2013′s 11 hottest SEO copywriting posts

Spinal TapAnd, like that, 2013 is almost over.

Wow.

Last year, I recapped 10 of the most popular posts 0f 2013. Many of those posts were of the “back-to-basics” variety – people were (finally) beginning to wake up to the concept of “quality content” and needed some trusted pointers.

This year, I decided to turn it up to a Spinal Tap eleven.

What did I learn from this year’s favorites? Folks are a little more content-savvy. The most popular posts included higher-level, actionable tips (this definitely surprised me – especially after last year’s favorites!)

As always, the motivational posts did well. Many writers lead fairly isolated lives and are hiding behind their laptop. A little motivation can go a long way. It’s good to know you’re not alone.

This is our last post of 2013. We’ll spend the rest of the year preparing for 2014 and enjoying time with family and friends. And maybe … just maybe … spending some quality “away from the computer” time, too. :)

Thank you so much for reading my blog, sharing posts with your colleagues and writing your comments. There are quite a few SEO/writing blogs out there, and I’m honored that you choose to spend your valuable time reading mine. I appreciate it!

Here’s to a fantastic 2014! Just let me know how I can help.

Happy New Year!

-Heather

(P.S. – If you’ve been thinking about taking the Certification training, watch your inbox on New Years’ Eve ::hint, hint:: Deciding to be a better writer is one of the best gifts you can give yourself in the new year!)

#11: Quit getting paid peanuts. 10 tips for freelance writers

One of the most comment complaints I hear is, “My clients are cheap. They don’t pay me enough money to do this.” Here’s a reality check: It’s not them, it’s you. In this post, I give freelance writers a firm (but gentle) reality slap. You can control your income, but that means learning to value your worth. This is a smart read for new and established freelance copywriters.

#10: Wooing the Googlebot: 5 tips to an irresistible XML site map

How do I love thee, Googlebot? Let me count the ways. If the thought of “XML site maps” causes you to get a brain cramp, pour yourself a strong cup of coffee and read this post. Guest poster Chris Simmance does a great job breaking down why site maps are important, plus he provides some easy-to-follow best-practice formatting tips.

#9: Why you can’t fly solo as a freelance copywriter

Sure, you may feel like Superman (or Superwoman.) You may believe you don’t need any help. But know this: the most successful freelance copywriters understand the value of professional help. The next time you find yourself thinking, “I’ll try to tweak this contract myself. How bad can it be, right?” step AWAY from the email and read this post instead. You’ll be thanking Amy Teeple, the writer, for her sage advice. Trust me.

#8: How to build an internal content team: Do this, not that

Want to build an awesome content team by leveraging your existing resources? Yes, you can make this happen – if you follow some very important rules. If “how do I create a strong writing team?” is keeping you up at night, this blog post will help put your mind at ease. You’ll learn what steps to take (yes, do this!) and what will virtually guarantee failure.

#7: Yes, failure is an option!

Are you feeling bad because you “failed?” You may have lost a client, a job – maybe even a relationship. Don’t dwell in your failure. Learn from it! This post was inspired by a fantastic LinkedIn discussion – and hopefully, it will inspire you, too. Don’t forget to watch the cute corgi video at the end!

#6: 5 Easy-to-give SEO gifts that will make you a better writer in 2014

Question: What is an SEO copywriter without a web presence? Answer: Hard to find. Ready to up your game in 2014? Richard Hostler from Brookstone shares how you can improve your writing skills and rock the new year. Make sure you check out the comments. The questions (and answers) are excellent!

#5: How to thrive post-Hummingbird. A guide for SEO content creators

Is SEO writing dead? Heck no. But Google’s Hummingbird algorithm did change the game. This great roundup post by Tracy Mallette shares some great advice from industry experts.

#4: 2013 recap for SEO copywriters. What’s cool, what sucked

2013 was certainly an … interesting … year. There were lots of great changes – and some change we could have lived without. My recap explains 2013′s big changes and how SEO copywriters can thrive in today’s post-Hummingbird world. My big piece of advice to SEO writers: Get educated or get out.

#3: SEO copywriting advice from search guru Barry Schwartz

The big takeaway: “Become the expert.” I’ve known Barry for years and he is one super-smart guy (and nice, too!) This interview with Barry discusses how to handle [not provided] keyword data, how copywriters can prepare for the future of search and his incredible time management skills. This is a great article for in-house and freelance writers.

#2: 7 Call-to-action techniques and examples that work

Yes, including a call-to-action in your sales content is crucial. But how do you do it the right way – the way that gains maximum conversion rates? This great post by Shanna Mallon explains how to use trusted techniques like social proof, overcoming objections and  ”sweetening the deal” to boost conversions.

#1: How Google attempts to understand what a page or query is about based upon word relationships

“The future of rankings of search results may rely upon Google building a concept-based knowledge base that understands the relationship between words, as well as probabilities that a certain relationship was intended when words are used on a page.” Wow! Powerful stuff – and so different than Google’s “shove the keyphrases into the content” days. This guest post by Bill Slawski is a must-read for anyone writing online content.