SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending September 1st, 2010

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Greetings and welcome to this week’s SEO copywriting and content marketing roundup!  The latest news and links tend to cluster around these topics: the multi-faceted and changing face of search engine ranking, outsourcing vs. in-house content marketing, off-site SEO, and yes, the SEO and content marketing fallout from Google’s recent activity at the patent office!

So, who would’ve thunk that it’d be a bad thing to be #1 on Google? Actually, this article’s (seemingly) iconoclastic take on the dangers of ranking No. 1 on Google offers an astute and reasoned view of SERP ranking as an unworthy measurement of SEO mojo:  iMedia Connection.

Now how about the mobile SERP scenario?  This SEOmoz post explores the usability of mobile search engine results, in great detail, while raising the question: will Google eventually combine both mobile and traditional SERP’s into one index?

Onto content marketing: To in-house or outsource it?  A strong case for outsourcing is presented via Hubspot. (For one thing: do you really have the time to do your own content marketing, and keep on it, as well?  Now, be honest.)

There was a positive plethora of pieces to do with offsite SEO (link-building), so a completely subjective sampling follows: Testing the Water with Link Bait, and How to use your Bounce Rate for Link-Building Purposes.

Finally, here are the links to the latest news and fallout analyses of Google’s newest patents for valuing links and ranking blogs, as well as its move towards filtering blog searches. What does it mean for us?

Select Your Killer Keyphrases Easily With This Simple Method

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In this post of our ongoing Monday SEO how-to series, we’re going to get into how to filter our keyphrase list to capture our most powerful keyphrases with a simple tool: Excel. How cool is that?  Let’s get to it, then!

As you (hopefully!) recall, we built our keyphrase “seed” list in our ongoing development of a smart keyphrase strategy geared towards optimizing conversions.  If you need to take a step back and get a grip on the market research preceding this nuts-and-bolts post, please do!

Moving on, then:how do we go about organizing our keyphrase “seed” list so that the keyphrase variations produced through Google’s keyphrase research tool can be prioritized and filtered? A great way to start is to open an Excel spreadsheet document:

  • First, create a tab labeled “Keyphrase Seed List.” Review your initial Google keyphrase research results and list those keyphrases that are applicable to your business.  (And eliminate those keyphrases that are not, altogether.)
  • Insert the average search volume in the cell next to each applicable keyphrase.
  • Now, in the next cell, rank how important each keyphrase is on a scale from 1 to 5, with “1” being the most important.
  • TA DA & Congrats!  You’ve now generated your initial keyphrase seed list!

Okay!  Now we’re organized and have our initial, killer keyphrases prioritized, 1 thru 5.

Next comes the process of keyphrase filtering, which may best be described as What to do when.”

1. Two keywords accurately describe a product or service, such as “laptop” and “notebook,” or “automobile” versus “car?”  It is possible to use both variations of a search term on alternate pages, such as “laptop” on some pages and “notebook” on others, especially if you find that people are searching for both terms in equal numbers.  However, if the average search volume for one of the two alternate terms in very low, go with the more trafficked term.

2. People don’t search for your branded service/product name? This is a big problem with e-commerce retailers. They may have a product that’s a “plastic osmosis liquid miracle,” when what the product really is — and what most people would be searching for — is a “water bottle.”

If your branded product names aren’t searched upon, then try to associate them with keyphrases that people are actually more likely to use to describe your product. In our water bottle example, let’s simply splice the brand name with the winning keyphrase to create: “plastic osmosis miracle water bottle.” That allows you to keep your branded term, while combining it with a term that people are far more apt to search upon.

3. You want to use a product make/model as a keyphrase? Great!  Once people get to the tail end of the buy cycle, they will indeed be searching highly specific terms.  Use those specific make/model keyphrase on your products page!

4.You’re a B2B company with a keyword that is highly specific to your industry. Is it OK to use it?  By all means, yes! This is one of the times that a keyword is so tuned in to an industry that the search results should be most relevant and capture targeted traffic. Just to make sure, though, it’s a good idea to run the keyword search on a couple of different search engines; if the results match your offerings, then definitely include the keyword/phrase on your list!

Stay tuned, as next week we’ll dig even deeper, using fun and free tools to grow our selection of killer keyphrases to use throughout our site!

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending August 25th, 2010

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After last week’s super-social SES San Francisco summit, it’s no surprise that the latest and greatest SEO copywriting news and links have turned a bit inward and introspective in their content.  But before we get into the emotion and psychology behind SEO and content marketing, let’s pause and celebrate the success of this blog, noted by Hubspot as one of the top awesome SEO blogs that everyone should read!

Psychology and emotion are huge elements of SEO content marketing and copywriting, yes? The Psychology of SEO, posted in Search Engine Journal, breaks it down nicely so you can better wrap your head around it, from finding your focus to understanding your own self-limiting mental constructs.

So, having conquered our own inner demons, how do we go about ridding ourselves of those without?When do you to say goodbye to an SEO client?  This post offers a helpful outline to employ when defining your own fine line between “should I stay or should you go?”

Balanced and fair, now:  what should you look for in an SEO copywriter? And who better to answer this question than Success Works’ CEO Heather Lloyd-Martin? A succinct and most insightful guide addresses the ten questions the business owner should ask their prospective SEO copywriter.

Finally, a melancholy goodbye to Yahoo as the force behind its organic search results in the U.S. and Canada, as it officially hands over the reins to MSN’s Bing:  So Sad, Yahoo Finally and Officially Gave Up On Search.

But let’s wrap this up on a high note, shall we?  Belying the title, SEOmoz’s Answering Hard SEO Questions adds some welcome levity to the subject!