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5 Steps to Building a Powerful SEO Copywriting Business Network with LinkedIn

After 2-3 years of trying several different social networks for my SEO copywriting business, I had a breakthrough.

In the past six months, most of my biggest web projects came from one source: LinkedIn.

I’ve come to realize that my LinkedIn connections have been more fruitful for my business, BY FAR, than any other marketing method I’ve tried. Here’s why I believe it’s a terrific resource for you too:

  • Your LinkedIn connections are truly business-focused connections.
    People are using LinkedIn primarily for business conversations, sharing business tips, finding business contacts and opportunities, and asking questions about business success. I have not found this to be true with the other social media.
  • LinkedIn connections are often from companies with decent marketing budgets.
    The clients who reached out to me via LinkedIn were mainly from companies looking for a skilled SEO copywriter to help improve an existing website or launch a new site. This work was in their marketing budget for the year and they were ready to go. They were happy to find me and were willing to pay my fees for quality SEO copywriting. The same can happen for you too.
  • LinkedIn connections represent all types of opportunities for your business. Over the last couple of years, I’ve connected with more than 600 people I know personally from my career and my school days. I have connections with former colleagues, associates I met through business groups, college classmates and friends, high school friends, graphic designers, web developers, ad agency people I’ve met, fellow copywriters, industry leaders like Heather, and many, many other types of people. Any one of them can be a great source of referrals or business. You never know!

It’s not just me that’s having better luck with LinkedIn than some other social networks when it comes to finding business clients. HubSpot’s 2011 State of Inbound Marketing report shows that, “the effectiveness of particular social media channels varies according to the type of business.”

In a survey of over 600 professionals, they found that “LinkedIn is clearly more effective (than Facebook) for B2B businesses.

So why not try it and see for yourself? It’s incredibly easy and it’s FREE. Try these five ways to dive in and create a powerful network for your business, all from the comfort of home:

Create an optimized profile of yourself.

For example, include the phrase “SEO copywriter” in your SUMMARY and in the description of current business. Include all past work you’ve done as a virtual resume under EXPERIENCE, but be sure to showcase the work you’ve done that’s relevant for today’s potential clients.

You don’t need to do it all at once, but eventually you’ll want to create a robust profile with relevant content in each prompted section.

Start connecting with the most obvious folks on your list.

This will include current employers (if you’re still working at a company), current colleagues, past colleagues, college friends, local business folks you know… anyone who comes to mind. You might make a big list on paper and then search for those people in LinkedIn’s SEARCH area.

When you send a request to connect, always add a little personal note to say “hi” and let the person know what you’re doing. Here’s an example:

“Hey Bob! Great to see you here. Just letting you know I’m now a Certified SEO Copywriter focusing on improving website performance for clients. Perhaps you know someone who could use my help? In the meantime, I’d love to add you to my LinkedIn Connections. What are you up to these days? Cheers, Pam”

Continue connecting with “People you may know.”

As you begin building a network of connections from all your past jobs, etc., LinkedIn feeds you a list of people who you may know based on your new connections. This list is a goldmine, so make the most of it!  You’ll find people you completely forgot about or you haven’t seen in years. With a quick invitation to connect, you suddenly strike up a new relationship that could lead to a great referral or project.

I check out the “People you may know” at least once a week and send out at least 10 invitations each time. It adds up quickly.

 Join Groups that are relevant to your business.

If your SEO copywriting work is for a particular niche market (which I highly recommend), join groups in that market. For example, I’m focused on the pet industry, so I’ve joined Pet Business groups and Veterinary groups.

Joining groups helps you keep track of questions and topics that are important to your specific market, and when it makes sense, chime in on a discussion (without promoting your business of course, because no-one likes spammy participants).

Be an amazing contributor.

Whenever you can, use the “Share an update” box on your home page to post helpful tips, links, ideas, questions, answers, sources, industry news, etc. that your connections may find helpful. Try not to be overly promotional. Just be helpful. That’s the simple rule of thumb for all your social media efforts.

And don’t forget to use relevant keywords in your posts! This helps potential clients find you in LinkedIn search.

Bonus tip: Ask for recommendations and give recommendations.

LinkedIn makes it very easy to reach out to folks and ask for a personal recommendation of your work. By clicking on the Recommendations button, you can send a simple request via email. Be sure to add a personal message and offer to return the favor.

