Archive for January, 2012


How to Screw Up SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not a game, folklore, or interesting entry in Wikipedia.
Those who want a high ranking must choose the right keywords or keyword phrases to use for headings and text. These keywords or phrases help dictate where you show up on a search engine’s ranking. Why do rankings matter? Give a damn about rankings, because most websites are storefronts for individuals peddling services or companies acquiring clients. If an individual can’t find you online, they choose another company. Furthermore, a company low on the totem pole of rankings loses some of its validity. A high ranking helps validate your company.
Wow, that’s simple! No. It’s not. You can screw it up by choosing the wrong keywords or keyword phrases. For example, you are a real estate agent and the first heading on your webpage reads, “Buying Advice”. The text underneath the headline pertains to the best neighborhoods to look for houses. A search engine “magically” reads your website and determines that this is a national real estate website. Now, you have to compete with everyone in the United States selling houses. You don’t sell houses in Florida. You’re located in Austin, Texas. You need a good keyword phrase. That’s a phrase that is used throughout headlines and text. Maybe you can use a keyword phrase like “Austin Real Estate” or “Buying Austin Houses”. When someone needs a house in Austin, they will type in “Austin real estate” into their Google or Yahoo and find you.
Again, that sounds easy. No. It’s not. You may decide to use the phrase “Austin real estate” in every other sentence to make it real clear who you are to search engines. That’s called keyword stuffing. While this practice may seem like a great way to raise your website ranking, you’ll wake up one day to find your website was banned from a search engine like Google. Yikes.
Another way to screw up the SEO on your website is to write content that doesn’t flow with your keywords. Website content must be engaging to the reader in order for them to hang out on your web page. Don’t throw in a keyword phrase whenever you think about it. Plan where it should go within the content, so the keyword phrase naturally works. How much of the text should consist of the keyword phrase? Roughly, 1% to 5% percent of all the text on a page should be your keyword phrase.
Sounds easy. No. It’s not. It takes practice as a writer to create content that effectively uses keywords within engaging text. How do I learn? You don’t learn by crossing your fingers and hoping for the best when writing text. In fact, you waste time. Take a class, mentor under someone or at least read other articles about SEO. You’ll be able to find them by typing in keywords relating to SEO in a search engine.
Faith McGee
Contributing Writer for Hat Trick Associates

4 Steps for Selecting Topics for Blogs and Articles

One of the most critical components of publishing blogs and other articles online for marketing purposes is the proper selection of topics. Topics are such a vital factor in online article marketing because they play such an important role in attracting the right kind of traffic to your website and business.

Traffic is the primary source of potential revenue for any online business. The need to attract quality traffic through web content writing is the key reason why you need to publish useful and beneficial information for your target audience.

The attractiveness of your topics determines the volume of traffic – and thus revenue – they will generate, which are the real measures of success for your online marketing campaigns. So you should select them wisely.

Here are four quick steps of for choosing article and blog post topics that will catch the attention of your target audiences:

1. Identify Need

The main purpose of selecting a great topic is to give your audience what they are looking for. If you can correctly identify their wants and needs, you are on the right path to offering content that they just can’t refuse. One simple way to identify what your target market wants is by researching the most popular keywords they utilize when searching for information using Google and other search engines. One handy way to do this is with the help of a keyword suggestion tools, such as Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool.

Almost everyone now runs to the web for answers to all of their questions, potential solutions to their problems, and lists, tips and procedures for doing something properly. Give them what they want and they will give you their attention.

2. Topics Need to be Related to Your Business

Writing web content to promote your business online will give you a chance to showcase your knowledge and expertise on that niche. Your articles should be directly related to what product or service you sell. This establishes you as “the expert” on your subject or in your field. This can also help build your company’s credibility and win the trust of your readers. These are critically important elements of any business relationship.

3. Research Fresh Issues Related to Your Niche

People are naturally curious, and they will always want to be the “first to know” new and interesting information. This is why fresh, relevant information is so attractive to readers. Take advantage of this by starting a routine of researching the latest issues, trends and developments in your industry or field. Authoritative sites are often your best sources of these, and you should check them out regularly in order to become one of the very first to relay the info to people who share your interest.

4. If You Run Out of Topics, Write a “Tips” List

Tips and “Top 10” lists and how-to guides are still the easiest and most attractive types of articles and blog posts to write if you run out of other fresh topics. People love these types of articles because of their usefulness and power to assist people in doing things on their own. This post itself is one good example of this style of web content writing. And if you need additional ideas, or help sticking to a publishing schedule there are resources that can help you, with Hat Trick Associates just one of your many options.

Go to Top
Contact Us / Request a Quote