You’ve tried personalized pens, cute social media posts, and fresh business cards, but nothing seems to be boosting business as it should. It can be a frustrating place to be in as a company owner.
Luckily for you, there are people who are SEO content writers. Search engine optimization sounds scary, but trust us, it’s worth it.
They are intelligent, creative, and always down for a challenge so you know you need to add them to your team. If you want to get in their head a little more, above are 7 things they always think of before writing an article. Make sure to keep reading!
1. The Audience
Quite obviously, thinking about the consumers of the content is important. Many companies love their products and talk about them but forget who they are talking to most of the time.
The first major step of creating SEO content is looking at a targeted demographic. Are they old or young? Are they city-dwellers, male, female, parents, home-owners, etc?
Knowing your audience is critical but knowing how to reach them effectively is also important. If you’re trying to sell a new pressure washer to homeowners, there’s probably no sense in describing the physics and science behind how it works.
Just let them know it works and what sorts of applications they could use it on. They probably aren’t concerned about mechanics as long as it does the job. That’s why you need people who know how to advertise to an audience.
2. The Research
People want good information, and people want facts to back it up. One of the main components of SEO writing pieces is reliable evidence. This not only means doing the research, it means finding credible sources.
SEO content writers know where to look and how to look when it comes to doing the research. They can sift through articles, statistics, and pages of information and pull out the parts they need.
They work in the facts to new pieces and always give credit where it’s due. Hard, cold facts will take your advertisement to the next level. This is one reason you need a professional SEO consultant.
3. The Clarity
If someone can’t read and understand your writing, they definitely aren’t going to buy your service or product. An SEO content writer is concerned about the readability of every piece.
They don’t type like they’re speaking to a toddler, but they make sure the writing is easy to digest and doesn’t overwhelm anyone. You’re less likely to read something if it’s 25 paragraphs of dense information.
Professional writers know how to properly breakdown and present information for those viewing. Make yourself presentable and approachable with a content writer.
4. The Keywords
Targeted keywords are the words your desired audience is typing into the search bar. You want to include these words to boost any content you publish. Good SEO writing effectively uses keywords.
Notice the word “effectively”. This means they aren’t using the keywords excessively or placing them where they seem awkward. The writers are intentionally choosing words they can naturally work into a piece.
Most people can agree a picture is more appealing than a few lines of words. While the words contain important information, an SEO content writer is going to find the visuals you need to draw in people.
These visuals can include things like graphs, photographs, and video. Good writers will choose visual content that compliments the writing and keeps the audience interested.
Graphs project information in a way that’s easier to understand for people. If you’re trying to report statistics of the success of a new product, work a bar graph into the mix. It’ll give you a fair bump up in the competition.
6. The Analytics
Accurate reports and numbers are absolutely critical and content writers understand. Why are they important?
Without accurate understandings of how your content is performing, you can’t improve on weaknesses. There’s always room for improvement, and you need to be aware of what you need to improve.
Take time quarterly to evaluate how certain keywords are performing, how many people are reading your content, and if people are clicking on the links you provide. All of these things contribute to your success.
Once an SEO writer has the information he or she needs, keywords can be shifted if need be. Especially if you’re in a growing industry, keywords can shift and transform often.
7. The Actual Content
Nothing is as important as the actual meat of the content you’re presenting to the audience. Every word should be chosen carefully and should have a place in the piece.
When creating content, writers think about length, angles, and effectiveness.
As far as length, it’s important to find the appropriate word count. Not giving enough information could write you off as not knowing what you’re talking about. Giving too much information could bore people.
When it comes to angles, topics should create multiple conversations and encourage people to do their own thinking. You want to be straightforward while also allowing openings for different facets.
Effectiveness is judging how well the content is getting across to the audience. Are they understanding the information? Are they taking action using the information?
All of these elements can make or break the success of a piece. A great SEO content writer will know what to do with all of it to rake in wins.
Hire SEO Content Writers
Not everyone understands search engine optimization (SEO), and that’s okay. It’s why you need SEO content writers. They can take your service to where it needs to be.
From keywords to visuals to content, they work magic when reaching audiences. Above are only some of the things content writers think about before sitting down to write a piece. Even though it’s only part of it, it’s enough to show you why you need to hire one.
If you need help with marketing, SEO, or design, make sure you request a quote.
Online marketing is fast becoming the go to strategy for small businesses across America. With small investments required to access thousands of potential clients in their local markets, more and more small business owners are leveraging the free advertising that SEO and Social media can promise.
I have put curated a quick list of the top marketing tools, resources and apps that help make your online marketing journey worth the effort.
“I love helping small businesses out compete big box stores or international competitors. Whether that includes creating an SEO friendly website design that is mobile ready or includes a custom SEO marketing plan and training for your entire staff, I make it my personal mission to make sure that your small business succeeds.” Sandy Rowley Local SEO Expert located in Reno Nevada USA.
