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SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending January 4th, 2012

Happy New Year! Time to make use of that bookmarks feature, as the best of 2011 and trends for 2012 flood the web in this first Web-writing roundup of 2012. From content to social media marketing, SEO and search, here’s a content curator’s dream of links – and fine fresh stuff to kick off the year well prepared! Enjoy, bookmark, and curate on…

Content Marketing

Neuromarketing’s Roger Dooley lists the best posts of 2011 (according to readers) as well as a how-to on writing taglines that double sales.

Top Rank lists its recommendations of top online marketing books to read for your edification in 2012.

Marketing Sherpa enumerates the nine SEO, social and content marketing articles most shared by its Inbound Marketing readership in 2011.

Content Marketing Institute compiles the best content marketing ideas shared in 2011 from its contributors, as well as the best content marketing design tips from – you guessed it – 2011.

Mack Collier posts a no-nonsense guide to SEO and content creation for bloggers at his site.

SEO & Search

And the winners are…Level 343 posts the results of its year-long survey for 2012 Top Women of SEO. One of the winners was our very own Heather Lloyd-Martin! Congrats to all candidates!

Search Engine Watch posts its 2011 “Web Analytics Year in Review.”

Surprise! Search industry surprises of 2011 are discussed by Phil Nottingham at SEOmoz.

From the Big G’s mouth: Google publishes its own version of bragging rights with “Google blogging and beyond in 2011” at its official blog site.

Search Engine Watch posts an interesting look at mobile search marketing trends for 2012.

SEOmoz takes a look at “grassroots” SEO.

HubSpot reports that Google+ status updates – both brand and personal –  are now appearing in organic search results.

Search Engine Land posts a how-to on tracking Blekko in web analytics systems.

Ashely Zeckman posts Google Places optimization (“local SEO in five easy steps”) at Top Rank.

Social Media Marketing

Thirty industry professionals share their 2012 predictions on social media’s impact on businesses at Social Media Examiner.

Jeff Bullas posts 10 “key facts, stats, and findings” you should know about the state of social media in 2011.

Top Rank shows four examples how companies are using Twitter for B2C marketing.

SEOmoz devotes its end-of-year “Whiteboard Friday” presentation to using social media monitoring as an inbound marketing channel.

Brian Solis discusses going global by going local at his blog.

Finally, Lee Odden entertains the question of whether 2011 was the year that Facebook killed Google at Top Rank.

photo credit to smrisk

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending December 7th, 2011

In this week’s Web writing news, the past year is coming to a close while a new year has yet to begin. Betwixt and between the 2011 retrospective and 2012 predictive musings are exceptional news and posts from all reaches of the internet marketing sphere: content, social, SEO and search. Transitional times can make for the most interesting discussions! Catch up with this week’s picks…

Content Marketing

Forget about Cyber Monday – according to comScore data reported by Greg Sterling, it was Cyber Week to the tune of $6 billion. Posted at Search Engine Land’s new sister site, Marketing Land.

So where do SEO and social media fit in your company? (Hint: it’s not about marketing). Via Lee Odden at Top Rank.

MarketingProfs offers a free download of the results of its second annual survey (in partnership with Content Marketing Institute): “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends.”

Heidi Cohen posts a chart showing the rise of B2B content marketing with the top content marketing metrics to track.

Featuring input from big companies (Coca-Cola, The Gap companies, and The Grammy Awards) iMedia Connection posts why 2012 is all about measurement.

Twenty CMI bloggers share their votes for the “must-see” content marketing posts of 2011 (from varied sites) via Michele Linn at Content Marketing Institute.

Brad Shorr addresses content strategy within the design process at Smashing (UX Design) Magazine.

Joe Pulizzi addresses whether content marketing is an asset or an expense at Junta42.

Jeff Bullas posts part one (of two) of his beginners’ guide on how to video blog on a budget.

Five easy steps to better buyer profiling are posted at Content Marketing Institute.

Wrapping it up on a lighter note, Ian Lurie posts “Death of an internet marketer” at Conversation Marketing.

SEO & Search

Eric Enge discusses keys to engagement, user generated content (UGC), and SEO at Search Engine Land.

Neil Patel posts a great overview of all the major Google updates influencing rankings at Quicksprout.

