Send the right search signals with social content optimization

Dana Lookadoo discusses how to optimize content for social amplificationA few weeks ago, I was honored to give a presentation to Heather Lloyd-Martin’s SEO Copywriting Certification students and grads on optimizing content for social sharing. During the presentation, I covered two main points:

  • Why optimizing for social media is important.
  • Why the structure of your “blurb” (text you share when you post or tweet) makes a difference.

Afterwards, I received two questions via email from conference call attendees:

  • Could you explain “Open Graph” protocol?
  • How do you track social shares in Google Analytics?

Considering the presentation time flew by, I thought I’d delve further into the two main points (as well as address the Certification student questions) here:

Why social sharing optimization is important. (a.k.a. Isn’t it enough to simply get your article posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+?)

Most of this blog post is dedicated to answering this question.

You can think of optimizing for social media the same way copywriters need to consider SEO to optimize a Web page. There are some important aspects (code and content) that send signals to the search engines. The most important aspect that applies to both social and SEO is…people. You want to consider how people will see and respond to what you are sharing.

Here’s what you need to understand:

  1. Posts that look good get Liked, retweeted, and reshared more.
  2. Metadata (code) controls how a blog post you’ve written appears on Facebook & Google+.
  3. The format of your tweets highly influences their effect on Twitter.
  4. Every post shared on these social networks becomes its own HTML page. Yes!
  5. Everything you write (your share blurb and text in your your Open Graph Protocol “OG” tags) should consider your target audience and keywords.

 

Making your posts look good

Once you hit the Enter key to share your post on Google+ or Facebook, you want it to look attractive with an eye-catching image and descriptive text. The only input you give these social media sites at the time of sharing is your share blurb – what you have typed into the boxes to share what’s new or on your mind. Other than this explanatory text, the remaining elements are “pulled” from your blog post or article.

Here’s a post that doesn’t look so good, because the website (the Web page, more specifically) was not optimized:

Unoptimized share snippet

When your share doesn’t have images and has funky text, not much happens with it. Un-optimized share snippets simply DO NOT spread like wildfire.

Here’s a share snippet that looks much better, and covers the anatomy / breakdown of an optimized share snippet:

Optimized share snippet

Why does this look better? Because the page being shared has the proper microdata (code / information) to fill in items B-E of the snippet as shown (Title, Description, Image, URL). The person who shared this simply wrote “Can’t wait to experience this in 3 weeks!” Google+ pulled in the rest of the information from the optimized page.

OK, what about Twitter?

Glad you asked! Twitter does have a visual aspect, but since that wasn’t discussed in my Optimizing for Social presentation, we won’t go there. The format of your tweets, however, does matter as to whether they get retweeted.

  • Think about those tweets that are too long and loquacious… Few people retweet them.
  • Imagine tweets that are stuffed with #hashtags… Few people retweet them.

Get retweets by creating a post that follows a logical format and one that won’t be cut off if retweeted. Below is how to plan the length and format of your tweets:

Optimized Tweet

So, the bottom line is simple. It’s all about PLANNING!

If you fail to plan, you plan on reshare failure.

Every post is an HTML page

Everything you share on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ becomes its own HTML page. HUH? Yes!

One of the SEO Certification class students mentioned that this takes a little bit of wrapping one’s head around. Agreed.

Below are a couple examples.

Twitter – Tweets turn into HTML pages.

@jennita on Twitter shared the Optimizing for Social presentation along with a nice comment. That share showed up in people’s Twitter stream. It also became an HTML page as shown below:

Twitter share web page

We know that every HTML page has a Title tag. For this tweet, the Title tag is:

<title>Twitter / jennita: LOVE this from @lookadoo: …</title>

Twitter adds “Twitter / userprofile:” to the beginning of the title. The words you share at the beginning of the tweet become part of the HTML page’s title tag.

=> Pro Tip: Front-load keywords!

Put your keywords at the beginning of the tweet if it makes sense.

Google+ & Facebook posts also become HTML pages.

This Google+ post from Matt Cutts about Google Play celebrating its birthday with a week of free and discounted downloads is an HTML page with its own URL:

Google+ Matt Cutts Google Play

Again, you see the first few words of the share blurb have turned into part of the page’s title tag:

<title>Matt Cutts – Google+ – Google Play is celebrating its birthday with a whole week…</title>

=> Pro Tip: Front-load keywords!

This is even more important for Google+ posts. A widely shared post with a quality title (share blurb) has a good chance of ranking for its given keywords!

That post then displays in the SERPs:

Google+ Matt Cutts SERP

 

So…there’s the long explanation of why optimizing for social matters!