Not everyone will stop and write a recommendation, but it’s great when some people do take the time. I’ve accumulated a nice list of testimonials through this feature.

This gives you a solid start on making the most of LinkedIn. There are many other ways you can make the most of this free resource once you get your foundation going.

Keep linking and good luck!

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Pam Foster is the director of copywriting training for AWAI. She is also the author of  The Web Copywriter’s Clear Path to Profits, a Certified SEO Copywriter and Sr. Content Marketing Consultant at ContentClear Marketing 

Want Better Conversions? Get Specific with Your Benefit Statements

Want to sell more?

Make your benefit statements specific. Very specific.

Heather developed this piece in response to a reader question about how to increase the effectiveness of their web copy. In looking through the reader’s web content, Heather realized that one of the opportunities the copywriter could leverage was to make their marketing copy more specific.

While the general reader benefit statements were powerful, honing them to highly tangible and specific “what’s-in-it-for-me” language is what this copywriter needed to do to improve their conversions. So for those of you who have been struggling with writing better sales copy and are looking for any advantage you can find, you should find this most helpful:

1. So these are so-so benefit statements. (Let’s make them better…)

  • Boost your revenue!
  • Let us help you save time!
  • Save money!

The challenge? People have different ideas about what “boosting revenue,” “saving time” and “saving money” mean. The web copy doesn’t paint a picture. This is where the specifics come in…

2. Specifics take a good marketing statement and make it sexy

  • Boost your revenue by 30%!
  • What would you do with an extra hour every day?
  • Slice your expenses by $2,000 a month!

So you can see how these highly specific benefits, expressed in such personalized, concrete and precise terms, can be something simple to leverage…

3. So what does this mean to your online writing?

  • Track how you’ve helped your customers – what specifics can you uncover?
  • Try to back up any “general” benefit statement with an exact number or percentage.
  • Don’t feel compelled to “round up.” If you’ve boosted profits by 27.6%, it’s OK to use that stat.

If you haven’t yet asked your customers for testimonials, now would be a great time to start. Ask them if they can provide you with any precise specifications in terms of numbers and percentages. Studies have shown that accurate, factual spec’s (e.g., 27.6% as opposed to 25- or 30%) are found to be more credible by prospects. And besides, it’s the truth of the matter!

Try these suggestions and watch your conversions improve!

3 Ways to Re-Ignite Your Web Copy Right Now

Welcome!  Today we’re introducing a fun new feature to Heather’s Monday how-to video blog series: answering your questions!  Yes, Heather is accepting questions you may have regarding anything SEO, content marketing, and web writing, then answering via her video blog post.  How cool is that?  

Today’s post answers one of Heather’s most frequently asked questions:  “I’ve had this website for awhile and I want to make some changes, but I don’t know what to check out or where to start.”

Listen in, as Heather addresses what you should be checking out right now, and other tips to ramp up your web copy and content marketing!

1. Revisit Your Marketing  (A Good Thing)

It’s an inescapable truism: with any website or marketing material that we’ve been looking at for awhile, we tend to lose the “fresh” perspective of our prospect and it simply gets stale.  But this sticking point is actually a fantastic opportunity to revisit your marketing, and the starting point for that is analytics.

2. What’s Working?  What’s Not?  (Check Your Analytics)

For those of you who are averse to analytics, please don’t be!  No need: it’s not too difficult or techie. Really! Embrace analytics as your friend!  Analytics offer incredible information at your fingertips that shows you what pages are resonating with your audience, as well as those that are “clunky” and could be improved upon to do more for your conversions.

But if you’re simply allergic to analytics, consider bringing on some one who can help you.  Once you’ve a handle on the data, you can start making some really smart, informed decisions about what is working for your site as well as what needs tweaking.

3.  Are You Boring Your Readers or Engaging Them?  (Customer Persona, Tone and Feel)

It’s always a smart move to revisit the tone and feel of your site: is it resonating with your customer persona?   How does your content “sound” to your perfect prospect?  Are you engaging your reader?

Now that companies have begun to emerge from the recession, it’s delightful to see them want to reinvest in their website copy, and especially to re-invest in their sites’ tone and feel.  This renewal presents a fabulous opportunity for reviewing and updating their customer persona — or begin to build one — by figuring out what makes their prospects tick.