Virginia Nussey addresses SEO strategy in light of Google’s 2011 algorithm updates (especially Panda and Freshness) at Bruce Clay.

Josh Giardino tells Google to “stop playing (the jig is still up!)” at Distilled.

Bill Slawski discusses Google’s latest antics and the costs and benefits of making changes at SEO by the Sea.

Aaron Wall posts an infographic depicting how Google killed longtail keywords at SEObook.

Melissa Fach posts a video of Google’s Matt Cutts explaining cloaking at Search Engine Journal.

Mark Jackson discusses how SEO is both science and art is at Search Engine Watch.

SEO Hacker posts how meta tags should be used for SEO.

Finally, Samir Balwani posts the ultimate small business website guide at sitefo

Social Media Marketing

YouTube analytics headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Cheryl Burgess discusses social media business trends for 2012 at Blue Focus Marketing.

Gabriella Sannino addresses your social footprint at Level 343.

Mark Schaefer posts the three developments that are sabotaging the social media movement at {grow}.

Ashley Zeckman posts 20 social media do’s and don’ts at Top Rank.

HubSpot posts seven “silly” Google+ business page mistakes (to fix NOW).

Jeff Bullas shares nine steps to “compelling contagious content” for your social media marketing at his blog.

Eight small business social media tips from the pro’s are posted at Social Media Examiner.

Seven tips for better social marketing engagement (via the SMX Social Media Marketing Conference) are shared at Brafton News

Will Google+ overtake Facebook? HubSpot posts the data behind the question.

Bill Slawski posts Twitter differences in different countries at SEO by the Sea.

photo credit to: Smoobs

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending December 14th, 2011

Wow! This week’s Web writing news is nearly decadent with rich and informative content: E-commerce marketers have occasion to rejoice with record-breaking holiday numbers, SEO and search professionals contemplate where “the new Google” (and the industry) are going, and social media marketers are assured an ever-growing piece of the world-wide content marketing pie. Here are this week’s yummy picks…enjoy!

Content Marketing

This week’s Marketing Sherpa research chart shows that the biggest content marketing budget increases are expected in inbound marketing over the next year.

Content Marketing Institute (in partnership with Marketing Profs) has released its 2012 B2B content marketing report on budgets, benchmarks and trends (free download).

Just beginning your foray into content marketing? Joseph Putman posts the beginner’s guide to content marketing at KISSmetrics.

Lee Odden outlines an exceptional four-step content marketing framework for start-ups at Top Rank.

Heidi Cohen reveals five secrets to creating compelling content at her blog.

Corey Eridon posts 11 essential editorial guidelines for business blogs at HubSpot.

CMI contributors share their favorite content marketing lessons from 2011 at Content Marketing Institute.

Heidi Cohen discusses mobile marketing strategy with five mobile marketing tactics (that you need now) at ClickZ.

Pamela Parker discusses findings of a study showing how mobile apps can help build your brand at Marketing Land.

Carl Frisen discusses the five types of content you need to grab reader attention and influence their perception of your brand at Content Marketing Institute.

Scam alert: Ann Smarty addresses the persistent scam of using foreign characters to make content appear unique at SEO Smarty.

Neil Patel posts five reasons why your email marketing isn’t working (and how to fix it) at Quick Sprout.

SEO & Search

Tom Schmitz shares an astute SEO “playbook” for 2012, from coding to content, at Search Engine Land.

Avinash Kaushik discusses the best web metrics/KPIs for businesses of all sizes at Occam’s Razor.

Gabriel Gervelis shares his search marketing holiday wish for complete conversion tracking at Search Engine Journal.

Google-induced headaches and where SEO is going from here are entertained (with entertaining humor) at SEOmoz.

Citing a provocative post by Aaron Wall of SEO Book, Dan Angotti addresses whether Google has indeed “declared war” on small businesses and publishers at Search Engine Journal.

SEO Book followed that post (above) with an infographic on the decline of organic links at the cyber hands of Google.

Tim Ash posts the first step in his series on fixing your website for usability (post audit) at ClickZ.

The top three end-of year initiatives for inhouse SEO’s are posted by Bob Tripathi at Search Engine Watch.

Ten illustrations of how fresh content (a la Google’s freshness update) can influence search rankings are posted at SEOmoz.

Ian Lurie shares 10 tips for hiring an SEO company at Conversation Marketing.