Now, for the questions I received from Heather’s Certification call attendees…

Q1: You discussed Open Graph protocol. Can you explain what that means?

A protocol is a set of rules. HTML is a protocol that Web browsers follow to display this hypertext markup language. Open Graph (OG) protocol is a set of rules that Facebook put together to provide markup code to go in Web pages that tells them what to display in Facebook. Google+ also “listens” to and displays OG code, most of the time.

Visit my post on SEOmoz that presents my Structured Social Sharing Formula. It’s long, so look for the section on “10 Steps With Microdata & Analytics” for a more in-depth explanation of the OG tags.

Q2: How does one go about tracking social shares in Google Analytics?

First, you have to track your shares with UTM variables (UTM’s are tracking tags).

Second, the name of each campaign shows up in Google Analytics.

You can then view the performance of your social campaigns in Google Analytics (version 5) as shown:

 

UTM Campaign Variable Tracking GA

Access in your profile via:

Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns

You’ll then see a listing of your various social shares that were tagged with the utm_campaign parameter on the links. The campaign shows them by name.

It’s up to you to name your campaigns with terms that will make sense as you track them in Google Analytics.

OK, that’s a wrap! You can view the recap of my presentation to the SEO Copywriting Certification students and grads (sans the details exclusive to the Certification members) via the SlideShare embed on my site.

Feel free to drop any additional comments or questions in the comments. Thanks!

About the AuthorDana Lookadoo

One of the pioneers of what is now called “social search,” Dana Lookadoo is an SEO consultant & founder of Yo! Yo! SEO. Her approach to search marketing is with a focus on Word-of-Mouth SEO (search engine optimization & audience engagement). Besides her passion for her professional work, Dana loves cycling: “Road or Mountain? Let’s ride!” You can connect with Dana on Twitter and on Google+.

photo thanks to Gavin Llewellyn

Learn from experts like Dana Lookadoo when you enroll in my SEO Copywriting Certification training! Now, you can become certified for FREE when you register to join me in Phoenix next month for a seminar on freelance SEO Copywriting business-building & advanced SEO topics. Apply by April 30th! Details here.

 

3 Ways to get “Back to the Basics” of SEO copywriting

Has the hustle-bustle of the holiday season put you over the edge? This has been a year of change … my head is certainly spinning. Heck, some days I’m unable to distinguish a Penguin from a Panda!

Life often gets complicated and overwhelming during the Christmas holiday season. As you wind down the year and think about your New Year’s resolution, consider keeping it simple.

Heather takes us “Back to the Basics” with three fundamental SEO copywriting how-to videos. Watch and be reminded how sticking to the basics of SEO copywriting can improve your business in 2013.

What is SEO Copywriting?

In this video how-to, Heather strips SEO copywriting down to the bare bones: what it is, how it differs from straight copywriting, and why it is so important for web pages and sites.

At its core, SEO copywriting (or SEO content) is online writing that includes keyphrases, i.e. words people type into a search box to find the information they need.

Some say the best SEO is great content. Your writing – how and what you write – has everything to do with customer satisfaction, search engine ranking, traffic to your blog, and financial success. Good SEO copywriting engages your customers, makes you money and attracts incoming links.

SEO editing vs. copywriting for SEO

SEO/keyphrase editing and SEO copywriting are very different:

  • SEO (Keyphrase) Editing: SEO editing is most appropriate for existing content that isn’t crucial to the sales/conversion goals of the copy. It means taking the most relevant, applicable keywords and phrases for a page and working them in where they naturally fit:  you’re not rewriting or substantively revising the existing copy.
  • Copywriting for SEO: SEO copywriting means you’re starting from scratch, and creating the content geared for a customer persona, including call to action, tone and feel of the site, and other copywriting fundamentals, while massaging in the keywords and keyphrases as you write.

SEO copywriting tips: How to create a clickable Title

Great Titles help increase search engine rankings – and help visitors convert from the search engine results page (SERP) page.


Titles have a very specific structure:

  • Page Titles are limited to 50 – 75 characters, including spaces. Try to keep them to around 69 characters.
  • The Page Title “lives” above your browser window, and appears in the backend code framed as <title>My Cool Web Page<title>
  • Be sure to include the keyphrases you use for the page in the Title for that page
Titles serve a dual purpose:
  • Well-written Titles paired with strong content help pages position well on the SERP
  • Clickable, compelling Titles tempt your prospects to click on your link rather than the nine competing links on the SERP, improving your website’s click-thru rate

photo thanks to Noell (Noell Hyman)

Would you like to become an SEO copywriter? If so, I have Big News – I’m extending the 20% discount on the SEO Certification training. But today is your last chance to receive the savings. Enroll in the program by midnight tonight and use code GRATEFUL20 to grab your savings!

