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Copywriting and Content Marketing

Find all of our SEO/SEM newsletter articles relating to Content Marketing below. To receive new articles by email, subscribe to the High Rankings Advisor now.

How to Do SEO for Now and Forever

September 25, 2013
While it's easy to say what SEO isn't, it's a lot harder to pin down exactly what SEO is these days. On the other hand, SEO is still the same thing I said it was when I first started writing about it over a decade ago -- that is, making your website the best it can be both for people and search engines. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

September 25, 2013
Does the thought of 100% "not provided" keywords in analytics freak you out, or at this point is it a non-issue? Read More >>

Outdated Keyword Optimization Techniques that Could Be Killing Your Rankings

July 17, 2013
Today I've got a guest article about how to optimize your content for today's Google. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

July 17, 2013
How have you changed the way you optimize content in the wake of all the Google Panda/Penguin updates? Read More >>

4 Google Trust Factors That Can Provide Negative Signals About Your Website

June 19, 2013
While just about anything you do with your site that makes it seem spammy (such as keyword stuffing, for example) would also make it seem less trustworthy, Google now looks beyond just the obvious. Read More >>

Same Content on Multiple Pages

April 10, 2013
Is it OK to do basically the same content on multiple pages but change up maybe heading titles for those pages? Read More >>

Templated Content on Multiple Pages

April 10, 2013
Is it okay to have the same few sentences on every page of your website? Read More >>

Use an Ampersand or 'And' in Title Tag

April 10, 2013
Do I need to work on optimising "and" and "&" and "amp"? Read More >>

Interview with B2B Website Marketer Dianna Huff

March 26, 2013
I've known Dianna Huff since at least 2007, but she's been helping B2B companies get their websites in good order since 1998. From the best way to market your content via mobile devices to how to write content that appeals to a B2B target audience, Dianna has got it nailed down. Read More >>

3 Months and Still No Penguin Recovery

January 30, 2013
Our site has been affected by Google's Penguin update. Our website traffic and search queries are down almost 80%. Read More >>

Title Tag Length

January 30, 2013
Everywhere I have read that title tags should be no longer than 65 to 70 characters. Is this true? Read More >>

Sneaky Footer Links and Other Footer Abuses That Google Dislikes

January 16, 2013
In my "18 SEO Killers" article from the end of last year, I mentioned footer links as a potential SEO problem. I know this confused many people because I didn't explain what I meant by them. This article takes an in-depth look at footer abuses.

SEO and Duplicate Content Issues That Hurt Google Traffic

December 5, 2012
As part of my SEO for 2013 and beyond series, I promised to provide more in-depth information about the "SEO killers" I mentioned last time. Today I'm delving into duplicate content as it relates to SEO.

High Rankings Question of the Week

December 5, 2012
What sorts of duplicate content do you see frequently on websites which cause SEO issues? Read More >>

18 SEO Killers You Must Clean Up and Avoid for 2013 and Beyond

November 14, 2012
There's a lot of talk lately of Google having finally killed SEO through their Panda and Penguin algorithms, which continue to ensnare more and more websites with every new update. So is SEO really (finally) dead? Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

November 14, 2012
What are the top 3 website / SEO issues you've seen that were likely to have caused traffic losses from any of the Google Panda / Penguin updates? Read More >>

The Easiest and Most Valuable Way to Improve Conversions

October 31, 2012
Karon Thackston provides you with some easy and valuable ways to achieve desired conversion rates is through copy optimization. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

October 31, 2012
What's the biggest copywriting / content writing mistake you see websites make? Read More >>

More Stuff You Might Like

October 3, 2012
Karon's Kindle Book for Free (Today Only!)

Matt Cutts Reveals Google's Updated SEO Copywriting Strategy

August 22, 2012
Karon's been noticing for quite some time that the top sites in Google didn't always have the exact keyphrase used multiple times within their copy. So she went to Matt Cutts from Google to confirm her suspicions--that we no longer need to use keyword phrases as a whole, but should use the individual words contained within the phrases. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

August 22, 2012
How (if at all) have you changed your SEO copy/content writing strategy in light of Panda/Penguin? Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like

July 11, 2012
SEO Chat With Jill and Karon

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

July 11, 2012
Re-Purposing Content. How Far Is Too Far?

