Category: Web Strategy

The Simplest Keyword Research Tool

keyword research tool

When writing content for your website or blog, your first step is to think about your user and what they might be searching for. What are their challenges, and how can you help them? It’s a good idea to do some keyword research to ensure the term your optimizing the page for matches up with the term people are searching.

If you don’t have the time or resources to conduct thorough keyword research, try just using google itself.

Based on the search data in your area, Google give you options to auto fill your search query. It also takes into account what you’ve searched for in the past, so it’s best to use this tactic in a private browser.
Here’s what it will look like:
keyword research tool
If you’re unsure of how people are searching for your service, just type a few of the key words into the search bar and take a note of what comes up.
To take it a step further, try Google trends. The explore tool lets you see the trends over time for any keywords. It also shows you the regional interest, and even compares them to other similar terms. Of course, neither of these tools give you real numbers of how many people searched for these terms, but it can help point you to the right direction in your keyword strategy.
Here’s an example:
Google Explore Tool
If you’re looking for a more in depth way to plan your keyword strategy, I recommend taking a look at the resources on, especially their beginner’s guide to SEO. You can find the chapter on keyword research here.

SEO Competitive Analysis

Writing Website Content – Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

writing website copy

Are you having trouble writing website content? Ask yourself these four questions.

Will people know what I do within seconds?
Will they understand what page they’re on and what it’s about?
Will they know what to do next?
Why should they buy/subscribe/download from this site instead of from someone else?
When writing website content, try to put yourself in the users shoes. If that’s difficult, ask someone else to be the user and ask them if they can answer those four questions.
As marketers, the best thing you can do for your product is to start by forgetting about your product and focusing on the user and what they are looking for when they land on your website. It’s tempting to talk about all the features of your product, but you need to resist. Because, guess what? It’s not all about you. That sounded harsh, but let me explain.
Mint is an application that helps people manage their money. Here is a look at their home page today:
writing website content
I spotted the word “you” or “your” about a dozen time. There is no mention of “we” or “our product” anywhere. This is because it’s not about them.
This website also does a great job with what would be my next two suggestions.

Create a few headlines and sub-headline ideas for your most important pages.

To combat question #4, (why should I buy from you?) use a powerful value proposition and steer clear from generic cliches, gobbledygook terms and corporate speak.

Make sure to include clear call-to-actions and next steps.

Include links in your body copy, next step links at the end of the copy and calls-to-action wherever appropriate. Include a little direction and you’ll be glad you did.

25 Tactics Great Websites Use

Building a Website Using HubSpot CMS Review

HubSpot CMS Blog Banner

It wasn’t until early 2015 that our agency was approached to build a custom site on the HubSpot CMS. I have to admit I was curious, but also a bit pessimistic about it’s capabilities. I’d gone through a quick demo of the product a few years prior and I hadn’t been all that impressed.
This time, when I started doing my research and after trying out the platform, I could tell that they had reevaluated their system and spent some time on the product.
Hubspot CMS Template Builder
Being a Joomla fan, it was nice to see the module concept applied combined with a drag and drop feature that was living on a Bootstrap grid to build a custom website template.
Drap and Drop Bootstrap Grid
The subtle details of creating spacing while typing brackets and auto-populating semicolons or removing extra semicolons when typing CSS properties was much appreciated.
CSS Coding in Hubspot CMS

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A big plus for content creators, it’s easy to update rich content and add, or rearrange new modules without diving into the code or having to update your custom HubSpot CMS template.
Content Editing in Hubspot COS
All in all, the HubSpot CMS was pretty slick. To top it off, I was really impressed with the speed and security.
After we had completed our new website project on HubSpot COS, the traditional coder in me wanted to backup files immediately; custom templates, CSS files, images etc. I felt vulnerable that everything was on the “cloud.” I noticed the only way to backup a CSS file and templates was to go through a manual copy and paste process. The system does have an autosave running in the background, but I’ve never been comfortable relying on something like that. I did have a few updates fail and send me back a few steps from one login to the next, and I even had one module disappear on me. But every time I had an issue, the support team was only a phone call away and they helped me out every time.
Of course, the main question a client might have when deciding to use HubSpot is, “What happens to the website once I stop paying for the monthly CMS?” When beginning a web project, they always will want the option to get out without having all their work lost.


Wouldn’t it be awesome?

In a perfect world, HubSpot would have a Complete CMS Backup tab, where the user could request some type of compressed folder of their entire HubSpot website.
Request Full Backup of my HubSpot Website
Or, they could take it a step further and offer migration tools or even a migration service. They could charge a fee to migrate their HubSpot CMS website onto another platform. Of course, these services would only apply if the HubSpot website is custom built and not a purchased template. Keeping the open ended mindset, in my opinion, makes the product an easier sale, especially since our clients would be paying a monthly usage fee and they’d be paying us to custom build on top of the system.
At the end, if their inbound campaigns are done right, and the ROI is maximized, the conversation of removing the website from the HubSpot CMS, should never exist.
Keep up the great work HubSpot. At Schall, we would recommend your product any day.

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SEO tactics to keep in mind when building your website

SEO Tactics

You can’t trick a search engine, so don’t even try. The days of over-stuffing keywords, and cloaking to get found online are long gone. If you’re serious about getting relevant organic search engine traffic, you need proper on-page SEO tactics in place.

On-page SEO tactics consist of placing your most important keywords within the content elements of your actual pages. These on-page elements include Headlines, Sub-headlines, Body Content, Image Tags, and Links. Often times on-page SEO is referred to as “keyword density.” While it’s important to include your keyword as many times as necessary within a page, you don’t want to go overboard with it either. For on-page SEO tactics done right:

  • Pick a keyword

    Pick a primary keyword for each page and focus on optimizing that page for that word. If you oversaturate a page with too many keywords on one page, the page will lose its importance and authority because search engines won’t have a clear idea of what the page is about. This is very common on homepages in particular, where too many keywords are used.

  • Place it wisely

    Place your primary keywords in your headline and sub-headline. These areas of content have greater weight to search engines. The closer your keyword is to the beginning of the post, the better. A good SEO tactic to use if you’re trying to rank for a question someone may ask is to repeat a form of that question in your headline or h2. Just be sure you don’t seem too redundant.

  • Keep it relevant

    Include the keywords in the body content but don’t use them out of context. Make sure they are relevant with the rest of your content. If your keyword doesn’t match your content, users will get frustrated quickly and hit the back button. That’s not good for rankings, and it’s not good for business.

  • Remember the images

    Include keywords in the file name of images (e.g. mykeyword.jpg) or use them in the ALT tag. This will help on a regular SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and also in the case that someone searches for your keyword via Google images.

  • Keep it clean (the URL that is)

    Include the keywords in the page URL and keep the URL clean. Keeping your URLs clean will make them easier to share, but more importantly it will help with organizing your analytics. We don’t want to see a URL that is as long as the blog post. It should be descriptive and clean enough that you can recall which blog it is.

  • Write for humans

    Write for humans first, search engines second. Humans can recognize copy that was written for a robot, but a robot doesn’t know if that content was written for a human (ha, those silly robots). Always prepare your content for your audience and then look to optimize it for search. Content that is pleasant to read will keep your users on the page longer, another factor that helps with your SEO.

Just like you can’t trick a search engine, you can’t trick your users either. So make sure you’re thinking about them first. Your content should match up with what they’ve searched for. Don’t optimize a page for a keyword that has nothing to do with what you’re offering just because you think it’s being searched for more often.

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