Proven methods and a new idea for blockbuster SEO campaigns
A lot of people offer advice about the importance of SEO campaigns and SEO copywriting. And a lot of that advice tells you to start by developing a free report, then research your keywords and finally, write a landing page letter that’s been optimized for search engines using those keywords.
I’m not giving that advice.
Mequoda has a best practices list of seven steps for SEO campaigns, and the first one of course is to develop your free report. Mequoda has even developed this list of ideas for creating that free report:
- Research audience interest and keywords using the Google Keyword Tool.
- Review the most frequently asked questions posted to your online forum.
- Determine which of your paid products are the best sellers.
- Examine your magazine cover stories to determine which have the best sell- through.
- Review your direct mail results to determine which teaser lines create the most sales.
- Review the subject lines of your most successful email marketing campaigns to determine which create the highest open rates.
- Determine which sessions at your live events are the most popular.
Once you’ve created your free report, you can follow the remaining six steps, which you can read more about here:
- Research your keyword universe and then create a Rapid Conversion Landing Page, using an offer letter that’s rich with those keywords.
- Create a website post to drive more traffic to your landing page.
- Create an email newsletter to get the free report offer to your current subscribers, and hope they’ll pass the word around.
- Distribute a press release about the free report.
- Tweet the information about your free report.
- Distribute the link for your free report to your LinkedIn contacts.
SEO campaigns according to Mary
But what I want to you to consider is turning the first two steps around. In addition to the ideas listed above for choosing a free report, what if Step 1 was to research the keywords first, and use them as a source of a powerful new free report?
I admit I suggest this partly because it makes the copywriter’s job easier. But it might also make your SEO campaigns more effective. Because while I’m digging into every corner and crevice of a publisher’s keyword research, I’ve often stumbled across keywords that suggest really gonzo content ideas.
Suppose you’re an investing publication. There are hundreds of them out there, so the Keyword Competitive Index – the measure of how many annual searches are done versus the amount of competition you’re facing with that keyword – for the usual keywords is in the 0 to .05 range. Not very inspiring, since at Mequoda we’re looking for 1 or higher. (For more on calculating KCI, and why you want 1 or higher, see our free white paper, SEO Campaign Management Basics.)
But suddenly you spot … 680.0! Holy analytics! Turns out there are thousands of people searching for “best GIC rates Ontario” and nobody talking about it.
Now you can consider developing a new report on Guaranteed Investment Certificates. Looking even further into the GVR, you see that “Best GIC rates today” has a KCI of 52.8, and “best GICs in Canada” comes in at 96.00. Those thousands of people with money to invest who are searching for information on GICs are your people; they just don’t know it yet. And once they download your free report in exchange for their email address, they become prime sales prospects for your investing newsletter and other products.
Copywriting tips for all SEO campaigns
What else can you do with the GVR to enhance your SEO campaigns? As long as we’re talking about being hip-deep in your keyword universe, there are other advantages as well:
SEO copywriting tip #1:
All other things being equal, seek out keywords with other desirable traits besides their KCI. Remember that very specific topics that are widely searched, like GICs, have another advantage: It’s easy to nail the SEO without even trying, or at least without writing the often dull copy you wind up with when you have to manipulate your text awkwardly to include less targeted keywords.
SEO copywriting tip #2:
Look for nouns that score well in both singular and plural, since it’s always a challenge to use one or the other only. We just write naturally that way using both. Of course many more people search for “natural arthritis remedies” than for “natural arthritis remedy,” so make sure you have more than one remedy at hand for your free report so you don’t have to twist your copy into a pretzel getting “remedies” in there.
SEO copywriting tip #3:
Keep your eyes peeled for keyword phrases that consist of “how to” plus a verb – again, all other things like KCI being equal, but in this case, “how to” will usually rank well, because so many people search that way. Imagine how easy it is to write “how to” in a variety of sentences. And after all, most publishers are in the business of explaining how to do something, from investing to applying makeup to building a house.
For example, the full Mequoda Daily GVR reveals a KCI of 37.71 for the phrase how to make a membership website, and a KCI of 1.42 for the phrase how to build a membership website. Mequoda Daily has held top 30 search results listings on more than a dozen variations of these two phrases that have enough volume to be tracked by Google.
And it’s so easy to write “How to build a membership website tip #X” for every tip you have, fully optimizing your SEO campaigns with that golden phrase.
SEO copywriting tip #4:
You’re in luck if you can locate keyword phrases in which the last word of keyword phrase 1 is the same as the first word in keyword phrase 2. If “clinical laboratory” and “laboratory business” are both in your universe, you’ll get double the pleasure every time you write “clinical laboratory business.”
SEO copywriting is not for the faint-hearted. I find that there’s a lot of information available on SEO campaigns and the analytics involved, but not much on how you’re supposed to write the same brilliant copy you created pre-Internet while manipulating the entire text to include predetermined words. I’ll keep trying to help here on the Mequoda Daily, but in the meantime, please share any tricks you’ve learned with the rest of us!