 

Win an SEO Copywriting Certification Scholarship!

Are you a writer who wants to expand your skills and make more money? Have you been dreaming about taking the SEO Copywriting Certification training, but haven’t signed up yet?

Well, here is your golden opportunity: we’re holding a scholarship contest!

Now, one lucky winner will receive a scholarship to the SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certification program!

Here are the details:

Grand Prize: The author of the winning entry gets a full scholarship to the SEO Copywriting Certification program (a value of $769!)

All contestants: Everyone who enters the contest will receive a coupon for 20% off the SEO certification training, plus 10% off the Copywriting Business Bootcamp training. (Coupon expires September 7, 2012.)

So, you can’t “lose”! You either win the scholarship, OR, you can save $154 dollars on the Certification training (plus even more if you want to purchase the Bootcamp training, too!) What could be better?

How to enter:

You have to do  two  things to enter:

# 1. In the comments section of this blog post – in 75 words or less – answer this question:  

Why do you want to become a Certified SEO copywriter? 

(Friendly reminder – answers over 75 words will not be accepted)

— AND —

 # 2. Tweet this:

I just entered a contest for free SEO Copywriting Certification via @heatherlloyd’s SEO Copywriting course #certificate http://bit.ly/Nynfsp

 ==> Important!  The link (http://bit.ly/Nynfsp) must be included in your tweet

Enter today! Contest starts today, August 13th, and all entries must be received by Monday, August 27th, @11:59 pm.

The winner will be announced in the weekly roundup post on Wednesday, August 29th.

Don’t delay – we only give away one scholarship a year. Submit your entry today!

Good luck and happy posting! :)

If you have any questions about the contest, please email our wonderful Marketing Director, Heather G.: [email protected].

 

photo thanks to EvelynGiggles, shawncampbell (Shawn Campbell), & Yurble (Gareth Simpson)

 

 

Addicted to SEO: Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Susannah Noel

I remember the first time I heard the term “SEO.” I was taking a PR writing course at a local college and one of the students said she’d taken a class in something called SEO, which, she said with a moan, was terribly confusing. As she tried to explain it, I could actually feel my eyes glazing over and my jaw growing slack. It just seemed too tough, and I filed it away under “Maybe someday.”

That someday came when I joined CPA Site Solutions as their Marketing and Communications Manager. At this niche web developer for accounting websites, SEO and SEM are pretty much their only marketing efforts – and they perform brilliantly in both. I joined their SEO team, took Dan Thies’s Link Liberation training, and got a crash course in how to dominate the search engines.

Flash forward a year or so, when I decided to strike out on my own as a freelancer. After establishing my website, susannahnoel.com, my next order of business was purchasing Heather’s SEO Copywriting course.

I loved the idea of learning everything I could about the craft and then being able to show it off with a badge on my site. I wanted prospective clients to know that I’m not just another Web copywriter: I’ve made the investment in learning how not to just write interesting, compelling copy, but how to get sites noticed in the search engines. I am, in fact, an SEO copywriter – and proud of it!

What do you enjoy most about SEO copywriting?

Well, first of all, I love keyword research. I think the thrill comes from brainstorming ideas and then testing them out. I just adore that mix of hypothetical and bottom-line reality.

Second, I enjoy the writing challenge that comes with incorporating keywords into copy. It’s even better when you try to be persuasive in your writing, too. It makes non-SEO copywriting seem ever-so-slightly dull!

What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?

I’m currently writing copy for three of CPA Site Solutions’ accounting clients. I’m also helping my sister, a social worker, with her website. She isn’t getting nearly enough clients through her site, and it feels great to help her business grow through optimized blogging and keyword strategy sitewide. It helps me see how my SEO knowledge can have a practical effect in the real world.

I recently shot a promotional video for the home page of my website and posted it to my Facebook page. It garnered a lot of positive feedback, and several friends and acquaintances have approached me for help with their sites. It certainly seems as if my freelance business is picking up speed.

What have you found to be the biggest “take-away” from the SEO Copywriting Certification Program?

I find myself going back again and again to Heather’s breakdown of a typical website’s architecture and where to place what type of keyword – e.g., general keywords should go on the home page and long-tail keyphrases are appropriate for information pages or blog posts.

I also loved learning about the SWOT analysis. I think when you’re knee-deep in keyword research and data, it’s easy to lose sight of a client’s ultimate goals. It’s important to keep those in mind as you slog through the numbers.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I do get tired of sitting in front of the computer, as much as it surprises me to say it (because it’s where I’m the most comfortable). To counteract the hunching effects that come with this line of work, I try to exercise every day, particularly yoga and Pilates. I also keep busy looking after my two sons, aged 9 and 7. And sometimes, I read a novel, just for fun – which feels like a forbidden treat.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the SEO Copywriting Certification program?

