Gone like a home run – not into the abyss.
Recently, I came across two great articles by Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, and Brian Gardner, founder of Studiopress. They both had one word in common – LONG. They also confirmed what I already believed to be true: 1) long form content dominates search rankings and 2) long tail keywords promote higher quality traffic.
Long Form Content: Brilliant When Necessary
When Neil Patel says long form content converts more than short form content, he’s talking about high quality web content. He’s talking about a page that powerfully expounds on one specific point – not a page that’s unfocused and comes across muddled. Remember, even though Google is a machine, it’s a damn smart one.
More Quality Content = More Social Signals = Higher Rankings
Google is smarter than ever because it now reads social signals. That means the more tweets, likes, +1s and other social shares that your page has, the more authority it receives in search engine rankings.
And guess what receives the most social shares? Long form content.
In Patel’s article about content length, he uses one of his own famous blogs, Quick Sprout, to test word count’s effect on social metrics. To do this, he took the 327 blogs he’s written for the site and separated them into two categories: 1) blog posts under 1500 words and 2) blog posts over 1500 words. He then took the average number of tweets and Facebook likes received in each category and made a handy graph.
After crunching the numbers, Patel concluded that his posts over 1500 words received 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes than his posts under 1500 words. This is just one small example, but it’s consistent with others I’ve come across during my time as a content writer at WebiMax.
Think about this: Google gives high quality long form content an advantage over high quality short form content published on the same day (assuming that each hosting website has similar authority). Because long form content ranks higher, more people are bound to look at it — and because the quality of the content is high, more people are likely to share it. This means higher rankings.
Recent evidence that the use of long form is growing: Google’s recent launch of in-depth articles.
Long Tail Keywords: It’s as Simple as Adding “What Is”
If you use any keyword tool, you’ll see that shorter terms have more competition and longer terms have less. Because the tools show that WAY more users are searching for the shorter terms, people are often tempted to try to rank for these.
Unless your website has superior domain power, however, it could take years – even decades – to rank on page 1 for a short, specific term.
You read it right – decades.
For this reason, SEO companies and web whizzes like Brian Gardner are targeting long tail keywords – keywords three words or longer. In Gardner’s article about long tail keywords, he confirms something that I discovered during my time working for a local BMW performance shop in Manayunk, Philadelphia: adding something as simple as “what is” to a popular term can have amazing results.
My own experience: As a marketing assistant at the performance shop, I developed the company’s content marketing strategy by using old school SEO tactics. I would write articles and post them on every article directory I came across: Ezine, Sooper Articles, Article Snatch, and others (recognition of my SEO ignorance at the time).
One day, I wrote a post on walnut shell blasting – a practice used for cleaning the intake valves of vehicles. Before writing it, I looked for a keyword using Google’s old Adword Keyword Tool. “Walnut Shell Blasting” had high competition, while “What is Walnut Shell Blasting” had very low competition.
Long story short, I added the “what is.” Now you can find my Ezine article about walnut shell blasting at #1 on Bing. I imagine if I posted the piece on the company’s blog instead of on multiple article directories, it would have been close to #1 on Google, too. However, as you probably know, Google has very strict duplicate content rules.
Gardner’s experience: A while back, Gardner wrote a post on email marketing – its definition, how people use it, etc. Like me, before writing it, he did some research and found that he had a better chance ranking if he added “what is” before “email marketing.” As he expected, Google rewarded him with highly targeted traffic.
When Gardner wrote his article on long tail keywords, he noted that “what is email marketing” ranked #14 on his keyword referrals list for Google Search. Pretty impressive.
According to Gardner, “the majority of searches performed are of the long tail search variety. Rather than typing in a generic word or two and sifting through pages of results to find what they’re looking for, searchers are much more likely to type in longer phrases to immediately find the specific information they need.”
Evidence that the use of long tail keywords is growing: SEO companies like WebiMax are focusing on long tail keywords’ enormous potential for highly targeted traffic to increase rankings for new and existing clients.
Imagine the online recognition that could be achieved by combining long form content with long tail keywords.
Vast like the abyss. Awesome like a home run.
From celebrities to grandmas, everyone is using Twitter to share content and links. As one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, Twitter boasts a huge following. By increasing social influence on Twitter, businesses and individuals can reach a huge amount of people with little effort. Here are five ways anyone can gain Twitter followers fast!
