This is the best post ever!

BestRecently, a member of the SEO Copywriting LinkedIn group started an interesting discussion. He asked what group members thought about the overuse of words like “perfect,” when “fine” or “okay” would suffice.

He questioned the surge in hyperbolic speech and wondered if certain words were losing their meaning.

This got me thinking – first, about exaggeration, then about the changing definitions of words (don’t get me started on the new definition of “literally”), then about sales people.

Did I lose you with that last one?

How many times have you heard that this is the “best” product or that a lawyer is the “best” personal injury attorney?

This isn’t just a relaxed use of the English language. These claims are meant to entice you, the potential client.

But do you believe it? Unless you’re Buddy the Elf from Elf, who believed the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” sign in the window of a random New York dive, you probably don’t believe these claims. In fact, claims like these may make you question the product or service provider.

Are you the best?

There is nothing wrong with boasting about your product or service. However, whatever claims you make should be backed up.

Don’t say, “We make the best widgets,” if you can say, “Our widgets were ranked #1 in customer satisfaction by Consumer Reports.”

Don’t use puffery, when you can prove your point with facts. People can tell when you are trying to sell to them and possibly mislead them. Phrases like “best online marketer” and “everyone loves our product” trigger people’s BS meters.

You can win more people over by using:

Be the right provider, not the “best”

Take a look at your website. Are you using puffery to try to sell your product or services? It’s time to stop.

Pick one page and clear away the hyperbole and generic information. Give your readers something to believe and a reason to trust your products and services. If you do that, you may just become the best.


Photo credit: ©

SEO content & social media marketing synergy: 3 perspectives

Three takes on the interplay between social media and SEO content are featuredIt’s that time again, when we feature some of our best guest author content. And this time, we’re showcasing authors who have touched on social media and its role in SEO content marketing.

As we all know, SEO copywriting and content marketing don’t occur in a vacuum. Optimizing for the human reader has become paramount, and Google has made it clear that in its algorithms, content quality and source authority are key. And so in both establishing and reflecting content relevancy and credibility to readers, social media promotion and sharing have become integral to the SEO content marketing process.

Read on to learn what some of the best minds in the online marketing industry have to say about the synergy of social media and SEO content!


Wake up! You're in the social SEO copywriting businessWake up, you’re in the social SEO copywriting business!

Miranda Miller notes “there are literally hundreds of factors affecting your content’s search ranking, not the least of which are trust, authority, and engagement” and that “social media is hands down the best content promotion tool out there.” Indeed. She then goes on to share solid strategies to “bake” social promotion into your content “right from the planning phase.” If you missed this reader favorite on holistic marketing the first time around, be sure to read it and bookmark it for reference!


SEO co-citations:What they are & why they matterSEO co-citations: What they are & why they matter

Jayson DeMers explains the anatomy of SEO co-citations and why we should care about (and utilize) this strategy. With the demise of traditional link building and the end of tactics aimed at passing page rank (which of course is a good thing), co-citations are an indirect way to “share” authority with a well-established site already endowed with “Google respect.” As DeMers writes, “co-citations can be a little difficult to wrap your head around,” but he does an excellent job of explaining (and illustrating) what they are, how they work, and most importantly, why they matter in the brave new world of social SEO.


Leveraging content relationships & social proof for CROLeveraging content relationships & social proof for conversion rate optimization

Andrew Isidoro focuses on optimizing conversion rates by using social proof from content marketing and content relationships developed through guest blogging to drive qualified traffic to your site. Using social proof examples from Blueglass UK as well as the content relationship between Distilled and Moz, Isidoro also delves into how to use custom, personalized landing pages “to help create a seamless transition from your guest content onto your own website, and maintain the brand connection between the two.” A must-read for any serious SEO content marketer!


photo thanks to webtreats


Be a loser like me

Loser-Like-Me“My name is Amy and I am a New York Giants fan.”

“Hi Amy.”

If you have been following the NFL this season, you know that the Giants are 0-6 so far. You would think that this is something that would make me hang my head in shame or abandon my team – especially since I have been teased mercilessly by some of my friends.


In fact, the day after loss number six, I proudly wore one of my New York Giants t-shirts.

Am I disappointed with their record? Of course.

Will I continue to root for my team and tell people I am a Giants fan? Absolutely.

The Giants are having a horrible year, but they are a great team. They have won the Super Bowl four times (twice since 2007), have won four NFL Championships (before the Super Bowl), and have made it to the post season more than 30 times.

You can call me (or the team) a loser, but I know that the Giants will once again have a winning record – although probably not this season. You don’t walk away from your team because another team suddenly looks better. I am still proud to be a Giants fan and will continue to cheer them on.

What the heck does this have to do with writing or SEO?

It may seem odd that I am talking about a losing football team on an SEO copywriting blog, but I have a point. I promise.

It seems like every year or so, someone declares that copywriting is dead. (Don’t believe me, check here, here, and here). Something “better” comes along and everyone jumps on the bandwagon and scoffs at those of us who stick with good copywriting.

The truth is well-written copy has been – and will continue to be – an important component for websites to perform well. Don’t believe me? Perhaps you haven’t heard about Google’s latest update, Hummingbird.

As Heather pointed out in her Hummingbird post, Google wants websites to have “original, high-quality content.” That’s right; quality content – not some shortcut or trick – is the winner here.

If you have stuck with quality content over the years, you can proudly look to those who praised the quicker ways to high rankings in the SERPs and say, “You want to be a loser like me.”

