Tips for Clickable Headlines

For an article to get read, and hopefully linked to, a quality attention grabbing headline is key.  When searching for information the headline is often the only piece of information that a person sees.  When reviewing the results page on a search engine, the reader will scan headlines for those words that appeal to their need and click the titles that seem to have the best or most appropriate information.  This is why your headline is the key to success. Consider these points when crafting your headlines.

  • The K.I.S.S. principle holds true…Keep It Simple Stupid.  Keeping your headline short, sweet and to the point is essential.  Don’t overwhelm the reader with unnecessary words.  A shorter title will also help the search engine determine the topic of your article.  While puns and humor can be attention grabbers remember that a search engine doesn’t understand them.  A simple straight forward title will almost always result in a higher ranking.
  • Start with a bang.  Your most important words should be your lead.  The payoff here is that search engines and readers can easily tell what your article is about.  If possible your keywords should come first, but remember that keyword usage needs to make sense.  Don’t throw in keywords just for the sake of using them.
  • Don’t forget the topic.   This may sound silly, but be sure that your headline adequately conveys the topic of the article.  For example, this article could have been entitled “Why Headlines Matter”.  It would have given readers some idea as to what it is about.  However, by adding “tips” and “clickable” to the headline, we helped to define the true scope of the article.  Make it easy for the search engines and your readers to know what you are writing about.
  • Make it compelling.  Don’t let the search engines be your only focus.  You are writing for real people after all.  Give the reader a reason to want to click on your headline and read your article.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles.  Track your results and see if a pattern emerges for your most successful headlines.  Use your best headlines as a template to create future headlines.  Build on your success!

Online Sales on the Rise

Just when all signs were pointing towards continued slowing of the economy, a bright spot has emerged.  Online sales were up in the first quarter of 2009, according to research conducted by Forrester and

Highlights include:

  • 11% increase in online retail sales in Q1 2009.
  • Nearly 60% of companies surveyed reported increases over the same quarter last year.
  • Increases of 10% or more were reported by 44% of e-tailers.
  •  14% of e-tailers reported increases of up to 10%.
  • 13% of E-tailers reported flat sales.
  • Online sales increases were reported by approximately 70% of consumer brand manufacturers and multi-channel retailers.
  • The only dark spot was that 60% of web-only merchants reported sales declines.

Overall, US retail e-commerce sales are expected to grow to $141 billion in 2009, a 4.4% increase.  2010 is projected to see a 16.5% increase, according to Citi Investments Research.

Maximize Your Twitter

Twitter is expected to be one of the only social networking sites to have long term viability.  Twitter usage and name recognition has been growing in leaps and bounds.  Many are using Twitter not just to stay connected, but to market as well.  So how do you maximize your Twitter?


Get an active Twitter account.

Yes it sounds basic, and you may already have one, but don’t just breeze past this section.  We have some interesting tips to help you maximize your usage.

For those of you just getting started, open your account at Once you have the registration form complete, connect with as many people as you can. They make it easy by allowing you to search your email lists (see below for more information).  Customize your profile to show your main website and your, or your company’s, bio information. Don’t forget to set your location, update preferences and how you want to be notified of friends who have joined the Twitter revolution.


Draw attention with a customized background.

Get creative here. Simply click on “Settings” and then “Design” to choose a premade background or upload your own image.  If you have a flair for design and a little Photoshop experience you can create a background that speaks volumes about you and your company.  Check out some great custom layouts like:


Gather friends and follow interesting people and organizations

Finding friends on Twitter is easy. Three options are available.

1.   Search Twitter.  Use the “Find People” function to search for anyone from your next door neighbor to celebrities to companies.

2.  Search other networks.  Connect to anyone in your email contact list. Twitter can search through your, Gmail, Yahoo mail or AOL mail contact lists and if your friends use Twitter they can be added to your list.

3.  Manual invites.  Have friends, co-workers or clients who are not on Twitter? Manually input their email addresses and invite them to be your friend.


