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[Updated] How to Write a Title That Gets Clicks

I feel a rant coming on.

Recently, I stumbled across an old “how to write Titles” post. In it, the author discussed how her preferred method of Title creation was to separate the keywords with pipes.

So, a Title would read like:

keyword | here’s another keyword | yet another keyword

And now begins my rant:

My call to action is – can we please let pipes die? Please?

Instead, write the title like a headline and make it more “clickable” instead.

Titles are extremely important to your SEO campaign. There are two reasons for this:

  • Titles help with a page’s SEO. So, a strong Title can help a page position.
  • The search engine results page (SERP) is your first opportunity for conversion. A strong Title can help get the click from the SERP to your site. However, a so-so Title may not wow your reader.

To me, using pipes is an old-school method that doesn’t leverage any conversion opportunities. Sure, the keyphrases are in there. Sure, Google can tell what the page is about. But the Titles aren’t written for the users. They don’t scream “click me” from the search engine results page. They’re “SEO’d” – but that’s it.

In my opinion, pipes makes your Title blend into the background. After all, who wants their Title to blend in when it can stand out instead?

Want to see what I mean?

I discussed Titles during a this video post. In it, I compare two SERP listings – one written like a benefit statement and one written with pipes. Judge for yourself which version is the more compelling. And let me know if my rant is justified. :)

Enjoy!

</rant>

For those of you who would rather not watch the video below, here’s a transcript summary. Enjoy!

Don’t ignore your Titles. Embrace them!

– The search engine results page is your first opportunity for conversion.

– Think of Titles like headlines – write them to get the click.

– Include your main page keyphrases.

– Keep the character count to around 59 characters (with spaces).

A lot of people look at page Titles as “the place that we stick our keyphrases so Google knows what the page is about.” But Titles are much more than that – they are actually your first conversion opportunity off the search engine results page.

So it’s essential to create a clickable Title – one that people will read and think “That site has exactly what I need” and will select your listing over the others.

Given that your page Title is competing for the first conversion – that first click – off the search engine results page, you want to write it as you would a headline. You want to make it compelling and yes, you’ll want to include your main keyphrases for that page in the Title.

You also want to keep the page Title to around 59 characters, with spaces. After crafting such a masterful Title, you certainly don’t want any yummy parts of it to be truncated out (with “…”).

As an example of missed opportunities in page Title creation, here are screenshots of two Titles. The first example is representative of what you see a lot of today, where the Title has a keyphrase | keyphrase | construction. Is it incorrect? No, it’s okay – but not as persuasive as the second page Title shown below it.

Action step: Review your Titles

For your action step, take a peek at your own site and see if its page Titles present an opportunity for you to improve click-through.

To review your Titles, type this command into the Google search box: site:your domain. Google will return a list of all the pages it has indexed, and you can readily review your Titles.

If you see any Titles like the one pictured, you may have an opportunity to not only write a more persuasive, clickable Title, but also to go back to the page content and see if there are other things you can do to tweak the Title and make it better for readers.

Updated note – you can also check out your Titles during a content audit. Here’s more information on how to make it happen. Have fun!

Photo thanks to Andy Hay

The SEO Writer’s Guide to Dealing with Clients

Does dealing with clients get you down?

These are some of my favorite video posts for any freelance SEO writer dealing with, ah, difficult clients, or otherwise facing any of those tricky client relation issues that require patience, understanding, anger management, and some client education.

From explaining SEO copywriting to clueless clients to handling their mangling of your best writing, here are sage tips from someone who has been there and back. A few times.

How to explain SEO copywriting to clients

“Clients – both small and large businesses – may think of SEO copywriting as “keyword spamming” and want nothing to do with it. Sure, they know they need good content. But where they get confused is what good SEO copy looks like. Maybe that’s because all they’ve seen is bad copy. Or maybe that’s because although content is crucial, it’s not necessarily valued: “We love what content does for us. But we want it cheap.”

Savvy tips to help you explain what GOOD SEO copywriting is to wary, misinformed (or cheap, or otherwise difficult) clients.