Using Keyword Research to Find Long-Tail Keyword Phrases

June 27, 2012
What are you supposed to do if there aren't any long-tail keywords for your niche? Read More >>

Getting Ahead in Google: Dare to Be Different

June 13, 2012
I recently did a site audit for a client who was wondering why they were having a hard time showing up in Google. When I read through the information they sent me and took a quick look at their website, it was obvious to me what the problem was: They simply didn't deserve to be there. Let me explain... Read More >>

5 Rookie SEO Mistakes That Can Kill Your Search Engine Traffic and Some Tools to Help

May 30, 2012
This post provides 5 mistakes I've seen often enough to warrant a mention so that you can learn from others who weren't so lucky. Read More >>

Free Webinar

May 30, 2012
How Correcting 3 Common Copywriting Mistakes Increased Sales 86% Read More >>

Your Most Common SEO Questions Answered

May 2, 2012
Today I browsed through the 3,500 or so SEO questions people asked at Google and chose the most common ones to answer.

Generate More Leads with a 3-Step Content Marketing Funnel

February 22, 2012
Does your marketing lead anywhere? Is there a plan and a purpose behind your content, or do you just toss something out there and see what happens? Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

February 22, 2012
Do you have a content marketing funnel or plan? Read More >>

67 Ideas for Blog Topics

February 8, 2012
You're likely sick of hearing about the importance of having great blog post content. But you know you need it in order to have something to promote via social media. And you know that great blog posts can bring in lots of long-tail search engine visitors. What you may have trouble with is what to write about in your blog. Read More >>

5 6 Reasons Why You Need to Use Rel=Author on Your Content

January 11, 2012
If you're thinking that implementing the Rel-Author tag on your content isn't worth the trouble, Jill Whalen provides 5 6 reasons why it's super important. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

January 11, 2012
To go along with this week's article on Rel=Author, I asked my social media followers if they've implemented Rel=Author on their content yet, and if so, was it showing in Google's search results? Read More >>

Title Tag Question

December 14, 2011
We were wondering which types Title tags would potentially rank higher in the search engines. Read More >>

High Rankings Question of the Week

December 14, 2011
What's your recommended Title tag length?

High Rankings Question of the Week

November 16, 2011
What's your formula for writing Meta description tags? Read More >>

Ending Social Media Marketing Confusion

November 2, 2011
You know you're supposed to get on Twitter to somehow promote your website. So you start randomly tweeting out links to a product or service page on your website. But who is going to care? Read More >>

Two Different Target Markets

September 21, 2011
Can I use a splash page to direct two different target markets to the appropriate sections of my website? Read More >>

How to Optimize Copy When You Can't Use Keywords

August 24, 2011
What's the first thing you think of when writing with keywords? Probably one of the first is that keywords and phrases are descriptive of the products and/or services you're writing about. But what happens in those circumstances where you can't (or don't really want to) use your chosen keyphrases descriptively? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

August 24, 2011
What's your 1 tip for naturally working keywords into content? Read More >>

Help People Find Your Blog Content with Categories and Tags

July 13, 2011
Today's feature article is a guest post from my friend and B2B marketing consultant Dianna Huff. If you're a B2B company in need of online content writing and marketing, you'll be in good hands with Dianna! In addition, she’s also hosting local, low cost, lunch time web marketing seminars in the MA-NH Merrimack Valley area. Read More >>

Back to SEO Basics: Choosing Keyword Phrases

June 29, 2011
As you try to choose the best keyword phrases for each page, you will have to work them into the content of that page. They absolutely must be highly relevant so that you don't drive your copywriter crazy when s/he sits down to do the writing. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

June 29, 2011
Any tips for choosing keyword phrases?

