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SEO Copywriting Checklist: Are you writing content “for Google”?

Write SEO content for your readers, not for GoogleGreetings! Welcome to another installment of the SEO Copywriting Checklist series. Today, Heather gets back to the basics in discussing whether you’re writing content “for Google”.

The idea that you need to write content in a particular way for it to position well in search results is a tenacious misconception. It’s also an unhealthy one, both in terms of search engine appeal and user experience.

Tune in to hear what Heather has to say about writing “for Google” and how to correct for this stubborn tendency in your own SEO content:

“Gift Baskets” Is Repeated 9 Times!

So here’s an example of what writing content “for Google” can mean, where the term “gift baskets” is repeated nine times within a teeny-tiny block of copy!

I’m sure that the person who wrote this content didn’t do so thinking “Im gonna try to spam the engines and get up to the top results!” But the problem is that a lot of folks still think this kind of keyword stuffing is the way you write good SEO content.

Relax! Google Wants You To Write Good Content

So if this has been your mindset – that you have to write separate pages “for Google” or stuff the page full of your keyphrases in order to get a good ranking – you can relax: Google wants to you to write good, quality content. Really!

– Never write copy “for Google”. Write it for your readers.

Instead of hanging onto the notion of writing your content for Google, think about writing for your readers – always focus on their experience!

You don’t want to include a keyphrase so many times that it becomes distracting. People may well bounce off your page and out of your site to find another source of information that sounds more reputable, and offers content that is easier to read.

Additionally…

– Keyword stuffing won’t help your SEO.

Google has closed that loophole. Once upon a time, sure, jamming your copy full of keywords might’ve worked – but not today. So there’s no reason to do it!

– Unsure if you added too many keyphrases? Read the copy out loud.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ve been heavy-handed with the use of keyphrases in your content, sometimes the best thing to do is to just print that page and read it aloud.

The same applies if you’re a site owner working with a copywriter: when s/he submits the copy, read it out loud. That way you’ll hear if the keyphrase has been used too many times.

– Think quality – not quantity.

When thinking about your content, it’s always best to think of it in terms of quality.

It’s not about how many pages you can kick out so Google starts thinking you’re an authority on “X”. It’s about how many good pages you can write for your readers, so you attract more traffic and build your brand that way!

Thanks for joining me for this week’s video! As always, if you have any questions about today’s post, or anything else for that matter, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me directly at [email protected], or find me on Twitter @heatherlloyd.

image thanks to warrantedarrest (Tomas de Aquino)

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SEO Copywriting Checklist: Is your content personality-challenged?

Learn how to bring technical content to life with tone and feelHello and welcome back to another installment of the SEO Copywriting Checklist video series! Today Heather addresses the question of whether your content is personality-challenged.

And while you may not be quite sure what “personality-challenged” means, chances are you have come across sites that, well…bore you to tears. Elicit the yawn. Have the charisma of a rock. That kind of thing.

So tune in as Heather discusses how you can avoid the yawn response to your website, no matter how technical your profession:

Are you boring your reader?

– This can happen in any industry, but especially medical and legal.

– The text often sounds dry, boring and technical.

– Yawn.

I see personality-challenged sites most frequently in the medical and legal fields. Typically these sites have content that is very dry, very technical, contains lots of really big words, and doesn’t forge a connection with the reader.

People will write their content this way for a couple of reasons:

1. Because that’s how they’re used to writing.

For instance, if they are a physician or an attorney and they’re writing their own content, their day-to-day technical writing style transfers over to their website.

2. Because they think it makes them sound smart.

Some site owners think that the more technical their content is, the smarter they sound, and that will dazzle their readers into contacting them. Actually, the opposite may very well happen. If people hit a site that speaks over their heads and they can’t connect with the copy, they might just back out and find another site they do connect with.

You don’t want folks to have the yawn response when they visit your website! You want them to think “Wow! I can really connect with this person. I love what they have to say, and I want to learn more!

