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10 Essential Tips for SEO Copywriting

SEO Copywriting Tips for Organic SEOWith the recent Panda updates, it is clear that only natural links have a future in search engine optimization. One of the most effective ways of creating natural/organic links is through the generation of quality content.

If you want success in your SEO campaign, you should be very careful when undertaking keyword optimization of your website. Keyword optimization means using the right keyword in your copy and shooting for the ideal keyword density.

However, keyword density is no longer important as quality content. In fact, too high a keyword density can result in your website being penalized. It’s thus critical that you write great content with a natural flow and only include keywords when appropriate.

There are however many places on a webpage that are essential for keyword optimization. That is, the inclusion of targeted keywords is still paramount in select areas (which we define below.)

SEO Copywriting Tips

1. Have keywords in the title of your Web pages. Use the Title Tag (whose syntax is) for this. The title for each Web page should be unique and it should not be more than 60 characters long. This is because the major search engines only display 65 characters in SERPs (search engine results pages). If possible, have the keyword in the beginning of the Web page’s title, but do not force matters. If you force matters, the title will not be relevant and user-friendly enough to attract clicks.

2. Use keywords in the page copy. This means there should be a correlation between the actual content on the page and the page’s title. Fight the temptation of forcing keywords since the content should be as natural as possible. You should also avoid overusing keywords since this will be taken to be keyword spamming. Try synonyms, similar/related words, and plural and singular forms of the word.

3. Use keywords in the external link anchor on the actual URLs of the Web pages and on your Web pages. This will help establish keyword relevancy for SEO.

4. Use keywords to create unique Meta descriptions. Try to keep each Meta description under about 160 characters. Although this will have minimal impact on your keyword rankings, the Meta description will be under your title in SERPs and it could therefore improve the click through rate. 5. Use Headline tags to break down your content. These tags start with <H1> and end with <H6>. Use CSS for styling. Include your keyword in the Headline tags. 

6. Use a keyword in the title of all the images used and also in the Alt property and the caption of the image.

7. Have at least one image per Web page. The image should be relevant to the targeted keyword on the Web page. The image could be a statistic, a graphic, or a visual representation of the topic.

8. Use keywords in bolded text (whose syntax is keyword) and in italics (whose syntax is keyword).

9. Use keywords in lists, be they unordered or numbered.

10. Try to ensure that the page copy is at least a hundred words long. The best pages that rank well for organic SEO are typically over 200 words long.

Well there you have it. Your ten essential SEO copywriting tips. If you have any additional tips that you'd like to add, let us know in the comments section below.

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5 Risks of Outsourcing SEO Copywriting Services

Now more than ever, people are becoming aware of SEO as a powerful marketing medium. Those who are catching on to SEO are also realizing that content is driving force to successful SEO. However, SEO copywriting is not an easy task for many people to handle.

Oursourcing SEO Copywriting Not only is writing content difficult for many people, but carefully using keywords throughout the content adds an extra challenge to the process. And after Google's Panda update that penalize website that over-keyword stuff their content, SEO copywriting is an intricate task that demands a careful balance of keyword density and creativity.

As a result, many companies are thinking twice about outsourcing their SEO copywriting needs. As they should, because hiring a good outsourced SEO copywriter is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are very few content writers who will take the time to research your company's core offering, get to know your brand, and product exceptional content.

Risks of Outsourcing SEO Copywriting

In addition to haphazard quality, outsourcing SEO copywriting can lead to a number of risks. Below are just five of the risks of outsourcing SEO copywriting.

1. Little Knowledge in the Brand

Like we mentioned above, good quality content stems from knowledge and awareness of what the brand stands for and what the brand offers. SEO copywriters who produce copy based on keywords will only write to the keyword - the supportive text will be empty sentences of fluff. You may soon learn that some of the best sources of content are your company's in-house specialists. They are the one's who are truly knowledgeable and passionate in the brand, and can product quality, relevant content that has meaning and value.

