The Typo Test: Do Typos Ruin Online Copy? I’m Going to Find Out

There are two Typo Instincts.

On the one hand: Who cares about a single typo? If someone can’t spell (or run spellcheck), does that really mean they can’t do their job?

On the other hand: Who wants to work with someone who can’t even bother double-checking their first impressions?

I don’t know for sure if typos ruin online sales pitches, but I have a theory, and I’m going to test it.

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How to Write a Top-N List (If You Must)

Paul Graham has some not-especially-kind things to say about the list of n things. Read his essay, and the next time you encounter a top-n list, you’ll have a bad taste in your mouth.

But it’s been a few days since that article came out, and if you read it then, you’ve noticed by now—for a “degenerate case of essay,” they’re pretty popular among readers and writers.

They’re popular because they work. And here’s how to make them work best. Read the rest of this entry »


Wikipedia and Amazon Own (Most) Proper Nouns

Amazon and Wikipedia own most of the world’s most valuable proper nouns. Try Googling any famous person, and you’ll get Wikipedia. Google any beloved book, and you’ll find Amazon—unless the book has been made into a movie, in which case you’ll end up with Amazon subsidiary IMDB. Read the rest of this entry »


How to Use Ezinearticles.com For SEO

(Edited as of February 26th, 2011: this strategy is now obsolete. Ezinearticles was hit hard by Google’s algorithm update. They’ve responded by nofollowing many links. The content below should thus be considered interesting only from a historical perspective. It was a fun way to arbitrage Google’s algorithm, but that’s over.)

Ezinearticles.com is a mystery. The site isn’t pretty. I don’t know anybody who goes there to get good information. I don’t know anyone who writes there because they have a burning desire to share information. There are only two things that matter about ezinearticles.com:

  1. They let you post articles on basically any topic you want, with exactly one non-nofollowed link.
  2. Google loves them.

And here’s why you should love them, too. Read the rest of this entry »


The Copy Quotient

Here’s how you know whether or not to fire your copywriter, in five simple steps:

  1. Use rank checker to find out where you rank for a particular keyword on Google (for best results, you should be in the top ten.
  2. Find out how much monthly traffic that keyword gets, using Google’s keyword tool.
  3. Multiply that by the percentage of users who click on a search result of that ranking.
  4. Find out how many visitors you get from that keyword (if you’re not using Google Analytics for this, you’re probably doing it wrong).
  5. Now, divide #4 by #3. If the result is less than one, your headlines aren’t doing their job. Consider drastic action.

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Pity the Bookmarkleteers: Bookmarklets and SEO

If you love to get links, you’ll love this: imagine having an online app users flock to, evangelize, and use on a daily—or even hourly—basis. Imagine that it solves a serious, growing problem, in a pleasant and unobtrusive way.

Now imagine getting a smidgen of a fraction of the attention (and link-love!) you’re due, and you’ll you what it’s like to be Arc90. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Not SEO And…

I advocate SEO for the generally sensible reason that I do a lot of it. And the reason I end up doing a lot of it is that it works. But search engine optimization works best when it’s combined with other kinds of marketing. Not to reprise yesterday’s post too slavishly, but: why not try SEO and…

  • Pay per click advertising.
  • Banner ads.
  • Social media marketing.
  • Traditional Media
  • PR
  • No new marketing spending
  • Nothing else

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Why SEO and Not…

Advertising is a competitive business. Budgets are tight, and still tightening. When I persuade someone to use search engine optimization as a strategy, I have to persuade them to use SEO instead of:

  • Pay per click advertising.
  • Banner ads.
  • Social media marketing.
  • Traditional Media
  • PR
  • Cash under a mattress
  • Shotguns next to the canned goods under a mattress that doubles as an all-weather escape raft / emergency shelter.

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