SEO content marketing roundup, week ending July 4th

In the U.S., today’s a holiday – Independence Day – like no other. It’s extremely loud, lasts more like 3 days before folks run out of their favorite explosives, and is responsible for the perennial flight of countless domestic animals from their domiciles out of sheer terror. But we still light off the fireworks – and earn our share of ER and local jail visits – in that annual spasm of patriotism reliving that war of independence from the British. (No offense, British friends – think we’re past that now – and besides, we’re the ones stuck with an impossible national anthem.)

So if the obligatory BBQ and the cacophony of jolting booms are getting to be tiresome, why not hole up with your terrified pet and check out this week’s web gems? Enjoy!

Content Marketing

Chelsea Blacker posts a bookmark-worthy list of the “Top 37 Content Marketers & Strategists on Twitter” at Quaturo.

Joe Pulizzi discusses “The Power of Content Strategy” at Convince & Convert.

Lee Odden pens a five-star post on content marketing and curation with “Content Marketing: Curation, Repurposing & Collective Social Wisdom” at Top Rank.

Mark Schaefer discusses “Why Crowdsourcing is the Future of Content Marketing” at Businesses {Grow}.

Neil Patel posts “The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Positive Brand Image for Online Reputation Management” at KISSmetrics.

Heather Lloyd-Martin discusses website content fails with “3 Web writing no-no’s to avoid” at SEO Copywriting.

Shelly Bowen discusses “Writing Content for Your Website (Without Fear)” at Pybop.

Jahnelle (J.R.) Pittman walks readers through the process of “Setting Up Your Self-Hosted Site for Business” at Level 343.

Citing research by Dynamic Logic, eMarketer reports that “Women Embrace Contextually Relevant Ads.”

Predatory online advertising: it’s not just for Google anymore. Check out this first-hand account of Angie’s List’s bad behavior by Marianne Sweeny at Portent.

Greg Jarboe posts the most interesting “eHow Shows Critics How to Create a High Quality Content Farm” at Search Engine Watch.

Michael Silverman posts a case study on finding an audience for your online community pre-launch, at Content Marketing Institute.

Jonah Deaver posts “Content Creation: Why You Should Stop Thinking Customer First” at Vertical Measures.


SEO & Search

Barry Schwartz reports that Google has announced that it will be discontinuing iGoogle (“Once Google’s Fastest Growing Product”) on November 1, 2013, among other “spring cleaning” Google product removals, at Search Engine Land.

Schwartz also reports on Blekko’s announcement of its “Fresher Index For SEO Purposes,” and touting of its free SEO tools, again at Search Engine Land.

Nichola Stott posts “9 Questions to Shape and Future-Proof Your Link Building Strategy” in the “post-Penguin world” at Search Engine Watch.

Heather Lloyd-Martin addresses the small business owner with limited resources with “9 SEO copywriting questions every small business should ask” at SEO Copywriting.

Citing a new report from Monetate, Marketing Charts posts “Search Still Dominates Social, Email as E-Commerce Traffic Driver.”

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly research chart compares marketing wisdom with actual marketing practice with “Does your organization have an inbound strategy?”

Wanna know “what is really going on over at Google?” Jennifer Horowitz posts a smartly-written “Farmers, Pandas, Penguins Oh My!” at Level 343.

Ben Goodsell discusses Google’s “specific SEO friendly recommendations” for a mobile SEO strategy at Search Engine Watch.

David Angotti reports that “Google Claims $80 Billion of Economic Impact on [the] U.S. Economy” at Search Engine Journal.

Jenny Halasz reviews “Three Free Keyword Research Tools” at Search Engine Land

Lee Odden posts wise words with “Break Free of Bad SEO Advice – Optimize for Customers” at Top Rank.

What does the FDA have to do with SEO? Sarah Clacher posts “Great keyword phrases you can’t use: FDA regulations & SEO” at SEO Copywriting.

Eric Enge discusses “Simplifying the Tasks of Pruning Links” at Search Engine Watch.


Social Media Marketing

Twitter’s social (API) snobbery? Jon Mitchell astutely discusses how “In Closing Its Platform, Twitter Risks Destroying Its Community” at ReadWriteWeb.

Citing Facebook’s Q2 earnings report (disclosed in The Wall Street Journal), Jim Edwards posts that “Facebook Says That It Can Take A YEAR To Get Results From Its Ads” at Business Insider.

Josh Wolford reports that “Post-IPO, Five Times As Many Advertisers Say They’re Pulling Money Out Of Facebook” at WebProNews.

Jason Falls posts the most interesting “Infographics and the Science of Visual Communication” at Social Media Explorer.

Kipp Bodnar posts “21 Internet Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind” at HubSpot.

Tim Gray post “5 Creative Ways Businesses Are Using Google+ Hangouts” at Social Media Examiner.

Citing a recent industry report, Heidi Cohen discusses the key findings with “Premium Brands Don’t Get Social Media,” at her blog.

Jeff Bullas posts “5 Simple Steps to Marketing your Blog’s Content with Social Media.”

Vic Drabicky posts “ROI: The Most Dysfunctional Metric In Digital Marketing” at Marketing Land.


  • Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner will hold an online workshop on business blogging, “Blogging Fundamentals for Business,” beginning July 10th and running thru July 20th.

Trying to build your own copywriting business? Consider enrolling in the next Turn Content Into Cash Copywriting Business Bootcamp, at a special summer rate  of 30% off! Hurry, space is limited – the business-building begins Monday, July 16th!


photo thanks to bayasaa


Great keyword phrases you can’t use: FDA regulations & SEO

Just recently I received the keyword research from a client. For one of the products I’m working on, a natural supplement that cures yeast infections, his researcher dug up the term “yeast infection remedy” which has a global monthly search volume of 45,000 and a KEI (Keyword Effectiveness of) of .51 and the term “yeast infection home remedy” which has a global monthly search volume 12,100 and a KEI of .11.

Now any SEO copywriter would ordinarily be pretty happy about working on these terms – high search volume and relatively low competition.

And when I looked over the dozens of glowing testimonials for the product, I could see many of those thousands of searchers would be ecstatic to find my client’s product.

As a health writer of close to 15 years, I know how frustrating chronic yeast infections are. I also know how ineffective prescription and over-the-counter drugs are for dealing with chronic candida (yeast). Not to mention the terrible side effects they bring.

My client’s natural health supplement product page was the perfect page to satisfy these thousands of search queries.

However, despite all the factors that made these keyword phrases ideal, I had to pass them over...

I had to keep looking for keyword phrases.

Even more heartbreaking . . . by doing so I had to ignore those thousands of women looking for an effective natural treatment for yeast infection. Hopefully, they’ll find their way to the product pages I’m working on. But it wouldn’t be through these keyword phrases. Or at least not directly.

Because here’s the frustrating thing about working as an SEO copywriter in the natural supplements industry . . .

Many Good Keyword Phrases Are Illegal For Nutritional Supplement Copy

Legally, with a few exceptions, we can’t refer to diseases in our marketing copy.

I’d rather that refer to diseases in our marketing copy.  In 1994, a compromise piece of legislation was passed into law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). DSHEA acknowledged that natural products, many of them foods we eat with a history of safe use, did not need to go through the same regulatory process as the synthetic chemicals never before introduced to the human body that the pharmaceutical industry sold.

However, as part of this compromise, supplements were distinguished from drugs by defining drugs as the only substances that can cure, prevent or alleviate the symptoms of a disease. Despite literally hundreds of thousands of published studies showing they help with diseases, supplements can only be discussed with reference to how they support a normal, healthy structure or function in the body.

Violators of this distinction will first receive a warning letter from the Food And Drug Administration (FDA), advising them to change their marketing copy. And if they don’t make the changes within the 30-day time limit imposed by the FDA, they can be subject to fines, product seizure and worse.

Just recently, a family-owned supplement company endorsed by several autism groups experienced how bad this could get. Hundreds of parents had written letters to them about how effective their supplements were in helping their children. These supplements had been carefully developed by an MIT researcher for brain health and digestive health.

