Hotel Headlines

The following is a short excerpt from a longer post in the members only section of the Magnetic Web Content forums.

Travel is a very competitive area, but it is also a very rich area for content. A lot of the most obvious headlines get used over and over, one reason for this is because they work.

However, we want links and the people we are looking to get links from are a savvy bunch and have pretty much seen everything before, so you need to be innovative and interesting.

To me, a great headline is one that has familiarity but takes you in a completely different direction.

These example headlines – which you can use as you will, are focussed on UK Hotels.

UK Ghost boosts hotel bookings

I’m going to assume you know nothing of headlines, but one example is that a headline, “Dog bites man”, is not interesting, whereas, “Man bites dog” is. “Hotel increases its bookings” as a headline is boring, having a ghost is mildly interesting, but having the bookings go through the roof because of some spectral visitation makes it a little more interesting.

UK Hotel bookings soar on ghost sightings

From an seo perspective it may help if “UK hotel is at the beginning of the headline, it makes it more difficult to make the headline interesting, but should always be attempted as the headline will invariably make up the anchor text and therefore effect the SERPS.

Apple Mac owner haunts UK Hotel

Did I tell you that the ghost is of a previous hotel guest who was killed by his wife when she threw her Apple Mac into his bath? Obviously what I am trying to do here is to attract the digg crowd. Different headlines should be considered for different social bookmarking sites, appealing to the interests of the users of those sites.

If you think I’m making this story up as I go along you would be right, I’m pretty much writing this as it comes into my head. Is it a true story? No, of course not. I find it a very successful technique to come up with a killer headline first and then craft a story around that headline.

………. this article continues in its full form at Magnetic Web Content

Why turn off comments on a blog?

For a while now I have been turning comments on and off on this blog. I feel a blog goes through stages of life and usefuleness as other projects get more attention. This is no longer the blog it used to be, no longer sucking in comments like an industrial vaccum cleaner.

Most of my good stuff goes elsewhere these days, mostly on clients blogs.

The manipulative art of conversation is more important than ever these days, but there are many ways to create a bit of chatter.

I still have comments open on other blogs. It’s not that comments are bad, it’s just something to consider is the situation requires it.

So to that seo company that is trawling my historical comments for a bit of pointless blog spam. sorry guys, the party is over.

Graywolf has also decided to walk down the non hectoring route of no comments.

And of course you can’t comment on this post, which leads me to believe that you agree with absolutely everything I have said.

Where can I hire a writer?

As a writer I get confused when publishers ask me where can they find great writers. “Have you tried the Internet?” Usually gets a blank stare.

Apparently it’s really hard to hire great writers. I have only on few occasions hired writers to do work, which has probably made me a lot poorer as I take way too long over commissions. In fact I think over 95% of the writing I do for others is late. [Read more…]

How Chrysula Can Crush the Competition on Twitter

My old Pal Chrysula ask me how to get ahead in Twitter.

A while back she asked me about twitter, I sent off a long reply which never got to her. I of course forgot to send another. I just noticed she is on Twitter with only 34 followers, at least that was what she had before I shouted her out to my feed.

Instead of sending her another email, I’m going to blog the advice. I don’t have a twitter ebook or product to sell, although I do offer a consultation and training service. [Read more…]

Seasonal SEO

If you want to rank for keyword groups around garden furniture or Christmas gifts, you need to take account of seasonal influences.

But when should you plan to do your seo?

Lets look at Google trends data for the keyword “garden center”. If you spotted the deliberate mistake, give yourself a donut. I will explain the mistake later.

garden

I have used data over a few years to highlight any patterns. As we can clearly see from my elegantly drawn arrows, searches peak in April. Most seo practitioners know that it takes many months for a properly implemented seo plan to work. I would want to implement any changes by at least October, which means you have to be thinking about the plan in September.
You may even want your seo in place by February as this is when the up trend begins.

But look at the question marks highlighting a bump in November each year. Anyone who has gone to a garden centre in November knows they are packed with Christmas stuff. This is a Christmas shopping bump and is an important trading time for the business, therefore the seo for this season should not be ignored.

So the mistake. My link to the Dobbies.co.uk used the anchor text “garden centre”, which is the UK spelling. “Garden center” is the US. I used the US version of the trends simply because the sample size was bigger and was similar to the UK.

Garden centre is probably easier to rank for than garden center, because of the size of the US market. Although, some Brits are going to use “center”, mostly by the kind of people who enjoy watching Britains got Talent ;)

Not all niches have a seasonal element, but when it does it makes sense to factor it into the plan.