The door shuts, the drinks are gathered and before the first trash bag hits the can, the hosts of the party are already talking about their guests. “Did you see the shirt Bill was wearing?” “Did you notice how much Jack was talking?” “Don’t you already miss Michelle?”
The world of guest blogging is a lot like the social world we live in today. You may get invited to a party once, but if you leave a bad impression – you probably aren’t going to be welcomed back. So, how do you get your hosts to miss your content? It’s all about minding the P’s and Q’s of guest blogging.
Follow the House Rules – Is there anything worse than a guest who shows up and gets a little too comfortable with the phrase “make yourself at home?” While you certainly don’t want to completely change your writing style to appease the needs of your host, you should view the guidelines or parameters that a hosting site has put forth. Stay on topic, meet their word count and ensure your information is valuable to their audience. Mutual respect is essential to building strong blogging networks. A disregard for the rules is as annoying as a guest commandeering your iPod doc to blast the latest Nickelback hit.
Don’t Bring Unannounced Friends – While follow links may be a great friend in link building circles, they aren’t invited to most guest blogs without bringing something to the table. Much like a party that only invites guests who bring something for everyone to enjoy, most blog hosts won’t allow random links. And, guess what? That’s the way it should be. In the same way you wouldn’t show up to a party with a few unannounced friends, don’t provide a guest blog with some unwanted links. Instead, add links that boost the value of your content.
Confirm the Theme in Advance – Have you ever felt the chill of showing up to a Halloween party in a costume only to find out that it wasn’t a costume party? What? Just me? Anyway, matching the theme of a party is just as important as matching the theme of a guest blog. When your content is submitted for posting, there shouldn’t be any surprises. By confirming the theme of your piece in advance, you won’t metaphorically be left at the doorstep in your Raggedy Andy costume.
Socialize – Throwing on the headsets and playing round after round of Call of Duty is a great way to eliminate any possibility of appearing on future guest lists. Who wants to spend time with an antisocial person? This same concept is perfect for the guest blogging community. Not only should you look to provide engaging content that starts a discussion in the comment section, you should also work to promote your content. While you will certainly enjoy the increased number of eyeballs reading your content, your host will greatly appreciate the increase in quality traffic to their site.
Much like the unwritten rules of social etiquette, the guest blogging experience requires certain courtesies. Be respectful of your host, mindful of your readers, and follow some good old fashioned common sense. Following certain standards will build your reputation within the blogging community. It won’t be long before word spreads that your content is the life of the party.
Ken Wisnefski – the president and founder of WebiMax –was featured in Sunday’s edition of the Courier Post. In the article, our boss spoke of taking lessons from his past to sculpt the ideology of our company. Because of his experience, he was able to chart a path that ensured WebiMax would not only provide a great work atmosphere at the office, but a great return on the marketing investments of our clients.
Of course, the aforementioned article got me thinking about how important the past of content efforts is for businesses. In fact, I thought of three key points that every company should utilize to increase the value of their content marketing initiatives.
1. Learn from your mistakes – Not every piece of content produced by your blog, uploaded to your product page, or distributed as a press release is going to be a home run. It’s how a person reacts to the duds along the way that will help determine success or failure.
Instead of shrugging your shoulders, ask yourself why a piece of content didn’t work. Did your blog answer the questions of your client base? Was your product page visually appealing to your target audience? Did it provide useful and unique text? Did it funnel towards a conversion page? Was your press release truly newsworthy? By answering these questions, you can avoid making the same mistakes twice.
2. Stop Repeating Yourself – There are always ways to be unique. While many blogs and webpages will focus on particular keywords, you would be amazed by how many different angles you can take with just a little bit of creativity.
Even if you had success with a topic in the past, don’t beat it into the ground. For example, instead of a car dealership posting five blogs covering the different questions to ask a used car dealer, they should vary the text with vehicle profiles, safety tips, common repairs that can be done from home, things to listen for on test drives, and more. When you repeat yourself, you bore your audience. Competition is fierce; uniqueness will help you stand out from the pack.
3. Capitalize on Successes – When monitoring spikes in traffic, our experts will often attribute those spikes to fresh content. When your traffic begins to plateau, it’s important to update your text. Freshness is essential in Internet marketing. Keeping your online presence timely and relevant will not only impress your audience, but assure the search engines that your site offers more value to searchers than your competitors.
Whether your content past is a point of pride or the reason you sought out this blog for advice, the information you can obtain by looking back is invaluable. Just as my boss looked back to move this company forward, so should you with your content marketing strategy.
Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone. I hope you are all enjoying playing pranks as much as I am. I mean, I have already sent the Google Nose BETA to my entire family. And the great thing about the annual Google prank is it doesn’t hurt anyone, but still offers a good chuckle.
Unfortunately, the tricks of poor SEO information on the Internet aren’t revealed to be a joke until they impact the bottom line of your business. Today, we will look at common misconceptions that have as much validity as a bad April Fool’s Day ruse.
1. SEO Your Site and Forget it – “Set it and forget it” may be a great tagline for infomercials selling cooking equipment, but it’s terrible SEO advice. Updating your site once can provide a nice little boost, but it’s optimizing your site continually with fresh, relevant and informative content that will truly produce your results. If your “SEO expert” is preaching a one-step solution to your Internet marketing needs, they should scream, “April Fool’s” at the end of their statement.
