To give a new spin on the same old, same old year-end recap, we put our blog up like a guinea pig for some of our favorite SEO marketing gurus/clients to use us an example of what to do and what not to do.
It turns out, we learned a lot from this exercise and we hope you will too!
Our Top 9 Sales Blog Posts of 2013:
9. Use The Compliance Matrix To Its Best Advantage In Your Next Proposal, May 2013
8. The Right Format for an Easy-to-Sign Proposal, July 2013
7. Red-Hot Tips on How to Respond to an RFP and Win that Deal, July 2013
6. What is a business proposal?, April 2013
5. Why You Should NEVER Work for a Startup, Nov. 2013
4. Four Tips On Talking To Your Clients After They Read Your Business Proposal, May 2013
3. 20 Open-Ended Questions Sure To Increase Your Win Rate!, July 2013
2. How to Have an Uncomfortable Conversation About Money, Sept. 2013
1. Business proposals kick-ass guide: how to write, present and manage, Feb. 2013
Now, what did we do right? How did we mess up?
Your titles are getting a lot of traction because four titles have the keywords ‘How to’ in them. ‘How to’ is one of the top 20 phrases typed into Google. So doing this is going to guarantee traffic over time. You also use the keywords ‘proposals’ and ‘business proposals,’ also very high searched keyword terms.
An Introspective on Quote Roller’s #1 post: Business proposals kick-ass guide: how to write, present and manage.
This title alone makes you want to read it. A lot of people are too afraid to push the envelope and having something that some would see as crude with ‘Kick ass’ in the title. But that alone makes me want to read it.
The format of the article. People love blogs that are done in lists, ie: ‘Here are 5 tips to make your business a success’ and then list them off.
The length of this article is very long [3,700 words] and has a ton of keywords and images and positioned well with some keywords bolded which Google loves.
Quote Roller is using SEO Yoast within WordPress, but it doesn’t appear that you are using it to the fullest. I would like to see individual keywords for each blog post, surrounding that blog post, descriptions for that blog post and not reusing the main one on Quote Roller’s site. Have keywords in the descriptions.
I said above the length of this blog was good for SEO, but its also in my opinion way too long. If I was writing this I would have split this up into a series. I see 3 blogs here at least. If it was done this way, its great because there are three blogs instead of one, meaning more pages, more headings and titles, more indexes in Google and most likely more traffic.
One thing that is odd is that on this blog there is no spot for people to comment or leave feedback. If you have 10,000 people reading this think of how many missed opportunities that is to start a relationship with someone even if 1% comments.
How the posts should have performed, in terms of people reached, engagement, and so forth. Like a total Greek Olympic judge, he scored us from 1 to 5.
1. Business proposals kick-ass guide: how to write, present and manageScore 3.3: The good things first. It has all the keywords and keyword density correct in there. It really is a good, short guide about business proposals. The steps are clearly separated, although, due to the post’s length [3,700 words], you might get lost as some points. I like the title a lot and I believe just because of content that is put in there, it should perform quite good in search engines. I am not quite sure about engagement though. This is a typical business post hidden beneath a ‘trendy, friendly’ look. Whether kick-ass or not, Keep It Simple!
2. How to Have an Uncomfortable Conversation About Money Score 4.9: Exceptional! The writer speaks from a personal point of view, so it seems that he really knows what is talking about in a very very difficult topic. The reader uses orders instead of suggestions. He really persuaded me. In terms of SEO aspects, the article’s title is well chosen — the word money is there — and keyword density is phenomenal. This is because, in my view, that is an article was prepared not having SEO in mind. The writer just put down in a paper what you should do in situations like these. Well done!
3. 20 Open-Ended Questions Sure To Increase Your Win Rate! Score 3.7: This article is really very useful and it should be read by all professionals in any area. The title is very, very good and the content flows very nicely up until halfway through. The bottom half seems that does not fit the initial part in terms of language used, structure, etc. Nevertheless, the writer has managed to address a very informative post in such a small article. Good work. I would expect good performance in terms of SEO, good engagement, but, if you ask any of the readers of this topic the following day, nobody would remember more than five to six bullet points. I’d bet on it!
4. Four Tips On Talking To Your Clients After They Read Your Business Proposal Score 4.4: This is a good one. Clear title, to the point and the content is very, very easy to follow. You do not to lay down 10-11-12 step guides — the human brain’s short-term memory storage cannot memorize more than nine points at its best. Language usage is very good, the pace is great. The article does not use images to ‘seduce’ the reader. It just flows. It terms of SEO, it has included all the necessary ingredients. It’s a business article afterall, but I would expect it to perform quite well.
5. Why You Should NEVER Work for a Startup Score 4.8: That’s more like it, guys! Emphasis on the title! Make me click to read more! Engines love it, users love it more! Excellent layout, easy to read through the usage of steps, perfect length [1,300 words], friendly usage of language and personalized images. Very nice work, indeed. I would expect this post to perform very nice and I wouldn’t change anything.
6. What is a business proposal? Score 4.0: Good post. The title is short and to the point, but the content is too long [2,200 words]. For such long articles, I would expect clearer emphasis points — sub-headers come more frequent, more bolded phrases, etc. In terms of language usage, it seems about right. Make things simpler for the has-no-time reader. I would expect this post to perform very good in search engines, with only average engagement though.
7. Red-Hot Tips on How to Respond to an RFP and Win that Deal Score 3.8: Clear layout with very informative images. Paragraph titles are very well-picked and the total length [2,000 words] seems about right. Not too long, not too short. I would expect this post to perform quite well and, as an add-on, that I would only rephrase the headline in order to hopefully draw more attention, something like: ‘Do you want to Win that Deal? Red-Hot Tips on how to respond to an RFP.’
8. The Right Format for an Easy-to-Sign Proposal Score 3.5: Good usage of keyword density, good usage of simple but high quality keywords, nice usage of images between paragraphs. I would expect this article to perform above average. On the other hand, I would expect user engagement levels to be relatively low. This is supposed to be an easy-to-sign proposal article which turns out to be a hard-to-finish-article. I would have kept it simpler, denser and with clear and homogeneous usage of images/photographs.
9. Use The Compliance Matrix To Its Best Advantage In Your Next Proposal Score 3.0: Very good post and very informative as well. Nevertheless, I think the headline is not a head turner. A simpler title should be of much greater assistance to the post’s engagement levels, like “Compliance Matrix: A Winning Proposal’s Best Kept Secret!”
Out with the old, In with the new
The end of the year is certainly a time for “Auld Lang Syne,” resolutions and introspection. It’s the perfect moment to do what you should be doing after each proposal you send — thinking about what you did right, what you did wrong and improving for the future. One of those areas we all could use help with is our SEO marketing strategy. Each of us has a great product or service that can help ease a problem in someone’s life and we should be using SEO as the perfect, low-cost chance to get it out there to more people.
Why not hire one our hundreds of SEO marketing clients to help you clarify what worked and what didn’t in 2013, so you can start the new year older, wiser, and growing your brand presence!