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…

Master the headline, and you master the page.


Course on how to write better headlines for content marketers

Any sales copywriter will tell you the headline is the most important element on the page.

If you don’t get the headline right, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the page is, because nobody will read it.

Copywriters know this. And online content writers need to understand it too.

David Ogilvy, one of the greatest copywriters of the last century, used to say that once you have written the headline you have spent about 80 cents of every dollar your client will spend on that ad.

Put another way… 80% of your visitors read the headline, but only 20% will read the body of the page.

He made his observation about writing ads.

But you can say the same – and do the same math – when you look at the creation of content online.

Read the full post…

Use inspirational content to drive engagement and sales.

Mountain bike inspiration

With some product and service categories, we automatically expect marketers to inspire us.

For example, if we are being sold a weight-loss program, we expect to hear inspirational stories about those who have come before us.

We expect to see before and after photos, and to hear about how people’s lives are improved as they shed those extra pounds.

Weight-loss and wellness coaches help us succeed by inspiring us with positive messages and stories.

It’s what we expect.

But we can also create inspirational content for slightly less obvious categories.

Read the full post…

7 Blog post ideas for any small business.

Inside a bicycle store.

Most days in the summer months I go cycling for an hour or so after work.

And every few months I find myself at my local cycling store. Maybe for a new inner tube, some better gloves, or just to salivate over their high-end road bikes.

Over the years I have come to know the owner a little bit. And he knows I do marketing work.

Anyway, the last time I was there he was telling me that a business friend of his had suggested he create a blog for his store, and write a new post for it every week.

“But what would I say?” he asked me.

That made me smile, because I hear the same question from so many small business owners.

Read the full post…