Move past the hype

Potato Chip RockI’m happy to say that during the last two months, I have gotten back into hiking. Almost every weekend, a couple of friends and I get together and hit one of the many trails in San Diego County.

We found one trail that we really like. It takes you from Lake Poway up Mount Woodson to “potato chip rock.” This rock looks like a large potato chip that could break off at any second. It is the big draw for a lot of the hikers who make the almost 9-mile hike (which is often made in the heat).

The first few times we climbed the trail, we got to potato chip rock, moved just a little beyond it to get away from the crowd, took a rest break, and went back down the mountain. We had noticed that the trail continued past potato chip rock. However, since most people stopped at the rock, we assumed the trail just went to the cell towers and antennas that sit on the top of the mountain and that there was nothing else to see.

Mount WoodsonExtra effort can bring unexpected results

Last week, we decided to hike towards the antennas just to satisfy our curiosity. What we found were amazing views from all sides of the mountain. Sure, the boulders weren’t shaped like potato chips, but they offered more shade, less crowds, and better views.

Just traveling a little farther on the trail yielded us so much more than the novelty of a cool-shaped rock.

Look beyond the stops everyone else makes

Does your website offer the same (or very similar) information, tools, and layouts as everyone else? Are you stopping where most people are stopping because that’s the norm? What opportunities are you missing?

Your challenge this week is to determine what makes you stand out from your competition – what makes a customer choose you over another service provider or product. Once you determine this, check your website and make sure it truly reflects your uniqueness. (Start with your home page, then create a plan to update the rest of your website.)

Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Take those few extra steps and be amazed by the results.

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending September 11th

Branding, dark search, shrinking organic traffic and G+ authorship highlight this week's newsIn this week’s latest and greatest online marketing news, content marketers discuss branding and analytics for bloggers and publishers, SEO and search pros discuss dark search, strategy, and shrinking organic traffic, while social media marketers discuss searchable Twitter history, G+ embeds and automatic authorship.

Enjoy this week’s picks!

Content Marketing

Reporting from Content Marketing World, Mikal E. Belicove reports “Content Marketing Study Suggests Most Content Marketing Doesn’t Work” at Forbes.

Mitch Joel posts “What Keeps The Chief Marketing Officer Awake At Night? – Part 1” at Six Pixels of Separation.

Olivia Rose posts “Changes in Marketing Focus Require Revised Strategies” at Level 343.

Bill Faeth posts “What Exactly Does Google Consider High Quality Marketing Content?” at HubSpot.

iMediaConnection posts its “iMedia 25 -2013, Brands Redefining Content Marketing.”

Debbie Williams and Dechay Watts co-author “How Branded Content Can Make An Emotional Connection” at Content Marketing Institute.

Gini Dietrich posts “The Branding Marathon: How to Use the Web to Grow Your Business” at Spin Sucks.

Srinivas Rao shares “5 Keys to Building an Addictive Personal Brand” at Search Engine Journal.

Marc Simony discusses “The Successful Brand Steward” at Social Media Today.

Ben Elowitz posts “Brands Should Stop Trying to Be Publishers” at Ad Age.

Michelle Atagana posts “Publishers should focus on original content over reblogged news: TNW founder” at memeburn.

Chloe Della Costa discusses “The future of brands as content creators” at iMedia Connection.

Nicolette Beard shares “How to Use Crowdsourcing for Content Marketing Inspiration” at TopRank.

Discussing B2Bs, Courtney Ramirez posts “How Are Companies Actually Using Content Marketing” at Endurance Marketing.

Elisa Gabbert posts “Content Marketing for E-Commerce: 3 Great Examples” at WordStream.

Heidi Cohen discusses “The Future of Content Marketing” at her blog.

Danny Brown discusses “How To Use Google Analytics To Create Killer Content” at OPEN Forum.

Rebecca Bridge shares “The Big Content Real-Time Dashboard Template” at Portent.

Graham Charlton posts “10 useful custom Google Analytics reports and dashboards for publishers” at Econsultancy.

Amy Teeple posts “Bored? Here’s how you can spice up your SEO content” at SEO Copywriting.

Andrew Davis posts “How to Win at Content by Targeting a Niche” at Convince & Convert.

Seth Godin continues his Q & A series with “All Marketers… and the challenge of telling the right story” at his blog.

Demian Farnworth discusses “The 5 Stages of Writing Irresistible Landing Page Copy” at Copyblogger.

Oli Gardner shares “666 Fresh Conversion Rate Optimization Tips…” that he personally read and curated at Unbounce.

Events: 

(John Hall lists a number of great conferences for online marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs at Forbes).

 

SEO & Search

Danny Sullivan discusses “Google’s Plan To Withhold Search Data & Create New Advertisers” at Search Engine Land.

Jennifer Slegg posts “Thin Content With Little or No Added Value Manual Action: Google on How to Fix It” at Search Engine Watch.

Citing a recent Google Webmaster Help (Matt Cutts’) video, Barry Schwartz posts “Google’s Matt Cutts: Nofollow Links Won’t Hurt You Unless You Are Spamming At A Huge Scale” at Search Engine Land.

Bruce Clay shares his “…Knowledge Graph SEO Strategy: 2-Part Approach” with a video post at Search Engine Journal.

Heather Lloyd-Martin posts “Yes, you do need an SEO copywriting strategy. Here’s why.” at SEO Copywriting.

Doc Sheldon posts “SEO Packages: Buyer Beware” at Search Engine Watch.

Tom Pick posts “Search Traffic Declining? You’re Not Alone (and What to Do About It)” at Webbiquity.

Ruth Burr posts “Using Google Keyword Planner (and Other Tools Instead) for Keyword Volume” at Moz.

