New SEO Copywriting Certificate Program

For those who didn’t see the Twitter sneak preview announcement yesterday, I’m excited to announce the release of my new SEO Copywriting Certificate Program.  I’ve copied the press release here – enjoy!

New SEO copywriting certificate program teaches marketers, SEO companies and copywriters how to write optimized Web copy.

Portland, OR (PRWEB) January 13, 2010 — Heather Lloyd-Martin, CEO and President of SuccessWorks Search Marketing, Inc., www.seocopywriting.com, and immediate past chair of the Direct Marketing Association’s Search Engine Marketing Council, announced the launch of the SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certificate Program. The certificate program is designed to teach marketers, SEO companies, advertisers, small business owners and copywriters how to increase conversion rates, build community, and gain better search rankings through the power of content marketing.

Heather Lloyd-Martin says, “In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are searching for low-cost ways to develop the SEO skills they need to succeed. After over 12 years of teaching audiences around the world about SEO copywriting, I’m confident that my SEO Copywriting Certificate Program will help companies see greater revenue from their SEO campaigns.”

The SEO Copywriting Certificate Program is an online training program with unlimited access to eight lessons, available in PDF format, plus MP3 audio. The program is designed specifically to train in-house employees in 90 days or less. Participants will learn:

  • How to research their competition and develop a content marketing SWOT analyis
  • How to uncover their firm’s unique benefits and create hard-hitting benefit statements
  • How to develop a compelling tone and feel that drives conversion rates
  • How to find the right keyphrases for their campaign
  • How to successfully integrate keyphrases into their Web copy
  • How to create sizzling Titles that scream “click me” from the search engine results page
  • Proven methods to analyze every page of a website for potential pitfalls
  • New ways their company can leverage new and existing content
  • And more!

Additionally, participates will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the 90-day program.

The investment for this program is minimal. Live conferences cost between $1,400 and $2,000. The SEO Copywriting Certificate Program is significantly less, only $599. Plus employees don’t have to miss work or spend company dollars on travel and hotel expenses.

Also, participants receive, at no additional charge:

  • Access to six, 30-minute group conference calls (two per month) where Heather Lloyd-Martin answers questions and guides listeners through any challenges they face ($2,999 value)
  • Exclusive admission to the members-only forum for 90 days ($90 value)
  • Workbook lessons so they can practice what they’ve learned ($97 value)

Satisfied client Dan Walton of Studio Blue Pilates in Portland, OR says, “We were going to pay a firm over $5,000 to help us. Then, I met with Heather and she taught me how to write Web pages and research keyphrases for under $600. Within a matter of weeks I saw my client base increase by 20%! Heather is amazing at what she does. I’m forever grateful.”

Visit seocopywriting.com/seo-copywriting-certification/ to learn more about SuccessWorks’ SEO Copywriting Certificate Program and view a video message from Heather Lloyd-Martin.

January SEO content marketing challenge: Create an editorial calendar

Happy New Year! By now, you are probably knee-deep in emails, phone calls and a to-do list that seemed manageable before the break. But now. Not so much.

Sound familiar?

As early as the first week in January, it’s easy to let our good intentions (and resolutions) fall by the wayside. You may have swore to yourself and anyone else who would listen that you’d post three blog posts a week. And now you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to write a blog post – much less figure out what I’d write about.”

And yet again, your content marketing plan falls by the wayside.

I get it. I really do. Heck, I don’t know how many times I’ve meant to write a blog post – and then a client calls, the day is wacky, or (and I bet this sounds familiar,) I just don’t feel like writing.

This year, 2010, is the year to get over it. Here’s the secret to making it happen: Create an editorial calendar.

I’ve waxed poetic before on the benefits of editorial calendars. Basically, what they entail is sitting down and planning what you’ll write about, who’s responsible for the writing, and when you’ll upload the work. Editorial calendars force you to get your ideas out of your head and on paper. They force you to plan in advance (which is challenging for many “write by the seat of their pants” writers.) And they force you (or your writers) to be accountable. After all, if you have a blog post on, say, creating editorial calendars due on Tuesday – and you’ve known about this deadline for awhile – you don’t have much of an excuse to say, “I don’t have time.”

Creating a calendar is simple. Some people use their Outlook calendars to plan. Other people use spreadsheets. Plan on spending at least an hour every month researching the latest and greatest information in your industry, reviewing your site for pages that need updating and developing content ideas. Maybe you know that you’ll need to write at least two sales pages this month. Or you plan to create an article every week. The point is to get all plans down on paper so you can look at a calendar and immediately say, “If it’s Thursday, that means I’m writing the new home page.” Or, if you’re an editor working with multiple writers, you can instantly see who is writing what article and the associated deadlines.