Before I completed the course, my freelancing aspirations ran the gamut from journalist to magazine writer to mommy blogger. After completing the course, I couldn’t deny how endlessly fascinating SEO Copywriting is to me – and now, I’m turning it into my sole focus.

So take a chance on the course. Even if you don’t become addicted to this niche, as I have, your knowledge of SEO will only help your writing and business career!

You can connect with Susannah Noel on LinkedIn, Facebook, or via Twitter @susannahnoel. You can also email her directly at  [email protected].

photo thanks to dimnikolov (Dimitar Nikolov)

SEO Copywriting Certification Grad Alice Zyetz Shares Her Journey

I am a beginning SEO web writer with 30 years of business and technical writing knowledge and experience. As an online web writer certified in SEO, I specialize in copywriting for small businesses. I have an extensive background in training business and technical writers to communicate clearly. My clients have included major aerospace companies as well as businesspeople from a variety of industries.

My entrance into training technical people was an accident that may remind you of how you got into the business. Most people don’t start their childhood hoping that when they grow up they’ll become SEO copywriters. How did YOU get to this place?

I started as a classroom elementary school teacher. I decided to get a Master’s degree in Reading to become a reading specialist. I soon discovered that all of our courses specialized in Psycholinguistics (how the brain processes information). After graduation, I began to give workshops to other teachers and parents showing them a new way to teach their children to read.

I loved working with adults and became disaffected with teaching children and working for our huge school district. I found a kindred spirit, whose husband happened to be the head of corporate training for a major aerospace company. “They need people to teach writing,” she said.

We spent a year learning as much as we could about teaching adults to write better. Based on my knowledge of Psycholinguistics, we built our program around how readers process the written word. Finally we were ready to launch our business, In Plain English Associates.

My partner’s husband told us one of his employees was looking for a business writing course. We decided I would call her and not let her know who my partner was so she wouldn’t feel pressured. I called on a Thursday and she said, “We filled that business writing class, but we need a technical writing course. Do you do that?”

“Of course,” I said, fingers crossed, and set an interview for the following week. I needed time to go to the technical writing book store and find out what a technical writing course should include.

As it turned out, the technical writers were fine when writing their technical information. They just needed more organization, captions, and bullet points. Their main problem was writing to multiple readers including management, customers, and other non-technical people in the company. We taught them to write clearly and concisely, that is in plain English.

So I, a little kid from the tenements of Brooklyn who wanted to be an M-G-M musical comedy star, became a trainer and later a technical and business writer—and now an SEO copywriter.

A Brief Interview with Alice

What attracted you to SEO copywriting?

After completing various business writing projects for clients, I realized that I needed more persuasive tools to help my clients convert prospects to customers.

What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now? 

My main project is creating my own website and making sure that I use all the best SEO practices to attract clients for my new business.

What do you find most challenging/interesting about SEO copywriting?

My greatest challenge is trying to balance SEO keyphrases and good customer-oriented writing. I tend to write in a conversational tone, but when I review what I wrote, I discover that I didn’t include important keyphrases in my headings and captions.

What have you found to be the biggest “take-aways” from the SEO Copywriting Certification program?

I was delighted to discover that Heather spent the first two segments on getting to know your customer. Influenced by my study of Psycholinguistcs, my underlying principle in teaching writing since 1983 has always been getting to know your reader (prospect, customer) and understanding what their questions, concerns, and problems are.

Heather also validated for me the importance of communicating clearly and concisely in a conversational tone, an integral part of training by In Plain English Associates.

Finally, I appreciated learning about how to apply the best practices to ezines, blogs, and all social media elements.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

What free time? When I do have some, I teach friends to play bridge. I play bridge, lead a weekly creative writing workshop, and play guitar and sing.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the SEO Copywriting Certification program?

I tried studying on my own using free ebooks and blogs, but it wasn’t until I took Heather’s course that I realized how all the parts fit together. SEO includes much more than just learning how to find the best keyphrases.

I especially appreciate how generous Heather is with her students, even after they complete the course. She is always aware of the latest Google trends and makes sure her graduates are aware as well.

And I will be very proud to have my certification badge on my new website!

Alice Zyetz‘s new website is under construction, but you can find Alice on LinkedIn.

 

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Tess C. Taylor

Share with us a bit about your background. How did you come to be a freelance copywriter?

How I began my career as a web copywriter is a bit of a winding road.