Content Being Copied

June 1, 2011
One of our connections came across a horrible website that copied our homepage and used it for their "About Us" page. What can we do about it? Read More >>

Stirring Up SEO Trouble

February 16, 2011
Hi, my name is Jill, and I’m a %#@$ stirrer! Read More >>

$50 Off Copywriting Coaching from Karon Thackston!

January 19, 2011
Karon is trying something new to go along with her copywriting course -- personalized copywriting coaching sessions. Read More >>

Just Say No to SEO Articles!

November 17, 2010
Last week I was speaking with a potential client in need of SEO consulting who told me that they had been working on their product part e-commerce website over the past few months by adding "SEO articles" to it on a regular basis. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

November 17, 2010
What's the most creative content you've added to a website that enhanced its value? Read More >>

Title Tag and Meta Description Tag Questions

November 3, 2010
I have a couple of questions regarding Title tags and Meta descriptoin tags. Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

October 20, 2010
Do You Have a Long-Tail Keyword Strategy?

SEO Copywriting Telesummit

September 8, 2010
It's somewhat late, but I have free passes available to Karon Thackston's SEO copywriting telesummit this Thursday, September 9, 2010. Read More >>

Advanced SEO Forum Thread of the Week

September 8, 2010
Keyword Phrases in Product Listings

HRA 289: Wrap-up

September 8, 2010
That's all for today!

Do You Suffer From BlindWebsititis?

August 25, 2010
When you review the keywords from which people clicked to your site, are they only peripherally related to what you offer? If so, your website is likely suffering from BlindWebsititis! Read More >>

Ranking for Local Keywords – Part 2

June 2, 2010
My client has a local shop. Should every keyword phrase contain the locale, such as Denver, Arvada, Westminster, etc., and then just change up the item? Read More >>

Twitter Question of the Week

April 7, 2010
What do you feel is THE most important SEO tactic for any website? Read More >>

There Is No Duplicate Content Penalty

March 24, 2010
Duplicate content has been and always will be a natural part of the Web. It's nothing to be afraid of. Read More >>

Is Your Website User-Centric or Company-Focused?

March 10, 2010
By Karon Thackston

Just for a moment, pretend you're a fly on the wall in my office. I'm on the phone with a prospective client and things are going well. We're talking about their target audience and they seem to have all the right answers. I am confident that these people "get it." Then the conversation takes a sharp left turn.

SEO Copywriting Tomfoolery

January 20, 2010
Do you have any info on the issue of spamdexing – specifically the practice of adding keywords into text unnaturally and then emphasizing just the keywords (for example, boldfacing and/or italicizing them)? Read More >>

Same Article on Blog and Website

January 20, 2010
Is it OK to have the same articles on your site as you do on your blog? And, if not, is it better to have a blog with a link back to your site, or to put the article directly on your site? Read More >>

A Decade of 21st Century SEO

January 6, 2010
I've been SEO'ing websites long before the 21st century began. Sometimes I feel I've been touting the same SEO processes and procedures for the past 10 years. Read More >>

Writing TO Your Customers—Not AT Them

October 28, 2009
Sometimes choosing which company to buy from is about like deciding which brand of canned peas is the best. To make matters worse, the copy on most websites doesn't offer any help. Read More >>

Stuff You Might Like

October 28, 2009
20% Off All Karon Thackston Marketing Books!

Advanced Forum Thread of the Week

October 28, 2009
SEO Best Principles for Local Service

Why Should I Buy From YOU?

September 16, 2009
Today we have another guest article from SEO copywriter and trainer Karon Thackston. Read More >>

Building an eCommerce Site with SEO in Mind

June 24, 2009
Have you ever noticed that ecommerce sites have their own set of challenges when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO)? If you're a small ecommerce site owner, I'm sure you have. One reason is that copy plays such a vital role in the optimization process. Read More >>

No Copy on Home Page - Forum Thread of the Week

April 1, 2009
I am doing SEO for a website, and I have tried to persuade the owner to include some copy on the home page to sell their services and for ranking, but they prefer just an image and navigation. Is this going to be a big setback in terms of SEO? Read More >>

