No new web page exists in isolation.

Write new web pages in context

Back in the old days, when I was young and writing print ads and direct mail. Before the web. Before everything was connected.

Back then, I could write each piece as a standalone element.

If I wrote a piece of direct mail, what came before and after someone read that package was simple and clear.

The “before” part involved a letter carrier delivering the letter to a prospect’s home.

The “after” part involved 1) The recipient dropping the letter and its contents in the garbage, 2) The recipient completing an order form and mailing it back or 3) The recipient calling a 1-800 number.

That was pretty much it. Easy. Simple.

Read the full post…

How can we truly engage with our audience?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

This question came from Tom, who has taken my course on Web Content Optimization.

“Nick, in the course you talk about engaging with your audience. At best, I imagine that means interacting with prospects and customers one on one. If you’re selling high-end products or services, I can see that making sense. But our company is in the low-cost, high-volume SAAS business. There’s no way we can justify engaging one on one. So how can we engage at all?”

I like this question, because I think it can apply to a lot of different business types.

Read the full post…

Does it make sense to make improvements to older web pages?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

I got an email from Sally, who has taken my course on Web Content Optimization.

She asks:

“I’m working with a client who wants me to create a lot of new content pages. Which is great. But as I look through their site I see a lot of existing pages that could be improved. Should I mention this? Is there a benefit to improving existing pages?”

I love this question. Mainly because nobody has ever asked it before!

And the answer is yes, there is huge value to improving old content.

The older that content is, the more important it is to update it and improve it.

Here are a 3 things to watch for and to do…

Read the full post…

What’s the optimal number of words to have on a web page?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

This is a question from Holly who has taken my course on Web Content Optimization.

She asks, “I’m confused about all the different messages I get on the length of articles and posts. Are longer articles better? Is there an optimum length? Is there a point where content is too long?”

Good question. Complicated question.

A page, article or post can be optimized for a number of reasons…

Read the full post…

Can conversational copywriting be optimized for the search engines?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

An interesting question from Phillip, who took my course on conversational copywriting.

He wonders if using natural, plain-speaking and conversational language in your copy and content might be detrimental to optimizing for the search engines.

That’s a reasonable concern.

Five years ago I spent a lot more time focused on SEO and keyword optimization. Not so much today. But it’s still a factor when I build a new post or page.

To illustrate Phillip’s point, let’s look at how someone might optimize a text link for the term “cheap coffee maker”.

Read the full post…

3 Ways to attract quality inbound links to your website or blog.

backlinks and inbound links for websites

When it comes to attracting more traffic to your blog or website, everyone is all over search engine optimization, content marketing and social media.

These are the hot tickets.

Optimize for the search engines!

Spend more on content marketing!

Go viral through social media channels!

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on these three areas. They are all important.

But that doesn’t mean you should forget one other area of activity that is just as valuable to online marketers.

Link building.

Link building means attracting inbound links to your site from other relevant and high-value sites.

Read the full post…