(If you were led astray by “sexier” techniques, it’s not too late to give your website a content makeover. You better get moving – it will be a rebuilding year.)

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending Oct. 2

Cat hunts for birds and keywordsHi everyone and welcome to my inaugural roundup!

Laura Crest did such an awesome job getting the roundup going, building it up to what it is today and keeping you updated on the latest industry news. I’m continuing the roundup where she left off to keep on giving you more of the content you crave!

Anything you’d like to see in the roundup? I’d love your suggestions!

This week, the search world is abuzz about Google tossing all search terms into the (not provided) basket. Businesses and search professionals need to adjust to the changes, and we’ve got you covered with insights and strategies from around the Web.

Content Marketing

Convince & Convert’s Barry Feldman tells us how to create content for a boring industry in “7 Content Marketing Poop Scoops”.

Learn “What the Best Business Bloggers Do (And You Should Too)” from HubSpot’s Corey Eridon.

From our own SEO Copywriting blog, Courtney Ramirez gives us “Adapting to visual content: 3 musts for the SEO copywriter”.

Joe Pulizzi writes “How to Create an Influencer Plan that Drives Your Content Marketing” on Copyblogger.

Content Marketing Institute‘s Mike Murray gives us “Editorial Plan Best Practices: Prime Your Content Marketing for Success”.

Mark Schaefer shares “The truth behind why my blog sucked for two years” over on Schaefer Marketing Solutions.

Seth Godin tells us that “Category of One is a Choice”.

Here are “5 New Content Monetization Services You May Not Know About” from Social Media Today‘s Kay Singh.

Inc.‘s Dave Kerpen shares “6 Reasons Companies Fail at Content Marketing”.

Vertical Measures gives us “Top 7 Reasons Why Your Content Pages Load Slowly” by David Gould.

Paul Santello tells us “How to achieve true video integration” at iMedia Connection.

SEER Interactive gives us “10 Quick Ideas for Producing Video Content” by Chad Gingrich.

David Edelmin writes “Creativity Is Hard Work” on LinkedIn.

Social Media Explorer‘s Jason Spooner shares “Planning for Spontaneity”.

Joe Pulizzi writes “2014 B2B Content Marketing Research: Strategy is Key to Effectiveness” over at Content Marketing Institute.

Search Engine People‘s Alicia Lawrence says “Let Your Eyes Guide Your Content Marketing”.


(John Hall lists a number of great conferences for online marketers, businesses and entrepreneurs at Forbes).


SEO & Search

Rand Fishkin gives us “The First Existential Threat to SEO” at Moz.

There are “5 Reasons You’ll Need to Increase Your SEO Budget in 2014”, according to Search Engine Journal’s Jayson DeMers.

Search Engine Watch’s Glenn Gabe shares “The Relentless Pounding of Google Panda: Why SEO Band-Aids Won’t Work”.

Search Engine People’s Darla Grant-Braid tells us “How Google’s Keyword Encryption Will Bring Buyer Personas to The Forefront”.

Danny Goodwin gives us “Google Hummingbird Takes Flight: Biggest Change to Search Since Caffeine” from Search Engine Watch.

HubSpot’s Jeff Quipp explains “Why You Should Stop Using Google Rankings as Your Primary SEO KPI”

Magnitude Media’s Leslie Poston says “Google Killed Keywords, And Savvy Content Marketers Are Fine With That”

“Google introduces new ‘Hummingbird’ search algorithm” and Reuters explains.

George Freitag shares how “Team Portent Weighs In On the Loss of Organic Keywords”.

Econsultancy‘s Graham Charlton writes “Google’s keyword data apocalypse: the experts’ view”.

Haukur Jarl shares “Updates to AdWords Conversion Tracking” at State of Digital.

ReelSEO gives us “Google’s Hummingbird Update And The Implications For Video SEO” by Carla Marshall.

Barry Schwartz writes “Reporting Delay In Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries for Search Engine Roundtable.

Courtney Ramirez reports “Google Playing it Safe With Search” for Endurance Marketing.

Kate Gramlich Roumbos shares “Hummingbird: Move Over Caffeine, Hello Sweet Nectar” on GHERGICH & Co.

Lukas Oldenburg tells us “Why branded search traffic from Google Chrome has almost disappeared” over at Web Analytics World.

Bill Slawski writes “The Google Hummingbird Patent?” over at SEO by the Sea.

SEO Theory‘s Michael Martinez posts “Keyword Magic, or How I Learned to Be an SEO (again)”.

Duane Forrester writes on Bing’s Webmaster Blog “Loss of Data Needn’t Mean Loss of Direction”



Social Media Marketing

Matt McGee fills us in on the latest Google+ integration in Search Engine Land’s “Google Launches Hashtag Search, Shows Google+ Posts On Search Results Page”.

Corey Shelton tells us how to “Kill It on Facebook by Being TAGFEE” on The Moz Blog.

“Pinterest launches Article Pins to target readers” Social Fresh’s Nick Cicero posts.

Social Media Examiner’s John Lee Dumas shares “3 Unique Ways to Get Started With Business Podcasting”

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine shares the news everyone’s been waiting for: “Facebook Lets You Edit Posts After Sharing On Android And Web Now, iOS Soon”.

WordPress‘ Social Media Buz Blog gives us “10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before you Start your Social Media Strategy”.

Mila Araujo writes “Using Hashtags in Social Media: A How-To Guide” for Social Media Today.

Fast Company‘s Belle Beth Cooper gives us “A Scientific guide to Maximizing your Impact on Twitter, Facebook and Other Digital Media”.

