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Greetings! Today’s web writing video post answers a question from the SEO Copywriting LinkedIn group: “How can I tell if an SEO copywriting tip is legit?”
An excellent question, as the online world is thick with misinformed SEO “advice.” Join Heather as she discusses how to judge if that “expert SEO tip” is legit or flat-out b.s.
Beware the B.S.: In this particular instance, the writer was told most adamantly that according to some online source, bullet points would hurt search engine rankings, to which Heather replies:
- No, bullet points
- Will not hurt
- Your search engine rankings
- I promise. :)
This kind of “expert” stuff is everywhere online, and much of it is simply not true. Bullet points will not hurt search engine rankings. And p.s., there is no magic keyphrase formula, keyword density or ideal word count for search engines. Heather has addressed these and other prevailing misconceptions about SEO before, including her posts on SEO copywriting myths and SEO Keyword Density. (The corresponding video on SEO Copywriting Myths is on the SEO Copywriting YouTube Channel).
So how do you distinguish the sound information from the b.s.? Here are three tips for evaluating those online tips…
Tip #1: Who said it and where? Consider the source.
- When you come across that SEO tip or news that makes you say “hmmmmm…” stop and consider the source.
For instance, if the person who broke the news or made the claim is from a credible site such as Search Engine Land and is a recognized authority, then yes, the information is definitely worth considering and investigating further.
On the other hand, if the source is “Bob’s Copywriting Blog,” and you know nothing about this Bob person, or if you’re finding that Bob hasn’t been in the industry that long and you haven’t heard anything about him, then the credibility of Bob’s information is questionable.
Tip #2: Do other experts back up the claim?
- Regardless of who makes the claim, do a bit of research: are other experts backing it up?
- Are you going to other authority sites and finding the same information repeated over and over?
If you’re finding that yes, this is a claim or technique that is working and has a record of success, then you may want to pay attention to that information.
One of the typical issues with an SEO tip is that while the person sharing it may have found success with the technique on their own site, it doesn’t necessarily transfer well to sites across the board. You’ll want to make sure others have realized success with the technique on their sites.
Tip #3: If in doubt, ask a consultant before implementing the strategy.
- This is especially important if you’re looking at a technique or strategy that might dramatically change your page or site structure.
- The last thing you want to do is implement a strategy you found online, and then find that it’s not the best thing to do for your site.
A recent post-Panda technique that got a lot of press and received much online attention was HubPages’ use of sub-domains. For HubPages, breaking out key pages into sub-domains proved a successful way — for them — to work around Google Panda.
Understandably, your first instinct might be “oh wow – I have to do that too!” But again, this is an example of one of those techniques that you find online that might have worked well for one company, but is not necessarily going to work for your site. Or, equally important, the hot new strategy may take so much time and effort to implement that it doesn’t make sense for your business model.
A consultant can help you evaluate whether or not a new strategy or technique is advisable for you and your unique set of circumstances.