Three Things People Really Hate About Your (poorly) Optimized Content

Optimizing content is a process by which relevant keyword phrases are included in text on a web page.

3 Things people hate about your (poorly) optimized content

WELL optimized content is a whole other animal.  Anyone can write some text and cram some keywords into it.  Writing text that pleases users, and search engines, is an art.  Not everyone can do it, not everyone should.  I thought of some things I’ve seen recently that drive this point home.  If you cant do this for your own content, hire a professional.  You wouldn’t ask your mechanic to write your marketing plan, would you?

Here are 3 things people hate about your optimized content
  1. There’s way too much of it.  How much content do you need on a page?  Enough.
    Tell the story, tell the ABRIDGED story.  You don’t need 1,000 words on the page to rank because you read it on some website 2 years ago.  You need text, but 250 +/- words that get directly to the point will serve you, and your reader, much more efficiently.
  2. It’s hard to read.  You included no paragraphs, content breaks with bullet points, bold main ideas, or images.  It’s just text on the page.  Boring.  Sorry – people don’t read content that looks like this, and search engines know it.  Engage the eye to engage the reader.
  3. It makes no sense.  This generally comes in from 2 avenues.  First, you crammed too many keyword phrases into the page and it reads like a keyword research document.  Tell the story with words people would use to find it, don’t repeat those words in every sentence, that’s overkill and makes your content nearly impossible to read and relate to.  The second avenue comes from machine or non-native speakers.  We always recommend that content be translated into the target language by a native speaker.  Someone who understands the nuances of the language and can reform sentences so they make sense.

It’s okay to not be good at something.  It’s okay to hire someone to handle things  for you.  This is probably the topic for a whole other post.  If you need well optimized and user friendly content.  Take the time to do it right, or hire an expert to do it for you!

If You Don’t Write Better Optimized Content Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Sometimes, as a writer, echoes of my mother resonate through my head.

“Do it right the first time”

As a kid, I hated hearing that, I just wanted things done FAST, and quality?  Well I didn’t really care about it.  As an adult, I’ve come to respect the saying, and although I’ll never admit it to her, mom was right.

SEO Copywriting - Do it right the first time

When you write content for the web, there’s the fast way, and the right way – and the two meet somewhere in the middle for most.  If you’re not worried about Continue reading

Getting Query Data from Google Webmaster Tools to Correlate with SEO Query Data in Google Analytics

As most marketers are painfully aware, In Oct 2011 Google stopped providing keyword referral data in Google Analytics for searchers who are logged into Google or for searchers using Secure Search (which Firefox has more recently adopted as the default for Google searches).

As a result of the loss of this valuable keyword data source, online marketers have become very creative about designing ways to recapture some details on the search behavior of these visitors. One approach has been to extract more information out of the Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) data which so far isn’t affected by the not provided restriction.

The query data in GWT is limited. The reports provide impressions and click information, but no conversion or other site engagement data. As a result, the data is good for keyword research and to find terms that are relevant to your site, but you’ll likely still have to test the terms in PPC to gain actual conversion information about the terms.

If you have your Google Analytics and your Google Webmaster tools accounts linked you can view the GWT query information directly within Analytics. Google has a section called Search Engine Optimization that displays data sourced directly from GWT.

Not a Discrepancy, a filtering Inconsistency

If you have looked at the SEO data in Analytics and then logged into your GWT, you probably noticed that the queries don’t correlate well. The reason for the list of queries being different is due to the default filtering being different in the two reports.

In Google Webmaster Tools, the queries are filtered to show search query impression and click data from Web searches only by default. You can see a snapshot of the query filtering options below. Notice the Filters button and to the right of it the default is Web.

If you click on Filters you can chose between Web, Mobile, Images, Video, or All. In GWT they list queries filtered for Web by default.

If you then go over to Google Analytics, you will notice that the SEO queries are not filtered. You essentially get the All option. If you want to compare the default list in GWT, you will need to tell Analytics to include “Google Property” and filter for Web.

Then assuming you have the same date range in both Google WT and GA and that you have the data sorted by the same metric, the lists should correlate. Please note that there may be latency reasons for the data not matching if you select a too recent date.

Once I realized the filtering was different the query data made a lot more sense. Hope this helps a few who like myself, was puzzled over the lack of consistency in the query data.

SMX East New York – Day 3

Missed my coverage of Day 1 & Day 2 – read those first!

The third and final day of SMX kicked off with a session Moderated by KeyRelevance’s own Christine Churchill.  Beyond The Google AdWords Tool: Advanced Keyword Research Tactics covered ways to find keywords that don’t appear in the AdWords free tool.

My wifi was down for most of this session (seriously -how do we function without wifi at these things?  We don’t) but I did capture a few interesting tidbits at the end from Shawn Livengood (@slivengood) and Suren Ter-Saakov  (@seoquaketeam) He shared some great pieces of info centered around Continue reading

What’s in Your Toolbox?