“Not Verified? Here’s The Twitter View From Where I’m Sitting” Alex Wilhelm reports from TechCrunch.

UpCity shares a “Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Pinterest Account for your Business” by John Anyasor.

Belle Beth Cooper shares “The surprising history of Twitter’s hashtag and 4 ways to get the most out of them” from The Buffer blog.

Marketo‘s Maggie Jones writes “The State of Native Advertising: Are Pinterest’s Paid Promotions a Bad Idea?”

Zeke J. Miller and Denver Nicks report “Which Tweets Will Survive the Government Shutdown?” at TIME Swampland.

Social Media Examiner‘s Jamie Turner posts “6 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Social Mobile Marketing”.

John Anyasor writes “How to Engage your Google Plus Followers and 20 Examples That Prove It” for UpCity.

memeburn‘s Lauren Granger posts “Facebook gets creepier, adds status updates and posts to Graph Search”.


(For an all-in-one listing and description of social media, content and inbound marketing events, check out Neal Schaffer’s “The 12 Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2013” at Social Media Today.)

photo thanks to Ian Barbour (Cat hunting for birds)

Don’t lose that fantastic idea!

Where are your ideas hiding?When you sit down to write, do you wonder what happened to all of your amazing content ideas?

I’ve been there. I become frustrated because I remember that I had the perfect idea. In fact, it was so perfect I was sure I would remember it later. Well, it’s later and that perfect idea has vanished.

How about you? Have you experienced this frustration?

Playing hide-and-seek with your ideas

It’s as if your fantastic ideas have discovered an incredible hiding place. You wonder where they went. If you are lucky, you may be able to find them hiding in the recesses of your mind.

However, too often, your ideas win the game of hide-and-seek and don’t come out until you have given up and moved on … and even then, they may stay hidden.

Capture your ideas before they hide

Found you!

Found you!

Too often, you have an epiphany at the most inconvenient time, including:

  • While you are working on another project
  • When you are taking a shower
  • As you are falling asleep or just waking up

No matter when these flashes of brilliance occur, you need to capture them.

But how?

The key to capturing these ideas is to be prepared. Set up methods to capture these ideas. Some tools that can assist you with this include:

  • Parking lot: Create a virtual space to “park” your ideas until you need them. You can do this in a Word document, through Evernote or other software. This is very helpful when you are working on another project and just need to get your idea down.
  • Shower notepad: Yes, they actually make waterproof notepads for your shower. And, yes, I own AquaNotes. These notepads are great for keeping your ideas from going down the drain (pun intended).
  • Notepad and pen by bed: This may be a simple concept, but if you get ideas while falling asleep, this lets you jot them down quickly and get back to sleep. Sure, they may be difficult to decipher in the morning, but you have a better chance of reading your handwriting than remembering that fleeting thought if you didn’t write it down.
  • Recorder apps: When you are driving or exercising you may get an amazing idea. Use an app on your smart phone to capture those ideas without endangering yourself or ending your workout.

Where are your ideas?

Your homework is to determine where you seem to get the most inspiration … that you later forget. Once you know where you are most vulnerable, put a tool (or two) in place to help you capture future ideas.

Do you have a method for capturing your ideas? I’d love to hear them.

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending September 25th

Google's move to 100% data encryption headlines this week's online marketing news.In this week’s latest and greatest online marketing news, Google’s move towards eclipsing all keyword data (except for its PPC advertisers) grabs the headlines.

Other highlights include mobile marketing, visual and video content marketing, the question of the importance of content quality, YouTube’s introduction of a new (Google+ – driven) commenting system, and Pinterest’s new rich pins for articles.

On a personal note, I’ll be handing the SEO Content Marketing Roundup reins over to the most capable hands of Tracy Mallette, the new blog editor for SEO Copywriting. It’s been a great ride and a privilege to have served up the “latest and greatest” online marketing news to you all for the past few years. You’re the ones that have built it up from a handful of links to its present format. Thank you for making the roundup what it is today! I know Tracy will take up the roundup gauntlet with integrity, style, and class.

Now, enjoy this week’s picks!

Content Marketing

eMarketer reports that U.S. mobile online time surpasses desktop with “How Digital Time Spent Breaks Down by Device, Gender, Content Area.”

John Anyasor posts “20 Mobile Experts for Your Marketing Needs” at UpCity.

KISSmetrics posts an “Infographic: Email Marketing is Changing – The Rise of Mobile and Triggered Emails.”

Lee Odden posts “Content Marketing World 2013 Wrap-Up – TopRank Style” at TopRank.

Pawan Deshpande discusses “Content Curation: 6 Strategies to Add Value With Your Own Commentary” at Content Marketing Institute.

Rebecca Toth discusses “Content Quality vs. Quantity: Is There a Clear Winner?” at CMS Wire.

Reporting on a Hacker News thread, Barry Schwartz reports “Google: Higher Quality Content Might Not Be More Useful Content” at Search Engine Roundtable.

Carla Rover interview Bing’s Duane Forrester with “The Evangelists: Bing on Content” at eMarketing Association.

Neicole Crepeau posts “How to Create Living Content to Boost Brand Reputation and Visibility” at Convince & Convert.

Michael Brito posts “Extra Gum: A Lesson in Effective Brand Storytelling But…” at Newsroom CMO.

Jeff Bullas discusses “How Reviews Your Online Reputation” at his blog.

Citing a new survey by Skyword, Amy Gesenhues reports “46% Of Marketers Have Content Marketing Strategy, Only 25% Track Social Media Results” at Marketing Land.