Connect your blog to Twitter

One of the best tools to connect Twitter and your blog was created by Alex King.  This plug-in will automatically create micro blogs from your WordPress blog posts. Just follow this link for all the information

to download this plug-in click here

If you blog regularly, be sure to review the instructions and support information.


Monitor your Twitter Rank

Twitter offers the Twitter Grader ( to show you where you rank against other Twitter members.  Once you enter your user name, you will see where you rank among a possible 100 points. 

Twitter Grading is based on overall rank, number of followers, your following and updates.  The more active you are the higher you will rank.


Link your Twitter account to social bookmarking sites.

If you are in the Twitter game, be in it to win it.  Build up your social networking account by bookmarking your Twitter account to sites such as,, and others.


Take advantage of advanced search features on Twitter

To really maximize your connection with people in your target market, go to to use the Advanced Search features Twitter offers.  In Advanced Search you can search by keywords or phrases, location, names and more.

Resist the urge to connect with everyone you see.  Be choosy and select only the best people who actually have good information to share and are likely to accept your friend request.

As you take these steps to maximize your Twitter impact, you will see your social status rise.  As with any adventure, the more you keep at it the better the results will be.

SEO Investments on the Rise

Search engine optimization (SEO) budgets are increasing as marketing executives gain knowledge of how SEO can benefit advertising and marketing campaigns.  eMarketer is reporting that SEO budget allocations are expected to rise in the coming years as compared to other search marketing strategies.

With the decline in the economy, customer acquisition is becoming more and more vital.  As the focus on customer acquisition increases, SEO becomes a more vital part of the overall marketing strategy.  Because SEO provides a long term strategy for increased consumer presence, it has added value as compared to paid search marketing.

“Search Marketing Trends: Back to Basics” reports that SEO growth will grow from 17.7% to 20.3% while paid search will decline from 15.9% in 2009 to 11.3% in 2013.  When searching for information, consumers find more value in organic search results than pay per click (PPC) advertising.  The value placed by consumers on organic search results garners more clicks on these results thus making SEO a valued part of the marketing plan.

Combining SEO and PPC marketing efforts may result in higher search engine result rankings.  Paid search engine advertising offers more immediate results, but in order to see results in the search engine arena advertising must be consistent.  SEO marketing results occur over a longer time frame, but result in organic search results more valued by consumers.

In order to gain the most information and knowledge of your results, Web analytics is necessary.  Having solid feedback regarding your SEO and PPC marketing efforts will allow you to gage how successful your campaign is.  More traffic is only positive if the cost of the search ad relative to the conversion doesn’t reduce your bottom line.

SEO is a bit like a good public relations strategy; it helps to bring top of mind awareness to your site.  SEO gets them in the door, so you can complete the deal.

How to Turn a Negative Blog Post into a Positive

No one wants to see or hear a negative comment about their business. When you first read a negative blog post, you are likely to get a sinking feeling in your stomach. However, a negative blog post doesn’t have to mean impending doom. Instead of dreading seeing your company’s name, take this as an opportunity to spin a negative into a positive.

When a blogger mentions your business consider it an open invitation to respond. If a blogger criticizes a promotion you are running or pans your business based on their experience, it is your opportunity to craft a well thought out response.

You have every right to explain yourself. Address the specific issue raised in the blog; explain what your business is all about or the structure of your promotion in question. Be sure to take the high road and always be professional. Personal attacks are never appropriate; even if you were attacked first.

Opening a dialog with a blogger gives you the opportunity to provide an explanation, to correct misinformation and address misunderstandings. With a well thought out and timely response, showing your thought process and professionalism is likely to enhance your image.

Don’t forget that the blogger’s posting and your response is going to be viewed by all of the blog’s readers. Accuracy is a must. On a side note, a quick “Thank you for the kind words” post to a positive blog comment is always appreciated.

