The Process and Method for Effective Copywriting

copyWriting exceptional web copy that gets recognition from users as well as search engines is a skill that you must learn, just like any othe SEO competency.

The goal of web copy is generally to provide information that provokes users to take a specific action – making copy as important to your conversions as any other part of your process.

To streamline your next project, here is a process and tips that will have you writing effective copy in no time.

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Posted in SEO

Facebook Social Search Factors and Continued Integration with Bing

On Tuesday, Facebook announced the third pillar of its social network – search.

This internally-focused social search engine, known as Graph Search, uses people’s likes, connections, location, experiences and pretty much anything shared on Facebook to provide what looks to be an effective local search, or product/service recommendation engine.

Facebook Graph Search
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Posted in Social Media

Future Google Rankings will be Determined by Rel=”Author”

Matt Polsky looking past or futureGoogle has made a massive push for businesses and online content curators to produce works that provide real subject matter, and more importantly, content that people want to actually read, post on social, email to friends, and, yes, link to as well.

But, why would they not? Google’s primary purpose is to put the most relevant, authoritative sources in front of searchers, and if they aren’t, someone isn’t doing their job.

So, how do you react to these updates and prepare for future ones? What about small businesses? Can you just become an authority?

All these questions can be answered with a single tag – rel=”author”.
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Posted in SEO

Don’t be a Tool, Evaluate Link Opportunities with Common Sense

Common Sense Link Building

Evaluating link opportunities can be one of the largest gray areas in SEO. Sometimes we are 100 percent confident in our target, like Larry Kim of WordStream after nailing a coveted link from the Wall Street Journal; however, not every link is beneficial to a site’s profile and you want to be certain that you are not simply wasting your time or doing something that could potentially harm the quality of your site.

When searching for links, the best advice I’ve heard in a long time was from Julie Joyce of LinkFish Media. Julie said the best link builders are ones that can do their job without relying on a toolbar. After hearing this, it really hit home with me. More often than not, I heard from my team how they passed up on an opportunity because Open Site Explorer gave a site a Domain Authority of 42 and Page Authority of 37, and after thinking deeper, I can remember specific instances where posts I had on older sites gained massive traction as the site aged and grew.

So the next time you consider dropping a potential link, think of the long term, and use your eyes and brain before relying on a tool. Here are some of the specific things I look for before reaching into my tool box.
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Posted in SEO

Image Optimization and Alt Text Best Practices

Keyboard with Alt Text Best PracticesThe primary purpose of alt text is for user experience. It is designed to provide an alternative description of an image for users who can’t view or choose search settings that do not display images.

Think of it from the standpoint of a visually impaired reader. Those with visual impairments use screen readers, which are unable to portray images, but will allow the user to read the title, alt text and captions – if they are provided.

Alt text has been built with the user in mind; however, improving the user experience doesn’t mean neglecting optimizing for company or personal goals as well.

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Posted in On-Page SEO, SEO

Google Offers Disavow Links Tool – Cautions Webmasters

Yesterday at Pubcon Vegas, a search, social media and affiliate marketing conference, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team announced a new tool for webmasters – the disavow links tool.

This tool, giving webmasters the ability to disassociate themselves from link spam, has built up much anticipation since Bing released their disavow links tool nearly three months ago, and could be seen as a savior to the many sites that were directly afflicted by Penguin. And while Bing’s tool may look more user friendly, Google’s formatting is much easier once you understand the process.

*Note: if this tool confuses you, DON’T use it. Hire someone who knows what they are doing.
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Posted in Link Building, SEO

Finding Link Opportunities Through Backlink Analysis

Matt Polsky Backlink AnalysisFinding linking opportunities through backlink analysis requires you to have some common sense, basic knowledge of your competitors, an idea of what good links are, and you’ll also need access to a quality backlink analysis tool like SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer.

I’m a huge fan of Open Site Explorer, but I’ve also come to like using Ahrefs Site Explorer, due to the in-depth reports you can run, such analyzing anchor text by terms, shown here by Ross Hudgens; however, with this example I’ll be focusing mostly on Open Site Explorer, since it gives me quick access to the metrics I like to see on the fly.
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Posted in Link Building, SEO

Are Exact Match Domains Really Being Discounted?

Late Friday, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s search quality team, announced that Google is unleashing an update that will reduce the number of low-quality exact match domains. Popular Search Engine Marketing blogger, Barry Schwartz, was surprised that it took this long to put an algorithm into effect that could accomplish the removal of these; however, did they really get removed?
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Posted in SEO

Why Bother with Online Rep Management

Following the aftermath of the 2009-2010 recalls that affected more than 7.5 million vehicles in the US, and 1.8 million in Europe and Asia, Toyota Motor Corp had taken the rap as one of the most unsafe vehicles in the US. This not only affected their sales for the past three years, but their reputation. Toyota, once the number 17 most trusted company in the world, according to Prophet’s annual corporate reputation studies, dropped to 139th in 2010, and currently rests as the 74th.

Odds are you don’t operate on the same scale as Toyota, complete with the ability to send a barrage of television, print radio and internet apologies; however, that doesn’t mean you should ignore your business’ reputation. Your reputation is what makes you stand apart from competitors, and can also mean the difference between recruiting top level employees, or settling for second best.
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Posted in Reputation Management

Link Building that Results in an Unnatural Link Warning

With Google sending out an average of 20 unnatural link warnings a day, in addition to the 20,000 that have already been sent out, it may be useful to know what links are affecting your site and what link building tactics are responsible for the warning or penalty.

Here is a list of link building tactics that Google frowns upon, and, if you are using these tactics, it would be in your best interest to stop or at least do a better job of hiding it.
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Posted in Link Building, SEO
Matt Polsky

I'm the Director and Head of SEO for Veterans United Home Loans. I've been in online marketing since 2007 and focus on producing scalable inbound marketing strategies for everyone - ranging from small businesses and startups to enterprise level companies. Thoughts and posts on this site are my own. Read more about my background here or connect with me on Google+.