Courtney Ramirez discusses “Adapting to visual content: 3 musts for the SEO copywriter” at SEO Copywriting.

Shanna Mallon posts “Visual Content: How Starbucks Uses Instagram” at Spin Sucks.

Corey Eridon reports “Pinterest Announces Rich Pins for Articles” at HubSpot.

Brafton Editorial reports “Most outsourced content? Videos and graphics [stats].”

Thibaut Dehem posts “The Ultimate Go-To Guide to Choosing Your Video Format and Design Style” at ReelSEO.

David Moth shares “Six creative examples of product videos to inspire your own efforts” at Econsultancy.

Heather Lloyd-Martin posts “Does your SEO copy leverage the rule of three?” at SEO Copywriting.

Laura Crest discusses “The Resurrection of Content Mills in the Post-Panda Era” at Top Shelf Copy.

Seth Godin continues his Q & A series with “Poke the Box vs. meh” at his blog.


(John Hall lists a number of great conferences for online marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs at Forbes).


SEO & Search

Danny Sullivan reports “Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks” at Search Engine Land.

In a special Whiteboard Tuesday presentation, Rand Fishkin addresses “When Keyword (not provided) is 100 Percent of Organic Referrals, What Should Marketers Do?” at Moz.

Thom Craver posts “Not Provided is Not the End of the World” at his blog.

Josh Patrice posts “A Day in the Life or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love (not provided)” at Portent.

Rudd Hein posts “What Google’s Keyword Data Grab Means – And Five Ways Around It” at Search Engine People.

Michelle Noonan posts “Not Provided Keywords – SEO Reporting Without Keyword Data” at SEER Interactive.

Graham Charlton posts “Google’s keyword data apocalypse: the experts’ view” at Econsultancy.

Daniel Burstein posts the latest MarketingSherpa research chart on “How dependent are your fellow marketers on organic search?”

David Harry discusses “How Search Engines Rank Web Pages” at Search Engine Watch.

Eric Enge discusses “Direct Measurement of Google Plus Impact on Search Rankings” at the Stone Temple Blog.

Bill Hartzer posts “Do Google +1s and Shares Help Search Engine Rankings?” at his site.

Stoney deGeyter discusses “4 Ways To Avoid An SEO Disaster Of Monumental Proportions” at Search Engine Land.

Barry Schwartz reports “Google: Don’t Pay The Link Mobster For Link Removals, Just Disavow Them” at Search Engine Roundtable.

John Doherty posts “Building Your Marketing Funnel with Google Analytics” at Moz.

Jennifer Slegg posts “Google Trends Adds Trending Charts, 30 Days of Hot Searches” at Search Engine Watch.

Moz’s Dr. Peter J. Meyers and Denis Pinsky co-author “Deep Dive Into In-Depth Articles – Google’s Ultimate Evergreen” at Forbes.

Richard Kirk posts “Mobile & Table Click Curves Confirm: Your Site is Either Page 1 or Nowhere” at Search Engine Watch.

Greg Sterling reports “Study: 61 Percent of Mobile Callers Ready To Convert” at Search Engine Land.

Mark Traphagen posts “Google Authorship Troubleshooting: Article Attributed to Wrong Author” at Moz.

The team of Level 343 discusses building authority and relevance with “Effective Keyword List” at Level 343.

Eric Covino discusses “How To Think About Your Next SEO Project” at SEO Book.

Jayson DeMers discusses “How to Integrate Social Media With Your SEO Campaign” at The Huffington Post.

Brian Massey posts “Is Your Site Foreign To Visitors? How To Present A Tourist-Friendly Experience” at Marketing Land.

Greg Sterling reports “Study: Google Reviews Determine Local Carousel Rankings” at Search Engine Land.


  • SMX East 2013 returns to New York City, October 1st thru the 3rd.
  • PubCon Las Vegas 2013 is on for October 22nd thru the 25thEarly bird savings of $400 thru October 20th!


Social Media Marketing

Frederic Lardinois reports “YouTube Announces A New Commenting System, Powered By Google+, With Threaded, Ranked And Private Conversations” at TechCrunch.

Nicolette Beard posts “How Does B2B Marketing Work on Google Plus? 4 Top B2B Tech Company Examples” at TopRank.

Chris Taylor discusses “Why Google Plus Is The One to Watch” at Social Media Today.

Venu Satuluri reports Twitter recommends accounts and tweets in notifications based on @MagicRecs algorithms with “Stay in the know” at Twitter Blogs.

Belle Beth Cooper discusses “The surprising history of Twitter’s hashtag and 4 ways to get the most out of them” at The Buffer Blog.

Ritika Puri posts “Content Rescues Brands From The Edge Of Disaster” at The Content Strategist.

Sara Lingafelter posts “Are Social Fails Good Business?” at Portent.

Gini Dietrich discusses “Social Media Policy: When Are Your Own Opinions Not Okay?” at Spin Sucks.

Kim Lachance Shandrow posts “10 Questions to Ask When Creating a Social-Media Marketing Plan” at Entrepreneur.

Jay Baer interviews Flip the Funnel author Joseph Jaffe via podcast with “The Magic of Ignorance: Knowing What You Don’t Know” at Convince & Convert.

Danny Brown discusses “Why MyPeerIndex is a Major Step Forward for Social Scoring.”

Raymond Morin posts “Social Media Influencers or Ambassadors? How to Identify Them” at Maximize Social Business.

Carla Marshall posts “Exlusive: Dailymotion Launches Matchbox Curation Tool For Publishers” at ReelSEO.