Bill Slawski discusses “How Google May Reform Queries Based on Co-Occurrence in Query Sessions” at SEO by the Sea.

Avinash Kaushik discusses “Google Analytics Visitor Segmentation: Users, Sequences, Cohorts!” at Occam’s Razor.

Sam McRoberts posts “The Evolution of SEO Metrics” at Search Engine Journal.

Michael Gray discusses “How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website” at Graywolf’s SEO Blog.

Rebecca Murtagh posts “It’s Time to Update the Definition of a Website” at Search Engine Watch.

Janet Driscoll Miller discusses “How to Recover When Your Content Is Stolen” at Search Engine Land.

Derek Cromwell discusses Google penalty recovery with “How Google made me despise goats & press releases in one day” at SEO Copywriting.

Eric Ward discusses “Changing Course In The New Linking World” at Search Engine Land.

Paddy Moogan discusses “Metrics that Drive High Quality Link building” at State of Search.

Paul Bruemmer interviews semantic strategist Barbara Starr with “Future SEO: String Entity Optimization” at Search Engine Land.

Michael Martinez discusses “Technical SEO Skills for 2013 and 2014” at SEO Theory.

Sourcing SearchMetric’s SEO Ranking Factors 2013 report, Brad Kuenn posts “Content Forecast: On-Page Factors for Better Rankings” at Vertical Measures.

Chris Darabi posts “How to Regain Lost Traffic with These Remarketing Strategies” at KISSmetrics.

Frank Isca discusses “How to Get More Insight Into Your Encrypted Keyword Traffic” at HubSpot.

Himanshu Sharma discusses “How to report Organic Keywords Performance in the world of ‘Not Provided’” at Web Analytics World.

Chris Liversidge posts “SEO Reporting To Shift Your Bottom Line” at Search Engine Land.

Aaron Wall interviews Jim Boykin at SEO Book.

Barry Schwartz reports “Bing Test Deep Links Within Search Box Results” at Search Engine Land.

Carla Marshall reports “Bing Video Search Gets Fancy New Features For A Better User Experience” at ReelSEO.

Daniel Burstein posts “Marketing Research Chart: Mobile search marketing tactics” at MarketingSherpa.

Sherwood Pengel discusses “Measurement in the Evolving App Environment” at comScore.

Discussing local search, Matt McGee posts “As Menu Search Expands, is MSO Far Behind?” at Small Business Search Marketing.

Jason Tabeling discusses “2 Reasons to Love the New Google AdWords Paid & Organic Report” at Search Engine Watch.

Events: 

 

Social Media Marketing

“Searchable History of All Tweets” headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Josh Constine reports “Your Facebook Posts, Gift-Wrapped In Identity, Will Soon Be Given To Marketers” at TechCrunch.

Reporting from TechCrunch Disrupt, Greg Finn posts “Embedded Posts & Automatic Authorship Attribution Arrive On Google+” at Marketing Land.

Merry Morud shares “Essential Tips for Facebook’s New News Feed Ad Unit” at Search Engine Watch.

Greg Sterling reports “Instagram Ads Coming, Seeks To Avoid Facebook’s Missteps” at Marketing Land.

Kristi Hines posts “Find Which Social Media Links Perform Best in Google Analytics with UTM Parameters” at KISSmetrics.

Belle Beth Cooper shares “From Ideas to Traffic results: How we run a blog with 700,000 readers per month” at The Buffer Blog.

Ann Smarty shares “3 Ways to Quickly Create Awesome Media Content to Beautify Your Blog Posts” at Search Engine People.

John Anyasor shares “Top 20 Twitter Tactics for SMBs” at UpCity.

Mark Schaefer posts “Social media and the forgotten business opportunity” at {grow}.

Justin Ellis reports “Storify sold to Livefyre in a merging of social curation tools” at Nieman Journalism Lab.

Jennifer Horowitz discusses “What You Can Do Today To Tap Into More Holiday Shopping Traffic This Year” at Level 343.

eMarketer reports “Omnichannel Is the Key for the 2013 Holiday Season.”

Donna Davis posts “A TV News Reporter’s Guide to Creating Interesting Videos Quickly” at ReelSEO.

Debbie Hemley shares “26 Tips for Using Instagram for Business” at Social Media Examiner.

John Rampton posts “Pinterest Marketing Tips: What You Can Learn From 20 Big Brands” at Entrepreneur.

Events:

(For an all-in-one listing and description of social media, content & inbound marketing events, check out Neal Schaffer’s “The 12 Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2013” at Social Media Today.)

photo thanks to Thomas & Dianne Jones (FreeWine)

Sale! Offering a 25% discount on the SEO Copywriting Certification training through September 30th with code SEPTEMBER

 

How Google made me despise goats & press releases in one day

Derek Cromwell shares how he recovered from Google's press release links penaltyGoats that scream like humans are the funniest thing to me.

Excuse me… WERE the funniest.

You know the screaming goat in the Doritos commercial where its eyes went wide at the empty pantry, when all the Doritos went missing?

I did that, and it was all thanks to the latest July update from Google and their Blitzkrieg assault on press release links.

Never before have I ever had an issue with a Google update.  I practiced what I preached to my clients, so that meant that from the home page of my site to every piece of content I published I was all about my audience and delivering great content.

Are You &^%$#@ Kidding Me?

That was basically my reaction (post scream) when I got the slap from Google.  It was mid-August when I suddenly realized that my website was torn from page 1 of Google and shuffled all the way back to page 5 for my biggest money keyword.

My immediate reaction:

  • Sign out of Google and search again (didn’t help)
  • Switch browsers (didn’t change it)
  • Check from my smartphone (cried a little)
  • Checked from my laptop – page 6 (goat scream again, much louder this time)

I had the freak out that my clients have had so many times – the one where I have to calm them and tell them that it’s fixable.  It took me a few minutes to settle my nerves and try to figure out the cause.  I immediately turned to recent Google updates and that triggered it right away.