1. Search for Keywords
Let’s say you have a business that sells picture frames online. By searching for keywords that other Twitter users post, for example the keyword “photo frames,” you can find Twitter users that might follow your account if you post about related content. Instead of simply typing “photo frames” into the search in Twitter, search for entire phrases that include your keywords or search for similar words like “picture frames” in order to have a more specific search result. Include words like “want” and “need’ photo frames to view who is interested in wanting your product in real time. After finding your targeted audience, reach out to them on Twitter and begin interacting with them by first following their account. Favorite their tweet and let them know what you offer, without overly self-promoting. Take it a step further and reply to them in a comedic way – they will appreciate it
Here’s a perfect example of this idea in action:
2. Analyze using Followerwonk’s Bio Cloud
By using Twitter analytics, you can find out more about followers and recognize trending data to gain more followers. The analytics app Followerwonk includes a bio cloud search tool that analyzes the bios of your current followers and displays the keywords most used. This feature will help you not only find other users to follow, but will map out and graph the demographics–age, gender, location and data related to your audience–so you can tailor your posts and interactions based on their Twitter activity.
3. Compare users with Followerwonk
By searching for information about your competition, you can strategize about how to grow your audience based on what other people in your industry are doing right. Using Followerwonk’s compare users feature, you can type in three Twitter handles of people or companies that are similar to you, whether they’re in your industry or sell the same type of products as you. The “compare users” search feature will show you which users follow two or three of the accounts. You should follow these users since they are obviously interested in the same product or niche that you are connected to.
4. Suck Up to People & Ask Questions!
Tracking users, following them, and engaging in a conversation with them usually results in them following you back. You can praise people by tagging them with their Twitter handle, favoriting their Tweets, and asking questions based on their expertise. This starts a conversation in which the user thinks positively about you right away and will consider following you. To sum it up, people like to be recognized. Hopefully, after they follow you, they will retweet or reply to your post, which will have your handle appear on their Twitter feed, and will result in their followers follow you.
Here are examples of conversations I started with Twitter uses about picture frames:
5. Use Twitter’s Advanced Search
Some users forget it even exists, but Twitter’s advanced search can be a valuable tool in finding more users to follow and be followed by as well as narrowing down exactly what you want to search for. This feature allows users to find Twitter handles, exact phrases, posts containing either or both search keywords, tweets sent to and from handles, keywords related to or near locations, tweets sent by a certain date, posts with links, and more.
Through user interaction and analysis, you will gain more followers and help increase your social media influence on Twitter. What tactics do you use in order to gain Twitter followers?
Throughout this year’s Presidential campaign, Twitter played an instrumental role. Both candidates expertly utilized the network and kept voters engaged by addressing major issues and promoting their public appearances. As our own social media expert, Mike Stricker pointed out in a comment on one of my previous posts; Barack Obama was even responsible for generating the most re-tweets in history for a political message on Twitter.
Following the election, Twitter released an interesting new application, the Political Engagement Map, which demonstrates the impact of the candidates’ most influential tweets.
The tool breaks down the tweets by state, engagement level and even keywords. Not only is it intriguing to see which tweets drove the best results for Romney and Obama, but it’s also interesting to learn more about the demographics which had the most online social influence on the campaign itself.
Furthermore, a re-working of the Political Engagement Map application could prove to be very useful to social media marketers in order to learn more about their own engagement levels and demographics. Although Twitter hasn’t announced any plans to develop the application beyond its current form, it is good to see the network delivering new offerings to its users and I hope to see more tools like this from Twitter in the future.
To check out the Political Engagement Map for yourself, visit https://election.twitter.com/map/.
New York and New Jersey are still recovering from the devastation brought by Hurricane Sandy. When it’s all said and done, weeks and months will pass and the monetary cost will be astronomical, which is to say nothing of the lives lost.
I was lucky to get little more than a few strong gusts and plenty of wind where I live. Like many people, I was glued to my Twitter feed, trying to keep tabs on what was going on all along the Northeast. I had the TV on too, but that wasn’t telling the whole story. It was amazing to see Twitter come into its own as a major source of information and communication. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent out a tweet in the middle of the night October 29th saying how proud he was of Twitter at that moment. Social media companies, of course, want to present themselves as being important. But during those couple days, Twitter really was a valuable resource.