The main kickback I get when I talk about “editorial calendars” is the time argument. If you are already time-strapped (and really, who isn’t,) spending an hour plus every month on “planning” can often make you feel like you should be doing something different. Say, responding to the 50 emails waiting for you. Or updating your Facebook status.

But the reality is, editorial calendars not only save you time – they can actually make you money. I’ve seen clients sit on old, stagnant pages for years because they “didn’t have time” to update them. However, the problem wasn’t one of time. It was overwhelm. Once they sat down, generated a content calendar and created a gameplan, they could more easily integrate the writing tasks into their normal day-to-day.

The result? Piping-hot fresh content that helps drive traffic and – more importantly – conversions. Isn’t that worth an hour a month?

So for this month’s SEO content marketing challenge, create an editorial calendar. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You could literally take a monthly calendar, hand-write in the writing deliverables and deadlines, and zip it to other folks on your team. That’s it.

And hey, I’m taking my own medicine this month. Before I started writing this post, I printed out a January 2010 calendar page and scribbled in my blog post topics through January 28th. Was it hard to sit for an hour and plan? Yes. Do I feel much, much better. You bet. Organization can be freeing like that.

Go ahead, try it. And let me know how it goes. It won’t be as painful as it sounds. Really.

Coming soon, I’ll be announcing my new SEO copywriting certificate program. If you manage folks who are great writers, but need to learn the SEO copywriting ropes – or if you’re looking for an in-house gig and want to differentiate yourself from other competitors – completing a certificate program could be the perfect solution. DM me on Twitter for more info, or contact me here!

View my SEO copywriting presentation from SES Chicago

7 Steps to SEO Copywriting SuccessSES Chicago was one fun conference.

For the first time this year, audience members seemed hopeful. Maybe it’s because 2009 is drawing to a close. Maybe it’s because the recession is (finally) unhinging it’s iron-locked jaws off everyone’s pocketbooks. Whatever the reason, the SEO copywriting session I did with @byronwhite was darn near standing-room only. Not to mention, the audience was fantastic!

For those who missed it, here’s my presentation from the “45 Minute Copywriting Boot Camp” session. Enjoy!

PubCon presentation: Real-world winning tactics for content creation

Picture 11Couldn’t make it to PubCon (or were there so many fantastic sessions that you couldn’t hit them all?). For those who missed it, here’s my presentation from last week’s “Real World Winning Tactics For Content Creation” session.  I discuss how to improve existing sites and how to leverage the power of content for better search rankings and conversions. Enjoy (and zip me at tweet at @heatherlloyd if you have any questions!).

New SEO copywriting and content marketing blog for Target Marketing Magazine

Picture 8Well, it’s official!

My new Target Marketing Magazine blog about SEO copywriting and content marketing has finally hit the streets. I wrote my first post on the way home from DMA ’09 – a conference, where I (sadly) saw marketer after marketer ignoring their content marketing strategy.

Check it out, read, comment and enjoy! C’mon – I’d love to hear from you!

Double shot SEO content marketing sale – save $200 on SEO copywriting training and reporting!

Double shot SEO Content SaleWondering what’s wrong with your SEO content marketing campaign – and more importantly, how to fix it?

No problem. I’ve got you covered – and you can even save $200 today!

Because of your fantastic feedback (thank you!), I’m launching the Double Shot SEO Content Marketing Sale (I know, I know – I just had to include a coffee reference!) The Double Shot SEO Content Marketing Sale includes:

I’m running this limited-time, $200 off sale for a limited time – learn more about the Double Shot SEO Content Marketing Sale now!

DMA09 – Join us for the SuccessWorks Search Marketing Labs

dma_09Heading to DMA09 in San Diego?  SuccessWorks will be running the Search Marketing Experience Labs on Tuesday, October 20th.  I’ll be evaluating Websites with other experts including Lee Odden from TopRank Online Marketing, Kenny Hyder from Rockstar Consultants and Khalid Saleh from Invesp.

This is a great opportunity to get (free!) advice on your SEO content marketing strategy, conversion effectiveness, technical SEO and social media campaign. Join us!

SEO copywriting on WebmasterRadio.FM’s SEM Synergy

sem-synergyWant to learn more about SEO copywriting?  The always-wonderful Virginia Nussey from Bruce Clay, Inc. interviewed Heather on the importance of SEO copywriting and content marketing. In 10 fast-paced minutes, we discussed psychology’s role in SEO copywriting, the one big content takeaway from SMXEast and our new online SEO copywriting training.

Enjoy the podcast about SEO copywriting and on page content now!

Special pre-launch price – online SEO copywriting training

SEO copywriting trainingJust in time for SMXEast, I’m excited to pre-launch my new SEO copywriting training (officially starting October 12, 2009.) I’ve been talking to a lot of folks who need training – but they need more than a book or a blog to get them through. They need hands-on help combined with up-to-the-minute information. That’s where the training comes in.

