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seo strategy

Why Isn’t My SEO Strategy Working?

Getting their SEO strategy to perform at peak levels is a common challenge for business owners. In fact, their SEO might actually be taking them in the right direction, only needing a few simple tweaks to maximize results.

Business owners who manage their own SEO strategy often follow the self-optimization tools provided in SEO packages, such as Yoast, to guide them through the tricky waters of search marketing.

As robust as these tools can be, there are some key custom elements of a complete SEO strategy that many businesses tend to overlook, causing them to potentially miss out on better rankings. Much of them have to do with content generation, which SEO software won’t (and shouldn’t) help you with, and where you publish your content outside of your own domain.

[tweetthis]Three Tips for a Better SEO Strategy #SEO #SEOstrategy #copywriting #digitalmarketing[/tweetthis]

Here are examples of those little extras that can help better your search results:

  1. Long-Tail Keywords: Let’s say you sell shoes in Seattle. You decide to implement an SEO strategy on your website and start brainstorming SEO keywords. The first one you might think of is “shoes”. “Footwear” might come in second, followed by a list of your top brands. While these keywords are certainly relevant, they’re also in high demand and might not rank you very well in search results. This is why long-tail keywords play an important role in setting you apart from your competition. Try something like “Imported leather shoes from Italy in Seattle” or “Steve Madden shoes Seattle”. There – you just improved your odds of being found. Long-tail keywords also work great for your blogs, such as: “Which shoe polish is best for brown leather shoes?”
  2. Write for People: Have you ever tried to read pure SEO-oriented content? It’s not a compelling read for humans or search engines. That’s right – search algorithms are so intelligent that they can separate good content from keyword-stuffed mumbo jumbo. And even if the keyword-stuffed mumbo jumbo ranks highly, who’s going to read it and be moved to convert? The bottom line is to write for humans, optimize for search, not the other way around.
  3. Off-site SEO: Here’s one that a lot of businesses miss. Off-site SEO refers to “authority building” that Google uses as a ranking factor. This authority is measured by inbound links from external sources that are of high authority themselves. If these sites are linking to yours, Google will perceive your site as having authority as well. Guest blogging and social media syndication are two great ways to raise your off-site authority.

On a final note, remember that, like content management, an SEO strategy can’t be successful with a “set it and forget it” philosophy. It needs to be revisited from time to time to reinforce what’s been successful, and tweak what hasn’t.

seo copywriting,copywriting,content management,content maintenance

Content Maintenance: Don’t Just Set It and Forget It!

Content maintenance is essential to keeping your website current, relevant, and SEO friendly. And it lets people know you’re still in business.

Have you ever visited a company’s website and wondered, “Are they even still in business?”

I have. If the content is outdated, the images are old, and the design was “Best in Show” in 2006, chances are I’ll be moving on. If the website isn’t up to current standards, the business probably isn’t either.

For many entrepreneurs, the launch of their website is the official launch of their business. They worked hard to create the perfect website, making sure to include relevant content and images, and putting effective SEO keywords in place.

But sometimes they get so busy that they forget about content maintenance.

[tweetthis]When it comes to your website, don’t just set it and forget it![/tweetthis]

Depending on your individual LOB, you might not need to check your site as much as others. My mechanic’s website hasn’t changed in ages, but he still does a brisk business. Most other SME’s, however, would be well served not to let a lot of time pass before logging on just to check analytics.

Of course, blogging once our twice per month helps keep things fresh. But does your blog comprise your entire site? Is it the only part of your business you want showing up in search engines? Of course not. Businesses need to practice regular content maintenance checks to stay forefront in customers’ minds.

Here are some things to keep a particular eye on when maintaining your content:

Update your Story: Is your About Us page more than couple of years old? Something new must have happened since then, so it would be wise to tell your story from the perspective of where you are now.

Check your Images: Unless you’re going for a retro look on purpose, your images should be current and reflect a modern image. No mile-wide ties with short sleeves!

Unlock those Keys: Keyword phrases for SEO should never be locked down. What might have worked on Alta Vista or Excite might not be relevant to Bing or Google. Keyword phrases need to be revisited regularly to keep your website as close to the top of search results as possible.

Watch your Language: Has your audience changed? Or, has your audience stayed the same, but do you need to address them differently? I might still like a brand from my younger years, but I don’t respond to language directed at 19 year-old me anymore. A language check might be in order, to adapt to your audience’s changing needs.