Uh-oh… My press release links.

I had done a number of press releases via PRWeb between 2010 and 2011.  When I published them they were one of the big pieces that helped push my visibility up for several keywords.  Now they were biting me in the ass.

I immediately logged into PRWeb, edited each, and stripped the anchored keywords away.  I changed nothing else and republished the releases.

Then I played the waiting game while I gingerly went about my content writing and marketing for by business.

Thankfully, as the days wore on, I began to see an immediate positive change as my site moved spot after spot up the pages – closer to page 1 each day.  I have yet to regain my original spot for most coveted keyword phrase but I’m confident that through the continued use of quality content that I will get there again.

“AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaa! But What About Me?!”

That ^%$#@ got you too, didn’t it?  Here’s some advice from my firsthand experience on how to recover when Google does come knocking and demands that you pay.

Take a breath – It’s going to affect your business.  It’s scary.  But there’s nothing you can do about it right this second.  Think about what you’ve done lately in your marketing, in the past, and what kind of updates have occurred in the world of search.  Take that info, pick it apart and define how you’ll respond

Here’s hoping you had and hung onto an editorial calendar so you know what you’ve been doing down to the day.

Undo what has been done – There aren’t too many things in life where you get a do-over.  Thankfully with the search engines we can do the “I didn’t take my hand off the piece” and fix our position… most of the time.

  • Keyword anchored links in a PR?  Remove them… immediately.
  • Spammy articles distributed online taking you down? Kill the author box links
  • Buying links and getting nailed for it?  Stop buying links, and request the others get taken down (or have them point to a competitor…. no seriously take them down.)

Plan for the future – Remember that despite all the changes that Google makes to their search algorithm and how content is ranked, they will never penalize you for having quality content.  It’s what you do with that content that matters.

The fastest way to recover from any downslide in the search results is to double down your efforts at producing, publishing and sharing really great content.  I’m confident that this, coupled with pulling those anchored links from my press releases, it’s what’s giving me such a quick recovery for competitive keywords in this industry.

And no more screaming goat videos.  It’s just not funny anymore.

About the Author ~ Derek Cromwell

Derek Cromwell is a graduate of the Success Works SEO Copywriting Certification program and founder of Thunder Bay Media.  He fancies himself as a website copywriter, peddling content marketing and copywriting to clients around the globe.  He enjoys well-deserved date nights with wife, military simulation paintball, raising his many children, and running with his rambunctious Siberian Husky, Bella.

photo thanks to PaulODonnell

Now through September 30th, save 25% off my SEO Copywriting Certification training with code SEPTEMBER

 

Bored? Here’s how you can spice up your SEO content

Has your SEO content gone stale? Here are some ways to spice it up!Whether you consider yourself a niche writer or not, chances are you tend to create content for similar websites. Maybe you tend to write websites for medical or legal professionals. Maybe you have many small business clients. Perhaps you have mastered B2B writing.

Regardless, if you are comfortable writing similar sites, you may be stagnant and not even know it.

When I first started out, I wrote websites for many dentists. I could write about the various types of teeth whitening systems, the differences between an inlay and an onlay, and even the various methods to overcome dental phobia.

The bonus: I could write these websites in my sleep. There was a quick turnaround and very little effort.

The problem: I could write these websites in my sleep. The websites started sounding the same and I lost my desire to write something different. I was bored.

Then I received a referral and things got interesting.

This client sold “marital aids” and wanted an extensive guide.

Was this outside of my normal comfort zone? Oh yeah. But writing about something else was fun and exciting. I couldn’t turn off my brain and mindlessly type. I had a new target audience to write for, new perspectives to consider and new products to discuss.

Plus, I noticed even more benefits – ones that carried through to my other jobs.

The gig shook up my thinking and let me approach the next dental website with a refreshed outlook. I saw new opportunities and broke free from the same boring structure.

All from trying something new.

This week’s SEO content challenge: Spice things up!

Write something different. You don’t have to write about marital aids, just something outside of your normal writing realm.

If you don’t have the luxury of breaking out of your niche (especially if you are an in-house writer), find another outlet. Write a short story. Create an unrelated blog post. Do whatever you can do to shake up your creativity.

You’ll be amazed at how much it helps.

Happy writing!

(And if you have your own tips of how to break through from “boring” into “brilliant,” please let us know in the comments. Thanks!)

Photo thanks to Clyde Robinson

Now, save 25% on the SEO Copywriting Certification training. Use coupon code SEPTEMBER

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending September 4th

SEO and search industry challenges headline this week's online marketing newsIn this week’s latest and greatest online marketing news, content marketers discuss website design and what constitutes “great” content, SEO and search pros opine on their profession’s greatest challenges, and social media marketers discuss community building and hashtags.

Enjoy this week’s picks!

Content Marketing

Lee Odden discusses “The Role of KPIs, Marketing Goals & Business Objectives in Online Marketing” at TopRank.

Danny Brown discusses “Why Thinking About Traffic is the Scourge of Great Content.”

Chris Atkinson posts “The Video Metrics That Matter. Hint: It’s Not Views” (video) at ReelSEO.

James Perrin posts “Have Google Made The Content Landscape Better Or Worse?” at Koozai.

Matt Gratt posts “How to Build Your Content Promotion & Link Building Opportunity List” at the BuzzStream Blog.

Kumail Hemani posts “Interview of Dana Lookadoo, An Internet Marketing Specialist!” at his blog.

Syed Balkini shares “10 Must Have WordPress Plugins of 2013 Every Blogger Should Know About” at Jeff Bullas’s Blog.