If you’ve wanted to learn how to write for search engines – but need some one-on-one help and a low-cost alternative – this is the perfect resource for you. Here’s why:

Here’s what you’ll receive in the online SEO copywriting training:

  • 24/7 access to my exclusive SEO copywriting training for one full year, including the second edition of my book, Successful SEO Copywriting (over 130 pages chock-full of SEO copywriting information) podcasts, exercises, PowerPoints, special reports and more!
  • Expert answers to your questions through the SEO copywriting forum.
  • Exclusive access to twice-monthly educational conference calls with Heather Lloyd-Martin and other members of the SuccessWorks faculty.

This is the only low-cost SEO copywriting course that gives you one on one help AND is constantly updated with the latest information.

All this for less than $1.35 a day. It’s SEO copywriting training on your terms!

The online SEO copywriting training is a “living document” – meaning we’ll be updating it with new podcasts and PowerPoints – so you’ll always be up to date with the latest information, strategies and tactics. I’ll also have other SEO copywriters create special reports (one is in the works right now about managing multiple writers) so you can learn what’s worked for other people just like you.

We’re soft-launching the training at a special discounted price – so sign up now for the best rate! And just let me know if you have any questions!

Learn more about the SEO copywriting training here!  And ping me if you’d like an additional 10% super-secret discount, good this week only.

The #1 Deadliest SEO Copywriting Sin

dreamstime_7297345Recently, a couple blog posts have focused on the “deadly sins” of SEO copywriting and content marketing.  Michelle Bowles from TopRank Marketing showcases five tips for avoiding deadly SEO copywriting sins. GrokDotCom reminds us that “Nobody wants to read your sh**! These articles are funny, informative and (for some) may hit very close to home.

Yet, I was surprised that no-one pointed out the #1 SEO copywriting sin. And that’s creating keyphrase-stuffed copy.

I’ve ranted about this SEO copywriting sin before. Somehow, people really do believe that SEO copywriting means seeing how many times you can force-feed a keyphrase into site copy. They aren’t worried about creating a customer persona. They aren’t worried about developing persuasive benefit statements. Heck, they aren’t even worrried about their online image (after all, keyphrase-stuffed copy tends to read like it was written by a third grader.) Instead, it’s all keyphrases – all the time. And as a result, conversions suffer.

If you’re guilty of this sin (and a lot of companies are, both big and small,) here’s how you can repent:

  • Locate your “most sinful” pages. They may be the articles you paid $15 for that repeat your main keyphrase over and over. It may be your home page that you made more “keyphrase heavy” in an attempt at a higher ranking. Simply start out by figuring out what pages could use a rewrite – and you can develop the editorial plan later.
  • Find a new writer (or train your existing one.) Some writers keyphrase-stuff their copy because they honestly don’t know any better. If you’re working with a in-house writer, it may make more sense to sign her up for a SEO copywriting training or conference to refine her skills. If the “sinful” writing was created by an outsourced professional, consider hiring someone else. If you’re paying good money for SEO copywriting services, you deserve to have a quality product.
  • Plan your writing/editing schedule. Rewriting Web pages just feels overwhelming, doesn’t it? After all, once you’ve created them, it seems frustrating that you’d have to create them again. The rewriting process goes much more smoothly if you figure on rewriting X pages a month, rather than thinking you have 50 pages to ravamp right now.
  • Review your keyphrases again before you start writing. Don’t assume that they keyphrases you currently have on the page are the “right” ones.  Depending on the person who did your keyphrase research and how long it’s been since you’ve done it, there could be a plethora of more targeted phrases you could use. Once you’ve chosen your per-page keyphrases, it’s always a good idea to spot-check them in Bing and Google to see the other results that come up. Sometimes, what seems like the “perfect” keyphrase may not be as relevant as you think.
  • Consider other SEO content marketing strategies to help reinforce your keyphrase relevancy. Once reason people keyphrase stuff is because they want a high ranking on that phrase – but they do that at the expense of what their copy sounds like. Remember that you can create blog posts, articles, press releases, FAQ pages and other Web page that contain your “money” keyphrases – and seeding the phrase throughout your site will help increase relevancy.
  • Always, always write copy for your customers -not the search engines. I guarantee you that neither Bing nor Google cares about the money you make from your Web site (unless it’s being moved to their side of the table.) But you do. You care a lot. If you want your Web pages to both position well and convert, take the time to write your pages right the first time (or hire a SEO copywriter who will.) Develop your competitive analysis. Figure out what’s in it for your customer. Work with your benefit statements. Develop an engaging tone and feel – whatever that means to your audience. The hardest part of SEO copywriting is preparing to write. Believe me, once you have this part down – the rest will flow easily. And you’ll have the perfect combination of well-written, keyphrase-rich content that converts like crazy.