Goodbye Rank Write, Hello TagLine issue 001


SEO case studies, resources and solutions for your business' online marketing success

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-------Your moderators-------

Heather Lloyd-Martin
Detlev Johnson


April 18, 2002

  1. New format, new look. Enjoy your premier issue of TagLine.
  2. Press opportunity - Tell us your search engine optimization stories!
  3. Case study - Surprise: Even limited SEO works!
  4. Book review - Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy.
  5. Sound off - What do YOU think of Looksmart's new PPC format?
  6. Stay tuned for next week - Your SEO questions answered, SEO ethics, how to write an optimized press release and more!


We've got a new format and a new look. Enjoy your premier issue of TagLine.


Welcome (ex-) Rank Write readers!

I'm back! And we've got so much to catch up on...

Well, a lot has happened since the last issue of Rank Write was put to bed. I started a new business with I-Search moderator Detlev Johnson, called The Ascendant Group I signed a book deal (more on that later) and, of course, Detlev and I developed this spanking-new search engine optimization newsletter.

Our most exciting new feature is our SEO case studies. Every other Thursday, we'll report on the latest case studies from SEO's big and small. (BTW - If you're an SEO that would like to be interviewed, email us your case study specifics to We'd love to hear from you!)

What will we be writing on those Thusdays when we're not reporting case studies? We'll be answering your search engine optimization questions! Detlev will be fielding your coding and technical challenges, and I'll still be providing your search engine copywriting answers. Just send your questions to and we'll post our responses in an upcoming issue.

Now, let's rock and roll with the search engines. It's been way too long.

P.S. Are you attending the London Search Engine Strategies conference? If you are, stop by and say "hi." Jill and I will be presenting on writing for the search engines - and Detlev is moderating our sessions both days. We'd love to meet you!

Press opportunity - share your SEO writing tips in MarketingSherpa's guide to search engine writing!


We're kicking off this issue with a great PR opportunity! As ex-Rank Write readers, you know how important your copy is to search engine rankings - and now you can share your SEO copywriting successes!

I'm writing a 75+ page book called MarketingSherpa's Search Engine Copywriting: How to Get Higher Rankings and Better Paid Clicks with Powerful Copy. What I'm searching for are test results, lessons learned and interesting tidbits you may want to share regarding writing for spidering and pay-per-click search engines.

For instance - maybe you have a story about how including keyphrases in your copy helped to increase your rankings. Or some tips about how to write targeted PPC ad copy. From keyphrase selection and writing directory listings to creating title, Meta and description tags, I'm searching for anything search engine writing related.

Want to be featured? Please email me at I can't guarantee you'll be in the book, but I'll check everything over. Thanks for your stories!


Case study - Surprise: Even limited SEO works!

The case study from the well-known SEO was impressive, on paper.

The SEO edited for keyphrases. They changed the code. They submitted to directories. We even had a quote from the client (let's call them exclaiming how the SEO campaign resulted in a 500% sales increase.

And then, we dug a little deeper. And we didn't like what we saw.

Discover how this good SEO case study went bad - and how even limited optimization can mean big improvements. Read the full case study here!


Book review: Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy, by Nick Usborne

I know Nick personally and he's a good guy. He pretends to laugh at my jokes, he tolerates my constant teasing, and he's forgiven me for wreaking havoc with his Boston presentation.

He's also a darn fine copywriter and speaker. Darn fine.

So, when I had a chance to read (and review) his book, I jumped at the chance.

Nick clearly outlines how words differentiate you from your competition - yet copywriters are "the only people online not free to write." (I can see fellow copywriters nodding their heads in agreement.) To help bridge this gap, he suggests ways copywriters and development groups can more effectively communicate.

Good for novice copywriters and experienced wordsmiths alike, Nick gets into the Web writing nitty-gritty, explaining how to start your sales process with your home page or email - and keep selling them even after the purchase is confirmed. He also created a wonderful section on writing newsletters... that you can be sure I read before this issue hit the streets.

It's a great read and full of practical advice. Check it out when you're planning some future wordsmithing.

Sound off - What do YOU think of Looksmart's new PPC format?

Last week, Looksmart announced that they were changing their business model from being a true directory to a Pay-Per-Click format. (You can review the latest information at

What do you think of this change? If you're an SEO, will you still recommend that your clients pay the $49 Listings Setup Fee?

Tell us what you think at We'll print some responses in an upcoming issue.


Stay tuned for next week - Your SEO questions answered, SEO ethics, how to write an optimized press release and more!


Whew. There's something somewhat nerve-racking about releasing a new publication. We've sweated and slaved over brainstorming original SEO content (and delayed the launch to ensure everything was *exactly* right). It's been crazy, fun and totally exhausting -- and it's (finally) complete. Enjoy!

Please let us know how we did. We're dedicated to making TagLine a trusted SEO resource, so your feedback is important. You can zip us an email to, or email us personally at or

Thanks. Have a happy, profitable week.

Heather and Detlev


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