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Penguin 2.0: Should you rewrite your evergreen site copy?

The pending Penguin 2.0 update may require you to rewrite your evergreen site copyWelcome back! In this video of the SEO Copywriting Checklist series, Heather discusses the impending Google Penguin 2.0 update and what it means for site owners and evergreen web content.

Matt Cutts, a distinguished engineer from Google, recently released a video announcing the next wave of Google algorithm updates. He specifically discussed Penguin 2.0, saying it will roll out this summer.

So Google is giving site owners a big heads up!

Also, on last weeks’ SEO Copywriting Certification call with Bruce Clay, he discussed Penguin 2.0 and what it means for site content. So Heather thought she would address this update today because it is a big deal to a lot of site owners!

Tune in to learn what web copy on your site might need rewriting, before the imminent Google updates hit:

Are Some Of Your Pages So-So At Best?

– Does your site have any low-quality posts or articles?

– Does your sales copy walk a keyphrase-stuffing line?

When speaking to the SEO Copywriting Certification folks last week, Bruce Clay advised listeners to go through their websites and locate those pages that are of so-so quality, and make them as good as they can be.

A lot of companies have these so-so pages on their site. They might not be technically keyphrase-stuffed, but they’re not necessarily high-quality or well-researched either.

These mediocre pages might be articles that you kicked out all at once and under deadline, so maybe you or the writer in question were working a little bit more quickly than normal. Or you might have some lower-quality blog posts on your site from way back when you first started out.

There also may be old sales copy on your site, where you thought you were supposed to include more keyphrases than you really should, and they are walking that keyphrase-stuffing line.

These are all examples of evergreen content that is ripe for a rewrite.

Also consider that you’re probably not getting much promotional value from them, because you know they’re not good. You never link to them, you never talk about them, and you may haven’t had the time or the inclination to go through your site and make those posts or those sales pages as good as they can be.

Well…

Now Is The Time To Make Some Changes!

– Google wants to recognize authority sites.

– Identify low-value and low-quality content and rewrite it.

– If your blog hasn’t been updated in months, it’s time to start blogging again.

In his Google Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts made it very clear that Google wants to recognize – and reward – authority sites. And Bruce Clay emphasized in his presentation that if you have those kinds of pages on your site that are so-so at best, now is the time to revisit and rewrite them.

So identify that low-value and low-quality content! And if you don’t have time to go through and rewrite those pages, now is the time to find someone who can help you with it.

That way, when the Penguin update does hit, you know that all of your pages are exactly the way you want them to be: they are well-written and well-researched, and you’re able to link to them and refer to them without embarrassment!

And if you’ve neglected your blog for months, now is the time to get back to it. Again, Google wants to recognize and reward authority sites, and the way that you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche is by blogging about it – consistently!

If you tackle this evergreen content rewriting project now, then when Penguin 2.0 and other Google SEO updates roll out, you should be in good shape!

Thanks for tuning in! Have any questions or feedback? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave them in the comments, or email me directly at heather@seocopywriting.com. You can also find me on Twitter @heatherlloyd.

photo thanks to nick.amoscato (Nick Amoscato)

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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, Kellie Craft

SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Kellie Craft

Kellie has always had a passion for helping others. For years, she has volunteered at her daughter’s school, writing monthly newsletters and articles for the newspaper, hoping the information she provided would be useful and helpful to others.

After spending over 25 years in the corporate world, the dreaded day had come. The company was sold out to a foreign organization that came in and shut down 90% of the U.S. operation. They moved it overseas. Right then she knew that she had to do something different.

About that same time, AWAI found her. Over time, she took some of the courses…ok, a lot of the courses, and determined her path. What better way to help others? Providing businesses with the correct information they need to become successful online!

So, in 2010, Kellie founded Frog Communications, an SEO-web copy consulting firm, and more recently, Frog Online, Internet marketing strategy and social media management.

