Posts Tagged ‘content’
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Image courtesy of Anthony Ryan/Flickr.
Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, recently tried to clear up some common search engine optimisation myths. In his video, he let marketers in on the secret to getting Google rankings: align your content and site with Google’s goal to provide the best search results to users. You can see Cutts’ video on Search Engine Journal.
But, how exactly do you align your content with that goal? How do you make sure it helps to provide users with the best search results? Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Know what Your Market Wants
What does your market want? A solution to a technical problem? Creative ideas? Products that make life easier? Whatever it is the people you are targeting want, provide it. There are lots of ways to find out what this is, from simple brainstorming to polls and surveys and even focus groups.
Once you know what these wants and needs are, make sure every piece of content on your website works to meet those needs. Your pages will attract more traffic and be more likely to rank when people search for related terms.
Appeal to Your Market’s Emotions
Your site should appeal to your market’s emotions in a way that makes people want to respond to your calls to action and value your content. First, think about what you want your market to do and what people want. Then, figure out how the content on your site can spur that action.
For example, a business that provides safety equipment might appeal to readers’ emotions by appealing to their desire to keep family and employees safe.
Know what Makes Your Market Tick
Knowing what makes your market tick will help you create content that provides the best results to Google searchers. When you know what interests people, what kind of information they are looking for and what drives them to interact, your content will rank well and help your business be more successful.
The things that motivate your market will most likely be closely tied to what people want and their emotions, so when you combine all this information you can produce powerful content.
Provide Undeniable Value
The best content is valuable to the people it is meant for. When this value is undeniable to your market, your content will be more effective. Provide information, resources, advice, details or even entertainment that is relevant to your market and provides benefits. Search engines, including Google, rank high quality content higher than content that doesn’t provide much value and isn’t relevant to searchers.
When you align your content and website with Google’s goal of providing the best results to searchers, your pages will rank higher and your site will be much more successful.
These tips will do more than just help you optimise your content and drive traffic to your site, they will help you connect with your market and achieve your overall goals. Use these tips to take your content to the next level so you can get higher rankings, more traffic, more engaged readers and more customers.
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Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
The Internet marketing world is full of all kinds of tactics and strategies, including content marketing and search engine optimisation. These two tactics often work together but aren’t the same. When done correctly your content marketing and SEO efforts can complement each other, strengthening your entire Internet marketing strategy.
Search Engine Watch posted an article that details the difference between content marketing and SEO and the future of link building. The main difference is that content marketing is the process of providing specially designed content that engages your audience and that people want to share. On the other hand, the goal of SEO is to get higher search rankings. So how do you use both of these tactics together?
Produce Content for One or the Other
When you produce content, whether it is a blog post, article, video, infographic, white paper or anything else, determine whether it is part of your content marketing or SEO plan. Of course, it will ultimately benefit both, but it’s important to have one goal in mind when you create a piece of content.
Things you produce for your content marketing plan may have a different audience than those for your SEO plan. If you try to force your SEO strategy onto your content marketing plan, the content will be disjointed, lack a purpose and won’t fit into your overarching Internet marketing strategy. The results won’t be very effective.
Use SEO to Boost Content Marketing
But, just because you produce content as part of your content marketing plan, that doesn’t mean that it can’t also benefit your SEO strategy. Optimise your content with keywords, publish and share it in the right places and include links according to what will benefit your SEO plan. However, don’t sacrifice the quality of the content when you optimise it.
The best SEO content is written with people in mind and then enhanced for search engines. Use keywords naturally and only include links when they are relevant to the content. Always avoid black-hat SEO strategies like keyword stuffing, link farms and using too many links per piece of content.
Always Provide Value
Whether you are producing content for your content marketing or SEO plan, always provide value. Your market will only respond to the best content, which is tailored to peoples’ needs and appeals to their interests. By the same token, search engines are increasingly favouring high-quality content that is relevant over spammy content that is only designed to get links.
Enhance your User Interface and Site Navigation
Your user interface, like your website or blog, and navigation system need to be people and search engine friendly. People who visit your site should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily, so the layout needs to be clear and make sense.
But, search engines also depend on the site structure so be sure it makes sense and that your URLs include keywords whenever possible.
Work for Natural Links
Link building is still an important part of SEO and one way you can get the best links is to work for natural links. Create and share content that people will want to share on social media or link to from their own website or blog.