This doesn’t mean that you have to sound “corporate” in your tone and feel.  But by all means, play with the tone and feel and see what happens, then write content that is tightly wrapped around your customer persona.

Again, this is where you check your analytics to see what is working and what is not.

4.  What New Opportunities Can You Explore?

Some folks may have had to hold back due to tight finances, and so haven’t invested the time, energy, or other resources necessary to building a blog, a Twitter presence, or other social media profile.  Maybe now is the time to do so, as blogs and other social media platforms present great new opportunities to:

  • Connect and engage with your customers
  • Show prospects that you have what they’re looking for
  • Prove yourself as an “expert resource” for your customer

And that is when your customers are going to feel more comfortable and confident in buying from you, asking you for more information, or otherwise converting!

5. Think of Content Opportunities That Might Make Sense for You

Some social media platforms or venues may make far more sense for you than others.  There are so many opportunities out there, and it truly is up to you to decide what works best for you! For instance, Facebook might be best for B2C, while LinkedIn and white papers may prove the best venue for B2B.

Thanks for tuning in to this inaugural Heather Q&A how-to!  

 

SEO Copywriting Overwhelm? What to Focus on First

Greetings! Today’s video post answers the common reader question: “What should I focus on first in an SEO copywriting campaign?” This question is asked ever more frequently, by businesses both large and small, because there are so many SEO copywriting and content marketing opportunities out there that it can be overwhelming.

Back in the day, SEO copywriters were primarily concerned with creating websites and producing content for those sites. Now, there’s that plus social media venues like Facebook and Twitter, blogs, perhaps e-books and white papers, all vying for your attention. While all these opportunities are great, the typical content marketer can get completely overwhelmed by all the competing options and lose her momentum because she has no idea where to start first.

Tune in as Heather suggests solid ways to find your focus and get the SEO copywriting and content marketing ball rolling again:

You can figure out ideas for a starting point for your SEO copywriting campaign based on:

1. Analytics

If you don’t have any kind of website analytics installed on your site (such as Google Analytics, which is free), then it is strongly recommended that you do so. Analytics helps you make informed decisions about your website and related marketing content – anything else is only an educated guess. Analytics allows you to drill down into your data so you can figure out exactly what is going on.

2. Site Goals

What are your website goals? What do you want to be when you grow up with your site? After creating your website, it’s easy to want to move on to the next big thing, such as starting a Twitter campaign, when really – considering where your business is at right now – it may not be the best thing to focus on first. It may be a smarter and more cost-effective move to start with smaller, readily do-able things which many companies have realized great gains from…

A sampling of low-hanging fruit tasks includes:

  • Conduct keyphrase research/revise your current research: While this especially applies to new sites, if you haven’t revisited your analytics for awhile this may be the time to do so.  You may well find that some keyphrases that worked when you started out are no longer performing.
  • Train your staff in the latest Web SEO writing techniques: This particularly applies to those of you stuck in the “I need to produce content but don’t have the budget” track. It can prove very cost-effective to have a staff member involved with your content marketing trained in SEO copywriting best practices.
  • Determine what content is working and write more of it.
  • Repurpose existing content (e.g., turn a blog into tweets).
  • Poll your customers/readers and ask what they’d like to see.
  • Guest blog: this is a great way to get exposure to other markets.
  • Get outside help: We all sometimes suffer from being so close to our work that we don’t see content opportunities. There’s no shame in having someone on the “outside” review your content with a fresh perspective.

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending January 19th, 2011

Cultivating your competitive edge is the theme of this week’s latest and greatest web writing news.  It’s a proverbial jungle out there, and advice on how to successfully pen and market your way through it — from content and social media marketing to SEO and search – dominates the buzz.  Get your competitive edge starting with this week’s selections:

Content Marketing:

2011 is going to be the year of the tablet, from the Kindle to the iPad to smart phones, according to this Seth Godin post that looks at the evolution of internet marketing.

Copyblogger posts its latest weekly wrap, including an exceptional piece about creating exceptional content.

Great article at iMedia Connection about building the buzz to boost your brand, and a second smart read at Harvard Business Review discuses the new calculus of competition.

