How to Write for Google

OK, enough with all my silly talk about writing for people first.

Let me tell you what you really want to know… how to write to rank well in Google.

Actually, I’ll just let Google tell you.

Our general advice is: Always focus on the users and not on search engines when developing your optimization strategy. Ask yourself what creates value for your users. Investing in the quality of your content and thereby earning natural backlinks benefits both the users and drives more qualified traffic to your site. … [K]eep in mind that nowadays search engines reward sweat-of-the-brow work on content that bait natural links given by choice.

I’ll elaborate next year. :)

Via Search Engine Land.

Social Media Marketing on Blog Talk Radio

What do you get when you put five marketing-minded bloggers on the air, and let listeners in on the party?

I’m not sure, but we’ll find out tomorrow night.

I’ll be joining in with Scott Baradell of Media Orchard, Click Here’s Cam Beck and Paul Herring who blog at Chaos Scenario, and the irrepressible Paul McEnany of HeeHaw Marketing. We call it the DMZ (Dallas Marketing Zoo) because, um… we all live in Dallas.

But don’t let geography discourage you. We’ll be talking about all sorts of topics relevant to social media marketing, and you’re welcome to join in live. It should be good for a few laughs at a minimum, if only to see which one of us trys to tell the worst joke.

Here are the details:

When: December 18, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. CST
Where: Blog Talk Radio
How to Call In: 646-915-8556

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

There’s something going around, and I don’t mean the crud my kids gave me last week.

It’s a mini-meme, and I’ve been tagged with it by Roberta, Jason, Neil, Chris and Joseph, so I must comply or risk being labeled anti-social in the social media world. :)

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Do You Spend $10,000 a Month on Pay Per Click Ads?

If so, you can participate in an analytics experiment that might just bring you a ton of exposure that won’t cost you by the click.

Eric of Stone Temple Consulting and Jonah of Alchimist Media are seeking additional participants for their Comparative Analytics Study. Basically these guys are trying to determine which website metric analysis tools work best, and they will publish the results to an eager SEO and online marketing crowd.

Here’s what’s in it for you and the requirements for participation:

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Goodbye 2006, Hello 1997…

From the Wikipedia page for the Dot-com Bubble (1997-2001):

Lead up to the bubble:

In 1994 the Internet came to the general public’s attention with the public advent of the Mosaic Web browser and the nascent World Wide Web, and by 1996 it became obvious to most publicly traded companies that a public Web presence was desirable…. These concepts in turn intrigued many bright, young, often underemployed people (many of the so-called Generation X), who realized that new business models would soon arise based on these possibilities and wanted to be among the first to profit from these new models.

Now, what effect do you think Time Magazine’s Person of the Year will have on 2007?

Time: Person of the Year -- You

Good call by Darren — Linkbait of the year. Check out the unbelievable buzz over at Techmeme.

Be happy that you’re an early adopter. :)

The 37 Signals Approach to Copywriting

To me, Web 2.0 darling 37signals has always served as a great example of a company that “gets” copywriting. They built their highly-successful business using a longer-copy format with a powerful centered headline that instantly sucked you into the page to learn more.

Earlier this week, 37signals introduced a new home page. While the text no longer scrolls as far down the page, it’s still “copy intensive.” I personally find the page to be aesthetically pleasing, so I was anxious to see what kind of testing had been done to justify changing winning copy, especially after I saw the new two-word headline:

Work Well.

You can see a side-by-side comparison of both the new and former home page copy here (the new is on the left).

Now, I’m not saying you can’t have an effective two-word headline. Joe Sugarman made a fortune selling gizmos and sunglasses using pithy two and three word headlines that were high on the novelty factor. But I wonder whether the new 37signals headline empirically beats the old one, which has been updated and is now the first subhead:

Over 1 million people and small businesses use our web-based applications to get things done the simple way.

It seems to me that the specificity and strong social proof of that heading would beat the pants off of “Work Well” in the lead spot. But who knows, right?

That’s what testing is for.

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7 Essential WordPress Hacks Video Series

Yaro Starak Interviews Me at Entrepreneur’s Journey

I did a podcast interview with Yaro Starak of Entrepreneur’s Journey last week. Yaro asked some great questions, to which I gave my typical rambling responses.

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Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Now Required By Law?

I’ve been involved in affiliate marketing off and on for about 8 years, and the trend towards disclosure of affiliate links in the blogosphere has been a strange situation for me. It’s not that I want to hide the fact that I’m being compensated, it’s just that if you are an ethical marketer that focuses on providing value, most people don’t really care outside of the Internet marketing world.

I haven’t done much affiliate marketing on Copyblogger, but I hate the use of (aff) following the link. It’s just bad, distracting copy, so I try to find some other way to reveal the affiliation in a way that makes sense. Other times I just give my readers enough credit to know what’s up (such as with links to books).

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21 Traffic Triggers for Social Media Marketing

What does it take to have a huge web traffic breakthrough?

In order to produce a single piece of content that brings in dramatic amounts of traffic, you should aim to fulfill an existing psychological need. Aiming at root needs can be more powerful than simply stimulating desire, because you need people to feel compelled to share.

For example, you’ll see plenty of advice telling you to praise Apple or bash George Bush if you want to get on the Digg home page. But why not dig a little deeper?

Try examining the underlying needs that are being addressed by popular content. Then develop something unique that strikes a subconscious chord and satisfies a genetically-programmed craving that gets people talking, linking, bookmarking and Digging.

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