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February 2009 Features » Getting Links, Newsletter or Blog?, Organic Blogging

Nancy McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC.Dear Friend,

This month's issue dissects a few important topics that I get asked about frequently.

The articles will help you to explain, from my experience, which link programs work, why you might consider a newsletter over a blog and vice versa, and a real-life illustration of how our own blog brings us business.

Enjoy this issue!

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

Getting Links the Easy Way | Newsletter or Blog? |Organic Blogging Case Study

Getting Links the Easy Way with Press Releases and Feature Articles

How to get more links.I have several clients for whom I routinely review their organic search engine placement on a monthly basis including the number of incoming links from other websites. These clients use our press release writing, press release distribution program, and our feature article writing programs as a way to build incoming links in an effort to increase their organic search position.

What I have found is that both links created by press releases and syndicated article content (or feature articles) have good staying power. Press releases and feature articles are not inexpensive to do, from a budgeting standpoint. Press release writing will typically runs $175 and the distribution around $315 per release. Article writing will typically run $180 or so for the writing including research time. The initial set up of the article syndication accounts in the distribution networks around $150 and subsequent article additions under $68.

What I have found is that after about three months many of the links that were initially generated from the press release distribution and the article sites are still showing on Google.

Here are just several examples showing actual numbers. I won't mention the client, but the statistics are legitimate.

Press release one done on 4-11-2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 41 links.
Press release two done on on 1-20-08 as of 1-17-09 only 1 link.

Article one done on March 2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 397 links.
Article two done on April 2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 83 links.
Article three done on April 2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 88 links.
Article four done on July 2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 94 links.
Article five done on April 2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 83 links.
Article six done on August 2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 88 links.
Article seven done in October 2008 as of 1-17-09 still showing 100 links.

It is clear from my review that the topic of the article and the market that it appeals to makes a huge difference in the number of generated links and their staying power.

Getting links the easy way!One important thing to note is that even though these links can be found on Google by doing a phrase match search (the article's title wrapped in quotation marks), the Google Webmaster control panel may not give a website full credit for each and everyone of these links. Which links Google nets out you may never know, but using these two writing programs you CAN increase your number of recorded links on all search engines which will help your overall organic search placement over time.

My recommendation for improving your organic search placement is to balance a regular program of creating feature articles that are well-written on interesting yet general topics and an occasional press release as a part of your link building strategy. This should not truthfully be your only program for link and content building but one of several which you utilize to build your organic search placement over time.


Newsletter or Blog, What Should I Do?

What should I do blog or newsletter?I get asked this question frequently and want to share with you some important information that may help you decide which of these items is best for you.

Clients who are typically interested in a newsletter want to reach out to clients on either a monthly or quarterly basis. The client who really desires more frequent contact than this really should strongly consider a blog unless the information in the newsletter would contain a coupon code for a discount that the site owner does not want to share with the world.

For clients who only want contact with subscribers on a monthly or quarterly basis, it is important to understand that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are making it increasingly more difficult to serve their users content. The typical open rate of a mature subscriber list will range from 10% to 35% even on the best list. In reality, you will simply never know if the ISP has filtered out your message or if your subscriber has enabled a spam filter that has automatically moved your newsletter into the junk mail file either on their web server or at their local email client level.

To solve some of these dilemmas for newsletter owners, we recommend that your newsletter be archived on your website on a page that is tied into the main navigation. This way users can always go online to review your newsletter content if they have not received your newsletter lately.

Additionally, search engines can pick up your newsletter content from the online archive as well, helping you build "web authority" on your selected topics or services. We also recommend that if you are not blogging that a RSS news feed be created for your newsletter and the feed link be embedded throughout your website in the source code allowing visitors to see an orange icon highlighted in their browser. This lets them know they can subscribe to your regular newsletter content by RSS news feed either through a feed reader, their browser, or with Outlook.

These important additional steps will help users to know that you have new content and to allow your newsletter, which may have been filtered out by their ISP or email client, to still get good web exposure.

I still feel that blogging is the very best approach and better than a newsletter for most clients. However, if you are not blogging or having a blog writer create regular posts (two to three times per week), then you may actually chase off readers who have started to check out your blog. Your new readers may get discouraged when they visit your blog regularly and there is no new content.

In this situation, with infrequent or erratic blog posting, a newsletter is by far better than a blog. However, you will just have to be realistic about the open rate of e-newsletters. It is important to understand that even if a subscriber wants to receive your newsletter, there may be circumstances beyond your control that will keep them from receiving your e-newsletter content.


Organic Blogging - a Case Study on Blog Posts as Search Entry Points

You know I was surprised by a customer recently. He called to chat about our organic search optimization services. He told me that he had done a Google search on "best organic optimization" and that my site was placed highly and so he clicked in and then called me.

In fact, I checked it out after our chat, as I do not optimize on that specific keyword phrase, and the optimization business is incredibly competitive on the Web. He was right, my site was well placed on that phrase. What was even more interesting was that it was not my main website that had paced, but rather a specific blog post, "What Should You Expect to Pay for Optimization".

This client had used a very specific search phrase on a topic that my blog post really addressed. Once entering in on my blog from his search query, he then followed links from the post to read more back on my main website and from there picked up my phone number and called to chat.

You may never know how a client finds you, but this is clear proof that specific blog posts, that are keyword dense, WILL place organically on search engines and WILL act as entry points for prospects to find you and MAY lead to the purchase your services.

If you want to get blogging working for you, now's the time to visit our blogging services page to review our program and then pick up the phone to call me to chat about your needs and how we can work to bring you leads too.


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