David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Archive for the ‘clients’ Category

Optimize for misspellings

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Your PPS is cute, what with the “translaters” !  :o )

That was part of a query I received from a lady needing translation of a French medical document into English.  She was refering to the following paragraph from my “free lance englishfrench translaters” page.

P.P.S.: If you came searching for a free lance frenchenglish translater or free-lance englishfrench translaters, you won’t be the first to make a little spelling booboo. That’s OK; it’s our job to make sure that your final translated text is error-free.

This is just a cute way to get a few misspellings tactfully into the text of the page.  When someone searches for “free lance translater”, their real intention is to find a “freelance translator”, so including the text on the page is one good way to help them find hwat they meant to type, not what they actually typed.

Is this appropriate?  Are we tricking the search engines?  Not at all.  We are helping people find what they want.  It is always wise to include as many variations of a word as possible.  It is for that reason that writing naturally makes sense.  Writing just for a keyword, say “Freelance French English Translator” would not sound right.  Variations of these words should also appear on the page, such as “translation” and “translators” and maybe “translating”.

Including misspellings is another way of covering the various combinations of searches people might eb undertaking

 


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Stupid writing client tricks

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

If you plan to hire a writer, please do not try this at home:

Message from prospective client (came in on a form on this website)…

I need 10 unique articles about closet organizer, I provide you the keywords for each article, I need the article have a keyword density about 2% to 3%.

Next message…

The articles have to be in english, I provide the keywords, each articles have 300 words and a keyword density of about 3%. The articles is to be include in ezinearticles to generate trafic to my site, the article  have to wake interest in the people to visit my site.

Final message…

Thanks for your time David, but I found Ghost Writers who write me the articles for $50, thanks again for your time and your interest.

No, I did not make up one word of this.  10 high quality articles for $50?  If it is not immediately obvious what the problem is, you had better get a job quickly – you won’t be in business for long!

 


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Cheery Contract

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Second post today, but I can’t resist.  We have just signed another client for our freelance ghostwriting services, and this is what the client had to say when the ink was dry:

 I have to say in all my years of business I’ve never seen a contract quite so cheery!

Well, what do you expect from The Happy Guy Marketing.  Indeed, the contract is to protect everybody, not threaten them.  (Personally, I think it was the company logo – that 3-D smiley face – that made the contract seem so cheery.)

But this is a good time to discuss branding.  People react very differently to our branding.  Some think that “Happy Guy” is too light and fluffy…not ready for the big time.  Others find it refreshing.  In a business (SEO) where clients often come after having had a bad experience with a previous SEO, a name like The Happy Guy Marketing tells them right away that we are easy to deal with.  And generally, if you don’t make me eat Brussels sprouts, we are!

 


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Online Contact Forms for Better Website Conversion

Monday, June 25th, 2007

This posting is counterintuitive, but I have found a way to get more leads from this website.  Here is the story:

On all the services pages, we would encourage people to email or to phone.  We made it very clear that we prefer email for first contact.  This was in order to do some triage, and not spend half-an-hour on the phone with someone who will never be a client.  Also, once on the phone, a person is inclined to ask a hundred questions, whereas by email they are more likley to confine themselves to those questions that are actually relevant. 

I estimate that at least 80% of queries would come in by email, but still too many by phone.  Furthermore, the email queries often contained very little information, so there was still a bit of back and forth before we could assess what to do with each query.

So we replaced our message with a contact form on each page.  Our phone number and email address are still easy to find on our contact page, but we are now prompting people to contact us using a form.  The form contains all the basic information we need to understand a potential client’s project.  The key is to customize each form for the specific type of project. 

For instance, if you go to http://www.seo-writer.com/freelance/report-writer.html, you will see that the form is very specific about what type of report the client wants written.  On the other hand, http://www.seo-writer.com/freelance/book-writer.html contains different fields based on what is appropriate for that service.

Unexpected website conversion bonus

We loaded the forms to the pages, and two things happened.  First, the suspected.  In several days, there have been no phone calls.  In several days, there have been no emails.  In the several days there have been more total queries.  Yes, the forms are helping drive leads.  I would have though it would be the opposite, since we are forcing people to think a little about their project before contacting us (not a bad thing, mind you, but something I would thing that would act as a small barrier).  I suspect that by giving people an indication of what information we need and making it easy for them to provide it without writing from scratch, we are increasing our leads. 

Will that increase our revenue, our actual conversions?  Too early to tell.  But I sure hope so!

 


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Link Exchange No-nos

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Yes, even The Happy Guy can fume…but this blog post will turn a lemon of an experience into lemonade for all of us to drink.  The most frustrating, if nevertheless polite, lady I think I have ever met will give us all a lesson in how not to conduct a link exchange. 