Great example of a friendly, accessible tone and feel

Here’s an example of a site that’s done right.

You can find it at DrBaileySkinCare.com. Dr. Cynthia Bailey is a dermatologist based in California who has an office, but also sells products on her site and writes a blog. If you look at her content – and she’s written 99.9 percent of it herself – you’ll see how approachable it is.

Dr. Bailey’s site has a very friendly tone and feel.

Even her “About Us” page (shown in the screenshot) makes her sound very friendly and approachable. She talks about how patients describe her like a trusted sister – where people can come to her with their embarrassing skin problems and she can help fix them.

Her site does really well.

She writes tremendous blog posts that get great traffic, and she sounds like a human being – not like the scary doctor behind the scenes. She sounds like someone that you would actually want to call, and visit her office or buy her products, because you feel like you can trust her.

Takeaways:

– Friendly, approachable content works.

– You can still sound smart and experienced with a more casual tone and feel.

– Consider your readers’ needs carefully.

The example of Dr. Bailey’s site is something to consider with your own website if you’re working in the medical or legal profession: is there a way to shake up the tone and feel where you still sound smart, and you’re still outlining your expertise, but it’s not so technical?

Really think about your readers: What do they want to see? How do you connect with them in person, or on the phone or in an email? That’s the tone and feel you might want to capture in your web content to connect with your readers. It might work a lot better than copy that sounds dry, boring and technical!

Thanks for joining me! As always, if you have any questions at all or comments about today’s video post, I’d love to hear from you! You can reach me at [email protected], or on Twitter @heatherlloyd.

photo thanks to johnc24

Want to learn how to write engaging, optimized web content that converts like crazy? Check into my SEO Copywriting training and see what option best suits your needs!

 

3 Web writing no-no’s to avoid

Greetings! In today’s how-to SEO copywriting video, Heather takes a different approach to her weekly “lesson” by discussing three Web writing mistakes to avoid.

If you’ve been following this weekly video post series by Heather, you know that she’s devoted much discussion to what you should do with online writing, such as what will help your make more money, get better rankings, and make your content more easily shared.

But today, Heather takes a different tact in discussing those things that you do not want to do when creating web content – and especially these three definite no-no’s. Tune in and see if you may be guilty of one of them…

In surfing the web, I continue to see these three fatal flaws in website content. If you have any of these terrible 3’s on your own site, now’s the time to go back and redress them!

1) Putting your company’s mission statement on your home page

The first thing that I notice – and especially on B2B sites, or sometimes on smaller business sites – is the tendency to put the company’s mission statement on the home page.

I understand that when a company has invested considerable time and resources into creating their mission statement that they want to share it with their readers. But the home page is not the best place to do that. Somewhere on the “About Us” section, perfect! But please, not on your home page.

  • Reality check: your audience doesn’t care.

And this is because what your site visitors are looking for is what’s in it for them: how can your company help solve whatever problem they have in the first place, for them to visit your site?

  • It won’t help you position better…nor will it “make more money”.

Putting your company’s mission statement on your home page will do nothing to make you more money, drive new business, or position better. Certainly, if it’s important to you, again, you can put that content in the “About Us” section. But leave it off the home page.

  • Focus your content on what you can do for your reader.

Speak to your readers and tell them exactly what it is you can do to help them.

2) Telling only part of the story…

The second thing I will see is where companies only want to tell part of the story. So you might have a services page that tells a little bit about the service, and then there’s “contact us for more details”.

In this instance, they’re only giving their reader peanuts – they’re not giving them the full story.  And there’s a couple of reasons for this that I hear:

  • Some people think that short, “incomplete” content will drive emails/leads.

The thinking here is that the site owner assumes that their readers will think ‘Oh wow! That sounds really interesting! I don’t know much about it, but now I really want to know! I’m going to contact them right now!  Nope. Doesn’t happen that way.