2. Improper English

One of the most common issues of outsourcing SEO copywriting receiving content that hardly makes sense. The fact of the matter is, the cheapest sources of SEO copywriting are from foreign SEO companies that employ mostly non-native English speaking writers. Although the content might be cheap and actually might facilitate better SEO rankings, will the content actually compel visitors to take action or convert while on your website? Most companies who need optimized content also need to engage with their audience with proper and clear English.

3. Poor Quality Content

The issue of quality reinforces that latter two points. Quality content involves so many considerations and often has to do with more than just punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Quality SEO copywriting is not only keyword optimized, but it encompasses insights based on extensive research and being able to organize cohesive ideas. When companies decide to outsource SEO copywriting, it's likely they'll receive content that says a lot, but doesn't say much that has merit and purpose. Additionally, grammar and punctuation are also key elements that often go overlooked with outsourced content.

4. Risks of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is another common problem that stems from outsourcing copywriting. This is a serious issue for two primary reasons. First, Google will often take action to penalize websites that are using duplicate content from other sources of the web, which can kill you SEO efforts. Second, plagiarism is very unethical, and if the true sources of the content catches on, they can easily take legal action. The thing is, some SEO copywriters who are outsourced, simply do not care. They are only interested in making a quick buck and could care less if your website gets dinged from duplicate content.

5. Double-Cited Content

SEO copywriters that churn out content all day often have wealth of articles that they re-purpose for similar clients. However, often times their re-purposed content, or "spun" content is poorly done. This can result in the same work getting handed down to multiple clients. We call this "double-cited" content because there's nothing unique about each article. This can lead to the issues mentioned above concerning plagiarism and duplicate content.

Although there are numerous risks of outsourcing your SEO copywriting services, you can indeed outsource successfully. We suggest seeking domestic SEO copywriters who are willing to take the time and research your company's USP, brand image, and overall marketing tone. This will lead to better quality content that's not only geared for better SEO, but is also meaningful and valuable.

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What It Takes to Build a Top-Notch SEO Company

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to play a vital role in increasing traffic to business websites and converting traffic into qualified leads. Without a proper SEO strategy in place, it becomes very difficult for online marketers to achieve the set marketing objectives.

Some of the most highly successful SEO companies have managed to come up with the right strategy by quickly identified certain resource attributes that would play a vital role in differentiating their programs to stand out in the crowded SEO marketplace. These highly successful SEO companies pay utmost care in laying out strict benchmarks when it comes to performing such functions.


Recruit SEO Talent

As part of these benchmarks, top SEO companies recruit the right people with carry the skills and expertise. Below are five roles that are vital to building a top-notch SEO company.

Highly Proficient SEO Copywriters

Reputed SEO companies with a proven client base often look for highly skilled and proficient SEO copywriters who have proven themselves to be masters in creating the right sales copy.

1. Ability to create attention grabbing headlines for marketing copies that can lead to increased click through rates. Successful copy writers have the ability to create clickable and attractive headlines.

2. Creating fresh, unique and useful content that are updated on a periodic basis. Google came out with Panda 4.1 update that gave higher rating to the usefulness of the post. As a result of this update many key word stuffed lengthier posts with shallow content were pushed down the Google ranking rating scale.

3. Researching and selecting keywords for SEO and creating content by including long tail keywords in addition to the main keyword phrases across different sections of the post.

4. Creating relevant Meta descriptions for the created blog content in order to properly guide search engines.

5. Ability to arrive at the right keyword density that is acceptable to search engine algorithms and which can ultimately aid in improving search engine rankings.

Technical SEO Specialists

Top SEO companies look for the following technical attributes in a SEO expert.