She approached my client about doing a triangular link exchange.  Whereby our site (A) links to her site (B) and in exchange, her other site (C) links back to (A).  The concept behind this is the she can fool Google into thinking she is not doing reciprocal link exchanges.  Lol 

I have no problem with doing triangular link exchanges, but don’t think Google’s mighty computing power missed that all the sites linked to from (C) just happen to also link to (B).  

So I posted a link to (B) on our site (A) and also on another site (but I will leave that out to avoid confusion), PageRank2 and PageRank 3 pages.  She reciprocated with a link at (C) pointing to our site (A).   

So far, so good?  Not quite.  The page where she placed the link to our site (A) was a PageRank 0 page that was not cached by Google.  Now I don’t make too big a deal about PageRank, but not cached by Google means that Google will never even see it.   

So I suggested she find another page to place the link to our site.  I’ll let her own words explain her position: 

I’m sorry, I am only authorized to add links to our link pages, which have no PR. 

Maybe I can add them to some other pages (sill with no PR) to make it more worth your while and so more people will see your link? 

Let me know what you think! 

Which is just what I did.  I suggested their main links page, which still had PageRank 0, but was cached by Google and is hyperlinked from the home page through a tiny, obscure link at the bottom.   This was a superb idea that she jumped on immediately….NOT! 

I’m sorry, but [Link URL suppressed] also doesn’t have a PR. I would gladly add them there but please understand, my admin system only allows me to add links on the link pages. 

In any case, people looking through our links pages will see your link.  

OK, why do we build links.  So people can see them.  So search engines can see them.  So…well, that’s pretty much it.   The pages she had been offering were completely hidden from the search engines and almost completely hidden from humans.  Anyway, at this point it sounds like she is ready to place my link on a page that is only mostly hidden from the search engines and mostly hidden from humans.  So I ask her to confirm when it is live.  Yes, she comes back with more (very polite) excuses.  

I’m sorry, but, as I have stated, my admin system won’t allow mw to add links to any other pages apart from the link pages (the links mist go under a category) 

I hope this is ok. 

Of course, this is not OK, which is what I say. I point out that there are links right on her PR2 home page, and ours could just as easily go there, so could she please get whomever is in charge of placing those links there to put our amongst them.  What an obvious solution.  But (You knew there would be a “but”, didn’t you?)… 

1-       I don’t see any links from other companies on our link page. 

2-       I am the person who adds the links it is my job within the company, and I have an admin system which only allows links under the categories… I cannot add the links anywhere else!!!!!! 

Now, if you want remove our links because you are not happy with this you may, I hope you don’t but I’m sorry, there is absolutely nothing I can do about adding links to our home page! could lose my job! 

Please accept my apologies, I hope we can reach a cordial agreement on this matter. 

Ever polite, it still does not erase the fact that she came banging on my client’s door asking to exchange links, and then showed empty palms when it was her turn to reciprocate…and has proven to be the most steadfast excuse maker I have ever encountered. 

Oh, and yes, as a matter of fact I did remove her links.

 


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Submit Your Dog Stories

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

We have an interesting client who is planning to publish an anthology of uplifitng and positive dog stories.  This is a great opportunity for any aspiring writer or dog-lover you know to get their work published! 

Please read very carefully the submission details posted at: http://www.seo-writer.com/books/dog-stories.html

Woof! 

 


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KEI Formula Misleads for Keyword Competitiveness Research

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Many SEO specialists wonder why I don’t use Keyword Effectiveness Index, or KEI, to research the right keyword phrases to target.  On the surface, the KEI formula makes sense, and it struck me as so obvious when I first learned about it. 

To the best of my recollection, WordTracker invented KEI, and their original description of the formula was, “the KEI compares the Count result (number of times a keyword has appeared in our data) with the number of competing web pages to pinpoint exactly which keywords are most effective for your campaign.”  What better way to research keyword competitiveness?

At first a fan, I did eventually come to my senses.  This formula tracks how many websites are in a given database for a searched term.  But it is not the volume that counts; it’s the distribution.  Here’s an analogy… 

Which way would you prefer to cross a city on foot:

1. A small alleyway, with a thousand thugs lounging in cafes around the city.
2. An equally small alleyway, with a dozen bloodthirsty thugs in the alley bent on stopping you.

KEI would lead you down the equally small alley…the one with very few keyword phrase competitors, but all right in your way, fighting hard for their high search engine rankings.  Is that what you want?  Of course not.  Keyword popularity is not the selection criteria that matters.  The SEO game is not a democracy…at least not yet, but that’s another story.
I had a sort-of related question from a client today:

Say for instance the word “tennis” was hyperlinked all over the web on all different pages and sites yet the links could be linking to 100′s of different places. Doesn’t that make the word “tennis” more competitive because other sites are trying to use it to increase their chances in trying to get it to show up in the search engines?


