What Is Social Media Writing and How Does It Differ from SEO Copywriting?

As a professional SEO copywriter, one of your responsibilities is to stay on top of what’s happening in search/SEO/internet marketing so that you can do justice to client copy. With this goal in mind, today’s discussion is all about social media writing. We’ll answer the following questions . . .

What is social media writing;

How does it differ from straight SEO writing; and

What SEO content writers need to keep in mind about it.

So, let’s get started. First up, some basic stats.

Social Media Stats

I want to start with some statistics to underscore just how fast this online marketing niche is growing – and how/why social media management can be a lucrative part of every SEO writer’s freelance business. I plucked the following from The Social Skinny post, 99 New Social Media Stats for 2012.

Social networking is most popular online activity, with 22% of time online spent on channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest;

53% of small businesses are using social media; 88% believe exposure is the biggest benefit; 

91% of experienced social marketers see improved website traffic due to social media campaigns and 79% are generating more quality leads; and

40% of Twitter users regularly search for products via Twitter. 

For me, the most interesting stat of all is . . .

Nielsen estimates that social media and blogs reach 80% of all active US Internet users (of which there are 245 million). [Source: Infographic: Social Media Statistics For 2012]

So yeah, social media has arrived – and it’s not going anywhere. When that happens, it’s time for us as tech writers in this niche (search engine optimization writing) to learn about it and, if so inclined, integrate it into our service offerings.

Social Media Writing Defined

Even though a definitive definition is given below, I agree with the following assessment in a post on Social Media Today when it comes to this form of writing. It states:

As a writing specialty, social media writing is just coming into its own. Social media writing is a bit of a hybrid – part copywriting, part communication tool – so the rules aren’t hard and fast. Social media writing isn’t an exact science . .  .

So, if it isn’t an exact science, then what is it?

Social media (SM) writing can be defined as writing content with the specific intent of getting it widely distributed on social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (which, by the way, are the three largest social media outlets as of this writing). One word that I would say perfectly describes this type of content is “linkbait.”  

At this point you may be thinking, how does social media writing differ from SEO writing? The following is how I’d describe the difference.

SEO content is technically content that is written for search engines (ie, content written to be found by search engines). It is keyword driven.

Social media content on the other hand is content written to be found – and distributed/shared by – users on social media. I’d go so far as to say it is “headline” driven because if the headline doesn’t appeal to potential readers, it’s unlikely that it’ll get clicked on, read and shared.

Before we go any further with this discussion, I want to point out a couple of very important things . . .

First, the overall end goal of social media content and SEO content is the same – to be found and shared with a businesses’ target market. The difference is simply in how that’s done (eg, via a search engine as opposed to users on social media).

Secondly, the rules of SEO change all the time. SEO content used to be very keyword driven. This is still true, but only to a certain extent. Search engine giant Google came out with 23 SEO writing guidelines that clarifies how copy should be written. It’s much more than “just” keywords. So although I use keywords as a baseline factor to differentiate social media writing from SEO content writing, realize that online writing is much more nuanced than that.

I like the way the post Who Are You Writing For? SEO Copywriting vs. Social Media Writing summed up the differences between SEO and social media writing. It stated:

You should use the same keywords you would when writing content for search. However, think less about how Google will read your page, and more about producing great, quality content that people will link to and share simply because it is good.

6 Things Every SEO Copywriter Needs to Know about Social Media Writing

I don’t want you to get too hung up on the differences between the two forms of writing because in reality (as stated above), the end goal is the same — to be found, shared with and acted upon by your clients’  target market. Keeping this in mind, following is what you need to remember about SM writing (notice how some of these tips overlap with what is required to be an effective web writer).

1) Learn SEO: You’re writing for the web, so you must have a foundational knowledge of search engine optimization.

2) Learn How to Write Effective Headlines: I still struggle with this, and it’s why I constantly study how to do it better. In my opinion, this is one of the best skills you should cultivate as a social media writer. As I wrote in the post, 9 Web Copywriting Tips for Busy Freelance Writers and Bloggers: Produce Better Copy, Get More Traffic and Increase Sales — Seamlessly:

This is my number one “web copywriting tip” for all online writers (learn how to write effective headlines). Sometimes, the headline won’t come to you immediately; it may materialize after you’ve written a post. This is fine. I almost always start with one headline, then wind up with a completely different one after I’ve written a blog post/web article.