After working as a human resource professional in the corporate sector for 14 years, I started getting restless and decided to start writing again – a love I had as a young person. The very first works I created were articles about the job market, which was a hot topic on the minds of many people during the first wave of the nation’s recession in 2006.

The manufacturing industry I happened to be in at the time was hit hard by rising gas prices. Just before Thanksgiving, the owners of the company handed me a list of names of people they had randomly chosen to let go – people I had grown to know well and whom had few marketable skills.

At that point, my heart sank and I decided to resign immediately after the holidays so these good folks could at least stay on for a few more months using my remaining salary.

I had begun my journey as a freelance writer, founding Taylor Resources Writing early in 2007.

Describe your freelance copywriting career, prior to earning your Certification in SEO Copywriting.

My very first real copywriting gig was working for FlexJobs.com, a well-known career website focused on telecommuting initiatives. This gave me the opportunity to not only help others find great work-at-home jobs, but to also share insight into various HR concepts and give advice to those hopefully searching for meaningful work.

This assignment lasted 18 months, during which time I learned a lot about writing in different formats and earned a good many private clients – including web content development projects. Over the next few years, I had the privilege of working with some of the best online marketers and web developers around the globe, all from the comfort of my tiny home office.

I was eventually published on multiple career and business websites, including US News Careers and The Chamber of Commerce.

What I did not realize until later on that was a pivotal factor in my success, was that I focused on my niche and established myself as a content expert in HR early on. This later led to my current assignment as a content writer for a prominent HR and benefits software developer, a role that has further launched me as a copywriting professional.

What sparked your interest in SEO Copywriting?

What attracted me to SEO copywriting in the first place was the chance to share knowledge on a much grander scale directly to the people who need it the most. So much about human resources is a mystery and often looked at with disdain, so I wanted to dispel myths and give people the power to understand what HR is really about. SEO copywriting is a great medium for this.

The second reason I was drawn to SEO copywriting as a career is because it allows for a lot of creative freedom, whilst working with other web and technology professionals.

The one thing I discovered along the way is that many web developers want and need the input of a competent content professional so that the work produced is higher quality. It is important to find others who understand this and never compromise on putting out the best quality websites, as the end result bears a reflection on you as well.

What SEO projects are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on several copy writing projects simultaneously, but all that include some element of writing in the HR vein.

I manage multiple blogs and write weekly on various human resource, finance and business topics. This keeps me up-to-date and on top of trends in this industry, something that is critical to being successful as a copywriter.

One of my bigger projects includes updating a massive library of HR topics for a corporate benefits portal that will become a resource for thousands of HR administrators and employees alike when the roll-out happens later this spring. It has been a challenging, yet very rewarding project so far – I cannot wait to see how it turns out!

What are your impressions of the SEO Copywriting Certification training program?

When I learned about the SEO Copywriting Certificate program, I was so excited to see that there was a way to finally earn a recognizable and respected credential in this market. So much about the SEO Copywriting course looked great, because I knew Heather Lloyd-Martin had put a lot of work into making it the best SEO copywriting course out there and because other leading copywriters have taken the course.

Combining my own experience in copywriting with the information found in the SEO Copywriting course seemed like the next best step in my career as a web copywriter.

While the SEO Copywriting course validated much of the informal training I had received from working with several web developers over the years, I was very impressed with the full range of knowledge that this course included. From the in-depth SWOT analysis and keyword research tools, to the Meta data and SEO editing sections, I learned so much more than I ever expected to. The convenience of being able to take the course around my already hectic schedule was an added bonus.

Any words for those who are interested in the SEO Copywriting Certification program?

If anyone reading this is wondering if the SEO Copywriting Certificate course is worth the investment, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth and so much more from taking Heather’s course.

The support and feeling of community from the online forum and monthly teleconferences, along with detailed lessons and information, can help anyone to become a better web copywriter. I personally recommend SEO Copywriting to anyone struggling in any area of web copywriting or to anyone who wants to take their career to the next level.

Tess C. Taylor, owner of Taylor Resources Writing, is an SEO web copywriter and HR expert living in Charleston, South Carolina. She has been published on multiple career and business websites including The Chamber of Commerce, Dale Carnegie, and US News Careers. When she’s not writing, Tess takes time to experience the world with her husband Eugean through photography, painting and music. You are welcome to follow Tess on her blog or over at Facebook.

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Marissa Bishop

Marissa Bishop is the founder of Mimi Bee Marketing, a company that provides writing, marketing and social-media services to big-idea entrepreneurs and business owners.

How would you define a big-idea entrepreneur or business owner? They are people who have a vision – or maybe even what some would consider a crazy idea – and decide to take the leap and pursue their dream anyway. Many are experts in their given field, but they have limited marketing or business experience.