With business taking off, Kellie has the opportunity to successfully help others while spending time with her husband, beautiful daughter, and German Shepherd.

What got you interested in SEO copywriting?

I am a very technical person. I spent over 15 years working as a Network Administrator. Making the right adjustments to obtain the best results is what I do naturally, at least when it comes to the Internet!

One day, I was invited to a webinar hosted by AWAI, and presented by Heather-Lloyd Martin. I attended and was fascinated by the information I heard. I especially remember her talking about a certification course she was putting together, but wasn’t ready yet. I knew instantly this was for me. I ended up purchasing a course she has with AWAI, and eventually purchased the web-writing and site audit courses that Pam Foster has with AWAI as well.

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

I know so many people who “require” a piece of paper or a seal of approval before they will do business with a person. To them, this shows that person has dedicated themselves to taking the time to properly learn what it is they do.

For me, it’s my “seal of approval.” Having this certification brings me self-assurance that I know what I’m doing (which I already knew), and that I’m doing it ethically and correctly.

A big plus – I enjoy having the seal on my websites so my visitors will see that I am a professional and the service they are receiving is genuine.

What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?

I am currently working with a client who has decided to completely rebuild their website on a different platform so they can manage the content and uploads personally. So, I set them up with a WordPress expert. This is phase 1. Phase 2 is completely re-writing the website; I could not find them anywhere up to page 10 on Google (I stopped looking after that). I am providing a complete SEO and web copy package.

In addition, I have two prospective clients, my chiropractor and my daughter’s dentist. Their websites need SEO revisions and their social media strategies are, well, lacking.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Simple, spending time with my family. I don’t care what it involves – watching a movie, jumping on the trampoline, walking outside with the dog, or going to dinner together. We always enjoy our annual trip to Colorado in August to visit my brother and his family, and go way up in the mountains to enjoy the cooler weather! We love the Telluride area. Our crazy schedules don’t allow for a lot of free time together, so we value it when it happens.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the program?

To quote a famous company (Nike), “Just do it!” This program gives you all the information you need to be very successful with SEO. This is true white-hat SEO copywriting. You will learn how to develop a smart keyphrase strategy and how to apply it to any website, with excellent results!

Heather is the SEO expert – your go-to resource for anything SEO. If you are truly interested in SEO, then this is the course for you. Success loves speed…what are you waiting for?

 

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Heather Georgoudiou

Heather Georgoudiou is an in-house SEO copywriter for Revenue Performance, Inc. an internet marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry. A graduate of Rollins College, she writes optimized press releases, web copy, newsletters, email blasts, and social media posts.  Heather was the winning candidate for free SEO Copywriting Certification Training last June, with her entry referencing F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What got you interested in SEO copywriting?

I was a non-traditional age college student who always loved working with language. When I graduated college in 2009 my only goal (seriously) was to get a job with the word “writer” in the title.

Unfortunately, that was during the recession and the major newspaper in town was laying off a lot of copywriters, so there was a lot of fierce competition for writing jobs and just graduating, everyone had more work experience than me. I applied for a job at an internet marketing agency, and just kept showing up at the door until they hired me. That was in 2009.

I was the only copywriter so I had to learn SEO techniques on the fly. My first day on the job the owner handed me Heather’s first book, “Successful Search Engine Copywriting,” and I read it cover to cover. I still have the book by my desk, highlighted, dog eared, and working hard everyday.

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

As an agency copywriter, the most valuable portion of the lessons was being introduced to direct response copywriting strategies such as reaching your target audience, and how to effectively “ask for the sale.”

More “solid gold” stuff I learned from Heather:

  • How to tactfully educate clients on SEO basics and how to handle tough client questions.
  • Scheduling and delegating time for writing tasks (this helped me immensely)!
  • Addressing the five questions to answer before you start web copy (SOLID GOLD):  I do this before I start any web copy!  It saves me bunches of time and always pops out those benefit statements.

