually a requirement of the UEM Act, not the Privacy Act.

BUT you first need a strong privacy policy on your business website.

Here’s a sample NZ privacy policy (and one from Australia).

USA and Canada and GDPR (Europe)

These jurisdictions have different rules – but many of the underlying principles are similar.

Hope that’s useful for everyone.

midlife women, Briscoes lady

Marketing and Midlife

I am a woman on a mission. To raise the visibility of midlife women in the media.


We are a sizeable population, we make around 50% of buying decisions and we are IGNORED by mainstream media.

This has to stop

Midlife is the age from 45 to 70 where women are in their prime. We have life experience, we have worked, had relationships, lived life (a bit or a lot) and we still have about half our life to live. And if you just looked at the adverts on TV and print media you’d think we didn’t exist.

Women of this age group are invisible.

Why is this?

Well the media tells a story about women through the advertising produced and presented to the buying public.  It runs something like this:

  • Little girl
  • Troubled teenager
  • Sex object
  • Career woman
  • Mum
  • Old woman waiting to die

This ageism is hard wired into our society – young kids understand it – and it gets ugly when you realise the amount of airbrushing and photo editing that goes into published advertising and media. It’s dishonest. And although we may crave youthfulness, any decent marketing person will tell you that the advert has to be targeted to the right buyer. Who’s making the decisions?

Midlife women are.

Let’s reverse this trend

If you have any media budget, if you select images for sharing on social media, if you are a product manager, a buyer or a journalist – try to find images that represent us.

Let’s make midlife women “Uninvisible”.

Hyundai is leading the way

When I first became aware of this trend, I started watching adverts to see how old the women were – and I found two with midlife women who are front and centre characters.

The perennial Briscoes lady (now 59) and still wearing the wig….

And Hyundai.

In May 2021 they released this advert for their new Kona Series II electric car.

How refreshing.

Hooray for Michelle Langdon Marketing Manager at Hyundai NZ. Go tell her how wonderful her work is.

What can you do?

Advocate, challenge when images for media do not line up with the age of your consumer – make it real, New Zealand.

We can make this change happen.

Tell us your story in the comments – we need more examples of brands leading the way to #uninvisible.


customer persona templates

Marketing personas lack one big thing

Working with a client who needs to develop customer personas, I did some research and found a load of good articles on how to write a customer persona [links all at the bottom of this page].

So far so good.

but on closer reading it’s clear they are all copying each other.

Content Marketing needs quality control

As I read the articles – many by reputable brands like Buffer, Hubspot, Sprout Social – it was clear that when searching for illustrations they had all culled the same images off Google. Over and over.

The authority of the article was not in doubt. They write clearly and the instruction was good quality for beginner marketers who have never created a customer persona before.

More and more blogs and experts are recommending writing fewer articles and making them longer as well as more niche.

The medium evolves [as I shared this week about Instagram videos] and staying alert to new trends is important for B2B Marketers.

But surely brands could actually show some content images which they had created?

The articles looked “bitty” as a result as the templated personas were all laid out differently and were of varying image quality, never mind what the persona description actually was. I thought they were light in quality.

customer persona templates

templated personas copied and reproduced



How to Create B2B Customer Personas

Some articles for you to read
instagram, real estate agent marketing

Real Estate and Instagram

Do real estate agents get good marketing returns (listings and sales) from Instagram?

Great question – and one worth answering before you decide to go all in on social media marketing.

You first have to find out

  • is your target audience on Instagram?
  • Do they think about real estate while using the platform?
  • Will they interact and follow you?

I’m dubious about Instagram as a way to sell real estate or get listing instructions.

Second stage research

Find out if other real estate agents are just growing a following or are actually getting listings from their social media.

Below are articles about how to get followers…. but before you invest a lot of time and effort into this work, figure out whether people who will hire you to sell their homes are using Instagram as a way to find a real estate agent. Do this by asking the people who DON’T list with you, do this by asking your friends and neighbours, do this by asking other agents in your business and competitors. Form a rounded view from all their information. Remember some will lie to you or exaggerate. Who you pick in your sample will affect the answers – if you only speak to cynics you’ll get answers slanted towards the negative.