Vertical Measures posts seven attributes (“internet marketing qualifications”) that make for a successful SEO hiring choice.

Todd Bailey discusses how YouTube’s redesign (notably “Channels”) calls for video SEO services at Search Engine Journal.

What’s in a (domain) name? New research from Microsoft reveals that searchers favor brand domains, as reported by Search Engine Land.

SEOmoz’s Whiteboard Friday presentation addresses that irksome scenario where your quality content is outranked by a spammer.

Finally, seven mobile SEO myths are exposed at Search Engine Land.

Social Media Marketing

The wave of social media platform makeover’s headline Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Mashable posts its own top six social media marketing trends of 2011, also with interesting insights.

David Bratvold posts that enterprise crowdsourcing has taken off as a social media growth industry at {grow}.

Twitter’s 2011 year in review stats show that death, soccer, and celebrities provided the most tweets-per-second, reports Marketing Land.

Laura Sydell explains how Twitter’s trending algorithm selects its topics at the NPR (National Public Radio) site.

Mashable reports on the launch of “Bottlenose,” a social media consumption “game changer” for those suffering from social media overload.

Michael Stelzner interviews John Jantsch (of Duct Tape Marketing fame) on how small businesses should adapt to social media, at Social Media Examiner.

Ashley Zeckman shares four tips for motivating your social network to share at Top Rank.

Andrea Vahl posts the top 10 Facebook apps for fan engagement and building your social media community at Social Media Examiner.

So what does Google+ mean for marketers? Patricia Redsicker interviews Jesse Stay, author of the newly-released Google+ for Dummies, at Content Marketing Institute.

Tom Pick discusses 10 ways to use social networks for B2B marketing at Webbiquity.

Jason Falls and Erick Deckers co-author a how-to on using social media for research and development at Entrepreneur.

Gabriella Sannino posts a great rant on how there is no ROI in owning an (“efin”) iPhone at Level 343.

Copyblogger posts that there is no ROI in social media marketing, period.

Marketing Land reports on Google Analytics’ new Social Data Hub initiative, aimed at centralizing users’ social activity from a variety of social networks.

Five things that PR pros can expect in 2012 are posted at Ragan’s PR Daily.

Finally, no less than 21 types of social content to boost your SEO signals are posted at Search Engine Land.

photo credit to: lookslikeamy

How to Write for the Web: 3 Essential Tips

Greetings! Today, Heather is stripping it down to the triage of online copywriting essentials with three tips on how to write for the Web.

For those of you who come from a print freelance copywriting background, or for those who own a small business or are otherwise in the do-it-yourself (DIY) mode, these tips are all the more important for you to know.

Tune in to learn how to structure your copy for the Web in a way that makes it easier for folks to read, and thereby easier for them to take action, buy from you, or give you a call… In short, convert!

Writing for the Web is different…

One of the reasons that writing for the Web is different is that we know people are scanning copy first, then reading. This makes for a completely different experience than reading offline (print) copy.

According to Jakob Nielsen, a widely-recognized expert in web usability:

  • People scan first, THEN read. 79 percent of people scan a new website, picking up individual words and sentences.
  • If people are viewing your site on a mobile, they may not want to “pinch” and scroll if the content is hard to read.

Speaking to the first point, regarding scanning vs. reading, this means that folks aren’t reading Web copy word-for-word as they would print copy. Instead they are quickly scanning the Web page, and if they arrive on your page from a search, then they’re looking for those search terms or some variation of them to ensure they’re arrived at the right place.

And as to the second point, if you consider your own behavior when checking out a blog post on your mobile toy of choice, you know that it is a completely different experience than if you were sitting at home at your desktop.

With any and all Web copy, you don’t want to greet your reader with a big block of text with no white spaces.

Learning how to write for the online environment is critical. And it’s also important that you realize that people may be accessing your site from a variety of different devices, such as mobile.

That said, here are three tips for writing Web copy that will get read.

Tip #1: Write short, tight paragraphs

What you can get away with in the print world won’t necessarily translate well to the online world.

Considering this first example of well-written copy – it works very well for the print readers’ perspective…but no so well from the Web readers’ point of view.

Reading the copy online, it comes off as “chokey”: it’s hard to figure out what the copy is about because it appears as if there’s a lot of information crammed into a very small space.