Big-idea entrepreneurs and business owners recognize the importance of marketing to differentiate themselves, but don’t always know where to start; especially when it comes to online and social media. This is where Marissa comes in. She loves to connect with her clients and understand their vision and passion. From there, she helps them put together a plan that may include website development, blogs, e-mail marketing, repurposing content for presentations or e-books and social- media marketing.

Says Marissa, “Many of my clients have never heard of SEO, but they totally get ranking high in a Google search.”

What got you interested in SEO copywriting?

As a web 2.0 copywriter and marketer, optimizing for the web is critical. I recognized that providing my clients with good copy that drives sales, conversions or another call to action is only half of the battle. To do my job effectively, I need to be able to write content that drives traffic to sites.

What do you consider to be your biggest “take-away” from the certification program, in real-life terms?

Knowing where to start! Starting a project without having a clear understanding of how SEO works is like hiking up a mountain without a map. I have used Heather’s lessons and class modules as my map, making the entire process much less overwhelming.  Without this class, I would have jumped right in and started to tackle the key-phrase process. Now I take the time to do the necessary research and get to know my customer first. From there I feel much more confident in my ability to identify the key phrases that are most relevant to my website’s audience.

Lastly, I hadn’t really thought about it when I signed up for the course, but SEO is not just for websites. I am convinced using keyword phrases in social media will give my clients an edge in their marketplace. When my clients get the extra edge, I do too.

What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?

I am currently working on a project for a construction company that has very little web presence. Being able to clearly explain how SEO works and the importance of it really underscored my credentials as online copywriter and marketer.  I am looking forward to a much higher SEO ranking and repeat business!

What do you do in your free time?

I love to cook and created a blog called PassionFood that chronicles my experiments in the kitchen as a serious home cook. The twist is my husband critiques me and let me tell you, he is a tough critic! I’m anxious to implement my SEO learning into the blog – I am curious to see if we start to draw a new audience!

I also love to read. I recently finished The World According to Garp and I am currently reading Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. It’s a great read on the importance of building your network and gives practical advice on how to do it.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the program?

Sign up today! Not only does the course teach you how to create content that maximizes SEO, it covers copywriting essentials. Understanding the importance of competitive research, SWOT analysis, features versus benefits are the foundation for copywriting success

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Lynda Goldman

Today we talk with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad Lynda Goldman. The author of 30 books, Lynda Goldman specializes in SEO copywriting and marketing for the natural health industry. With a lifelong passion for natural health, Lynda is not only a copywriter for her clients, but she’s also their customer, so she knows intimately what customers are looking for.

What got you interested in SEO copywriting?

I’ve been dabbling in SEO for years, reading articles and using tools like Wordtracker to find key phrases that helped my articles get lots of hits. But I never really felt confident because there were gaps in my knowledge.

Over the past 20 years, I have been an author and educator, and have written 30 books with three major publishers. I transitioned into writing web content, case studies, ebooks, and newsletters for clients.

After working in a variety of industries, I decided to focus on the area of my passion: natural health, and natural beauty products.

SEO Copywriting Certificate graduate, Sarah Clachar, suggested Heather’s SEO copywriting course to me. I’d never heard of this course, but as soon as I saw Heather’s website I was hooked. It was like finding the missing pieces of the puzzle.

I was a bit worried about the technical aspects of SEO, since I am more creative than technical. Talking with Heather is like a breath of fresh air. She is so positive and reassuring, that I jumped right in and signed up for the course. And I’ve never looked back!

What do you consider to be your biggest “take-away” from the certification program, in real-life terms?

I loved that Heather’s course is about SEO copywriting, not just SEO. I see so many websites that are badly written, lacking basic elements like headlines. If they use an SEO firm the site may attract visitors, but the web copy is dull or filled with jargon and people leave right away. People may also use a copywriter who writes engaging material, but has no idea about SEO.

SEO copywriting combines both the art and science of writing for the web, which I find fascinating. I actually love doing keyword research to figure out what terms people use to search the internet.

What do you find most challenging/interesting about SEO copywriting?

It takes a special skill to weave keywords into headlines and body text that attracts the search engine spiders, and also attracts humans and entices them to keep reading. That’s the challenge I love about SEO copywriting.

This is even more important when writing for the nutritional supplement market, because of complicated government regulations. The copywriter has to know what is allowed, and use keywords strategically to get the right message across.

What SEO Copywriting projects are you working on now?

I’m delighted to say that my SEO Copywriting skills have worked beautifully on my own new website, which went up recently. Within a week of launching my site, I was on page one of Google for two of my key phrases. I was gratified, because up until now, my websites had always been buried on page 99 or worse, out in Siberia.