This Neuroscience Marketing post reviews the book, The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do, by Eduardo Porter.

And speaking of things print, Content Marketing Institute announced the launch of its Chief Content Officer magazine, available in both print and digital.

SEO & Search:

An SEO checklist for social media marketers is posted at SEOmoz, as well as more traditional SEO fare such as exploring the challenge of doing SEO for sites and products with no search demand.

Ross Dawson discusses the kinds of context that will define contextual search on his blog, and Lisa Barone addresses dumb SEO mistakes at Outspoken Media.

Speaking of Google antics, did you receive a negative review on Google Maps?  Looks like you may be stuck with it, according to this post by Barry Schwartz.

Search Engine Journal posts a how-to on maximizing your existing content for link-building purposes, and Search News Central discusses how to perform a competitive link analysis.

Social Media Marketing:

More competition: Blog World recommends doing a competitive analysis to improve your blog, while Social Media Examiner discusses how to gain competitive insight via social media.

SME has announced the 2011 winners of its Top 10 Social Media Blogs competition.

In the meantime, Problogger released its list of the 40 bloggers to watch in 2011.

eMarketer predicts that social network advertising in the U.S. will explode this year, driven  by Facebook.  Meanwhile, Mashable reports that StumbleUpon recently set a new record of 27.5 million stumbles in one day.

This Click Z column by Liana Evans shares tips for optimizing and integrating your social media across channels.

Jon Rognerud recommends 20 tools to help measure social media user engagement and track ROI at his blog, and Sexy Social Media discusses social media trustbait (think social media’s version of linkbait) as the future.

Finally, a fun SEOmoz post by Dan Zarella addresses the different makeup of Twitter vs. Facebook users.  The blog title is precious.

4 Experts Share How They Rock B2B Content Marketing with LinkedIn

Are you cultivating relationships with colleagues and potential clients?

Have you built a solid company page?

Are you actively participating and posting your content in key LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry’s vertical?

Have you considered establishing your own LinkedIn group?

If not, you really should: LinkedIn is an ideal platform for B2B content marketing, as well as for boosting your brand’s visibility, forging valuable connections, and generating leads.

Still not convinced? Then read what four expert B2B content marketers have to say about leveraging LinkedIn, in response to this question:

 What’s your favorite way to use LinkedIn for B2B content marketing?

 Miranda Miller

 Miranda Miller (@MirandaM_EComm), Founder of MEDIAau

As a content marketing agency, our clients are other business people, marketers and executives, so LinkedIn is an important tool for us. I syndicate content published on our blog, as well as columns we publish in industry publications, to my personal LinkedIn.

Each of your connections and subscribers receive a notification from LinkedIn letting them know you published a new post, so it’s far more effective than organic Facebook in exposing your content to the people with whom you’ve already connected. It’s also dead simple to use, with easy image uploading and very few formatting options. If you aren’t publishing on LinkedIn, you’re missing out!

Tom Pick

Tom Pick (@TomPick), Founder of Webbiquity

The first step to optimizing B2B content marketing efforts on LinkedIn is to build a great company page. LinkedIn actually provides some helpful guidance and resources around best practices for creating an effective company page.

Once you’ve created a great page, promote it and encourage people to follow it from your website, blog, email newsletter, at live events, and any other opportunities that arise. This won’t make your company awesome at B2B content marketing on LinkedIn by itself, but it’s an essential first step.

Next, find, join, and utilize LinkedIn Groups. Precisely “how” this is done is a moving target, as LinkedIn has made significant changes to how groups work over the past 18 months, and it continues to do so.

Just as Google has made changes to its algorithm to minimize spam in search results, so LinkedIn continues to evolve groups to eliminate unwanted, low-value posts.

While groups have traditionally been an excellent place to share content, abuse by some members (e.g., trying to pass off promotion for their upcoming webinar as “news”) has led LinkedIn to clamp down on discussion items’ submissions and exposure.

What’s most important to remember when contributing to groups, or using features like publishing on LinkedIn or integrating SlideShare with your LinkedIn profile, is to focus on adding value. Increasingly, thinly veiled promotion posts will be punished on LinkedIn, while adding value — helping others in your network and groups to do their jobs more effectively — will be rewarded.

