Building a Critical Mass of Content for SEO

Building a critical mass of content for SEO has its purposes as well as its downfalls. As a webpreneur it’s important to know both sides of this critical step in developing and maintaining an online business.

For starters, creating content for SEO purposes involves writing high quality articles richly embedded with competitive keywords. Doing this on a regular basis is a good step towards dominating the search engines, especially since Google loves content.

However, too much of a good thing can be bad … even for your website.

This brings us to the downfalls of building a critical mass of content for SEO. While adding content is good, it’s problematic when you add too much at once.

Here’s why:

  • You’re bombarding your readers with too much content to read at once.
  • You’re likely not targeting specific areas on your website.
  • The content’s quality probably isn’t the best since it’s being rushed to publication.

While this reality may be disappointing to anyone wishing to overload their website with content, cheer up. There are ways to build a mass amount of SEO content without bombarding your readers:

  • FAQ pages
  • About pages
  • Whitepapers
  • Blogs

Just remember that information that doesn’t require updating is best written as a content page. Information that has temporary value i.e., will require updating, is best created as a blog post.

You should also remember that SEO shouldn’t be your only purpose for building a mass of content. You want to inform and entertain your readers to the point of conversion.

Additionally, you want your website to look authoritative; a leader in its niche. You want readers to view your site as trustworthy.

When you build a critical mass of SEO content with this information in mind, you’ll generate traffic towards your website. And best of all, you’ll increase your income.





The Art of Writing Damn Good Blogs

The Art of Writing Damn Good Blogs: “Most bloggers have a topic in mind for their blog right from the start.

However, don’t just flail around wildly in the topic as you try to write your posts. You need to find out what your readers want, what they will respond to, and what will get them to take action.

Once you understand your readers, you will be able to provide them with something of value to them in your blog posting.”

Another tip to gain from this article is to scroll down to to near the bottom, and take note of their “Tweet This” link… clever!

Leveraging the Twitter Parrot Effect for Online Marketing

Admittedly, I haven’t blogged much here on the HitTail blog. I could slap excuses on it like, HitTail’s running reliably as promised since it’s launch in late 2006, showing real-time search hits and issuing writing suggestions, which when acted upon, pretty reliably seize you the first page of Google results. It’s a nice little secret weapon in online marketing circles, and the fan-base is as strong as ever, despite our switch from freemium to try-and-buy last year.

The fact we sustained such a business-model switch is remarkable, and that we’re going into this recession with a $10/mo product that helps you sell your wares online… well, it couldn’t be the conditions for a more perfect storm.

I’m hoping for nothing less than to get the entire world of bloggers who are trying to build their traffic merely by virtue of writing (if you write it, they will come) onto HitTail. It’s a modest goal, as all the other ways of doing this are too convoluted (analyzing your own log files with an algorithm like HitTail’s) or expensive (using one of the few packages that’s finally catching onto the long-tail thing). So HitTail fans, start spreading the word.

Speaking of blogging–of course, micro-blogging with Twitter or Facebook status and posted items (now links) is all the rage. When these pages (like Twitter tweet pages) are not protected with a login, they do influence search, but the landing pages are usually nofollowed–meaning that they don’t confer the SEO benefit in turn to the sites you link to. None-the-less, services like Twitter are valuable online marketing tools because they do help drive traffic to your site, albeit not directly.

There is another interesting effect that inspired me to get this blog post out today: the Twitter “parrot effect”.

In other words, I post, then a HitTail user posts about my post–because it’s about them, and micro-blogging is so easy with tools like TwitterFox.

Amplification of my message ensues, and the cycle continues.

So even though I haven’t been posting here much in the HitTail SEO marketing blog, I have been posting in Everyone Loves HitTail, where I collect the quotes, testimonials, and generally every mention of HitTail that my monitoring tools clue me into. And recently following a bout of post-vomiting, I noticed my monitoring tools reporting back to me every post I made… twice! Once in the standard blog monitoring tools driven by Technorati and Google Blog Search (as expected), but then again by people micro-blogging about my blog posts. I’ve posted the screen-shot below to show the Twitter activity on HitTail recently–none of those are me.