Every marketer who handles multiple aspects of online presence will tell you, we change gears so much, and have fingers in so many buckets, that having tools to help us monitor and keep track of campaigns is essential.  That being said, there are a ton of tools out there to choose from, and everyone has an opinion on what the best ones are.  I generally talk from experience when it comes to tool selection.  I don’t recommend that which I don’t use, and I am pretty picky about usability when it comes to software.

My favorites are the ones that I can figure out without reading a manual.  I’m terrible about instructions.  I want things to be intuitive and easy to use, so multi-step screens and

Continue reading

From The Ground Up – SEO-Friendly Site Construction – Part 2

In our first installment of From the Ground Up, we talked about creating a solid website architecture based on keyword research and a logical hierarchy of pages and content.  Today we’re going to get more in depth with creating a content plan and naming URLs for your new website.

We need to talk about URL names from two angles today – a brand new website, and a redesign of an existing website.  Let’s start with the redesign.  If you are redesigning your website, and  if you don’t have to rename your URLs, don’t.  Some platforms will allow you to keep the current URLs you use for each content page.  If this makes sense with your new website structure and page names, don’t change them.  New URLs mean creating 301 redirects from old pages to new pages.  This will cause you to lose some of your link benefit coming to those old pages.  If your website directories, folders and page names make sense, are hierarchical, and can be translated into your new site, by all means, do that.

In a perfect world, URLs don’t have to change – but in probably 90% of new website designs, we’re talking about a platform change.  Likely you’re changing from one programming language to another, one blogging platform to another, or even one philosophy to another.  This will cause us to have new URLs for existing content.  We recommend using a smart system for naming new URLs, and a plan to create 301 redirects before a page is even created.

In our last post, we talked about taking every URL on your website and placing them in a closely related category or theme.  Some categories or themes may live Continue reading

From the Ground Up – SEO Friendly Site Construction – Part 1

Building a website for a new venture is an exciting prospect. You start thinking about pages and features and then come up with paragraphs of content and graphics long before you put pixel to paper. The want to just “get something up” is overwhelming and you start with the “look” instead of thinking about the “structure.”

Stop…just stop…..you’re not doing yourself any favors. Before you even choose a name for your website, blog or business –think about the words you use. Words first, then we can start building something. Think of this step as the architectural rendering of a home under construction, complete with wall cross sections and material lists.

Creating a solid list of keyword phrases that describe what you are, what you do, and why you do it will help you Continue reading

Keyword Research for Local SEO

Doing keyword research for Local SEO has been somewhat difficult in the past, because many local search phrase combinations have relatively low volume, and the amount of data has been too small/granular for the limitations found in many keyword research services.

Even just a few years ago, I used to try to research local keyword phrases for things like “boston plumbers” in a service such as comScore’s qSearch tool, and such phrases would frequently have insufficient search volumes for the tool to reflect back any data. Even Google Trends today states that there’s insufficient volume to show graphs for “boston plumbers“.

The reason why such research is important is because a site seeking to grab as much qualified traffic from consumers interested in a particular type of business as possible, must first know which phrase(s) to focus upon to achieve search engine rankings. They must answer the questions of whether consumers are searching for “plumbers”, “plumbing”, “plumber” or “pipes”. And for local businesses, it’s ideal to match for exact phrases that include local keywords. Do consumers search for “boston plumbers”, “plumbers, boston”, “plumbers in boston”, “plumbers boston ma”, or “plumbers 02118″ (a Boston ZIP code)?

There are cases that are even more complex, where an industry may have multiple terms used to find businesses (“accountants”, “accounting”, “tax preparation”, “CPAs”), and cities with multiple name versions and neighborhoods (“New York”, “New York City”, “Manhattan”, “New York, NY”, “NYC”, etc).

The problem is irritating when there’s little recourse available for researching consumer behavior.

However, various providers have been beefing-up the data they make available in order to help address the marketing demand. For instance, Google Insights will sometimes show us the relative search traffic for phrases in cases where Google Trends will not, such as for the “boston plumbers” example:

One reason why Continue reading

KeyRelevance Supports Dallas Keyword Research Event

DFWSEM logoKeyRelevance President Christine Churchill is teaming with Shelly Ellis to provide a presentation on keyword research. The event will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson, Texas at 6:30 PM on 19 February.

Keyword Research is considered the first step in all online marketing. Keyword research applies to organic search engine optimization, paid advertising, as well as video marketing, blogging and social media marketing.

Christine Churchill currently serves as the Chairman of the Dallas Search Engine Marketing Association (DFWSEM) and frequently speaks on keyword research at major search industry conferences such as Search Marketing Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Webmaster World, and the Unleashed Conferences. She has been in the field of online marketing for over ten years and holds a masters degree in business.

Shelley Ellis is the owner of Shelley Ellis Consulting and is at the forefront of exploring the vast potential of using Google’s content network for tapping into online conversations to increase sales and boost profits for companies of any size. With over nine years of paid search experience across a variety of industries, Shelley is a pioneer and a recognized expert in advanced content targeting strategies. Shelley also serves on the board of the Dallas-Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association (DFWSEM).

If you’re in Dallas on 19 Feb, please join us at the Keyword Research Event. For additional information on the DFWSEM see, http://www.dfwsem.org.