Now compare the first example of copy with the second example: this is much easier to read.  We’re using the same words, but what we did is select certain sentences and make them stand alone.

See the difference? By simply pulling out key sentences, it allows us to have more white space and it allows us to have more “punch” with those key sentences.

And, if you were reading this on a mobile, it’d be much easier on the eyes than the first example of otherwise sound copy.

Tip #2: Use bullet points – bullet points are your friends

This especially applies if you’re writing things that involve lists or other enumerated content: it is tempting to just use commas and such that will make for a longer paragraph.

And while this may work in the print world, it won’t in the online world.

So, looking at the example of using bullet points to further break out your Web copy, you can see that there’s more white space, it’s easier to read, and all the while the words are exactly the same – they’re just structured in a reader-friendly way.

Summarizing tips #1 and #2 (and other points along the way):

  •  Use shorter paragraphs with lots of white space.
  • Ruthlessly edit your copy. Don’t say in five words what you can see in three.
  • Provide information in bulleted lists.
  • Create interesting, engaging copy. The most easy-to-read layout won’t help dirt-dull, boring copy. Trust me.

And now, here’s…

Tip #3: Sub-headlines are great for SEO – and readers!

Revisiting what we’ve learned regarding reader scanning vs. what is actually read, we know from old school, direct mail days that prospects tend to scan headlines and sub-headlines.

Why? To make sure that the copy meets their needs and to determine whether they want to keep reading.

So some food for Web-writing thought for sub-headlines are:

  • They’re a great way to break up the page
  • They need to be compelling, due to the scanning readers we’re trying to capture
  • They should include a benefit statement whenever possible
  • They should include keyphrases

 

photo credit to: NKPhillips

 

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending December 21st, 2011

Happy Solstice! In this final SEO Content Marketing Roundup of 2011, we feature 2012 predictions and forecasts, share 2011 retrospectives, and note those choice real-time updates from all realms of the content, social media, SEO and search marketing spheres. Savor these and join us as we welcome the New Year!

We’ll be back with the latest and greatest Web writing news come Wednesday, January 4th. See you then!

Content Marketing

Over 150 content marketing predictions for 2012 are shared by 75+ marketing experts, via a great slideshare presentation at Content Marketing Institute.

At Top Rank, Lee Odden speaks to the power of persuasion via story-telling and personas in content marketing.

A 4-point strategy for building your site/brand’s authority is described in most helpful detail and backed with an amazing infographic, by Arnie Kuenn at Content Marketing Institute.

Marketing Sherpa posts the three most successful e-mail marketing tactics of 2011, complete with case studies.

Into video? Jeff Bullas identifies six simple mistakes to avoid when creating an online video.

Allison King shares seven substantive tips for content marketing webinar success at Content Marketing Institute.

Brian Massey posts a video on how to convert a typical day into “a day of joy, mirth and gladness” with a holiday card at The Conversion Scientist

No less than 15 reasons why marketers don’t leverage content marketing are addressed at Junta42.

Five ways to capitalize on last-minute e-commerce holiday shoppers are posted at HubSpot.

Has your e-commerce cart run away with your sales? Level 343 posts a practical (and humorous) how-to on recovering lost e-commerce sales.

At Search Engine Land, Brian Massey discusses website owners’ conversion rate calculations for their blogs, alluding to that active volcano on “the big island” of Hawa’ii.

Yes, 2011 was definitely the year of content curation. At Junta42, Joe Pulizzi advises that we forget about curation and re-focus on creating original content in 2012.

In terms of online advertising, 2011 was the year of the mobile, says Mashable (with a great infographic).

Seth Godin speaks to “… buying something for the first time” (3 sales scenarios) at his blog.

Pamela Vaughan posts the 10 data points you need to convert more customers at HubSpot.

Citing data from the recent CMI/Marketing Profs joint 2012 B2B Marketing study, Heidi Cohen posts how to make your content marketing “best in class.”

Finally, CopyPress gets its 5th day of marketing (Christmas) gift with five quick tips for content strategy by Heather Lloyd-Martin.

SEO & Search

Google’s 2011 Zeitgeist report on how the world “googled” is posted at Mashable.

Greg Sterling reports on Google’s top mobile takeaways from 2011, notably the large overall trend of  “mainstreaming mobile.”