Regarding writing great headlines, Copyblogger put it best, stating . . . “A great headline [should] communicate a full message to its intended audience, and it absolutely must lure the reader into your body text. At its essence, a compelling headline must promise some kind of benefit or reward for the reader, in trade for the valuable time it takes to read more.”

Read the full post to learn how to write effective headlines.

3) Know the Audience: As a social media writer, you have to know exactly who you’re writing for in order to produce content that will appeal to them.

4) Know the Rules of the Social Media Outlet in Question: What I mean by this is, if your client’s social media outlet of choice is Twitter, then get familiar with Twitter, eg, what is most likely to get shared there, why, how often, by whom, when, who are the influencers (in your client’s niche), what times of day are they most active, etc.

5) Know Your Client’s End Goal: Don’t write in a vacuum. For example, does your client want to grow his newsletter subscriber list, increase her website sales by “X” percent; increase in-store sales by “Y”; etc.

6) Don’t Sell, Inform: Social media is about sharing and informing. It is definitely not a hard sell outlet. So, social media writing is all about the soft sell. Hence, content should be written to inform and enlighten.

Now that you know what social media writing is and have some insight into what TO do, let’s look at some no-no’s. 

Are You Breaking The 3 Cardinal Rules of Social Media Writing?

As we discussed in the definition section above, this form of writing isn’t an exact science. But, there are some things you should definitely NOT do when it comes to social media writing.

This is discussed brilliantly in the post, Three Cardinal Sins of Social Media Writing, which basically says not to: (i) over share or over sell;  (ii) bore your online community(ies); and (iii) produce content in a vacuum (ie, without a social media marketing plan).

Social Media Writing: Conclusion

Even though it’s a “new media” way of communicating, the “old school” truisms of marketing and selling still apply. This means educating/informing your client’s target market (via content), not “selling” to them; and producing engaging content, not boring sales messages. This should be a part of your clients’ overall marketing plan — which you should always ask them about when you take them on as a client.

By doing this, you let them know that as an SEO content writer, you’re aware that they have goals and you want to help them achieve them. Hence, it’s important for you to know who the target market is and how the content you’re producing is going to be used (eg, on a blog, in a newsletter, as part of a white paper). 

Need more help?

Helpful Social Media Writing Guide

The link is to the CDC’s social media writing guide for health professionals.

No matter what your profession though, it’s an excellent tutorial for professional SEO writers to study because it gives great examples on how to write for social media (see pages 44-47 specifically). On these pages, there are before and after examples of “flat, lifeless” tweets and Facebook posts, and improved ones using the social media writing guidelines suggested throughout the tutorial.

Related Post: What Is Social Media SEO and Why SEO Writers Need to Know About It

Share Your Thoughts

Had you ever hear of social media writing before reading this post? Did you learn something here? Do you have any social media writing tips to share? Please respond in the comments section below.

Best,
Yuwanda
P.S.: Want to learn how to earn $100-$250+/day writing SEO content? Get SEO copywriter training. You can take the class online, or attend a hands-on seminar in Jamaica! Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life!

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P.P.S.: Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells and make some extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites.

Copyright © 2012: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

SEO Content Writing: A Professional Thinking of Changing Careers Asks, “Can You Still Make Good Money Doing This in 2012?”

The busy editorial season will be here soon (right after Labor Day). Over the years, I’ve noticed that this time of year is much like the New Year in that it’s when lots of people start new things. Summer is over and it’s time to get back to business. Kids go back to school, so it’s a “new year” for them; and many professionals contemplate making a new beginning as well.

So, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China, or specifically, writing SEO content? Well, quite frankly — change. I received an email from a professional about a week ago. He’s contemplating making a career change and wanted to know if SEO content writing is STILL a good profession to get into. His email (and my answer) are below. But before we get to that, I want to say one more thing.

Why Are You Addressing This Again? You’ve Already Explained Why SEO Writing Is a Viable Opportunity

I know I’ve covered this before here on this blog, but it seems like as time goes on – and the industry matures – people wonder if they’ve missed the window of opportunity. But people let me tell you, with a field as wide open as search engine optimization (SEO), there are TONS of opportunities. And in my opinion, this will be the case for years – years! — to come.

