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How to Train Your Content Not to Overstay it’s Welcome

We don’t often realize this, but we can train our website content to do tricks. Unfortunately, most website content just lays around all day. This is why you see high bounce rates and poor conversion rates on so many websites. About the only “trick” this content knows how to do is to roll-over and play dead. But, those aren’t tricks at all. The opossum that streaked across the highway after getting hit by a truck can do that!

What I’m talking about is teaching your content how to “engage”, “inform”, “speak” (call to action), and “convert”. Teach these tricks to your content and you’ll see a whole new level of performance on your website.Continue Reading

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They Got Dibs! Make Your Audience Your A-Girl

I remember the first day back at my sophomore year of college. It was the weekend before classes began, and the new students were moving into the dorms. There were cars and trucks all parked out along the street with students unloading furniture, bedding, clothes, and everything else a growing college kid needs to survive in the almost-real world.

As You WishI remember this day vividly because a bunch of us guys were scouting out the hot chicks, generously helping the new batch of coeds unload and unpack. Later that afternoon, when it was only us guys within ear shot, a buddy of mine claimed, “I got dibs on the red head.” I remember thinking, “Whatever, dude!” Nonetheless, everyone knew Jon had claimed Shannon and she was hands off until he said otherwise.

It wasn’t long before Jon and Shannon started dating, and a few years later they married and are still happily married today.

You Aren’t Special If You’re Last In Line

Dibs are a great thing. It makes us feel special. Like calling “shotgun” to get the front passenger seat, dibs allows us to lay claim to something we otherwise may not have been entitled to: the last piece of pizza, the larger bed, the first shower before all the hot water is gone, and the hot red head that needs a nice, strong college man to help her move into her dorm.Continue Reading

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How Using Lots of Keywords Can Help You Focus On One Keyword

If you have ever spent any amount of time doing keyword research you can walk away amazed (or even frustrated) about the sheer volume of ways people search for what is essentially the same thing. Take a single core term like “window cleaner” and you can get dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of search terms all using those two keywords. This is what happens in the world of search. Someone starts with a basic concept, then continues to refine their search by adding qualifiers such as: homemade, recipes, magnetic, insurance, liability, vinyl, glass, streak free and “confessions of a” (that’s no joke) to help them find more sites that offer what they are looking for.

Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence!If you are in the window cleaning business, you can easily discount many of these qualifiers. But there will also be others in there that you most certainly will want to use to optimize your site for higher search engine rankings.

The question is, how do you target all of these qualifiers on your window cleaner web page? The simple answer is: you can’t. Nor should you want to.

Whatever keyword you are researching, the mass of keyword phrase + qualifiers can make you a bit overwhelmed. How do you target so many keywords without mucking up the site? One solution is to look at your keywords from a Research, Shop, Buy lens. Separate them based on visitor intent.

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Guilt by Association: Do You Really Know Who You Are Linking To, Parts 1-12

Note: Recently I’ve gotten some ribbing from friends and colleagues about my exceedingly numerous multi-part posts. In order to wean myself off my favorite form of not-having-to-think-about-what-I’m-going-to-write-about-next, I’ve combined all 12 parts of this series into a single post. Enjoy! :)

Part 1: Guilty of Crimes No One Committed

A lot of people subscribe to the “Guilt by Association” theory in online marketing. This theory suggests that you are who you associate with. I agree there is some definite truth to this mindset, but, like a lot of things, it can also be taken to a paranoid extreme. This fear leads some people into a paralysis that ultimately hinders their online marketing efforts rather than helping them.

“Guilt by Association” extremists work hard to keep themselves squeaky clean. They tread extra carefully with who they associate with in an effort to ensure that they are never found guilty of crimes they haven’t committed. In order to stay “pure”, they avoid having online relationships with some who they believe may have broken some rule at some point that, likely, nobody even cares about.Continue Reading

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How to Make Your Content Trusted Content

I was talking with a client the other day about how to optimize their content. They kept saying, in a way of trying to understand what they need to do to improve their website, that what they need to do is to create a bunch of content and keep using their keywords over and over.