  • Other people are afraid of giving too much away.

I’ll hear this a lot in more competitive industries, when the business owner says ‘Well, we don’t want to have all of that information on our services page, because our competitors might copy us and then where will we be?’

The thing is that in order to get people to contact you, you have to give them a reason. Those sexy blurbs that don’t really tell the story probably won’t be enough to help increase your conversion rates, because folks usually want to make that your service is a good fit for them before they contact you.

  • The solution? Give your readers the information they need to know.

If you’re not sure about this solution, test it!

Send your readers to two different pages on an A/B split test, wherein the first you provide just a little bit of information, and the second you provide a more robust explanation. I’ll almost guarantee you that the page that provides more information will drive a higher quality and more motivated lead, and probably more leads altogether!

3) Writing “techie” content in order to sound smarter.

Finally, the third thing I see – and this is definitely a syndrome in the B2B world, although sometimes I’ll see it with B2C sites as well – is where companies have obviously told their copywriters to write “techie” content.

Why? Because they want to sound smart online.

Certainly, if you are targeting your site to highly technical people, you want to create content that appeals to them. So in that case, technical writing is perfectly okay!

  • It’s important that readers understand your content.

But if you’re trying to write over your readers’ heads just to sound smart, that’s probably going to backfire on you. At the end of the day, you need people to actually understand your content.

So remember:

  • Using big words and long sentences won’t impress most readers.

You also really need to think about this in terms of who comes to your site when they’re looking for vendors.

If you’re writing highly technical content, but the person visiting your site isn’t necessarily technical – such as an administrative assistant, or someone who needs to figure out if you’re a good fit for the company they work for – if you’re writing over their heads, they may think “Oh, I’m not sure this is a good fit, I don’t think I’m going to pass this along to my boss. I think I’m going to look for another source, instead.”

  • Your solution? Write for your target audience.

You want to write for your readers in a language that they will understand, and that in turn will definitely help you increase your time on site, and it will increase your conversion rates as well!

Thanks for joining this week’s SEO Copywriting video! Remember, if you have a question or topic suggestion, we’re all ears! Simply email Heather via [email protected] and she may well answer your question or address your topic next week! See you then!

 

If you are writing your own content and you’d like some tips about how to write Panda-safe and Penguin-safe content – and how to write for Google – simply sign up for the free SEO Copywriting Buzz Newsletter and download the How to Write for Google white paper – also free!

 

photo thanks to DanBrady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drive targeted Web traffic by answering questions

Welcome back! In today’s SEO copywriting video how-to, Heather shares a really fun content strategy that is especially attractive if you find yourself stuck for new ideas for fresh content: answering questions.

Not only does this strategy generate useful, relevant content for your readers, but it also drives targeted traffic to your website! What’s more, answering questions allows you to show off your expertise, and it’s easy!

Tune in as Heather explains how answering questions can drive Web traffic…

Your target market has questions

  • Shouldn’t your company answer them?

Your target market has questions. They’re typing them into Google every day, and while the query might not be sales related – they might not be looking for a product or service, at that point – it might be related to something that you offer.

So for example, the screenshot shows a search for “how do I file estimated taxes?” and that is followed by suggested results. If you were a bookkeeper or a CPA, someone who was targeting folks who would be filing taxes, this would be an opportunity for you – because you could build out an article or blog post about this topic.

You could also expand that out to Twitter and other social media channels, but just in terms of your website, this gives you stuff that you know you can write about!

Make a list of the most common questions you hear

So when you’re trying to figure out what kinds of questions to answer, the first thing to do is to think about what your prospects are asking you.

  • What are your prospects asking?

When you’re picking up the phone and talking to people, chances are that you get very similar types of questions. So what you can do is to answer these questions via an article or post for your website, or via a guest post at a relevant blog.

  • If you employ customer service representatives, what are they hearing?

If you work with customer service rep’s, this is something that you can ask them, because you might find out that they are hearing questions that you’ve never even considered.