Why?

Because SEO is constantly changing. And, there are so many complementary career paths in this niche (eg, social media management and consulting), that the field is only expanding, not contracting. 

Ok, now the email . . . .

Question from a Professional Interested in SEO Writing

First, thank you very much for providing such excellent resources. I purchased your “How to Make $250 or More Per Day...” yesterday from Amazon (I wanted it for Kindle), and I’ve been learning a lot.

Question: Last night, I sent an email to a young man who started his own SEO writing site late last year. It looked good, but he only kept up his blog until mid-January. I asked him why, and whether it had been easy or hard for him to land work. 

He wrote back and told me that he had had to do tremendous amounts of cold calling with few results, and so he had left “the SEO game” to go back to teaching English as a second language (which, interestingly enough, is something I had been doing for the past nine years until last November when I left for a full-time marketing job).

I know you updated the book I downloaded in 2010, and I wonder if the scene has changed much since then. Was he most likely doing something “wrong?” I don’t think he was offering himself as a niche writer. Think that’s it? In my current position, I receive lots of cold calls myself for marketing services, and our president doesn’t want me to consider any of them.

I would be grateful if you could shed any light on this apparent barrier to entry. I’m considering taking the University of San Francisco’s Advanced Certificate in Internet Marketing course ($6K)! I’d really like to know, though, that I’m getting into a field in which there genuinely is a lot of hunger for strong, SEO-focused content. (emphasis added)

Thank you so very much for your time and assistance.

Editor Note: The SEO writing ebook was updated this year.

My Answer

D-:
 
First, thanks for your purchase.
 
In answer to your question, I couldn’t possibly begin to fathom why someone failed at this business — especially when so many others have succeeded. So I won’t even try.
 
What I will point you to are four posts that provide the answers you seek — in detail. They are:
 
Freelance (SEO) Writing: Do You Have What It Takes to Succeed? When NOT to Take the Plunge

SEO Copywriting Services: Is This Niche Becoming Too Crowded?

SEO Copywriting: Q’s from Readers Losing Jobs & Those Who Want to Know How to Make More Money Per Article
 
Freelance SEO Writing: A Million Dollar, Work-from-Home Business?

Good luck, however you decide to proceed.
 
Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
InkwellEditorial.com
###

More Evidence That Writing SEO Content is a Viable Career Option in 2012 — and Beyond

I want to add one more piece of “evidence”, if you will, to this. Yesterday I retweeted the following link:

RT @thisisbigfish 2012 #SEO Industry Survey Results Share Salaries, Tools, Tactics & More http://dlvr.it/22FSXH  #SEM

The link goes out to a really good article on SearchEngineLand.com — a site I’ve always advised SEO content writers to bookmark and read regularly by the way — that did a breakdown of how companies are spending their time and money on SEO in 2012. And guess what? Content reigned supreme! Proof?

What Are the Duties of an SEO in 2012?

What sort of tasks do we spend our time doing? Social and SEO actions dominate.

76% Social – Set up/ran a Facebook business page

64% Competitive – Analyzed competitors’ content for inspiration/opportunities

64% Social – Set up a Google+ business profile

59% Content – Started a new blog or invested heavily in blogging

55% SEO – Focused on Local SEO: Google Places, local keyword targeting, etc.

Content is all the rage (emphasis added), but what kinds of content are SEOs spending time on? Blog posts lead, followed closely by social media content and articles/guides.

The graph that accompanies the article also shows that SEO clients want/need press releases, content for social media, e-newsletters, infographics and videos, among other things.

ALL of this allows you as an SEO copywriter to build a solid client base.

So, when I get emails saying someone has not succeeded at this business, to be honest, it kind of blows my mind because in my opinion, the amount of work out there in SEO is astounding! But, you do have to WORK (ie, market) to bring in the work. Just because it’s plentiful does not mean you can do little to nothing and think writing jobs are just gonna fall in your lap.

It doesn’t work this way.