However, because the company violated DSHEA by mentioning autism in their descriptions, including the autism organization endorsements and the hundreds of testimonials from families, they received an FDA warning letter.  Upon receipt of this letter, they diligently began editing their website in order to meet FDA requirements. But because they had failed to remove all the glowing letters and testimonials from grateful parents within the 30-day deadline, armed FDA enforcement officers showed up at their business and seized not only their products but also all their computers and files.

Because of these legalities, writing SEO copy for supplement companies is fraught with difficulties. And it is something not to take lightly.

2 Ways To Get Good Traffic Despite FDA Restrictions

However, there are some ways to work within these regulations and still tap into some organic traffic.

The first way is to focus on the positive benefits of the product.

Any good copywriter focuses on benefits. With DSHEA, you have to focus on them specifically in a positive light.  Instead of optimizing for “arthritis cure” or “end joint pain”, optimize for “joint comfort”.  Instead of optimizing for “heart disease ” you optimize for “heart health”.

Sure, it’s not as satisfying. And you’ll have to pass over some great keyword phrases. But you can still get some pretty good search volume with this tactic and stay FDA compliant.

However, many companies use a second approach that allows them to optimize for these disease claims.

It’s called the two-click rule. While not coded into law, it’s a standard practice that so far seems to fit within DSHEA requirements.

Essentially, the two-click rule goes like this: As long as you keep references to disease claims two clicks away from any references to a branded product, it’s okay.

So while you may not be able to optimize a product page or even a category page for some of the keyword phrases that reference diseases, you can create a well-optimized article for these phrases. Then you need to make sure that there are no references to the branded product on the article page or on any pages it’s linked to.

While this still means a more convoluted pathway to converting organic visitors to customers, it allows nutritional supplement websites to optimize for certain disease claims.

To accommodate this rule, some manufacturers have gone as far to create separate educationally-focused websites where they can freely discuss their product’s ingredients. They can reference any research that demonstrates how these ingredients help with diseases.

While this helps pull traffic into their sites, it’s still hard to make the eventual connection that converts to a sale. So many ecommerce sites focus on capturing leads with an enticing optin offer.  They can eventually introduce these prospects to their product in follow-up email marketing.

In fact even the report and squeeze page can freely discuss the product ingredients’ effectiveness in combating a disease. As long as the branded product isn’t mentioned.

For example, a manufacturer can tap into the wealth of research demonstrating Vitamin D and probiotics help reduce the incidence and virulence of the flu. As long as no mention is made in the report of the branded formulation they sell that combines the two.

They can then introduce subscribers to this product in a subsequent email.

Some Cautions To Keep In Mind

While this rule is applied by many an ecommerce site, there are two cautions to keep in mind:

  1. The two-click rule is standard practice but it’s not coded into law. So while the FDA seems to be allowing this as a common practice, there is no legal code that protects you if the FDA decides to change their perspective.
  2. FDA lawyers I’ve consulted with also advise caution in the free report scenario. They advise that if you go this route, you need to make sure that the majority of the follow-up emails you send are educational – not promotional. Otherwise the FDA might make the case that you are using disease claims as part of your overall marketing message.

Finally, in general, I always advise my clients to secure the services of an FDA lawyer to review copy I write. And I include in my contract that while I strive to be FDA-compliant, I am not a legal expert and not liable for the legality of the copy I write for them.

There are many gray areas. And the FDA’s interpretation of what’s considered a disease claim often changes over time. For example, only a few years back, high cholesterol wasn’t considered a disease. That is, until the FDA defined high cholesterol as the disease, hypercholesterolemia. Now you cannot discuss it in marketing copy.

While your job is to write for compliance and be somewhat familiar with the restrictions, you should not be responsible for the ultimate assessment in whether the copy is legal or not. And if your client cannot or decides not to secure legal counsel, you need to make it clear that you are not ultimately responsible for the legality of the copy.

An Industry Desperate For Good SEO Copywriters

Ultimately, I love writing about nutritional supplements. I love digging into the science behind why they work and helping people find viable solutions that are healthy, safe, effective and affordable. My family has experienced remarkable cures thanks to what I’ve learned about supplements and nutrition.

However, I hate the fact that I cannot refer directly to the reams of published scientific evidence that support using supplements to treat diseases. If you write for nutritional supplement companies you will face this frustration as well. And trying to optimize copy for search engines only adds to this frustration.

But as I described here, there are ways to stay FDA compliant and get some of the message out. If you’re looking for an area to make your mark as a copywriter, it’s an industry full of companies with excellent products desperately looking for good SEO copywriters. Particularly ones who have some understanding of FDA restrictions and can work within them.

If you write for nutritional supplement companies and would like more clarification on the FDA regulations, I’ve put together a bunch of good FDA resources on my website.


Author of the ebook, How To Write Irresistible Copy For Nutritional Supplements, Sarah Clachar specializes in writing for natural health products. She has written for companies both large and small, B2B as well as B2C. For copywriters interested in learning more about getting into health copywriting, Sarah offers a free 14-day e-course, “How To Become A Freelance Health Copywriter.” In this course, Heather Lloyd Martin’s SEO copywriting course is one of the courses she most highly recommends to aspiring health copywriters. When she’s not writing for her clients, Sarah can be found with her husband and two children mountain biking, skiing and working on their small farm in the hills of northern New England.



photo thanks to Ephermeral Scraps





3 Web writing no-no’s to avoid

Greetings! In today’s how-to SEO copywriting video, Heather takes a different approach to her weekly “lesson” by discussing three Web writing mistakes to avoid.

If you’ve been following this weekly video post series by Heather, you know that she’s devoted much discussion to what you should do with online writing, such as what will help your make more money, get better rankings, and make your content more easily shared.

But today, Heather takes a different tact in discussing those things that you do not want to do when creating web content – and especially these three definite no-no’s. Tune in and see if you may be guilty of one of them…

In surfing the web, I continue to see these three fatal flaws in website content. If you have any of these terrible 3’s on your own site, now’s the time to go back and redress them!

1) Putting your company’s mission statement on your home page

The first thing that I notice – and especially on B2B sites, or sometimes on smaller business sites – is the tendency to put the company’s mission statement on the home page.

I understand that when a company has invested considerable time and resources into creating their mission statement that they want to share it with their readers. But the home page is not the best place to do that. Somewhere on the “About Us” section, perfect! But please, not on your home page.

  • Reality check: your audience doesn’t care.

And this is because what your site visitors are looking for is what’s in it for them: how can your company help solve whatever problem they have in the first place, for them to visit your site?

  • It won’t help you position better…nor will it “make more money”.

Putting your company’s mission statement on your home page will do nothing to make you more money, drive new business, or position better. Certainly, if it’s important to you, again, you can put that content in the “About Us” section. But leave it off the home page.

  • Focus your content on what you can do for your reader.

Speak to your readers and tell them exactly what it is you can do to help them.

2) Telling only part of the story…

The second thing I will see is where companies only want to tell part of the story. So you might have a services page that tells a little bit about the service, and then there’s “contact us for more details”.

In this instance, they’re only giving their reader peanuts – they’re not giving them the full story.  And there’s a couple of reasons for this that I hear:

  • Some people think that short, “incomplete” content will drive emails/leads.

The thinking here is that the site owner assumes that their readers will think ‘Oh wow! That sounds really interesting! I don’t know much about it, but now I really want to know! I’m going to contact them right now!  Nope. Doesn’t happen that way.

  • Other people are afraid of giving too much away.

I’ll hear this a lot in more competitive industries, when the business owner says ‘Well, we don’t want to have all of that information on our services page, because our competitors might copy us and then where will we be?’

The thing is that in order to get people to contact you, you have to give them a reason. Those sexy blurbs that don’t really tell the story probably won’t be enough to help increase your conversion rates, because folks usually want to make that your service is a good fit for them before they contact you.

  • The solution? Give your readers the information they need to know.

If you’re not sure about this solution, test it!