These kinds of links are natural and are of high value when it comes to search rankings. They can also help you reach a bigger audience and increase traffic to your site.
Content marketing and SEO tactics are so closely related and getting yours to work together will make both of them, and your entire Internet marketing strategy, stronger. The key is to have clear goals for each piece of content and to make sure the way you publish and share content doesn’t deter search engines.
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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
When you use social media marketing to drive traffic to your website and get referrals, you want to spend your time and resources on the sites that bring the best results. Shareaholic published a report called “Social Referrals That Matter” and the findings might surprise you.
The report analysed data from more than 200,000 sites and 250 million unique monthly visitors. Shareaholic found that YouTube, Google Plus and LinkedIn generate the most engaged referrals. These three sites beat out Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit and StumbleUpon.
To determine which sites brought the most engaged traffic, Shareaholic looked at how long referred visitors spent on the site, how many pages they visited and bounce rates across eight social media networks.
There are some other interesting findings from the report:
- YouTube creates the most engaged referrals, referrals with the lowest bounce rate, the most pages per visit and has the longest visit duration.
- Google Plus and LinkedIn bring the fewest referrals, but these people are more engaged than those that come from other sites.
- Twitter and Facebook referrals have similar pages per visit, time spent on site and bounce rates.
- Pinterest referrals have similar bounce rates as those from Facebook and Twitter, but they look at fewer pages and spend less time on the site than referrals from most other networks.
- Reddit referrals have a high bounce rate and its users are very selective.
- StumbleUpon brings the least engaged referrals, but if your content really hits home to a user, she will be very engaged.
All of these statistics are valuable when it comes to Internet and social media marketing.
Using this Information
The number-one takeaway from this report is that YouTube, Google Plus and LinkedIn have the potential to bring the most engaged, active visitors to your site. Of course, you should also take things like your market, goals, business and products into consideration as you choose which networks to use. However, it is worth finding out if these three networks align with your strategy.
As always, it’s important to create and share content that will resonate with your market. Even if you use the most engaged networks and the sites that your audience uses, you won’t find success until you share content your market deems valuable.
It’s also important that your site is designed to encourage engagement. Once people have clicked on a link from social media, the content should be useful and your site should be easy to navigate. Highlight resources and consider adding links to related content below your blog posts.
Calls to action should be front and centre and easy to respond to. Using buttons and tabs that allow people to buy your products, contact you or find more information will lead to lower bounce rates, increased time spent on your site and more engaged visitors.
If you are using YouTube, Google Plus and LinkedIn, spend some time finding out if you are using them to their fullest potential by taking advantage of all their features and building an active audience on them. Then, make sure the content you share through social media will spark engagement.
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Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
If you use social media marketing, chances are that one of your goals is to get people to share your posts so you can reach a much wider audience. Friends are very influential to consumers, so a person becomes much more likely to become a customer if his friends recommend and promote a brand or product.
But, sometimes getting your audience to share your posts is easier said than done. You’ve seen big brands with very engaged social media audiences and followers that loyally share their posts. How do they do it?
Post Shareable Content
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but posting shareable content will go a long way in getting it in front of a wider audience. People only share content they really like or they feel will benefit their friends, so create that kind of content. Things that are interesting, entertaining, informative, helpful and valuable will be more likely to get shared on social media.
Resonate with Your Audience
When you share content that touches your audience and that people can identify with, they will be more likely to share it. People like to share things they agree with or that moves them, so when you can accomplish that your content will be more shareable.
Content that inspires people to think and talk about a subject is more likely to be shared. Posts that include awe-inspiring content, are controversial or talk about in-depth topics make people want to share their opinion and share it with others to get their friends’ opinions too.
Let People Share Your Cause
According to a study by The New York Times, 84 percent of people share content that allows them to be supportive of a cause. Telling your brand’s story and producing content that demonstrates your cause will encourage people to share it on social media.
Ask for a Share
It’s okay to ask your audience to share your content once in a while. When you post something that you want to send to a bigger audience, tell your followers how exciting it is and ask them to share it with their friends. To make this work, you still need to create interesting content people will want to share.
Give an Incentive
You can also incentivise your audience to share your content. Doing a giveaway that requires entrants to share a social media post is a common way to do this. Other options include offering discounts and holding contests that require people to share a social media post.
If you want your social media audience to share your content, it needs to be interesting and valuable. Then, you can use other strategies to encourage people to take that step to share it with their friends on social media.