Regular content maintenance is essential to the life of your website and, by extension, your business. Revisit your content regularly!

So what have you done for your website lately? Share it in the comments below, and include the URL if you like!

social evidence, call to action

Social Evidence: Testimonials in Action

Social evidence is more than just tooting your horn. It’s a useful tool to showcase your brand, and create valuable backlinks to your colleagues.

It’s gratifying to get positive testimonials from clients. Whether they come in the form of a LinkedIn recommendation, or through a customer feedback form, knowing we pleased our clients leaves us feeling great!

Testimonial web pages have been used by businesses for years. But with the recent surge of content marketing, testimonials have taken on a new role as important parts of content strategy.

Why? Because they provide social evidence of your brand’s expertise, and allow your products and services to shine.

Social evidence is stronger than your average Amazon book review, or those anonymous comments on Yelp. Social evidence is provided by your clients, and include their name, title, company, and often a headshot, making the testimonial much more credible. They also give you the opportunity to create backlinks to their website or LinkedIn profile, strengthening the entrepreneurial community as a whole.

[tweetthis]Social evidence showcases your brand like nothing else.[/tweetthis]

Here are some things to consider when creating your social evidence:

  • Asking before Acting: Before grabbing someone’s headshot or using their testimonials, be sure to ask their permission, stating clearly what you’ll be using them for. Don’t forget to offer the backlink!
  • Your Signature, Please: Use your contact’s digital signature (name, title, and company name) in the testimonial. That way, readers will know that a living, breathing human provided the comments.
  • Give Face: People love seeing people, so a professional headshot of your contact will add a degree of warmth (and authenticity) to the testimonial.
  • Share the Love: If they’re giving you social evidence, be sure to give them a backlink. Let them choose whether it’s to their company website, LinkedIn profile, or somewhere else. As long as it’s relevant, and there’s a direct benefit to your contact, it works!

You can use social evidence throughout your site, wherever customer engagement is necessary. It’s also the perfect complement to your calls-to-action, giving customers that extra incentive to download that eBook, join your newsletter, or attend your workshop.

How do you use social evidence in your content strategy? Let me know in the comments below!

source marketing

SOURCE Marketing: Kickstart your Content Strategy

SOURCE Marketing is a great new way of creating a content marketing strategy, with an eye on brand awareness and customer engagement.

Have you heard about content marketing?

Content marketing provides meaningful, relevant content to your target audience in order to raise brand awareness. And, unlike advertising, in which you’re simply pitching a product or service, content marketing invites customer engagement.

So how can you get started? Introducing our new content marketing system, SOURCE Marketing!

SOURCE Marketing is a simple six-step method of getting your content marketing strategy off the ground. You can use it for web pages, blogs, landing pages, or wherever you connect and engage with your audience.

Why do we call it SOURCE Marketing? Quite simply, SOURCE is an acronym for:

Simple English: Keep the language simple. When you speak to your audience in a way they understand and can relate to, your message will reassure the customer that you understand their needs. Learn more about using Simple English.

Opening Question or Statement: You need a powerful headline to draw people in. “Looking for a New Way to Increase Customer Traffic?” “Improve Search Results in 24 Hours!” “Stop Smoking in 7 Days!” Be exciting, enticing, and most of all, authentic.

[tweetthis]SOURCE Marketing enhances the customer’s online experience #contentmarketing[/tweetthis]

Unique Image: Your logo and headshot should be as unique as you are. But your page also needs an image which reflects and reinforces the page’s particular message. Use a sharp picture that demonstrates the benefits of working with you!

Rationale: What are your customer’s pain points? In a few short paragraphs, provide the rationale as to what makes you the best choice to help, and list the benefits of using your service. For example, will hiring you increase website traffic, improve search results, or simply raise awareness about their business? Whatever the benefits are, list them!

Call to Action (CTA): They’ve read your page. Now what do you want them to do? Signup for your newsletter? Download that eBook? Leave your site? Okay, definitely not that last one, but if you don’t have a strong CTA, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Here are some tips to creating great CTAs.

Endorsements: A must-have for landing pages, proven social evidence of your skills go a long way to demonstrating that you’re the best person for the job. One or two testimonials from clients will do, and provide a back link to their website or LinkedIn profile. Learn more about social evidence.

Have questions about how we can help your web copy using SOURCE Marketing? Get in touch with us!