How to Create a Google Alert to Monitor Your Online Presence

Blog, Content Marketing, Google, How-To

Want to keep tabs on your online presence?

Set a Google alert (or two, or three) for your name, your business name, or even something more general.

Here’s how.

How to Create a Google Alert to Monitor Your Online Presence

Transcript for Video on Creating Google Alerts to Monitor Your Online Presence

Hi! This is Angie Johnston with Unique Web Copy.

I just want to show you really quickly how to create a Google Alert so you can find out when someone is talking about you on the Internet.

So what you’re going to do is log into your Google account. You’re going to go to; that’s what you pull up.

And let’s say you want to create an alert with your name, which I’ve already set up for mine, but let’s just set one up for Angela Johnston (although, please don’t ever call me Angela). Then we’re going to hit “Create Alert.”

Now let’s say I want to adjust the frequency at which I get these alerts. What I’m going to do is go to the “Edit” button.

I only want to be alerted once a day. However, I can get alerted as it happens, which means as soon as Google crawls a website that has Angela Johnston on it, I’ll get an email in my inbox immediately.

Let’s do “as-it-happens.”

The sources we’re going to leave on “Automatic.” It could alert me only when it comes up in news, blogs, anywhere on the web, video, books, discussions, or a finance category. We’re going to leave it on “Automatic” so I get all the alerts.

Naturally, we’re going to leave it in English and “Any Region.” I don’t care if this comes up in India, in England… doesn’t matter. I just want to know when someone mentions Angela Johnston on the web.

Rather than getting “Only the Best” results, I want to see all of the results. So I’m going to change that to “All Results,” and then it’ll deliver a report to my Gmail account.

So here’s what happens when you get a Google alert.

I got one on December 27, which was yesterday, and it’s for another Angie Johnston. I’m certainly not a wedding and event planner, but that’s what happens–you’ll get that email in “as-it-happens” updates. So as soon as Google crawled the web and found this result that includes the exact-match term “Angie Johnston,” it let me know that it came up.

So I’m going to update the alert, and any time someone mentions Angela Johnston on the Internet, I’m going to get a Google alert about it.

This can be really helpful if you want to know when someone’s talking about your company, your law firm, your real estate business, and particularly your name. That’s what really keeps you in the loop about when you get mentioned on the web.

That’s about it, and if you have any questions, you can call me at 808-542-5975.

Thanks for watching. Have a great day!


How Many Words Can Fit in a Tri-Fold Brochure?

Blog, Brochures, Content Marketing, Copywriting, How-To, Marketing


How Many Words Can Fit in a Tri-Fold Brochure?

If you’re creating a brochure for your business, it needs to reflect the professionalism and high quality of service you provide.

That means you need to hire a writer who knows exactly how many words can fit in a tri-fold brochure (and a bi-fold, and a single-page flyer… you get the picture).

At most, a tri-fold brochure can fit 350 words. On the low end, you’ll have about 200 words.

Why Only 350 Words?

Consider this: people who pick up brochures want to see photos, and they need the information to be “scannable” — just like it is on your website.

You’ll need headers, pictures, and text that’s large enough to read.

That means you really need hard-hitting copy. It needs to be clear, concise, and targeted toward your ideal audience so you get the most impact. Your graphic designer will help you with the layout once you have the right text; with a brochure, the layout and graphics are just as important as the copy is.

Brochure Copy - Hire a Brochure Writer

SEO Experiment Update: I’m Still #1 in the SERPs (VIDEO)

Blog, Google, How-To, Keywords, SEO

A few months ago, I conducted a little SEO experiment to show my clients how amazing a long-tail keyword can be. The first update to the SEO experiment, just three days after I created a page titled “What Animal Eats Begonias,” showed that I was in the 6th spot of organic results on Google for that term.

Today, I’m in the top spot. (Seriously — Google the term and you can see it yourself.)

Why Long-Tail Keywords Matter

The term I used is a great example of a long-tail keyword. It’s descriptive, and the Googlebot understands it. The page is optimized for Hummingbird, Google’s core search algorithm that’s brilliantly designed with a whole question and user intent in mind.

It’s also used in all the right ways on the page I created, which helps it rank — and stay ranked — on Google. Even this piece, which links to the page (in the first paragraph), is serving to help that page keep its place on the top spot.

Check out the screencast that shows you why it works:

It’s the #1 organic result for that search term.

It gets all the clicks.

It brings a ton of traffic to my website, actually, and because it actually answers the question, it’s locked into that top spot.


You can always hire someone who knows what she’s doing with SEO if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, too.