Your about to journey in white hat SEO territory. In 5 minutes, you will learn everything you need to master the interwebs and beyond. Are you ready?
certified organic tea, coffee, whiskey… check.
sustainable notebook and pen… check.
thinking cap on… check.
All jokes aside, search engine marketing is no laughing matter. Billions of dollars are spent each year on pay per click, SEO and web marketing services and products. Local SEO is one of the fastest ways for a small business to hop in on this huge market.
Although SEO strategies are usually guarded, I have a few tricks of the trade that are tried and true that will help increase your websites rankings within Google search.
Slow and steady wins the race. Build your relevant, useful content added to your website and other strategically selected sites and your traffic will increase. Also this builds trust with your followers and future clientele.
Don’t buy the cheap sales pitch. Seriously. Think about it. How many times have you heard of someones website being “deleted” by the search engines, almost over night? These poor souls did the ultimate NO NO in SEO. They were gullible and trusted the wrong guy, gal or company. Large SEO firms are guilty of selling super cheap SEO deals, promising the moon, forcing the small business to sign a contract, only to hope that the client forgets about the SEO work that is suppose to be done and keeps paying the small monthly fee. Just try to get out of that contract, and you will see a different side of your local sales rep. Usually a dial tone, no contact and/or some cheesy pressure sales call to make you feel like an idiot. Not fun at all. If it sounds too good to be true, well, duh, it is! Fiverr and other cheap online sites that sell “SEO” services are not affordable as you thought. The damage they can do with fake likes, reviews and poor back linking strategies could cost you the farm!
Network with other businesses in your industry and help each other out. Share content on each others websites with relevant back links pointing to your website. Use the coop strategy to reach new clients quickly. Sharing email lists and / or swapping out related services and sharing with your followers. One week is your turn, next week is the other businesses turn and so on…
PPC is your friend or frienemy. Choose wisely. Pay Per Click, if done correctly, will increase sales. whether you choose Facebook or Google PPC, you will see immediate results, often within a week or less.
SEO optimize your website, completley. Keep up to date with the latest SEO requirements that Google publicly shares.
301 A permanent server redirect – a change of address for a web page found in the htaccess file on apache servers. Also useful for dealing with canonical issues.
adwords Google Pay Per Click contextual advertisement program, very common way of basic website advertisement.
adwords site (MFA) Made For Google Adsense Advertisements – websites that are designed from the ground up as a venue for GA advertisements. This is usually, but not always a bad thing. TV programming is usually Made For Advertisement.
affiliate An affiliate site markets products or services that are actually sold by another website or business in exchange for fees or commissions.
algorithm (algo) A program used by search engines to determine what pages to suggest for a given search query.
alt text A description of a graphic, which usually isn’t displayed to the end user, unless the graphic is undeliverable, or a browser is used that doesn’t display graphics. Alt text is important because search engines can’t tell one picture from another. Alt text is the one place where it is acceptable for the spider to get different content than the human user, but only because the alt text is accessible to the user, and when properly used is an accurate description of the associated picture. Special web browsers for visually challenged people rely on the alt text to make the content of graphics accessible to the users.
analytics A program which assists in gathering and analyzing data about website usage. Google analytics is a feature rich, popular, free analytics program.
anchor text The user visible text of a link. Search engines use anchor text to indicate the relevancy of the referring site and of the link to the content on the landing page. Ideally all three will share some keywords in common.
astroturfing (the opposite of full disclosure) attempting to advance a commercial or political agenda while pretending to be an impartial grassroots participant in a social group. Participating in a user forum with the secret purpose of branding, customer recruitment, or public relations.
authority (trust, link juice, Google juice) The amount of trust that a site is credited with for a particular search query. Authority/trust is derived from related incoming links from other trusted sites.
authority site A website which has many incoming links from other related expert/hub sites. Because of this simultaneous citation from trusted hubs an authority site usually has high trust, pagerank, and search results placement. Wikipedia, is an example of an authority site.
B2B Business to Business.
B2C Business to Consumer
back link (inlink, incoming link) Any link into a page or site from any other page or site.
black hat Search engine optimization tactics that are counter to best practices such as the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
blog A website which presents content in a more or less chronological series. Content may or may not be time sensitive. Most blogs us a Content Management System such as WordPress rather than individually crafted WebPages. Because of this, the Blogger can chose to concentrate on content creation instead of arcane code.
bot (robot, spider, crawler) A program which performs a task more or less autonomously. Search engines use bots to find and add web pages to their search indexes. Spammers often use bots to “scrape” content for the purpose of plagiarizing it for exploitation by the Spammer.
bounce rate The percentage of users who enter a site and then leave it without viewing any other pages.
