Is your Web copy only so-so?Maybe your pages aren't positioning in Google and Bing, and you're not sure what you're doing wrong. Or prospects are finding your site, but they're not taking action.Either way, you know something is wrong. You just may not know what it is.If your SEO copy isn't making you money, it could be that your writing has fallen prey to one or more of the 10 most common SEO copywriting myths, mistakes and conversion-sucking monsters.
Here are the typical copywriting boo-boos I see:Writing to a certain keyword density percentage.My all-time, top, #1 myth! Once upon a time, SEO experts knew that a 5.5% keyword density would gain a top spot in Alta Vista. Guess what – it's not 1999 anymore. Yes, include your keyphrases on the page. But don't write for a mythical keyphras... > Read more
When hiring for a tech startup, most companies focus, understandably, on technical talent: developers and engineers. Obviously, you need great engineers if you're going to build software, apps or a website of any kind. But don't underestimate the value that a great writer can bring to your organization.
A lot of startups make any writing tasks that come up the responsibility of whichever staff member is the most competent writer. When you're bootstrapping, multitasking is a necessity. But if you've got some funding, hiring an excellent writer can impact your business in a lot of positive ways. So whether you make a full-time hire or find a reliable contractor, it's worth the investment to seek out a writer who understands your business and industry and cares about the outcomes. Here are fi... > Read more
When analyzing the performance of your pay-per-click ads, one of the main factors you'll want to concentrate on is click-through rate (CTR). Ads with high CTR are desirable because they drive more traffic to your site in less time. In addition, a high CTR contributes to a good Quality Score, and that helps lower your cost per click.
It's also an indication that you're targeting a relevant, qualified audience, which can improve your conversion rate as well. (Of course you'll want to keep an eye on both metrics and make sure you're not sacrificing one in favor of the other.) Recently I scanned through the ads in our own AdWords account and identified some patterns in the ads with the highest click-through rates. Note that I've changed the examples so I'm not giving away our best creative, bu... > Read more
Ideally you would be able to produce multiple new blog posts, press releases, case studies and newsletters every day, bolstering your company's supply of marketing content and appealing to Google's love of freshness. But the reality is you are not a machine, and can only write so much during your workday.
Given time and energy limitations, it's key you find efficient ways to reuse, recycle and repackage your content (otherwise known as repurposing your content). Here are five ways to repurpose your marketing content to save time and get maximum leverage out of your work. 1. Tweak a blog post you've published and pitch it as a guest post. Google doesn't look kindly upon duplicate content, and neither do your fellow bloggers, but if the posts are significantly different, you should be in the... > Read more
There are a few key basics that every PPC text ad needs in order to rank well and generate clicks: A compelling headline Relevant keywords A relevant display URL A call to action This post focuses on the last requirement. The call to action, or CTA, is the language that tells the searcher what to do – in other words, giving them a reason to click.
(Aside from increasing your traffic, a higher click-through rate will also improve your Quality Score, which in turn will lower your costs.) The default call to action is something like "Buy now!" This may be better than no CTA at all, but it's not very good. It's too familiar, too general and too pushy. So what's a better call to action? It's good to remember that your CTA doesn't have to be a direct sales push – there ar... > Read more
Heather Lloyd-Martin is a 20-year marketing veteran, a recognized author and considered the pioneer of SEO copywriting. For over 12 years, Heather’s firm, SuccessWorks, has been training corporate in-house SEO copywriters and creating revenue-driving Web site content campaigns. Heather serves on the board of American Writers and Artists, Inc.
, is an advisory board member of SEMpdx and serves on the PubCon conference advisory board. In 2010, SuccessWorks launched the SEO Copywriting Certification training, the only certification program for in-house and freelance SEO copywriters. Can you tell us a little bit about SuccessWorks and how you got into the SEO copywriting business? Sure! I started my SEO copywriting career B.G. (before Google) around 1998. Prior to that, I had worke... > Read more
This is the final excerpt from Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now, including the final section, "Social Media Keywords." Qualifying Site Visitors For me, one of the most important steps is qualifying your visitors.