I have been able to use the skills I acquired from the SEO Copywriting Certification course to improve my in-house writing across the board, from press releases to web copy to meta-data and emails blurbs.

What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?

Current projects include:

  • Rewriting company website
  • Building our original content to build credibility within the industry
  • Client projects- hospitality industry: mainly 3 to 4 star hotels and luxury resorts

What do you do in your free time?

My husband is an amazing chef, so in order to balance that I spend several mornings a week at the gym. After college I crated a fiction writers group that meets regularly to support and work on fiction projects. I’m also involved with my church group and do a lot of learning and getting advice from some amazing people, I also play guitar and sing with a gospel group.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the program?

Heather clearly has a passion for SEO and her excitement is contagious. This intense program includes study manual, podcasts, phone meetings, support forums, and Heather’s amazing accessibility for “how to” questions.

If you are serious about breaking into SEO copywriting, Heather is the authority. What are you waiting for? Learn from the best!

 

 

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Sarah Clachar

To be a good copywriter, you’ve got to combine genuine interest in the product with technical and marketing savvy.  An organic farmer and former health educator, Sarah brings this rich combo to her work as a natural health copywriter and marketer. Some of her expertise in this area – along with that of several of the top copywriters in the industry – is encapsulated in the ebook she co-wrote with master copywriter, Bob Bly, How To Write Irresistible Copy For Nutritional Supplements.

Sarah writes both B2C and B2B, online and direct mail.  Her gigs as a contributing editor to trade magazines like Nutrition Business Journal inform her B2B work.

In addition to copywriting/marketing services, Sarah’s created a special resource for her fellow home business folks – Your Healthy Home Biz.  Here she offers strategies, tips and inspiration for home business owners on how to stay healthy while working at home.

What attracted you to SEO Copywriting?

Marketing natural health products requires lots of content.  Not only are the products information-heavy, we market to a skeptical and knowledgeable audience.

Good information-rich copy is already a mainstay for my clients’ marketing.  It only makes sense that I help them make the best of this with SEO.

Furthermore, my health educator self is always lurking in my copywriting work. I love to help people understand their health better.  SEO copy is a great place to do so.

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

There are some particular difficulties in writing SEO copy for the nutritional supplement market.  Because of FDA regulations, it’s illegal to discuss how a product prevents, alleviates or cures a disease. Even when reams of research back these claims.

For compliance, we have to be exceedingly strategic about how we use keywords and structure the site.  For this reason, I end up getting a lot of business because I can combine SEO with regulatory knowledge.

What do you consider to be your biggest “take-away” from the certification program?

I had been doing SEO copywriting for a few years before I found out about Heather’s program.  Previously, when I tried to keep up with the “latest” on SEO, I always got bogged down in information on link-building and technical SEO.

It was very hard to find articles covering the on-page copywriting aspect.

When I found Heather’s program I let out a big sigh of relief.  Finally, a definitive source on SEO copywriting that I could turn to.  Heather’s program and ongoing training gave me confidence that I was doing the best for my clients’.

Specifically, I love the way that Heather provides a comprehensive strategy for keyword research and content marketing.  And I’ve gotten tremendous mileage out of her suggestions for using social media for research.

What SEO Copywriting projects are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a SEO info-rich website that parallels my client’s ecommerce site. As I mentioned before, FDA regulations make it hard to discuss the great research linked to supplements.  This website is designed as a place where we can discuss the research more extensively.

I also just finished the work for a B2B client who had originally outsourced overseas for SEO website copy.  The copy was terrible – nonsensical! After redoing his site, it’s great to see the bounce-rate go down while he continues to hold first-page position for a number of keywords.

My other current projects are closer to home.  I’ve created a site, Fit Family Together,that focuses on family fitness. Along with my site for healthy home business tips, this site gives me opportunities to test SEO strategies that I can bring to my clients’ sites as well.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

As I mentioned in the beginning, we raise most of our food from our small organic farm.  So I take lots of breaks from copywriting to feed the pigs, chase chickens out of the garden, weed, harvest, pick, etc.  Right now we’re in the midst of maple sugaring so I spend a lot of time going into the woods, collecting sap and hauling the buckets back out to where we boil. It’s a great balance to all the sitting desk work I do.