Blog, Email, Grammar, How-To, Marketing

I’ve written before about why businesses need to know their customers and write for them accordingly.

It just surprises me — a lot — when they don’t.

I got this email this morning with the subject Affordable Blog Writing Offer!:

I hope you are doing well.

I would like to present one our Blog posting package to you for your website boost in Search Engines and Social Media both. It has been noticed that businesses that blog regularly receive 60% more visitors to their website and better Google caching, crawling and indexing in Google.

We have an expert team of content writing who writes effective blogs with 100% uniqueness and originality with Copyscape checked. If you want to increase traffic to your website with custom and informative blog posting then we have Great Christmas super affordable packages for you starting at US $70 only.

Here are the contents of our Starter Blog Posting Package:

  • No. of Blogs: 10
  • No. of Words per Blog: 300
  • Search Engine Optimized
  • Copyscape Passed Blogs
  • 100% Originality
  • Well Researched Content
  • 100% Copyright Ownership

Let me know if you are interested and I would happy to send you more details on this.

Thanks & Regards,

Aarti Sani
Online Marketing Consultant

What’s Wrong With This Marketing Email?

Aside from the obvious fact that writing is what I do for a living, and despite the fact that this is a completely unsolicited marketing email, here’s what’s wrong, in red:

Hi (who, me?)
I hope you are doing well.

I would like to present one our Blog posting package to you for your website boost in Search Engines and Social Media both. It has been noticed (“it has been noticed” — really? Who noticed it? If you want me to take you seriously, don’t use crappy passive voice; write something like “In a 2014 study [link that text to the study], search engine optimization experts discovered that businesses that blog regularly…”) that businesses that blog regularly receive 60% more visitors to their website and better Google caching, crawling and indexing in Google. See, even if your email was pertinent to me — even if I would buy blog posts for my own website — your abuse of capital letters and your failure to write in the active voice , as well as your inability to form a coherent, easy-to-read sentence, I wouldn’t buy from you… because you can’t write.

We have an expert team of content writing who writes (expert team of content writing? Do you mean team of content-writing experts?) effective blogs with 100% uniqueness and originality with Copyscape checked (you mean that you check using Copyscape? Also, you only have to use Copyscape if you’re dealing with bottom-of-the-barrel writers who may plagiarize… so no, thanks.). If you want to increase traffic to your website with custom and informative blog posting then we have Great Christmas (last I checked, it was September 20) super affordable (super-affordable) packages for you starting at US $70 only (starting at only $70, you mean.).

Here are the contents of our Starter Blog Posting Package:

  • No. of Blogs: 10 (Seriously? $7 per post? That price certainly reflects the quality you’ll deliver.)
  • No. of Words per Blog: 300 (Let me just say this: a blog is an entire entity. A blog post is one post. One more time: a blog is the entire collection of posts; a blog post is just one document that belongs ON a blog.)
  • Search Engine Optimized
  • Copyscape Passed Blogs (Copyscape-passed, and it’s blog posts.)
  • 100% Originality (Isn’t that what you’re saying when you say the posts can pass Copyscape? You’re being redundant.)
  • Well Researched Content (Well-researched. And yeah, right… for $7 per post? Haha.)
  • 100% Copyright Ownership (Naturally, when you pay for something, you own it.)

Let me know if you are interested and I would happy to send you more details on this.

Thanks & Regards, (I hate the ampersand in professional communication. It makes you seem so lazy.)

Aarti Sani
Online Marketing Consultant

I’m really tired of getting marketing emails. Maybe if any of the emails I got actually pertained to me, I’d be interested… but that’s not the worst of it.

The worst is that these marketing emails are completely ineffective. When you’re selling writing, your talent has to be obvious — and you have to target your emails properly. This mass email isn’t targeted at anyone in particular, and they’ve wasted a colossal amount of time putting it together.

I sure hope they didn’t waste $7 on it.

Don’t make yourself look stupid. If you’re marketing, research what you’re doing or hire someone who knows how to do it correctly.

VIDEO: How to Do Basic Keyword Research Using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool

Blog, How-To, SEO, Website Copy

How to Do Basic Keyword Research Using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool

This short video walks you through every step of conducting basic keyword research using Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool is tremendously helpful when you’re looking for great terms to use to ensure that you’re in the position to come up on Google organic searches.

It isn’t the only tool you should use, but if you’re new to SEO and you’re trying to write your own copy, it’s a great way to get an idea of what you need to write and which terms you need to target.

(If you don’t have the time to do all of this, don’t worry – I can do it for you!)