bread crumbs Web site navigation in a horizontal bar above the main content which helps the user to understand where they are on the site and how to get back to the root areas.
canonical issues (duplicate content) canon = legitimate or official version – It is often nearly impossible to avoid duplicate content, especially with CMSs like WordPress, but also due to the fact that www.site.com, site.com, and www.site.com/index.htm are supposedly seen as dupes by the SEs – although it’s a bit hard to believe they aren’t more sophisticated than that. However these issues can be dealt with effectively in several ways including – using the noindex meta tag in the non-canonical copies, and 301 server redirects to the canon.
click fraud Improper clicks on a PPC advertisement usually by the publisher or his minions for the purpose of undeserved profit. Click fraud is a huge issue for add agencies like Google, because it lowers advertiser confidence that they will get fair value for their add spend.
cloak The practice of delivering different content to the search engine spider than that seen by the human users. This Black Hat tactic is frowned upon by the search engines and caries a virtual death penalty of the site/domain being banned from the search engine results.
CMS Content Management System – Programs such as WordPress, which separate most of the mundane Webmaster tasks from content creation so that a publisher can be effective without acquiring or even understanding sophisticated coding skills if they so chose.
code swapping (bait and switch) Changing the content after high rankings are achieved.
comment spam Posting blog comments for the purpose of generating an inlink to another site. The reason many blogs use link condoms.
content (text, copy) The part of a web page that is intended to have value for and be of interest to the user. Advertising, navigation, branding and boilerplate are not usually considered to be content.
contextual advertisement Advertising which is related to the content.
conversion (goal) Achievement of a quantifiable goal on a website. Add clicks, sign ups, and sales are examples of conversions.
conversion rate Percentage of users who convert – see conversion.
CPC Cost Per Click – the rate that is paid per click for a Pay Per Click Advertiser
CPM (Cost Per Thousand impressions) A statistical metric used to quantify the average value / cost of Pay Per Click advertisements. M – from the Roman numeral for one thousand.
crawler (bot, spider) A program which moves through the worldwide web or a website by way of the link structure to gather data.
directory A site devoted to directory pages. The Yahoo directory is an example.
directory page A page of links to related WebPages.
doorway (gateway) A web page that is designed specifically to attract traffic from a search engine. A doorway page which redirects users (but not spiders) to another site or page is implementing cloaking. – Previous Definition revised based upon advice from Michael Martinez
duplicate content Obviously content which is similar or identical to that found on another website or page. A site may not be penalized for serving duplicate content but it will receive little if any Trust from the search engines compared to the content that the SE considers being the original.
Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends.
This article originally ran March 14, 2016 and has since been updated.
It may only be July, but the Internet never sleeps, and neither do the social-media blunders.
From the Justice Department accidentally tweeting that CNN is the “biggest troll of them all” to Coca-Cola’s Russian map fail, these are some of the top “online oops” so far this year.
Retailer Vera Bradley launches a “girly” campaign.
Image credit: Vera Bradley | Instagram
Rewind to the 1950s and Vera Bradley’s latest campaign would have been right on target. But in today’s world, a campaign called “Why It’s Good to Be a Girl” has to hit all the right notes or face major criticism. It turned out to be the latter for Vera Bradley.
The fashion brand asked customers to share why they like being a girl. Responses were mixed. Some of the published statements, such as “That moment when a gentleman offers you his seat,” and “Being able to hang out with the boys but still be treated like a lady” did not resonate.
Vera Bradley’s efforts to connect with young girls is well-noted, but their execution flawed. Not all women want to accessorize. Not allwomen belt their favorite song lyrics. Perhaps using more caution when incorporating the hashtag #itsgoodtobeagirl in a 21st century marketing campaign would have been helpful — a strategy in which its approach seems almost … backwards.
Coca-Cola learns geography is hard.
It’s never a good thing to piss off the Russians. Leave it to Coca-Cola to do so right out of the gate this year after it sent out a tweet featuring a cartoon with a snow-covered map of the country. Seems innocent enough, right?
Taking a closer look, the map’s actually outdated, omitting Kaliningrad, which was annexed following World War II. Needless to say, Russian patriots were not happy with the company, as they posted pics pouring the soft drink into toilets with the hashtag #BanCocaCola.
DC Comics realizes some research is better than none.
Face-palm online after it posted a photo of the comic saying it was translated from Pakistan as if it were a language. Too bad the official language is Urdu.
Obviously, users were quick to point out DC’s ignorance. It’s a good reminder to do your research.
View image on Twitter
A beauty brand’s finds out it’s not color blind — just tone deaf.
In some cases you just have to stop and wonder what the heck the company’s PR team was thinking.
Seoul Secret, a beauty brand, thought the campaign “White makes you win” promoting skin-lightening cosmetics was a good idea.
