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11 Tips For Running A Successful SEO Writing Business

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11 Tips For Running A Successful SEO Writing Business

Are you new to SEO writing, and you’re learning how to set up your freelance writing business? Or, have you been writing SEO content for a while, and you’re searching for business tips that will supercharge your success?

I could talk for at least an hour on every one of these 11 tips — but for you, I’ve summarized everything into one short blog post. Enjoy!

 — Beware of comparison-itus. 

This is a big one. It’s easy to scroll through Insta and want what others have. A big agency! Millions of followers! Course and retreat offers! Businesses are like fingerprints — completely unique to you. Living someone else’s dream will burn you out and hobble your success. I learned that one the hard way over many years. Learn from my mistake. 

 — Hire a coach.

Want to shorten your learning curve and build a successful business faster? Hire a coach or mentor. In the words of James Clear, “One of the only true shortcuts in life is finding an expert and apprenticing under them.” Working with a coach may seem like an “unnecessary expense” — but it’s amazing how an outside perspective can powerfully simplify your business model. I make more money, live a happier life, and work less when working with a coach. 

—  Always find the workarounds.

Don’t let irrelevant sh*t stand in your way. Don’t have a website? Build out your LinkedIn profile instead. Don’t have clips? Contact a non-profit that fills your heart and write blog posts. Can’t afford a keyphrase research tool? Get the data you need by signing up for a trial account (which is the best way to try out any keyphrase research tool). The key is, there is always a workaround. It may not be THE perfect solution, but it will keep you moving forward. Moving fast and breaking things is a better solution than waiting forever and never implementing.

 — Keep learning — but don’t turn education into an excuse.

Don’t hold off on your dreams because you think you have to buy another course or attend yet another training. Why? No one course is going to set you free and give you everything you need — especially if you’re putting other stuff off. It reminds me of the lyrics from the song Baker Street — “just one more year until I’ll be happy.” (Best. Sax. Solo. Ever.) It doesn’t work that way. You deserve more.

— Don’t skimp on the business necessities you need.

Items like keyphrase research software and additional training courses — or even a live conference — aren’t business luxuries. They’re things you need to do your job, to help your clients, and to drive more income. If you find yourself thinking, “I can’t afford it,” flip it around and see how “it” could help your business. If you’re finding more positives than negatives, it’s time to figure out the workaround to get what you need to succeed.

— If you’re feeling comfortable, it’s time to shake it up.

Every business owner goes through times when things feel a little…blah. Motivation flies out the window. Things feel too easy. That’s a cue that you’re ready to step into a more significant challenge. Maybe that means going after a bigger client or blogging for high-profile publications. Or a speaking gig. Feeling “comfortable” and tolerating the blah can be the kiss of death for many businesses. Shaking it up is always so much fun.

 — Prepare for the slow times.

They happen to every business owner. Sometimes it’s because a big client leaves. Sometimes, circumstances out of our control mess with our business income. (Hello, 2020.) Set aside a small portion of every receivable as “just in case” money — even if it’s just $25 per check. You may not ever need those additional funds, but knowing that they’re there makes all the difference. Trust me.

— Focus on what’s fun.

Life is too short to offer copywriting services you don’t like, to clients you can’t stand, for money that doesn’t pay the rent. Consider what you love doing and see how you can do more of that. It’s okay if your specialty is a small piece of the pie (for instance, keyphrase research or optimized white papers), and you don’t want to offer anything else. You can always bring in other experts who love to do what you don’t — and everyone wins.

 — Remember, time is your only nonrenewable resource.

You can always make more money. But you’ll never get back those multiple hours you spent trying to (unsuccessfully) format a website. Or the big chunks of time you spent trying to design the perfect Canva image. As you go about your day, make a list of stuff that drives you nuts and takes you forever to do. THAT’S what you should outsource.

— Tune out the naysayers.

There will always be someone telling you why you can’t have the writing business of your dreams. It may be a prospect who tries to lecture you about your rates. Or a colleague who snipes at you on social. It’s easy to let that stuff take up space in your brain and make you question yourself. Don’t let it. It’s just noise.

— Be kind. 

Help other people get freelance jobs. Give freely of your time when you can. Don’t engage in flame wars, even if someone comes after you and you want to bite back. Being kind may not land you SEO benefits — heck, it may cost you money sometimes. But knowing that you’re “that person” that everyone knows, likes, and trusts makes all the difference.

What do you think?

Which tip was most helpful? Is there anything you’d add? Leave a comment, or let me know in the SEO Writing Tips group.


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Attain Superior Growth & ROI With Organic & Paid Tips

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Holistic Search 2.0: Optimizing and Measuring Organic and Paid Performance

Silos don’t cut it anymore. User journeys are too complex for you to view and track channels separately.

To improve your campaign performance, you need a holistic view of your marketing activities and how they intertwine. This is especially true for organic and paid search strategies. 

