Tag Archive: blogging

  1. Do Keywords Really Matter?

    SEO Blogging 101 Series: Part One

    Writing a blog post may be pretty straight-forward, but making it SEO friendly is another story entirely. If you have a great topic that you think your audience will be interested in, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and write it!

    However, it’s also important to make sure that as many users as possible see the content you took the effort to craft. That’s why using an SEO strategy and different content marketing tactics is so important, and why we’ll be exploring the different tactics and strategies that should be applied throughout this series.

    What Role Do Keywords Play?

    To begin with, SEO is not just about the keyword in a topic.  Since Google periodically makes updates to its algorithms that changes how it crawls, indexes, and determines what should appear on search engine result pages (SERPs), knowing how to make each blog post count is important. However, focusing only on a keyword or keyword count won’t get you the ROI you’re looking for.

    Why? Because Google – and even more importantly your audience – doesn’t consider just one specific word when they’re trying to find an answer to something. SEO is an all-encompassing strategy now and takes many factors into consideration. Yes, engaging content is still a driving force and factor, but long-gone are the days of keyword stuffing to get a website to rank as the number one search result. The emphasis now is quality – not quantity.

    HubSpot shares the following,

    “It’s not about choosing the right words anymore — it’s about providing context. Google doesn’t want to return results anymore; it wants to return answers. So, if you’re not doing a good job of answering your prospective customers’ questions, it doesn’t matter what keywords you choose — your SEO will suffer.”

    So what does this mean when it comes to your blog content? Keywords still matter, but they shouldn’t be the focus. In Part One of our SEO Blogging 101 Series, we’ll cover the role keywords play and why they’re still important to consider, but shouldn’t be the sole focus behind online and digital content.

    What’s Your Topic?

    Do you know what you’re writing about? SEO experts have different schools of thought on how valuable a keyword is and what the optimization percentage should be – or if there should be an optimization percentage at all. There is one new update that most SEO connoisseurs agree on: content should be developed with the intent of the searcher in mind.

    I recommend that writers try to optimize the content with a percentage of 1.5% for the keyword in mind, using the following formula:

    SEO Keyword Optimization Formula

    The reason for this is because at the end of the day, there’s no hard and fast rule for how often a keyword should be included in content. Writing with a keyword in mind, though, helps keep the main topic and intent of the searcher as the focus.

    This way the blog post will be included in search results for not just the individual keyword, but also long-tail queries such as: “How can digital marketing for restaurants help me get more customers?” or “What is social media marketing?”

    Remember to keep your writing, keyword phrases, and terminology natural as well. SEO has evolved from focusing on ranking and singular keywords to the overall intent of the searcher and user experience. So yes – write with the keyword “digital marketing” or “seafood for sale” in mind. But also write for what your audience wants to learn and know about. Is your audience really looking for seafood for sale, or are they trying to find a recipe that has seafood in it?

    Keywords have a role and a place, but be careful not to focus so much on one word or phrase that you completely miss the point of posting content in the first place: to engage with your audience. 

  2. LinkedIn Blogs: Why The Cool Kids Are Doing It

    If you’ve logged into LinkedIn within the past year, you’ve been greeted by Pulse news recommendations customized “just for you!” as the featured content in your LinkedIn feed.

    How to blog on Linked In

    What began as a digital publishing platform for news sources and exclusive LinkedIn “Influencers” (see what they did there?), is now one of the most effective yet under-utilized social media tools for positioning yourself as a subject matter expert.

    Our Experiment: Publishing on LinkedIn

    As a digital marketing agency, we like to testdrive new techniques on ourselves before making recommendations to our clients.

    In September, we published Principal Kelly Lafferman’s blog on both our website and as a LinkedIn post as an experiment. We wanted to know how much farther our reach would extend by adding this platform to our posting regimine.

    Boy, were we happy!

    Repurposing and publishing the post for LinkedIn took less than 15 minutes (Geico, LinkedIn is coming for you) and garnered fantastic results. Not only did the post earn syndication in the “Marketing & Advertising” Pulse channel and an additional 1.6K views for our content, nearly 300 LinkedIn users engaged with the post through comments and Likes which created additional awareness-generating news feed stories. Kelly’s LinkedIn connections and Twitter follows, mentions and shares also reaped positive results.

    That success left us asking, why wouldn’t we recommend this to everyone we know?

    How to Blog on LinkedIn

    There are already fantastic tutorials available that can help you publish your first post on LinkedIn, so I won’t re-invent that wheel.

    What I do want to stress is how easy and effective it is to repurpose your existing blog content as a LinkedIn post to position yourself as a thought leader. (If you need a refresher on why content marketing and blogging are essential to your digital marketing mix, feel free to peruse the rest of our blog.)

    Your blog post may need a minor facelift before you copy and paste into the LinkedIn publishing tool (especially if you’re following SEO best practices), but I promise it’s worth your while.