Your client is wrong. Now what?

“What should you do if your client insists on their suspect SEO strategy after you’ve tried to talk them out of it? You may want to walk away from the gig. Or, if the strategy isn’t too bad, you could still work the gig and do your best. The way you deal with it will depend on the client and the situation.  It’s never an easy decision to make – especially when you know that your options are “walk away” or “I’ll never be able to include this work in my client portfolio…”

Here are some smart strategies to deal with this thorny situation.

8 ways to handle the haters

“Dealing with unhappy clients can be scary, frustrating and maddening. But remember, if you handle the situation quickly – and take the time to really hear your client’s needs – you can save the gig. Plus – like what happened to me 15 years ago – you may even get more work because the client liked the way you handled the situation. What a great way to transform a stressful problem into a profitable, happy client relationship!”

Follow these steps for dealing with the discontents.

6 ways to handle it when a client changes your copywriting

“Talk about frustrating.

“You thought what you wrote showcased your best work ever. You expertly followed your client’s content marketing strategy. You chose good keyphrases. And when you finished writing your SEO copywriting masterpiece, you could almost hear the harp music playing softly and feel the sunshine on your face.  Your copy didn’t just sound good.  It sung.

Then a week later, you see what the client actually uploaded. All of your tricky turn-of-phrases were gone. Your Title was changed from a compelling statement to a list of keyphrases. And your headline…you can’t even look at what they did to your headline. You aren’t just mad. You’re hurt. How could they destroy your copywriting baby like that?”

Sound familiar? Here are six ways to handle the head/heartache.

3 ways SEO can ruin content

“Smart SEO doesn’t ruin good content. It enhances it, in fact – making it easier to be found in search engines and shared via social media. If you’ve mastered the art of online writing for both engines and people, you have a very valuable skill set. On the flip side, yes, stupid SEO will ruin content. And your conversions, too.”

Avoid these three glaring examples of truly bad SEO. Please.

photo thanks to Pink Sherbet Photography (D. Sharon Pruitt)

5 Video Tips for New SEO Writers

Greetings dear Web writers! Today we’ve gathered our top 5 down-and-dirty, most elemental SEO copywriting videos for you. Whether you’ve lost your SEO way or have yet to find it, or if you  just need an SEO 101 refresher, these 5 brief videos will help you get your SEO mojo on. Kinda like finding a five-leaf clover, you’re in luck to have these five vid’s at-a-click here!

So tune in as Heather explains just what SEO copywriting is, the three essential skills you need to be an SEO copywriter, how to make money at it, how to tell if your stuff’s any good, and more…

What is SEO copywriting (and why is it important to my site)?

Heather strips SEO copywriting down to its bare essentials: what it is (and is not), how it differs from straight copywriting, and why it is so important for web pages and sites.

3 skills every SEO copywriter must have

In Heather’s inaugural YouTube video post, she addresses the three essential skills that you need to be successful (and satisfied) in the SEO copywriting profession. Tune in to find out what this golden triangle is!

3 ways to learn the SEO copywriting ropes

In her second YouTube video post, Heather details three specific ways to learn the ropes of the SEO copywriting business, from self-edifying reading in SEO and direct response theory to tapping online communities to finding a mentor…and much more in between. Essential reading/viewing if you are serious about learning SEO copywriting!

Is your SEO copywriting any good? 3 tell-tale tests

Here, Heather shares three solid tests to tell if your SEO copywriting is up to snuff, as well as what you should watch out for: from the actual writing to keyphrase usage to conversion power, learn if your SEO copy cuts it. You may well be surprised!

How to make money as an SEO copywriter

No doubt, this question is heavy on the freelance copywriter’s mind: how can I make this SEO copywriting set of skills pay? Heather delves into the guts of the business with how much you can expect to charge for your SEO copywriting, where to find clients, and what kinds of work you can pursue. A must-read for anyone considering entering the SEO copywriting profession!

photo thanks to cygnus921 (John)

High Five: The 5 Best SEO Copywriting Video How-To’s

Greetings and welcome back! Today we’re featuring Heather’s five best SEO copywriting video how-to’s, as voted by popularity with both SEO Copywriting’s YouTube subscribers and Monday blog post readers.