You need to be front and center with your ideal customers at multiple touchpoints, including active interactions and passive awareness. An ideal marketing strategy has paid and organic campaigns working in tandem, and it’s becoming harder to succeed without doing both.

If you’re looking to drive quality growth in your own campaigns, iQuanti can help.

Join us live on July 24 as we delve into this intricate relationship between organic and paid search channels. You’ll get actionable insights for measuring success to maximize their combined potential.

You’ll gain a comprehensive, data-driven understanding of how to measure, analyze, and optimize holistic search marketing efforts, ensuring sustainable growth and superior ROI for your business.

You’ll walk away with:

  • Integrated Metrics and KPIs: Learn how to define and track key metrics to capture the performance of your organic and paid search campaigns, so you can make informed strategic decisions that work.
  • Attribution Models: You’ll see firsthand how strong attribution models are crucial to understanding your customers’ journeys, allowing you to identify influential touchpoints and allocate budget effectively for maximum ROI.
  • Optimization Strategies: You’ve gathered data from your campaigns…now what? Take the data and leverage it to further optimize your paid and organic search campaigns, increasing conversions along the way.

Shaubhik Ray, Senior Director of Digital Analytics Solutions at iQuanti is an expert at crafting holistic search strategies to reach more of your ideal audiences at relevant stages in their journeys. Now, he’s ready to share his insights with you.

You’ll walk away equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to execute a combined organic and paid strategy that improves the performance of each channel.  You’ll gain data-driven insights on how to align a combined strategy with business goals and lead your organization to success.

Sign up now and prepare to maximize the potential of combining your organic and paid campaigns.

At the end of the presentation, you’ll get a chance to ask Shaubhik your burning questions in our live Q&A, so be sure to attend.

And if you can’t make it that day, register here and we’ll send you a recording following the webinar. 

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Screaming Frog SEO Spider Version 20.0: AI-Powered Features

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What’s New with Screaming Frog SEO Spider 20.0?

For SEO experts, our toolkit is crucial. It’s how we make sure we can quickly and effectively assess how well our websites are performing. Using the best tools can put you way ahead of other SEOs. One example (and one tool I’ve personally been using for years) is Screaming FrogIt’s a powerful, straightforward, and insightful website crawler tool that’s indispensable for finding technical issues on your website.

And the good news is that it keeps getting better. Screaming Frog just released its 20th major version of the software, which includes new features based on feedback from SEO professionals.

Here are the main updates:

  1. Custom JavaScript Snippets
  2. Mobile Usability
  3. N-Grams Analysis
  4. Aggregated Anchor Text
  5. Carbon Footprint & Rating

Custom JavaScript Snippets

One of the standout features in this release is the ability to execute custom JavaScript snippets during a crawl. This functionality expands the horizons for data manipulation and API communication, offering unprecedented flexibility.

Use Cases:

  • Data Extraction and Manipulation: Gather specific data points or modify the DOM to suit your needs.
  • API Communication: Integrate with APIs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT from within the SEO Spider.

Setting Up Custom JS Snippets:

  • Navigate to `Config > Custom > Custom JavaScript`.
  • Click ‘Add’ to create a new snippet or ‘Add from Library’ to select from preset snippets.

setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20

  • Ensure JavaScript rendering mode is set via `Config > Spider > Rendering`.

Crawl with ChatGPT:

  • Leverage the `(ChatGPT) Template` snippet, add your OpenAI API key and tailor the prompt to your needs.
  • Follow our tutorial on ‘How To Crawl With ChatGPT’ for more detailed guidance.

Sharing Your Snippets:

  • Export/import snippet libraries as JSON files to share with colleagues.
  • Remember to remove sensitive data such as API keys before sharing.

Introducing Custom JavaScript Snippets to Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 significantly enhances the tool’s flexibility and power. Whether you’re generating dynamic content, interacting with external APIs, or conducting complex page manipulations, these snippets open a world of possibilities. 

Mobile Usability

In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring a seamless mobile user experience is imperative. Version 20.0 introduces extensive mobile usability audits through Lighthouse integration. 

With an ever-increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, ensuring a seamless mobile experience is crucial. Google’s mobile-first indexing highlights the importance of mobile usability, which directly impacts your site’s rankings and user experience.

 Mobile Usability Features:

  • New Mobile Tab: This tab includes filters for regular mobile usability issues such as viewport settings, tap target sizes, content sizing, and more.
  • Granular Issue Details: Detailed data on mobile usability issues can be explored in the ‘Lighthouse Details’ tab.
  • Bulk Export Capability: Export comprehensive mobile usability reports via `Reports > Mobile`.

Setup:

  • Connect to the PSI API through `Config > API Access > PSI` or run Lighthouse locally.

Example Use Cases:

  • Identify pages where content does not fit within the viewport.
  • Flag and correct small tap targets and illegible font sizes.

mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20

With these new features, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 streamlines the process of auditing mobile usability, making it more efficient and comprehensive. By integrating with Google Lighthouse, both via the PSI API and local runs, the tool provides extensive insights into the mobile performance of your website. Addressing these issues not only enhances user experience but also improves your site’s SEO performance.