I’m also creating videos for my clients, because writing the script is a creative way to weave keywords into content that gets indexed quickly. Google loves video, and people love to watch video. It’s a great way for natural health customers to show the origins of their products, and connect with customers in a very human way.

I’m presenting at two major natural health conferences this fall: Natural Products Expo East and Natural Beauty Summit America, and there’s a lot of interest in SEO Copywriting and video to attract and convert web customers.

What do you do in your free time?

My passion is watercolor painting. Now that I think about it, watercolor is a bit like SEO Copywriting. To get beautiful results, you have to combine the creative aspect of painting with the technical aspect of knowing how the pigments react to each other and the water.

I also started bodybuilding recently with Jimmy Caruso, who trained and photographed Arnold Schwarzenegger before he became a world champion. Jimmy is a hoot! He’s 86 years old, and has a great story.

I love reading books on health and business, interspersed with fiction. That, and a few cups of organic, fair trade espresso a day keep me going strong.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the program?

There are so many copywriters toiling at the bottom of the scale, writing for minimum wage. SEO copywriting elevates you so you become a strategic consultant and a copywriter who provides more value because you can measure the results of your work.

Heather’s SEO copywriting course is the only one that offers certification, so it’s a no-brainer. Beyond that, Heather is one of the warmest, most giving teachers you will ever meet. She’s always positive and a joy to work with, and offers a depth of knowledge unparalleled in this industry. In an area rife with jargon, Heather’s course is so easy to follow that I actually found myself eager to start the next chapter. What’s not to love?

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Jacqueline Morrison

Jacqueline is a web author from Glasgow. Her first business failed and that’s how she got into SEO Copywriting.  But let’s back up a little and start at the beginning, on Christmas Day 2005 to be precise.

At 5.30pm on said day Jacqueline became a first time mum to a baby girl and not content with being a new mum, she decided to start a new business as well.  Full of enthusiasm, she set out and promptly made every mistake in the book, listened to all the wrong people and spent her money on all the wrong stuff.

Jacqueline had decided to a start an internet business, she had a domain name, she had a website and all she had to do was sit back and wait for the traffic and sales to come.  What Jacqueline didn’t realise (and I’m guessing she’s not the only one) is that ‘have website’ does not necessarily mean ‘have traffic’.

By the time she had spent a lot of money on the wrong things there was little left to spend on a website and even less to market it.  In fact marketing the website was a whole new concept to Jacqueline, who was still labouring under the illusion of ‘have website, make money’.  At this point Jacqueline attended a presentation on SEO at a local business club and was so overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done that she went home, ate a whole packet of posh chocolate biscuits and didn’t go back.

But after a few more months of no traffic and no sales, she did go back, again and again and again.  She bought books on search engine optimisation and enlisted the help of Brian Mathers, one of the UK’s top internet marketers with a passion for helping the small business community. With Brian’s help, Jacqueline persevered until the ‘SEO stuff’ made sense.

By day she was a full time mum (baby number two had also arrived) trying to run a business, and by night was going to college to learn how to really work this website that was supposed to bring financial freedom.

Skip forward a year or two: the original business was still haemorrhaging money. The cost of manufacturing was simply too high and the product not profitable.  With the help of Mr. Mathers, Jacqueline had learned the skills associated with search engine optimisation while trying to run a small business and decided to offer those same skills back to the small business community. Based on her own experiences, Jacqueline can truly empathise with other small business owners struggling with the same internet marketing issues.  The decision was taken to let the original business go and the idea of Miss Morrison was born.

What attracted you to SEO Copywriting?

It was the copywriting side of things.  I have a SEO background but I hadn’t ever touched on the copywriting side of things and I felt that this was an area where I could expand my skills and offer more of a niche service.

What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?

Quite an interesting mix!  I’m working with a local hotel on their Scottish castles wedding package and I support some local financial services firms.  Most recently I finished a site for a private investigator, which was a tough assignment indeed.  The client was very much like the work that he does – secretive!  Not one iota of information did he want to give away and it was hard to deliver copy that he was comfortable with but also contained enough information to move his potential customers to action.

I’m also working on another project called The Engine Driver that is close to my heart. The aim of the site is to teach small business owners about internet marketing but in a way that they understand.  My SEO journey began because I was struggling with my own small business and I couldn’t afford for anyone else to help me and those experiences are still fresh (and painful) enough to allow me to connect with other business owners and deliver info in a way that is ‘hands on’ useful to them without baffling them with science.

What do you find most challenging/interesting about SEO copywriting?