Lee Odden shares his presentation on “How to Integrate Search, Social Media & Content Marketing” at via TopRank on SlideShare.


(For an all-in-one listing and description of social media, content & inbound marketing events, check out Neal Schaffer’s “The 12 Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2013” at Social Media Today.)

photo thanks to thierry ehrmann (Abode of Chaos)

Sale! Save 25% on the SEO Copywriting Certification training through September 30th with code SEPTEMBER


Adapting to visual content: 3 musts for the SEO copywriter

The SEO copywriter needs to adapt to visual content marketingWith each new photo-friendly social network (and updates to existing networks to make images look even better), I cringe a little. There was a time when the best way to get your message across online was through some high quality, optimized text. As writers, we were kings and queens among content creators.

But now the tide is shifting. The web has become, for many, a primarily visual experience. Here’s some food for thought:

  • 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text. (Zabisco)
  • On Facebook, photos perform best for likes, comments and shares. (Dan Zarella)
  • Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. (PriceGrabber)

(stats courtesy of Hubspot)

So what is the SEO content writer to do? It’s time to adapt. You can’t deny the power of images, and if you want your clients to reach their business goals through marketing you need to offer what is best.

Text is still important – but smart content writers need to make some strategic moves to stay on top of what clients (and search engines) are looking for.

Here’s how to do it:

1.   Think strategist instead of writer.

Many copywriters and content creators don’t realize that they are playing an important strategic role in their clients’ success. The writing you’re delivering isn’t just writing – it plays into your client’s ongoing success.

As content shifts heavily towards images rather than writing, put on your strategist hat. Help your clients understand how your writing is supported by images, and vice versa. Craft a strategy for them that combines your words with key images for maximum impact.

When you take this position, you’ll be able to overcome any qualms your clients might have about spending money and time with a content writing specialist.

2.   Partner with a graphic designer.

There’s never been a better time to form a strategic partnership with a graphic designer who can add beautiful images to your artwork.

Here’s an example: You write a lengthy, thought leadership blog post for  a client and the graphic artist creates a series of beautiful quote images from that article. Your client can use those images to market the piece on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more. Or you could formally offer presentation creation services so your clients can leverage SlideShare, LinkedIn and Google+ promotion opportunities.

3.   Make incredibly awesome content.

The goal of most visual marketing is to get your audience to click back to a website and take action. That’s where your role as an SEO content creator comes in.

You get to create an incredibly awesome landing page that speaks directly to your client’s audience and gets the conversions that they are looking for. Plastering the web with cat memes and dancing Picard gifs will only get you so far (it will get you really far with me…but I’m a unique case).

If your client wants to leverage visual marketing they need somewhere to send that traffic. Put effort into developing incredibly awesome content in the form of landing pages, websites and blog posts.

Is visual content here to stay? Most definitely. But that doesn’t mean that our days are numbered as web writers. We just have to adapt.

How are you incorporating visual content into your approach? I’d love to read your ideas.

About the Author ~ Courtney Ramirez

Courtney Ramirez is the Director of Content Marketing Strategy for Endurance Marketing. She’s an SEO Copywriter and content marketing specialist who creates clickable content for clients in both B2B and B2C markets. As a proud graduate of SuccessWork’s SEO Copywriting Certification training program, she geeks out on algorithm updates and content marketing metrics. She’s always in the mood for a good cat-based meme. You can connect with Courtney on Google PlusLinkedIn or Twitter.

photo thanks to Ron Mader (planeta)

Hurry! Only 6 days’ left to claim 25% savings on the SEO Copywriting Certification training. Use coupon code SEPTEMBER



Eat that frog!

Eat your frogWhen you look at your to-do list, you probably see one item or project that you really don’t want to do.

Maybe you hate making sales calls. Maybe you have a client who drives you crazy. Maybe you have a web page on a topic that you have no interest in. Whatever it is, you just don’t want to do it.

As the day – and sometimes even the week or month – progresses, that item sits on your to-do list and taunts you. The longer it sits there, the less you want to work on it. It builds until you dread the thought of completing it.

This unease distracts you because you know you have to do it, but you don’t even want to start.

You can avoid this building anxiety if you listen to Mark Twain.

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain

That project or to-do list item is your frog. Tackle it as soon as you start your day and the rest of your day will be easy.

Find your frog and order it for breakfast

I think you know what this week’s challenge will be. Find that project that is hanging over your head – the one that you keep putting off – and make it a point to work on it first thing tomorrow morning.

Don’t check your email. Don’t scroll through your social media streams. Don’t work on another to-do list item because it will “just take a second.” Start that project!

Not only will you find the rest of your projects for the day more enjoyable, but you will also probably realize that the project you were dreading wasn’t really that bad.

Go. Eat your frog.

Limited-time sale. Save almost $200 on the SEO Copywriting Certification training. Register today – start immediately.


Photo credit: © Kseniya Abramova |

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending September 18th

This week's online news features mobile, video, site design, and Twitter.In this week’s latest and greatest online marketing news, content marketers discuss mobile, video and email marketing; SEO and search pros discuss design features affecting SEO, recovering from Google slaps, correlation studies, as well as link building and analytics; meanwhile, the social media community discusses Twitter, Facebook’s video ad plans, blogging, and meaningful marketing metrics.

Enjoy this week’s picks!

Content Marketing

David Cohen discusses “How to Perform an Opportunity Analysis to Avoid Sloppy Marketing Strategies” at SEER Interactive.