As more people begin to share your posts and content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites, you will be able to reach a wider audience and make more people aware of your business so you can be more successful.
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Friday, March 28th, 2014
Image courtesy of Coletivo Mambembe/Flickr.
Recently, LinkedIn announced that all users can now post and share content on LinkedIn. This announcement took the site from a basic social networking site to a networking and publishing platform, meaning it becomes much more powerful for your business.
The Perks of Publishing on LinkedIn
Last month, LinkedIn announced that it boasts more than 15 million members in the UK. When you publish or share content on LinkedIn, you can reach a huge audience.
Publishing original content on LinkedIn and then sharing it with your market will help you build your brand, increase your online presence and establish yourself as an industry expert. Whenever you can share your expertise you are informing your audience and creating more ways to get people interested in your business and products.
It’s important that you establish your website or blog as the base for your content, but when you use other sites like social media and outside publishing platforms, you are extending your reach and exposing your brand to more and more people.
Making the most of Publishing and Sharing
To get your content in front of a bigger audience, build you reputation and reap the other rewards of publishing and sharing on LinkedIn, you need to keep a few things in mind.
Know Your LinkedIn Audience
Your LinkedIn audience is different than your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram audience. The people using LinkedIn are there to connect with professionals, find information relating to business or industry trends and connect with you in a different way. When you know and understand this audience, you can create and share content that attracts it and is of value to it.
Participate in the Network
To get the most out of LinkedIn, you need to participate. When you connect with others, comment on posts, join and participate in groups and start your own group, your content will be more visible to others and you will start to have a voice on the site. This will help you build a bigger audience and be more successful on LinkedIn.
Take Advantage of Sharing Tools
LinkedIn has a whole suite of sharing tools you can use to help spread your content and allow your audience to help you share it. You can download the Share Plugin that adds a button to your site making it easy for people to share it on LinkedIn, increasing your traffic.
The Sign in with LinkedIn tool can be added to your site if you want users to login to access certain information. When you use this, you’ll get information about your users’ profiles so you can make their experience more personalised. You can also use the Share API so that when people share your content, it is attributed to your app.
The ability to publish and share content on LinkedIn allows you to reach your market in a new way, become more visible to the people you are targeting and build your online reputation. Start getting more out of your LinkedIn account by creating content, sharing it and making it easy for your market to help you share your brand.
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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Image courtesy of Jonathan_W/Flickr.
Pictures bring an extra “something” to social media and Internet marketing. When your content has rich images, it’s often easier to capture your audience’s attention and convey your message.
There are so many creative ways you can incorporate pictures into your strategy and when you do, you’ll breathe new life into your online content and bring your messaging to a whole new level.
Highlighting Product Features
Don’t just tell your market about a product’s features, show them off with photos. These kinds of images can generate hype about a new product and help people more fully understand why your product is the best on the market.
Demonstrating Product Use
You can prove how useful and valuable a product is by demonstrating it through photos. Of course, you can also use videos to do this, but with a picture you can quickly show how something works or demonstrate results.
Dressing up a Message
Share short marketing messages, testimonials, information about discounts and other short pieces of text with an image to make it more interesting and so it will stand out online. You can easily use photo-editing software to put text on top of a relevant image.
Bringing a Remote Audience to an Event
When you host a product launch, conference or other event, chances are that there will be people in your market who can’t attend. Bring them to the event virtually by sharing photos, on your blog or through social media, as the event unfolds.
Connecting with others on Social Media
We recently blogged about how you can now tag people in pictures on Twitter, and most other major social media networks also allow you to do this. Tagging people in photos is one more way you can connect and interact with them on social media.
Getting Your Audience Involved
Ask your market to submit photos to get people involved and engaged with your brand on your website or through social media. Some easy ways to do this include holding a photo contest, asking people to submit pictures of them using your products or encouraging people to share photos of them at your location. You may need to offer an incentive, like giving a discount or holding a raffle, to get people excited about this.
Giving a Behind-the-Scenes Look
Sharing photos is a great way to let people get a behind-the-scenes look that makes them feel like they have the inside story and that they are involved with your brand. Take these kinds of pictures at your office, events, product launches and anywhere else that will give people a unique view of your business.
Making information More Shareable
When you combine information, in the form of facts or statistics, with an image, people are more likely to share it on social media. The most common form of this tactic is an infographic, but you can do this on a smaller scale by putting an interesting statistic on top of a relevant image.