Send your readers to two different pages on an A/B split test, wherein the first you provide just a little bit of information, and the second you provide a more robust explanation. I’ll almost guarantee you that the page that provides more information will drive a higher quality and more motivated lead, and probably more leads altogether!

3) Writing “techie” content in order to sound smarter.

Finally, the third thing I see – and this is definitely a syndrome in the B2B world, although sometimes I’ll see it with B2C sites as well – is where companies have obviously told their copywriters to write “techie” content.

Why? Because they want to sound smart online.

Certainly, if you are targeting your site to highly technical people, you want to create content that appeals to them. So in that case, technical writing is perfectly okay!

  • It’s important that readers understand your content.

But if you’re trying to write over your readers’ heads just to sound smart, that’s probably going to backfire on you. At the end of the day, you need people to actually understand your content.

So remember:

  • Using big words and long sentences won’t impress most readers.

You also really need to think about this in terms of who comes to your site when they’re looking for vendors.

If you’re writing highly technical content, but the person visiting your site isn’t necessarily technical – such as an administrative assistant, or someone who needs to figure out if you’re a good fit for the company they work for – if you’re writing over their heads, they may think “Oh, I’m not sure this is a good fit, I don’t think I’m going to pass this along to my boss. I think I’m going to look for another source, instead.”

  • Your solution? Write for your target audience.

You want to write for your readers in a language that they will understand, and that in turn will definitely help you increase your time on site, and it will increase your conversion rates as well!

Thanks for joining this week’s SEO Copywriting video! Remember, if you have a question or topic suggestion, we’re all ears! Simply email Heather via [email protected] and she may well answer your question or address your topic next week! See you then!


If you are writing your own content and you’d like some tips about how to write Panda-safe and Penguin-safe content – and how to write for Google – simply sign up for the free SEO Copywriting Buzz Newsletter and download the How to Write for Google white paper – also free!


photo thanks to DanBrady











SEO content marketing roundup, week ending June 27th

In this week’s Web-writing news, content marketers are occupied with content creation and lead generation, SEO & search pro’s discuss link-building in the wake of Penguin, while social media marketers talk about using social sharing networks for business. Enjoy some of the best of the web with this week’s picks!

Content Marketing 

Tom Ewer posts the second edition of “The 100 Blogs You Need in Your Life” – an illustrious list – at Leaving Work Behind.

Shelly Kramer posts “5 Types of Blog Content That Drive Engagement” at V3 Integrated Marketing.

Lee Odden posts “The One Thing Killing Your Blog Outreach Pitching,” illustrated with a classic PR fail, at Top Rank.

Kaila Strong posts part 1 of “Compelling Content: Will You Survive the New Google Era,” referencing Google’s algorithm updates, at Vertical Measures.

Need fresh content ideas? Want more targeted Web traffic? Heather Lloyd-Martin’s weekly video post suggests a simple way to accomplish both goals at once, at SEO Copywriting.

Level 343 discusses “Online Marketing Strategies | More Content, Traffic and Prospects,” noting the “direct correlation among content, traffic and leads.”

Gini Dietrich shares “Six Steps to Creating Content that Generate Leads” at Spin Sucks.

Marketing Sherpa’s research chart of the week is about balancing (B2B) lead quality with quantity, with “Optimize landing pages for lead quality.”

Darren Rowse discusses going beyond mere “authority” with “Build Readership by Building Leadership” at ProBlogger.


SEO & Search

Barry Schwartz reports that it’s official: Google updated its Panda algorithm (now version 3.8) this past Monday, June 25th, at Search Engine Land.

Bharati Ahuja discusses Twitter’s new “expanded tweets” and “Twitter cards,” and the implications for search, content marketing and the semantic Web, at SEO Copywriting.

Avinash Kaushik discusses Europe’s recent “cookie /privacy” laws and the implications for digital data collection and analysis at Occam’s Razor.

Richard Baxter posts an in-depth discussion (and bonus HTML download and a step-by-step infographic) on conversion rate optimization at SEOmoz.

Jeff Slipko explains “How to Identify a Link Profile Susceptible to Google Penguin” at Search Engine Watch.

Sugar Rae Hoffman posts her 5th annual “Link Building with the Experts,” featuring a Q & A with the industry’s top link-building experts, at her new website, PushFire.

Barry Schwartz discusses the new link building industry for 2012 – link deletion – at Search Engine Roundtable.

At Blue Glass, Daniel Tynski posts his extensive interview with SEO Book’s Aaron Wall with “Unraveling Google’s Recent Updates: Interview with Aaron Wall.”

At SEO Book, Aaron Wall discusses Google’s decision to extend its vertical paid inclusion program to product search queries (“often driving most (if not all) of the organic search results below the fold”) with “Google Paid Inclusion: Buy a Top Ranking Today.”

Sujan Patel discusses the perception error of attributing SERP rankings directly to SEO with “The Problem with SEO: Mistaking Causation for Correlation” at Search Engine Journal.


Social Media Marketing

“LinkedIn Pages Allow Targeted Updates” headlines the latest edition of Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Candace Marks posts “Social Media Metrics That Matter” at Marketing Land.

Melissa Miller posts “The Recipe for Long-Term Social Media Marketing Success” at HubSpot.

Cheryl Burgess discusses social branding and brand advocacy with “Power of the Journey for Social Businesses” at Blue Focus Marketing.

Greg Finn reports that “[i]n it’s continued push to Google+-ify the internet, Google is launching +1 recommendations to all +1 buttons across the web,” at Marketing Land.

Jack Martin posts “How to Tweet Like You’re Not a Business,” offering seven tips for better business tweeting, at Portent.

Jason Fell posts an interview with Facebook Insider Sarah Smith on using the platform for business, with “Facebook’s Marketing Tools You Might Not Know About,” at Entrepreneur.

Retroactive remedy, from typo’s to remorse: Facebook now allows users to edit their comment history, reports Katy Ryan Schamberger at V3 Integrated Marketing (citing Daniel Ionsecu’s post at PC World).

Jeff Bullas discusses “10 Things You May Not Know About YouTube” at his blog.


  • Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner will hold an online workshop on business blogging, “Blogging Fundamentals for Business,” beginning July 10th and running thru July 20th. Register by this Friday, June 29th, for 50 percent off!

Trying to build your own copywriting business? Consider enrolling in the next Turn Content Into Cash Copywriting Business Bootcamp, at a special summer rate  of 30% off! Hurry, space is limited – the business-building begins Monday, July16th!


photo thanks to mrsdkrebs  (Denise Krebs)

Drive targeted Web traffic by answering questions

Welcome back! In today’s SEO copywriting video how-to, Heather shares a really fun content strategy that is especially attractive if you find yourself stuck for new ideas for fresh content: answering questions.

Not only does this strategy generate useful, relevant content for your readers, but it also drives targeted traffic to your website! What’s more, answering questions allows you to show off your expertise, and it’s easy!

Tune in as Heather explains how answering questions can drive Web traffic…

Your target market has questions

  • Shouldn’t your company answer them?

Your target market has questions. They’re typing them into Google every day, and while the query might not be sales related – they might not be looking for a product or service, at that point – it might be related to something that you offer.

So for example, the screenshot shows a search for “how do I file estimated taxes?” and that is followed by suggested results. If you were a bookkeeper or a CPA, someone who was targeting folks who would be filing taxes, this would be an opportunity for you – because you could build out an article or blog post about this topic.

You could also expand that out to Twitter and other social media channels, but just in terms of your website, this gives you stuff that you know you can write about!

Make a list of the most common questions you hear

So when you’re trying to figure out what kinds of questions to answer, the first thing to do is to think about what your prospects are asking you.

  • What are your prospects asking?

When you’re picking up the phone and talking to people, chances are that you get very similar types of questions. So what you can do is to answer these questions via an article or post for your website, or via a guest post at a relevant blog.

  • If you employ customer service representatives, what are they hearing?

If you work with customer service rep’s, this is something that you can ask them, because you might find out that they are hearing questions that you’ve never even considered.