MarketingSherpa’s weekly research chart features “Tactics that are seeing a budget increase (and decrease)” in 2014.

Jon Ball details “A 3-step outreach strategy for (new) SEO content creators” at SEO Copywriting.

Virginia Nussey posts “Engagement Objects Idea Generator for Content Marketing” at Bruce Clay, Inc..

Marcus Sheridan discusses “Why Nothing Great Happens with Content Marketing at Less than 10 Hours Per Week” at The Sales Lion.

Mike Tekula posts “Your Brand Must Stand For Something: Vision and Values in Content Marketing” at distilled.

Harry Gardiner discusses “The Evolution Of Language And What It Means For Content Marketing” at Koozai.

Wissam Dandan discusses “Mapping Content to the Buying Cycle” at LEBSEO DESIGN.

Adria Saracino posts “Build a Better Buyer Persona: 5 Creative Data Sourcing Ideas” at Content Marketing Institute.

Ken Lyons discusses “How to Increase the Profitability of Your Content” at Search Engine Watch.

Reporting from Content Marketing World, Katie Bresnahan posts “Content 20/20 – Jonathan Mildenhall on Coco Cola’s Content Strategy” at TopRank.

Mike Huber posts a video Q & A on “What Strategy is Best: More Links or More Content?” at Vertical Measures.

Michael Weissman discusses “Why Brand Managers Fail (and How to Get Back in the Driving Seat)” at Danny Brown’s blog.

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone posts her podcast interview, “Create Contagious Content: Author Jonah Berger Talks to Marketing Smarts” at MarketingProfs.

Andy Crestodina and Gini Dietrich co-author “The ABCs of Marketing Jargon” at Spin Sucks.

Amy C. Teeple discusses website content with “Move past the hype” at SEO Copywriting.

Lara Albert discusses “4 Ways Analytics Are Changing Mobile Customer Engagement” at Target Marketing.

Meghan Keaney Anderson discusses “What Mobile Buyers Are REALLY Doing on Your Website” at HubSpot.

Citing Ooyala’s latest 2013 Q2 Global Video Index report, Carla Marshall posts “Online Video Consumption Continues To Grow: Mobile, Table Use Booms” at ReelSEO.

Jake Larsen posts “The Truth About Viral Videos That Nobody’s Talking About” at iMedia Connection.

Reporting from SES San Francisco, Megan Demarais posts “Atone For Your Email Sins: 11 Quick Tips To Edify & Enlighten…” at aimClear.

Nicolette Beard discusses “How to Use Email Marketing to Engage & Convert Customers” at TopRank.

Jon Miller posts “Here’s How to Maintain Your Email Marketing List for Engagement and Better Deliverability” at Marketo.

Nathaniel Mott posts “Chat’s influence on email extends to the desktop with Unibox” at PandoDaily.

Chris Kilbourn posts “38 Ways Ecommerce Sites can Grab the Upcoming Holidays by the Horns” at KISSmetrics.

Seth Godin continues his Q & A series with “Linchpin: Will they miss you?” at his blog.


(John Hall lists a number of great conferences for online marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs at Forbes).


SEO & Search

Barbara Starr discusses “10 Reasons Why Search Is In Vogue: Hot Trends In Semantic Search” at Search Engine Land.

Reporting from SES San Francisco, Jessica Lee posts “Recovering from Penalties, Penguin, and Panda” at Search Engine Watch.

Barry Schwartz posts “Google’s Matt Cutts On What To Do If Your Site Was Hit By Panda” at Search Engine Land.

Mark Ballard posts “Google Query Data Disappearing at an Unprecedented Rate, a Breakdown” at RKG Blog.

Jill Whalen discusses “How Your Site Architecture and Website Navigation Affect SEO” at High Rankings.

Andreas Pouros discusses “Infinite scroll: its impact on SEO and how to fix it” at Econsultancy.

Heather Lloyd-Martin posts “Your home page isn’t the (only) problem” at SEO Copywriting.

Eric Enge posts “Study Shows No Clear Evidence That Google+ Drives Ranking” at Search Engine Land.

Barry Adams posts “SEO Correlation Studies: Are We Looking At Them Wrong?” at State of Search.

Jason Acidre shares “12 Scalable Link-Building Tactics” at Moz.

Barry Schwartz reports “Google: Unlinked URLs Are A Source For Indexing New Content” at Search Engine Land.

Eric Ward posts “Is Google Putting Less Emphasis on Links as Part of Their Algorithm?” at Search Engine Watch.

Julie Joyce posts “When Looking For Links, How Can You Predict A Site’s Future?” at Search Engine Land.

Scott Brinker discusses “Marketing Metrics & Quantum Physics” at Marketing Land.

Katie Elizabeth posts “Busted: Six SEO Myths and Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them” at Level 343.

Kristi Hines discusses “How Google Analytics Dashboards Can Make Your Life Easier” at KISSmetrics.

Robert Miller posts “Google Just Upped the Digital Analytics Ante, Yet Again” at ClickZ.

Rob Walling discusses “7 Critical Questions For Analyzing SEO Keywords” at Raventools.

John Jantsch shares “8 Alternatives to Google Keyword Tool” at Duct Tape Marketing.

Citing Searchmetrics rankings report, Ayaz Nanji posts an infographic on “Search Ranking Factors 2013: What Does Google Look For?” at MarketingProfs.

Marlene Oliveira interviews Heather Lloyd-Martin with “SEO copywriting for nonprofits…” at Nonprofit MarCommunity.