And it could be that your type of clients are very different from other agents’ clients – this could be geography or age or ethnicity driven.  So assess your answers carefully.

Get social media followers

Here’s how to get followers on Instagram for yourself by copying successful practitioners

  • Search instagram for NZ real estate agents
  • Follow them and read all their posts
  • Also check out their other social media sites (FB/LI/Snapchat (unlikely)/TikTok/Twitter)
  • Work out which ones are getting likes, comments, follows, shares
  • Work out what TYPE of posts are getting the most likes, comments and shares
  • Adapt and copy what they do for your own account
  • See if you gain followers

Above all, beware of buying followers. Just don’t do it.

But you should consider buying social sharing software e.g. Buffer or Hootsuite because they can save you a lot of time especially with scheduling posts (which isn’t allowed on the native Instagram site).

Learn how to do Instagram right

For these links. Read them. Then subscribe to their newsletter, follow them on social (Neil Patel has a great youtube channel too).

And you should research AdFenix – they specialise in guiding your marketing practice for real estate professionals.
Expensive but probably worthwhile. They are a whole-marketing service not just social media.


Now it’s down to persistence and regular hard work. Give yourself 3 months before you decide to quit.

Nudgestock, behavioural economics

2021 Marketing Trends

Yes I hate that headline too… but I can’t work out the best way of listing three helpful things which I’m working on without it becoming a silly list headline. Live with it.

The year data became grown up

If you aren’t working with competent amounts of data insights and analytics yet, this is your year to get going and to go deep-dive.

For the beginners – the new Google Analytics GA 4 is a level above earlier versions. Get it installed (new header code on your website) and find a competent expert to guide you though its features. Well worth while.

After that, update dashboards, check the CRM integrations and get a whole lot smarter in your tracking.

Single customer view got easier

Nobody has got this wholly right, easy or fully connected (if you have you are probably a micro-organisation or a startup). Enter the Customer Data Platform. This is the software you need to bridge above (think umbrella) over all your data silos so that you can move towards customer nirvana.

I’m not being totally rose-tinted-glasses on this – there are serious players who can help build the plumbing which will help you understand and integrate customer data. Go learn about CDP.

Behavioural economics for marketers

If you haven’t heard about “nudges” you need to get on board fast. The new-ish science of behavioural economics is all about how we can get people to do things.  A nudge is a way of changing behaviour – like leaving your gym kit by the bed at night as a way to encourage you to do a workout in the morning. Marketers love this.

Nudgestock, behavioural economics

And the smart folks at Ogilvy UK hosted a whole day event – Nudgestock – to talk about and showcase a lot of real case studies of effective marketing action based on behavioural economics.  They called it

a full day of top quality BS (*Behavioural Science) from around the world

Watch it on YouTube. I particularly liked Abigail Dalton’s talk about Nudging to end world poverty.


That’s enough for now. Each of these is worthy of a deep dive research and learning day. Plan it for yourself.

I write and coach B2B marketing – each of these could be used by your business – get in touch.

Best ways to help your customers remember you

As a business, you want to make sure you are in your customer’s thoughts when they need to contact you. You want it to be easy for them to remember you, and know about how to get in touch quickly.  Check out these memorable customer marketing tips that can help you do just that.

Pick a Simple Online Address

Seek out an online address that is easy for everyone to remember. Usually addresses that end in a dot com are a better choice because it is what springs to mind instantly. But your local country may have a fine alternative like .kiwi for New Zealand or .eu for Europe. If you can have the name of your business in the address, that will make it easier to recall, too. Avoid using a lot of dashes or other alternatives to anything other than your company’s name, since this not only makes it harder to remember but could even lead the customer to the wrong site altogether. [Like the 2 Degrees Mobile Phone business and the 2 Degrees vineyard!]

Make Calling Easy

Besides a website where people can easily reach you, you’ll want a phone number that doesn’t require much forethought when people need to call you. Your prospects will be able to remember your phone number without needing to go online and look you up. You can find toll-free services that allow you to use your name in number format. These services make it possible to get the help you need when setting up your business number.