So again, that gives you a really cool opportunity to create a blog post around those questions and then post it on your website!

  • Make a list and prioritize it.

Start making a list and prioritize it: if you know that there’s a question that comes up all the time, and that everybody asks, list that first.  And then that’s something you can plan for later.

Do a little more research…

The second thing to do is conduct a little more research – internal brainstorming is fun, but you can also look externally, such as…

  • What are your competitors writing about? Are they addressing anything that’s not on your list?

Go to competing sites and figure out what they’re writing about: are they using the same strategy right now? And if so, what kinds of questions are they answering? Are there any that you don’t have on your list already?

  • Does keyphrase research give you any other ideas?

Keyphrase research is always a great way to get ideas.

  • What about social media?

Check out what’s happening on social media: what’s trending? Look at your competitors’ social media. See if there are questions on Twitter that are different than those you’re hearing from your customer service rep’s.

Do a really broad-scope investigation of the types of opportunities that are out there, and continue adding questions and ideas to your list.

Develop your content strategy

Once you have a pretty solid list, then it’s time to develop your content strategy.

  • Will you write a blog post? An article? A FAQ page?
  • How many articles/posts can you write a month?

Some folks get amped and set an impossibly ambitious goal given their reality, like “I’m going to write one per day!” Then shortly after they burn out and nothing gets done.  So however this works for your content marketing, consider what’s realistic for you and put that info in your editorial calendar.

  • Who’s gonna do the writing?

If you’re going to write the content yourself, then you need to set aside some time. If  you’re going to outsource it, they you’ll need to find a writer who’s really good and can write in a voice that’s going to benefit your brand and make you money.

Avoid the cheap content trap

Something to consider if you do outsource the writing: avoid the cheap content trap! Consider your content an asset that will make you money.

  • Low-quality content will hurt – not help – you.

I (Heather) have seen a lot of companies who look at these types of articles and posts as merely an “SEO play,” thinking ‘Oh, well, we don’t have to share that much info’ or ‘It doesn’t have to be good writing – it’s just an article to drive traffic.’

But the important thing to remember is that article represents your brand. And even though it’s not meant to be a sales letter or something that directly promotes a product or service, if it reads poorly and it really doesn’t go into depth in answering the questions you reader is asking – that is not going to help you…It’s going to cost you money.

A good article will actually help make you money, because people will think ‘Wow! This company really knows what they’re talking about – maybe I should learn more…and it might be easy to work with them!’

  • If you choose to outsource, find the best writer for your needs (not the one who offers the lowest price.)

Some people approach outsourcing as an equation: “We only want to spend X for content – $10 a page” because it fits with some magical budget of theirs, but what they receive for that is not necessarily going to be the best reflection of their brand.

You want to find the best writer for your needs, not the cheapest. You need to be open to price at that point, if you expect any kind of quality content that drives traffic to your site!


Of Panda’s and Penguin’s: learn how to write for Google and avoid a bamboo spanking or penguin mauling! Just sign up for the free SEO Copywriting Buzz newsletter for lean, no-fluff industry news, either daily or weekly, and get Heather Lloyd’s “25-Point Checklist on How to Write for Google” free!

photo thanks to Micky.! (Micky Aldridge)















Beyond SEO: The content marketing power of the blog

In my opinion, your company blog is the second most valuable piece of online real estate your company has, next to the company website of course.

Blogs and other content marketing platforms are essential for long term SEO success. The saying “content is King” has been around for a long time simply because it’s true. Great content gets shared and linked to, which makes it more valuable in the eyes of the search engines, which in turn helps your site perform better in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Each blog post can rank individually in the search engines, helping expand your overall online brand presence and giving you the opportunity to target various keywords as well as different segments of your target audience.

However, even with nearly 7 years of posts backing me up, I’m fairly confident that most visitors don’t find my company blogs by searching for “SEO blog.” There are too many high-powered industry blogs for me to compete effectively for that search term.

The same is true in most industries. Unless your company is a major player, chances are there are a few industry blogs that are always going to outperform yours. They’ll get more social shares, more RSS subscribers, more inbound links and more readers every day, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make big progress with your own company blog and help build your business online.

Become the go-to resource: Write to help your clients

I know and accept the fact that most of the content I write isn’t going to outrank some of the big names in the SEO industry, but I also know that it doesn’t matter. I’m not writing to rank well; I’m writing to help my clients.

I want to become a trusted source of information for my readers (no matter how many or how few that may be) so that if they ever are in need of SEO help they think to come to my site and blogs first. Some SEO blogs are geared towards other SEO professionals or more advanced site owners, but I focus on helping my target audience—small to mid-sized businesses, website owners and marketing professionals. Those are the people I want to connect with and build relationships with, so I create content that speaks to their unique needs.

I know that not every blog post is going to be a huge hit with every reader and go viral, but I also know that every post has that potential. You can’t force something to go viral, but as long as you are publishing great content you’ll succeed in the long run. When you focus on producing great content for the reader, as opposed to content that exists solely to help your SEO, you usually end up producing much more interesting and useful content.

Interesting and useful content gets shared, generic and boring (no matter how SEO friendly) does not.

Become savvy in your vertical: Write to fine tune your own skills

By adopting a content marketing schedule and sticking to it you actually help improve your own skills, along with providing valuable information to your target audience.

Think about it, in order to become and stay a trusted resource your readers need to know that you know what’s going on in your industry. You need to be aware of trends and how they impact your business and the business of your clients. What’s coming down the pipeline? What are people looking for more information on?

In order to give people the knowledge they need (and in a way that makes sense) you need to do your own research. Activities like reading other blogs, attending local conferences or signing up for a webinar help keep you on your toes and fuel your own content marketing strategy. The tips and tricks you learn can be spun for new posts for your own blog or company newsletter.

You don’t always need to be ahead of the curve but you should at least be keeping pace with the pack.

Content marketing is incredibly valuable for long term SEO success, but that isn’t the only reason website owners should invest in a company blog and other content marketing platforms. Writing content that speaks to your audience is going to pay off in the long run, both for SEO and your long term business success.

About the Author – Nick Stamoulis

Nick Stamoulis is the President of the Boston-based full service SEO agency, Brick Marketing.  With 13 years of experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog, and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 160,000 opt-in subscribers.

You can find Nick on Twitter [at] @brickmarketing, and contact him directly [at] [email protected]

Looking for low-cost SEO copywriting training? Learn more about the SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certification Program, designed for in-house marketing professionals, agencies, SEO shops and copywriters.

photo/image thanks to Mike Licht,

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending June 13th

A brave new world: the title of Aldous Huxley’s literary masterpiece seems to capture the essence of this week’s latest and greatest Web-writing news’ highlights, as marketers from all spheres of the internet push their thinking (and tools) beyond the usual conversations. Content marketers discuss a shift in digital marketing, SEO & search pro’s entertain life beyond Google, while social media marketers celebrate the new Facebook advertising numbers. ”Consume” and enjoy this week’s web gems!

Content Marketing

Jahnelle Pittman discusses the accelerated speed of content/internet marketing with “Digital Marketing and The New World Order” at Level 343.

Emarketer predicts that U.S. iPad use will nearly double this year, extending its reach to 53.2 million users.

From Blog World New York, Ashley Zeckman shares Jason Falls’ “No B.S. Guide to Mobile” at Top Rank.

Graham Charlton reports that “A third of brands provide a poor mobile customer experience” (and suggests remedies) at Econsultancy.

Rebecca Lieb shares “14 Ways To Turn On The Content Flow” at Marketing Land.

Heather Lloyd-Martin discusses the three critical things a site owner must do before the content development even begins at SEO Copywriting.

Melissa Fach posts the “non-negotiables” of business content marketing for beginners at Search Engine Journal.

Pamela Muldoon posts “4 Metrics Every Content Marketer Needs to Measure: Interview with Jay Baer” at Content Marketing Institute.

Marketing Sherpa’s research chart of the week features “top content tactics for engaging your B2B audience,” by Jen Doyle.