Taylor Corrado discusses “6 Flaws Your Nonprofit’s Mobile Website Should Never Have” at HubSpot.

Peter DaVanzo discusses “Design Thinking For SEO” at SEO Book.

Kara Pernice posts “Designing Effective Carousels: Create a Fanciful Amusement, Not a House of Horrors” at Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox.

Greg Sterling reports “Bing Gains New Logo, UI, Page Zero Links, Snapshot & Pole Position Answers” at Search Engine Land.

David Mihm posts “The 2013 Local Search Ecosystems (and a GetListed Upgrade) at Moz.

Barry Schwartz reports “Google AdWords Conversion Import Tracks Offline Sales” at Search Engine Roundtable.

Dimitri Konchin shares “Some Highly Important Information To Read Before Your PPC Campaign!” at Viral Mom.


  • SMX East 2013 returns to New York City, October 1st thru the 3rd.
  • PubCon Las Vegas 2013 is on for October 22nd thru the 25thEarly bird savings of $400 thru October 20th!


Social Media Marketing

Brian Solis posts “Twitter Files for IPO – What it means for users, investors, and social media.”

Matt McGee reports “Facebook Tests Auto-Play News Feed Videos, But Advertisers Have To Wait” at Marketing Land.

Bill Drolet posts “Will Video Ads Sink Facebook? Social Media Giant Faces User Backlash” at ReelSEO.

“Facebook Ad Changes” headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Alex Kantrowitz reports “FTC Sets Sights on Native Advertising, But Outcome Unclear” at Ad Age.

Sarah Kessler discusses “4 Persuasion Tricks Facebook Uses To Keep You From Quitting” at Fast Company.

Scott Ayres discusses “5 Reasons Why Your Facebook Page for Business Needs Help” at Maximize Social Business.

Kristi Hines posts “32 Experts Share Their Best Blog Post Promotion Tips” at Kikolani.

Josh McCoy posts “To Blog, or Not to Blog” at Search Engine Watch.

Stephanie Sammons discusses “How to Build a LinkedIn Marketing Plan that Delivers Ongoing Results” at Social Media Examiner.

Jay Baer shares “7 Lessons From the Front Lines of the Social and Content Convergence” at Convince & Convert.

Gabriella Sannino discusses Twitter for international marketers with “How To Use Twitter in Social Media” at Level 343.

Jeff Bullas shares “10 Smart Tips for Creating, Marketing and Sharing Content on Twitter” at his blog

Ian Cleary shares “45 Social Media Tools and Tips to Improve Your Marketing” at Social Media Examiner.

Tom Pick discusses “Five Marketing Metrics that are Definitely NOT Worthless” at Webbiquity.

Stephen Monaco discusses “How to Draw Meaningful Conclusions from Social Media Metrics” at Convince & Convert.

Belle Beth Cooper posts “The 7 Biggest, Counterintuitive Social Media Mistakes You May be Making” at The Buffer Blog.

Steve Young shares “5 Clever Ways to Get Customer Reviews That Convert” at Crazy Egg.

Blake Jonathan Boldt posts “If you don’t establish your online reputation, who will?” at Trackur.


(For an all-in-one listing and description of social media, content & inbound marketing events, check out Neal Schaffer’s “The 12 Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2013” at Social Media Today.)

photo thanks to Seattle Municipal Archives

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A 3-step outreach strategy for (new) SEO content creators

Jon Ball shares a 3-step process for content promotion for new SEO copywritersPublishing content is thrilling, exciting, and a little nerve wracking. There’s a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and even perhaps, vulnerability.

Creating content can be a very revealing process – we share our thoughts, opinions, abilities and general self. At its core it’s a very unfiltered process. But content creation is no time to be shy – the goal of creating anything is ultimately to share that creation with the world.

That’s why outreach is so extremely vital to content creation, and ultimately intertwined with publication. Because if it’s worth the effort of publishing, it’s certainly worth sharing – which can be unfortunately under-emphasized when creative individuals first start creating great content.

Whether it’s a fear of asking, a certain shyness, or the belief that good content will naturally be shared, there’s a multitude of reasons creators don’t outreach to others after publication.

But I implore you – if you’re creating content, you should be spending a healthy amount of time outreaching that same content, asking for feedback, a social share, or even a link.

There are ways to outreach tactfully and respectfully, which can help you garner important industry relationships and contacts. So, to help propel you down the path of content advocate, here’s an outreach checklist after content publication.

1) Defining an Audience – Who Should You Contact?

Outreach is the antithesis of shyness. It’s better to create a large list and whittle it down, if need be, than to create but a handful of contacts.

Before you can even begin to start an outreach campaign based around soon to publish or recently published content, you need to define who your audience is, who will be interested in your content, and who will merely be receptive.

Although who you reach out to is always influenced by your content, as a general rule of thumb you should be contacting:

  • Anyone involved or participating in the content (such as an interview, for example)
  • Anyone mentioned, associated with, or affected by the content
  • Anyone who’s previously participated, created, or associated with similar content in the past
  • Influencers within the industry
  • Prior relationships within your industry (the earlier the better – think feedback)
  • Anyone you wish to build a relationship with.

Creating a list based upon these factors should give you a doozy of a list for potential outreach – especially if it’s content worth sharing.

From here, it’s time to be realistic. Outreach should always be finely targeted initially to a core group of those most likely to be receptive. Targeted outreach to kick off an outreach campaign is an extremely underrated leveraging tool.

The goal is to land the most likely big name prospects to start with. If you can name drop a few influencers, experts, or general big industry names within the rest of your outreach you’ve guaranteed yourself a higher response rate.