Tight Writing: Get Rid of “Flowery” Words

Articles, Blog, Blogging, Editing, How-To, Press Releases, Product Descriptions, Web Writing Mistakes, Website Content, Website Copy

When you’re writing for the web, you have 3 to 5 seconds to grab a reader’s attention.

That’s all you get – the time it takes for a reader to raise his or her coffee cup and take a sip. If you haven’t captured your visitors’ interest in that time, they’ll click the back button to find someone who does.

Even if you get past the 3-to-5-second mark, you still need to keep your readers’ interest.

You do that by keeping things short, pithy and to-the-point.

Get Rid of Flowery Words

One of the best books in the world — The Giver, by Lois Lowry — uses a phrase that’s incredibly important in writing for the web: precision of language. (That’s not an affiliate link, but if you buy The Giver through Amazon at that link, which is something you should definitely do, Amazon donates to the Wounded Warrior Project.)

Back to precision of language.

Check out the difference between these sentences:

  • She sipped the piping hot coffee, her eyes leisurely flicking over the smudged, raindrop-splattered newspaper without being able to discern between the blurred and bleeding letters.
  • She sipped the hot coffee, glancing at the wet newspaper. The letters were blurry.
  • She sipped her coffee and looked at the paper.

The first sentence is great… if you’re reading a romance novel. On the Internet, people don’t have that kind of time.

The second sentence is okay.

The third gets to the point.

It’s called purple prose in the writing world, and it’s the last thing you need when you’re trying to get someone to buy your product or service. You need things in black and white, and that’s it.

Precision of Language

Describe what you need to describe quickly and simply. People are coming to you because you have something they want, so give them the information in accurate, simple terms. Make it easy for them to read, too, by:

  • Breaking things up with subheads
  • Using bullet points or numbered lists where appropriate
  • Cutting out useless words
  • Getting straight to the point
  • Writing paragraphs that have no more than four sentences each

And for the love of Cthulu, don’t introduce what you’re about to write. It’s annoying and treats readers as if you assume they’re stupid. (Nobody is going to buy anything from someone who treats them like they’re stupid.)

Save Yourself the Trouble

Naturally, you could save yourself the trouble of slipping flowery words into your product descriptions, press releases or website copy and hire a professional writer. I know a girl…

Web Writing Mistake #1: The Introduction to What You Say

Blog, How-To, Web Writing Mistakes, Website Content, Website Copy

There’s nothing wrong with writing your own website content because you’re talented or you can’t afford to hire a copywriter. You just have to go about it the right way.

Web Writing Mistake #1: Introducing What You’re ABOUT to Say

Every pixel of space on your website is valuable, so you can’t afford to waste it. You have between 3 and 5 seconds to capture a reader’s interest. Beyond that, he or she is going to stay on your site and explore or click the “Back” button to see what your competitors have to say.

When you waste time stating the obvious, you’re not going to keep your readers’ interest very long. Skip straight to the point by:

  • Avoiding useless segues into bulleted lists
  • Steering clear of phrases such as “Below you will find…” and “Read on for more information”

Look at the difference between the way these two introductions read:

  • Here is a list you will find useful in making the decision to hire a personal injury attorney.

    1. Make sure you ask him how much experience he has.
    2. Have your documents ready in case he wants them.

  • If you’re hiring a personal injury attorney, you’ll need to ask him several questions, including:

    1. How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
    2. What documentation do you need from me to move forward with my case?

Why would you waste valuable space to introduce what you’re about to say? People aren’t stupid, so don’t treat them as if they are. You’re not writing a middle school book report; you’re writing something that needs to capture your audience’s attention and get them to work with you.

Skip the Hassle and Hire a Pro

Naturally, you could forget about all this (and ignore the silly rules of English) and hire someone else to write your copy for you. If that’s not feasible, that’s okay – just write the way you’d talk to a stranger and you should be able to pull it off.

Who vs. Whom – What Should You Use?

Blog, Funny, Grammar, How-To

Who vs. Whom

Here’s a simple trick to help you remember when to use who and when to use whom.

If the answer to your question could be “him,” use whom. Remember that both end with the letter M. Otherwise, use who.

Question: Who put the book in the library?

Answer: He did.

Question: To whom should I address this letter?

Answer: Address it to him.

Question: Who called me?

Answer: He did.

Question: To whom does this phone belong?

Answer: It belongs to him.