So again, that gives you a really cool opportunity to create a blog post around those questions and then post it on your website!

  • Make a list and prioritize it.

Start making a list and prioritize it: if you know that there’s a question that comes up all the time, and that everybody asks, list that first.  And then that’s something you can plan for later.

Do a little more research…

The second thing to do is conduct a little more research – internal brainstorming is fun, but you can also look externally, such as…

  • What are your competitors writing about? Are they addressing anything that’s not on your list?

Go to competing sites and figure out what they’re writing about: are they using the same strategy right now? And if so, what kinds of questions are they answering? Are there any that you don’t have on your list already?

  • Does keyphrase research give you any other ideas?

Keyphrase research is always a great way to get ideas.

  • What about social media?

Check out what’s happening on social media: what’s trending? Look at your competitors’ social media. See if there are questions on Twitter that are different than those you’re hearing from your customer service rep’s.

Do a really broad-scope investigation of the types of opportunities that are out there, and continue adding questions and ideas to your list.

Develop your content strategy

Once you have a pretty solid list, then it’s time to develop your content strategy.

  • Will you write a blog post? An article? A FAQ page?
  • How many articles/posts can you write a month?

Some folks get amped and set an impossibly ambitious goal given their reality, like “I’m going to write one per day!” Then shortly after they burn out and nothing gets done.  So however this works for your content marketing, consider what’s realistic for you and put that info in your editorial calendar.

  • Who’s gonna do the writing?

If you’re going to write the content yourself, then you need to set aside some time. If  you’re going to outsource it, they you’ll need to find a writer who’s really good and can write in a voice that’s going to benefit your brand and make you money.

Avoid the cheap content trap

Something to consider if you do outsource the writing: avoid the cheap content trap! Consider your content an asset that will make you money.

  • Low-quality content will hurt – not help – you.

I (Heather) have seen a lot of companies who look at these types of articles and posts as merely an “SEO play,” thinking ‘Oh, well, we don’t have to share that much info’ or ‘It doesn’t have to be good writing – it’s just an article to drive traffic.’

But the important thing to remember is that article represents your brand. And even though it’s not meant to be a sales letter or something that directly promotes a product or service, if it reads poorly and it really doesn’t go into depth in answering the questions you reader is asking – that is not going to help you…It’s going to cost you money.

A good article will actually help make you money, because people will think ‘Wow! This company really knows what they’re talking about – maybe I should learn more…and it might be easy to work with them!’

  • If you choose to outsource, find the best writer for your needs (not the one who offers the lowest price.)

Some people approach outsourcing as an equation: “We only want to spend X for content – $10 a page” because it fits with some magical budget of theirs, but what they receive for that is not necessarily going to be the best reflection of their brand.

You want to find the best writer for your needs, not the cheapest. You need to be open to price at that point, if you expect any kind of quality content that drives traffic to your site!

 

Of Panda’s and Penguin’s: learn how to write for Google and avoid a bamboo spanking or penguin mauling! Just sign up for the free SEO Copywriting Buzz newsletter for lean, no-fluff industry news, either daily or weekly, and get Heather Lloyd’s “25-Point Checklist on How to Write for Google” free!

photo thanks to Micky.! (Micky Aldridge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending May 2nd

Of penguins and pandas…In this week’s latest & greatest Web-writing news, Google is yet again shaking up the SEO and search community with its latest Panda (3.5) update and webspam “Penguin” update. Meanwhile, content marketers run the gamut from the reality of mobile marketing to linking to email, and social media marketers get thoughtful (yet real) about the industry and that social ROI. Cuddle up with your favorite domestic animal and enjoy this week’s web gems!

Content Marketing

The data is in and the web is dead: Great read by Gini Dietrich on the (current reality and) inevitability of the dominance of mobile marketing platforms over the desktop PC with “The Web is Dead! Long Live Smartphones!” at Spin Sucks.