My family loves to mountain bike, hike, ski/snowboard around our New England home.  And over the past couple years, my husband has been teaching us jiu jitsu and kickboxing. A great break from particularly stressful projects!

But along with all this activity, I love the moments when I stand outside my kitchen door, looking out to the pond and the maple grove beyond as twilight comes.  Moments like these make me feel wealthier beyond belief and glad that I can run my business from home on my own terms.

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

I’ve suggested this program to many people who have sought out my advice on how to get into health copywriting.  Most people who come to me are very knowledgeable about health but don’t know how to turn it into marketing services.

The health copywriting niche is pretty competitive with some very experienced heavy-hitters writing in it. It can be hard to break in.

SEO copywriting is a great place to start health copywriting for two reasons: 1.) The demand for SEO copy is huge right now. And 2.) Less competition. Many good health copywriters haven’t developed SEO skills.

SEO health copywriting is an easier area to establish yourself and quickly get a full-time business going.

Heather is full of SEO copywriting knowledge and she’s a great teacher.  You will come out of her course with confidence that you’ve got “the right stuff”.  Plus, her LinkedIn discussion group and ongoing webinars keep you up to speed after you graduate.

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Carole Seawert

Carole is a UK-based, freelance copywriter who writes all kinds of marketing materials, from websites and brochures to mailshots and e-newsletters. She has a marketing and public relations background and was Head of PR at the Financial Times newspaper before embarking on her freelance career.

Over the years, she has written for clients across a range of market sectors, from financial and professional services to public sector, telecoms and hi tech. She also writes a blog, Freelance Factfile, which is an invaluable knowledge bank containing all the information you need to succeed as a freelancer.

What got you interested in SEO Copywriting?

I knew that being able to say I was an SEO writer would add a valuable extra string to my bow. But what was the best way to go about it? I attended a couple of introductory webinars on writing for search engines – that was a step in the right direction. I then bought a 300-page book on search engine optimization but was disappointed to discover there were only a few pages devoted to the copywriting side of it. Then, I came across Heather on Twitter and found out that she had an in-depth SEO course especially for writers. It was exactly what I’d been looking for.

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

In February, I issued a press release announcing the fact I’d become a certified SEO copywriter. The next day, I typed ‘SEO writer’ into Google and my press release appeared on the first page of the search results! Living proof that, if you employ what Heather teaches, you/your clients will accelerate up the through the rankings.

What SEO copywriting projects are you working on now?

A long-standing client is having his website completely redesigned and I’m rewriting the text so that it will be search engine friendly. And an upcoming project for another client is to write 10 LinkedIn profiles with keyword phrases so they can be easily found when people do a search on LinkedIn.

What do you do in your free time?

Being a writer means I sit too much at my desk. To counteract that, I’m at the gym a lot. I live in London, so I like to spend time making the most of this great city – whether it’s going to new exhibitions, walking in the parks, seeing friends, visiting markets, or just enjoying the buzz of the place. Although I’m a city person, my ideal holiday is staying by an Alpine lake and going for hikes, surrounded by mountain peaks.

Any words for those considering enrolling in the program?

You’ll learn skills that are in high demand and, with your certified SEO copywriter status, you’ll be regarded as a real expert in your field. Just do it!

Interview with SEO Copywriting Certification Grad, Derek Cromwell

SEO Copywriting Certification Grad Profile of Derek CromwellDerek Cromwell is a 30 year old self-professed copywriting dweeb and content marketing nerd – his Twitter background states that much clearly.  He is the founder of Thunder Bay Media, LLC, a company he started in 2009 based in the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan.  From his home office/fortress he provides SEO copywriting and content marketing services to help businesses of any size improve and solidify their presence on the web, boost sales, dominate their market, win traffic, build a better mousetrap, end war and solve world hunger.