Images let you reach your market, get peoples’ attention and even convey your messages in new ways. The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to including photos in an Internet marketing strategy, so assess your goals and find places where photos can enhance your strategy.
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Monday, March 24th, 2014
Image courtesy of Raoul Pop/Flickr.
Evergreen content is content that doesn’t expire quickly, or ever. In other words, it is content that is relevant and provides value for long periods of time. This kind of content is extremely valuable to your business and can bring several benefits that will help you be more successful.
Evergreen Content Defined
Lots of the content you produce, like blog posts, social media posts, and even some infographics, include information that becomes outdated. Pieces of content about social media features that are continually updated, products that are discontinued and current events all provide great value when they are published, but over time that value decreases.
On the other hand, things like tutorials, business descriptions and content about general topics usually continue to provide value over long periods of time. They are relevant for months or even years.
You do need a combination of these content types for Internet, social media and content marketing, but the benefits of evergreen content are often overlooked by businesses.
What Evergreen Content can do for You
So, what makes evergreen content so beneficial? The things it can help you achieve and the benefits it can bring are very valuable.
Establish your Brand Voice and Authority
Content that includes information that provides value for longer periods of time can help you establish your brand voice and authority. When you are always changing the content on your homepage, or main pages on your site, you begin to dilute your brand and confuse your market. Evergreen content helps you avoid this.
Evergreen content that highlights your expertise and that your market deems as highly valuable will also help you establish your authority and reputation as an expert, which will help you build your business.
Get more Social Media Traffic
Evergreen content lets you get more out of a single article, blog post, or video as you can continue to share it on social media long after it is created and it will continue to generate interest and traffic. Other kinds of content lose their value and an audience’s interest, so they won’t attract as many clicks.
Build Your Link Bait Foundation
Just as evergreen content can continually attract interest on social media, it can also attract more links. People are much more likely to share content that is relevant and current, so when you publish evergreen content, you are extending the period of time it remains relevant and is most likely to be linked to, bringing you more links and traffic.
Increase Your Rankings
More traffic, comments and links, which will accumulate with evergreen content, can lead to higher search engine rankings. When your site ranks well, it is easier for your market to find it and you’ll see more traffic and more sales.
Evergreen content should play a significant part in your Internet marketing. The value it brings is hard to beat and when you create it, you are making an investment that will bring long-term benefits to your business. Assess your content strategy to find out where you could benefit from evergreen content and make plans to add it to your marketing tactics.
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Friday, March 14th, 2014
Image courtesy of Dan Cederholm/Flickr.
If you use videos as part of your Internet marketing strategy, there’s a good chance you post them on YouTube. With more than one billion unique visitors each month, according to the site, YouTube is one of the best places to use video content to reach your market.
However, when you post your videos avoid these common mistakes so you can get the most out of YouTube and make your videos even more effective.
Skipping Video Descriptions
You may not realise just how important your video descriptions are. These descriptions help you tell your market something, but if they include keywords, they also make it easier for people to find your videos. When you upload videos, don’t skip the descriptions.
A good description will be thorough, keyword rich and well written. Keep in mind that users will have to click “show more” if your descriptions are long. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but keep your descriptions shorter if you want to avoid that.
Not Setting up a Channel
Setting up a YouTube channel allows you to create a branded, centralised location for all of your videos. When users see your channel, they will know right away that it is an official page for your business. A channel also makes it much easier for your viewers to find your other videos, as they will all be in the same place.
Don’t forget to promote your channel! Use your website, printed marketing materials, blog and other social media accounts to tell people to subscribe to your channel for frequent updates.
Forgetting to Link to Your Website
Lots of businesses forget to link from their YouTube videos to their website. When you write your description, include a link back to your homepage, blog or any other page on your website which you would like to increase traffic to.
When you set up a channel, you can also link to your website from the top of your page. YouTube also allows you to link to other social media accounts, which is a great way to build your following on Facebook, Twitter or other sites.
Not Using YouTube Insights
You wouldn’t ignore your website’s analytics, so why wouldn’t you use YouTube insights? When you create an account and channel, you will have access to YouTube’s insights dashboard, which provides information like earnings, traffic sources, engagement and so much more.
This information can help you understand how your videos are performing and whether or not they are effectively helping you reach your market. It can also help you find ways to make better videos and use YouTube more successfully, as you’ll be able to see how your viewers respond to different kinds of content.