Steve Rayson

Steve Rayson (@steverayson), Co-Director of Buzzsumo

I find LinkedIn is a great place to build relationships. My tip is to share content from people you respect and make a point of commenting on their posts. It is good relationship building, but I also really enjoy the debate and learn a lot this way. LinkedIn groups also have great potential for discussion but in my view, they work best as small private communities. There is little engagement in many large groups.

In terms of content, I find my LinkedIn audience is very interested in industry news, trends and current issues. In every industry there are points of debate or controversy that generate a lot of engagement. Thus I try to keep many of my posts focused on these issues. Overall I find my posts appear to have greater visibility on LinkedIn. I may have a smaller audience, but I get a lot more engagement on LinkedIn than on other networks.

Steve Slaunwhite

Steve Slaunwhite (@steveslaunwhite), Founder of Copywriting Training Center

My favorite way is posting strategically written, highly targeted articles. It’s competitive (there are thousands of articles posted on LinkedIn each day), but pays off big when done right.

An article on LinkedIn can get read by dozens, perhaps hundreds, of new prospects — some of whom will subsequently visit your profile or website. In addition, a well-crafted, optimized article can be repurposed in numerous ways: email newsletter, blog post, printed piece (as a handout), part of an ebook, etc. It’s a winning strategy no matter how you look at it.

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7 Hot Tips for Writing a Top-Converting Services Page [VIDEO]

Want to know the secrets to writing a top-converting services page?

Unlike product pages, which are all about landing the sale, service pages are different.

It’s all about getting the lead.

With that in mind, here are seven smart strategies for capturing leads with savvy SEO copywriting.

Watch the video for all the juicy information, or check out a summary of the tips below:

1. Focus on benefits, not features

Don’t bury your benefit statements! It’s important to address how your service can specifically help your prospect. For instance, will your service save your customers money? Help them make more money? Streamline their operations? Tell them!

Features are important– but it’s your unique sales proposition (U.S.P.) and benefit statements that will grab your prospect’s interest and make them contact you. Merely listing features makes you sound the same as everyone else providing the same or a similar service. Who wants that?

2.  Consider persona-specific landing pages

Creating landing pages specifically addressing your main targeted audiences is a powerful strategy.

Constant Contact, an email platform, used to show vertical-specific landing pages targeted towards individual industry niches. I LOVE this approach. Why? Vertical-specific pages have very cool SEO and reader benefits.

From the SEO side, vertical-specific landing pages allow you to target highly specific keyphrases, for example [email marketing for real estate agents].

From the reader side, you can tie your writing back to your customer persona and drive home the “what’s-in-it-for-them” benefits. For instance, in the case of Constant Contact, people won’t just read about how cool email marketing is — instead, they’ll read an entire page focused on the benefits of email marketing for their industry. That’s a pretty powerful message!

3.  Don’t write skimpy copy

67% of the B2B buyers’ journey is done digitally, according to Forrester Research. That means if your site offers skimpy information and little copy, you run the risk of prospects leaving your site and checking out another vendor. Remember, people won’t “just call” or send you an email. No solid services information = no sale.

4. Include solid, vertical-specific testimonials

Yes, testimonials are smart to have on your site as social proof — but they are only as credible as you make them. Whenever possible, use the full, real names of your testimonial clients rather than just initials.  The latter can look fake (however real they might be) and could prove counter-productive.

5.  Highlight your company’s overarching benefits, too

Besides individual, specific service benefits, you want to highlight the larger, big-picture benefits that your company has to offer on every single page of your website.

Do you offer free, fast shipping? Does your company offer “white-glove” services, while your competitors offer a DIY solution? Shout your overarching benefits from the rooftops!

Boring B2B and B2C companies list technical features and facts, assuming that’s all their prospect wants (or needs) to know. Don’t be like those companies! In the words of Theodore Levitt from Harvard University, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.”

6Pay close attention to your page Titles

Yes, Titles are very important to readers and for SEO purposes — and it’s crucial to write them right.  If you create vague, non-descript Titles with broad keywords, such as “marketing services” or “web design,” you won’t see the positions you want — nor will you see much organic search traffic.

If your Titles are so-so, consider revisiting your keyphrase research and making some strategic tweaks. You may see a boost in page positions (and search traffic) if you do!