N-grams Analysis

N-grams analysis is a powerful new feature that allows users to analyze phrase frequency across web pages. This can greatly enhance on-page SEO efforts and internal linking strategies.

Setting Up N-grams:

  • Activate HTML storage by enabling ‘Store HTML’ or ‘Store Rendered HTML’ under `Config > Spider > Extraction`.
  • View the N-grams in the lower N-grams tab.

n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20

Example Use Cases:

  • Improving Keyword Usage: Adjust content based on the frequency of targeted N-grams.
  • Optimizing Internal Links: Use N-grams to identify unlinked keywords and create new internal links.

Internal Linking Opportunities:

The N-grams feature provides a nuanced method for discovering internal linking opportunities, which can significantly enhance your SEO strategy and site navigation.

The introduction of N-grams analysis in Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20 provides a tool for deep content analysis and optimization. By understanding the frequency and distribution of phrases within your content, you can significantly improve your on-page SEO and internal linking strategies.

Aggregated Anchor Text

Effective anchor text management is essential for internal linking and overall SEO performance. The aggregated anchor text feature in version 20.0 provides clear insights into how anchor texts are used across your site.

Using Aggregated Anchor Text:

  • Navigate to the ‘Inlinks’ or ‘Outlinks’ tab.
  • Utilize the new ‘Anchors’ filters to see aggregated views of anchor text usage.

aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20

Practical Benefits:

  • Anchor Text Diversity: Ensure a natural distribution of anchor texts to avoid over-optimization.
  • Descriptive Linking: Replace generic texts like “click here” with keyword-rich alternatives.

The aggregated anchor text feature provides powerful insights into your internal link structure and optimization opportunities. This feature is essential if you are looking to enhance your site’s internal linking strategy for better keyword relevance, user experience, and search engine performance.

Aligning with digital sustainability trends, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 includes features to measure and optimize your website’s carbon footprint.

Key Features:

  • Automatic CO2 Calculation: The SEO Spider now calculates carbon emissions for each page using the CO2.js library.
  • Carbon Rating: Each URL receives a rating based on its emissions, derived from the Sustainable Web Design Model.
  • High Carbon Rating Identification: Pages with high emissions are flagged in the ‘Validation’ tab.

Practical Applications:

  • Resource Optimization: Identify and optimize high-emission resources.
  • Sustainable Practices: Implement changes such as compressing images, reducing script sizes, and using green hosting solutions.

The integration of carbon footprint calculations in Screaming Frog SEO Spider signifies a growing recognition of digital sustainability. As more businesses adopt these practices, we can collectively reduce the environmental impact of the web while driving performance and user satisfaction.

Other Updates

In addition to major features, version 20.0 includes numerous smaller updates and bug fixes that enhance functionality and user experience.

Rich Result Validation Enhancements:

  • Split Google Rich Result validation errors from Schema.org.
  • New filters and columns provide detailed insights into rich result triggers and errors.

Enhanced File Types and Filters:

  • Internal and external filters include new file types such as Media, Fonts, and XML.

Website Archiving:

  • A new option to archive entire websites during a crawl is available under `Config > Spider > Rendering > JS`.

Viewport and Screenshot Configuration:

  • Customize viewport and screenshot sizes to fit different audit needs.

API Auto Connect:

  • Automatically connect APIs on start, making the setup process more seamless.

Resource Over 15MB Filter:

  • A new validation filter flags resources over 15MB, which is crucial for performance optimization.

Page Text Export:

  • Export all visible page text through the new `Bulk Export > Web > All Page Text` option.

Lighthouse Details Tab:

  • The ‘PageSpeed Details’ tab has been renamed ‘Lighthouse Details’ to reflect its expanded role.

HTML Content Type Configuration:

  • An ‘Assume Pages are HTML’ option helps accurately classify pages without explicit content types.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements:

  • Numerous small updates and fixes enhance stability and reliability. 

Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 is a comprehensive update packed with innovative features and enhancements that cater to the evolving needs of SEO professionals like us. From advanced data extraction capabilities with Custom JavaScript Snippets to environmental sustainability with Carbon Footprint and Rating, this release sets a new benchmark in SEO auditing tools.

Key Takeaway

Add this to your toolbox, or update to version 20 to explore the rich array of new features from Screaming Frog to optimize your website’s SEO, usability, and sustainability. It’s a no-fuss tool with tons of features that will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and ensure your websites perform optimally in terms of user experience and search engine visibility.

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Google Simplifies Adding Shipping & Return Policies For Online Stores

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woman online shopper affixes a barcode sticker to a cardboard box, marking it for return and refund

Google introduces Search Console feature for online stores to easily manage shipping and return policies.

  • Google now allows online stores to manage shipping and return policies via Search Console.
  • This simplifies providing vital information to customers.
  • The feature can potentially boost sales for retailers.

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