Beyond even that, those initial successes can create a sharing circle that may well hit potential outreach targets before you do – thereby giving your outreach further credence.

If and when you’ve received a positive response from your targeted list it’s time to move on to less likely targets – those who probably aren’t as interested in your content, but might be influenced to care by industry names conveniently included in your outreach.

The priority should look something like:

influencers/experts likely to respond>prior relationships>those involved or participating>similar content associations>influencers/experts not likely to respond>anyone mentioned, associated, or affected>potential relationships.

The concept is to build as much authority as possible as you move down the list. This increases the odds that those you contact, as they become less relevant or likely to care, won’t be annoyed at the general intrudance, but in fact be grateful for being included in your outreach process since other important people were also included and responded.

Social proof should never be underestimated.

2) Creating an organized outreach list

Although ideally done before or during the content creation, if you haven’t yet formed a list of outreach contacts you’ll absolutely want to assemble one prior to starting the actual outreach, after you’ve defined your audience.

There’s a variety of tools that can help form and manage an outreach list, including:

Google documents is completely free, with Excel being free if already installed (or you have MS Office). Buzzstream and Raven both scale based upon pricing plans.

Personally, I’ve found that unless the project is fairly large I can get by with Google docs just fine. It’s simple, shareable, and easy to use and manipulate. Pretty much everything I need from an ordered list of outreach contacts. Google docs is a great place for beginners to start.

Organization of the list can boil down to personal preference – do you want a thorough list with a multitude of layers of information, or a minimalistic list to keep it easy to read and quick to navigate?

Here’s what a typical outreach list looks like when I’m building a Google doc outreach form:

First Outreach List Example


I started with the result, to ensure maximum visibility and scanability. After that comes the name of the contact, their email, social media, website, our relationship, and three attempts at outreach – the third switching to social media.

This should keep the list well organized as you move through your outreach, but minimalistic enough to ensure ease of use.

Note as well that I froze the first row, so that as I scrolled down through the contacts I was able to keep the identifying information on top (and bolded).

Here’s a screenshot showing how to do so:

Outreach freeze row



The result, name of contact, email, social media and relationship should all be pretty self explanatory.

Those unfamiliar with outreach might wonder why three outreach attempts. Three is important because:

  • Any more and you run the risk of becoming annoying and/or flagged as spam
  • The first should be personalized, explain the point of the email succinctly, and have a call to action.
  • The second outreach attempt should be a simple follow up, two or three sentences max, attached to the first email, with another short call to action – ie “Emailed you on (date) and wanted to check in that you saw it. Are you interested?”
  • The third outreach attempt will be a switch to social media – again a short notification and call to action.

If you’re only going to attempt a single outreach, you’re better off not wasting your time outreaching – your response rate is bound to be dismal. People are inundated with email and information overload anymore. Your goal should be to contact them in a useful, brief, informative manner without causing further annoyance.

Three is few enough to typically fall short of annoying, while maximizing the chance of them reading, engaging, and responding.

The switch to social media on the third attempt will also help with email fatigue, while offering forward the social proof of your identity (assuming your social media presence is established).

3) The Outreach Process

This has been covered brilliantly a few times, most recently by Stephany Beadell of SEER and Richard Marriott of Clambr, both of which I strongly recommend you read.

To boil down their – along with quite a few other outreach expert’s – advice, here’s what you should know:

  • Be short and to the point, focusing on your message, it’s value, and always ending with a singular call to action.
  • Be human – templates are fine, but your goal for every outreach should be to be as human as possible.
  • Make it easy to respond to – yes or no if possible – and quick to reply.
  • Make sure you’re outreaching to the right people, in a targeted order.
  • Don’t thank someone just for reading your email – although you can and should thank them when and if they do reply, share, or link.
  • Follow up as appropriate – I use a personalized first email, an extremely short follow up email two to three days after the first, and then a final switch to social media if I still haven’t received a response.
  • Don’t get dejected – the online world is fast paced, busy, and noisy. You’ll never have 100% of people respond to your outreach, which means someone important will always slip through the cracks.

Remember, we don’t live on an island. The internet is a fun, crazy, crowded place. You’ll never be noticed if you don’t make some noise yourself. So the next time you’ve created some content worth sharing, and are set to publish, don’t skimp on the outreach campaign. Because without a little elbow grease to get feedback, social shares, and even links, you’ll never get off the ground, nor build any lasting, beneficial relationships.

The internet is no place to be shy.


After (or before, if possible) publication, you should prepare to outreach by:

1. Define your audience – who’s interested in your content?

a. Anyone involved or participating in the content

b. Anyone mentioned, associated with, or affected by the content

c. Anyone who’s previously participated, created, or associated with similar content in the past

d. Influencers within the industry

e. Prior relationships within your industry

f. Anyone you wish to build a relationship with

2. Create a usable, organized outreach list

a. There are a variety of tools, but beginners might want to start with Google docs

3. The outreach process

a. Be short and to the point, with a singular call to action

b. Be human and respectful

c. Begin with a targeted audience, who you can later cite as social proof

d. Follow up as appropriate, and quick to respond

e. Don’t get dejected – you’ll never get a 100% response rate


About the AuthorJon Ball

Jon Ball is VP of Business Development for Page One Power. Jon specializes in the implementation of highly effective link building strategies for clients across the globe. In his previous life he was a professional portrait photographer, and still passionately pursues photography. Page One Power is a link building firm that focuses on relevancy and transparency.


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