SEO Content Writing: 5 Reasons It’s One of the Best Career Options for 2013

One last thing, I wrote an article for my article directory (that you can distribute for free) that details why SEO writing is one of the best career options for 2013.

Now if you decide writing for SEO is not for you, that’s fine. But you can scratch “there’s no work out there in this field” off your list, because that simply isn’t true.

Share Your Thoughts: Do you think SEO writing is a good freelance business to start? What makes you think so, or not? Please share in the comments section below.

Hope you’re having a good week. I can’t believe that fall (hence my marathon date) is almost here! Boy, this year is flying.


P.S.: Want to learn how to earn $100-$250+/day writing SEO content? Get SEO copywriter training. You can take the class online, or attend a hands-on seminar in Jamaica! Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life!

seo-copywriting-training

Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.

Submit a Guest Post: This site and its parent site, InkwellEditorial.com, now accept guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

P.P.S.: Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells and make some extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites.

Copyright © 2012: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the editor’s written consent (linking to is fine).

SEO Content Writing: Salary Roundup — and a Whole Lot More about This Profession

Editor Note: Learn How to Write SEO Content: Take the Class in Jamaica!

In tomorrow’s post here, we’ll be discussing SEO content writing salaries — and a whole lot more about this burgeoning writing profession. It’s going to be a monster post that’ll cover:

Why to stay away from job bidding sites when looking for SEO content writing jobs. Example Job Ad: $2 for 800 words — and it’s due in 3 days. Yep, this was a real job ad I ran across;

Types of interview questions you can expect if you’re seeking an on-site SEO content writing position (or if a company just wants to interview you to be their go-to freelance SEO writer);

The responsibilities of an SEO content writer: An in-depth look at the day-to-day responsiblities of an SEO writer;

Why SEO content writing is a flexible career option: Write-up on a major news site chose it as one of the best flexible career options, and of course . . .

SEO content writing salaries: I did a “web roundup” of what SEO writers are paid — digging into everything from freelance job sites, to actual job ads from companies, to classified ad listings that seek SEO writers.

After this, you’ll have a very good understand of not only what you should be / can expect to earn as an SEO writer, but a lot more about this online writing profession as well.

Stay tuned!
Yuwanda
P.S.: Want to learn how to earn $100-$250+/day writing SEO content? Get SEO copywriter training. You can take the class online, or attend a hands-on seminar in Jamaica! Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life!

seo-copywriting-training

What Is SEO Content Writing: A Detailed Explanation from an Article Writing Pro

I sat down to write a simple article on what SEO content is, and wound up writing a mini-tutorial — complete with graphics and statistics.

I still get questions — mainly from many wannabe freelance writers — about what SEO writing is. So, I wrote a post for my article directory explaining it. It covers:

What SEO content writing is;

Why/how you can make money from it — over and beyond writing for clients;

Why it’s easier to make money online once you know how to write this type of content;

Insight into to what it takes to get to the top of search engine results (graphic proof);

And more.

Following is an excerpt, with a click out to the full article (Note: As the article is part of my article directory, you can freely publish it on your site — as long as proper attribution is given).

What Is SEO Content Writing: A Detailed Definition from an SEO Article Writing Pro

SEO content writing is a booming niche for freelancers – one where some very good money can be made. I’ve been doing it since 2007 and it literally transformed how I run by freelance business. It’s practically the only type of writing my firm handles for clients these days, and the best part is it can be done from anywhere – as long as you have an internet connection.

Even though my firm has been providing clients with this type of content for a few years, many freelancers still don’t offer the service. And, for those who are new to freelancing, they may not even know what it is at all. So, following is a detailed explanation of what SEO content writing is.

Before we begin, one thing you should know is that SEO writers are known by several names, eg, SEO copywriters, SEO content providers and SEO article writers, to name the most popular.

What Does “SEO” Stand For?

SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization. All this seemingly highly technical phrase means is doing certain things to a web page / web site so that it shows up higher in a search engine’s organic (ie, unpaid) search results.

What You Need to Know About Search Engines When Writing SEO Content

FYI, the three major search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing (MSN). Google is by far the most popular. Proof?

