Content Marketing

Good Writing: Google Bots Eat that Stuff Up

I love search engine optimization, ya’ll, but I fear this practice is blinding the world to the true value of words. Words are a critical component of the English language, and the way you string said words together conveys a thought. Follow me? Naturally, SEO should take a back seat to the quality of your website’s content. Words aren’t little rocket boosters to elevate your website to the first page of Google. They inform your public, establish your authority and have the power to persuade a teetering potential customer/client. Keywords undoubtedly play an important role in the Web copy universe, but saying you’re “a computer...

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The Thrill is Gone

So…if you check our blog frequently, you already know this: we fell down on the job of blogging every day. That means our 365 project sort of turned into the “99 project.” We blogged for 99 days in a row. That’s pretty incredible. We’ve shared what this blogging project has done for our website traffic here and here. And we still feel like we proved a point: blogging is good for traffic, and traffic is good for business. That means you should blog more. One reason we couldn’t sustain this is because we spend a lot of time blogging for clients. Just as the painter’s house always needs painting and the...

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An Open Letter to the AP Stylebook

Dear Associated Press Stylebook, You’re killing me. I had to look twice when you changed from Web site to website, but I went along with it. I was squarely on your side when you switched from “e-mail” to “email.” Then you declared “health care” two words. I was cool with that. But this time, you have gone too far. Your recent change to allow people to say “over” when they mean “more than” is a new rule I simply cannot follow. For years, I’ve proudly stood over interns as they crouched over their laptops, while I,  hands on hips, imagined myself wearing a cape adorned...

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Words You’re Probably Using Incorrectly

Ever have one of those moments where someone points out a word you’ve misused and you cringe, because you realize you’ve gotten it wrong your whole life? You might have one of those days after reading this post. But worry not. You never have to make this mistake again. Read on. 1. Pique vs. peak A peak is the pointy top of something, like the jagged peak of a mountaintop. To pique someone’s interest means to arouse, stimulate or excite. Examples of how to use these words correctly: We shared a few event details to pique their interest. The freshly picked fruit was at  peak ripeness. 2. Home vs. hone If you’re homing in on...

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How the Power of Poetry Applies to the Future of SEO

Happy World Poetry Day!  To celebrate, I’d like to share how leaders in the SEO field are applying the dynamics of poetry to search engine AI. Bill Slawski, a guru in the SEO community and founder of SEO by the Sea, lends insight into how this future is beginning to play out: “Creating and understanding poetry requires an ability to grasp concepts and relationships between words that might elude computers, but are often easier for humans to handle and understand. A first step toward that level of understanding is understanding the context of a query, an answer to a question that takes into consideration not only all of the words...

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Wish Less. Do More.

Two months into our 365 project, Google Analytics continued to show that routine blogging and pushing those blog posts out through our social media outlets drove traffic to our website. We saw an increase of nearly 730 percent in website traffic from February 2013 to February 2014. More than 1,900 people visited our website last month, and 1,379 of them were unique visitors. February 2013 saw just 233 visitors to our site. In comparing the first two months of 2014 to the same time frame in 2013, our traffic is up more than 900 percent. If you would like to see our January 2014 numbers, check out this blog post. Writing a blog post every day...

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How to Connect with Your Audience like Mozilla

Heather Bailey via Wikimedia We all know content is king, but who do you really write for: yourself or your audience? It seems like a simple, no-brainer question but I’ve read a ton of online content over the years that focused more on why the company thought they were so great versus what would actually pique my personal interest. While professional writing is all well and good, if it doesn’t connect with your audience’s interests, you’re going to lose the fight for their attention. The more user-focused you are when creating any kind of content, the better you’ll be able to hit the mark with what your audience is looking for and...

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Beef Up Your Writing Skills by Avoiding This Common Mistake

The list of words that gets misused and abused is a long one. Lately we’ve been seeing the word “apart” misused a lot on Facebook. Today we’re sharing information on how to use it correctly, and when to use “a part” instead. Why is a public relations agency giving you grammar advice? Communication is key in public relations. You want to be perceived professionally. When it comes to content on your website or in printed materials designed to promote your company, opinions are formed about your business based on that content. If it’s rife with spelling and grammar errors, we can promise you this:...

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On the Subject of Subject Lines…

Never underestimate the power of a well-written subject line. Aside from having an email address the reporter recognizes (and a good reputation), the subject line is the first impression you make on a reporter and plays a huge part in whether your email gets opened. Even if the reporter is familiar with your email address and knows from past experience your emails are worth reading, when on deadline, a poorly written subject line could get your email passed or trashed. Here are a few tips for writing effective subject lines when pitching to reporters. 1.) Character Count: It Counts A popular character count range favored by marketers is...

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On Making Your Event the Main Event

It’s always good to build hype about an event, and what better way to do it than by gleaning some authentic media coverage? The key is identifying the perfect time to pitch the event. One that’s early enough to avoid, “I wish I’d had known about it sooner,” and late enough the reporter won’t have time to forget about it. Although this is difficult, it’s doable. Here’s how I hit the “sweet spot” when it comes to getting an event covered. First, I post the event to TV, radio and website event calendars. Why? Because this is something that can’t really be too far in advance. Not only do event calendars help alert the...

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