An SEO Copywriting Makeover – Turning “Not” Into “Hot” Part 1 of 2

Written by Karon Thackston

by Karon Thackston © 2003

I recently took on a project for a Web site that sells gas logs that I thought would make an interesting case study. As many people ask me what goes through my mind when I write search engine optimized copy, I took this opportunity to make notes as I wrote. I’ll now share that information with you so you can makerepparttar necessary changes to your own copy.

The site had a lot of potential, but in its current staterepparttar 108157 sales orientation ofrepparttar 108158 index (home) page andrepparttar 108159 keyword saturation were causing less-than-stellar results forrepparttar 108160 client. My job was to rewriterepparttar 108161 index page (from scratch) in order to boost SE rankings.

The Assessment

When I first viewedrepparttar 108162 index page of my first impression was one of curiosity. I wondered why certain approaches were taken. Rather than drawrepparttar 108163 site visitor in, it gave merepparttar 108164 feeling of being pushed away. I also questionedrepparttar 108165 use of features and benefits onrepparttar 108166 page. While features were mentioned, they were conveyed through industry jargon with no explanations. (Seerepparttar 108167 original copy at

The product was great,repparttar 108168 client obviously understood their target audience (proven fromrepparttar 108169 target audience analysis they completed), and other pages withinrepparttar 108170 site were well written – warm and inviting. Howeverrepparttar 108171 index page needed some help in order to achieve higher sales percentages and search engine rankings.

When I visited Google to check on current search engine positioning forrepparttar 108172 site, I found Eiklor Flames at number 48. It would take an upward movement of 38 positions to get them intorepparttar 108173 coveted top 10. So, I set out to completerepparttar 108174 task before me.

What To Do?

During projects where copy already exists I always like to take a mental tour of what’s currently onrepparttar 108175 site before I begin to rewrite copy from scratch. As I reviewed Eiklor’s current copy, I maderepparttar 108176 following notes of things I wanted to approach differently.

1. Makerepparttar 108177 copy search engine compatible. 2. Makerepparttar 108178 copy more inviting. 3. Drawrepparttar 108179 visitor intorepparttar 108180 fireplace experience. 4. Makerepparttar 108181 sale before sending them torepparttar 108182 dealer. 5. Don’t just give features… give benefits, too.

Case In Point: What You Need To Know About Link Popularity

Written by Karon Thackston

by Karon Thackston © 2003

Link popularity. The term has floodedrepparttar ‘Net overrepparttar 108156 last year, and everybody is in a buzz trying to build link popularity for their sites. But do we really understand what link popularity is, and how it works best? If not, you’re about to find out.

Debra O’Neil-Mastaler of Alliance Link ( is here to give usrepparttar 108157 ins and outs of link popularity and how to ensure your linking strategies accomplish your goals.

KARON: Hi, Debra! It was such a pleasure to meet you in Atlanta for Jill Whalen’s Search Engine Conference. Thanks for agreeing to give us some link popularity tips today.

DEBRA: Thanks, Karon… you, too! It’s my pleasure to be here.

KARON: Here’srepparttar 108158 way I see it. While those who work professionally inrepparttar 108159 search engine optimization field understandrepparttar 108160 importance of link popularity, many small business owners are just now coming intorepparttar 108161 "know." Tell me why link popularity is so vital to success with SEO.

DEBRA: The short answer is because search engines, especially Google, use link popularity in their algorithms to determine a Web site’s ranking.

Web sites are given a link popularity score based onrepparttar 108162 quality and number of external links pointing to them. Generally, when someone says he wants to increase his site’s link popularity, he is referring torepparttar 108163 number of quality links pointing at his site. While this is a good strategy and an important step, it is just that -- a step inrepparttar 108164 overall SEO process.

KARON: You mentioned link quality. There seems to be some controversy between those who say links don't have to be relevant, they just have to exist, and those who say that links must be from sites that could somehow be associated with your own site. Tell usrepparttar 108165 truth, Debra... which one is it?

DEBRA: The truth is, if I hadrepparttar 108166 answer to link relevancy, I’d be basking inrepparttar 108167 sun somewhere with Buff Boy on an extended first class vacation, countingrepparttar 108168 zillions I made from my tell-all link popularity e-book instead of working…

KARON: I likerepparttar 108169 sound of that! So, tell us what you see asrepparttar 108170 truth. : )

DEBRA: The most truthful answer is -- I don’t know if links have to be relevant. I don’t have any definitive answers or truths to tell, and I don’t know anyone that can, exceptrepparttar 108171 search engines of course.

KARON: So, what should people do about trading links or adding one-way links off their sites?

DEBRA: Here’s my two cents: If it makes sense for you to link to a site in a complementary industry, then do it. Your visitors will appreciaterepparttar 108172 helpful content, andrepparttar 108173 other site may link back to you. People return to sites with products they want and resources they can use; if it makes sense to have links to pages that complement your products, then do it!

While I don’t advocate linking to a bunch of non-related sites, I don’t believe there’s a penalty involved for linking to a couple of quality sites outside your niche. Most people/businesses have sites they like or a cause they want to support. Promoting these sites shows community spirit and establishes corporate personality.

Add these hyperlinks to a “links we like” section on your resource page. Separatingrepparttar 108174 non-related links is helpful because it wouldn’t dilute your sales message or confuse your visitors.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use