For instance, while I work with many different people and businesses, I aim for businesses and professionals who already have a site and are looking to get more from it. So, when I produce content, I use keywords and topics that focus on getting more out of what you already have. This piece, for instance, isn’t just about keyword research, but all the different aspects surrounding the practice and how it relates to content production and publishing. Therefore, I’m more likely t... > Read more
For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from a new article: Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now. Different Keywords for Different Purposes Not all keywords bring the same results, and I don’t mean the difference in the amount of traffic they bring in.
Ask any smart businessperson and they’ll tell you traffic and sales are still miles apart. What I mean is that you can’t just say to yourself “OK, now I’m going to become an authority figure,” pound out some content, and expect to get results. It just doesn’t work that way. Traffic Keywords These are the ones all search engine optimizers are familiar with. These keywords generate massive amounts o... > Read more
For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from a new article: Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now. Levels of Keywords When researching keywords specifically for content, I select three types of keywords: Primary Keywords — Keywords geared specifically for your main goal.
If your goal is social, you’ll want to use various social media tools to find out what words your target audience is using at the moment. What are the hot topics? If you’re in need of links and rankings, your keywords will likely be found using SEO keyword tools and based heavily on your findings. This doesn’t mean there isn’t any consideration for social in an SEO-based piece or vice versa — simply that its f... > Read more
For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from a new article: Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation, by Angie Nikoleychuk. Click below to get the full article now. Keyword Research and Content Type Great content is...well...great. There’s no denying that, but when it doesn’t attract the right people, or achieve results, it’s essentially useless.
Of course, you can slam down a list of keywords and requirements, but it simply won’t generate the results many would like to believe. So, just as you did when you built the main pages of your website, you need to do some keyword research. The basics of this research are similar, but it’s quite different from what you’re used to. In this article, I’m not going to go through how to use variou... > Read more
This is a guest post by Caleb Levell, a search marketing consultant at Hanapin Marketing. His interests include search and social marketing, online collaboration, and social media for business and non-profit organizations. He blogs at PPC Hero and SEO Boy.In anticipation of the new season of Mad Men (which begins later this month), I thought it might be worth exploring the creative side of PPC.
Unfortunately, PPC specialists too often forget their creative merits. Amidst all of the researching, monitoring, and overall managing of client expectations, it is easy to downplay the importance of being creative in the search engine marketing industry. Today, I’m here to preach the other side of the story and encourage you to embrace the Don Draper or Peggy Olson that lies within you.Day in and... > Read more
Content Optimization Strategy: Revamp Your Content to Capitalize on Missed Long Tail Keyword Opportunities
When it comes to content optimization, I'm a big fan of revisiting and reworking my existing content to take advantage of any traffic opportunities I may be missing out on. Now even though I perform keyword research before writing any blog post or landing page, I often always overlook keyword opportunities (both long tail and any closely-related keyword variations around my core term).
And being a search marketer, one of my primary goals when writing is to rank. So I don't want to leave any keyword optimization opportunities on the table. That's why, after I've published content, I make it a point to go back and fine tune things, so I can extract every last ounce of SEO benefit.Now, the Web is saturated with articles on tools that aid you in conducting initial keyword research. But wh... > Read more
In a post called "What's Up, Internet," writer Amelia Gray answers some of the questions that Googlers have found her blog by asking: how long does it take to get a warrant I think you can get one in an afternoon, if you are a police officer and you can find a judge to give you one. (It will take more time if you’re just some guy.
) what sort of rocks are there? All kinds. Some rocks are very hard and others are so soft you can scratch them with your fingernail. Sometimes rocks float. Once I had a dream I was explaining a quartz rock to my child. Amelia may be doing this for laughs, but she still got a good post out of it, right? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Your keywords are content idea generators. If you're already ranking for questions like "What's ... > Read more
Last week we published the Expert's Guide to Keyword Research for Social Media. This week, we're offering a similar how-to guide for the SEO copywriter. Many keyword research guides amount to a list of tools, but this guide is all about process. You'll learn exactly when, why and how to do keyword research for blog posts, articles and other content that appears online.