Google remains the big dog with close to 67 percent market share (which is up slightly from comScore’s last report). Microsoft is in a distant second place with 15.4 percent and Yahoo! is falling behind with 13 percent. So, if you’re optimizing your website or reviewing your search engine rankings, in most cases, you should focus primarily on Google, then Bing, and then Yahoo. [Source: Which search engine gets the most traffic?, Blue Corona]

You need to know this because you have to follow search engine guidelines when writing SEO content. Hence, knowing which ones deliver the most traffic is extremely important so that you don’t run afoul of their rules.

What Does All of This Have to Do with Writing SEO Content?

First, search engine optimization is a process. And, there are many components to that process.

Read the rest of this article on what SEO content writing is.

Yuwanda
P.S.: Want to learn how to earn $100-$250+/day writing SEO content? Get SEO copywriter training. You can take the class online, or attend a hands-on seminar in Jamaica! Learning SEO is about so much more than learning a new skill; it’s about changing (taking control of) your life!

seo-copywriting-training

Freelance Business Advice: “I’m Planning My Exit from the 9-5 Work World? Should I Take a Class If I Have Very Little Experience Freelancing?

I know the title of this post is a long one, but I received this question from a wannabe freelancer just a few days ago (Aug 4th). The advice I gave him about freelancing prompted this post, which is really about addressing what STOPS so many from pursuing their freelance dreams before they ever get started.

I provide my detailed thoughts on this after our email exchange, which is . . . 

QUESTION #1 FROM A WANNABE FREELANCER

“I see writing SEO content as a viable freelance career option. Which of your ebooks can help me get started?”

Hi:

I came across one of your books yesterday; I can’t remember which one because today I came across 50 of your books!

The question: I am planning my exit from the work world (emphasis added). I know enough about SEO to muck it up, but I see its potential for a viable freelance career. Which book(s) do I start with? Can you give me a list of books in order of importance?

My Answer

Basically, I just told him to look at the bottom of the page where all of Inkwell Editorial’s ebooks are. There is a Q&A there that dispenses the info he was looking for.

QUESTION #2: “Should I Take an SEO Writing Class, or Not?”

Then, he sent me another email on August 6th, writing:

Yuwanda:
 
Thanks for your quick reply.  Now I have another question.  I found your books; I did not know about your classes.  I had a sputtering freelance career about 7 years ago.  I did not generate a viable income.  I was swallowed up by work and that’s where I’ve been since then.  I am in education and I have been writing curriculum for adult writing classes. I know how to meet an unreasonable deadline. 

Anyway: I am interested in the SEO class.  Would it be appropriate to take the SEO class with the very little experience I have with freelancing?
 
Thanks.

MY ANSWER

The class is geared for those who know nothing about SEO writing, so the answer is, yes, it would be appropriate.
 
FYI . . . just a little advice about “freelancing” in general — it’s just like any other business. You learn by doing. You can read all the articles you want, seek advice from “experts”, and take all the classes you want, but until you pull the trigger and start “doing”, you won’t learn what you need to know to be successful.

You’re gonna make mistakes — accept that, don’t worry about it and don’t try to make everything “perfect” so you won’t. It’s a waste of time.

When you do make the inevitable mistake, learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on it, doubt yourself or think that you can’t make a successful go of freelancing. You can.

Anyone who wants to freelance can be successful at it (I believe this with everything in me) — IF they put in the actual work. I’ve been at it since 1993 and I still learn something new almost weekly.
 
With that being said, good luck, however you decide to proceed.

Some Additional Thoughts on Starting a Freelance Writing Career (Or Any Other Type of Freelance Business)

I just want to say that in all my years of dispensing advice about freelancing (ie, doing your own thing) – whether it’s as an SEO writer, a self-published ebook writer, a web designer, a belly dancer, etc. – the number one stumbling block is fear. 

The 2 Reasons Most Never Start Freelancing: Are These Your Stumbling Blocks?

In my opinion, people usually do one of two things that stall them at the starting gate — which are:

(i) Talk themselves out of it before they ever start. The excuses range from “the economy is not right, to I don’t have the right skills, to “I’m gonna start when ___________ (you fill in the blank);” and

(ii) Not taking ANY kind of first step. This piggybacks on the last point, but I separated it out because the first reaction listed just above is very normal (ie, you doubt yourself on a few levels; hence, you talk yourself out of starting before you ever start). While this is solvable, it might take some mental gymnastics to get there. 