Angie Nikoleychuk discusses smart content marketing with “How to Boost the Success of Your Link Bait Before You Hit Publish” at Level 343.

Lee Odden shares “12 Timeless Link Building Tips for Business Blogs” at Top Rank.

Mitt Ray discusses how to write white papers and how to use them as part of your content marketing strategy at SEO Copywriting.

Roger C. Parker shares “3 Tips for Increasing your Content Productivity” at Content Marketing Institute.

Tim Ash discusses clarity in landing page design and content conversions with “Do Your Site Visitors Push Your Buttons?” at ClickZ.

So “Is Your Message Missing the Mark?” Jessica Collier discusses honing your landing page message for the best possible visitor experience at Ion Interactive.

Ian Lurie posts “10 ways to get into big trouble in marketing” (with skimping on content being #6) at Portent.

Need to feed the beast? Heidi Cohen discusses feeding the content development and marketing beasts with “7 Places to Find Cheap Content” at her blog.

Citing a study by Return Path, Pamela Parker discusses the incredibly promising new world of mobile email marketing with “Email Marketers Better Prepare For Mobile Opens, New Study Finds” at Marketing Land.

Illustrating with great examples, Corey Eridon posts “The 9 Must-Have Components of Compelling Email Copy” at HubSpot.

Running an email marketing campaign? Ashley Zeckman posts “Convert More Customers: Tips & Tricks For Running A/B Tests On Your Email Campaigns” at Top Rank.

Jeanne Jennings discusses a case study in which revising the email welcome message with a marketing message dramatically improved open and click-through rates, at ClickZ.

Smart all-around insights into content sharing and optimization are shared at TopRank Internet Marketing News with “Ask an Expert: How Can I Optimize My Online Content to Increase Shares and Exposure?”

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly research chart is on the imperative of content creation in improving SEO effectiveness.

The value of consistency (in showing up on your target market radar) is discussed by Seth Godin at his blog.

Did you miss BlueGlass LA? No worries – two different posts cover it in different ways:

The first, by Kevin Gibbons, “50 Tips & Takeaways from BlueGlass LA,” summarizes his tweets sharing on SEO and search to content marketing and much more, at SEOptimise.

The second, by Jason Miller, shares part one of two of “Ten Takeaways from Blueglass LA” (B2B perspective) at Marketo.

Events:

  • CMS Expo Learning & Business Conference begins next Tuesday, May 8th and runs thru the 10th, in Evanston, IL. The conference theme is “ Content Management Meets Content Strategy & Content Marketing.” A whole lotta content going down!
  • MarketingProfs University is offering a live, online “Marketing Writing Bootcamp” from May 10th thru the 23rd (with on-demand access to the recordings thru April of 2013). Use coupon code SUCCESS to save $200!
  • The Content Strategy Conference, ConFab 2012, scheduled for May 14th thru the 16th, is completely sold out, but you can catch live coverage via blogs, updates, and the @confab2012 Twitter stream.
  • Usability Week 2012 Conferences, hosted by the Neilsen Norman Group, are scheduled for May 14th thru the 18th in Washington, D.C., and for June 25th thru the 29th in Chicago.
  • Marketing Sherpa’s Optimization Summit 2012 will be held in Denver from June 11th thru the 14 th.
  • Marketing Sherpa’s B2B Summit 2012 will be held in Orlando, August 27th thru the 30th.
  • Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing World 2012 is scheduled for September 4th thru the 6th in Columbus, OH.

SEO & Search

A plethora of posts greets the SEO & search pro with the double-smackdown of Google’s Panda 3.5 (low quality) and Penguin (webspam) updates:

Danny Sullivan distinguishes between the Panda 3.5 (low-quality content) update and the Penguin (outright webspam) update –  including the winners and losers of Panda 3.5, and his correspondence with Matt Cutts – with a clarifying post at Search Engine Land.  (See source, Search Metrics, for the list of SEO visibility winners & losers).