SEOmoz’s latest “Whiteboard Friday” presentation addresses five advanced tactics for on-page optimization.

SEO strategies and inbound marketing best practices for 2012 are shared by Kaiser the Sage (Jason Acidre).

How to fix four “toxic” marketing problems with analytics is explained by Kirsten Knipp at HubSpot.

So is your SEO copywriting crap? Heather Lloyd-Martin shares eight ways to tell at SEO Copywriting.

Paul Burani addresses one-word searches – “search engines are doing more with less” – at Search Engine Watch.

Neil Patel (of KISSmetrics) shares the five marketing lessons that took him a long time to learn at SEOmoz.

Bryan Eisenberg candidly discusses how to go from “suck to un-suck” with your website, mobile experience, and other online content at ClickZ.

Eric Enge interviews Stefan Weitz, a Director of Search at Microsoft, on how Bing is re-thinking the way we search (part 1) at Stone Temple Consulting.

Strictly for geeks: Manu Mathew posts improving your search marketing campaigns with touchpoint analysis at Marketing Land.

An SEO’s “Christmas Wish List” is shared with great humor at Search Engine Watch.

Carrie Hill posts a beginner’s guide to finding ad placements and fine-tuning conversions with analytics data at Search Engine Land.

And last but not least, Dr. Pete discusses six ways to recover from bad links at SEOmoz.

Social Media Marketing

LinkedIn’s hot new feature – polls – headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Citing stat’s from YouTube’s 2011 “rewind,” Matt McGee reports that YouTube boasts a trillion (yes, that’s 12 zero’s) video views for the year, at Marketing Land.

Sexy Social Media reports on the most popular social media games of 2011.

The 21 most memorable tweets of 2011 are posted at Mashable.

Brian Solis reports on “The State of the Blogosphere, 2011.”

Mark Burgess posts “Out with the old (marketing) and in with the new” at Blue Focus Marketing.

Mack Collier entertains the one way you can be a better blogger than Seth Godin: Good luck with those headlines!

Meanwhile, Webbiquity posts 48 ways to measure social media success.

So why do we “friend” folks on Facebook? Heidi Cohen shares research that answers the mystery at her site.

Jay Baer interviews John Morgan about Morgan’s new book: Brand Against the Machine, at Convince and Convert.

Dave Davies shares five reasons why Google+ is not a Facebook killer at Search Engine Watch.

Social Media Examiner features a how-to on using your social partnerships to amplify your marketing.

Marty Weintraub addresses vanity bait –“remembering the ‘social’ in social media” – at aimClear.

That’s a wrap for the latest and greatest SEO Content Marketing Roundup of 2011. Thank you for following and for taking the time to comment! :)

We’ll “see” you again in the New Year!  ‘Til then, have a truly wonderful holiday!

How to Tell If Your Web Pages Have Too Many Words

Greetings Web writers! In the last SEO copywriting video how-to for 2011, Heather answers a question posed to her on Twitter: “How can you tell if your Web pages have too many words?”

Given that last week’s video discussed three essential tips for writing for the Web, the question of word count makes for a natural fourth in the Web-writing fundamentals sequence.

So without further ado, tune in as Heather discusses how you can tell if your web pages are jammed with too many words:

It’s true that writing for the web is different…

As we learned from last week’s video post, writing copy for the Web is markedly different that writing for print. With online copy, people are scanning, and they’re also viewing your content from a variety of different mobile devices – and possibly even when they’re doing something else, like watching T.V.

According to usability expert, Jakob Nielsen:

  • People scan first, THEN read. 79 percent of people scan a new website, picking up individual words and sentences.
  • If people are viewing your site on a mobile, they may not want to “pinch” and scroll if the content is hard to read.

So the challenge is that you have to present the copy in a way that makes it really easy to read and really easy to take action.

Unfortunately, some folks react to the “too long” dilemma by going the other way.

The unfortunate side effect…

  • Some online writers who know that readers are turned off by long, scrolling pages may tend to over-react, and produce too-short copy that doesn’t help with conversions, SEO, and most importantly, reader engagement.

From an SEO perspective, there could be more room to insert the keyphrases if there was more copy to work with. From the readers’ perspective and the conversions perspective, more content will help the reader to engage more in the experience, and thereby help conversion rates.