2. Google Doesn’t Notice Link Building Strategies – With each new update, Google changes their algorithms to better “understand” the needs of their users. In other words, all SEO work should be done to enhance the experience of visitors on your website. Edgier tactics that we would consider “black hat SEO” will result in penalties that could cause your rankings to plummet.
3. All Links are Good Links – Thinking all links back to your site are created equal may be the biggest SEO joke of them all. As mentioned previously, after the Panda update, many sites that used “black hat” tactics were penalized by Google. Having links back to your website from one of these penalized sites is doing your website more harm than good. There are also link farms and many other sources of useless links. When you work with WebiMax, you will discover that our link building services only utilize links that are worth having, and the proof is in the positive results experienced by our customers.
4. Search Engines Love Keyword Density – Keyword density in your web content is a lot like the pitch count in baseball. Everyone has an opinion on the perfect number, but in the end, if the pitcher is getting outs or the user is getting the information they need, it’s all good. Every page on your website should be sculpted to meet the needs of the end user. When this happens, your keywords will fit in naturally and your links will fall into place.
5. Rankings Are Paramount – This would make for a great April Fool’s joke because it is so believable. After all, isn’t rising up the search engines what it’s all about? In actuality, conversions are what it’s all about. The amount of traffic driven to your site is only as good as the people who are compelled to take actions. If a website isn’t tailored to encourage sales, people will leave without any desire to return.
Keeping these things in mind and working with WebiMax to use proven organic Internet marketing strategies can have an incredible impact for your business, and as our testimonials show, that’s no joke.
Our Marketing Manager Danelsy Medrano attended “Unplugged with Mayor Michael Nutter” at St. Joseph’s University last night. At the event, Mayor Nutter talked to a group of 75 of the most promising professionals in the Delaware Valley about the bright future of the city of Philadelphia.
Mayor Nutter spoke on many topics and started with his initiative to make the Navy Yard more of a go to destination for people who live in or are visiting Philadelphia. The opportunity for business growth at the Navy Yard shares many parallels with our world of SEO. Just like optimizing a website, the Mayor looks to make it easier to bring traffic to the area in the future and improve the product that visitors can enjoy once they arrive.
In addition to the Navy Yard, the Mayor spoke about encouraging stats about a decrease in obesity in Philadelphia, promising work done by the youth of the city and exciting deals with musicians like Jay Z that will bring more entertainment to the city.
Danelsy also discussed how Mayor Nutter believes Philadelphia is a hub for entertainment. Just an hour away from the Poconos, Atlantic City and much more, there is plenty to love about Philly. While we certainly agree with the Mayor about the greatness of the city, sometimes it’s all about how you get the message out there, which is something Danelsy and others discussed with the Mayor last night and something we work hard on doing for our customers every day.
As a member of the Young Professionals Network of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Danelsy has been representing WebiMax at events since December. Next on her list of events is the presentation of The Paradigm Award. The prestigious award recognizes an exceptional female professional each year. This year, Denise Morrison, President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company will accept the award.
Think of the world of content marketing like an aisle in a grocery store. Google is in charge of stocking the shelves, and they place the best products right where the shopper can see them. In the world of supermarkets, companies pay for that prime space. In the world of organic SEO, Google chooses the products that offer their “shoppers” the best value.
So, the question is, how do you offer the most value in a competitive environment? You present your products in a unique and engaging way. By being unique, your website can enjoy the equivalent of a showcase display at the front of the aisle.
Our marketing experts need the answer to two simple questions to get the ball rolling on an exciting and unique content marketing strategy:
1. Who is your target consumer base?
2. What do you offer your customers?
After these questions are answered, your onsite content needs to be reviewed to ensure you are at least providing the essential message your visitors are looking for. Your pages should be set up to offer the maximum convenience to your guest. Keywords and links will naturally find their way into the copy when written with this strategy in mind.
When users are unable to scan your website and determine if you have the information they are looking for within seconds, they are gone. And, if it is clear what you offer, your content better keep their attention with a great hook.
Hook ‘em with Humor
While there are several ways to hook your audience, one of the most overlooked avenues is humor. The Internet is about connectivity–people love to share something interesting or humorous with their friends and family. When your content has your customers saying, “You have to read this!” Google will recognize the value you offer searchers.
Of course, before you ever add humor to your webpages or daily blogs, you need to realize that humor is the seasoning to the informational steak. It’s okay to be funny when your core message is clear. When the two merge, your website can start turning readers into buyers.
Sometimes standing out from the crowd takes courage. Many businesses shy away from humor at the risk of being offensive. This is certainly understandable, but not all humor has to be so blue. For instance, think of Google. They once debuted Gmail Motion on April Fool’s Day. In fact, it doesn’t have to be a special occasion for Google to bring the funny. Think of all the different Google Doodles on their homepage that always provide sharable, buzz-worthy content. As long as humor is geared toward your user base and is sprinkled in with plenty of high-quality and informative copy, it can be a great way to separate your company from your competitors.
Utilizing humor through infographics or instructrographics is another great way to provide fun, sharable content for your social media campaigns. When you create something funny, promote it through your Facebook, Twitter and other social outlets. It will humanize your business and help potential customers build up some trust in your brand.
If humor isn’t an outlet your business can work with, don’t worry. When you inform, instruct, or relate to your audience in creative and valuable ways, it produces a relationship with your customers, and that’s the hook you need. Then, when SEO techniques bring in more traffic, your content can help reel in the sales.