From content strategies for Google’s Penguin update to how to make money as an SEO copywriter, enjoy these 5 all-time SEO copywriting video greats!

1) SEO content strategies for Google’s Penguin update

While Google’s Penguin update is targeted towards outright webspam (and suspect linking profiles), like it’s cute, black-and-white animal predecessor the Panda, it still has many site owners frozen in their tracks. Take a deep breath and join Heather as she explains why you’ve nothing to fear from the big bad Penguin, and how you can move forward with specific SEO content strategies!

2) Is your SEO copywriting any good? 3 tell-tale tests

Whether you hired an SEO copywriter or are doing it yourself, you may not be sure how to gauge the quality and effectiveness of your SEO copy.  Join Heather as she outlines three tests to tell if your SEO copywriting is any good, focusing on what you need to watch out for.

3) How to write for Google’s over-optimization penalty

Heather addresses a collective, anxious concern about writing SEO copy given Google’s latest Panda slap, the “over-optimization” penalty:  Help! Is my Web content over-optimizedWhile it is true that Google has made a lot of changes and is cracking down on content, the upshot is: don’t freak out! It will be okay, if you follow the three basic guidelines laid out for you in today’s SEO copywriting video post.

4) How to make money as an SEO copywriter

You have the three crucial skills to be a successful SEO copywriter and have studied the several disciplines that make up the field (or at least, have made a beginning towards building your knowledge in these areas), so of course you want to get a handle on your own expected ROI of considerable time, effort, and resources! Here, Heather discusses the many varied ways you can make money as an SEO copywriter, with its multiple niche markets!

5) How to write SEO titles that get the click

“In my experience, pipes have been added to define SEO keywords in the search engine results…can you explain what is the preferred way of writing general SEO Titles – with or without pipes? What produces the best results in terms of consumer search behavior?” An excellent question! Beginning with an explanation of “pipes,” Heather discusses how to capture clicks with unique, optimized webpage Titles.

photo thanks to exfordy (Brian Snelson)

How Can You Tell If Your SEO Campaign Is Working?

Measuring the success of your SEO campaign isn’t always black and white. There are so many factors affecting the impact of your SEO work that it isn’t always possible to pinpoint exactly what is and isn’t working.

You could drive yourself crazy by checking you site’s analytics every hour and panic over small changes, but you really need to look at the big picture when it comes to determining if your SEO campaign is working.

Here are few ways you can tell if your SEO campaign is on the right track.

Increase in non-branded keywords

If you were to take a look at your latest analytics report, you should be able to see which keywords are driving traffic to your website. A good portion of those might be branded keywords (company name, product names, etc), but a sure sign of SEO success is when you notice an increase in non-branded keywords that lead to visitors.

Many of these non-branded keywords will be ones that you are actively targeting on your site, but you should also start to see variations of those keywords driving visitors each month. Even if those long tail keywords are only driving a few visitors each month, it means that your website is showing up in the search results for more and more searches.

Uptick in visitors

The best way to tell if your SEO campaign is working is by checking how many visitors your site is getting each month. While slight dips from month to month are common, you should see a trend (3-6 months of data) of increasing amounts of visitors. This means your site is showing up in the right places for the right type of traffic. There is no “right amount” of visitors to get in a month—it’s all relative to your business—but continual growth is a good sign of a strong SEO campaign.

More qualified leads

The goal of SEO is to not only drive more traffic to your website, but to drive more targeted traffic to your website. In a way, a good SEO campaign can almost act like lead qualification.

If your website is targeting the right keywords, both broad and long tail, the right people should be finding your website when searching. That is why long tail keywords, even though they may have less search volume, can be so valuable.

Someone who conducts a search with long tail keywords knows exactly what they are looking for, making them a better lead for your website. They are typically nearing the end of their buying cycle, which also increases the odds that they will convert.