Before making a career change to copywriting, Derek spent several years working in Emergency Medical Services in both southeast Michigan and northern Michigan.  His career in EMS was preceded by a 10+ year span working in upper management across several companies including a national internet service provider and two major restaurant chains.

What attracted you to SEO Copywriting?

All my life I’ve loved to write.   I started writing online content back in 2007 for what people now consider “content mills”.  The money was nice but I really loved EMS and had no reason to try to change.  I was working upwards of 80 hours a week and quite happy.

Then someone stuck a pin in the economy and my hours got cut.  Who would have thought people would stop calling 911 to save a buck?  Stuck at home with a family to support, I decided to see what I could do with my writing.  Blogging for bucks led to content marketing for other businesses  That of course evolved into SEO & website copywriting.  I’ve refined my craft on my own for the last year and now I’m here.

I chose this course because – while I felt I had already learned a great deal about SEO and copywriting – I wanted to make sure that I was headed in the right direction.  I knew this course would reinforce my education.

What do you consider to be your biggest “take-away” from the certification program?

There are a lot of people “out there” in the business world but you can break them down into people who are writers and people who need writers.  In both categories you’ll find a large amount of people who know Heather and respect her for her education, experience and what she has to offer.  The badge on my site and my certificate is a way to tell the world that I really know my stuff – that I’m not “just another writer” because I learned from one of the best.

What SEO Copywriting projects are you working on now?

I’ve got a full plate of extremely fun projects, and I’m really digging all the range, the research and preparation to write.  I’ve got slightly more than a dozen clients waiting in line on my production schedule including:

  • Complete site content revamp for a retailer of designer handbags
  • Content marketing for one of the leading travel agents handling Australian trips
  • Complete site content and content marketing for a major branding community that’s getting ready to launch in February (almost done with this one!)
  • 3 other small business site launches that are upstarts
  • Some free consults & optimization with a local wedding photography that’s about to land her on page 1 of Google (she did the most beautiful pictures for a close friend who just got shipped to Afghanistan – was the least I could do)
  • Complete site content for a business networking community based in the Virginia/D.C/Maryland area
  • A major luxury home builder based in Texas that is struggling to rank in their local market

And there’s always more to come.  I get a few new client requests each week through my site.  The line never ends and I love it.  🙂

What do you feel are some of your biggest accomplishments since you started copywriting?

There have been a few.  Launching a successful business and keeping it going is a big one, but completely supporting my family so that my wife could quit her job in pharmaceuticals was also a huge step for us.  Now we’re all home and I can spend time with my family any time I like.

I also have to admit that when I got my own website onto page 1 for a number of targeted keywords I practically did backflips.  You can tell clients all day long that you can increase their rank in the SERPs but nothing sells it better than showing off your own site there.

What do you do in your free time?

I love to read, and I have a bookcase full of Dean Koontz books.  I’ve also started soaking up anything related to content marketing.  When I’m not reading I love playing with my two beautiful girls:  My 3 year old Emma and my littlest one Lily who is now 4 months old.  Once a week I treat myself and my wife to a kid-free date night to get us out of the house.  We both love music, comedy clubs, stage performances, fishing and other outdoor stuff.

When I get those precious few moments for myself I enjoy paintball.  I also like to relax with a little mindless video game playing like Call of Duty.

Oh… And I love to cook – I can make a homemade pizza that puts the big name chains to shame.

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

There’s a lot of junk on the internet that will lead you in the wrong direction when it comes to writing good copy, marketing content properly and doing right by your clients.  To provide the most benefit to the people you work for – whether you have clients or you’re an in-house marketer/writer – you need to take this course.   You will research better, write better and deliver better results for your clients.

We talk until we’re blue in the face about clients investing in their content to get a bigger return on their investment.  Don’t you think it’s a good idea to lead by example and invest in your own business?