    Here are the top 4 changes to consider:

    1. Post Title – Most SEO-friendly blog titles are keyword rich, but may lack a strong literary hook. Jazz up your post title to something eye catching or slightly controversial to snag as many readers as possible.
    2. Links – SEO standards suggest balancing external links (those outside your website) with internal links in your blog content. However, if your goal is to drive people back to your website from LinkedIn, it’s ok to tip the scales in your favor. Consider integrating more relevant links to your website and blog when possible. It’s also good form to set all links to open in a new browser tab or window from your LinkedIn post.
    3. Add a Closing Question – Update the last line of your post to a question that invites feedback. Similarly to Facebook, the more comments (and other engagements) the post receives, the higher its ranking.
    4. Add an Author’s Bio - Most WordPress blogs integrate your author bio outside of the post itself. Dont’ forget to add this back into the content of your post when sharing on LinkedIn. Give your readers the opportunity to learn relevant or interesting details about you in 30 seconds or less. (Don’t include a full CV here.)

    Now get out there, and start sharing!

  3. Company Blogs: Why Yours Should Have One

    “Why?” “What’s the point?” and “How?”

    These are the first three questions we hear when recommending that a company start a blog. The truth is, blogs are misunderstood. Blogging is not only meant for the foodie, fashionista or world-traveler. B2B firms, companies in specialized industries, and small businesses are all seeing more success than ever from blogging.

    Why?

    Company blogs are important and they are going to become more important. Google continues to favor sites that have fresh and relevant content. That being said, blogging on a regular basis significantly increases your website’s search engine ranking.

    Blogs are not just for large consumer brands. According to Hubspot, 57% of B2B companies have found leads through blogging. B2B companies that blog one to two times per month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog.

    What’s the point?

    The best way to think about blogging is to imagine what your ideal customers are typing into Google. For a digital marketing company like WebSolvers, that might be one of the following:

    How do I increase my ranking on Google?
    What’s the best time of day to post on Facebook?
    What are the benefits of a mobile-friendly website?

    When your potential customer types questions into Google that are relevant to your company’s services, you want your blog to show up on the first page of results. Your blog should position your company as the “Subject Matter Expert” in your field, and serve as the answers to their questions.

    How?

    Of course, there is a method to the madness. In order to write an effective blog, you must optimize your blog to ensure it is search-engine-friendly. Marketingthink.com provides a clearly defined guide to creating the perfect blog. Some of the highlights include:

    • Keep each blog within 500 – 800 words
    • Use keywords with a high search volume in your title and within the body of the blog
    • Craft an attention-grabbing first sentence
    • Insert a graphic with image descriptions that contain keywords
    • Link to other pages within your site or blog
    • Use keywords within link text (avoid using “click here” as your link text)
    • Use bullets to list information
    • At the end of the post, lead users to a relevant page on your site, a brochure, or wherever you would like them to go with a call to action
    • Make your blog easily sharable with social media icons

      How to Write a Blog

      Source: http://marketingthink.com/how-to-build-the-perfect-blog-post-blueprint/

     

  4. What Should I Write About on My Company Blog?

    When it comes to your company blog, a little thought goes a long way.  Most marketers agree that effective content marketing is an increasingly important part of reaching new customers.  Consumers are continuing to shun ads in favor of objective, educational content.  Companies that are trying to grow are seeking to tap into this trend and a great vehicle to do so is a corporate blog.  And while more and more marketers seem open to creating a blog, knowing what to write and finding the time to do so are difficult hurdles for most.  That said, the spending some time thinking about your approach can go a long way toward acquiring new customers.

    Begin with the End in Mind.  If you are interested in launching a new company blog or are resolving to start blogging again on a dormant blog, start with the end in mind.  One way to do so is by stopping to think about the buyer of your product or service when she’s ready to buy and thinking about what she’s typing into Google.  She doesn’t know she’s looking for your company yet, but you can help her find you.  We wrote previously about a really practical content marketing example but the idea is simple:  what might they type in when they need you?  As a simple example, if you are looking for tourists to pour into your restaurant in Orlando, anticipate searches like “walking tour of Lake Eola” and write a thoughtful post that meets their selfish need at that time.  While you aren’t force-feeding her an an ad or a coupon, the tourist who finds and saves your post will learn about you by “accident.”

    Think Selfishly.  Users are selfish.  As such, start by brainstorming questions or phrases that your audience might be typing into Google when they’re ready to buy.  In doing so, put yourself in their shoes and think about you (selfishly) would want.  Odds are that you won’t want advertisements, you’ll want content that helps you.  Consumers looking for an attorney to draft a will or trust, for example, will gravitate toward posts that appeal to their needs at that time–not your need for more business.  Hence, ‘call me for an appointment’ is less intriguing than ‘ten ways to minimize taxation when crafting a will.’

    company blog

    When it comes to your company blog, a little thought goes a long way. (The Thinker at the Rodin Museum. Paris, France. Photo by Roy Luck)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Think News.  When it comes to your blog, new developments in your company is a great source of material.  If you have new hires, new services, new designations, or important accolades, be sure to consider these items as fodder for your blog.  The same also goes for developments and updates in your industry.  At the same time, not *all* news is relevant or important to your customers.  So be sure to focus on those news items that make a difference to your reader.  The more your clients will truly care about your posts, the more they will read and share with others.