Hamish McKenzie posts “News sites are looking more like tablet apps every day, and that’s a good thing” at PandoDaily.

Kimberly Krause Berg discusses “Why Websites Don’t Work” at Internet Marketing Ninjas.

Jennifer Horowitz shares “23 Tips To Improve Your Bounce Rate” at Level 343.

Mike Volpe posts “Three Deadly Reasons Most Websites Fail” at MarketingProfs.

Roger Dooley discusses website redesign with “Don’t Redesign Your Elevator!” at Neuromarketing.

Citing a recent report by Yesmail Interactive, Ayaz Nanji posts “Mobile Email Benchmarks and Trends by Industry” at MarketingProfs.

Lee Odden posts “Content Marketing As A Useful, Meaningful Experience. Anything Else Is Just Noise” at TopRank.

Events:

(John Hall lists a number of great conferences for online marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs at Forbes).

 

SEO & Search

Barry Schwartz posts the “September 2013 Google Webmaster Report” at Search Engine Roundtable.

Danny Dover posts (“the brand-new version”) of “The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 2.0”, available as a free download, at Moz.

Chris Crum reports “AdWords Keyword Tool Is No More, Enter Keyword Planner” at WebProNews.

Michael Martinez discusses “Basic SEO Rules Everyone Forgot” at SEO Theory.

Gianluca Fiorelli posts “SEO in the Personalization Age” at Moz.

Doc Sheldon asks SEO experts “What do you believe is the single greatest challenge facing SEOs today?” at Intrinsic Value SEO.

Trond Lyngbo discusses “6 SEO Challenges Every Business Owner & Marketer Must Contend With In 2014” at Search Engine Land.

Barry Schwartz posts “Is PageRank Finally Dead? It Seems To Be, At Least In The Google Toolbar” at Search Engine Land.

Bharati Ahuja reports “Google Wants Feedback About Small But High-Quality Websites That Could Do Better In Search Results” at WebPro Technologies.

Will Critchlow discusses “The Future of User Behavior” (Whiteboard Friday) at Moz.

Mary Bowling discusses “How to create unique SEO content for location pages” at SEO Copywriting.

John Britsios discusses “Building a Solid Index Presence by Optimizing your Crawl Budget” at AlgoHunters.

Jon Ball posts “Link Building 101: How to Conduct a Backlink Analysis” at Search Engine Watch.

Kaila Strong posts “Startup Tip: How to Attract Inbound Links to Your Site Naturally” at the Business.com Blog.

Citing a recent Matt Cutts’ (Google WebmasterHelp) video, Barry Schwartz reports “Google Gets 5,000 Reconsideration Requests Per Week” at Search Engine Land.

George Freitag shares “The Blogger Dashboard: Google Analytics for Writers” at Portent.

Eric Enge posts “Has Google’s Author Rank Arrived?” at Copyblogger.

Warren Lee discusses “SEO Ambiguity & Pattern Recognition” at Search Engine Land.

Events:

 

Social Media Marketing

Citing a report by Reuters, Amy Gesenhues posts “Facebook May Expand Use Of Facial Recognition To Billion+ Public User Profile Pictures” at Marketing Land.

“Facebook Allows Contests Without Apps” headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Brian Solis posts “Will Twitter’s New Conversations Hinder or Spark Conversations?”

Annie Wallace posts “How To Engage Your Community With Hashtags?” at Social Media Revolver.

Ann Smarty discusses “Wrong Ways To Use Hashtags” at SEO Chat.

Danny Brown’s Sunday Share features Rebelmouse’s “How to Build and Showcase Your Community.”

Events:

(For an all-in-one listing and description of social media, content & inbound marketing events, check out Neal Schaffer’s “The 12 Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2013” at Social Media Today.)

 

photo thanks to public-sector-lists.com|governmentlists

Sale! Now, save 25% on the SEO Copywriting Certification training through September 30th, 2013. Use coupon code SEPTEMBER

How to create unique SEO content for location pages

Local search expert Mary Bowling discusses how to create unique content for location pagesYou need to show the search engines unique content on all of your website’s location pages.  Searchers who land on them must also be able to quickly decipher where you are, what you do and who you are.

They should also be able to find all of the information they may want to know about that particular place of business.  Coupled with a prominent phone number and clear calls to action, this is what’s needed to prompt prospective customers to contact the company ASAP.

This is fairly simple with just a handful of offices, stores or shops. It becomes more challenging with more locations, but is still doable for most writers up to a point. However, the more unique pages you need to devise the harder and harder it gets – until it becomes overwhelming.

As I’m sure you know, it’s difficult to write dozens – or even hundreds – of unique descriptions about what is essentially the same thing. It’s also awkward trying to make location landing pages authentic and useful to readers if you’ve never visited those places, seen what they look like and what’s around them, met the staff, toured the business or know what makes their products or services different.

Involving Your Local Operators

That’s why you need to involve the people who manage each branch of the business to help you by providing content that is specifically about their place and written in their own voice.  These are some of the types of unique content they can help you with:

  • description of their business in their own words, including anything unique or different about their products, services or processes that would appeal to readers
  • local business groups they belong to (such as the BBB or Chamber of Commerce)
  • trade associations they are affiliated with
  • awards, certifications, education or training, special licenses they or their staff may have
  • photos (cell phone photos are fine and easy to email) of their storefront, their staff, the inside of their business, some of their most popular products, happy customers in the store, employees performing services and so on
  • driving, biking, walking and public transit directions from different areas of town
  • operating hours, email address and the methods of payment they accept
  • case studies they can share or lists of present and past customers you can publish
  • testimonials they may have received via email or snail mail from happy customers
  • bios of their key staff, especially the people who will be providing skilled services
  • specials or coupons offered

Here’s an example of a location page that incorporates most of the above items without being spammy or overdone. It contains all the information a prospective customer may want to know before they pick up the phone to call.