Alternatively allow calling direct from your website by ensuring your Google Business listing is up to date and that the phone number in your website header has the correct code so people can “click to call”.

A Catchy Jingle

Another good way to keep your company present in the minds of your customers is with a catchy jingle. This might be something folks hear on the radio, but it could be used in any type of social media promotion, such as a video you make and promote on social media. If you can incorporate a way to call you or visit your website, people will become curious, and more likely to check out what your business is and what you have to offer. Using jingles and phrases is a good way to increase sales and help potential customers remember you.

Memorable description

After your business name, you can also add a “strap line” or a description to explain what you do.  This could be about your product “The athletic greens drink” or it could be geographic “Your Hamilton Plumber”.  Familiarity and frequent repetition are key to this tactic working.

No matter what type of company you have, it’s helpful to use different methods to stay in the mind of your potential customers and get them to come to you. Use a website address that is easy to recall, and pick a phone number that doesn’t require looking up for someone to call. A catchy jingle is the icing on the cake that can make it easier for people to remember you when they need someone who offers your services.

remote worker, video interview

Best Practices when Hiring Remote Staff

The emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak not only created a public health issue of epic proportions, but also revamped the way we perform critical business tasks on a regular basis.

As a result, in-person meetings are now replaced by Zoom calls, while conferences are substituted by virtual events. Long commutes are now exchanged for work-from-home routines, while gruelling schedules are sacrificed in favour of flexible work hours.

If your business is riding this wave of change, you sould be set to reap the rewards of reduced costs and increased efficiency. But  it’s important that you manage your workforce well too. Here are a few best practices for hiring remote employees 

If you want to learn how to brief and hire on Upwork, read this post.

Ensure Availability In Your Time Zone

When hiring remote employees, you have the benefit of broadening your horizons and going beyond your immediate geography. This allows you to tap into an expanded talent pool and add highly skilled people to your team.

But you need to make sure that your employees will be able to be online during business hours in your time zone. Unless you have a need for shift work, this makes communication easier and allows for greater efficiency. You can also get urgent tasks out of the way without waiting a few hours for staff to get to their desks.

Do Detailed Background Checks

Especially when you are hiring employees remotely, they are part of your business’ wider family. You need to ensure that they come from a reputable background and have a good work track record. Doing a background check for job postings can easily give you with the assurance you need. These background checks can ensure the candidate’s identity, criminal history, and credit history. It can also verify key details such as education records. This makes sure that the information you are filing in your employee history folder is factual and correct.  

Find a Suitable Schedule

Managing remote employees can still be tricky due to altered working methods. You still need to set policies that help you stay on track. Sticking to proper scheduling is one of these ground rules that ensure productivity is maintained.

Whether you want your employees to follow the same schedule as yourself or need them to cover different shifts, it’s important to establish these requirements from the start. By noting your employee schedule on an electronic dry erase board, you can also ensure to keep them updated on any last minute changes. We use the Teamwork app for timesheet and task management – it’s also good.

USe Proactive Communication

Communication is a big part of any business environment. It’s even more critical when you aren’t seeing your team face to face. By using purpose-built programs for professional communication, you can ensure that you are able to remain in touch with your workforce without any issues.

From Zoom to Slack, you can choose from an array of choices that fit your communication style. But whichever you end up choosing, make sure that it gives instant message delivery. This ensures that you don’t have to face delays in sharing crucial information.

Use Virtual Management Solutions

Apart from communication software, you can also use virtual workforce management programs that allow you to organise and mobilise your remote team in an easier way. These solutions let you handle your team’s responsibilities and delivery timelines through a virtual capacity, which prevents any problematic loopholes and unnecessary delays.

In addition to task management, these solutions can also cover aspects such as accounting, billing, sales, and support. Depending upon the nature of your work, you can choose software that fits your working style perfectly. In many ways, this is a virtual alternative to using a business planner.

Since these practices focus on efficiency while cutting costs, reviewing these tools lets you make the most out of your remote workforce.Take steps that are in line with your management style, so you can seamlessly adapt to the dynamics of remote work.