Anyone who wishes to be found in the Internet by their target audience, Search Engine Optimization, or commonly termed as SEO, should always be on top of their minds. While doing SEO for certain types of websites may prove to be easier than others, the basic considerations tend to be the same in general.

The content spread throughout any website will play the major role for most, if not all, SEO checklists. This in itself poses a rather huge challenge. This means that if you keep only the major SEO aspects in mind, your content will suffer.

After all, it’s human beings who will be reading through your content. However, it will be the search engine bots who, i.e. from Google, will rank your site after evaluating the content based on very different metrics. Therefore, you must become a grand expert on content creation keeping both the human aspects and the search engine bots in balance.

The general rule of thumb is to have the keyword(s) inserted into the page tags as well as peppering the body text with them. Not long ago, the tags and the body text could be littered to the point of almost gibberish with the keywords. However, Google has greatly changed the way it evaluates content as to where it will determine whether a human being is able to read the content in any normal fashion.

Reading BLOGs - Mashuk.pro
Reading BLOGs – Mashuk.pro

So, the art of writing content now plays a very strong role in all SEO evaluations. Simply put, inserting keywords must make sense and be relevant to the content being written.

Hence, true success is only achieved when the art of SEO & the art of content writing is in perfect harmony where search engine ranking and user experience works seamlessly.

Is such a writing skill easily achieved? Absolutely no.

Most of us have been trained in either one, traditional creative writing discipline or the comparatively newer digital discipline. Rarely can we see both present within the same type or range of content.

Now a days, no matter your writing style, SEO is a ‘must’ consideration for all pages and posts. Keywords must be inserted properly throughout the site in order to achieve maximum ranking. Of course, you will need to have quality content to work with to begin with.

Make no mistake that readers will be able to see through any poorly written content straight away. Only content with authority and absolute clarity can boast a solid readership base over time. Hence, SEO elements must work in harmony and not disturb the original writing style and intention of the content.

For such harmony to happen, I allow myself time. I tend to simply write out everything that’s rattling around in my head on the subject. I don’t even worry about the grammar. Just simply freehand writing flowing from my thoughts.

Editing happens later on and in stages. Running through once over is simply not good enough. Consider your keywords, audience, subject matter, key benefits, solutions offered, etc. during the entire editing process. I usually allow myself a couple of days for several revisions until I am satisfied.

I am a bit of an old school writer and will always tend to write as such. However, I have struggled and learned to be better through following some best practices I have read about over time. Let me attempt to offer you some of those best practices tips as below.

1.      A Catchy Headline

I have already touched on how to write catchy headlines in a previous post. Here I just wanted to reiterate that the keyword must be present in the headline. Often enough the headline carries as much weight as the words that follow.

Also my workflow is to develop my headline AFTER the entire article is finished, including the editing process. This provides me with a better understanding of the entire content and finalize on a more fitting headline with the SEO keywords in place.

2.      Keyword Research or SEO

Have a standard workflow of how you do your keyword research. Do the keyword research well beforehand and plan your content accordingly. Also have a process flow on checking back on the specific keyword later in time, in case another variation would become a better fit.

3.      Using Bullet Points

Did you know that Google pays very keen attention to Bold letterings, Bullet Points and Block Quotes for SEO? Well, it does. Perhaps not a sure fire thing, but will certainly help your SEO for the page or post.

4.      Keywords in Meta Description

This fact is not really for SEO purposes as Google claims to not use meta descriptions for ranking purposes. Rather, in the search results, your meta description will have your keywords appear as bold. This should catch the reader’s attention better and improve the chances of engagement.

Meta keywords appear in bold in search results - Mashuk.pro
Meta keywords appear in bold in search results – Mashuk.pro

5.      Keyword Priority

Know where the keywords matter most. Usually, the logical priority sequence is:

  • Title tag
    • This is very important and try to place the keyword early in the sentence
  • Internal links within the content
  • Alt attribute of the images
  • Headline tags
  • Meta description

6.      Write something daily

It’s a fact that writing is like developing a muscle. The more you do it, the more conditioned you become. Work with a daily schedule so that you have a dedicated time slot for writing. Not necessarily you will need to publish every piece of writing. But write anyway.

Turn off all distractions, including your Wi-Fi during your writing times. Even researching during your writing times is considered a major distraction. Organize all your research work before you start to write.

Also such regular practice will decrease mistakes with grammar and spellings and make the editing phase a lot less stressful.