  • You don’t have to strive for super short content. You do have to be able to showcase your content so that it’s easy for people to read the copy, and take action.

So here are some ways to tell if your Web content may be a little too long for the page:

Tip #1: How easy is it to read the copy?

  • The first way to tell is to take a step back and simply look at your site: evaluate how easy it is – really and truly – to read your content.

Take the snippet shown as an example. It is only part of a webpage that is 1,600 words long.  Not only is it a very long page, but for some folks, reading this particular font online might also prove challenging. So these are the things you might want to consider when evaluating your own site copy.

  • If you feel like you’re “too close” to your site content, ask other people for their feedback. It might be interesting to hear their perspectives and suggestions.

Tip #2: What do your analytics say?

Of course, you always want to look at your analytics to find out what people are actually doing on your site:

  • Are people quickly bouncing out of a page?
  • Are your conversions low (or non-existent)?

Analytics allow you to check out those pages that you’re afraid might be running a little too long, and see how visitors are interacting with the page: are they bouncing right off of it? How are the conversions?

Your analytics will let you know if there’s an opportunity to re-write that page if your bounce rate is high, and/or if your conversions are on the low side. Then you can see if you can improve the amount of time that visitors stay on the page, and if you can encourage more visitors to take action.

Tip #3: Test, test and test again

Testing is something that more sites should do, because it is such a powerful tool!

  • Until you test, all you can make are “educated guesses.”
  • Test short vs. long copy and see what happens.

No matter how skilled you are as a copywriter, no matter how well you know your business, until you test your copy to find out what really works, all you do is make educated guesses.

So go ahead and test that long copy against the short version, and see which one pulls better!

From there, you can start testing other page elements, like headlines, and get really dialed in to the point that you have Web pages that you know work: for the search engines, and for your readers.

 

photo credit to: chris-sy

 

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!

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending November 16th, 2011

The watchwords for this week’s web-writing news are creativity and renewal. Content marketers focus on getting unstuck and infusing new life into their work, while search and social media marketers find yet more uses for Google+, and SEO pro’s share creative new dance steps to accompany the latest industry changes. Enjoy this week’s refreshments:

Content Marketing

Heidi Cohen enumerates five ways to give your content marketing new life at Top Rank.

Sonia Simone addresses getting stalled out with your online marketing, and the one thing that may be all you need to move forward, at Copyblogger.

Three ways to break out of a content marketing rut are posted at Content Marketing Institute.

Magdalena Georgieva shares an excerpt from yet another free HubSpot ebook (An Introduction to Effective Calls-to-Action), with “4 Types of Calls-to-Action You Need for Marketing Success.” (Yes, at HubSpot).

Seth Godin advocates investing smartly in customers with “Lifetime value of a customer/cost per customer.”

Internet marketing without a website? Level 343 posts “Internet marketing for brick-and-mortar businesses.”

Mike Huber posts four working strategies for exponential revenue growth at Vertical Measures.

Marketo shares the top findings from its email marketing benchmark report.

The seven business goals of content marketing – and why inbound marketing is not enough – are discussed at Content Marketing Institute.

HubSpot posts “the ultimate cheat sheet” for mastering mobile marketing.

Three reasons why you should be a “formulaic” blogger are posted at Copyblogger.

Finally, Joe Chernov offers five tips for extending the life of your content at Content Marketing Institute.

SEO & Search

Google’s Matt Cutts (“Distinguished Engineer”) has announced ten new algorithm changes, which Danny Sullivan elaborates upon at Search Engine Land.

Lisa Buyer posts pitching to Google’s new “freshness” update with timely content at Search Engine Watch.

Rand Fishkin discusses quantifying the impact of Google’s encryption (“keyword referral data shutdown”) with an independent survey at SEOmoz.

The SEOmoz results approximate the 11.36% of affected search traffic data reported by HubSpot’s Brian Whalley.

Ian Lurie discusses five cool uses for Google’s new real-time analytics dashboard at Conversation Marketing.

Smart read on analyzing (organic) competitors by Ryan Woolley at Search Engine Watch, explaining “how to dissect your marketplace.”

SEOmoz’s “Whiteboard Friday” presentation is on scalable link-building using social media.

Three ways to “invigorate” your analytics are posted at Search Engine Watch.

Citing an industry report, Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling posts that mobile is projected to account for 22% of total paid search revenues by the end of 2012.