Traffic coming from more sources

A good SEO strategy should focus on diversifying your traffic sources.

While it may sound strange coming from an SEO professional, you don’t want the overall health and well-being of your website to be placed in the hands of the search engines as it leaves your site vulnerable.

What happens if the search engines decide to penalize your site? If 90% of all traffic comes from the search engines there goes 90% of your business. The more traffic sources your site has the more it can withstand a hit to one of them.

A good SEO campaign is going to help build direct traffic, referrals, organic traffic and more. The more sources of traffic the better your SEO campaign.

Stronger presence in the SERPs

When you search for your company by name, what do you see in the search results? Hopefully your company website comes first, but what about after that?

Are your social profiles appearing in the SERPs? What about your press releases and company blog? Are all your business profiles listed? Or is content that is out of your hands, things like consumer reviews, news articles and forums, filling up the search results?

A strong SEO campaign is going to build your overall online brand presence in the SERPs so that the content you’ve created dominates the search results for your brand name.

These are just a few of the key indicators that your SEO campaign is working. It’s important to remember that SEO is a long term, ongoing process so you shouldn’t expect any huge gains overnight. Slow and steady is what wins the SEO race, so don’t panic over small loses; it comes with the territory. Take a step back and look at the overall SEO picture.

About the Author – Nick Stamoulis

Nick Stamoulis is the President of the Boston SEO firm Brick Marketing. With nearly 13 years of B2B SEO experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting to the Brick Marketing blog and the publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers.

photo thanks to Marco Bellucci

Write a (Good) Blog Post in 1 Hour — Here’s How!

Are you short on time and need to write a quality blog post – fast?

Sounds like it’s time for a quickie (blog post, that is!)

A quickie blog post is still high quality, informative and fun to read. The difference is, you’re writing your blog post fast and furious (and in one hour or less.).

Is it the ideal way to write? No. In a perfect world, you have hours to write, revise, and tweak. However, there are those times when carving out 60 minutes is the best you can do – and you need to write something engaging, intelligent and useful.

Here are some blog writing tips to consider:

– Write about something you enjoy. If you love your topic, it’s easier to write better blog posts – faster. I write motivational posts when time gets tight. They are fun to write, they come straight from the heart – and my fingers tend to fly over the computer keys.

– Narrow down your topic. This is not the time to write a highly-detailed 1,500 word post. Figure that you have between 300-500 words to work with – so choose your topic accordingly. Mini how-to articles or blog posts listing helpful tips are typically good for a blog post quickie.

– Gather everything you need in one place. Searching your desk for paperwork, surfing for source material and checking email wastes time you don’t have. Gather everything you’ll need to write your blog post before you start writing. This step alone will save you tons of time.

– Turn off distractions. There is nothing that will will break your flow faster than an email notification, a text coming through, or the phone ringing. Turn everything off while you write. If you have to, close down email and any browser tabs you don’t need. (I forgot to close my browser tabs, and Facebook is now notifying me that I have two messages. It’s taking me every ounce of willpower I have not to check them!)

– Spend 25 minutes (or so) writing your first draft. Get everything you can out on paper (or on the screen.) Don’t worry about editing. Don’t worry about tweaking that one sentence that’s not quite right. Just write. You can edit later.

(As a side note, I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique, and working in 25-minute chunks. It’s made me a more efficient writer, and it’s nice to know that I get a built-in break every half hour.)

– Get away from the computer. You wrote your blog post in less than 25 minutes? Awesome. Now put it down and take a break. You’ll be able to see your mistakes (and see writing opportunities) faster if you come back fresh.

– Edit your blog post multiple times. This is the time to quickly flesh out what didn’t quite “click” the first time and fix any typos. I will edit a document at least three times, with a break between each edit. When I think it’s almost there, I’ll print out the post one more time, make any final edits, and then schedule the post.

– Ask someone to proof the post before it goes live. Writing fast often means you’ll make some inadvertent boo-boos. A quick proof by another person can free your post from typos and save your bacon. That no-big-deal typo you didn’t see may be a big deal to your readers – and can possibly even lose you business.