Jordan Kasteler speaks to the necessity of attractive-looking content with “Is Presentation More Important Than Content Itself?” at Search Engine Land.

From SES Toronto, Lee Odden previews his own presentation with “9 [SEO] Steps towards Optimized Content Marketing Nirvana” at Top Rank.

Gabriella Sannino posts “5 Steps to Boosting the Perceived Value of your Copywriting Content” at Level 343.

Sunil Rajaraman addresses the question of “When Should Your Outsource Content Creation?” at Content Marketing Institute.


SEO & Search

Search sans Google? Miranda Miller posts “Beyond Google: Tap Into the Alternative Search Engine Data Opportunity” at Search Engine Watch.

Matt McGee highlights the more salient of Google’s (39) “search quality” May updates at Search Engine Land with “Google’s May Updates: Inorganic Backlinks, Page Titles, Fresh Results & More.”

Eric Enge interviews Google’s Justin Cutroni on “Using Google Analytics to Increase Adwords ROI” at Stone Temple Consulting.

Are you familiar with ICANN? (Hint: .com, .net, .whathaveyou) The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers may be ushering in “one of the greatest disasters in the history of the internet” posts Owen Thomas at Business Insider.

Danny Sullivan gives an epic rant on link building at SMX Advanced (Seattle), more (calmly) and coherently captured in his post “Link Building Means Earning Hard Links Not Easy Links” at Search Engine Land.

Lauren Litwinka generously links out to the more notable posts covering SMX Advanced 2012 with “Hardcore Brain Chow Meets Seattle’s Best Seafood: #SMX Advanced 2012 in Review” at aimClear.

Also from SMX Advanced 2012 is Miranda Miller’s report on Matt Cutts’ presentation: “Matt Cutts Talks Google Penguin, Negative SEO, Disavowing Links, Bounce Rate & More” at Search Engine Watch.

Jonathan Allen, director of Search Engine Watch, discusses his literary and philosophical background in part one of his interview by Laura Crest at SEO Copywriting.

In part two of his interview at SEO Copywriting, “The Englishman in New York” shares his provocative take on Google’s search and social initiatives, Panda and Penguin updates, as well as his own “search manifesto.”

Barry Schwartz reports on Google’s update to its “Hot Searches” feature with images and stories (apparently at the expense of searching hot trends by date) at Search Engine Land.

Wikipedia with a robotic female voice? Danny Goodwin explains with “New in Bing Search Results: It’s Qwiki-pedia” at Search Engine Watch.

SEOmoz’s “Whiteboard Friday” features Bing’s Duane Forrester, who walks readers/viewers through the search engine’s new webmaster tools.

Josh Bernstein posts “A Guide to Mobile SEO & Local Search SEO For Your Business” at Vertical Measures.

Portland, Oregon’s David Mihm discloses Google’s new local search ranking factors, as shared by Matt McGee at Small Business Search Engine Marketing.

Christian Arno posts “Quality Links, Quality Content: Linchpins of Your SEO Strategy” at Search Engine Watch.


Social Media Marketing

Facebook partner ComScore has produced data showing that “Viewing Facebook Content Makes People More Likely to Buy,” reports Cotton Delo at Ad Age.

And buying on Facebook will be much easier, as it has simplified mobile payments for mobile web apps (and marketers now have the option of buying mobile-only Facebook ads) reports Cindy King in Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Brian Solis speaks to Facebook advertising and G.M. pulling out scads of advertising dollars with “The GM Facebook Advertising Saga Plays Out Like an Episode of Mad Men.”

Jason Keath posts the “3 Common Facebook Ad Mistakes Everyone is Making” at Convince and Convert.

Citing a new global study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, Shelly Kramer reports that “C-Suite Executives Not Measuring Impact of Social Business” and “remain largely divided on the value of social business” at V3 Integrated Marketing.

HubSpot teams with HootSuite to promote social media lead nurturing (and other noteworthy items) are featured in Corey Eridon’s weekly story summary at HubSpot.

Greg Finn reports on Twitter’s new “Tailored Trends” feature (“to increase trend relevancy”) at Marketing Land.

Lisa Peyton explains “How to Use the New Google Analytics Social Reporting Tool” at Social Media Examiner.

Christina Schmitz makes the case that “Moms are the New Community Managers” with “Who Owns Social Media?” at Jeff Bullas’s blog.

So does your brand belong on Pinterest? Adrienne Rhodes discusses whether Pinterest is right for you at Social Media Today.

From Blog World New York, Chris Brogan’s tips on blogging (“Stand Above the Noise…”) are shared at Top Rank.

So does your brand belong on Pinterest? Adrienne Rhodes discusses whether Pinterest is right for you at Social Media Today.



Would you like to learn SEO Copywriting? Whether for your own career, or for your staff, there are several low-cost options available! All are taught by the widely-recognized SEO Copywriting pioneer, Heather Lloyd-Martin. 

photo thanks to Urban Woodswalker (Mary Anne Enriquez)

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending May 2nd

Of penguins and pandas…In this week’s latest & greatest Web-writing news, Google is yet again shaking up the SEO and search community with its latest Panda (3.5) update and webspam “Penguin” update. Meanwhile, content marketers run the gamut from the reality of mobile marketing to linking to email, and social media marketers get thoughtful (yet real) about the industry and that social ROI. Cuddle up with your favorite domestic animal and enjoy this week’s web gems!

Content Marketing

The data is in and the web is dead: Great read by Gini Dietrich on the (current reality and) inevitability of the dominance of mobile marketing platforms over the desktop PC with “The Web is Dead! Long Live Smartphones!” at Spin Sucks.

Angie Nikoleychuk discusses smart content marketing with “How to Boost the Success of Your Link Bait Before You Hit Publish” at Level 343.

Lee Odden shares “12 Timeless Link Building Tips for Business Blogs” at Top Rank.

Mitt Ray discusses how to write white papers and how to use them as part of your content marketing strategy at SEO Copywriting.

Roger C. Parker shares “3 Tips for Increasing your Content Productivity” at Content Marketing Institute.

Tim Ash discusses clarity in landing page design and content conversions with “Do Your Site Visitors Push Your Buttons?” at ClickZ.

So “Is Your Message Missing the Mark?” Jessica Collier discusses honing your landing page message for the best possible visitor experience at Ion Interactive.

Ian Lurie posts “10 ways to get into big trouble in marketing” (with skimping on content being #6) at Portent.

Need to feed the beast? Heidi Cohen discusses feeding the content development and marketing beasts with “7 Places to Find Cheap Content” at her blog.

Citing a study by Return Path, Pamela Parker discusses the incredibly promising new world of mobile email marketing with “Email Marketers Better Prepare For Mobile Opens, New Study Finds” at Marketing Land.

Illustrating with great examples, Corey Eridon posts “The 9 Must-Have Components of Compelling Email Copy” at HubSpot.

Running an email marketing campaign? Ashley Zeckman posts “Convert More Customers: Tips & Tricks For Running A/B Tests On Your Email Campaigns” at Top Rank.

Jeanne Jennings discusses a case study in which revising the email welcome message with a marketing message dramatically improved open and click-through rates, at ClickZ.

Smart all-around insights into content sharing and optimization are shared at TopRank Internet Marketing News with “Ask an Expert: How Can I Optimize My Online Content to Increase Shares and Exposure?”

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly research chart is on the imperative of content creation in improving SEO effectiveness.

The value of consistency (in showing up on your target market radar) is discussed by Seth Godin at his blog.

Did you miss BlueGlass LA? No worries – two different posts cover it in different ways:

The first, by Kevin Gibbons, “50 Tips & Takeaways from BlueGlass LA,” summarizes his tweets sharing on SEO and search to content marketing and much more, at SEOptimise.

The second, by Jason Miller, shares part one of two of “Ten Takeaways from Blueglass LA” (B2B perspective) at Marketo.