Lee Odden talks holistic marketing with “the power of integrated search marketing in a social media world” at Top Rank.

Kristi Hines posts a guide to keyword research at KISSmetrics: part 1 on Keyword Discovery and part 2 on Analyzing and Choosing the Best Keywords.

An SEO guide to Adsense, ads, and placement is posted at SEOmoz.

Kevin Gibbons posts an SEO how-to on optimizing your WordPress site at Search Engine Watch.

Tom Pick posts his selection of 40 (“of the”) best SEO guides, tips, and insights of 2011 (“so far”) at Webbiquity.

Distilled’s Craig Bradford posts why you’re behind if you’re not using Schema.org at SEOmoz.

Brian Massey posts eight ways landing pages are like a television sitcom at Search Engine Land.

Tim Ash discusses looking at your landing page through the eyes of your audience at ClickZ.

From Matt Cutts’ keynote at PubCon Las Vegas: Google may penalize sites that are laden with ads, as reported at Search Engine Watch.

Speaking of Google and ads, Search Engine Land’s Pamela Parker reports that Google leads Bing in television advertising rankings.

Finally, the SES Chicago opening keynote by Adobe’s Mike Chertudi (on improving marketing investment and measurement) is shared at Top Rank.

Social Media Marketing

Google+ business pages headline Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Monica Wright discusses what features of Google+ pages businesses and brands can use for now (until they’re able to create their own business page) at Search Engine Land.

HubSpot posts four excellent examples of creative Google+ business pages.

An enthusiastic post on using Google+ “Ripples” to connect with influencers is at SEOmoz.

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly research chart shows client perception of social media, noting that the promise of ROI drives client investment.

Jeff Bullas discusses how “the new Facebook” open graph drives sharing, web traffic and actions (with cool graphics).

Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner interviews Dennis Yu, CEO of BitzLocal, on setting up a Facebook strategy for local business.

Dave Larson (a.k.a. @TweetSmarter) posts how to become a social media leader at KISSmetrics.

Mark Schaefer shares seven ideas to turn PowerPoint slides into social media marketing gold at {grow}

Google+ badges? Read about it at Mashable.

Christian Amo, founder of Lingo 24, shares five steps to launch an international social media presence (with a cool world map of social media networks) at Convince and Convert.

photo credit to: DeusXFlorida

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending November 9th, 2011

Feeling fresh? A little bit social? In this week’s web writing news, content and social, SEO and search marketers alike are buzzing about Google’s newest developments, both its “fresh” update in search marketing results and its (now limited) launch of Google+ branded/business pages. Catch up on the freshest here:

Content Marketing

Four types of timely content for Google’s “fresh” update are posted at Search Engine Watch.

Heidi Cohen posts five actionable tactics for more efficient content marketing at Content Marketing Institute.

Lee Odden discusses key SEO questions for better content marketing at Top Rank.

Dr. Pete addresses the question of why great content fails at SEOmoz.

J.R. Pittman posts a smart read on branding and inbound marketing (“can you handle the truth?”) at Level 343.

Ian Lurie posts a CEO’s guide to surviving marketing agency growth at Conversation Marketing.

Seth Godin posts six questions to consider when analyzing a website.

Jakob Nielsen posts guidelines for mobile content (vs. the more forgiving desktop) at his Alertbox.

Five “genius” ways to leverage exclusive video content are shared at HubSpot.

Dave Thomas warns against letting your brand suffer from bad blogging skills at Level 343.

Ten ways to position your blog above copycats are shared at Kikolani.

The seven deadly sins of marketing automation are posted at HubSpot.

Five things content marketers can learn from the launch of a new “thought leadership” platform are discussed at Content Marketing Institute.

With the holidays approaching, Vertical Measures posts “What is Cyber Monday and How do I Prepare my Website for It?”

SEO & Search

Google’s “fresh” algorithm update will affect 35-percent of searches, reports Miranda Miller at Search Engine Watch.

Rand Fishkin dedicated the latest “Whiteboard Friday” presentation to Google’s freshness update at SEOmoz.

The winners and losers of the big G’s freshness update are posted at TechCrunch.

Danny Sullivan posts an expansive review of Google’s updates, including its launch of Google+ business pages, at Search Engine Land.