Yet, about half are repeating my words.


Online marketers, take notice. If you’re not maintaining a clip-book of positive quotes in a blog that somehow ties into social networking in a way that ensures your built-in audience is tuned-in, then you’re not even doing the basics.

Blogging growth opportunity in niches

Danny Dover at SEOmoz recently posted a fascinating article on the state of blogs. There are great stats on who controls the top blogs as well as the gender breakdown and audience profile for high traffic blogs.

One of the key takeaways is that there is still a lot of room for growth, especially in non-Technology topics. In addition, there is a huge opportunity to develop new blogs targeted at women. The key here is to find a niche and develop a new audience in a unsaturated market.

Inspired bloggers out there can then use tools like HitTail to determine what are the hot topics people are interested in within a particular niche that will drive traffic to their blog.

Google Adwords Bidding Strategy

So, now that all you HitTailers are jumping on the AdWords bandwagon, what about a bidding strategy? Well, it turns out that the keyword lists generated by HitTail are naturally deemed relevant by Google, and therefore are able to get the ads to run even while lowering your CPC bid to ridiculously low levels. Sure, it might half or even quarter the visits you get compared to an unconstrained budget. But you pay a fraction per click. I’ve been able to lower my CPC level to .06 with great success on high volume sites. On lower volume sites, I might suggest the .11 level to get some traffic rolling. And of course, you can use the HitTail feature to flow these terms directly into your AdWords account without ever leaving HitTail.

Eventually, you’ll want to go to AdWords and do some manual optimization of your campaigns. At this time, I suggest considering pulling your entire keyword list via the Export function, and import your keyword list en-masse into AdWords. AdWords will immediately deactivate keywords that don’t meet it’s criteria, or which exceed your CPC bid. That’s fine, because it becomes something of an experimential churn campaign, where every day or every few weeks (depending on the volume of your site), you dump the keyword list in again. Don’t worry too much about duplicates, as AdWords will automatically de-dupe. Over time, such campaigns become self-optimizing. But to really super-charge things, you start moving your best performing keywords into their own campaigns with more targeted copy in the ads, carefully selected landing pages, and bidding strategy.

How to use HitTail suggestions

One of our most frequently asked questions at HitTail is “What do I do with these HitTail suggestions?”. We created an FAQ on this topic but I’d like to create a list of all the different ways actual HitTail customers use their keyword suggestions.

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.

  • Create a new blog post using the suggestion as the title / headline
  • Create new pages or articles on your website targeting the suggested keywords (utilize article writing services such as the Content Spooling Network)
  • Add the suggested keywords to a Pay Per Click campaign (this is now made easy with HitTail Premium)
  • Use the keywords on your advertising or landing page
  • Use the keywords in your email newsletters to your readers or customers
  • Incorporate the HitTail keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions of existing webpages
  • Buy a new website domain using HitTail suggestions
  • Use HitTail keywords to determine product suggestions and stock new products in your eCommerce store
  • Use keyword suggestions to tag your YouTube videos or bookmarks

We’d love to hear how you use your HitTail keyword suggestions!

Forming Good Writing Habits for HitTailing

Mike LevinThe enemy of the sort of steady, reliable HitTailing that results in the traffic-building snowball effect is habits, or lack thereof. Once you’re in the writing habit, its easy to maintain. But once out of the habit, its hard to re-start. So, what breaks the writing momentum?

With me, its the need to work at a PC that breaks the momentum. I’m either at work on my employer’s time, or at home not wanting to take the time. My best opportunity is on the NY subway, where I have no PC–not even a laptop, because I travel lite.

So, I’m tapping this entire post out one-handed on my iPhone. And that gets to the real purpose of this post–illustrating how to HitTail better by modifying habits, and fitting HitTailing into your daily process one way or the other. The reward of dominating your market niche is well worth some behavior modification. The trick is to make it only a minor and enjoyable behavior change.