Sullivan’s original post on Google’s Penguin update has some great background information: “Google Launches ‘Penguin Update’ Targeting Webspam In Search Results,” also at Search Engine Land.

Other enlightening posts on Google’s Panda 3.5 and Penguin updates include:

Aaron Wall’s decidedly no-bullshit take, “The Google Penguin Update: Over-Optimization, Webspam, & High Quality Empty Content Pages,” at SEOBook.

Bill Slawski’s “Google Praises SEO, Condemns Webspam, and Rolls Out Algorithm Change,” at SEO by the Sea.

Chris Crum’s “Google Panda Update: 12 Tips Directly from Google,” at WebProNews.

And of course, there’s Google’s own post by Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer, on the Penguin (and Panda) update: “Another step to reward high-quality sites,” at its Inside Search blog.

And for those who believe they’ve been wronged by the Penguin Update, there’s:

Danny Goodwin’s “Google Penguin Web Spam Algorithm Update Feedback Form Now Live,” where Matt Cutts is quoted announcing that you can plea your case or report a site that you think is spammy (“negative SEO”), at Search Engine Watch.

Pamela Vaughan’s “What to Do if Your Search Rankings Were Hurt by Google’s Penguin Update” at HubSpot.

And for those who believe they have been hacked by web spammers:

Citing Matt Cutts, Chris Crum reports that included in Google’s Webspam/Penguin update are sites that have been hacked by spammers (“The other kind of spam Google is dealing with”). An explanation and resources for help are at WebProNews.

Crum also reports on Google’s unprecedented move of sharing about the “human raters” in determining its algorithms, at WebProNews.

Asking what we all may be wondering, Bas van den Beld posts “Can We Still Trust Google?” at State of Search.

So how does the Google search engine actually work? Brad Kuenn explains at Vertical Measures.

Another great SEO 101 tutorial, on how to use HTML meta tags, is posted by Kristine Schachinger at Search Engine Watch.

For the more advanced, Ian Lurie shares “4 tips for technical SEO” (“for starters”) that every technical site audit should include, at Portent.

Lyena Solomon posts smart considerations for 1st quarter website spring cleaning, from SEO and PPC audits to cost-effective social media strategies, at NetSprinter.

Lars Lofgren discusses the four types of Google Analytics goal types that are essential to businesses, at KISSmetrics.

Beyond SEO lies WPO? Krista LaRiviere discusses the all-inclusive “WPO” with “The Hierarchy of Web Presence Optimization” at gShift Labs.

Tim Schmoyer posts the ReelSEO summary for the week with YouTube Changes, Google Indexing Embeds & Adwords for Video – with a video about Google addressing “discovery problems” on YouTube.

Vanessa Fox discusses the expansion of search query data to 90 days using Google’s Webmaster Tools, and kindly offers a refresher, at Search Engine Land.

Josh McCoy discusses SEO competitive analysis with “3 Pillars of SEO Competitive Analysis” at Search Engine Watch.

Julie Joyce posts “Why Link Builders Need To Do More Than Just Build Links” at Search Engine Land.

Sujan Patel posts “Social Shares: The New Link Building” at Search Engine Journal.

Garrett French posts “How Limiting Your Google Queries Makes You a Better Link Prospector” at Search Engine Watch.

Ian Lurie discusses enterprise SEO with “Easy SEO Wins For Big Sites” at Search Engine Land.

Events:

Social Media Marketing

Mark Lazen pens an insightful read, “Right-sizing your Social Media Management Process,” at Social Media Today.

Level 343’s Gabriella Sannino discusses community building and “friends” with “Stop Everything You’re Doing In Social. You’re Fired.”

Sam Ford posts “6 New Maxims For Social Marketing” at Fast Company.

Josh Peters posts “60 Minutes to a More Efficient Social Business Strategy” at Mashable.