7.      Peak Performance

I always prefer to write during the early morning hours. I feel my energy flows at peak levels during those hours. Of course the 2 cups of coffee might have something to do with that also.

8.      Focus on your topic

Needless to say that you will do best if you write on topics you resonate well with. Don’t worry of the commercial success and focus on just churning out quality content on your chosen topics.

9.      Ask a lot of questions

Join active forums on the topic(s) you are writing on. Ask questions and let others answer them. Such type of proactive engagement will foster better thinking as well as provide indications on interest levels on the topic. Engage in detailed conversations in case the interest levels seem high.

You can then build your content around the questions. Answering even one question can become a full length post. It also may be a good idea to merge a few questions into the same post, depending on the situation at hand.

10.  Always research beforehand

The readers are very unforgiving towards false or mis-represented facts. Doing proper research will severely impact your credibility overall. Studying your direct competitors can also be a good way to find out what works and what doesn’t.

I spend a good deal of time with research, usually during any down times I may get during the day. I always carry a notebook and pen with me to jot down any quick thoughts I may have throughout such times. If the pen and paper isn’t your thing, you could do the same with a tablet or perhaps even a voice recorder.

11.  Know your audience

Your content should always be written with your audience in mind. Always try to write with a similar tone so that your content becomes truly unique to your audience and eventually encourage them to share the content.

12.  Tell the whole story

Don’t just rush to finish a story. Allow for your audience to feel their way around your entire content. The beginning should be just as important to them as the end. Appeal to all their senses where you can. Lead them on to what and how they should feel and possibly even react to any particular situation.

The average length for an effective post should be around 2000 words. This fact gives you a lot of room to work with to tell the depth of the story. Longer posts are perfectly fine, but only IF they are filled with appealing content rather than wasteful fluff.

13.  Organize the 5Ws

Your content should always address the classic 5Ws – What, Where, When, Who & Why. Of course the most key element follows with the How. I often like to put a teaser for the How in my headlines or titles. All the 5Ws should always be addressed elaborately in organized paragraphs. This way, it’s also easier to insert your keywords well in to the content for the perfect SEO.

5Ws of writing posts and blogs - Mashuk.pro
5Ws of writing posts and blogs – Mashuk.pro

14.  Start with the end in mind

This is an old cliché but it really works. If it helps you to visualize this better, write out the topic first on a piece of paper. Then on the next line, write out the objective you wish to achieve ultimately. This way you can always refer back to this often and not meander off into tangents.

Once finished, you should actually audit your content versus the objective before publishing

15.  The 10 second rule

When editing, keep in mind that it’s a proven fact that you will have around 10 seconds max to engage your reader to the content. Hence, you will need to edit in such a way to achieve any engagement very early on. This may lead to re-writing some of the content, which is just fine. Allow yourself the time to do this.

16.  Select your words wisely

Always use strong and suggestive words to begin as well as ending the sentences. Avoid any passive words to start any sentence. Similarly, the paragraphs should also be structured in a way that it will always start with a strong sentence and should end similarly as well.

Remember that you will need to lead the reader to where they need to go. Hence, every word matters.

17.  Less is more

This tip is of paramount importance. In fact, obsess over this fact.

You really don’t want to dilute the strong words and sentences with endless ramblings which bears no impact on your ultimate objective. Even if you feel that more needs to be said, find ways to tell the same thing with more impact while using less words.

Simplicity should be your best friend, always.

18.  Mix it up

If you haven’t seen it in my writing yet, I try to use medium length sentences which may often be followed by shorter sentences. This helps to create a tempo. And always avoid long sentences. Always a good idea to break up long sentences into a medium length and short sentence for maximum effect.

19.  Shorter Paragraphs

Similar to the sentence length, try to work with shorter paragraphs as well. This always fosters better readability. Shorter paragraphs will also allow you to ‘lead’ the reader to any specific objective such as ‘lead capture’.

20.  Work with deadlines

I don’t mean that you should restrict your creativity or research for your content. However, setting practical deadlines will actually get you to work more efficiently. Your post schedules should always have a regular interval. This will also condition your readership base to expect fresh content from you at timely interludes.

Bottom line is that without quality content, all your SEO activities will be wasted. As I had mentioned earlier, we should attempt to reach the perfect harmony of quality content strategically peppered with your keyword(s). Keyword placement should never disturb the quality and natural tempo of the content what so ever. Keywords should always appear as a natural part of the content to the reader.

