Posts Tagged ‘Copy Writing’

What is SEO? Is It Real?

To the SEO bashers, I present this argument: Some people hire a lawn service because they don’t have the time to mow their lawn; they don’t like to mow their lawn; they don’t like wasting their weekends mowing; they don’t have the tools for it; or they tried it and they ruined the lawn and killed all of the plants in the yard. For whatever reason, they pay to have the lawn mowed. How silly would a person look if they posted an article stating “anyone that pays to have their lawn mowed is an idiot”? They continue about how it’s easy to do, they have been mowing their own lawn for years and it looks great. They declare “Lawn men are con artists! I will even tell you how to trim your hedges, edge your sidewalk, weedeat, and prune your trees, and I will tell you for free.lawn man reading SEO book

Believe it or not, I started writing this because I just finished reading “It’s All About The Links” over at SEOWizz. Ahh, the mind is a terrible thing. How did I turn Tim’s great post about links into a discussion about lawn mowing?

SEO work can be fun and educational during the on-page process.  Onpage search optimization is the act of optimizing copy and HTML based on a set of known and  perceived search engine guidelines. It takes a certain skill set to evaluate key words and phrases and incorporate those into HTML elements and body copy so they satisfy your target audience and the search engines. You can change your page title, description, and copy and watch your SERP position and sales pitch change. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done and there aren’t known factors. Then we get to link building, which is a whole different animal.

Sadly “Links! Links! Links!” is very true. I’m not sure we should be calling link building SEO, to me it’s more marketing and should be listed as SEM. Finding the links that are providing your competitors with an edge or finding quality links that will improve your search position is a different skill set than on-page SEO. New rules from Google and “juice” protection from websites is making SEO link building even more tedious and time consuming. It is also raising the cost of hiring an SEO/SEM that gets results. Specialists who can provide quality links that will hold their value don’t come cheap. You can get your site bot-spammed to hundreds of blogs cheap, but it’s not going to help.

The SEO community has been labeled con artists by some, but these people are blowing smoke when they tell you all you need to do is write good content. It’s just not true. You might not be capable of writing good content anyway. You need good content and you might have to pay for it, and then you need people to link to it. The content on its own does not get you traffic, and nobody knows you have good or even great content until someone links to it. Sure, it can go viral but first somebody needs to light the fuse. Some of the anti-SEO crowd are giving advice like “just tell people about your website” (so they will link to it?). Well, guess what; you just committed the “act” of link building. They tell you to have your friends and co-workers tweet about your site and mention it on Facebook or in email. Guess what; that too is link building. Sure, if you have the time and will to learn then you can do it yourself, but most business owners don’t sit at home blogging all day (or mowing their grass). They have a business to run and they need help promoting their website.

There are the basics that should be done when optimizing a website, and it will usually squeeze out some competition. Generally, the basic onpage optimization with no regard for links will not get you in the top 10 if you are in a market that is the least bit competitive. Don’t get me wrong; you need to study keywords and phrases, because they have to be used somewhere, either in content, titles, or link text, but that research is generally wasted without quality inbound links.

Are you listed on Best of The Web?

—David Blizzard

Basic SEO For Everyone Chapter 4

[ Basic SEO: OneTwoThreeFourFive ]

header elementsIf you read chapter 1, 2, 3, then welcome back. If not then you can read SEO Basics 1,2,3 here.
Let’s look at the heading element. There are 6 levels defined H1 – H6. Let’s keep it simple, you should have one H1 on each page and it should be a well crafted description of the entire page content. Yes, I am aware that Matt Cutts said you can have multiple H1 elements on a page. He didn’t say you should, just that you can. Without too much detail I say if you have the content for two H1 tags on a page then you might have enough content for two pages.
You can have multiple H2 elements and normally they would be the title of each section on the page.  H3-H6 can be used in each section to define subsections. When used properly the heading elements create an order that is easy to follow. It sounds like a lesson in HTML but it is very useful in organizing content. The search engines understand headings and they love organized content, so will your readers.

Back in the day (1 year ago?) people were big on keyword density. It was abused and it has been addressed. As usual, good content that reads well works best. Yes, you should do keyword research and you need to use keywords in your content but there isn’t a magic number you need to hit. Let it read natural.

What about copy writing? You can optimize copy after it’s written but it’s usually easier if you keep search optimization in mind while you are writing new content. Have someone that is not afraid to tell you the truth read your copy. If you aren’t good at it then get someone else to do it even if you have to pay for it. It doesn’t have to be great, it just needs to offer what your visitors are looking for and it needs to be easy to read unless your target audience is all propeller heads or Kris Kristofferson.

added: If your headings don’t include your primary keywords for that page then you might have a structure problem. I am not talking about going back and spamming the headings. If you didn’t naturally include the primary keywords in the heading elements then you should re-evaluate the need for the page.

Move on to advanced SEO.

—David Blizzard

Writing Great Web Content

Every web site owner wants more traffic and one of the methods that has been proven to be beneficial in obtaining higher organic search engine rankings is content optimization. In the world search engines, content is king! But what does it mean to have “good” content on your site? Does it mean that it has to have the breadth and depth of the Encyclopedia Britannica? Not at all. The old saying that sometimes less is more applies to copy writing and creating content for the web. You  can have good content without rewriting War and Peace. One of the most important hallmarks of superior web content is focus. Noted editorial strategist Erin Kissane says, “Copy needs specific goals to accomplish.” Simply staying focused on a topic, while using correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling, can go a long way in increasing the quality of your copy and, consequently, your search engine rankings by feeding the the crawlers what they want: high quality content.

First, have a plan. Sit down, take a deep breath, and  figure out exactly who is your audience. What do you want them to know and then what do you want them to do? A typical web visitor is looking for something and your site may be one of many competing for their attention. Well organized content that is easy to read and think through will help Then, organize those thoughts  while asking yourself questions:

Do I have a main idea that is the focus of this single web page? Is that focus clear in the page’s description and title? Can I expand on this main idea and provide support for it? Does this thought belong with other like ideas in this page or is this idea so dissimilar that it belongs on another page?

So now look at what you have and pick out your topic sentences and calls to action. If these items were taken in isolation could you figure out exactly what the message was and what you should be compelled to do? If not, then keep at it until there is a clear relationship between your ideas and the knowledge you want the visitor to have and the action you want them to take.

A terrific resource for all web content authors is Janice Redish’s Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works which can be found at

Good luck!