Kate Rose posts “5 Reasons Social Media Isn’t Working For You – And How To Fix Them” at business2community.

Bas van den Beld asks if social media activity can really boost rankings, sharing a fun infographic, at State of Search.

eMarketer posts “For Brands, Social Media Shows Returns but Measurement Hurdles Remain.”

Brian Solis discusses Frank Eliason’s book, @Your Service, with “Do Customers Really Matter to Your Business? Prove it.”

Rachelle Ayala posts the “Seven Sins of Social Networking” at Rachelle’s Window.

Mike Lewis posts “Evolving Social Media Analytics: Insights from Marshall Sponder” at Social Media Today.

If you can’t beat ‘em? In an interesting twist, “Flickr Teams With Pinterest For Easy Sharing & Proper Attribution,” reports Greg Finn at Marketing Land.

So Facebook is about to raise $5 billion from investors. It gets even more interesting with Jeff Bullas’ “20 Interesting Facts, Figures and Statistics Revealed by Facebook.”

Brittany Darwell reports that “Facebook says it sent more than 160 million visitors to Facebook-integrated mobile apps last month,” at Inside Facebook.

Hide and go Facebook tab seek? Nancy McCord posts “Facebook Business Pages – The Hidden Tabs – Can You Find Them?” at SiteProNews.

Ann Smarty discusses how to analyze your tweeting style from the readers’ perspective with 3 “addictive” tools at Internet Marketing Ninjas.

Dan Zarrella discusses the free Twitter tool, TweetCharts, which allows you to analyze Twitter data for any search term (and more), at HubSpot.

Nisha Kaushal posts “Why Twitter Needs to Change to Keep Up with Social Media Marketing” at Webbiquity.

Harry Gold posts “27 LinkedIn Social Media Marketing Tactics” at ClickZ.

Stephanie Sammons shares “5 Tips to Build and Grow Your LinkedIn Network”  at Social Media Examiner.

Events:

Would you like to know more about writing for Google?  (This is especially important since their latest algo update, Penguin, just rolled out.) Simply visit the SEO Copywriting Buzz page, and sign up to receive either the daily or weekly newsletter (or both), and receive Heather’s “How to write for Google: 25-point checklist” whitepaper, free!

photo thanks to cnystrom (Chris Nystrom)

 

 

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending April 20th

Maybe it’s due to the tax season, but there seems to be a lot of number crunching going on in this week’s latest and greatest web writing news.  From content marketers trying to make sense of data and social media marketers measuring returns on relationships, to the SEO and search community analyzing the relative impact of social influences, valuation is the common denominator.  Here’s the tally of this week’s selections:

Content Marketing:

Great read at Design Damage about achieving long-term online marketing success, and a smart post at Eisenberg & Associates exploring the value of content marketing.

Seth Godin addresses the “economies of small,” and “tiny media” (the four horsemen of media).

HubSpot posts Excel tricks for crunching tons of marketing data, as well as an (“inbound now’) interview with Joe Pulizzi about all things content.

Content Marketing Institute posts a two-part series on content marketing analytics, the first about what to do with all those numbers and the second about turning analytics into actionable tasks.

The brave and bumpy path to exceptional content is posted at Shelly Bowen’s site (pybop), while Copyblogger posts how brevity can sometimes be bad for your content.

Hugo Guzman discusses the Johari Window concept as a way to understand your marketing, and HubSpot posts a video interview with Gary Vaynerchuk on “context marketing.”

Sonia Simone posts how to consistently attract high-quality traffic to your site at Copyblogger, and Frank Reed posts the many factors that make up internet marketing at Marketing Pilgrim.

Patsi Krakoff (of “the Blog Squad”) posts how to connect the dots to drive content marketing results at Writing on the Web, and Brian Tarcy offers five tips for better business storytelling via HubSpot.

The fundamentals of starting a company blog are at {grow}, and brand expert Jim Joseph shares tips to win customer loyalty at PR Web.