The Difference Between Article Distribution and Guest Blogging

February 18, 2009
To many people, the idea of guest blogging is fresh and new and very "Web 2.0." Personally, I find the discussion to be a rather déjà vu–like experience. In fact, one participant on my blog responded to a post about articles by asking how I would contrast guest blogging with article marketing. He wanted to know how I chose between placing my articles on directories and writing an exclusive blog post. The short answer is: I don't. Read More >>

Effect of Navigational Content on SEO

February 4, 2009
I'm redesigning my website using CSS for the layout. In the HTML code the navigation information comes before the actual page content. What worries me is how I have my navigation set up. I use CSS and span tags to make neat little information boxes appear when my navigation links are hovered over. These boxes will tell the visitor more about what to expect from that particular link. Read More >>

Podcast Conversation: Length of Copy for Search Engines- Stuff You Might Like

February 4, 2009
Karon Thackston and I were discussing copy length the other day (yeah, we're total geeks when it comes to that stuff) and decided to share our conversation via a podcast. You can click to it and listen from Karon's copywriting workshop page. Read More >>

How Many Keywords Is Too Many? - Advanced SEO Forum Thread

February 4, 2009
Forum member "anne999" was wondering how many keywords she could target on her website. Read More >>

Upgrade Your Copywriting Course - Stuff You Might Like

January 7, 2009
Karon Thackston’s 5th edition of her famous copywriting course is hot off the presses! If you bought your copy of the course more than 30 days ago you can purchase an upgrade to the 5th edition for only $29!  Read More >>

Karon's Updated Copywriting Course - Stuff You Might Like

December 17, 2008
Karon Thackston is nearly done with the 2009 edition of her highly acclaimed copywriting course. It's jam-packed with new information and she will be increasing the price accordingly. Read More >>

A Common Pitfall for E-commerce Home Pages

December 3, 2008
As president of the Karon Thackston fan club <grin> I'm pleased to present another guest article from her about avoiding a common copywriting pitfall. I also wanted to let you know that she has agreed to teach our half-day copywriting workshop on April 2, 2009. Read More >>

How Poor Usability Can Kill Your Copy and Conversions

October 8, 2008
It's funny how we, as website owners, don't always think like our visitors. A course of action that might seem perfectly obvious to us may stop our visitors right in the middle of their buying process. Take, for instance, e-commerce–type copy. Do you realize that what happens after your customers read your copy could make or break your sale? I'm not talking about shopping cart abandonment. I'm talking about good communication that keeps the buying cycle moving forward. Let me give you a real-world example.

Save $10 on Writing With Keywords

August 13, 2008
So, I'm a total toad! In the last newsletter, I mistakenly sent Karon's special discount offer on the latest version of her "Writing With Keywords" book only to the "text-only" newsletter subscribers and not to the HTML ones...duh. Since the HTML readers make up more than 2/3 of the readers, Karon has agreed to extend the offer through this week. Read More >>

Understanding Your Conversion Rates

July 30, 2008
The question is a rather odd one: "What's your conversion rate?" The correct response would be another question: "Which conversion rate?" What most people are really asking is how many sales have you made? But the sales process – in almost all cases – takes more than one step. Read More >>

SEO Plagiarism

July 2, 2008
Over the past few weeks, I've had a few run-ins with plagiarism in various forms and thought I'd take the opportunity to have a little rant about it. My hope is that by discussing it, people will become more educated about the issue and perhaps it will become a little less rampant online. Read More >>

Should You Change Your Copy When Rankings Fall?

June 11, 2008
Karon Thackston has a great article on her blog that I highly recommend. Read More >>

Updated Nitty-gritty Guide

May 28, 2008
Just wanted to let you know that I've finally updated my "Nitty-gritty Guide of Writing for the Search Engines"! Read More >>

Optimizing Articles for Long-tail Keywords

April 30, 2008
Regarding long-tail keywords, I often find it difficult optimizing them in an article, mainly because it can look unnatural if you include them too often. How do you recommend I deal with this problem? Apart from in the headline, at what density do they need to be mentioned in an article in order to maximize our chances of getting good listings? Read More >>

How to Make an Emotional Connection Through Your Copywriting

April 30, 2008
If you know where to look, you can easily find clues about what people are feeling. Once you discover that, making the connection is simple. Read More >>

Number of Words on a Page

January 16, 2008

I have a customer who is convinced that for maximum SEO, the page length must be between 450 and 625 words. He has a software program that tells him this. Is there any truth to it?