Great Location Landing page example

 

Involving Your Web Developers

At some point, you’ll need to get the website developer involved in helping to make all of these pages easier to manage. This can be done entirely via a database or your pages can be a hybrid of static and database-driven content.

Ideally, each local operator should be able to log in to their own record and enter or upload the items listed above. Then, if staff, hours or specials change, they can be quickly updated online. If an office moves, the new address is available to web users immediately. If the store is remodeled, new photos can appear on the page within hours. You get the idea!

Having all of this information in a well-organized, accurate database also allows you to “feed” it to data providers for distribution or directly to other websites, like Yelp or Trip Advisor via APIs.

Getting all of this set up is indeed a huge undertaking. However, in the long run, it will save time, reduce frustration and, most importantly, give your enterprise the best chance of keeping the information about all of its locations accurate and update across the web.

About the Author ~ Mary Bowling

Mary Bowling has been involved in SEO and other aspects of internet marketing, with a particular emphasis on Local Search, since 2003. You can connect with Mary via Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

photo thanks to Carlos Guerrera

Struggling to create unique SEO content? I can help – contact me today!

SEO content marketing roundup, week ending August 28th

This week's online marketing news features discussion about the internet's future.In this week’s latest and greatest online marketing news, content marketers discuss strategy, conversions, and email marketing, SEO and search pros discuss the changing nature and the future of their industry, while the social media community discusses LinkedIn’s changes, video marketing, and social strategies for business.

Enjoy this week’s picks!

Content Marketing

Ian Lurie posts “The Humungous Guide to Content Strategy” (and in only 652 steps) at Portent.

Dani Fankhause posts “Press Releases Are Over, And Bad Tech Jargon’s Next: Q & A With Elinor Mills” at The Content Strategist.

Danny Brown discusses “Why Context Marketing Should Already Be Happening” at his blog.

Dela Quist posts “Google Is Rewriting the Rules of Email Marketing in Its War With Facebook. What Can Marketers Do?” at MarketingProfs.

Marketing Sherpa’s weekly research chart looks at “How do marketers perceive the ROI of email marketing?”

Robert Rose discusses “Why Native Advertising Is Neither” at Content Marketing Institute.

Kathryn Aragon posts “No More Guesswork: 5 Website Formats Proven to Get Results” at The Daily Egg.

Seth Godin posts “Great design = getting people to do what you want” at his blog.

It’s about sales pages’ performance with conversions with “Conversions optimization: Does your sales copy sing?” at SEO Copywriting.

In part 2 of a 4-part series, Sean Ellis posts “How to Uncover Confusion in Your Conversion Funnel” at MarketingProfs.

Andrew Lipsman shares “5 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Mobile Commerce” at comScore, Inc.

John McDermott posts “Study: Consumers More Likely to Shop On Mobile Than PCs” (“More Than a Third of Visits to Top E-Commerce Sites Come Exclusively From Mobile”) at Ad Age.

Nathan Richter posts “’Tis the Season to Get Ready for Your Busiest Time of Year” at ClickZ.

Iain Robson discusses “How to add value to your readers” at Marketing Your Farm.

Marcus Sheridan posts “HubSpot’s Huge Shift and What It Means for the Future of Inbound ‘Marketing’” at The Sales Lion.

Events:

(John Hall lists a number of great conferences for online marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs at Forbes).

 

SEO & Search

Michael Martinez discusses “How to Reboot Search Engine Optimization for 2013 and Beyond” at SEO Theory.

Ned Poulter posts “SEO in 2013: Do’s and Don’t Do’s” at State of Search.

Gabriella Sannino and Doc Sheldon talk with Bill Slawski about “The Internet, Present and Future” with a Level Headed Marketing video post at Instrinsic Value SEO.

Hit with an “unnatural links” penalty? Barry Schwartz reports “Google: Short & Basic Reconsideration Requests Won’t Do It” at Search Engine Roundtable.

Aaron Wall posts “Winning Strategies to Lose Money With Infographics” at SEO Book.

Temple Stark posts “Going in Depth to Define and Apply Co-Citation” at Vertical Measures.

Simon Penson discusses “A Great Strategy to Create In-Depth Evergreen Content” at Search Engine Watch.

Tom Anthony posts “From Keywords to Contexts: the New Query Model” at Moz.

Sean Carlos posts “Improve Search Engine Recognition in Google Universal Analytics” at Antezeta.

Peter DaVanzo discusses “The Benefits Of Thinking Like Google” (and the high-risk SEO strategy of following Google’s guidelines) at SEO Book.

Shaun Anderson asks “What Does Google Mean By A Level Playing Field?” at Hobo Internet Marketing.

Citing a study by Parse.ly, Matt McGee reports “Google Dwarfs Bing & Yahoo As Traffic Source For Major News Sites” at Search Engine Land.

Grant Simmons shares “Ten Tips to the Top of Google” at Search Engine Watch.

Dr. Pete Meyers posts “The Day the Knowledge Graph Exploded (+50.4%)” at Moz.

Ann Smarty discusses how Google implements nofollow links within Google Plus with “A Look into Google Plus Link Graph and Flow” at Internet Marketing Ninjas.

Gabriella Sannino discusses what SEO consultation is (and is not) with “An SEO Strategy With a Bite” at Level 343.

Courtney Ramirez discusses “Handling your copywriting client’s feedback: 5 do’s and don’ts” at SEO Copywriting.

Stephanie Lund discusses “Why You’ll Agree to Disagree with Your SEO… and That’s OK” at Portent.

Eric Enge posts “Content Curation & SEO: A Bad Match?” at Search Engine Watch.

Brafton Editorial posts “Slow sites lose ground in SERPs.”

