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.

Facebook and Twitter Bar 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.

With football season now in full swing, everyone is wearing their favorite team jersey, talking up their team’s success, and undoubtedly expecting big wins and accomplishments for their team. What makes this American sport a favorite among many is that there is always something brewing. From drafts and trades, to injuries and outstanding plays and performances, football season certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Even fantasy football has become an increasingly popular pastime – and football fans are serious about their team picks. So, what do football and SEO have in common?

If you work in SEO, your main goal is to make it to the top. Well, the same can be said about football. But, they have more in common than just winning. It’s also about perfecting a winning strategy.

Have a strategy

To win anything, you need a game plan. Like designing a play in order to score a touchdown, you need to put together a strategy to help your website make its way to the top. Do you have the right set of tactics for your marketing efforts? Are you able to measure, track and adjust your tactics?

Know your competitor

This is one of the most important points in your game plan. Just like knowing the current standing of an opposing football team, where does your competitor stand in the SERPs? What is your ranking in comparison to theirs? If they are higher than you in the Google standings, what actions are you going to take to move above them? How do they promote a similar product or service, and how can you promote yours better?

Work as a team

Just like a coach needs his team to execute a play, you need a team of online marketers to work together to help you reach your goal. From developers to link builders, content writers and social media marketers, it’s important that you are all aware of the strategy for a successful play.

Be willing to improve

No one ever made it anywhere by sticking to the same routine. If a game plan has failed, why continue to run the same plays? The same theory can be applied to SEO campaigns. If you want to make it to the top of the SERPs, you can’t always stick to the same strategy – you need to discover and find new and better ways to get to the top.

Play by the rules

While football players have referees and whistles, marketers have Google algorithms. You have guidelines to play by to ensure that you play fair. It’s crucial that you play by Google’s rules and make it to the top without performing black hat techniques. A skilled and experienced SEO company will go about winning the right way.

Get noticed

In football and SEO, you don’t want to just win, you want to get noticed. Press releases, articles, blogs and social media are all intricate parts of putting your business in the spotlight. When an SEO campaign works properly, you’ll feel the need to celebrate like a receiver who just snagged a touchdown for the victory.

Jen DeShields - Blog ImageI have a lot of different tasks as a Content Writer here, and if there’s one task I enjoy doing, it is creating infographics.

Infographics are a fun way to create a visual element for presenting information, and they give clients content that embodies the essence of share-ability. Infographics can be wonderful promotional tools, but only if they’re made correctly (for examples of excellent infographics, visit the Daily Infographic for examples from around the web). If you’re thinking about making an infographic for your company, remember to keep these five tips in mind:.

Tip #1: Remember that it’s not about you

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they create an infographic is intensely focusing on their company or a particular product. Infographics are meant to share information with others, not act as a blatant advertisement. Filling the infographic with the company logo and product descriptions will almost ensure that it won’t get shared, and sharing is the entire goal of creating an infographic. Discretely placing your company logo somewhere in the graphic is fine, but avoid making your company the focus of it.

Tip #2: Keep it simple

When it comes to infographics, simplicity is important. If you pick an idea that’s too complex, your infographic will either be too wordy and difficult to understand, or it won’t engage the reader. Instead of picking a complicated and very specific topic, think of an overarching idea that you can easily break down into different sections.

Tip #3: Show, don’t tell

Infographics should be able to tell someone information about a certain topic, but they shouldn’t heavily rely on words. Sometimes you need a sentence or two to be able to get the point across, but avoid making your infographic full of lengthy paragraphs. Photos and graphics often speak for themselves.

Tip #4: Avoid the obvious

Infographics should be teaching the reader something that they didn’t know before, and if you fill it with common sense facts, you won’t be seeing a lot of shares on your Pinterest or Facebook pages. If you’re creating an infographic about filing taxes, don’t tell your audience that April 15th is tax day and that they could face penalties if they don’t file on time. Tell them pertinent information and statistics about the number of audits the IRS gives out each year, the most common mistakes people make when filing, and the average refund amount Americans receive.

Tip #5: Create a unified visual theme

Infographics are supposed to be informational and visual, so it’s very important for your infographic to have a unified visual theme that flows well. Some people find that it’s easy to use their company’s colors to design the infographic, and others use the same font as their company logo or slogan to covertly slip in some subtle advertising. Avoid using clashing colors or using different fonts, as it can make the infographic look unattractive and disorganized.

HBA Expo ImageWebiMax is fortunate enough to have a booth at the HBA Global Expo in New York City from now through Thursday. Guests who attend this event will get to see exhibits from some of the top brands in the beauty industry from all around the world. Whether you want to check out some new products and technology, learn about the current trends, or find ways to promote your own beauty products, the HBA Expo has it all.

As with nearly any industry, brand development and consumer relationships are integral to retailers in the field of cosmetics. Getting to know your consumers is the best way to help create the products they want, and reaching out to your customers is the best way to get to know them. In today’s technological world, this often means using social media, blogging, integrating user-created content onto your site, and marketing online. The workshops at the HBA Expo cover these points. I’m particularly excited for Beauty Goes Social: The Link Between Content with Consumer Behavior, a workshop where I hope to get new ideas about how beauty companies can use social media to market their products and make new suggestions. It’s no secret that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are huge players in the beauty industry right now, helping fashionistas and makeup artists to gather inspiration and gain traction. I’m excited to see how different cosmetic companies use it to spread the word about their products.

Beauty in the Digital Age is another workshop of interest, which will cover how “going digital” was once a way for brands to be ‘hip,’ but is now a marketing and selling necessity. I think it will tie in nicely with the e-commerce event I attended last week – digital marketing and e-commerce most definitely go hand-in-hand.