It’s been a busy year already with big brands getting hit by Google penalties. First came Rap Genius, slammed so hard that you couldn’t find it for its own name. Then came Expedia’s suspected penalty that may have hurt its traffic. But these are also a familiar tune. Big brand violates Google’s rules, gets in trouble but ultimately returns to Google’s good graces with what may seem a virtual wrist-slap.
Below, in reverse chronological order, is a list of major brands that have been hit by Google penalties over the years for various reasons. Some violations weren’t even intentional.
10) Rap Genius & Links For Tweets
Rap Genius invited bloggers to add links to its lyrics content, in exchange for Rap Genius then tweeting the posts from those bloggers. After this exchange came to light on Christmas Eve 2013, the head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts said Google would investigate Rap Genius.
On Christmas Day, Rap Genius was penalized by Google and no longer ranking in the top page of results for its own name. Rap Genius also lost traffic for lyrics-related searches. After working to remove “unnatural links,” Rap Genius had its penalty lifted by Google after 10 days.
When: December 2013
Violation: Unnatural links
Penalty: Much of entire site degraded from ranking in the first page of results at Google; didn’t rank for its own name
Penalty Period: 10 days
9) Mozilla & UGC Spam
That’s right, Mozilla — which makes the popular open source Firefox browser — has been penalized by Google. But unlike with Rap Genius, it was an extremely specific situation — one single page of user-generated content that was considered too spammy to include.
The situation emerged after Mozilla received a manual action notice — i.e., a message from Google that some human spam reviewer decided something deserved the site getting a penalty.
Concerned about a message saying “Google has applied a manual spam action to your site,” Mozilla sought help in Google’s webmaster forums. Google quickly clarified that only one single page at Mozilla had been impacted. A similar Google penalty over UGC content happened to Sprintone month later. And somewhat related, all of Digg was dropped from Google briefly, after a mistake Google made that was meant only to impact a single page.
When: April 2013
Violation: UGC spam
Penalty: Single page apparently degraded in rankings
Penalty Period: N/A, because the page was removed
8) BBC & Mysterious “Unnatural Links”
Google penalized the respected British Broadcasting Corporation? It sure did. Similar to Mozilla, the penalty involved a single page, this time one deemed to have “unnatural links” pointing at it.
The situation came to light after the BBC received a manual action notice. Like Mozilla, the BBC sought help in Google’s webmaster forums, which lead to Google responding that the penalty impacted one article. It’s unclear how it was resolved, as the page impacted was never stated. Probably, the penalty was removed by Google in short order.
When: March 2013
Violation: Unnatural links
Penalty: Single page apparently degraded in rankings
Penalty Period: Unknown
7) Interflora & Advertorial Links?
Similar to Rap Genius, Interflora found itself penalized in Google, no longer ranking for its own name, as well as for many generic flower-related searches. Why? Google itself never gave an official reason for penalizing Interflora, as is fairly normal in penalty cases, nor did Interflora itself say.
However, Google quickly pushed a warning against “advertorial” content that doesn’t make use of nofollow or other methods so that links in such content don’t pass along ranking credit. After apparently getting some links removed, Interflora’s penalty was lifted after 11 days. Interestingly, Google didn’t severely act against a number of online florists accused of buying links two years prior.
When: February 2013
Violation: Probably paid links in advertorials and perhaps elsewhere
Penalty: Much of entire site degraded from ranking in the first page of results at Google; didn’t rank for own name
Penalty Period: 11 days
6) Overstock: Discounts For Links
Overstock hit trouble with Google after a competitor found that it was offering discounts to schools in exchange for links back to the Overstock website. The links lead to particular products, with very specific anchor text that helped Overstock rank well for terms like “vacuum cleaners” and “gift baskets.” The Wall Street Journal profiled Overstock being hit by the penalty, probably tipped by the same competitor that reported Overstock to Google.
Overstock was so happy to have its penalty lifted two months later that it issued a press release about the news. Overstock said the impact might hit revenues by 5% and filed a statement for investors with the SEC in the weeks after it hit. It also blamed the penalty for “adversely” impacting revenue for the first and second quarter of 2011, in its annual filing.
When: February 2011
Violation: Paid links, in the form of offering discounts for linking back to the site
Penalty: Much of entire site degraded from ranking in the first page of results at Google; probably kept ranking for own name
Penalty Period: 2 months
5) JC Penney & Paid Links
A New York Times article detailed how retailer JC Penney was apparently buying links to rank better in Google. The article even contained a rare confirmation of the violation by Google. By the time the article appeared, JCP had already been penalized.
It’s not clear if JCP ever disappeared for its own name, but it did drop for many generic terms relating to products it sold. After cleaning up the paid links — and blaming the mess on its SEO firm— JCP regained many top rankings in Google after 90 days.
When: February 2011
Violation: Paid links
Penalty: Many pages degraded from ranking in the first page of Google’s results