  • CMS Expo Learning & Business Conference begins next Tuesday, May 8th and runs thru the 10th, in Evanston, IL. The conference theme is “ Content Management Meets Content Strategy & Content Marketing.” A whole lotta content going down!
  • MarketingProfs University is offering a live, online “Marketing Writing Bootcamp” from May 10th thru the 23rd (with on-demand access to the recordings thru April of 2013). Use coupon code SUCCESS to save $200!
  • The Content Strategy Conference, ConFab 2012, scheduled for May 14th thru the 16th, is completely sold out, but you can catch live coverage via blogs, updates, and the @confab2012 Twitter stream.
  • Usability Week 2012 Conferences, hosted by the Neilsen Norman Group, are scheduled for May 14th thru the 18th in Washington, D.C., and for June 25th thru the 29th in Chicago.
  • Marketing Sherpa’s Optimization Summit 2012 will be held in Denver from June 11th thru the 14 th.
  • Marketing Sherpa’s B2B Summit 2012 will be held in Orlando, August 27th thru the 30th.
  • Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing World 2012 is scheduled for September 4th thru the 6th in Columbus, OH.

SEO & Search

A plethora of posts greets the SEO & search pro with the double-smackdown of Google’s Panda 3.5 (low quality) and Penguin (webspam) updates:

Danny Sullivan distinguishes between the Panda 3.5 (low-quality content) update and the Penguin (outright webspam) update –  including the winners and losers of Panda 3.5, and his correspondence with Matt Cutts – with a clarifying post at Search Engine Land.  (See source, Search Metrics, for the list of SEO visibility winners & losers).

Sullivan’s original post on Google’s Penguin update has some great background information: “Google Launches ‘Penguin Update’ Targeting Webspam In Search Results,” also at Search Engine Land.

Other enlightening posts on Google’s Panda 3.5 and Penguin updates include:

Aaron Wall’s decidedly no-bullshit take, “The Google Penguin Update: Over-Optimization, Webspam, & High Quality Empty Content Pages,” at SEOBook.

Bill Slawski’s “Google Praises SEO, Condemns Webspam, and Rolls Out Algorithm Change,” at SEO by the Sea.

Chris Crum’s “Google Panda Update: 12 Tips Directly from Google,” at WebProNews.

And of course, there’s Google’s own post by Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer, on the Penguin (and Panda) update: “Another step to reward high-quality sites,” at its Inside Search blog.

And for those who believe they’ve been wronged by the Penguin Update, there’s:

Danny Goodwin’s “Google Penguin Web Spam Algorithm Update Feedback Form Now Live,” where Matt Cutts is quoted announcing that you can plea your case or report a site that you think is spammy (“negative SEO”), at Search Engine Watch.

Pamela Vaughan’s “What to Do if Your Search Rankings Were Hurt by Google’s Penguin Update” at HubSpot.

And for those who believe they have been hacked by web spammers:

Citing Matt Cutts, Chris Crum reports that included in Google’s Webspam/Penguin update are sites that have been hacked by spammers (“The other kind of spam Google is dealing with”). An explanation and resources for help are at WebProNews.

Crum also reports on Google’s unprecedented move of sharing about the “human raters” in determining its algorithms, at WebProNews.

Asking what we all may be wondering, Bas van den Beld posts “Can We Still Trust Google?” at State of Search.

So how does the Google search engine actually work? Brad Kuenn explains at Vertical Measures.

Another great SEO 101 tutorial, on how to use HTML meta tags, is posted by Kristine Schachinger at Search Engine Watch.

For the more advanced, Ian Lurie shares “4 tips for technical SEO” (“for starters”) that every technical site audit should include, at Portent.

Lyena Solomon posts smart considerations for 1st quarter website spring cleaning, from SEO and PPC audits to cost-effective social media strategies, at NetSprinter.

Lars Lofgren discusses the four types of Google Analytics goal types that are essential to businesses, at KISSmetrics.

Beyond SEO lies WPO? Krista LaRiviere discusses the all-inclusive “WPO” with “The Hierarchy of Web Presence Optimization” at gShift Labs.

Tim Schmoyer posts the ReelSEO summary for the week with YouTube Changes, Google Indexing Embeds & Adwords for Video – with a video about Google addressing “discovery problems” on YouTube.

Vanessa Fox discusses the expansion of search query data to 90 days using Google’s Webmaster Tools, and kindly offers a refresher, at Search Engine Land.

Josh McCoy discusses SEO competitive analysis with “3 Pillars of SEO Competitive Analysis” at Search Engine Watch.

Julie Joyce posts “Why Link Builders Need To Do More Than Just Build Links” at Search Engine Land.

Sujan Patel posts “Social Shares: The New Link Building” at Search Engine Journal.

Garrett French posts “How Limiting Your Google Queries Makes You a Better Link Prospector” at Search Engine Watch.

Ian Lurie discusses enterprise SEO with “Easy SEO Wins For Big Sites” at Search Engine Land.


Social Media Marketing

Mark Lazen pens an insightful read, “Right-sizing your Social Media Management Process,” at Social Media Today.

Level 343’s Gabriella Sannino discusses community building and “friends” with “Stop Everything You’re Doing In Social. You’re Fired.”

Sam Ford posts “6 New Maxims For Social Marketing” at Fast Company.

Josh Peters posts “60 Minutes to a More Efficient Social Business Strategy” at Mashable.

Kate Rose posts “5 Reasons Social Media Isn’t Working For You – And How To Fix Them” at business2community.

Bas van den Beld asks if social media activity can really boost rankings, sharing a fun infographic, at State of Search.

eMarketer posts “For Brands, Social Media Shows Returns but Measurement Hurdles Remain.”

Brian Solis discusses Frank Eliason’s book, @Your Service, with “Do Customers Really Matter to Your Business? Prove it.”

Rachelle Ayala posts the “Seven Sins of Social Networking” at Rachelle’s Window.

Mike Lewis posts “Evolving Social Media Analytics: Insights from Marshall Sponder” at Social Media Today.

If you can’t beat ‘em? In an interesting twist, “Flickr Teams With Pinterest For Easy Sharing & Proper Attribution,” reports Greg Finn at Marketing Land.

So Facebook is about to raise $5 billion from investors. It gets even more interesting with Jeff Bullas’ “20 Interesting Facts, Figures and Statistics Revealed by Facebook.”

Brittany Darwell reports that “Facebook says it sent more than 160 million visitors to Facebook-integrated mobile apps last month,” at Inside Facebook.

Hide and go Facebook tab seek? Nancy McCord posts “Facebook Business Pages – The Hidden Tabs – Can You Find Them?” at SiteProNews.

Ann Smarty discusses how to analyze your tweeting style from the readers’ perspective with 3 “addictive” tools at Internet Marketing Ninjas.

Dan Zarrella discusses the free Twitter tool, TweetCharts, which allows you to analyze Twitter data for any search term (and more), at HubSpot.

Nisha Kaushal posts “Why Twitter Needs to Change to Keep Up with Social Media Marketing” at Webbiquity.

Harry Gold posts “27 LinkedIn Social Media Marketing Tactics” at ClickZ.

Stephanie Sammons shares “5 Tips to Build and Grow Your LinkedIn Network”  at Social Media Examiner.


Would you like to know more about writing for Google?  (This is especially important since their latest algo update, Penguin, just rolled out.) Simply visit the SEO Copywriting Buzz page, and sign up to receive either the daily or weekly newsletter (or both), and receive Heather’s “How to write for Google: 25-point checklist” whitepaper, free!

photo thanks to cnystrom (Chris Nystrom)



SEO content marketing roundup, week ending April 18th

So where is that crystal ball when you need it? This week’s latest and greatest Web-writing news is ripe with speculation and projections. Perhaps inspired by comScore’s recent release of 1st quarter industry data, internet marketers of all persuasions seem focused on trends and the future. Content marketers discuss where they’re heading, SEO & search pro’s assess their state and forecast trends of their calling, while social media marketers digest big numbers and speculate away…Enjoy this especially thoughtful, forward-looking collection of links to the best of the marketing web!