Duplicate Content Within Shopping Cart

January 16, 2008

I have plain html pages that describe the various health-related products that I recommend. If one of my readers wishes to purchase a product, they click on an "order now" button, which takes them to the desired product at my shopping cart.


Data Feeds and Duplicate Content

January 2, 2008
A lot of my clients pull data/products from semi-public databases to populate their websites, similar to how real estate agents show listings of homes on their sites. I've been ensuring that each client has unique valuable and professionally edited content whenever possible on the rest of the site, but I’m afraid that if I make the portions of the site that use the semi-public data accessible to the search engines, they will find duplicate information on other sites and my client site(s) would not be indexed. Read More >>

Adding New Content to an Existing Site

October 3, 2007
I have a question: I created a site (read a book on HTML, a book on SEO, and a book on globalization of websites). After about 10 months, the site is doing very well and I am pleased with its rankings. Read More >>

Article Submission Services

October 3, 2007
We have an information site which sells nothing. Our site consists of about 140 articles. I have authored several, and I'm wondering about submitting a couple of my articles to certain type of sites which claim to boost links to your site. Read More >>

It’s What You Say AND How You Say It, Part 2 of 2

September 18, 2007
In Part 1 of this series, I introduced you to Announce It!, an online candy-bar-wrapper manufacturer that was seeking professional help with their search engine copywriting. Read More >>

It’s What You Say AND How You Say It, Part 1 of 2

September 4, 2007
The old cliché is wrong. All our lives we’ve heard, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” That may occasionally be true, but for the most part it’s what you say AND how you say it. Read More >>

Revisited: The Art of SEO

August 29, 2007
Hey everyone! I’m back from vacation and the conference and raring to go. Today’s article is an updated version of one I wrote back in 2004 on the art of SEO. I recently reviewed it and was surprised at how accurate it still is today. I figured there are many of you on the list who never read it the first time around, and for those who did, you’ve probably forgotten it by now. Read More >>

Should You Include Plurals?

August 29, 2007
Forum member “malhyp” asks if there’s a benefit to using both the singular and plural forms of his/her keyword phrases when optimizing. Read More >>

You Can't Fake Real Content

June 20, 2007
We had a very interesting discussion regarding my last Search Engine Land article, "You Can't Fake Real Content." Read More >>

What’s the Best Use of Keyphrases?

June 6, 2007
There has been a debate about the use of keywords for years. Many SEO copywriters will tell you that using keyphrases in their entirety is the best practice for getting high rankings. Others insist it really doesn’t matter — that as long as all the individual words within the phrase are used, your copy will do its job. Before we get into whether keyphrases are best used in their entirety or as individual words, let’s sidestep for just a minute to talk about the inner workings of information-retrieval systems (aka search engines). Read More >>

Meta Keywords and Descriptions

May 22, 2007
My understanding is, if you have Meta tags with keywords and descriptions, this should also be reflected in your actual page content. But what if you have an ecommerce site and a homepage that displays mostly products and very short descriptions, and a menu with category names, etc.? Read More >>

Copywriting Makeover: Value vs. Vision - Part 2 of 2

April 17, 2007
In Part 1 of this series, we discovered that explaining the value your products offer is only one part of the copywriting process. Creating a visual image is another. While Wholesalers USA knew their target customers better than most companies do, they needed help with two areas: optimizing their copy for the search engines and incorporating visual imagery. Read More >>

Copywriting Makeover: Value vs. Vision - Part 1 of 2

April 3, 2007
There’s no doubt. Wholesalers USA knows their customers. They’ve spent the time digging through log files to analyze site stats. They’ve spoken with customers on the phone and emailed with them. They’ve used client feedback to develop new products that have taken off like a rocket. Read More >>