7.  Consider conducting keyphrase research before you name your services 

A cool-sounding, unique service name may seem edgy — but it may not be intuitively searchable. Naming your service something like “Revenue $ucce$$” when you offer “accounts payable services” may make your service hard to find online.

Some companies will conduct keyphrase research before naming a service. That way, they know what words people are using to search for what they offer — and they can consider using those search terms as part of the service name.

Looking for more how-to information? Learn how to write a killer home page and a revenue-driving product page!

Target Your Web Copy with an Ideal Customer Profile

Guest Author, Courtney Ramirez

There’s something at the center of every great web copy page. It’s not keyword selection or the call to action, although those are both important factors. It’s the customer. Understanding the customer is at the heart of good copywriting – but to make truly great SEO copywriting you need to go one step further and create an ideal client profile.

In an Ideal World, Who Are You Doing Business With?

When you create an ideal customer profile, you’re basically answering this question. Who do you want to do business with? The biggest mistake I see clients make is that they assume that everyone needs their product or service. This happens with everyone from solopreneurs to large corporations. No matter what your size, you need to narrow your scope and find an ideal client. Your ideal client is uniquely suited to what you have to offer.

Does this mean that you’ll turn away consulting clients who don’t fit your exact ideal or set up your shopping cart so only certain people can make a purchase? Of course not. When you focus on marketing to your ideal client you’ll naturally get business from people who are “nearly ideal.” Not everyone you attract will be carbon copies of one another.

Creating web copy pages with an ideal client profile in mind will make the process a lot easier, and a lot more effective. It will help you reach out to those ideal and nearly ideal clients in a more precise way.

With an Ideal Client Profile, You’ll Benefit From:

  • Easier keyword selection – You can tap into the exact words that your clients would use to describe your product or service. By getting into their head, you can find keyword phrases that represent their research phase, their decision making phase and their buying phase.
  • More targeted copy – Writing to an audience that includes everyone and your grandma can really muck up your copy. By focusing on just one person, you’ll know exactly what type of language to use.
  • Clearer calls to action– The more you know about your ideal client and what motivates them, the better your conversion rates will be.

Now that you know about the gloriousness that can come from an ideal client profile, it’s time to piece one together.

Building Your Ideal Client Profile – A Few Rules

  • Your ideal client is not your target market. Your ideal client is part of your target market but they are different. Think of it this way – your target market is your vineyard and your ideal client is that one perfect bunch of grapes that is perfectly ripe. Your vineyard includes lots of perfectly fine bunches, but you want to pick the perfect one.
  • The more specific, the better. Don’t be afraid to get really specific with your ideal client profile. Many businesses resist this type of narrowcasting because they believe that it will put a cap on their profits. Not so! If you know your audience well, you’ll be converting your ideal clients and nearly ideal clients at a better rate than casting a wide net and trying to market to everyone.

Building Your Ideal Client Profile – 3 Steps

Step One – Demographics

The demographic characteristics of your ideal client will detail their age, income, location and other quantifiable factors.

For example, an inner wealth coach focuses on working with high income women in Los Angeles, between the ages of 35 and 65, who have more than $2 million in net worth. This demographic information is an important starting point because already we can tell that the copy will be geared toward a female reader and keywords should include location.

Step Two – Psychographics

Demographics were the tried and true way to research a target market but due in part to the Internet, they are not enough to zero in on an ideal client. Online demographic groups can mingle to create new groups based on motivations, interests and feelings. Psychographic information helps you zero in on the intangible similarities between the members of your target market. With it, you can get a clearer picture of your ideal client.

The same inner wealth coach has psychographic quantifiers for her ideal client. She mainly works with women from that demographic group who feel trapped in wealth and aren’t sure how to cope with the feelings of being extremely privileged. They are looking for something more than just a weekly shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. They want to find their purpose and use their wealth to create good in the world. These psychographic elements will affect how the copy will position this particular coach’s services and will create the tone for the web content pages.

Step Three – Fleshing Out the Persona

Finally, it’s time to put your creative writing cap on and flesh out your ideal client profile into a persona. Look over the demographic and psychographic characteristics and create a person to fit those details. Give the person a name. Tell their back story. Get really specific and you’ll be able to understand how to reach your audience better.

