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What I’ve learned by starting a digital consulting business

As I’m working to build and launch a new consultancy website, Path Digital Services, this post explores on-the-job learnings in the past few years of SEO for agencies and small business clients alike. After a year and change as an independent digital consultant based in Chicago, a few years prior to that as a hired […]

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E-commerce content marketing (it matters)

There’s a reason why quality content — Optimized, Fresh, Factual (or trusted/authoritative), Engaging, and Relevant content — comes up as an SEO recommendation consistently in my own work as an SEO consultant as well as across the web, including sources like Search Engine Land and Kissmetrics. O.F.F.E.R., for short. Yes, that might be a made-up acronym 🙂 But it’s not arbitrary: as hard as it is to quantitatively […]

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WordPress SSL: the Easy HTTP to HTTPS Guide

Let’s look at an SEO topic that’s gotten increased coverage in the last six months due to a Google update in how Chrome displays the address bar: the HTTP to HTTPS site migration. If you’re in the digital world at all yourself, this isn’t new — but I’ve found surprisingly little in the way of a clear, […]

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Site speed + more technical SEO pitfalls

With today’s web filled with non-optimized sites and short-sighted design, all you have to do is click around, or tap on your smartphone, to find examples of sites that don’t load optimally and aren’t designed for a great user experience. But users (your existing and future customers) still demand a LOT. It’s the Internet’s fault. We want instant gratification […]

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Do keywords still matter to SEO?

While the direct significance of keywords to SEO has dwindled in comparison to other signals that stress user experience thanks to the 2013 Google Hummingbird update, keyword research is still such a critical step 1 for just about any on-page, site architecture, or marketing SEO project. Sure, keywords aren’t as sexy as newer SEO topics. […]

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Authority and social media: what is #socialsayso?

When you consider social media adding a “dimension” to traditional branding & promotional mediums, people and companies today have more power to not just inform and market themselves – but interact in ways we didn’t have power to before. It’s obvious, right? As an American consumer, you can’t escape the hashtag onslaught across digital and T.V. (About every other ad was #tagging during […]

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SEO-social-SEO: understanding the relationship

Today I wanted to take a look at how social media trends influence SEO…and vice versa. (Given the fluidity that typifies the digital space, we wouldn’t want it any other way.) When I pull up a preliminary “SEO social media” search on Google, the first thing I notice isn’t the relevance of the results – or the results themselves. It’s that […]

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Is interaction design just for designers?

Ok, so if you got to this point, you’re maybe interested in interaction design and what it’s all about for converting users and customers. What does interaction design mean, then? Well… here’s pretty much the easiest way for me as a user to find out: Interaction design at work — 3 (easy) steps 1) I go to […]

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What makes the perfect ad? Two advertising myths debunked

What makes a perfect ad? In a 2013 post on the psychology behind ad and digital copywriting, I elaborated on a fundamentally different appeal that traditional ads (print, radio, TV) make to “captive” audiences, versus content & copy for digital experiences – where by nature we participate in the medium rather than being subject to it. On […]

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When — and when not — to use target=”_blank”

Ah, to open a link in a new tab or not… that is the question. Sure, might not be the type of critical life question you find yourself faced with regularly (fortunately) but it’s a good one for us in the digital space to examine – whether you’re a UX or an SEO person, content strategist/manager, […]

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5 copywriting tips for better SEO & UX

Why you should know the rules, and then break them. (Sometimes.) Despite the overwhelming ubiquity in digital copywriting – everyone wants good SEO – there’s no magic formula to original, share-worthy content. The numbered-list format, for example, only works if you understand WHY your audience is drawn to click: a promise of usefulness in the post/article itself. What I want to […]

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UPDATES: freelance SEO work

May of 2015 has been a busy month… I recently updated my resume to reflect a freelance SEO gig I’m doing for Jigsaw – an agency based out of Milwaukee – and their healthcare client. I’m optimizing site content for natural search behaviors (e.g., improved navigation, H2s, strategically placed keywords) as well as working with a digital […]

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Button blindness: the dreaded Learn More

(Or, why you should avoid bland CTAs and button copy.) In some side work I’m currently doing involving content management & strategy, I’m on the hunt for ways to reach new “untapped” audiences. This article content we’re working with lives in the digital media world, however, where any sort of promotional messaging that might dilute the integrity of the […]

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“Start something new”

I recently came across a page I really liked (read: nerded out on) and wanted to share here: apple.com/start-something-new. Not only is the concept cool and different – marrying artistic inspiration with Apple products – but I liked that the “preview” copy held my attention even though it wasn’t a traditional intro in terms of length. It’s breaking the rules just a […]

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Advertising strategy: “tell me what I want”

What is it about a certain ad message that resonates and stays with us? Is it a feeling of being assailed – by Old Spice’s clever (and now-trademark) use of the bizzare, for example? Is advertising’s appeal in its ability to “arrest the human intelligence long enough to get money from it,” as the quote […]

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Outside the box: job roles in digital media

In a previous post I talked about my current UX strategy work, and how some organic traffic challenges can prompt innovative thinking and perhaps even success – in my case, creating usable travel guides using archived travel article content (as old as 2009!) and the site Storify. Today I wanted to look at the big […]

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Job seekers: know how to brand yourself

While in the job hunt over the past few months, I’ve come to realize the value of “it isn’t what you say, but how you say it” – not just in the packaging of all I represent as a job seeker to potential employers – but in the aesthetics of my work. It doesn’t mean […]

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