Tag Archives: SEO

Streamlining vs. content quality: You know it when you see it

23 Jun

Content mills are like white walls

Content mills are like painting a wall. You might not be building a storytelling mural or adding creative branding with detail and context, but simply painting to cover the wall – one color, one coat.

Summary: Are content mills – companies that provide quick, SEO-rich content in volume to brands – the best solution for your “I need more content on my website,” woes? Probably not.

 

When we want to create the best content experience possible, just how much do we want to streamline our content production? 

I recently noticed a popular content marketing blog listing several text brokers, also known as content mills, to help brands with content creation.

Content mills and content mill brokers have grown in popularity with the rise of writers seeking self-employment and freelance opportunities as well as clients seeking web content to provide SEO critical mass and opportunities to crosslink. Content mills have sprung up like weeds clogging verdant online pastures.

Long term prospects for content mills

Fortunately the content mill model is destined to fail in the long term because Google, Bing and other search giants no longer reward truly bad content and low quality back links.

Winners going forward in content creation will be brands that create solid, unique content that real people want to read and share. A team of subject matter experts trumps a content mill’s pennies-on-the-dollar, freelance team. An engineer’s passion for their product and processes is shockingly obvious compared with a writer producing 300 words on the same topic.

In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain “hard-core” pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it.”

People searching for an answer to their question online know good content when they discover it. Text brokers can fill a topic with the appropriate keywords and word count, but quickly streamline past readability. When content is custom, creative and in context, your reader/customer knows exactly what they’ve found.

White wall content

When your search uncovers mill-generated content that technically answers the question but without any passion, context, or additional detail, you’re disappointed and you continue your search.

Content mills are like painting a wall. You might not be building a storytelling mural or adding creative branding with detail and context, but simply painting to cover the wall – one color, one coat. This can be expertly done, and done quickly and efficiently, but it is simply a clean, white wall. A white wall of content is pleasant, but merely a placeholder for more inspired words.

Find more ideas under #contentmarketing on Twitter.

Blend Content Marketing tasks and documents

5 Feb
content marketing task list

(Library of Congress image)
Be crystal clear: SEO strategy should be integrated into your content marketing strategy so each content item supports your overall findability.

Now that you have 5 essential content marketing documents you can focus on 5 essential content marketing tasks. Content Marketing is an important part of sustaining the opportunity presented by consistent and unique thought leadership and related events. Link participants, content and conversation and ensure that each piece of content yields optimal results toward your business goals by following these steps.

Your expensive paid online marketing strategy (Google AdWords, retargeting, banner, display and old media buys) ultimately drives visitors to your online content marketing (your website and social media channels). When customers discover your online content does it answer their questions? Whether you have a paid online marketing strategy or not you need to practice content marketing.

  1. Recycle and format content: Be green and make the most of each content marketing effort. Plan related content and alternative presentations of content in advance. Use your Content Inventory to find existing information to highlight in your current publishing cycle. Don’t forget to link to related content and cross-promote each item to extend its usability. Create different pieces of content on the same topic –  alternative presentations – to make your content stand out. What in your Content Inventory can be created in a different format: PowerPoint to Blog Post; Case Study to Infographic; video to web page?
  2. It’s all about search – optimize: SEO strategy should be integrated into your content marketing strategy so each content item supports your overall findability. Review your Keyword Suggestions document, select one keyword phrase, and focus your headlines, copy and tags to gain maximum SEO value.
  3. Relevant calls-to-action and mobile-friendly: All that effort and writing to create great content – perfect. Now, finish the job. Review your Online Metrics and guide users to a specific call-to-action (tell them what you want them to do). Assume potential readers will read your content on many different devices, such as Macs, PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Review your Online Metrics, discover top landing pages – /services, /press, /productx – learn, replicate, simplify; make certain that contact info is in the page field, not just in the left-hand rail or the footer of the page.
  4. Publish your content: Promote your content to maximize its potential to reach interested consumers. Update and then publish content on a regular basis with your Content Calendar.
  5. Share your ideas: Why create it and then keep it to yourself?Encourage and enable readers to share your content across relevant real time platforms. Connect this content with your Event Participant Inventory; add social sharing buttons to your website; affirm other event participants; share their content – reciprocate.