An interesting interview with Hugh MacLeod, discussing the infinite market for something to believe in, is posted at Copyblogger.

Content Marketing Institute offers a step-by-step guide to the new LinkedIn company pages for content marketers, and Search Engine Journal posts free Google tools for generating great web content ideas.

Social Media Today posts thinking strategically about content curation, and a Mashable posts no less than 40 new digital media resources.

Finally, Marketing Sherpa’s inaugural Optimization Summit, June 1st – 3rd in Atlanta, is fast running out of room.  Those interested are urged to register soon!

SEO & Search:

Marylene Delbourg-Delphis authors a great piece about the real nature of SEO power words at her site, and Distilled’s Tom Critchlow shows “how to make SEO happen” at SEOmoz.

ClickThrough Marketing reveals the biggest search engine marketing spenders, and Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici reports that Demand Media shares have tanked as a result of Google’s Farmer/Panda update.

In a related post, Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee reports that Google has lowered the boom on eHow, and Pamela Parker reports that the big G is planning to distinguish poor quality landing pages from policy violations.

SEOptimise publishes 30+ resources for Google’s Farmer/Panda update, while DIY SEO gleans the opinions of 45 experts on the biggest mistakes that small businesses make with SEO and online marketing.

Smart guest post by Level 343’s Gabriella Sannino about the need for customized social media and SEO strategies is at Search Engine Journal, and Search Engine Watch posts a great piece on “granular” SEO analytics.

Michael Gray addresses steps to make your website look more brand-like to Google at his SEO blog, and Kimberly Castleberry shares Matt Cutts’ video addressing how to prove your content is original at her site.

Search Engine Land post discusses an “Outbrain” study showing that search drives both more and better traffic to content sites than does social media.

Rand Fishkin looks at detailed data about the relative influence of Facebook and Twitter on Google search rankings at SEOmoz: interesting!

Website Magazine posts an article on 2011 search marketing trends, while Marketing Sherpa discusses capturing future seasonal traffic lifts with four SEO factors.

Ann Smarty guest posts on how to highlight your brand’s name in Google Reader search results at Search Engine Journal, and Linkbuildr discusses tactics for keeping your link-building “fresh.”

SEOmoz’s Dr. Pete discusses eight “easy wins” for on-page SEO, and Search Engine Land offers six simple SEO tips for small businesses.

On a much more ambitious note, SEO Book discusses starting an SEO business, and Level 343 takes on writing for your website visitors.

Finally, SEOmoz announces Pro SEO Boston, scheduled for May 16th and 17th.

Social Media Marketing:

The Social CMO proposes a new measure of social media success, namely, return-on-relationship (ROR) rather than ROI.

How to optimize your brand’s Facebook page for search engines is addressed at Read Write Web (Biz), while All Facebook posts tips for using Facebook features to market your brand.

Top Rank’s Lee Odden posts understanding B2B social media via infographics, and Social Media Examiner cites a study showing that small businesses benefit most from social media.

Pure Driven discusses how to protect your company from “dysfunctional” social media strategies, and Social Marketing Forum posts a thoughtful piece about social media advertising.

iMedia Connection posts simple tips for Facebook and Twitter success, as well as 10 Facebook lessons learned from Apple vs. Google.

The book “Marketing lessons from the Grateful Dead” is discussed by Mack Collier, while Brian Solis announces that his Engage 2.0 in now online and available at bookstores.

Social Media Examiner posts how to use geolocation in your marketing initiatives as well as ways to use social media to sell successfully.

Mark Schaefer posts a video interview with Jay Baer at {grow} in which Baer shares his advice for those wanting to go into social media consulting.

Speaking of Jay Baer, he ponders if Twitter is massively overrated at Convince and Convert, while For Free Blog discusses what makes a great tweet.

Finally, Social Media Examiner headlines its weekly news with YouTube’s new YouTube Live streaming video feature.