For example, Stacia is a 42-year-old woman who lives in Beverly Hills. She has been married for 18 years and has a 15 year old daughter and 12 year old son. She is married to Greg, who is the CEO of a major entertainment company. She believes that she can do more with her money. She worries about raising her children in affluence and making sure they come out with good values intact. She likes bargain shopping but doesn’t know if it’s “okay” for her to shop at Costco. She has several causes that she is interested in supporting but doesn’t know how to start supporting them in a real and lasting way beyond making financial donations.

Find a picture on Flickr to match your ideal client profile so you know who you’re writing for. Get as detailed as possible with your ideal client, especially with large websites where you’ll need a lot of copy. By taking the time to create a profile you’ll find your SEO copywriting will be much more effective and easier to write.

About Courtney Ramirez:

Courtney Ramirez is a certified SEO copywriter and content marketing consultant. As a student of search engine marketing, web usability and social media, she’s been able to craft a writing style that is both inviting to readers and ranking factors.

Courtney prides herself on excellent customer service and is semi-addicted to the Sims 3. When she’s not typing away at the keyboard, she is spending time with her husband, an author, and two daughters.

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending August 10th, 2011

Shiny new toys seem to have lost their luster, and just how much is too much? Interesting conversations about having too much content on a given page for your own good, and the dramatic rise and seeming fizzle of Google+ are among the highlights in this week’s latest and greatest web writing news. Take a peek at this week’s selections:

Content Marketing

So how much content is too much?  Marketing Sherpa posts that while content-heavy pages can bring search traffic, they may also incur search penalties.

Lee Odden discusses the trend of “brands as publishers” (and publishers as online marketers) at Top Rank.

In a twist on the brand-publisher-marketer theme, We Grow Media interviews Joe Pulizzi on why marketers should be publishers.

iMedia Connection posts the top 10 brands in video (“new names and killer campaigns”) and how to transform yourself into a brand.

Heidi Cohen lists 30 branding definitions at her site, noting that in and of itself, a brand is not a marketing strategy.

Ian Lurie posts a keeper with an internet marketing priority list at Conversation Marketing.

Another one for the bookmarks: Michele Linn of Content Marketing Institute shares 10 must-have templates for content marketers.

Mack Collier posts using “topic buckets” to improve your blogging and SEO.

Jay Baer posts the first of a new video series with “don’t be a content marketing grinch” at Convince and Convert.

In a similar thread, Shelly Bowen makes the case for sharing content strategy success at pybop.

Five ways to produce content that readers will love are posted at Kikolani.

HubSpot posts three questions businesses should ask when selecting a marketing agency.

Great read at Search Engine Watch sharing a few lessons the author learned about online writers “down on the content farm.”

Eight ways to discover content ideas from your readers are posted at Social Media Examiner.

Finally, a step-by-step guide to effective online article marketing (part 2) is at Search Engine Land.

SEO & Search

As noted in last week’s roundup, the buzz swarming Google+ has died down, and so has its traffic: by Danny Goodwin at Search Engine Watch.

Greg Finn posts a look behind the numbers of the Google+ unprecedented surge in unique visitors – 25 million of them – at Search Engine Land.

Bookmark this one: The complete history of Google’s algorithm changes via SEOmoz.  (Thank you, Dr. Pete).

And bookmark this one, too: Kiss Metrics posts global web usage trends based on Google’s 2011 web analytics review, complete with nifty graphics.

SEO stats galore await you in the latest Marketing Sherpa Benchmark Study, reports Matt McGee at Search Engine Land.

Go fetch, Google-bot! Vanessa Fox posts a how-to on a new way to direct Google-bot to your new and updated web pages at Search Engine Land.  (Also reported by Rob D. Young at Search Engine Watch).

Whoa, dude! Can query volume directly influence rankings? At SEOmoz.

Barry Schwartz reports on ISP’s that have been caught (allegedly) hijacking and redirecting search results at Search Engine Land.

Google’s bringing back realtime search via Google+, as reported by both  Search Engine Watch and HubSpot.

Search Engine Journal posts applying landing page best practices to boost conversions and “the lazy man’s SEO – building content that matters.”

Lee Odden posts six ways PR pros can avoid failing at SEO at Top Rank.

Is digital asset optimization (DAO) the new SEO? ClickZ posts “leveraging keyword research digital asset optimization.”