Also: Essential Content Marketing documents

Essential Content Marketing documents

3 Feb
Content marketing document examples

(Library of Congress image)
You need to develop and maintain content marketing documents to track your content marketing efforts.

According to Google ZMOT, in 2011 people researched and digested 10.4 unique pieces of content (blog posts, web pages, video, Twitter posts, Facebook status posts, SlideShare presentations, etc.) before making a purchasing decision. Your online content is the voice of your company, each item is speaking to your customers and telling your story while you’re very busy growing your business. You need to develop and maintain content marketing documents to track your content marketing efforts.

Your paid online marketing strategy (Google AdWords, retargeting, banner, display and old media buys) is expensive and ultimately is supposed to drive visitors to your online content marketing (your website and social media channels). Whether you have a paid online marketing strategy or not you need to practice content marketing.

Here are examples of 5 essential content marketing documents to guide a successful content marketing strategy.

  1. Example of a content inventory

    Example of a content inventory

    Content Inventory: Use your Content Inventory to find existing information to highlight in your current publishing cycle. Reference your inventory to link to related content. Create different pieces of content on the same topic at the same time. Cross-promote each item to extend its usability. What in your Content Inventory can be created in a different format? (PowerPoint to Blog Post; Case Study to Infographic; video to web page).

  2. Example of keyword suggestions

    Example of keyword suggestions

    Keyword Suggestions: SEO strategy must integrated into your content marketing strategy so each content item supports your overall findability. Use Google AdWords to identify keywords related to your top products and services. Now use these keywords to build your branded message and deliver online via organic and paid content, as well as, email, real time media and your website. Use these terms to link your thought leadership to company events and the sales cycle. Select relevant keyword phrases and then focus landing pages to maximize SEO value.

  3. Example of online metrics

    Example of online metrics

    Online Metrics. Track page views, bounces, referrals, sources, mobile and more for your website. Understand successful (and less than successful content). Track metrics for your real time channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), as well. Improve poorly performing content and landing pages and repeat successes.

  4. Example of content calendar

    Example of content calendar

    Content Calendar: Establish a publishing cycle and deliver new and repurposed content on a regular basis. Set a pattern of good, consistent and unique thought leadership on your Content Calendar. Be flexible enough to adjust to the news and sales cycle. Check Google Trends, Insights and your Online Metrics and prepare the content that web visitors are seeking.

  5. Example of participant inventory

    Example of participant inventory

    Event Participant Inventory: Build an online community by staging regular events and then maintaining connections with your participants. The Event Participant Inventory shows all digital touch points (websites, social media/real time channels, etc.) where your event attendees share their branded messages. The Event Participant Inventory provides opportunities to identify influencers through your company’s event, and to share and affirm branded keywords.

Create (and maintain) these content marketing documents and then follow your content marketing task list to connect with your customers.  And in case you were wondering why content marketing is so damn important – it is.

Social media and web ideas for faith groups

25 Feb

Social Media and faithPeople truly want to talk about their faith and communicate their blessings. Every weekend, some people update their status on Facebook and Twitter to say they are going to services and post reactions to homilies and discussions. Use your church’s website and social media platforms to host this discussion and encourage engagement.

SEO, website tasks, contact points

  • Make reaching new people one of the primary tasks of your website. To be effective, your website needs to rank well in search engines for a wide variety of keywords. Try searching for your own church and topics related to your church. Note the alternate search terms and keywords that Google produces. Note the search terms that discover similar websites and social media pages. Improve the metadata on your website.
  • To attract new people to your church your website should have some way for you to keep in touch with those visitors. A great way to do that is by having an email newsletter or a contact form for visitors. Make contact another primary task on your website.
  • Make the share buttons to your social media platforms obvious and easy to find. Repeat share buttons on interior pages and on your contact page.

Educate your community with a blog

  • Your ministry’s website or Facebook page can help you gain disciples. The website should have an active blog. Produce a series of blog posts to explain your faith, your faith’s organizational structure, your activities, services and outreach to curious people. Build good, solid content that identifies your ministry. This great organic content should brand yourself, your staff, your parishioners and your community in the posts.

Blend Social Media with your message

Social media is here to stay and the volume on channels like Facebook produce fields ripe for harvest. Some religious ministries are observed with a dose of skepticism by people in the community. Social media sites are primarily about building trust.