1. HTML coding capabilities including exposure to different HTML editors and conversant with the HTML syntax and ways to interpret the HTML code

2. Technical capability to choose the right web hosting provider which includes analyzing web site loading speeds and the ease of modifying configuration settings provided by the web host

3. Capability to work with tools like Microsoft Excel by using in built functions like lookup functions, pivot tables and logical functions

4. Having basic PHP programming skills which provides the capability to build dynamic web sites and serve web page content based on the browser type that renders these pages, IP address and date and time of request

5. Basic knowledge of working with server side configuration scripts such as MySQL.

Content Marketers with Creative Instincts

This attribute is extremely vital and some of the highly reputed SEO companies look for the following aspects in a content marketing professionals

1. Capability to devise and design a digital strategy.

2. Professional project management skills that can help in managing a publishing plan and define continuous publishing schedules.

3. Real time experience of using Analytical tools like Google Analytics and Omniture and Optimization approaches such as A/B testing.

4. Capability to combine original content with licensed and syndicated content in a creative and a balanced manner.

Social Media Experts

Proven SEO service providers make sure that they have a social media expert as part of their SEO marketing team. These social media experts come well equipped with the following attributes

1. Data analysis and the ability to run scientific experiments on the collected data to gather meaningful insights.

2. Content curation capability and a keen ear for gathering inputs from diverse social media platform.

3. A strong desire to provide a workable solution to various problems to users through different social media platforms.

4. Capability to connect with different sects of people at various levels and stimulate discussion between the groups in various social media platforms.

Link Building

This function continues to have its relevance even in today's sensitive SEO standards of over-optimization. Highly specialized SEO companies have always focused on recruiting experts with sufficient link building experience that encompasses the following functions.

1. Ability to research different link building sources and methods including local business directories, article submission directories, chamber of commerce listings, press release distribution directories and business association websites.

2. Ability to identify and use tools meant for selecting potential link partners.

3. Ability to connect with the identified link partners and establish a working relationship with them.

4. Continuously monitor the various link building campaigns launched at various points in time.

These five roles play a pivotal role in facilitating a fluid and highly effective search engine optimization company. Do you have any additional players who you'd add to your SEO company's roster? Let us know in the comments section below.

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5 Old SEO Practices That Now Do More Harm Than Good

Good SEOSearch engine optimization is the turning point of marketing. However, a marketer needs to be vigilant on how they approach SEO when incorporating it into their marketing plan. One can do everything wrong and right when it comes to SEO.

If one takes the essential steps and market their business well by observing some of the critical areas of SEO, then they can beat the most difficult areas of SEO as they will care for themselves. Perhaps, SEO is an iterative process that requires strategizing, measurement and improvement.

SEO keeps advancing and changing on a regular basis. This, therefore, throws serious challenges to marketers to get updated and adopt the new algorithms. There are certain SEO tools and tactics that worked initially but do not work at the moment. They can make someone get punished. Some of these factors are discussed below.

Keyword-Optimized Pages

Initially, people used to target keywords on the kind of content that they place online. Narrowly focusing on a keyword in a page used to kill years back. The higher keyword-focused pages used to rank high than those that did not.

Nowadays, following the introduction of Hummingbird update, Google, and other search engines are looking for how certain keywords have represented various ideas. There are billions of pages that Google analyzes. The pages that perfectly represent certain keywords get ranked high.

This does not mean that marketers need to shun the use of keywords when seeking to improve their Search Engine Optimization. It is a challenge to marketers to keep updated and present content that perfectly represents keywords.

Take the instance of 'sports'. There are millions of pages that talk about sports. Content with highly repeated keyword 'sports' does not guarantee it to appear at the top. Ideally, what matters is how exhaustively that content has been presented. The secret is 'focus much on the topic about the client's needs'. This can often be reveal through an SEO site audit, which you can learn more about here.

Optimized of Anchor Text

Anchor texts used to be popular in signaling the relevance of internet pages. Anchor texts aid in understanding what the whole site is about without necessarily having to read everything. SEO secures a large amount of links for a specific target keyword. Few people now can link a page by the use of anchor text. When used nowadays, it can raise warning regardless of how one spreads them.