Bill Slawski discusses “Relationships between Search Entities” at SEO by the Sea.

Kristi Hines posts “Going Beyond Standard Reporting with Google Analytics, Filters, Segments, Reports, and Dashboards” at KISSmetrics.

Carrie Hill posts “Google Analytics Email Marketing Dashboard For Beginners” at Marketing Land.

Guillaume Bouchard posts “From Keyword Strings to ‘Things’: Some New Tidbits on Google Authorship” at Search Engine Watch.

Marianne Sweeny posts “Get Out Your Hand Sanitizer: The SEO You’ve Come to Love is No More” at Portent.

Matt Southern posts “Bing Describes 7 Ways They Are Better Than Google For Image Searches” at Search Engine Journal.

Richard Marriott collects “Kick Ass Local SEO Strategies from Around the World” at Clambr.

David Mihm posts “Comparing the Google+ and Google Places Page Management Interfaces” at Moz.

Amanda Sides discusses “What the New AdWords Quality Score Updates Mean for You” at Search Marketing Sage.

Dan Friedman posts “Analyze and optimize your search footprint with the new paid & organic report” at Google’s Inside AdWords.

Events:

 

Social Media Marketing

eMarketer reports “Changes at LinkedIn Create New Marketing Opportunities.”

“LinkedIn Groups Get Makeover” headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Kurt Wagner reports “Facebook Updates News Feed to Feature More ‘High Quality’ Content” at Mashable.

Nicolette Beard discusses “How Top Consumer Brands are Successfully Using Google+” at TopRank.

Chris Atkinson reports “ComScore Releases July 2013 Online Video Rankings” at ReelSEO.

Brian Solis discusses “The Seven Success Factors Of A Social Business Strategy.”

Jeff Bullas shares “10 Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics You Need to Know” at his blog.

Tom Pick posts “What are the Best Social Networks for B2B Marketing? (Research)” at Webbiquity.

Heidi Cohen discusses “How to Achieve Social Media Acquisition Success.”

Mark Kelley posts “New Research: Do Pictures of People Increase Facebook Engagement?” at Convince & Convert.

Michael Stelzner interviews online video marketing expert Gideon Shalwick on “YouTube Success: How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel” via podcast at Social Media Examiner.

Greg Jarboe posts “Just the Facts, Ma’am, About MixBit, Instagram and Vine” at ReelSEO.

Jonathan Crossfield discusses “How Social Media Content Tools Can Work for Your Sharing Strategy” at Content Marketing Institute.

Tammy Kahn Fennell post “5 Social Productivity Hacks For The Workplace” at Maximize Social Business.

Events: 

(For an all-in-one listing and description of social media, content & inbound marketing events, check out Neal Schaffer’s “The 12 Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2013” at Social Media Today.)

image thanks to Anomalous Productions (Courtney)

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Conversions optimization: Does your sales copy sing?

This week's SEO content challenge is conversions optimization with sales contentLast week, we discussed whether your home page was doing its job. If it is, then your site visitors are clicking through to your sales pages.

So today the question is: how are your sales pages performing? Are you seeing the conversions you want?

If you’re selling products, how do your product descriptions read? Are they targeted to your market with the appropriate tone and feel? Are they highly descriptive? Or are they generic, abbreviated blurbs?

Neglecting to flesh out your product descriptions could be costing you customers.

Beyond product and service descriptions, how does your sales copy read overall? Is it so laden with keyphrases that it’s difficult to read? Are your keyphrases still relevant?

Is your call to action prominently displayed?

Does your sales content sing with specific benefits? Or does it simply list your product or service features?

This week’s SEO content challenge: Review your sales pages. Check your analytics, and look at bounce rates.

Then seek out every opportunity to improve your sales copy, and watch your conversions take off!

image thanks to Cea

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SEO content marketing roundup, week ending August 21st

In this week's online marketing news, the internet becomes ever more monetized and mobile dominates.This week’s latest and greatest online marketing news finds the internet inching ever closer to complete monetization.

Content marketers discuss spending and conversion priorities, and how to accomplish more with less. The SEO and search community discusses the commercialization of the internet and Google’s monetary chokehold on the industry. Meanwhile, social media marketers note that they too have to pay to play anymore, if they’re to effectively compete.

Other highlights include a lively discussion among SEO and search professionals about the relationship between social signals (specifically Google +1 votes) and search rankings – with Matt Cutts weighing in – as well as the continued trend towards mobile dominance in content, search, and social media marketing.

And Happy 10th Birthday, SEMPO!

Enjoy this week’s picks! They’re free.

Content Marketing

Lee Odden discusses “The Future of Content on the Search and Social Web” at TopRank.

Referring to B2B marketers, Kate Maddox posts “Budgeting for 2014: Technology, content and social to be top spending areas” at BtoB.

Citing data from a BrightEdge Mobile Share report, Jessica Lee reports “Mobile Traffic Up 125% but Conversions Lag Behind Desktop” at Search Engine Watch.

It’s all about capturing and funneling web traffic for conversions with “Is your home page doing its job?” at SEO Copywriting.

Jim Sterne discusses “Conversion Optimization Prioritization” at ClickZ.

Luke Clum posts “The Dangers of Dark Patterns” at distilled.

As part of his Q & A series, Seth Godin posts “Q & A: The 14 revolutionary trends and the Meatball Sundae.”

Matt Gratt posts “Making Big Content Work – 4 Experts Weigh In” at BuzzStream.

Jakob Nielsen discusses “Mobile Intranet Design” at his Alertbox.

Joshua Steimle posts “Online Marketing: When To Outsource, When To Do It In-House” at Forbes.

Michael Freeman discusses “Enabling Partners for Online Marketing Success” at Conductor.