Content Marketing

Rebecca Lieb discusses “Publishing in Today’s Digital, Social Reading Environment” with thoughts on the future of e-reading, at Marketing Land.

And speaking of publishing, Lee Odden talks about his newly-released book, “Optimize…” at Top Rank.

Ian Lurie and Geoff Livington discuss “how to save marketing from itself” with Matthew Grant via MarketingProfsMarketing Smarts (podcast).

Gabriella Sannino discusses developing a web presence with strategic content development, branding, and more with “What’s Your Branding Power?” at Level 343.

So where is the internet going in the next three years? Douglas Idugboe considers the question at Smedio.

Lyena Solomon summarizes Matt McGee’s thoughts on content creation strategies and more from the weekly Twitter #SEOchat, at Search Marketing Weekly.

In his third of a series on content development, George Aspland posts “9 More Content Development Ideas For Increased Visibility” via user-generated content, at Search Engine Land.

Gilad de Vries posts “7 Lessons From Content Marketing’s Greatest Hits” at Mashable.

Shelly Bowen posts “5 Great Starting Points for a Content Recycling Program” at Content Marketing Institute.

Sharon Hurley Hall discusses content curation with “How to do Content Marketing ‘Without’ Content – Be a Curator!” at unbounce.

Rand Fishkin discusses overcoming content creation fatigue with the latest SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday presentation, “Overcoming Your Winter of Dis-Content.”

Ian Lurie discusses the three elements comprising a core marketing formula with “Three principles of internet marketing,” at Portent.

Sean McGinnis posts marketing mistakes to avoid (and how to fix them) at his blog.

Mack Collier discusses building trust with “5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Marketing and Start Teaching.”

Robert Rose posts “How Asking ‘Why’ Helps Us Get to Our Larger Story” at Content Marketing Institute.

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly research chart depicts the top-rated B2B tactics for “developing value propositions that resonate and convert.”

One for the bookmarks: Lee Odden lists 2012’s top UK internet marketing blogs at Top Rank.

Gini Dietrich generously shares her own blogging process at Spin Sucks.

Per Schmitz shares “6 Tools That Help Bloggers Manage and Monitor Their Online Reputation” at Kikolani.

MarketingProfs’ considers whether you should host your blog on-site or off in its “short articles.”

So “Does Website Design Impact The Bottom Line?” Zach Bulygo explores the question in detail at KISSmetrics.

Tim Ash shares an interesting case study in landing page conversions with “It’s Not Over Till the Stragglers Convert” at ClickZ.

Seth Godin talks perception with “Money scales but emotions around money don’t.”


  • MarketingProfs University is offering a live, online “Marketing Writing Bootcamp” from May 10th thru the 23rd (with on-demand access to the recordings thru April of 2013). Use coupon code SUCCESS to save $200!
  • The Content Strategy Conference, ConFab 2012, scheduled for May 14th thru the 16th, is completely sold out, but you catch live coverage via blogs, updates, and the @confab2012 Twitter stream.
  • Usability Week 2012 Conferences, hosted by the Neilsen Norman Group, are scheduled for May 14th thru the 18th in Washington, D.C., and for June 25th thru the 29th in Chicago.
  • Marketing Sherpa’s Optimization Summit 2012 will be held in Denver from June 11th thru the 14 th. Register by April 30th for early bird savings of $300!
  • Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing World 2012 is scheduled for September 4th thru the 6th in Columbus, OH.

SEO & Search

From Search Engine Watch: Miranda Miller reports on Google’s record-setting $10.65 billion first quarter revenue and its proposal for a “new class of stock” to allow the behemoth “…to remain focused on the long term.”

Meanwhile, Matt McGee reports that Blekko’s traffic shot up nearly 400-percent in the first quarter – and Blekko CEO’s five reasons as to why – at Search Engine Land.

Citing comScore data, Greg Sterling reports that Yahoo’s first quarter revenue actually exceeded expectations and its traffic increased by 8-percent – also at Search Engine Land.

State of Search posts its 88th podcast in which Bas van den Beld and Roy Huiskes discuss the state of (re-structuring) Yahoo, Google’s performance under Larry Page, and the potential for Google Analytics for Google+.

First-generation SEO expert Jill Whalen shares her 15+ years’ perspective of the SEO/search industry, including her take on Google’s latest round of updates, via her interview with SEO Copywriting.

Following up on SES New York, Eric Enge posts his interview with Adobe’s Warren Lee on “How To Structure Your Organization For SEO Success” on the enterprise level at Search Engine Land.

Hugo Guzman also discusses enterprise SEO strategy with the astute “When it comes to SEO, diplomacy often trumps technical ability.”

Google vs. Facebook: Jeroen van Eck compares numbers with the (admittedly speculative and) provocative post, “Facebook Might Be Going After Google, And They Could Just Win,” at State of Search.

The next step in the “ever-evolving” SEO industry – semantic search – and Google’s “rich snippets” update(s) are the subject of WebPro Tech’s Bharati Ahuja’s post: “Is Your Website Markup Enriched To Support The Rich Snippets Updated By Google?”

Semantic search and Google’s rich snippet updates are also the subject of Bob Meinke’s post, “Why Is Google Allowing Rich Snippet Spam?” at Bruce Clay’s blog.

Neil Patel posts a how-to on improving your rankings with semantic keyword research at SEOmoz.

Peter van der Graaf discusses the seasonal trending, hype spikes, and search volume life-cycles of keywords with “Timing Your SEO Efforts to Rank During Traffic Peaks & Spikes” at Search Engine Watch.

Trond Lyngbo discusses social search spam and the future of social signals with “Social Search: Dead On Arrival? Or On Life Support?” at Search Engine Land.

So is personalized search getting too personal? At Search Engine Journal, Melissa Fach posts “User Thoughts on Personalized Search” which features an (MDG Advertising) infographic suggesting users think so.

At Search Marketing Standard, Rebecca Appleton posts the second of a two-part series, “Six Top SEO Tips Straight From the Horse’s (Google’s) Mouth” (and here’s the link for part one).

Heather Lloyd-Martin offers perspective and tips for panicked site owners on Google’s latest Panda slap, the “over-optimization” penalty, via her weekly video post at SEO Copywriting.

Anthony Verre posts a helpful guide to DIY site audits, sharing his favorite tools, with “Down and Dirty Audits for Quick Wins” at Search News Central.

With “Real SEO Specialists: Finding the Needle in the Hay Stack,” Level 343 shares the questions their clients most often ask and the answers a legitimate optimizer should give.

Andy Crestodina posts how to get your picture in search results via Google’s Authorship Markup at KISSmetrics.

Tom Anthony posts “How Authorship (and Google+) Will Change Linkbuilding” at SEOmoz.

SEO Hacker’s Sean Si features a Matt Cutts’ video on white-hat link building with “Yes we Can! Says the White Hat SEO Hacker.”

Sujan Patel posts a how-to on tracking off-site clicks as goals using Google Analytic’s Event Tracking feature, at Search Engine Journal.

For beginners, Glenn Gabe posts a detailed guide to conversion goals in Google Analytics, also at Search Engine Journal.

Erez Barak discusses “7 Ways to Use Visitor Intelligence in SEO & Marketing” at Search Engine Watch.

In the global market? Tom Schmitz posts “11 Considerations For International SEO” at Search Engine Land.

Ending on a light note, Jack Martin posts “The 101 Best Google Tricks, Easter Eggs, April Fool’s Day Jokes and Pranks” at Portent.


Social Media Marketing

Citing data from a variety of sources, Christian Arno notes some astounding numbers as well as geographical diversity in platform preferences with “Worldwide Social Media Usage Trends in 2012” at Search Engine Watch.

Among the sources cited (above), is the eMarketer post, “Facebook Helps Get One in Five People Worldwide Socializing on Online Networks,” and its prediction that 1.43 billion people will use a social networking site this year (up 19.2-percent from 2011).