Multiple Word Searches Yield Better Results

Bigger isn’t always better; especially in the land of search engine results.  Every company would love to be the first search result posted by Google or Yahoo.  But the reality is, that this is not going to happen.  With literally million of websites, the chances of coming up number one, or even on the first page, are slim to none. 

So how do you get your business listed at the top of the first page?  By narrowing the search with additional keywords.  As you add keywords your chances of coming up on top will increase exponentially. Let’s look at SEO as an example.  Watch how the number of search results decreases as you add keywords:

Search Keywords Results*
1 SEO 262,000,000
2 SEO Company 10,700,000
3 SEO Atlanta 1,560,000
4 SEO Company Atlanta 334,000

 As you can see, adding just two keywords to your search provides a more refined list of results.  According to leading industry experts, as much as 50% of all searches conducted now include three or more keywords.

So what does this mean for the average company trying to increase their search engine ranking?  Changing the focus of your SEO efforts to multiple keyword searches will garner far better results for your business.  Don’t waste your efforts trying to develop catchy one-word product names.  Building results based on three or more keywords will benefit you over the long run. 

Source: Search conducted on Google, March 4, 2009

Successful Local SEO Searches

To get the best results from local SEO searches, a few simple steps can make a world of difference.  Follow these quick tips and you should see improved results in your local SEO searches.

First, spend some time researching the local link groups of the sites you are in competition with.  Finding out which local link groups the competition is using will give you an idea of what you are up against.  If you can get your web site attached to these same local link groups, you will make huge strides in catching up to the competition.  While you are working on this part of the project, you could make Hubpages or Squidoo pages to enhance your results.  The objective here is to simply group together sites that are normally together and add your website into the mix.

Another way to improve your local SEO search results is to focus on address citations.  For this step you want work on getting your business name, business address, business phone and business website with as many references as possible.  If you have access to HTML code, it is helpful to bracket your business address like this:

  • <address>
  • </address>

Remember that each time your website gets a citation on another reputable website, search engines look at this in a positive light.  The more citations you get in your geo-location, the better your SEO ranking.

Finally, combining the authority and anchor text will help to give you a final boost in rankings.  Both anchor text and site authority are valuable factors in raising your ranking.  By combining the individual strengths of anchor text and site authority, you will be more likely to win the ranking in a close race.

28 Great Link Building Strategies

Link building can greatly help your business increase ranking within the search engines and cover any bad press about your business online. Here are some ideas that you can use to build links in the search engines:

1. Use social media. Social media sites such as FaceBook and MySpace are not just for the kids. You can create as many pages as you want that are SEO friendly and watch links build.

2. Use forums. Posting search engine optimized content in forums can end up drawing people to your website, especially if you learn how to use HTML.

3. Use RSS feeds on social media pages. This will allow your sites to be updated continuously.

4. If you have multiple sites, link your sites to each other.

5. Use social bookmarking pages.

6. Learn to use Meta Tags on your posts.

7. Take advantage of free press release distribution with SEO content.

8. Write reviews about your website on forums, blogs and especially on your site!

9. Encourage others to visit your site and spread links around.

10. Use a link exchange site.

11. Write articles for Ezine and have them posted containing SEO rich material.

12. Submit links to all search engines.

13. Distribute free articles on sites that will allow SEO content.

14. Use hyper links to your articles in your various websites.

15. Get a sub domain site in addition to your website and build on that.

16. Link all articles as an RSS feed on your website.

17. Write a blog at a free blogging site that contains SEO material.

18. Use a good Meta description for your articles that contains your keywords.

19. Blog on your social media sites.

20. Learn how to use SEO resources.

21. Use Video for your site.

22. Post videos used on your site to other video sharing sites.

23. Learn how to understand and use web analytics to improve your content.

24. Use question sites as a way to post about your site and for link building.

25. Use question sites to answer questions posting a link to your site.

26. Encourage comments about articles as these will also help build links. Even if you have to comment on your own article, this will help with link building.

27. Add content to all sites periodically to keep building links.

28. Join groups where you can post in forums.