Citing a recent eMarketer report, BundlePost reports “Companies With A Formal Content Strategy Nearly Double.”

Heidi Cohen posts “Are You Winging Content Marketing Strategy?”

Steve Ollington shares “Online Marketing Tips for Nonprofits” at Moz.

Mike Spear posts “Did You Make an Impact? How to Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story” at HubSpot.

iMedia Editors post “4 brands that made magic with small budgets” at iMediaConnection.

Joe Lazauskas posts “What One Thing Do The Best Brand Publishers Have In Common?” at Content Strategist.

J-P De Clerck posts “Thought leadership: content marketing and management at service” at Content Marketing Experience.

Gini Dietrich posts “Content Marketing: Get New Content Without Tons of Work” at Spin Sucks.

Neil Patel discusses “How to Create Marketing Copy… Without Actually Writing” at Quick Sprout.

Jayson DeMers discusses “5 Common Content Marketing Mistakes – And How to Fix Them” at Search Engine Journal.

Ginny Soskey posts “The Go-to Guide to Creating Email Newsletters People Actually Read” at HubSpot.

Olivia Rose shares “5 Easy to Use Tools to Effectively Find and Remove Stolen Content” at KISSmetrics.

Five of Heather Lloyd-Martin’s “freelance business smarts” posts are featured with “5 essential business survival lessons for the freelance SEO content writer” at SEO Copywriting.

Brian Furey shares “Portent’s Top 10 Posts of 2013 (So Far…) at Portent.

Lee Odden shares free access to his Content Marketing World 2013 eBook with “36 Content Marketers Who Rock…”  at TopRank.

Brittan Bright discusses “Overcoming Client Objections” (Whiteboard Friday) at Moz.

Veronica Siverd posts “Unlock the Potential of Your Most Valuable Customers: Encourage Loyalty”at SweetiQ.

Events: 

(John Hall lists a number of great conferences for online marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs at Forbes).

 

SEO & Search

Ian Lurie posts “Want to find new online customers? You’re gonna need new metrics” at The Hub.

Daniel Cristo posts “SEO’s: Time to Revolt Against Google?” at Search Engine Journal.

Gabriella Sannino and Doc Sheldon, as Level Headed Marketing, interview the SEO industry’s “Black Knight”, Ammon Johns, in part one of “Commercialization of the Internet” (video) at Level 343.

Ben Norman shares “3 steps to getting your in-depth articles ranked in Google search” at SEO Copywriting.

Rebecca Churt discusses “What Google’s ‘In-Depth Articles’ Algorithm Update Means For Your Content Strategy” at HubSpot.

In the first of a series on the subject, Jennifer Slegg posts “Google’s Pure Spam Manual Action: Matt Cutts on How to Fix it” at Search Engine Watch.

Cyrus Shepard posts “Amazing Correlation Between Google +1s and Higher Search Rankings’ at Moz. (Shepard updated his article, noting a Hacker News post by Matt Cutts) (below).

Citing a Hacker News post by Matt Cutts, Shaun Anderson posts a counter-argument to Shepard’s post (above) with “Matt Cutts Debunks Google Plus Votes as Important Ranking Factors” at Hobo Internet Marketing.

Barry Schwartz summarizes the Moz – Matt Cutts exchange with “Google’s Matt Cutts: Once Again, +1s Have No Direct Impact On Rankings” at Search Engine Land.

Dustin W. Stout shares his series of link-sharing experiments with “This Changes Everything: Social Signals, Your Website and Google+” at Dustn.tv.

Citing Stout’s post (above) and others, Steve Rayson posts “The Social Media Optimization (SMO) of SEO: 7 Key Steps” at Social Media Today.

Lenka Istvanova shares “18 Useful Social Media Tricks To Boost Your SEO potential” at Koozai.

Eric Enge discusses bringing distinction and value to search results themselves with “The Concept Of Sameness & Why It Should Matter” at Search Engine Land.

Michael Gray discusses “Why Simple Websites Will Always Lead to Better SEO” at Graywolf’s SEO Blog.

Kristine Schachinger reports on “5 New Website Vulnerabilities Straight from Black Hat & DEF CON” at Search Engine Watch.

Adam Connell shares “A Quick Guide To The Metrics and Quality Signals To Use When Link Prospecting” at Search Engine Journal.

In a follow-up to her post of a year ago, Julie Joyce posts “50+ More Things Every Link Builder Should Know” at Search Engine Land.

Ann Smarty posts “Types of Link Removal Requests and Where are We Heading?” at SEO Smarty.

Jennifer Van Iderstyne discusses “The 5 Stages of Google Update Grief” at Search Engine Watch.

Zach Bulygo shares “54 Google Analytics Resources – The 2013 Edition” at KISSmetrics.

Andre Alpar posts “Google AdWords Keyword Planner vs. Keyword Tool: SEO & PPC Feature Comparison” at Search Engine Watch.

Discussing Google’s Enhanced Campaigns and Account Managers, Martin MacDonald posts “#GoogleGate – Can you Trust Google?”

Elisa Gabbert discusses “Quality Score Hacks: 3 Sneaky Ways to Increase Your Quality Score” at WordStream.

Joseph Ruiz discusses “Search Marketing – How customer reviews make a difference” at Marketing Insights.

Tom Pick shares “Nine More Expert Guides to Local SEO” at Webbiquity.

Events:

 

Social Media Marketing

Marty Weintraub posts “The Great 2013 Social Media Buzz Kill, & How Early Adopters Dominate” at aimClear.

eMarketer reports “Mobile Gains Greater Share of Search, Display Spending” (“More digital spend shifts to mobile, especially in search”).

“Facebook Reveals Most Users Are Mobile” headlines Social Media Examiner’s weekly news.

