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Original articles from Jill Whalen.
 
Use Long-Tail Keywords to Get Targeted Visitors
In today's highly competitive online marketplace, one of the keys to success is having a solid content marketing strategy. Having lots of great content available at your website sets you up for naturally receiving tons of long-tail keyword traffic that you might otherwise miss out on.

Applying Real-Life Optimization to SEO
If you've been reading SEO articles lately, you've probably heard some mention the phrase "over-optimization." It's usually used to say that people have gone overboard with the things that they think SEO involve. I even used it in the headline of a recent Talent Zoo article. But, honestly, over-optimization is a silly word.

Pay No Attention to Search Engine Rankings
Many of you may have an interest in SEO because you (or your boss) did a search for a phrase at Google that you believed your website should show up for, and then didn't see it anywhere. While that's a possible indication that you may need some SEO work done on your site, it's not the best way to determine this.

Over-Optimization: It's Not Your Mother's SEO Anymore!
I've written previously here about Google's "Panda Updates" and what they mean to website marketing and SEO. But more recently Google's ultimate web spam Czar, Matt Cutts mentioned in passing at a conference that Google will be getting even more aggressive towards sites that are pushing the envelope with their SEO efforts. This of course has got some SEO types in a tizzy.

Critical Details You Must Share with Your SEO Consultant
You've done your homework and hired a new SEO provider to help you gain more targeted visitors to your website. Congratulations! But don't get too excited yet, as the real work is just beginning. Before your consultant ever does any work, they're going to need to get up to speed about your business and your website.

Replace Junk SEO Content with Real Content
As we enter the year 2012, it amazes me that there's still the very incorrect belief that writing special pages filled with keyword-stuffed content is what SEO is all about. I talk to clients and potential clients every day who seem to think that SEO means writing something called "SEO content" on their websites. They don't know why they might need these pages — only that it's what they think they need to do to make Google happy.

Best of TZM 2011: 7 SEO Myths That Just Won't Die

Losing Website Traffic? Solve the Puzzle With Analytics
Every day I hear from business owners whose online inquiries and sales have suddenly dropped off the map. Many times, they're not doing anything differently; they've simply got fewer visitors coming to their website, and fewer visits usually translate into lost income for the business owner.

Critical SEO Moves for BEFORE Your Site Goes Live
For the past few years, I’ve been doing a lot of technical SEO consulting work for businesses that were redesigning their websites. Companies of all sizes have asked me to review their website prototypes and backend content management systems (CMS) to be sure they weren't going to make their websites tank in the search engines.

Attract and Keep Customers With Great Content
The point of all this is to keep in touch with your target audience. If they're hearing from you on a regular basis, you're the one they will think of when they have moved to the buying phase of their journey.

If You're Not Doing SEO, You're Leaving Money on the Table
If you’re not looking for new customers, then by all means, don’t do SEO. But in this economy, it’s the rare business that can sustain themselves through only existing customers!

7 Reasons Why Bad SEO Advice Spreads Like Wildfire
Anyone who has read my Talent Zoo columns knows that part of my mission is to set the record straight about SEO. I’ve written many times about SEO myths that just won’t die. So today let’s look at why all this wrong-headed advice is so pervasive.

How to Avoid the Wrath of Google
Talent Zoo readers may or may not be familiar with some major updates that Google has made over the past few months, dubbed “Panda.” The changes have wreaked havoc with some websites’ Google traffic. I’ve analyzed a number of sites that have been seeing fewer visitors from Google since the Panda update, and I thought I’d share some of my findings so that you can avoid having your site “Pandalized.”

Setting the Record Straight About SEO
Never forget that at the end of the day, you want more visitors to your website who are interested in what’s offered there. While high rankings in the search engines can be the vehicle for driving that traffic, it’s not the goal in and of itself.

7 SEO Myths That Just Won't Die
While the search engines don’t provide us with their secret ranking formula, some website techniques can easily be tested to see if they are a ranking signal in Google. Here are seven website strategies that my years of experience and tests have proven to be completely ineffective.

SEO Consultants and the User Experience
When you think of SEO professionals, do you have an image of a greasy used-car salesperson in your head? If so, you’re not alone. SEOs are often talked about in a bad light, but often for good reason.

SEO Q&A: Search Rankings, Title Tags, and Keyword Targets
Between my SEO newsletter and my SEO forum, I answer a lot of questions from site visitors. Here are some frequently asked SEO questions, along with some variable factors to take into consideration, and my “basic answer.”

You're Bound to Lose Website Traffic If...
Both clients and consultants have a vested interest in the SEO success of your website and your business, and want to increase the targeted traffic to your website, not reduce it!

3 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
Blogging should be done because there are topics that you’re passionate about, which you want to tell others about. This enables you to write compelling, interesting posts on a regular basis, which in turn can bring you more visitors from search engines.

Bake Your SEO Into Your Website Design
Here are just a few SEO strategies you’ll want to make sure your website developer understands how to implement into your new site.

SEO for Today and Tomorrow
Good, professional SEO that puts users first while keeping search engines in mind will never be considered spam by any stretch of a search engineer's imagination.

And Now for Some Common Sense SEO
Everything we do in SEO has a purpose, and that purpose is to make the site better than it is so that the search engines will like it better.