But, this second  thing. . . well it’s so TOTALLY solvable – no mental tricks needed!

If you want to freelance, all you have to do to get started is take some kind of TANGIBLE action. The reason I capitalize tangible is because just doing “research” online is not doing something. You have to do something that moves you out of your comfort zone and that you have to MAKE time for, eg, start learning how to build that WordPress blog, sign up for that SEO writing class, start putting together your writing portfolio, etc.

When you take tangible action like this, you start to get invested in – and hopefully excited about – the goal of starting your own freelance business. Once you take this first step, it’s usually much easier to take the second, then the third – and before you know it, you’ve landed that first client and are on your way.

But, if you don’t take tangible action that moves you out of your comfort zone, you’ll probably never start freelance and will forever be waiting until “x”.  

Look at it this way — the simple truth is . . .

The economy is never going to be right. In fact, one of the best times to start a freelance business in my opinion (especially as an SEO content provider) is in a recession (related postCareer Advice: Why a Recession Could Be the Best Thing to Ever Happen to You);

You will never have all the right skills; and

You will never be 100% ready on all fronts.

So you just have to select a target date, take a TANGIBLE action and then — start. Again, if you wait until X happens, you’ll likely never do it. And life is just too short to live this way.

When Is the Best Time to Start a Freelance Writing Career?

I’ve been asked this question quite a few times over the years and my answer is . . .

When you’re ready to start living the life you truly want to live.

Now, it doesn’t mean do something stupid like up and quit your job TODAY (unless you have no financial pressures and can afford to). But, if you really want to start a freelance / SEO writing business, then set a target date by which you will, then go back and fill in the chart with everything you need to do as that date approaches (eg, save more, get a website done, get your writing samples done, learn SEO, etc.).

One thing I know for sure about life is that if you wait until things are “perfect” to do _____, the probability of ever doing ____ is practically 0%.

And that’s a fact you can take to the bank. 

Share your thoughts: Come on experienced freelancers, what can you tell this aspiring newbie? What got you to pull the trigger (or any other insight you can provide)? If you’re new and are in the “thinking” stages of starting a freelance career, what’s holding you back? Please share in the comments section below.

Best,
Yuwanda
P.S.: There are 13 slots left in the SEO copywriting training class in Jamaica. In a few days, you can train for a career that will allow you to earn enough to actually quit your day job. Hope to see you there!

seo-copywriting-training

Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.
Submit a Guest Post: This site and its parent site, InkwellEditorial.com, now accept guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells by making extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites.

Copyright © 2012: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the publisher’s written consent (linking to is fine).

5 Ways to Turn Organic Search Traffic into Long-Term, Paying Customers

Editor Note: SEO writers, following are some good insights by today’s guest poster to keep in mind as you market to clients. Why? Because many clients don’t have large budgets, and a good way for “the little guy” to compete on the web is via content marketing. Good content can generate a lot of traffic for small businesses. And, this is the value of “organic search results.”

What Is Organic Search?

In case you don’t know, organic search simply means traffic that comes to a site that isn’t paid for (eg, pay per click).

Now, on to today’s post.

5 WAYS TO TURN ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC INTO LONG-TERM, PAYING CUSTOMERS
The following is a guest post from Brian Nixon of Pitstop Media.

Would you like to turn organic search traffic into paying customers?

A well-optimized website can generate organic search traffic easily. But . . . you must take action to convert organic traffic into short- and long-term customers. Proof?

There are a lot of web entrepreneurs and freelancers whose websites rank highly on the first page of Google, for example. But, they still don’t profit from it. And, the the problem isn’t keyword research, keyword density or outbound links. It’s the website content itself.

To this end, if you truly want to profit from organic traffic, here are five ways to go about it. 

1. Have a Realistic Plan of How You’re Going to Obtain Organic Search Results

How to get a lot of organic search engine traffic is no different planning for any other element of a successful business. It’s not going to happen overnight; but it will happen if you have – and implement — a plan.

Why is having a realistic plan so important? Think about this: What would happen if you managed to drive 1,000 visitors to your website/blog – and they leave without taking action? You need to set up a specific plan for capturing – and interacting with – these visitors.