What about you? What tips would you add to this list?

Balancing SEO and Copywriting Best Practices: A True Story

Guest Author, Nick Stamoulis

I was working with one of my social SEO clients on their blog. My SEO company, Brick Marketing, was responsible for writing two blog posts each week, which we would then promote through the client’s various social networks as they went live.

We were specifically instructed to make sure the blog posts were “SEO friendly” and would do well in the search engines. However, before we even scheduled the blog posts I would send the new posts over to my client for their approval. If they had any changes or comments about the post, they just had to email me back and I would have my writing staff change the post as directed.

One day, they sent back a blog post with so many edits, changes and corrections that you could hardly discern the original article. When I asked them what they didn’t like about the original post, my client responded “Oh no, we really liked the post. We just didn’t understand why you had put those links in there. The blue text is really weird looking. And we thought we should only focus on the same keyword through the whole post, so we removed the variations so as to not confuse our readers.”

They essentially threw the SEO component of the blog post out the window!

I’ll be the first to say that any content, whether it is a blog post, article or webpage, should be written for the reader first and the search engines second. But even great content needs a little help getting found and read by your target audience. That’s where SEO and content optimization come into play.

Here are 4 ways to balance content optimization and traditional copywriting:

1. Don’t dumb it down.

Have a little faith in your readers. Writing generic and generalized content so you can target broad keywords won’t do anyone (you or your readers) any good. Don’t be afraid to target long-tail keywords that someone further along in their research process might be using to find related information. The most specific audience you can write your content for is the best chance you’ll have of earning their business.

2. Incorporate keyword variations.

Speaking of specific keywords, there is no rule that says you have to target the exact same keyword throughout the entire blog post. Obviously you want to stick with keywords that accurately reflect the theme and messaging of the content, but don’t be afraid to throw some variations in there. This not only makes your content much more natural sounding, it also helps your content appeal to more searches. Not everyone searches for the same thing in the same way, so variations help ensure you aren’t accidentally alienating a segment of your target audience.

3. Use anchor text to get the link.

Interlinking your blog posts is a great way to keep your readers engaged, educate them further on related topics and show off your industry savvy. No blog post is an island! Obviously you don’t want to pepper your blog posts with dozens of links (it can get a little distracting for your reader) but incorporating 2-3 links via anchor text is a great way to beef up your blog’s SEO! By using anchor text instead of the full URL to direct readers to another blog post (or even a page on your site) you are keeping the flow of your content intact and spreading the link juice from more popular posts across your blog, lending more value to other posts.

4. Write first, optimize second.

Getting the words down on paper is probably the hardest part about writing a blog post. Yet some site owners seem like gluttons for punishment and think that every word has be to perfect for SEO before they can move onto the next. You don’t have to sacrifice great content in order to make a blog “SEO friendly!” In fact, site owners should write the post first and THEN go back in and see how you can tweak it for SEO. If you can’t make a keyword fit, then don’t force it in. If you can’t find a reason to link, don’t bother. Trying to stuff SEO into a blog post is only going to ruin the integrity of the post.

About the Author – Nick Stamoulis

Nick Stamoulis is an SEO consultant and President of Brick Marketing. With over 12 years of B2B SEO experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO tips to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal, and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 160,000 opt-in subscribers.

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!

How to Write Optimized SEO Titles: 3 Tips

Greetings! Today’s SEO copywriting tip addresses a question posed in the SEO Copywriting Certification graduate group forum:

“In my experience, pipes have been added to define SEO keywords in the search engine results…can you explain what is the preferred way of writing general SEO Titles – with or without pipes? What produces the best results in terms of consumer search behavior?”

An excellent question! Beginning with an explanation of “pipes,” Heather discusses how to capture clicks with unique, optimized webpage Titles:

First, what are “pipes’?

Pipes refer to those vertical lines used in webpage Titles (in lieu of commas or hyphens) to distinguish words and phrases – which yes, tend to be keywords and keyphrases.