If you write for the web (or want to), you don't want to miss it. Read: The Expert's Guide to Keyword Research for SEO Copywriting ... > Read more
One of the best ways to learn how to write engaging and SEO-friendly website copy—and keep up with industry changes—is to read what the experts have to say. Plenty of blogs focus on the topic of online copywriting, but many of those blogs are not updated on a weekly or even monthly basis. Also, many of those blogs are little more than a promotional tool for a company’s product or author’s book.
We've saved you time by creating a list of the best copywriting blogs that are out there. Here they are, in no particular order: 1. Copyblogger Copyblogger has a large following, with some posts getting over 1,000 tweets and 250 comments. New media writer/producer Brian Clark started the blog four years ago. It includes posts by him and other copywriting professionals. One of the fir... > Read more
It's something you hear over and over again from SEOs: Anchor text matters. Chris Brogan relayed this familiar advice this week in a post on decisions we make as bloggers: By the way, HOW you link to something matters. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it Chris’s blog, then you’re telling Google that people searching for “Chris’s blog” might want chrisbrogan.
com. If you link to chrisbrogan.com by calling it social media resources or social media strategy or whatever (frankly, I’ve never known what to bother ranking for in search results), then you are telling Google that people searching for social media whatever might want to find my blog. So in choosing the words for the link text, you’re also making decisions. Aside: It took me FOREVER to find where I'd read this a... > Read more
1. SEO copywriting sounds forced and mechanical. This myth is almost true: Bad SEO copywriting sounds forced and mechanical. You can spot it from a mile away: The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar? The benefits of apple cider vinegar are many! The benefits of apple cider vinegar include improved health and boosted immunity.
This page is all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. I guess if this page starts ranking for "the benefits of apple cider vinegar" I'll have to eat my words, huh? But seriously folks: SEO copywriting doesn't have to, and shouldn't, be robotic. Keyword research is a supplement to good writing, not a replacement for it. The only reason that keyword-targeted copy would end up sounding as ridiculous as the above paragraph i... > Read more
I'm sort of surprised that I've never linked to Chris Brogan's blog in a Friday roundup before, since I'm a regular reader. Maybe because his posts tend to be short, to the point and difficult to disagree with, and finding something to disagree with is one of my top ways of brainstorming new blog posts.
It's also one of Chris Brogan's! His "How to Think of Blog Posts" post features the good-old-fashioned rant at #8 (see roundups of Fridays past in which I disagree with Seth Godin, David Powazek and Robert Scoble). I guess I'm feeling agreeable this week because I have no beef with Chris's post; I simply want to add a few more ideas to the list: 1. Expand on a tweet: The next time you start to respond to something or someone on Twitter, hold that thought and see if you can't expan... > Read more
Wired this week published a fascinating profile piece on a company called Demand Media: "The Answer Factory: Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell." The company's approach to content generation almost sounds like science fiction or satire, but it's real, and it works. It's a purely algorithmic, data-driven method of prioritizing content designed to rank on the first page of the Google SERPs: basically keyword research in hyperdrive.
And like it or not, this may be where we're all headed. Keyword-research-driven content production is nothing new; we practice this ourselves (to an extent). Workflow is based on the keyword groups that are currently driving traffic and conversions. If tons of people are finding our site after searching on "keyword organization tools" an... > Read more
Every marketing 101 class worth its salt will have you walking out the door uttering two time-honored maxims where messaging and copy is concerned: Benefits, Not Features. Unique Value Proposition. No one really wants to hear about what you do, they want to know what you’ll do for them, right? And you want to make sure that you’re showing unique value; that you offer something no one else does.
You want to provide differentiation. The problem here is that because of strict adherence in marketing copy and creative to the first maxim, just talking about benefits is no longer good enough to achieve the second. Every company I come in contact with is going to make me better, faster, cheaper, smarter. These are benefits aimed at the “what’s in it for me”. ... > Read more