If you were on Twitter that night, you know what I mean. People who had lost power relied on their phones for updates. People were RTing locations of others in desperate need. Pictures (many taken on Instagram) were shared, showing the devastation in real time. Mayors and governors were tweeting constantly, sending out instructions and alerts. For those without power, but with a charged phone, it was their only access to the outside world. And for those who were lucky enough to be unscathed, it provided a window into just how much help would be needed.
In the aftermath of the storm, Twitter continues to be used for everything, ranging from direct communication with ConEd (seriously, check out their feed) to helping people adopt animals that were left homeless or abandoned by the storm.
Earlier today, I read an article posted on Reuters.com discussing the impact of Twitter on this year’s historic Presidential election. One quote within the article that particularly stood out was:
“Through the course of a long and bitter presidential campaign, Twitter often served as the new first rough draft of history.”
It’s a great point and a hard one to disagree with. In fact, last night truly displayed the power of Twitter as one of the most significant public media outlets, both on and offline. A record-breaking 31 million tweets related to the election spread throughout the Web last night, with 23 million of those appearing between 6pm EST and midnight. Just after 11pm, Twitter users generated an incredible 327,000 tweets per minute leading up to the announcement of Obama’s victory. According to Twitter’s spokeswoman, Rachael Horwitz, the election was “the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history.”
Although President Obama and Mitt Romney aggressively utilized Twitter during their respective campaigns, last night’s unprecedented social engagement levels truly brought the network to the forefront of mainstream news and media.
Twitter, as well as Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and other prominent social networks, provide a level of both visibility and credibility to individuals and organizations that have proven difficult to achieve through other platforms. With both candidates extensively using social networks to help gain votes and raise greater awareness to their campaigns, the popularity of these networks has soared and only continues to grow and prove their value as promotional tools.
Last night, history was undoubtedly made as the incumbent President was re-elected. Before I was even able to get to the nearest TV or radio to find out who would be residing in the White House for the next four years, the following tweet appeared on my Twitter feed:
Today, as Obama begins to prepare for four more years in office, myself and thousands of other social media users will remember the tweet that announced his victory to the world and the instrumental role social media played throughout this historic campaign.
WebiMax headquarters is located in South Jersey. This is our first day back in the office following Hurricane Sandy. Luckily, we have power and we did not experience the same levels of damage that the NJ Shore, Newark, and parts of Delaware, New York, and New England endured. Our thoughts are with those who lost their homes or worse – their lives. Among all of the chaos and destruction are brave and generous people who are stepping up to help each other everywhere we look – from neighbors helping to clean each others’ yards to people opening their homes and their hearts all over our Facebook news feeds.
There’s no doubt about it – Sandy was a unique storm on many different levels. Not only did she produce once-in-a-lifetime coastal flooding, 80 mph sustained winds, and wide-spread power outages, but social media played an unprecedented part in spreading safety tips, news, photos, and personal updates in real-time by those who were affected as well as by public safety organizations, major news outlets, and even local politicians.
While millions of people kept in touch and joined the conversation on various social media sites, there is one person who stood out to me on my Twitter feed throughout the ordeal: Cory Booker. The Newark Mayor has always had an impressive Twitter presence, but superstorm Sandy proved that Booker is just as in touch with the power of social media as he is with the community he serves.
Since the storm hit, Booker has been driving around with supplies, making house calls to those in need. Here’s is just one example from last night:
Two hours later, this appeared on his Twitter feed:
And this is the Newark resident’s current Twitter profile picture, with Cory Booker during the house call (with the toy car he gave her nephew):
When it comes to tragedies, including natural disasters, many people try to find the silver lining or a lesson that can be learned. In this case, one of the lessons is that social sites are communication tools powerful enough to save lives.
Sandy showed us that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have much more to offer than photos of what your second-cousin-once-removed is eating for dinner (filet and baked beans, in case you’re wondering…); over the past few days, they’ve offered updates to people who are unsure if their homes are still standing, peace of mind to those worried about their loved ones, and hand-delivered diapers to a toddler in Newark, NJ by his Mayor, Cory Booker.
Thank you, @corybooker, and best wishes to everyone in the Northeast in the coming days and weeks.