Whenever you post videos to YouTube, avoid making these common mistakes. When you use the site to its fullest potential, your marketing plan will be more successful and you’ll be able to boost your site’s traffic, increase sales and even build your online audience so you can reach more people.
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Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Blog posts and online articles are a great place to start when it comes to content marketing. In fact, for many businesses, these types of content lay the foundation of their content marketing strategy. However, you can use other types of content to help your business stand out and communicate to your market in different ways.
The types of content you use and how you use them will depend on what you are trying to accomplish and what resonates with your target market, but here are a few ideas to help you get creative.
Infographics are a very popular Internet marketing tactic, but are you using them yet? These are the perfect way to communicate a lot of information or detailed specifics in a quick and easy way. They are easy to understand, interesting and very shareable. Try using an infographic to report interesting industry specifics, sales figures or just some fun information.
Product Demonstration Videos
We’ve blogged before about how videos are a very effective sales tool. One great way to use them is to produce demonstrations that show your products in action. Consumers like to understand a product’s features and exactly how it works and how effective it is before they make a purchase.
Keep in mind that whenever you create videos or podcasts, you’ll need to also produce a written transcript or summary of the content if you want to use it as part of your search engine optimisation efforts.
Interviews with Industry Experts
Give your audience a chance to hear from someone else. You can interview an industry expert with video or audio or you can write a blog post or article in a question and answer format. Industry experts can help you attract attention and can also influence your audience.
How-to guides are another popular form of content you can use to provide value to your market. Consider writing guides that are relevant to your products or services and that solve common problems your market has. This is another type of content that people may be more likely to share through social media.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you can solve a problem or answer questions for your market, you become a valuable resource. Compile blog posts or articles that list frequently asked questions about your business, products, services or anything else relevant to your company and market.
Interactive quizzes are very popular and are a great way to drive traffic to your website. This kind of content is fun and entertaining and is also something that people are likely to share on social media. Get creative and find ways you can use quizzes to promote your products and build your brand.
Content marketing is an Internet marketing strategy that can help you accomplish all kinds of things, from greater brand awareness to higher search engine rankings and even increased sales. As you create your strategy, find creative and unique content types you can use that will resonate with your market and help you reach your goals.
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Image courtesy of scot2342/Flickr.
A new survey and research conducted by Animoto provides dozens of interesting statistics and lots of information that uncovers the power of videos in Internet marketing. Videos are a great addition to content marketing plans and make it easier to capture a market’s attention. They also allow businesses to get creative and show their market something, rather than just tell people about it.
Just one of the interesting statistics from the study includes the fact that 73 percent of respondents reported that they are more likely to make a purchase after watching an online video about the product or service.
But, the survey goes deeper and reveals what makes online videos more shareable and what viewers are looking for when they watch them.
The Most Shareable Videos
When your video captures your market’s attention and provides so much value that people want to share it, you’ll likely get bigger results. Your video will be played across the Internet, reaching more people and having a bigger influence.
According to the survey:
- 94% of respondents said they share humorous videos.
- 91% of respondents said they share heartwarming videos.
- 89% of respondents said they share educational videos.
When you know what kinds of videos people are more likely to share, you can find ways to fit those themes into your videos.
What Viewers Want in Your Videos
The survey also looked into what consumers want to see in online videos. This information is very valuable to businesses.
According to the survey, 42 percent of respondents want to see more product descriptions or service demonstrations. Other things people like to see in videos include information about electronics, restaurants, travel and exercise and fitness.
Another interesting piece of information is that 83 percent of respondents said that videos that are five minutes long or less are most effective when doing research or shopping online.
Respondents to the survey also provided some feedback about what businesses can do to make more effective videos:
- Use only high-quality images and visuals.
- Funny videos but with no nonsense.
- Demonstrate what the product can do.
- Info-rich videos are way better than blatant advertising.
- Show a 360-degree view of the product.
When you know what people who watch online videos prefer to see, you can make more effective videos.
The information from this survey provides a lot of valuable insights, and when you understand what spurs people to share online videos and what they feel makes a video more valuable, you can create more effective videos.
This isn’t the first study to show the power of online videos when it comes to Internet marketing. But, this research adds to our understanding and can help businesses create videos that will increase sales.
To make sure you get the best results from your videos, and that they are worth putting time and resources into, use these tips as you plan and create them. The videos you produce should also be aimed at your market and created specifically with your audience’s needs in mind.
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