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Paul Friederichsen is the founder of BrandBiz, a company that specializes in PR, media strategy and placement, sales incentives, training and mobile marketing as well as social media. Visit his website www.brandbizinc.com

8:50:43 AM 
In communication, words still mean a lot

In recent years, particularly in advertising, the emphasis has been visual. If you doubt me, take a look at ads from the 60's or 70's versus today. Of course, not all ads follow that pattern, but many do. Our collective attention span and reading levels have simply declined over the generations. However, communication is still verbally - not visually based. So, even if fewer in number, it pays to choose your words carefully.

Today, our primary source of marketing communication is online. The primary residence for our online communication is our website for most of us. This is our digital storefront and beacon to potential customers browsing the Internet in search of goods or services. The words (copy) on our site play two big roles: 1) To effectively (persuade, excite, invite, etc.) the visitor about what we have to offer and 2) To help our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ability to be found online by identifying keywords used by a potential customer that match up to what you have to sell. The greater use of those key words and phrases in copy (to a reasonable extent), the greater the success of being found.

Which brings us to "word clouds". My friend Brian Gracon introduced me to this tool a while back and it's quite ingenious. Using word cloud software is an easy way to test the intended (or unintended) emphasis of what you're saying in copy by graphically outputting your words in relative size to their use in your text. The larger the word in your word cloud, the greater the usage/emphasis. This gives you a better grasp of the impression your visitor is getting about you.

For example, I did a word cloud (using www.WordItOut.com) with copy from my own site www.brandbizinc.com. Now, I'll be the first to admit that my little site needs a lot of work. But the word cloud was very telling (see example). True, "brand" is the most prominent word (thankfully) but this exercise shows me that more work is needed to emphasize what I want to communicate with my website.

As the saying goes, a website is never really finished. So to keep it up, try a self-auditing tool like a word cloud, because words still mean a lot!

Edited by Admin 2/20/2012
8:55:49 AM

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11:36:17 AM

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