Search Engine Madness on Copyblogger

Apparently, “March Madness” on Copyblogger is less about college basketball and more about finding things to say about SEO.
One could say we painted ourselves into a corner by saying, “Technical SEO isn’t nearly as important for most sites as actually producing content worth consuming” … and then deciding to write about search optimization all month.
One might even call us foolhardy.
One may have a point.
Nevertheless, we persisted … and it turns out, good things happen when you persist.
On Monday, Jerod talked a bit about some of the easy-to-forget steps that do help those darned search engines understand what your site is all about. Because he’s Jerod, he also had to talk about college basketball. Honestly, it’s March, we’re lucky to have him on the blog at all. And it was a good, useful post.
Yesterday, I wrote about how to cultivate relationships with other folks who publish content … without it getting all icky and weird. Relationships are one of the most fundamental elements of SEO, but they’re also interesting to write about because we’re human beings. Most of us, anyway.
On the podcast network, we mixed it up a little. Sean Jackson and Jessica Frick shared some thoughts on affiliate marketing for digital entrepreneurs. Brian Clark talked with Marcus Sheridan about Marcus’s no-baloney approach to content marketing and his new book, They Ask, You Answer. And Kelton Reid sat down with The New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy to talk about memoir, reporting,

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Schedule 30 Minutes to Uncover the Keys to More Powerful Content

I understand why content marketers may avoid SEO: it seems complicated and time-consuming.
But I’ve got good news. Today, you’ll learn why content marketers like you are well-positioned to use SEO tactics — possibly even more so than *cough* an SEO like me.
Keyword research doesn’t have to be a marathon. A brisk, 30-minute walk can provide incredibly useful insights.
Even though keyword research benefits may not be obvious, the work you perform will help connect you to a wider audience on a deeper level.
Discovering how many people (a month) search for something, the words they use, and the questions they ask are important keys to more powerful content.
Why keyword research is essential
My previous company, Pryde Marketing, leveraged online data strategically for private medical practices.
When we were hired to do keyword research for an MRI company, we discovered that hundreds of people a month were searching “open vs. closed mri” but no sites provided any good answers, content, or photos for these searchers.
We decided to create a “Open vs. Closed MRI” page for our client that continues to see more than double the traffic of the homepage. And, it has brought in more than 50,000 unique visitors.
We were not successful because we thought of this content idea.
We were successful because we paid attention to the keyword data.
4 keyword research hacks
As Jerod Morris explained yesterday, there are keyword research tools built right in to the Rainmaker Platform and StudioPress Sites that you can use

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3 Simple and Effective Keyword Research Tips

Keyword research is always a hot topic in content marketing circles.
It’s one of those subjects that never goes out of style — because wise content marketers know that using the right words in their content will give them a big edge over their competition.
Wondering how to find the “right” words to optimize your business’s content? Here are three quick tips for solid keyword research.
1. Discover the language your prospects use when they talk about your topic
My friend Shawn, whose company Clear Harmonies creates custom a cappella arrangements for vocal groups, learned an interesting marketing lesson after performing some focused keyword research and talking to his customers.
He thought that his prospects searched for the term “a cappella arrangements” when they looked for arrangement services online. But he discovered they actually searched for the term “a cappella sheet music” much more often.
Shawn’s story illustrates why it’s important that you discover the actual language your potential customers use when they search for information about your topic (or look for vendors who provide your services).
This is not a time to guess or assume you know your audience so well that you know what they’re thinking.
In addition to online keyword research tools, you can also:

Check out the comments you get from your community members and pay attention to the terms they use when they tell stories, ask questions, and offer opinions about your content.
Collect keyword data about the terms people were searching for right

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