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SEO guest post inquiries: the best and the worst

Every morning I wake up to several "can I write a guest post for your site?" emails from writers working for SEO companies. See, there's this whole weird corner of SEO that's all about barfing out (usually questionable) guest post content for blogs, in exchange for links in the body of the post. It's not something I ever EVER do (you want links from the Empire, you buy advertising, the end), but the inquiries just keep coming… sometimes as many as 5 or 6 overnight. (It's always overnight, because the writers are non-US based.)

This morning I had two SEO guest post inquiries, and they illustrate the best and the worst I've seen in a long time…

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Delicious Monday morning stats: year over year

I know some of you out there are analytics nerds like I am, so I thought I'd take a minute to share a few metrics, from across the Empire. I'm mostly focusing on year-over-year analytics here… I look at these numbers once a month or so to get a feel for how each site is aging, and assess whether there are any strategic shifts I need to make.

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7 tips for search engine-friendly URLs to let Google make sweet love to your website

I get to see a lot of URLs pass my virtual doorstep in my dual editor/vendor relations roles. Almost everyone has some grasp of SEO and the tools that help us tread those nasty waters. But inevitably, I also see tiny ways we might be tripping ourselves up when it comes to SEO. And so often they are easy-peasy fixes. I'll be talking about these strategies in a few posts, starting with one of the most basic: the slick and simple optimized URL!

52

What do people search for on Offbeat Bride?

I spent some time peeking at my Google Site Search stats last week, and learned some things about the stuff that readers search for on Offbeat Bride. From the chart above, you can see that despite the fact that our traffic since 2009 has increased by 20% – 80% each year, the number of on-site searches have gradually declined. I like to think this is because we've made it easier to find content on the site without searching, but that may be optimistic of me.

Anyway, here are the top 20 search terms people have used when searching on Offbeat Bride:

18

My incredibly complex SEO strategy

Of Offbeat Bride's 500,000 unique monthly users ("unique users" being an analytics term, although my users ARE very unique in a more general sense), about come to the site from a search engine.

So the question then becomes, what incredibly brilliant SEO strategy did I use to get traffic like this?

Here's my answer…

72

5 ways we optimize old blog posts into super sticky landing pages

Web overlords often refer to "landing page optimization" when they talk about making users into "conversions." The user is converted when they sign up for the email newsletter, buys the product, drinks the Kool-Aid, etc.

While blogging has its crossovers, what the Offbeat Empire wants our landing pages to do is get readers deeeeeper into the sites. We want to show them what we've got, what differentiates us from similar blogs, and secondarily, to get them engaged with our various communication and social media touch points. Web publishing loves something sticky.

The strategy we're working on these days is to find older blog posts that are organically getting major traffic and, assuming that many of these readers are new to us, introduce them to the site and get them clicking on links. One example of this kind of "landing page" blog post is "Wedding invitation wording that won't make you barf," something Ariel originally wrote back in 2007 that still gets 47,000 unique hits a month.

Here's how we try to get readers to stick around…