Danny Goodwin discusses the limited rollout of Google+ pages for businesses and brands in detail at Search Engine Watch.

Matt McGee reports on another Google search display tweak, an experiment called “Sources,” at Search Engine Land.

For the November 2011 Webmaster report on all things Google, you can check out Barry Schwartz’s post at Search Engine Roundtable.

Eric Enge interviews Google’s Search Product Management Director, Jack Menzel, on how Google does personalization at Stone Temple.

Speaking of updates, Peter van der Graaf posts “Panda DNA” (algorithm tests on Google’s Panda update) at Search Engine Watch.

Frank Watson reports that top search engines are buying “supportive studies” (“Search Hits Big Time”), also at Search Engine Watch.

Neil Patel posts a how-to on “(finally)” making web analytics work for you at KISSmetrics.

Ian Lurie posts “SEO butthead detection in 5 easy steps” and muses on the future of search at Conversation Marketing.

The clickthrough rate equation in organic search (part 2) is posted at Search Engine Land.

How search volume affects brand links and four graphics to help illustrate on-page optimization are both posted at SEOmoz.

Social Media Marketing

New Google+ features (before/besides the Google+ business page launch) headline Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

HubSpot post a how-to on creating a Google+ business page (“in 5 simple steps”).

Citing eMarketer data and 10 social media experts, Heidi Cohen discusses the one social media metric that you need at her blog.

Adam Helweh interviews Seth Grimes on the future of “sentiment analysis” at Social Media Explorer.

Kipp Bodnar posts “The 15 Best Facebook Pages You’ve Ever Seen” at HubSpot.

Social Media Examiner posts 26 promising social media stats for small businesses.

Jay Baer (Convince and Convert) posts his video interview with Brian Solis on Solis’ newest book, as well as on abandoning friends to seek “real relevance.”

Six “essential” tips for social media community management are shared via AshleyZ at Top Rank.

Hmmm: “Life After Google is Now: 9 Pieces of Advice on How a New Site Can Succeed Without Search” is posted at SEOmoz.

photo gratitude goes to: Kellbailey

SEO Content Marketing Roundup, Week Ending November 2nd, 2011

This week’s web writing news focuses on the fundamentals. Content marketers discuss conversions, search and SEO folks emphasize basic SEO and link building practices, while social media marketers talk influence. Get back to the marketing basics with this week’s picks:

Content Marketing

So which brain is your website selling to? Smart read by Tim Ash at ClickZ.

Is your content getting boring? Five ways to bring “sexy” back are shared at Content Marketing Institute.

Stoney deGeyter addresses the need to “give a little” information to get conversions at Search Engine Guide.

Gabriella Sannino discusses conventional wisdom and branding (“3 Tricks No Hooker Should Try”) at Level 343.

Jonathan Morrow posts six ways to sell online without “selling your soul” at Copyblogger.

PR Web posts an interesting read on making “meme” marketing work for you.

Tips to better listening (for better content marketing) are posted at Content Marketing Institute.

SEO & Search

In the first of a series on basic SEO, George Aspland posts a read on organic keywords (“the first step in SEO”) at Search Engine Land.

Melissa Mackey discusses elemental PPC with “The 4 Pillars of a Successful PPC Campaign” at Search Engine Watch.

Vertical Measures posts seven criteria to consider when building links.

Neil Patel discusses the seven habits of highly effective SEO’s at QuickSprout.

SEO-friendly website features (that developers often miss) are posted at Search Engine Watch.

Vanessa Fox reports that Google’s Webmaster Tools now provides details on duplicate content (URLs) across domains via a new alert at Search Engine Land.

aimClear posts a fun read by Lauren Litwinka on the 66 worst search marketing books you’ll never read (“bookshelf of horrors”).

An SEO Q and A with Search Engine Land/Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz (“Rusty Brick”) is posted by Dave Cain.

Josh McCoy pens an immensely helpful piece on “Agency SEO Pain Relief” at Search Engine Watch.

Social Media Marketing

Social media and small business headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Marketing Sherpa posts a how-to on interactive email, with “six tactics to leverage the influence of social reinforcement.”

Mack Collier takes an honest look at being a social media consultant.

In the spirit of Halloween, Top Rank posts five social media marketing “tricks,” while Heidi Cohen discusses five social media marketing “monsters” via scare charts at ClickZ.