Sitting down to do the actual writing.  Even when all my keyphrase research and other preparations are complete, I can easily work my  way through umpteen cups of tea and every secret biscuit and sweetie stash in the house before being able to sit at my desk and just write.

What have you found to be the biggest “take-aways” from the SEO copywriting certification program?

Heather’s approach to page titles and meta descriptions has brought about the biggest change in my writing style. Although the meta descriptions have no influence on SEO I now have a much greater appreciation of their click through or conversion value.  Heather also suggested that if you wouldn’t submit your web copy to a magazine then maybe it shouldn’t be on your website either, and I think that is a fantastic way of encouraging the writer to step back and ask, who is the focus here – the reader or a search engine?

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Well, I go from one extreme to another.  If I’m not out running or at body combat, step, or yoga class I am quite partial to a cup of tea on the couch with a wee cake and a book.   However with two small children in the house the chances of actually getting to eat my cake or read a book in peace are quite slim.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the SEO Copywriting Certification program?

Go for it, it is money well spent.  If you are new to SEO I believe Heather’s instruction teaches you what you need to know in a non- techno babble way, and if (like me) you have a thorough grounding in SEO, the copywriting techniques will improve your writing by focusing your attention on the reader rather than the search engines.

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Cherryl Wistos

Cherryl never thought of herself as a writer.

After college, she worked as a liaison between design engineers and factory personnel in the aerospace and automotive industries for some 25 years.

Cherryl converted engineering drawings created by design engineers into step-by-step instructions for factory personnel to use.

She loved the challenges and interacting with the people.

But when the manufacturing industry started cutting back, like so many others… Cherryl found herself looking for work.

While working as an independent contractor, Cherryl started a part-time marketing and graphic design business – a long time passion. She created promotional materials like… brochures, business cards, promotional fliers, and such… for small businesses in her area.

Then in 2007, she discovered the world of copywriting.  Taking a LOT of courses from AWAI, Cherryl quickly learned how different copywriting was from the step-by-step instructional type of  writing she had been doing.

But she also discovered how beneficial both types of writing could be for the right targeted market.

Her company, Target Marketing Strategies, markets services to small and mid-sized companies within her areas of expertise in the following categories:

  • Business-to-business
  • Hi-Tech Business
  • Manufacturing (aerospace, automotive-related, and so on…)

Not only does Cherryl have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology, but she continuously adds to her education by taking courses in marketing and graphic design.

She recently completed Heather’s SEO Copywriting Certification course to increase credibility to her potential clients.

What attracted you to SEO Copywriting?

I’d built my own website using one of those web templates. You know the kind I mean – the ones that tell you: you can have your site up and on the ‘net in a few easy steps. Well after spending several days setting it up and publishing it… my site wasn’t getting found by anyone and it wasn’t getting any traffic either.

The first time I’d heard about SEO copywriting was when Heather introduced her SEO Copywriting Success Course through AWAI. I jumped on it!

The tips I learned from her really opened my eyes. I applied them to my site and within a short time, started gaining visibility and better search engine rankings.

After that… I was HOOKED!

What SEO Copywriting projects are you working on now?

I’m working with a client who wants to ramp-up the lead generation on her site. She bought into a leads generating program and wants me to set it up for her with landing pages, sales pages and such.

Plus… I’m building a passive income – money-making website for myself.  And I’m always tweaking my business site to increase visibility and attract more clients.

What do you find most challenging/interesting about SEO copywriting?

The most interesting part of SEO copywriting for me is refining the content so it makes sense to the reader and yet still provides the search engines with enough tasty ‘treats’.

What have you found to be the biggest “take-aways” from the SEO Copywriting Certification program?

That’s easy!  Validation.  Being certified as an SEO copywriter adds credibility in the eyes of my clients.

I learned from my college days that, that piece of paper called the diploma gives you a leg up. Not because of the diploma, but because it shows the employers or clients that you see things through and don’t quit. It’s not easy and they know it.

So anytime you can add credibility, that’s a plus.  At least that’s been my experience.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Ah – free time. What’s that? HA… just kidding. My family and I recently moved to Northern California. So we’re having a blast exploring the area.

We live up in the Sierra Nevada’s where the 1849 gold rush happened. There’s LOTS of history here – sights to see… like touring the Empire Mine. One of the most profitable hard-rock gold mines in the area… removing 5.8 million ounces of gold out of the ground from 1850 to when it closed in 1956… due to water flooding the mine shafts.  In fact… that’s what my passive income site is about… Northern California Fun.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the SEO Copywriting Certification program?

Like I said before… if you want to be taken seriously by your clients, then give yourself an edge.  This SEO Copywriting Certification Program does just that. It adds validation and increases credibility. It’s been my experience!