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Tag Archives: Copywriting

How to Communicate in Twitterbites For Re/Tweet-Friendly Blog Posts

Social Media has changed the way we communicate
Social media has changed the way we work, think and communicate. It must also, therefore, change the way we write.

Throughout history, communication has evolved. Common vocabulary has gone from “thou” to “you” to “u”, and in some cases, to “fu!”

Once common words change spelling, meaning and even become obsolete. (Anyone remember wearing “slacks”?) New is the new old.

Soundbites have become essential to anyone wanting to make a point. If it can’t be said in nine seconds, you’re SOL!

I think it’s policy that no policy is good policy unless it can fit on a bumper sticker.

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What Do You Expect Your SEO Expert to Know?

It’s funny that we use terms like “expert” to describe an SEO. When looking for someone to help us get us top search engine rankings, we often look to see who the experts are. Last time I checked, we don’t look for “expert lawyers” or “expert doctors” or “expert plumbers”. No, we look for professionals.

However, we do often look for experts at certain subsets. Such as lawyers that are divorce experts, doctors that are cancer experts, plumbers that are… um, clog experts, and so on. So why do we look for SEO experts? Can anyone truly be an expert in all things related to SEO?

Perhaps. Just like doctors can be experts in multiple areas, lawyers can be experts in multiple fields of law, and plumbers can be experts in multiple types of… um, clogs, SEOs can be experts in several areas as well. But an expert in all of them? Hmmmm, not likely.

So when you’re looking for an SEO expert, what do you expect to find? Someone who is an expert at on-page optimization? Someone skilled at link building? Someone who knows usability, analytics, and testing? Do you want a social media guru or a copy writing artist? There is a lot to know about SEO and none of that knowledge comes easy.

The really good SEOs are extraordinarily knowledgeable about a lot of stuff, but their expertise is in only a few. They know enough to guide others through the processes and strategies of about almost anything SEO related, but they are not necessarily the ones that you would turn to to do it themselves.

A good example is copywriting. I KNOW SEO copywriting, but I’m not an SEO copywriter. Could I do it? Yes. But not as well as someone who lives and breathes copywriting. With a copywriter, I can teach them, train them, edit them, and improve them in the realm of SEO… but I don’t want to do it unless I have to.

That’s because it’s not my strength. There are a lot of aspects of SEO and online marketing that are not my strength. That’s why I employ a team of people. They have strengths where I don’t.

So, that begs the question, what do you expect your SEO expert to be an expert in?

The answer to that should depend on what exactly you need. If you are looking for a full-scale optimization package, you need more than a single SEO. You need an SEO team. But, if you’re looking for some overall SEO consulting, a single, highly knowledgeable SEO should do the trick.

However, if you are looking for specific consulting, copywriting, analytics, etc., you need to find someone who knows that skill in great detail. That can be an SEO, but it may not always be.

I think businesses get into trouble when they expect their SEOs to have all the solutions. They look at the SEO as the magical ranking provider. They want better rankings, more traffic, increased conversions, and expect an SEO to be able to provide it all… within a few hours of paid time.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Again, just like any other field, you get what you pay for. You find the cheaper expert you’ll get cheaper results. You find a plumber that charges less per hour he’ll likely take twice as long as the guy who charges a few dollars more per hour. You hire the cheaper lawyer, you may not like the results. Just sayin’.

When you’re looking for your “SEO expert” you gotta know what you want and what you expect. Don’t expect real magic on a clown budget. If you know what you want, then you can select the person, firm or group that will best be able to give you what you expect.

You WANT Rankings, But What Do You Really NEED?

SEO used to be all about getting top search engine rankings. While that is still a primary function of an SEO provider, that’s not all there is to it anymore. Or, at least… it shouldn’t be.

If you’re in the market for a (quality) SEO, you’re going to find providers that go well beyond services aimed at achieving top search engine rankings. In fact, if your SEO only knows how to throw keywords you want to rank for onto your site pages, I can tell you that you’re NOT getting your money’s worth (even if you are only paying a few hundred dollars a month).

SEO, in today’s world, is much more about online marketing than it is about manipulating a site to achieve top rankings for a few keywords. Here are some key components to a well-rounded optimization campaign: Continue Reading

6 Clichés That Help You Understand SEO

Clichés are a funny thing. We don’t like to hear them… especially in movies, TV shows, or blog posts, but we frequently use them in everyday conversations. Clichés are a great way to make a point because the meaning of them is pretty much universally understood, even if not entirely true.

Just because something is a cliché doesn’t mean it can, or should be, disregarded. Here are some clichés that we can use to help us better understand SEO.

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Who Told You THAT Was a Good Keyword?

Finding keywords is easy. Finding the right keywords, organizing them into optimizable groups, and determining where and how they get optimized into the site is another story all together. Generally, keyword research is done at the hands of the SEO. Taking those keywords and integrating them into the content is the job of the Copywriter.

Under most circumstances, you want defer to the person who has the strongest skills for each particular task. Let the SEO determine which keywords are best, and let the Copywriter work them into the page. But, when it comes to actually deciding which chosen keywords make it into any particular body of content, the Copywriter needs to have final say.

Only a great fool will reach for what he was given.

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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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Does Your Content Know Where Your Audience Is?

I'm not a witch, I'm your wife.One of the first things you need to do when developing your website is to perform research on your target audience. Without it, you won’t know who you are trying to sell to, or how to reach them with your content.

The best way to attract the specific customers you want and make sure you are meeting the needs of your audience is to write your content specifically for them. But even knowing who your audience is doesn’t mean you’re able to speak to them on their level unless you know where they are in the buying process.

Content designed to inform won’t do a good job of selling, just as content designed to sell isn’t what people need when they want to be informed. Therefore different pages of your site need to be targeted, not for a different audience, but the same audience in different places of the buying cycle.

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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

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

SEO 101 – Part 16: Everything You Need to Know About Building Links

The following series is pulled from a presentation I gave to a group of beauty bloggers hosted by L’Oreal in New York. Most of the presentation is geared toward how to make a blog more search engine and user-friendly, however I will expand many of the concepts here to include tips and strategies for sites selling products or services across all industries.

Building Links

Link building is Relationship Building

There are a lot of different approaches to building links. The different types of links discussed in the previous post in this series can gain you links in various degrees of goodness. But like most things, quick-fix solutions rarely ever provide excellent long-term value. That’s not to say quick fix solutions aren’t sometimes needed or warranted, but they rarely make a good long-term investment.

A link only has a certain amount of value, much like the value of a casual acquaintance. But like a true friendship, a link relationship goes much further and has a lot more potential.

The concept of building links is best when it’s focused on building relationships. You’ve heard it said, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” In the same way, build a link and you get a link. Build a relationship and you get a lifetime of links.

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