If Copy is King, Context is Emperor

Not too long ago I came across a debate on a now-defunct Internet marketing discussion board concerning sales letters. One camp argued that a sales letter should stand alone and follow a specific format. The other camp argued that the sales letter should take into account the context of where, when, why, and by whom the it is likely to be read.

As it happened, the debate arose over a particular sales letter that many in the first camp regarded as ‘weak.’ In this case, the sales letter was the final element in a product launch sequence of communications, preceded by a series of pre-launch emails, reports and videos.

The first camp believed that the sales letter should have stood on its own merits, while the second camp believed that it was fine as it was and should have been judged within the context of the pre-launch / launch sequence. As for me, I was – and am – very much of the second camp.

As the title of this article indicates: if copy is king, context is emperor. Effective communication always takes into account the context – who is reading it, and why, how, where and when they’re reading it. Indeed, context is the reason why, for example, many participants in high profile Internet marketing product launches don’t end up reading the ultimate sales letter. They’ve already been ‘sold’ by the sequence of pre-launch emails, videos, reports and other elements.

For that reason, the sales letter at the end of the pre-launch / launch campaign does not, in some ways, have to be as ‘strong’ as, say, a sales letter that does not follow a pre-launch sequence.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the sales letter that comes at the end of a product launch should be put together as though it’s an after-thought. There will be some people who have either not gone through the launch sequence, or have gone through it and aren’t convinced, or for whatever reason want to read every word of the sales letter.

What proportion of people fall into this category will vary according to the situation, but it will usually be significant enough to justify putting a lot of effort into creating a top-notch sales letter. In fact, in recent launches I’ve seen marketers continue tweaking the sales letter after making the product available, clearly indicating the seriousness with which they regard the sales letter.

But the point remains that a product launch sales letter is likely to be different to one used for an audience that has not been ‘pre-sold’ in any way. Some may regard such a product launch sales letter as ‘weak’ because of this, but chances are that it wouldn’t be effective for the vast majority of readers if it was the same kind of sales letter used for a ‘raw’ audience.


Anna Johnson publishes Internet marketing newsletter, Kikabink News. Get a FREE subscription to Kikabink News as well as a FREE copy of Anna’s ebook, Killer Internet Marketing Tips, plus four FREE killer 60+ minute audio interviews with top Internet marketers: http://www.kikabink.com/kt/tips.htm

6 Tips for Optimizing Page Copy for SEO

Each page on a website has the potential to act as a landing page because it has its own ranking potential. This makes it important to optimize each page on a website for a phrase or a series of related phrases. This process is called SEO copywriting and is an important part of marketing your content online. To help you effectively optimize your page copy, here are 6 tips for content SEO.

Keyword Density is a Waste

Keyword density is a misguided metric for success. Repeating a keyword many times does not make a page more relevant. In fact, too much can make a page less relevant. To prevent this, avoid basic metrics like keyword density.

Write content with keywords in mind, but write naturally. By writing naturally, you correctly enforce a page’s topic by using semantically related terms. In addition, you’re able to mention phrases and words that can pull in unexpected long-tail searches.

Use Keywords in Headings

Heading tags in HTML carry semantic value. These tags help define the main topic of a page. This is a great place to put keywords, which helps enforce the theme of the page.

I recommend using only one H1 per page and making it unique for that page. In addition, there is some evidence that setting your headings to be different from your title may be useful.

Put the Keywords in the Right Place

There is no perfect keyword placement, but you can increase the prominence of a keyword by placing it in several important places. Include the keyword early and often in your page copy. I like to use the keyword in the first 100 words and the last 100 words. It is also great to use it in elements like bold, images, and lists.

Don’t Focus on One Phrase

I recommend using variations of your primary keyword. Be sure to use both singular and plural versions. In addition, use stemming to create more variation. If you can apply a modifier to your keyword, do that as well. Not only is this a natural way to write, but also it helps you target more keywords.

Spread Your Keywords Out

Although keyword density is unimportant, keyword disbursement is very important. When writing naturally, keywords are often spread out. Do not clump all your keywords together, but spread them throughout your copy.

Write Good Online Copy

One of the most important things to learn in online marketing is how people read online. People generally scan pages looking at elements like headings, bolds, images, and lists. They look for interesting items and then stop to read. Then they return to the scanning behavior. By making a page easy to scan and digest easily, you create a piece of content that is well received. Popular articles and pages perform well in search because they naturally attract links.


Justin Briggs is an SEO who does online marketing work in Nashville, TN. Visit his site at: http://paramoreredd.com/