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Your precious words. You know they’ve got to be right to attract the audience you want. You’ve slaved over them, carefully crafting each phrase. You finally hit “publish,” and what happens? Nobody reads them. No comments, no tweets, no sharing on Facebook. It’s enough to send a writer into deep depression and wipe out motivation to keep producing great content.
One of the most repeated rules of writing compelling copy is to stress benefits, not features. In other words, identify the underlying benefit that each feature of a product or service provides to the prospect, because that’s what will prompt the purchase. This is one rule that always applies, except when it doesn’t. We’ll look at the exceptions in a bit.
Serious content creators know that each article they publish is a piece of a larger content marketing arena. But the thought of generating content ideas on a regular basis often knocks us out before the opening bell even rings. It can be difficult to consistently write exceptional content that encourages visitors to stick around and learn about your unique selling proposition.
Apparently, “March Madness” on Copyblogger is less about college basketball and more about finding things to say about SEO. One could say we painted ourselves into a corner by saying, “Technical SEO isn’t nearly as important for most sites as actually producing content worth consuming” … and then deciding to write about search optimization all month. One might even call us foolhardy.
We’ve been telling you there’s no great secret to search optimization, but that’s kind of a lie, isn’t it? There is one not-so-secret ingredient that makes SEO work. It also makes social sharing work. Referrals, too. I won’t be mysterious about it — it’s links. Links make the web go around. They’re why it’s called a web in the first place.
I understand why content marketers may avoid SEO: it seems complicated and time-consuming. But I’ve got good news. Today, you’ll learn why content marketers like you are well-positioned to use SEO tactics — possibly even more so than *cough* an SEO like me. Keyword research doesn’t have to be a marathon. A brisk, 30-minute walk can provide incredibly useful insights.
“But I don’t really think about SEO very much anymore.” That was my initial reaction when we all agreed that March would be SEO month here at Copyblogger. At which point, of course, I knew I’d have to write about it. “Look, I just create useful content for people. Do that, get it read, get it shared, get links, have good hosting and fast page-load times … and productive ...
Google reminds me that we’ve covered the intersection of Zen and business a few times at Copyblogger … which doesn’t surprise me a bit. At the heart of Zen is the concept (which is not a concept) of nonduality. In the words of Shunryu Suzuki: “To speak of waves apart from water or water apart from waves is a delusion. Water and waves are one.
By now you know that — technical details aside — SEO is not separate from content marketing; it’s an integrated aspect of content marketing. Optimizing your content for search engines is part of your craft and a skill you can strengthen with practice. But even when you rank well for search terms your audience uses, the real test is what happens when someone clicks through to your website.
Well, it’s been a while since you’ve seen my byline around here at Copyblogger, but that’s for a few good reasons — I’ve had my head down and been working hard over at StudioPress (specifically, the all-new StudioPress Sites you’ve been hearing about). If you’re interested in checking it out, you’ll see that the StudioPress site looks quite different from how it has in the r ...
Imagine. Imagine a world without search engines … It’s easy if you try. No more surprise Google updates. No more worrying about XML sitemaps, robots.txt, and content analysis and optimization. And perhaps most importantly, no more keyword research. That last one means you’re going to have to go old-school to figure out the language of your audience to reflect it back to them.
This year on Copyblogger, each month has a theme — and in March, it’s search engine optimization. That’s great news for some of you, and terrible news for others. If you’d rather eat a bug than think about SEO, you and I have much in common. On Monday, I wrote about some solid SEO advice that won’t have you contemplating a heaping bowlful of breakfast crickets.
Hey there, content geniuses — it’s March, and that means we have new prompts for our Content Excellence Challenge. This is a yearlong community exercise in getting better at what we do … and more productive, so we can do more of it. (Or even accomplish something crazy like having a life.) So, let’s do this.
Why do we spend so much time researching, creating, optimizing, and promoting our content? “Geez, Stefanie. That’s a silly question,” you might be thinking. “You of all people should know that content marketing helps with our business goals. In fact, you wrote about that last week.” And you’d be absolutely correct. But that’s not what I want to focus on today.
Keyword research is always a hot topic in content marketing circles. It’s one of those subjects that never goes out of style — because wise content marketers know that using the right words in their content will give them a big edge over their competition. Wondering how to find the “right” words to optimize your business’s content? Here are three quick tips for solid keyword research. 1.
Search engine optimization — SEO — is one of those “you love it or you hate it” topics. Some get a charge out of the challenge of keeping up with those wily engineers at Google. Others would rather eat a bug than try to figure out what “headless crawling” means and which redirect is the right one to pick in months that end in R. I have to confess, I’m in the bug-eating camp on this one.
So, Copyblogger has been running for about 11 years now. And in all that time, we’ve never written a post about Arnold Schwarzenegger, unless you count that one time I compared long-form sales pages to the Terminator. Until this week. Entirely independently, Brian Clark and I both used the Governator to illustrate two different points about smart content creation.
A few weeks ago, I recorded a podcast episode about Jonah Sachs’s book Winning the Story Wars. He had a particularly useful observation about three story elements that pull in audience attention. He calls them Freaks, Cheats, and Familiars. Sachs explains how these elements can be deployed, like the Hero’s Journey, to make stories much more memorable and engaging.
Solutions for Smarter Content Marketing