Adding a List of Keywords

February 28, 2007
Great newsletter. My business partner is developing our site and wants to put a list of keywords at the bottom of some of our shop pages (i.e. below the text) in the hopes that this will get the search engines to notice us slightly more. Read More >>

Working on Conversions

February 28, 2007
My SEO’s Good. Now Should I Work On Conversions? Read More >>

Online Shoppers Ask for More Detailed Copywriting

February 14, 2007
I found out quite by chance. I noticed a research brief in my inbox entitled, “Bad Web Experience Impacts Brick and Mortar Shopping.” Being primarily focused on Internet business, I really didn’t pay it much attention. But then I noticed it made reference to a customer’s online experience, too, so I read on. Read More >>

Why Use Keyword Research Tools?

January 17, 2007
Keywords. I have been designing web sites for 5 +/- yrs, so I am aware of what they are and how they are being used / can be used. I’m not saying I am an expert, just that I’m not a novice. Read More >>

3 Simple Rules for Creating an Effective USP

January 17, 2007
You have one, whether you know it or not. Everybody does. There is something unique about your business; you just have to discover what it is. And therein lies the problem. Most business owners and managers don’t understand how to create a truly unique selling proposition (USP). There are specific criteria to consider in order to get your message across clearly and succinctly. Read More >>

Copywriting Makeover: Facts vs. Fantasy (Part 2 of 2)

November 29, 2006
Karon's back today to show us the results from the Julie's Jewels copywriting makeover that she wrote about last time. Read More >>

Copywriting Makeover: Facts vs. Fantasy (Part 1 of 2)

November 8, 2006
Time for a pop quiz! Name three products that sell better when a facts-based approach to copy is taken. Read More >>

Project Management eBook Site Questions

October 25, 2006
Sixty-year-old newbie here with his first e-book! My site is unlinked --
just "up there."   I teach project management for a living -- but ill health
is forcing early retirement, and I have an urgent need to keep paying the
mortgage!

Opening Sentences That Close the Sale

October 25, 2006
It's one of the best pieces of copywriting advice I've ever been given. "As often as possible, start your paragraphs with sentences that hook readers and drive them deeper into the copy." Read More >>

Will Longer Keyphrases Hinder the Effectiveness of Your Copy?

October 11, 2006
The length of search phrases continues to grow. Back when the Internet was just an upstart, single keywords were the only thing you needed. But in recent years we've seen the number of words used in search phrases triple and quadruple. Read More >>

Clients Who Think They Know SEO

September 27, 2006
In cases where a client is smarter than you are about SEO, insists on saturating his keyword pages (10 per 200-word page) at 5% (which includes the keyword phrase in two header lines), and currently (without keyword saturation) consistently hits in the top 20 on his Google searches. Read More >>

Optimizing for Conditions

September 20, 2006
I wonder if you can give me a steer on a particular SEO problem. I have a client who specializes in acupuncture and other alternative remedies in London We would like to optimise for the conditions she treats such as back pain, insomnia, headaches, etc - about 40 different in all. Read More >>

Lack of Copy on Home Page

September 20, 2006
The site I'm asked to work on really has no room for keyword rich copy (or any copy in general). Nor do they want it there. They're very much in favor of the current design which is mostly products. They like the way it looks. The copy -- in their opinion and to some degree mine too -- would look odd, even though everyone now understands the value of this copy on the front page. Read More >>

Can Honest Copywriting Succeed?

September 6, 2006
Shel Horowitz writes today's guest article. I've been a long-time fan of Shel, the author of "Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First" (which I totally agreed with!), "Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World," and 5 other books. He is the originator of the Business Ethics Pledge campaign to change the world. Read More >>

The Purpose and Practice of Writing Successful SEO Article

August 30, 2006
Here’s Karon’s latest and greatest article on…well…writing articles! Read More >>

Copywriting with Google's Dynamic Keyword Insertion Tool

August 16, 2006
I hope you enjoy this brand-new article from's hot off the presses! - Jill Read More >>