On the surface, her proposal made eminent sense, but it’s not the total volume that counts, rather the distribution.  Here was my response to her:

That depends.  If There are a million links with the word “tennis” in them, pointing somewhat evenly to 100,000 sites, the most any one site might have pointing would be, just for example, 20 or 25 links with the word “tennis”. On the other hand, there might be only 500,000 links with the word “badminton” in them, pointing to 100,000 sites, but skewed toward a dozen sites that have been battling it out for top rankings, each with 2000 – 10,000 inbound links with the word “tennis”.  It’s not the volume that counts, but the distribution.

Look very carefully at the top 10 ranking websites for a given search term at your favorite search engine…and how well-optimized those sites are for the keyword, how many inbound links they have, what the quality of those links appears to be, etc.  Don’t rely on the KEI formula or any other web-wide aggregate figures for keyword selection.
  

 


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SEO for Reputation Management: Part III

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Yikes! It’s been two weeks since I posted SEO for Reputation Management: Part II.  So your patience has earned you a good post.

In SEO for Reputation Management: Part I, we made the strategic decisions of what Amanda wanted people toi see when they Search Google or Yahoo for her name.  In Part II, we took inventory of what is already on the Information Highway that she can use to that end.

Now it’s time to put together the plan. Time has slipped through my fingers, and Amanda (not her real name, remember?) has already begun implementing some of the plan.  At the end of this post, I’ll share with you her interim results.

I won’t go through all the details, but some of the major recommendations were…

1. Her blog was being used very, very sporadically.  More frequent posts, occasionally speaking in the third person, would help (I probably should mention that this is David Leonhardt’s blog in every post and put my name in the Blog Title above as Amanda does, but I never put together a reputation management plan for myself!).  In fact, I recommended a post about herself, something I should do one of these days, too. This should secure a second listing in Google’s top 10 for her blog.

2. She owns the domain of her name, but it points to her blog.  I recommended developing her domain to include certain content that would help her get double listings Google’s top 10 for her name.

3. I suggested ways to make her two blogger profiles work to her advantage.

4. I suggested ways to boost the rankings also of a few of the various places where she has articles right now (or then) on the Internet.

5. I suggested a few places where she could build a good reputation directly, that could also rank highly in the search engines or support the rankings of her other pages.  For instance, I pointed out my pages at MySpace, Zaadz, Squidoo, MyBlogLog and TagWorld.  I haven’t done near enough with any of these, mind you, but I will.  Honest.

6. I also recommended a multi-faceted linking campaign, geared to the various types of pages Amanda was trying to boost in the rankings.

SEO Reputation Management Plan Progress report.

On Google’s top 10 right now…

1.  Amanda’s Blogger profile.  She has another Blogger profile, but it has not been worked on yet and it is not ranking.

2. Her blog.  She has been doing more posts, but not yet what is needed for a second page to rank.  I have offered some additional details.

3. One of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

4. and 5. A new appearance by another offensive blogger, posted two years ago. How these two postings got up in the rankings is anybody’s guess, but it is likely the result of something that happened sitewide (as opposed to something related to these two specific posts).  As the linking campaign kicks in, the two offensive posts should sink.

6. Amanda’s MySpace profile.  More can be done to make this a double listing.  Possibly.

7. Amanda’s under construction and 99% unoptimized site on her own-name domain.  When the site is finished, there should be two pages from this domain in the top 10.

8. and 9. Two more of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

10. Amanda’s MySpace page. More can be done to make this a double listing.  Definitely.  I’ve made some additional suggestions.

So there you have it.  Some promising interim results.  One can do much to manage one’s reputation using sound, responsible SEO techniques.

 

 

 

 

 


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Teaser Press Release – Recruiters predict high-demand jobs in 2007

Monday, January 29th, 2007

The sample press release I have just posted on the site is not only of interest because I know that a lot of tech-types might be visiting this blog, but equally because it is a good sample of how a press release can act as a teaser for the main news.

You will note that the main news release will come shortly, along with the report that is to come.  This news release pulls a secondary finding from the report and lets it out early.  It might gain additional coverage, we shall see.  It might help draw interested media for the main release, we shall see.

 The original release, Recruiters predict healthcare and IT jobs to be in high demand in 2007, is on the client’s website.  If you want us to write a press release, or better yet, develop a public relations strategy, just let me know.

 


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More on the candy contest

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Long ago, I realized that I could not read 200 ezines every week, especially when some of them would fill my inbox with “solo mailings” several times a day. 

So I unsubscribed from most of them.  One of the few that I kept receiving is “‘elf Expressions Ezine”, probably because there is a good balance of information there, much better than the usual online affiliate marketing drivel.

So I was very pleased that Mary Wilkey, the publisher, has joined the Plum Drama Candy Giveaway Contest (yep, I just gave it an official title!)  Her readers will get the chance to blog just like this and get some free yummy candy, too.

 

 


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