Stop Worrying About Grammar Rules

You could forget rules like this and hire a copywriter to handle it all for you. I happen to know someone…

Mobile Search Data and Your Website Copy

Blog, Blogging, How-To, Mobile, Website Content, Website Copy


If you’ve been keeping up with trends, you know that mobile is the wave of the future present. Everybody has a mobile phone — and staggering numbers of purchasing decisions are made while people are browsing on smartphones.

But what if your website copy isn’t optimized for mobile devices?

I guess you’re out of luck, then.

How Can Website Copy Be Optimized for Mobile?

It’s common knowledge that Internet readers have super-short attention spans. It’s safe to say that the same is true whether they’re on PCs or mobile devices, so in order to make sure that you’re providing great content that won’t lose readers’ attention, you need to make sure that:

  • Paragraphs are short, readable and easy to understand
  • You use bullet points to summarize information
  • You break up sections with clear, easy to read subheads

7 Mobile Use Statistics for 2015

  1. 87 percent of the world’s population is using mobile phones
  2. Mobile traffic provides about 30 percent of Internet activity
  3. 67 percent of consumers are willing to buy a product or use a service on a mobile-friendly site
  4. 70 percent of mobile searches result in action being taken within one hour (action after a desktop search takes place in about a week)
  5. You have 5 to 7 seconds (or less) to convince a user that he or she is on a page that will answer his or her questions
  6. 32 percent of consumers wish that mobile websites were easier to navigate
  7. 73 percent of mobile searches trigger follow-up actions

It’s incredibly important that you optimize your website copy for mobile use. You could be missing out on a HUGE amount of business by neglecting to pay attention to consumer behaviors and habits.

7 Mobile Stats for 2015

How to Find the Right Neighborhood in Hoboken

Blog, Blog Post Ideas, Blogging, How-To

If you’re a Realtor(R), you probably understand how important it is to populate your site with informative, engaging blog posts. If you can’t afford to hire a real estate writer, you can put together great posts yourself — and here’s one you can use as a springboard.

People devour information such as “How to Find the Right Neighborhood in Hoboken,” and you want to be the only Realtor for miles in any direction that’s passing out this kind of valuable information. Feel free to take this post and modify it to meet your service areas. Make it your own, and don’t forget to put a link in there to your home page or an important internal page, too.

You can get free stock photos from sites like Pixabay (that’s where I got this one).

How to Find the Right Neighborhood in Hoboken

How to Find the Right Neighborhood in HobokenHoboken isn’t a huge metropolis; it takes up about one square mile. Its walkability and access to public transit make it a wonderful place to call “home,” but everyone has different preferences—and different needs—when it comes to finding the perfect neighborhood in Hoboken.

Northwest Hoboken

With its slightly longer commute into New York City, the northwest quarter of Hoboken offers some of the lowest home prices in the city. If the added travel time isn’t a deal-breaker, you might begin narrowing your search based on that fact alone.

Southwest Hoboken

Considered the most car-friendly part of town, the southwest quarter of Hoboken has convenient access to highways, retail shopping and supermarkets. Some new construction is nestled among established buildings and townhouses in this neighborhood, which offers a good mix of options for homebuyers.

Southeast Hoboken

Manhattan commuters enjoy easy access to the city from the southeast quarter of Hoboken. Washington Street offers every imaginable convenience by day and the city’s liveliest nightlife hotspots. You’ll also find several waterfront properties, including luxury condos, in Southeast Hoboken.

Northeast Hoboken

Northeast Hoboken has the highest average income per household in the city. It also offers many waterfront properties, but the area has very little new construction. However, many of the area’s homes and townhouses have been beautifully preserved, remodeled and upgraded with upscale modern amenities.

The Waterfront

Hoboken’s waterfront is one of the most desirable locations for many people in the community. It offers unobstructed views of the Hudson River and provides easy access to marinas, restaurants and parks that dot the riverbanks. Like the northeast portion of Hoboken, the waterfront area offers a quick and easy commute into NYC.

Castle Point

Located near Stevens Institute, Castle Point is the highest elevation in Hoboken. Popular with Institute faculty and staff, Castle Point homes and apartments are highly sought-after for their central waterfront location and historic charm.

Willow Terrace

Willow Terrace, with its quaint townhouses and brick-laid walkways, sits in the center of Hoboken. The colorful streets of Willow Terrace feature an eclectic mix of local shops and markets. Many of the properties have been meticulously renovated and updated, giving what was once a rather homogeneous neighborhood a quirky, charming diversity.

Ready to Search Hoboken Real Estate to Find What’s Right for You?

Call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX or get in touch with us online. We’d love to help you explore Hoboken real estate listings to find the perfect home for your needs.