Keep in mind that your end goal is to transition your readers > prospects > customers.

For maximum effect, you will need to master the SEO techniques to be combined with quality content writing which truly appeals to the target audience. If you can achieve this, your intended success will only build over time in many folds.

I further recommend a very good book for you to read on SEO available at Amazon.com by clicking here.

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These days I am getting a lot of questions on which type and source of traffic would be the best to use, paid or free traffic? While there are no real easy answers here, my proven traffic strategy has worked well for me over the years.

After deciding to start any online business, getting traffic to your offer is among the many components to prepare for. There are a few options everyone can explore, but first the strategy must be laid out and understood beyond any level of confusion.

Naturally, you will want to start making money through your offers right away. That’s certainly fine and understandable. Doing so would need to leverage on the paid traffic sources.

So let’s have a look at what is actually involved …

You will need to place an ad in any of the social media options or with the search engines. What goes into the ads?

  1. Your offer: This will need to be a very compelling offer to entice the viewers to click on your ad.
  2. A relevant image will go a long way. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Even if the ad space restricts you to use only a thumbnail image, you should do it.
  3. Once clicked, the visitors will be redirected to your offer page. For best results, your offer page should provide the details as promised by your ad.

That’s the general overview of the considerations for creating the ads.

Further considerations…

In the case of social media, you must take into account that it is after all not a professional environment. Hence the term social media. The users are browsing through these sites generally in a not so ‘buying’ type of a mood. Rather they are looking to spend their time on social activities like family, friendships, entertainment, occasions, etc. Hence if your ads appear to stop them from doing those things and start pitching a sale, you are most likely to be ignored. In creating your ads, be very aware who the target customers you will be promoting the ads to.

Your ads must resonate with that target audience and must get them interested enough for them to click on your ad. For example on Valentine’s Day promotion, if a florist promotes a generic ad for a dozen roses at $9.99 would be a very bad and expensive promotion. Rather it would be in their best interest to the florist to create several ads and target various segments of people within the reach of his store or delivery radius. They could target these ads towards millennials, nurses, husbands, wives, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Doing so would make the ads appear more personalized towards those specific audiences.

Your offer page is also called landing page, squeeze page, sales page, etc. with a singular purpose of selling your offer that was on the ad which the visitors had initially clicked on. However, most often I had seen that after clicking on any ad, the visitors are redirected to a product catalog page or even worse the home page of a site. This absolutely destroys the sense of urgency the visitor had when they originally clicked on the ad resulting in extremely poor sales conversions.

How to Decide on Paid or Free Traffic
Send Traffic to Landing Pages

So, your ads must send the visitors to very specific landing pages with the singular intent of selling that which was offered, without any other distractions (including any menu bars or extra navigation options). Any up selling or cross selling is done at the checkout stage with another offer which is in fact an ‘internal ad’.

In the case of working with affiliate offers, the same process is applied with one major exception. With affiliate offers, when any visitor clicks on any ads what usually happens is that they are redirected to the any product or services page which is not yours. In case of any sale that may occur there, you will get a pre-agreed commission, but the buck will stop there.

Best thing for you to do in case of such situations is that you can create a landing page of your own with the aim to capture their names, email addresses and even in certain cases their phone numbers. After they volunteer the information, they can in turn be redirected once again to the actual affiliate offer page. This way, you have at least their email addresses to contact them later on to promote any of your offers directly.

All these email addresses can be collected into an automated list which can send pre-selected emails to promote your offers automatically. This system is called an email auto-responder or an email sales funnel.

You can already understand that the ad is actually the tip of the iceberg while many considerations must be made and back end processes must be implemented to properly ensure conversions.

And now the budget. Placing ads in the social networks without the above considerations properly taken into account can amount to a very large budget with poor results. Even if such considerations have been reasonably met with, it does take an active effort to properly optimize/test your ads for the best results. While optimizing, the budgets do not need to be any large amount. A budget of about $5-$10/day should be good enough for 5-7 days, depending on your level of experience.

Following the optimization process, the budgets should be in line with your revenue expectations. Whatever amount of money is your target profit for any particular offer should dictate your daily budgets. As a rule of thumb for calculating purposes, targeting around 30 hits to your offer page per day should yield the desired level of revenue.