The use of anchor text, however, should not be thrown out when it comes to SEO. The secret is 'do not use similar words'. Use sentences that revolve around the keyword instead of using plain keywords to avoid being punished.

Link Sculpting

The 'no-follow' tag that was created by search engine earlier to block spammers does not work now. Google now sees such pages as not preventing any link from flowing out of a page and that it just prevents from leading to a page that is linked to. The best solution to curb this is to eradicate hyperlinks from such pages.

Thin Content

Earlier, it used to be said that content is the king, prince and queen of everything. Marketers and other websites thus rushed for more and more content to attract visitors. Nowadays, it is not content anymore but the quality of it. Good quality, conversion-oriented SEO copywriting increases and improves the reputation of a site.

Buying links

Search engines that came before Google used on-page optimization in ranking pages. When Google was introduced, it changed the tricks of the game and introduced the use of links. Currently, the use of links in manipulating algorithm is greatly penalized implying that the idea of link buying does not work. If links can be used only for advertising purposes, they can still work the magic. But if one needs to use links, they can contact the owners of the site first.

Techniques used by some of the best ecommerce SEO companies are never static but keep on changing day in day out. Marketers should remain flexible and updated to beat the fast-paced trends.

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Tips On How Much You Should Spend On SEO Services

SEO Services CostFor a business to survive in the digital marketing world, it is important to invest in SEO to increase search engine exposure. The challenge when budgeting for SEO services is getting an accurate forecast of how much it will cost.

To get this figure accurately approximated, it is important to understand and appreciate how SEO agencies work so that you can align your needs and requirements to their offers. Below we discuss a few different SEO business models and what you can expect to pay for services from each type of model.

Agency SEO Services

SEO firms employ a variety of business models. The most common model is the monthly retainer arrangement. In this setup, clients pay a set fee each month in exchange for an agreed upon line of SEO services. This usually includes on-site content improvements, regular analytical reports, keyword research, link building, keyword optimization, press releases etc.

Investing in agency SEO services is a popular option because it often offers a better ROI compared to consulting and other models. It is therefore quite ideal for businesses new in the SEO arena, especially online retailers looking for e-Commerce SEO services. Depending on the extent of services provided and size of the business, the monthly retainer ranges between $750 to $5,000 with most businesses paying between $2,500 and $5,000 per month for agency SEO services.

Contact-based SEO Services

Another model is the contract services at fixed prices. In most instances, new businesses which are still not so conversant with this sector tend to pick or select services that they require from an SEO agency and then agree on the price and sign a contract for that particular service.

Most agencies advertise these services such as SEO web audit, social media set-up, SEO copywriting, and content development on their websites. For a task such as SEO web audit, an agency may charge anything between $500 and $7,500 depending on the scope of the project.

Social media set up usually costs $500 to $,3000 while a link profile audit can cost $500 to $7,500. For content creation, SEO copywriting costs between $0.15 and $0.50 per word.

Project-based SEO Services

Another popular model is the project based pricing. This is quite similar to the contract services offered at fixed prices. The main difference between the two is that in project based pricing, the project is normally customized and quite unique to the client whereas in the former the services are quite general.

The pricing therefore varies depending on the project at hand. The price points are usually between $1,000 and $30,000 or even more. Business size and scope of project are key price determinants in this model. Mature businesses that know exactly what they want are the prime candidates for this approach.

Consulting SEO Services

The last SEO business model is the familiar SEO consulting model. In this model, consultants charge an hourly fee in exchange for a wide variety of SEO services or information. These consultants can either be individuals or agencies. They charge between $100 to $300 per hour, depending on their qualifications, experience levels and the task at hand.

Finally, it is important to note that when it comes to SEO services, you should try and desist from going for the lowest price; even though you are at liberty to look for a bargain. This is especially so if the price difference is quite significant from what you are getting from other agencies or consultants. For SEO, you should be keen on getting the best level of service and not be bogged down so much with figures if it is still within your budget.

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