If you plan on being in NYC this week, definitely stop by our booth, which is number 1033. We’ll be set up all three days for the entirety of the event. Hope to see you there!

The Great GatsbyFilm director Baz Lurhmann is nobody’s fool. When he took the classic text “The Great Gatsby” and adopted it to the screen, he knew that there was no great film version of this beloved book. It had been attempted in the past but never done very well, so when Lurhmann took “The Great Gatsby” and brought 1922 into 2013, he used every avenue available to him – including social media marketing. Here are some ways that 2013’s “The Great Gatsby” film used social media marketing to drive home the experience.

Facebook

Cover Photo
The cover photo on “The Great Gatsby” Facebook page sets the tone for the film. The classy, wide shot shows all the principal players and really drives home the style that Lurhmann was going for.

The Great Gatsby - Facebook Cover Photo
Custom Tabs
“The Great Gatsby” has custom tabs to help drive fans to the movie theaters. This is nothing all that original, but the fact that fans of the film could simply click to “like” or “buy tickets now” made the transition from computer screen to movie screen seamless.

The Great Gatsby - Facebook Tabs
Shareable Content
The volume and quality of material available on “The Great Gatsby” Facebook page makes for great shareable content. There are photos, quotes, videos, behind the scenes information on the making of the movie, and so much more, which allows  fans to really see what this film is all about. Content like this went viral on the movie’s Facebook page, which created even more buzz for the film.

Video
There was no shortage of video clips posted online to promote “The Great Gatsby”. Filmmakers need to realize that as soon as they put their films out into the world, they will be available for viewing online, so the key is to provide impactful clips to catch the interest of the online audience before others do. The producers of this movie certainly understood that, and the fact that they offered so much in terms of video clips on all platforms kept fans engaged and wanting to see more on the movie screen.


Twitter

The Great Gatsby - TwitterIn the Twitter universe, “The Great Gatsby’s” social media presence also scored big. The use of hashtags for fans to connect and share pictures (#GatsbyPics) made the social media marketing experience interactive, inclusive, and effortless. The marketing team continues to engage with those who mention the film on Twitter, which increases the fans’ enthusiasm for the film. Here is an example of fans on Twitter showing off their Gatsby-inspired outfits before attending the film and sharing it using the hashtag #GatsbyPics. This was later retweeted by “The Great Gatsby” Twitter account.

 


Tumblr

The Great Gatsby - TumblrAnother really smart social media move was the Tumblr Fan Art Challenge.  Fans were asked to create an original piece of art from the “The Great Gatsby” film for a chance to win a trip to New York City for the film’s premier. This increased fan engagement, and, like so many of the other social media platforms, led to the fans doing the promoting for the film!  Something else to keep in mind is that “The Great Gatsby” took advantage of its other social platforms to promote the Tumblr contest. Below are some of the entries from the Tumblr Art Challenge displayed on Pinterest.

Instagram

People love seeing celebrities in their natural habitat, and “The Great Gatsby” definitely didn’t have a shortage of celebrities for fans to get excited about. There was major online interest in the flurry of Instagram photos showing actors and actresses from the film strutting their stuff on the red carpet.

Every Aspect of the Film’s Social Media Promotion was Great

From Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr to Instagram, “The Great Gatsby” took its social media marketing presence to the next level. By engaging the audience, allowing exclusive peeks behind the curtain, and giving like-minded movie goers a way to connect via social media, this film has certainly cast a new mold for future films to follow. Viewers of big blockbusters can expect plenty of chances to connect on social media going forward.

What did you think of “The Great Gatsby’s” social media marketing presence?

SEO 101 - WebiMax.com

In the early days of the Internet, text was the predominant medium through which information was shared with the masses.  In a time before broadband connections, HD videos and even Facebook, the Web was more about functionality than style.  While these technical limitations made for a lackluster user experience, they did create a solid blueprint for today’s Internet.

When the Web was ruled by text and rudimentary HTML code, pages had to be coded very efficiently in order to load quickly and images and videos were simply out of the question.  Although text still plays a crucial role in the modern Internet, technological advancements have placed multimedia and rich content front-and-center.

NCS Mosaic vs. Google Chrome - WebiMax.com
A Tale of Two Browsers: From Mosaic to Chrome – The Evolution of Digital Content

A Changing of the Guard
As YouTube, Pinterest and other popular sites geared toward images and videos continue to grow, the focus has begun to shift away from text as the primary form of content on the Internet.  Today, virtually every website utilizes extensive imagery or video content to engage audiences.  Social networks are certainly no exception.

In fact, social media posts or tweets containing images or videos are more likely to be shared or “liked” than those exclusively comprised of text.  The bottom line is – rich content is the key to a more effective Social Media marketing strategy.

How to Engage Your Audience with Photos & Videos
Though I specifically cited YouTube and Pinterest as “media-focused” networks, other social profiles can equally benefit from rich content.  Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have all recently added enhanced video and photo integration capabilities for user and business profiles.  This functionality allows users to more easily display rich and engaging content.

However, it is always important to consider your audience.  When creating new rich content, first ask yourself if your consumers would find it helpful or intriguing.  Originality, creativity and even humor are all elements of successful content.  Keep it relevant, fun and informative.  Developing infographics, instructional videos, customer testimonials and new or upcoming product photos are all engaging ways to reach your social following.

Every successful Social Media Optimization and Marketing campaign begins with delivering quality content to your followers.  By offering up unique, captivating videos and images as part of your content strategy, you’re well on your way to Social Media success!


Want to learn how to get even more from your Social Media marketing campaign?  Ask our Experts or share your thoughts in the comments below!