Uh… no.

That might work in politics, where saying something enough times gets people to start believing it’s true. But, not online.

People are pretty adept at sniffing out the fakes. If your readers come to your site and just see a lot of unnecessary repetition of your keywords, they are going to see right through that. Even if they don’t realize it on a conscious level, their spider-senses will kick in, and they’ll walk away just because they are not “feelin’ it”.

The issue is one of trust. Your readers may not be able to quite put their finger on it, but something will feel… off. And that’s when visitors start to run away.Continue Reading

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All Good Content Starts Here: Keyword Research

One of the great things about developing content for your website is that, with a little research, you can know exactly who your target audience is and how create content to meet their needs. Spending a few minutes before setting pen-to-paper, or fingers-to-keys, can tell you just about everything you need to know about what types of things people are searching for on the web. From that, you can determine what kind of content you need to reach your audience.

All I need  to do is divine from what I know of you...

Using keyword research tools provided by the search engines and third party keyword platforms can help you a great deal in writing for your target consumers. Not only can you learn what keywords people are using, but keyword research can also help you craft your content using the words and phrases that your audience searches for most frequently. This helps you attract the widest audience possible while also focusing your words using higher traffic and better converting terminology.

There are three things that good keyword research will help you uncover: who your audience is, what they are interested in, and what their needs are.Continue Reading

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Put Your SEO and Copywriter in Their Place… So Your Keywords Will Be Too!

There’s a time and a place for everything. The place for sweat pants to be worn is at home, not at the airport; the place for cigarette butts to be thrown is an ashtray, not out your car window; and the place for the Twighlight movies to be watched is on the corner of nowhere and never again.

When dealing with your online content you have to find the right keywords and the right place for them on the page. SEO 1997 was all about throwing keywords anywhere and everywhere on the page in hopes to claim those top spots on AltaVista, WebCrawler, Excite and the six other search engines you were gunning for. (Ahhh, remember the days!)

In today’s world SEO has meaning beyond getting rankings, ’cause, you know… people are gonna see that stuff. Your content has to read, not like a keyword laundry list but more like information that actually helps sell your product or services, or provide information the reader finds helpful to them.Continue Reading

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There’s No Such Thing as Perfect Content

If George Lucas taught us anything with his re-tinkering of the original Star Wars trilogy it’s that there is no such thing as “perfect.” When it comes to your website’s content, the same holds true. But in the case of your website, the tinkering should improve upon the original rather than create a bastardize version of an mildly flawed classic.

Perhaps I can come up with a better example. I recently upgraded my copy of The Princess Bride from DVD to gloriously beautiful Blu-ray. The video quality is far superior to DVD which was a considerable improvement on my old VHS copy that I owned way back when. Moving to Blu-ray was a much needed improvement over what came before it.Continue Reading

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How to Optimize Your PPC Campaign to Profit From Every Click (For Beginners)

Google, Yahoo and Bing have made setting up pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns fairly easy and painless. Within hours you can have your ads up and running, and delivering traffic to your website for a small fee per click. Unfortunately, the ease in which a campaign can be set up often convinces business owners that they can throw up some PPC ads and the money will start pouring in. I’ve talked to many businesses that think PPC doesn’t work because they tried it once and never made any money.

It’s not that PPC doesn’t work, it’s that the campaigns were not set up and managed properly. All too often a PPC campaign is created by the business owner but left to run with little or no management, supervision or oversight. Even a properly (or professionally) set up campaign needs constant oversight.

Proper set-up and management of your PPC campaigns is vitally important to ensure you have a profitable and high ROI PPC campaign. Without effective bid management and ongoing testing of ads and landing pages the campaign will soon be nothing more than an expensive traffic delivery method. As time passes, bid clicks will rise, positioning of ads will fall, landing pages won’t be as targeted and your cost per conversion will increase. Your PPC campaign may continue to deliver both traffic and sales, but the cost of those sales may be outside of your zone of profitability.

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Buy The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! and download the cheat sheet.