  • Publish informative status posts about your ministry and what God is doing around you on a regular basis.
  • Monitor for Spam and errant comments, but be real in your responses, share your personality, build trust in people that want to belong and want to see the real face behind the ministry.
  • Ask others to answer questions on the Facebook Fan page. Allow people to help others
  • Publish Facebook Notes. These can be short blog posts that you can tag with Facebook fans. You can also attach photos and style the text. Facebook Notes come up in search results (especially Bing) and you can also enable an RSS feed of this information.

Introduce your leaders and staff

  • Your church website and social media sites can raise the profiles of your staff and leaders. Make a connection with a large group of followers. If your religious staff and lay people can produce a regular column to post on your church website, then more people will begin to know who they are. As they become more recognizable in your community, so then will your church.

Do you know of any other ways to improve communication for churches and ministries?

 

 

 

 

Facebook Fan page format change – surprise

11 Feb
MrElshMedia storytelling video new

New format Facebook Fan page for MrElshMedia

In the middle of my explanation to a friend as to why Facebook did not allow Fan pages to comment on other Fan pages – surprise, Facebook introduced its new Facebook fan page formats (Feb. 10).

You’ll find the Facebook Fan page design is almost identical to personal profiles now, and the ability of a Facebook Fan page administrator to comment as their Fan page on another Fan page is the key feature.

As today’s social tribes become much more interested in the filter of their trusted team members, family and friends, watch business websites optimize their social media delivery as much if not more than their search engine optimization.

Here’s the skinny on the changes:

Photo Showcase

Your most recent posted or tagged photos appear across the top. No fan photos – you control the summary.

Navigation – Stage Left

Info and tabs to the left, exactly like on personal profiles.

Two Fan Page wall filters

Show top Fan page wall posts or top posts from everyone. Set a default filter for your Wall via the Edit Page.

Interact as a Fan page

The best part is that you now have the flexibility to interact with other areas of Facebook as a page.

  • You can view notifications when fans interact with Fan page posts
  • See activity from the pages you like in your news feed
  • Like other pages and feature them on your page
  • Make comments as your page on other pages

Take a tour Facebook Fan pages

See the new upgrade here at MrElshMedia. The upgrade is optional until March 1, when all Fan pages will convert to the new style according to Facebook.

Website content and the Soylent Green moment

12 Feb
Soylent Green moment: It's actually all made out of 'content.'

Soylent Green moment: It's all made out of 'content.'

Websites are all about content. Whether your website contains widgets, video, audio, images, quizzes, animations, or infographics, it is the text post that contains the chewy, searchable goodness.

The moment when you realize that text content is the main ingredient your Soylent Green moment – is when you must follow a playbook to help your readers get the most out of the content.

How to build a more efficient text post

  • Scannable text (highlight keywords with color and typeface variations)
  • Super sub-heads (not newspaper clever, no time to waste)
  • Inverted pyramid (clever newspaper idea, begin with conclusion)
  • One idea paragraphs (users will skip end of long paragraphs to next scannable item)
  • Less is more (cut the word count in half – then cut again)
  • Bulleted lists (like this one)

A brief well-constructed post provides an idea in text that is short enough that users will actually read it online. Detail and depth are layered with source material and links.

People are searching for the main ingredient in your text. Make it tasty.

3 social media jewels of past week

2 Mar
 
Eyecube's Periodic Table of the Social Media Elements

Eyecube's Periodic Table of the Social Media Elements

What’s handier than a Periodic Table of the Social Media Elements

Don’t get wrapped up in matching Noble Gases and Inert Elements to the social media staples and thought studs. Discover a very playful visualization of the ever expanding social media universe.

If you can judge a good idea by the enemies it creates (track the comments) then Eyecube is on to something.

What I know about SEO. Google and other big search engines constantly tweak the search algorithms. Check your Common Sense SEO Checklist from Chris Coyier. In the end, good honest information from a quality source will trump cheap tricks and black hat search engine optimization.

 

Focus on what you have control over.

 

A recent report “Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope,” prompts Brian Solis of FutureWorks to add visualizations of outbound and inbound networks using TwitterFriends.

 

As Twitter evolves and users experiment with different way to deliver information and value, and non-value (spammers), we look forward to updates on Solis’ network visualizations.

 

 

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