Heidi Cohen also cites a number of sources in her post, “Where is the Future of Social Media Marketing?” noting that 70-percent of marketers are looking to expand their mix of social media platforms, at ClickZ.

Brian Solis discusses “Disruptive Technology and How to Compete for the Future” at his blog.

Gabriella Sannino offers an industry veteran’s viewpoint on social sharing, conversions and optimization with a thought-provoking post at Search News Central.

John Lewis speculates on “The Next Phase of Social Media” at Sexy Social Media.

At Marketing Land, Greg Finn discusses Google+’s new format with “Google+ Gets A New Look With Interactive Navigation & ‘Timeline-esque’ Profiles.”

Citing Google’s slick PR spin in announcing Google+’s new look, Danny Sullivan weighs in with “If Google’s Really Proud of Google+, It Should Share Some Real User Figures,” also at Marketing Land.

Noting the anemic business and news community support of Google+, as well as Google’s lack of G+ branding on offline media, Debra Mastaler asks “Where’s the G+ Beef?” at LinkSpeil.

Pamela Vaughan discusses the importance of social proof in consumers’ purchasing decisions with “10 Ways to Instantly Amplify the Social Proof of Your Marketing” at HubSpot.

Chris Brogan speaks to the value of working for your content’s social sharing with “Earning Attention” at his blog.

Bas van den Beld issues a warning to Groupon with “Facebook Slowly Rolling Out Facebook Offers, Watch Out Groupon,” featuring an embed of Facebook’s video on its Offers, at State of Search.

Following up on her recent webinar on Facebook’s Timeline, Sarah Schager posts “15 Facebook Timeline Tips to Bring You Up To Speed” at Vertical Measures.

Andrea Vahl illustrates “5 Ways Businesses Are Using Facebook Timelines” at Social Media Examiner.

Pamela Vaughan posts “35 Statistics That Fuel the Battle Between Pinterest and Google+” (along with a free download comparing the two platforms) at HubSpot.

Jason Miller video-interviews B2B “thought leaders” about “their interest in Pinterest” at Marketo.

Anna Maria Virzi contemplates whether Pinterest will push into e-commerce at ClickZ.

Ashley Zeckman shares “3 Pinterest Tools That Will Have You ‘Pinning’ In No Time” at Top Rank.

Rich Brooks posts a how-to on “4 Ways to Grow a Twitter Following That Matters” at Social Media Examiner.

And finally – remember Foursquare? Rick MacManus posts “Just Checking…How Many of Foursquare’s Reported 20 Million Users Are Active?” at ReadWriteWeb.



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photo thanks to Outdated Productions (Courtney)



SEO content marketing roundup, week ending April 20th

Maybe it’s due to the tax season, but there seems to be a lot of number crunching going on in this week’s latest and greatest web writing news.  From content marketers trying to make sense of data and social media marketers measuring returns on relationships, to the SEO and search community analyzing the relative impact of social influences, valuation is the common denominator.  Here’s the tally of this week’s selections:

Content Marketing:

Great read at Design Damage about achieving long-term online marketing success, and a smart post at Eisenberg & Associates exploring the value of content marketing.

Seth Godin addresses the “economies of small,” and “tiny media” (the four horsemen of media).

HubSpot posts Excel tricks for crunching tons of marketing data, as well as an (“inbound now’) interview with Joe Pulizzi about all things content.

Content Marketing Institute posts a two-part series on content marketing analytics, the first about what to do with all those numbers and the second about turning analytics into actionable tasks.

The brave and bumpy path to exceptional content is posted at Shelly Bowen’s site (pybop), while Copyblogger posts how brevity can sometimes be bad for your content.

Hugo Guzman discusses the Johari Window concept as a way to understand your marketing, and HubSpot posts a video interview with Gary Vaynerchuk on “context marketing.”

Sonia Simone posts how to consistently attract high-quality traffic to your site at Copyblogger, and Frank Reed posts the many factors that make up internet marketing at Marketing Pilgrim.

Patsi Krakoff (of “the Blog Squad”) posts how to connect the dots to drive content marketing results at Writing on the Web, and Brian Tarcy offers five tips for better business storytelling via HubSpot.

The fundamentals of starting a company blog are at {grow}, and brand expert Jim Joseph shares tips to win customer loyalty at PR Web.

An interesting interview with Hugh MacLeod, discussing the infinite market for something to believe in, is posted at Copyblogger.

Content Marketing Institute offers a step-by-step guide to the new LinkedIn company pages for content marketers, and Search Engine Journal posts free Google tools for generating great web content ideas.

Social Media Today posts thinking strategically about content curation, and a Mashable posts no less than 40 new digital media resources.

Finally, Marketing Sherpa’s inaugural Optimization Summit, June 1st – 3rd in Atlanta, is fast running out of room.  Those interested are urged to register soon!

SEO & Search:

Marylene Delbourg-Delphis authors a great piece about the real nature of SEO power words at her site, and Distilled’s Tom Critchlow shows “how to make SEO happen” at SEOmoz.

ClickThrough Marketing reveals the biggest search engine marketing spenders, and Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici reports that Demand Media shares have tanked as a result of Google’s Farmer/Panda update.

In a related post, Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee reports that Google has lowered the boom on eHow, and Pamela Parker reports that the big G is planning to distinguish poor quality landing pages from policy violations.

SEOptimise publishes 30+ resources for Google’s Farmer/Panda update, while DIY SEO gleans the opinions of 45 experts on the biggest mistakes that small businesses make with SEO and online marketing.

Smart guest post by Level 343’s Gabriella Sannino about the need for customized social media and SEO strategies is at Search Engine Journal, and Search Engine Watch posts a great piece on “granular” SEO analytics.

Michael Gray addresses steps to make your website look more brand-like to Google at his SEO blog, and Kimberly Castleberry shares Matt Cutts’ video addressing how to prove your content is original at her site.

Search Engine Land post discusses an “Outbrain” study showing that search drives both more and better traffic to content sites than does social media.

Rand Fishkin looks at detailed data about the relative influence of Facebook and Twitter on Google search rankings at SEOmoz: interesting!

Website Magazine posts an article on 2011 search marketing trends, while Marketing Sherpa discusses capturing future seasonal traffic lifts with four SEO factors.

Ann Smarty guest posts on how to highlight your brand’s name in Google Reader search results at Search Engine Journal, and Linkbuildr discusses tactics for keeping your link-building “fresh.”

SEOmoz’s Dr. Pete discusses eight “easy wins” for on-page SEO, and Search Engine Land offers six simple SEO tips for small businesses.

On a much more ambitious note, SEO Book discusses starting an SEO business, and Level 343 takes on writing for your website visitors.

Finally, SEOmoz announces Pro SEO Boston, scheduled for May 16th and 17th.

Social Media Marketing:

The Social CMO proposes a new measure of social media success, namely, return-on-relationship (ROR) rather than ROI.

How to optimize your brand’s Facebook page for search engines is addressed at Read Write Web (Biz), while All Facebook posts tips for using Facebook features to market your brand.

Top Rank’s Lee Odden posts understanding B2B social media via infographics, and Social Media Examiner cites a study showing that small businesses benefit most from social media.

Pure Driven discusses how to protect your company from “dysfunctional” social media strategies, and Social Marketing Forum posts a thoughtful piece about social media advertising.

iMedia Connection posts simple tips for Facebook and Twitter success, as well as 10 Facebook lessons learned from Apple vs. Google.

The book “Marketing lessons from the Grateful Dead” is discussed by Mack Collier, while Brian Solis announces that his Engage 2.0 in now online and available at bookstores.

Social Media Examiner posts how to use geolocation in your marketing initiatives as well as ways to use social media to sell successfully.

Mark Schaefer posts a video interview with Jay Baer at {grow} in which Baer shares his advice for those wanting to go into social media consulting.

Speaking of Jay Baer, he ponders if Twitter is massively overrated at Convince and Convert, while For Free Blog discusses what makes a great tweet.

Finally, Social Media Examiner headlines its weekly news with YouTube’s new YouTube Live streaming video feature.