In my case, its mobile HitTailing. I’m getting very good at the iPhone’s on-screen keyboard.

My first step is to log into my HitTail account to look at my To-Do list–not the easiest thing in the world on mobile, so I’m noting that to talk to the product development team. Anyway, I pick a phrase and get myself into the mindset to write about it. Then, I start a new note and write.

Try to finish. Don’t get too wordy. The value of getting it out there quickly exceeds the value of getting it perfect. You can always refine it later.

When done, simply email it to your blog’s auto-posting email address (you need to set that up beforehand).

Get the subject line right, because its what gets targeted in search. Use the HitTail writing suggestion exactly (adjusting capital letters only) if it makes sense. If not, work the suggestion into the headline without rearranging or dropping words. We’re going for exact matching here. Its the exact match where the traffic exists, and being just a little off could prevent all your potential traffic gain from being realized.

If what you want to write about doesn’t exactly match a HitTail writing suggestion, then its better to append two phrases to make a new thought than to change the word order. Use the HitTail phrase first in the sequence if you can, so the keywords don’t get chopped out of the URL by your blogging software’s URL length limiting functions.

How’s that for practical mobile HitTailing advice? Well, my stop is next. Gotta go. Let me know if you’d like to read more practical HitTailing advice like this on future posts.

Final point: after Blogger (or TypePad, WordPress or whatever) auto-posts your email, you can always go back and add pictures, links, and fix spelling. But meanwhile, that post is working for you, keeping that snowball rolling, and picking up more mass.

Methods of Driving Traffic

Mike Levin

This will be one of the most self-referential posts and blatant examples of HitTailing I have done in a long time. Yesterday, someone in South Africa googled on the exact term I used in the headline of this post. HitTail recognized that we were not fully optimized on this term, and issued it as a suggestion. But when I clicked to reproduce the search, I didn’t see us on that page–understandable, considering it was a South Africa Google Datacenter that it was probably pulling from. So, what to do? I could just click around. But instead…

Using the free FireFox RankChecker tool from SEOBook, I popped the term into the Keyword field and in the Domain field and hit Start. Lo-and-behold–RankChecker showed me that we were in the 83rd spot in Google on the term. So, I went to Google and performed the search, and clicked right on page 8 of results, and low-and-behold, there was HitTail! I clicked on the result to see that this page about driving traffic for less (a previously acted upon HitTail suggestion) was the page that was found.

So being that the page that was found was something that was targeting and optimized on a completely different term, imagine what would happen if I actually targeted it. And hence, the writing of this post, and giving out of some of the most competitive SEO-industry-insider knowledge that exists… period! For you see, the new writing suggestion that was issued was the direct result of a post that was made as a result of an old writing suggestion that was acted upon. And thus the iterative process of continual improvement is happening. This is why I talk about TQM so much. The “output” from quality assurance is being fed directly back into the “input” of the production line, which produces more quality assurance data.

Hence, our talk about the snowball effect.

Sites become virtually self-optimizing… but not entirely. The process is getting funneled through at least 2 things: 1) YOU. Quality content won’t write itself (or will it?). And 2) Blogging software, because who wants to worry about the fuss of SEO when free, easy publishing systems get like 80% of SEO correct out of the box? And this is one of the best methods of driving traffic to your site–adding new content, based on HitTail suggestions.

And yes, it is a lot of work.

But there is another…


…method of driving more traffic to your site.

And that method has been talked about by a few industry insiders, and fewer still who share the secret with public quotes like “I use [HitTail] for my Adwords accounts and they double my other campaigns in every positive way. Double the Clicks, half the CPC, half the overall conversion costs.”

Yeah uh, so if you want the benefit of HitTail, the other method of driving traffic to your site is to take the keyword lists generated by HitTail and put them into your AdWords campaigns… because who whouldn’t want double the clicks, half the CPC and half the overall conversion costs?

Seems like a no-brainer.