Greg Finn reports “Your Facebook Post’s Lifespan May Be Shorter Than You Think, 50% Of Post Reach Is Achieved In 30 Minutes” at Marketing Land.

Gini Dietrich shares “Six Tips to Run the Branding Marathon” at AllBusiness Experts.

Michael Brito posts “The Socially Empowered Employee = Brand Journalist” at Your Brand.

Ryan Harris posts “Instagram Video vs Vine Video: Which Is Better For Your Brand?” at Search Engine Journal.

John Anyasor shares “20 Successful YouTube & Vimeo Channels for Local SMBs” at UpCity.

Chris Atkinson reports “ComScore Releases July 2013 Online Video Rankings” at ReelSEO.

Rebekah Radice posts “7 Point Checklist to Dominate Your Personal Brand Using Google Plus.”

Mary C. Long posts “When It’s Time To Hire A Digital Strategist, Beware Social Charlatans” at Social Media Today.

Heidi Cohen discusses social media ratings & reviews success with “7 Ways to Wow Prospects on Social Media.”

Elliot Morrow shares “5 Cool Apps to Save You from Social Media Overload” at Jeff Bullas’s Blog.

Andrew Beaujon posts “Twitter launches new ‘related headlines’ section on [embedded] tweets” at Poynter. [added]

Anum Hussain posts “10 Brands’ Twitter Marketing You Can’t Help But Love” at HubSpot.

Belle Beth Cooper shares “10 Surprising New Twitter Stats to Help You Reach More Followers” at The Buffer Blog.

Neal Schaffer posts “Professional LinkedIn Profile Tips: A Checklist of 17 Must-Have Items” at Maximize Social Business.

Events:

(For an all-in-one listing and description of social media, content & inbound marketing events, check out Neal Schaffer’s “The 12 Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2013” at Social Media Today.)

photo thanks to epSos.de

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3 steps to getting your in-depth articles ranked in Google search

Do you write in-depth articles? Here's how to get them ranked in Google search results.Google has recently introduced a new rich SERP element which highlights in-depth articles towards the bottom of the search results.

For content marketers and SEOs alike, this is fantastic news. Not only does this further emphasise the need for quality content, but also that if you apply the Schema.org Article markup, your in-depth articles stand a better chance of appearing in the SERPs for your relevant keywords.

The search giant has provided some information on how to make it easier for them to crawl and index your content, which increases the chance of you appearing in this block.

Here are three steps to make this happen!

1. Mark Up Your Pages With Schema.org

Schema mark-up is essentially a series of tags used by webmasters to optimise their HTML coding, assigning page elements and content with descriptions so that it is easier for search engines to understand and index them appropriately.

In order for your content to be found by Google and considered for in-depth article rankings, they will need to be marked up with the Schema code for articles. This can be done by adding the following code to your web page HTML:

<div itemscope itemtype=http://schema.org/Article>CONTENT GOES HERE</div>

Itemscope basically determines that everything within <div>…</div> is describing a particular item.

To give the search engines even more detail, you should add microdata to your HTML. Microdata is determined by ‘itemprop’ and refers to the page elements and content more specifically.

Here are the key parts of your page elements HTML that you will benefit from adding microdata to:

Headline – the title to your post

<h1 itemprop=”headline name”>Your headline</h1>

Alternative Headline – a secondary title or subtitle

<i itemprop=”alternativeHeadline”>A sub-headline here</i>

Image – the image(s) in your post, which will need to be crawlable and indexable by attaching suitable alt tags.

<img itemprop=”image” src=”image URL” alt=”Relevant alt tag describing the image”>

Description – A short description introducing the body of the content

<p itemprop=”description”>Your name explores the chosen subject</p>

Date Published – the published date of the article

<meta itemprop=”datePublished” content=”YEAR-MONTH-DAY”>PUBLISHED DATE</p>

Article Body – The content of the article

<p itemprop=”articleBody”>The body of your article here</p>

Don’t forget to close the HTML with </div> otherwise it will be not work correctly.

Adding more specific itemprop microdata will depend on what your content is about. For the full properties (i.e. all of the itemprop definitions you can use for your given topic), check out Organization of Schemas.

2. Connect Google+ Authorship

So you have marked up your pages with the correct Schema and microdata, now it’s time to set up Authorship and implement that into your markup too.

Whenever a piece of content goes live on your site, you should add the below link to the page, preferably in your author bio.

<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Your Name</a>

Where it says “Profile URL”, this takes us onto the next step.

If you do not already have a Google+ account, it’s time to sign up. Once you have set up an account and uploaded a headshot, add the URL of your profile page to the “profile_url” part of the rel=author tag. Then you will need to update the About page of your Google Plus profile.

Within the ‘Links’ box, you’ll see a ‘Contributor To’ section. Simply click ‘edit’ at the bottom of the ‘Links’ box, and click ‘Add custom link’. Add the URL of your article, or the blog you write for if you write multiple items.

3. Create Compelling In-Depth Content

Last but not least, you need to be creating the right kind of content. It’s all well and good adding Schema mark up, microdata and authorship, but if the body of your content is not up to scratch, you cannot compete against other articles.

For something to be “In-depth” you need to have a strong understanding of the subject matter, so make sure to do your research, and keep the information straightforward and relevant.

Getting individual articles just right will not be enough – currently the main sites appearing as “In-Depth Articles” are big brands, so reputation clearly comes into play too. This should change over time, giving lesser-known blogs and publications a chance to compete, but only if you are doing all you can to make it easy for Google to find you and your outstanding content.

About the AuthorBen Norman

Ben Norman is a leading UK SEO Expert with an extensive knowledge of search engine marketing. He regularly writes straightforward search related posts for his SEO blog. You can connect with Ben on Twitter via @Bennorman and on  Google+.

photo thanks to Steve Jurvetson

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