Demystifying analytics reports for your clients is at Content Marketing Institute.

Social Media Marketing

Seven reasons why you don’t need social media networks are posted at Level 343.

How professionals use LinkedIn is posted at eMarketer.

HubSpot reports that the LinkedIn share button is now on more than 100,000 websites.

Lee Odden shares what he wishes Google+ would do (30 days’ out) at Top Rank.

Jay Baer posts five reasons why social media measurement is making you lie to yourself at Convince and Convert.

Jeff Bullas shares 15 tips for selling on Facebook, as well as five creative Facebook marketing campaigns.

Social Media Examiner posts 29 tips to make your video marketing easy.

Finally, Brian Solis posts a study, stuffed with stats, about abandoning Facebook in favor of Google+.

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending August 3rd, 2011

Technique, strategy, and best practices are the buzzwords for this week’s web writing news.  While Google Plus is still referenced, the honeymoon seems to be over – or at least, it’s taking a hiatus. Google’s Panda update seems to be receiving renewed attention, as does content strategy, SEO techniques, and social media espionage.  Catch up with the latest and greatest here:

Content Marketing

Why “good enough” content marketing isn’t – Ian Lurie shares his MozCon presentation at Conversation Marketing.

Brian Clark posts the key to effective long copy at Copyblogger.

How to convince the C-suite of the need for content marketing is posted at Top Rank Marketing.

Julie Batten posts “dynamic content customization” for marketers (a primer) at ClickZ.

How Google+ could cost online retailers millions is at Retail Online Integration (ROI).

A crash course in marketing with stories, from “Hercules” to Apple, Inc.’s 1984 commercial video, is at Copyblogger.

GigaOm discusses why consumers need to be sold on the benefits of mobile payments, and Target Marketing Magazine post five tips for “respectful” mobile marketing.

eMarketer reports that marketers are “on board” with virtual goods.

HubSpot posts the results of an A/B test on red vs. green buttons, and Tim Ash posts principles for landing page layout at ClickZ.

Seth Godin celebrates Zig Ziglar at his blog, with a link to an updated version of Ziglar’s classic Performance Planner.

SEO & Search

Immediate SEO priorities for a company just starting its SEO campaign are posted at Level343.

On-site SEO for optimizing keywords via user intent is (guest) posted by Nick Stamoulis at SEO Copywriting.

Search Engine Watch posts SEO techniques for large sites to maximize product visibility in organic search.

eMarketer discusses the value of organic search rankings.

Marketing Sherpa posts its weekly research chart, showing how formalizing SEO processes adds up to large gains in organic traffic conversion rates and lead quality.

Replicating Google’s Panda questionnaire is the subject of the latest “Whiteboard Friday” SEOmoz presentation.

In a similar thread, Heather Lloyd-Martin’s latest video post discusses how to write for/work with Google’s Panda update at SEO Copywriting.

Rand Fishkin poses an interesting theory about authenticity and passion as Google ranking signals at SEOmoz.

Sharing an infographic from SEOmoz, HubSpot posts how to optimize a blog.

Search Engine Watch posts five steps to building a “search persona.”

Webbiquity’s Tom Pick posts “Web Presence Optimization, Reloaded” or how to dominate in search (B2B).

Search Engine Land posts five metrics to quickly assess site quality for link building, as well as “How to Win Enemies and Influence People by Turning Controversy into Links.

Understanding link-based spam analysis techniques is at SEOmoz.

Social Media Marketing

Social media for business headlines the weekly Social Media Examiner news.

Tips for launching your B2B social media marketing are posted at Search Engine Land.

Eric Schwartzman (guest) posts his podcast discussing Google+ and SEO at Convince and Convert.

Mashable posts five ways Google+ will drive social video growth.

Social Beat posts five things Google+ does better than Facebook and Twitter.

eMarketer reports that advertisers are beginning to look beyond Facebook and Twitter.

Search Engine Land posts why interaction is not the same as engagement.

Kristi Hines posts measuring social media ROI and goal conversions using Google Analytics 5 at Unbounce.

Brian Solis discusses the Pivot report on the rise of social advertising.

eMarketer reports on the quick evolution of the Twitter ad platform.

Five steps to fix Foursquare are posted at {grow}.