Measuring Your Marketing Efforts With Google Analytics
If you’re wondering whether your marketing efforts are paying off, rather than guess, be sure to review the information provided by your Web analytics program.

The SEO Devil Is Not in the Details
Rather than worrying about each and every tiny detail of SEO which may or may not even have an effect on your bottom line, you’d be much better off to think about the big picture.

Does Size Matter in SEO?
I've had the opportunity to work with a variety of businesses through the years -- from tiny one-person businesses to huge international companies. While there are many similarities in working with different sized companies, important differences exist as well.

You Can’t Learn SEO by Just Reading About it
There’s something about search engine optimization (SEO) that attracts people to become consultants, even though they have no experience. It's definitely not rocket science, but if SEO was so easy, then every webmaster and company owner could easily learn it and start a successful SEO company overnight.

Why Duplicate Content on Your Website is Bad and How to Fix It
One of the main reasons why having the same content across multiple URLs is such a problem is that it splits the link popularity (and PageRank) of those pages, which provides them with less relevancy weighting in Google.

Watch Out for SEO Consultant Red Flags
So many businesses get confused when talking to SEO consultants that they give up and never optimize their website. Part of the problem is that they simply don't know whom to trust for SEO services.

Guaranteed Search Engine Rankings?
A guarantee in SEO is one of those double-edged swords. On the one hand a guarantee seems like it should be the norm. On the other hand, rankings in the search engines are not static.

No Magic SEO Formula
If you think that having your keyword phrases “in all the right places for SEO” is a good thing, think again! Stuff that worked like a charm for many people in the early years of SEO may actually hurt rather than help now. Unfortunately, there’s just no magic formula for SEO.

The Time for SEO is Before You Need it!
Sales are down for many businesses due to the slow economy. Business owners and CEOs are looking for that one thing that can pull them through the hard times and keep them afloat. When times get tough, many turn to search engine optimization, hoping that it will be the ticket to increased sales.

Participating in the Twitter Conversation for Fun and Profit
Your goal with Twitter is not to directly gain links, but to be where people are already talking about your industry, participating in the conversation, and making them aware that you and your company exist. It's almost the opposite of SEO.

Preparing Your Website for Optimal User and SEO Performance
While it would be great if you could just throw up a website and start attracting visitors and search engines, it just doesn't work that way. You have to prepare your website to work the way it should for the people who visit it, as well as for the search engines that index it.

The 8 Stages to Learning SEO
As with anything you set out to learn in life, you don't get from point A to point Z without touching upon all those letters in between. This is why every day for the past 7 or 8 years I see the same search engine optimization questions asked over and over again by people in the various stages of learning.

When SEO is Put into the Wrong Hands
Typically, a complete loss of rankings and traffic occur when a new content management system (CMS) is implemented and all the URLs of the website change. Many developers don’t realize they need to...

Learning Opportunities in the Search Marketing Industry
Nearly every day I hear from newsletter subscribers, forum posters, and potential clients who've been charged with the task of learning how to optimize their company's website to gain more targeted search engine traffic...

SEO Software for High Rankings
It seems that every day a new SEO software tool comes out that promises to help your site get top rankings in the search engines with the click of a button. If only it were true!

Ten SEO Tips to Keep in Mind
If you’ve been reading my "How to Avoid SEO Brainfreeze" series at TalentZoo, you should have a good idea of what you’ll need to do to optimize your website for the search engines and your users.

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part 8 - Best Practices for Working with an SEO Agency
If you've read the entire SEO Brain Freeze series up to this point, no matter how easy and organized I've made SEO sound, you may have decided that you don't have the time nor...

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part 7: Measuring Your SEO Success
Once your overall on-page website optimization is completed and you’re continuously working on getting the word out about your website...

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part 6: Attracting Targeted Visitors and Links
If you’ve been following along with the SEO Brain Freeze series and using your own website as a guinea pig, by now you should have...

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part Five: Writing Keyword Rich Copy
The most important thing to know about this phase is that copy can’t be written by just anyone. It absolutely must be written by a professional copywriter who knows how to write compelling marketing copy.

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part Four - Marvelous Meta Description Tags
There are a lot of misconceptions about how the search engines use and treat Meta description tags, as well as their overall benefit. This stems from the fact that all of the search engines treat them differently.

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part 3 - Creating Terrific Title Tags
Writing terrific Title tags is one of the most important things you can do for your website. It’s not difficult, but it is much like solving a puzzle.

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part Two - Creating a Keyword Phrase Map
These steps should keep you organized and help you avoid the dreaded SEO brain freeze when attempting to optimize your website on your own.

Avoiding SEO Brain Freeze Part One - Hunting For Keyword Phrases
Search engine optimization (SEO) can sure seem daunting, but really it’s not. Today we’re going to focus on the very first step in your SEO process – hunting for the keyword phrases.

The Dirty Little Secret of the SEO Industry
Have you been held hostage by a search engine optimization (SEO) or search marketing company who claims that your search engine rankings will tank as soon as you stop paying them their monthly fee?

Serendipity
A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to Santa Fe to take in the museums and galleries. We stopped in a bookstore where she found a book of recipes from the New York City restaurant Serendipity...

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