    Passing the ‘Share’ Test.  The overall metric that Google looks like when it comes to your content is how meaningful it is to users.  Google measures the number of times a piece of content is linked to by others, shared on social networks, and referenced by other high quality sites.  So, with each piece of content you ponder, think about whether it is useful enough to others.  If you feel like it is helpful enough to be shared (i.e. passing the ‘share’ test), than there is a good chance it will help users and boost rankings.

    Putting a little thought to your blog can go a long way toward helping you to keep it updated and to keep the traffic flowing.  Be sure to think about the end needs of your users, casting a selfish light on them, and shooting to make the content useful enough that they might share it with others.  These aspirations are certainly not easy ones to achieve, but a little thought and hard work can go a long way toward reaching them.  The ultimate benefits are valuable content, high search rankings, and valuable traffic.

  5. The Best Free Marketing Tool You Have

    This brief (approximately 90 seconds) video is a quick but important exchange between Seth Godin and Tom Peters on blogging and its marketing power. In it, Peters calls blogging “the best marketing damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude” he’s ever had and ironically notes that it happens to be free.  If you are contemplating a blog or content marketing strategy, maybe this is the last nudge you need to move forward.

     

  6. A blog about refrigerators?

    Businesses still scratch their heads when thinking about how to build a blog for their business. It’s often challenging to think about how to connect your product to the interests of consumers.
    Let’s say you make or sell refrigerators. You might say, “who would ever want to read a blog about refrigerators?” You might stop there and then dismiss this whole blogging thing altogether. Not if you’re refrigerator-maker Sub-Zero.
    This company, maker of ultra-cool refrigerators/freezers of all types (who can forget Owen Wilson bragging about his “twin Sub-Zs” in the movie Meet the Parents) decided not to make a blog about refrigerators (how many refrigerator enthusiasts do you know?). Instead, they recently created a blog about taking care of wine. I bet we all know several wine enthusiasts.
    The blog is pretty cool–and sound from a marketing standpoint. It focuses on that which is of interest (wine) and then subtly touts that which protects that interest (their product). I think it’s a great example of corporate creativity and corporate blogging that truly connects.

  7. Ford Motor Bares its Soul

    I was told today about a new blog/community site launched by Ford Motor Company. The site is called Bold Moves. As many know, Ford has been struggling uphill in terms of sales, profitability (or lack thereof), and stock price. This kind of circumstance is very tough on an organization of this size and scale; trying to turn around a company this big is a monumental challenge.
    This new site appears to be a site for employees, customers, analysts, and otherwise to truly communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is compiling news feeds from different sites that are both positive and negative toward Ford. Most noteworthy, though, is the series of video documentaries which literally take you into company meetings, conference calls, and insider conversations.
    What’s so intriguing about this whole concept, as you’ll notice, is that Ford is letting it all hang out. It’s putting out very negative information about itself…negative analyst comments, negative press, and negative customer feedback. They’re attempting to be very transparent–acknowledging the difficulties they face in an effort to truly turn around the company. You see small companies taking this path fairly often, but not so many in the corporate/publicly traded setting.
    It should be interesting to see what kind of impact it has. If nothing else, I think it is a great device for the Ford employees to stay abreast of the changes/tactics so each one has an understanding of how that should apply to them as individuals.

  8. All the news that’s NOT fit to print…

    Many agree that blogging is really changing the face of journalism. One of the best things about journalists (especially columnists) who blog is that they now have an outlet to publish more content that isn’t necessarily appropriate for their regular column. I subscribe to an ESPN column by Bill Simmons (The SportsGuy) and I get immediate notification of when he publishes a new column or news-bite. That alone is pretty convenient.
    But take The Orlando Sentinel’s ‘Taking Names’ column by Scott Maxwell. His blog gives him a place to talk about each day’s column and to share stories about the column that a reader would find interesting. His recent coverage of ‘Lynum-gate’ has given readers a chance to see how the column has evolved…and to learn more than the column could ever hope to reveal.
    Want to see a good example of this? Check out one sports columnist’s case in point about Will Ferrell not always having a sense of humor!

  9. Common Question

    I get a very common question (or variance thereof) when I talk to people–especially businesspeople–about blogs: ‘why does anyone care about blogs’? Restated, ‘why would anyone want to read about some stranger’s vacation’? Restated again, ‘why would anyone ever care enough to read a blog about someone’s sick cat’?
    My answer, in short, is another question: ‘why is America obsessed with reality television’? Perhaps it’s not an original parallel, but our society loves the trivial and true.
    Somewhere in some broadcast board room years ago, some TV executive probably asked the question: ‘why would anyone ever want to want to watch a group of college grads living together in a random city’? Or, ‘why would anyone ever want to watch a group of strangers compete for an immunity idol on a deserted island’? I could go on but I won’t!
    Agree or disagree with the parallel?