In case your ad spend does not generate sufficient traffic to benefit your sales targets, it’s usually time to relook the ad offer and the landing page copy/content. Only through a rigorous optimization/testing process you can balance your ad budgets. Unfortunately I see that most people do not take the time to optimize their ads and simply keep throwing money at it right from the start. All such cases end up in poor profits or major losses.

Some good social networks that works best for paid ads are Facebook and Reddit. Learning how best to exploit these two social networks involves a bit of learning curve as well. Patience will prove to be a virtue but certainly worth the effort if you wish to see profits sooner than later.

Let’s Talk About Free Traffic

Now let’s discuss what if you have no budgets at the beginning to run paid ads. What are the choices available to you?

The best thing about the online business scene is that you can get started to market any of your offers even without spending any money on ads by tapping into the free traffic options. But yes, it will take more of an effort to do so.

For free traffic, consider the search engines as your best friends.

How to Decide on Paid or Free Traffic
Use Search Engines to Tap Into Free Traffic

Let’s understand first how they work and can help you. The thing to keep in mind that all search engines are looking to connect all people searching for anything specific to the available range of solutions/content on whatever that they might be searching for at that time. Best of all, this service is absolutely free of cost to you.

The trick for you to master is for the search engines to recommend you as a search solution within the first ten options displayed. This is termed as search ranking. The higher your search ranking is for any specific keyword or search terms, the most likely your pages will show up within the first ten search results. Understanding this fact is the key to tapping into tremendous amounts of free traffic.

The option is also there for you to place ads (SEM, PPC, CPA, etc.) in the search results pages for such specific keywords. The same or similar effort is also required here to optimize those ads, as explained already.

Personally I use Google Adwords for all such paid ad campaigns. Mastering how to use Adwords properly can be a powerful and profitable skill to have.

For your pages to show up naturally in any search is also known as organic results. The more optimized (SEO friendly) your website or landing pages are, the more likely for you to rank higher in the organic search results. As mentioned earlier, the ideal target you would want to achieve is to rank within the first ten organic search results as you would get a ton of free traffic.

You can research Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to orient yourself with the finer points on how to best utilize these. SEO is a key factor in your page ranking status which greatly affect how much free traffic you could potentially tap into.

Worth mentioning here is that do not forget about the sites which have their internal search engines you could tap into for a good deal of free traffic. These internal search engines want the same thing as any other search engines which is content. The best example of this is YouTube.com

Besides search engines, you could possibly get a lot of free traffic from sites such as reddit.comstumbleupon.com & pinterest.com, if you take the time to understand how these sites work. Keep in mind that such sites, as same with the search engines, would not be able to function without content created by others.

In comparison, your paid ads in any social media network will compete to grab the viewers’ attention who most likely are not looking to buy anything at that specific moment while ranking higher in the organic search results will directly expose you to any active buyers who are specifically looking for your products or services at that specific time.

Also to understand here is that paid traffic yields more immediate results opposed to free organic traffic because it will take time to improve your site and organic search rankings.

Hence, your mindset and strategy to either must be polar opposites. I see too many people just learning the mechanics of how to place an ad rather than considering the dynamics of whether their strategy is appropriate for that specific medium or not. This strategy affects all basic facts such as the ad copy, images, landing pages, etc.

So Here Is My Recommended Strategy

It’s a rather simple strategy. Start any sales campaign with paid traffic and work towards reducing that budget over time to match with the free traffic from the search engines you are sure to get if you carefully prepare your site and landing pages accordingly.

One thing worth mentioning here is that all sites and the landing pages thereof should be optimized for all browser types and the loading time should be at a minimum. Fast loading speed should always be a priority concern. Always be sure to source a good and reputable hosting company who is accustomed to your type of online business to understand your needs.

Does all of this sound like a lot of work? Well it is at the beginning and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But the silver lining here is that if you implement all this properly, there will be virtually very little work down the road.

As I constantly remind everyone that any online business should actually be always treated as a real business which is set up to make real profits.

Click here for my recommended book on free traffic available at Amazon.com.

Click here for the most cost effective yet powerful way to advertise your promotions and offers on Facebook.

If you found this post to be of some use to you, please take the time to share this post with your friends and also subscribe using the form below to receive all our updates, subscriber rewards and freebies delivered to your inbox.

You can also join my Facebook Group here.

I do recommend an affiliate program for you to join, that shows you how to make awesome online profits from the comfort of your home working a few hours a day assisted by proper support groups. No prior experience necessaryClick here for the details and a video outline of the program.

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