For instance, in the first screenshot (showing the search results page listing for a Portland pilates business) the structure of the site’s home page Title is clearly visible: keyword | keyword | keyphrase | location keyphrase | company name.

Sometimes, as demonstrated in the second screen, pipes are generated automatically in a page Title due to the website’s template. (This is often the case with WordPress blogs.) So you see a descriptive page Title | company name.

So, what would get your click?

Comparing the two Titles, which one would you click? The pipe-separated string of keywords, or the customized Title that also has keywords worked into the copy?

Both are technically “right,” but the top example represents a more “old school” approach to Title optimization. It isn’t “wrong,” and it won’t get you banned in Google, but you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.

The second Title is much more powerful. It still is optimized, with the main keyphrases included, but it’s a far more “clickable” Title.

Three Title creation tips

When crafting a webpage Title, keep these tips in mind:

1. The search engine results page is your first opportunity for conversion. Enticing Titles help “get the click.”

2. Watch your character count – make your Title stand out in 60ish characters (including spaces).

3. Always make your Titles unique for the page. Don’t forget to include your main page keyphrases, synonyms or related words. Always.

 

Are You Reaching Your Target B2B Audience?

Greetings! Today’s SEO Copywriting video post is in response to a question put to Heather during her recent Inbound Writer webinar (7 Steps to SEO Copywriting Success):  “How do you address competing keywords where the keyword attracts multiple audiences?”

This is a very good question, and one that poses a particular challenge for business-to-business (B2B) copywriters.  Tune in to learn the common mistakes made by B2B writers in their keyphrase research – and hence, site optimization – and how to avoid (and correct) them:

Challenge #1: Using too broad a keyphrase

A big challenge is when a B2B company employs copywriters who may not be that savvy in SEO and keyphrase research: they may make the easy mistake of optimizing a webpage or entire site for too broad a keyphrase.

For example, let’s look at the screenshot of a chemical blender company and the search results shown on the right side of the page. Now, within that company folks might routinely refer to their chemical blenders simply as “blenders.” So it may be that the copywriter who is unfamiliar with SEO would optimize the product page for the word “blenders.”

  • The challenge is, in Google’s world, when you type the word “blenders” into the search query box, what you come back with are consumer results – not B2B industry results. The consumer results aren’t focused on mixing chemicals, they’re instead talking about how to mix smoothies.

So copywriters who do not understand SEO end up optimizing their webpage or site for too broad a keyphrase (or a single keyword) that fails to reach their intended audience and drive that targeted, quality traffic.

Challenge #2: Not understanding SEO keyphrase research results

A second B2B challenge (and common mistake) comes from not understanding keyphrase research results.

  • The inexperienced copywriter might be using keyphrase research tools, but upon seeing that “chemical blenders” isn’t returning that much traffic they may make the mistake of going with the more generic keyword, “blenders,” because, it get greater search volume. Again, the problem is that while “blenders” may be far more heavily trafficked, those folks searching the term “blenders” aren’t looking for “chemical blenders” – they’re looking for consumer blenders. So again, the copywriter ends up optimizing the webpage or site for the wrong term, and the business doesn’t get the target traffic and sales they need to see.

Tip: Quick keyphrase research reality check 

For a quick reality check of your research results, one of the things you can do is to feed your keywords/phrases into Google’s search query box and see what kind of results come up.

For example, using the word “blade” in the I.T. world, that word can mean “blade server,” but in Google’s world, it can mean something completely different.

So, if you see those kinds of mixed results, then you’ve a huge opportunity. By looking at your keyphrase research through a search engine’s literal eyes, you can start targeting those folks who are actually looking for your products or services.

Think “specific” when choosing keyphrases

In the “blade” example, you can see how changing from “blade” to “blade server” dramatically alters the search results.

  • If you’re in B2B copywriting, think “specific.” Go into Google and double check your keyphrases and be sure the results returned are relevant to the webpage you’re optimizing for and don’t have a lot of consumer results mixed in.

photo credit to: cliff1066™