So, set up systems to not only engage and bring targeted traffic to your business, but also to retain them.

Organic Search Traffic Tip to Remember: Retention should be the primary focus of a website/blog. From the outset, make feasible plans that can lead people through your sales funnel. One way to do this is to encourage them to try your product and service.

2. Convince Organic Visitors 

Picking up on the last point, how do you convince visitors to stick around and try the products and services on your site?

The fact that people discovered your website via an organic search result is an indication that you’ve optimized it for the right keywords. But that’s only the first piece of the puzzle. You need to solve the visitor’s problem(s).

The content you create should speak to how your product/service is going to do this, and then instruct them on the next steps to take.

Organic search visitors are truly “virtual” strangers when they first come to your site/blog. It’s your duty get to know them, so you can solve their problems.

Testimonials and short insightful video clips is one way to start the process. Use them wisely, and not only will you climb the ranks in organic search results, you’ll also start to convert them to paying customers.

Another Organic Search Results Tip: Show proof that your product works via things like testimonials and demonstrations. This makes it much easier for visitors to take action (ie, try and/or outright buy your product/service).

3. Use Double Opt-in Lead Capture

Email marketing is another great way to convert visitors to subscribers, and perhaps, the most important type of subscriber is double opt-in. With so much spam many receive these days, don’t underestimate the importance of going the double opt-in route when you invite visitors to subscribe.

FYI, there are thousands of email marketing services available. It’s ideal to use an auto responder service to manage your email list, instead of relying on the default bulk email service that comes with your web host.

Once you’re able to optimize for a particular keyword, you could rank on the first page of Google and start build a profitable business from there. But it all begins with a trusted, double opt-in email capture system, eg, AWeber.

4. Use Social Media Tools to Drive Organic Search Traffic

Social media is one of the tools search engines are starting to use to rank sites. When used creatively, it can drive tons of responsive traffic to your website.

If you want to enjoy organic traffic, and retain top ranking, social media sharing should be incorporated into your website/blog marketing plan. FYI, the top three social media sites as of this writing are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (YouTube also; and yes, this is considered a social media site).

Sometimes, outright asking for users’ email addresses can be onerous. One way to still engage them is to ask them, for example, to tweet your campaign before downloading a valuable, free report.

Social Media Tools Tip: You can use free tools like paywithatweet.com to get more social shares and followers.

5. Write Cornerstone Content

Cornerstone content (aka foundational content) is a post that really connects with visitors. It usually solves a particular problem and continues to be relevant and valuable in subsequent months — even years. It is often evergreen content.

To create this type of content for your website, you should always research the primary keywords that you will use in the post/web article.

Get Better Organic Search Results: Quick Tips

Select at least 10 relevant keywords that have at least 1,000 local monthly searches and less competition (Low, Medium) on Google.

Create exceptional articles with keywords carefully placed throughout.

Use cornerstone content in a variety of ways, eg, as landing pages where you can easily capture email subscribe names and email addresses.

Be reliable, as in create a site with epic content that services as a reliable resource for visitors who come via search engines and social media. Nurture the traffic you receive from these two sources; turn them into friends – don’t let them remain virtual strangers who just happen to be on a mailing list.

Don’t forget to capture visitor information (this bears repeating). Organic search traffic can be consistent, but it won’t generate any profit if there isn’t a realistic plan in place to capture leads and convert them into paying customers at some point.

Conclusion

At Pitstop Media, when we offer SEO services to small, mid-sized and corporate firms, we advise clients who want to generate leads and increase sales via organic search results to focus on creating a site — and content — for people, rather than optimizing it for robots (search engine spiders).

It’s obvious that keyword research and on-page optimization still play vital roles in SEO practices. But, your focus should be on producing quality, insightful and valuable content — consistently.  Then, search engine giants like Google will seamlessly fall in love with your website — and send you rich and targeted organic search traffic; traffic that converts.

See you at the top . . . of organic search results!

About the Author: Brian Nixon is a professional search engine optimizer who writes for Pitstop Media Inc, an SEO company in Vancouver that provides top-rated services to businesses across North America. For more information please visit pitstopmedia.com. The views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this site.

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