How To Create More Content

See How to Repurpose Your Content Quickly and Easily

We all know that content creation isn’t for the faint of heart. It usually takes a lot of time and effort to produce content that shines. All the more reason to not let it end there! Repurposing your content is a great way to give your content a life beyond the initial posting. Closely similar to content syndication, although the choice of medium is often different.

We’ve got eight favorite mediums we like for repurposing content, and you ought to understand that the initial content can originate in any one of these, but is not limited by how it can spread. Here’s our top eight ways to repurpose content!

  1. Articles or Blog Posts – Usually the firstborn, it is best to endeavor to make sure that you post the first text version on your own site or blog, to better gain the search benefits.
  2. Videos – Access the massive traffic, authority and links that posting to YouTube can bring you. It could be as simple as a slideshow video.
  3. Podcasts – An enormous sea of traffic lies in wait for those who make audios of their content and upload to both iTunes along with the numerous podcast directories.
  4. Slideshows – Sites like Slideshare.net and Scribd.com receive a LOT of Google love and a surprising amount of direct traffic!
  5. PDFs – There are also a lot of directories for you to post a PDF of your content.
  6. Infographics – Pinterest, Instagram and Face book are becoming hot venues for posting infographics and generating tons of traffic!
  7. Webinars or Hangouts – The benefits of making use of your content in a webinar or Google Hangout are many. Not only do they convert better, they also can be repurposed (again!) to YouTube and other video sharing sites.
  8. Make it Micro! – Cutting up your content in to smaller chunks for use in your social media is a fantastic way to point to the lengthier pieces on your other web properties.

Your content can serve you in so many ways you may not have thought about before! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to easily increase traffic many times over by not repurposing your content!

What Is Over Optimization

Google’s Over-Optimization Penalty – How to Avoid It

Many of you are aware that Google a while back instituted what they termed an over-optimization penalty, which basically went after webmasters that were trying to lift their pages in the search results by virtue of manipulating the keyword density of the page, regardless of whether it had any value for the reader.

This played out with folks being told to build their pages using a keyword density of between 2.5 and 5 percent for their primary keyword. The problem was, at least for a lot of of us using WordPress and similar blogging platforms as our content management system, we now know that:

WordPress isn’t so “out-of-the-box SEO ready” as we thought!

WordPress injects lots of keywords into your content that you probably aren’t aware of. Once you count up all the instances where your primary keyword shows up, from the titles, H1, H2 and H3 tags, post tags, archives, recent posts widgets and breadcrumbs just to name a few, you can easily have more than 30 mentions of your primary keyword on the page before you’ve written it one time in your main content. Not to mention the links to your page that are anchored with that keyword. Google looks at the whole enchilada when figuring out how to rank your pages.

So what can you do to avoid this?

Never fear, we’ve found some great tips to avoid over-optimization in WordPress.

  • Don’t ever use tags again! – Tags and especially tag clouds inflate your keyword density beyond belief. Get out of the habit!
  • Remove the author link from your template – That little link simply generates another duplicate version of your post, inviting trouble.
  • Sweep up the breadcrumbs! – Breadcrumb navigation is another useless addition of keywords injected into the mix for no apparent reason.
  • Don’t duplicate your navigation – Often times we’ll have a top nav menu together with the same thing duplicated on the sidebar. You don’t need both, unless you’re fond of over-optimization penalties!
  • Kill the recent posts widget – Another instance of your template contributing to your ranking demise!

Check out this terrific post for even more tips on how to artfully avoid the Google over-optimization penalty!

Content Syndication

Now that Content is King, Let’s Expand the Kingdom!

Since the King (content) is now back on the throne, we should explore ways we can enlarge that kingdom! One strategy that is very effective but seldom brought up is content syndication. This is the practice of sharing your content at various places online for mass consumption.

First off, the authority, traffic and backlinks derived from this type of marketing can be profound. Add the social media aspects of these sites, and your own efforts with letting your own social channels know about postings, and you have got the recipe for a flood of reward.

5 Awesome tips for syndicating your content!

  • Paid content syndication – Sites like Outbrain and Taboola, while paid solutions, help get your content viewed on sites like Time, The Washington Post and CNN, among others. They are self-serve platforms that are available for the smaller marketer.
  • Blogs within your industry – A free method that you can use is searching out blogs relevant to your market and offering your content to them. A great number of sites are too busy to keep up with their own content needs and are actively seeking quality content.
  • Document sharing sites – Another no-brainer for content syndication is placing content in the various document sharing sites like Slideshare, Scribd, DocStoc and others. These sites are highly trafficked, and if your content offers quality you’ll get a ton of views and backlinks when they are shared and downloaded. Simple to do, and there’s no approval process.
  • Get on the content aggregators – Debatably some of the biggest sites in the world fall into this category, sites like Mashable, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post. Although you may not get syndicated on these right away, you will get access to other Web heavyweights like AllTop and 9Rules.
  • Plunder the blogging networks – Last but not least, submit your posts to blog networks like BlogEngage and Bloggersbase. They get many visitors, and you can boost your visibility even further here.

Marketing Orchestration

Tips for Using Marketing Orchestration in Your Small Business

So this could be a term you haven’t heard of yet, but you will soon. Marketing orchestration means forgetting standalone, “siloed” campaigns for an approach which utilizes multiple channels in concert with each other, delivering an individualized customer experience.

With so many channels that we regularly market with, it just makes sense to get these channels working together, and not at cross purposes.

Several reasons why marketing orchestration is a good idea!

Some of the reasons why marketing orchestration is a great idea will be obvious to you. Others; not so much.

One major benefit is the prospect of a much larger pool of possible customers. With all of your current various marketing channels working with one another, the power and likelihood of social sharing is magnified across channels. Consequently you’ll have the ability to reach new leads easier and faster than before.

You’ll also benefit from enhanced abilities to build and authoritize your brand. When you show up where your customers are hanging out via their preferred communication, you’ll be way more likely to be shared socially. All things considered, marketing orchestration can also be a time saver, as a lot of this will be automated. (Think IFTTT)

Some ideas to help you get started with marketing orchestration

Here are some tips to start the process.

  • Link your content via your social media channels. Find ways to cross promote your videos through your emails for instance.
  • Always encourage people to share your content. Incentivize if needed. A great number of same people have huge channels of their own you’d love to be introduced to.
  • Include social sharing capabilities on any of your web properties that are available. Make them part of templates you use.
  • Don’t try and fit everyone in to the same narrow box. Develop a more personalized customer experience for each of them by meeting them where they are, and making use of their preferred mode of communication.

Jump on the marketing orchestration bandwagon now, and begin making your marketing plan less of a siloed experience, and more of an individualized plan for success!

Know Your Numbers

Make 2014 the Year You Get Analytics Working for You

Knowing the sources and origins of your site’s online business is an integral piece for competing in today’s competitive online landscape. Analytics programs will help immensely in showing us the roadmap customers and prospective buyers took to find us, and also the actions they made once there.

Not using any, you say? Well, you’ve just defined job one! Until you identify a greater need, it’s fine to start with Google Analytics as it will probably deliver far more than you’ll even know how to deal with. And, did I mention it’s free?

Once you start collecting data, listed below are five methods to make better and more profitable use of it in 2014!

5 Ways to use analytics in your small business

  1. Choose the performance indicators you want – While there are lots of things you are able to track, it can be overwhelming to bite off a big slice when just beginning. First pay attention to indicators that all of us need to know, like site traffic, conversions, referrals and time on page.
  2. Understand what your Analytics are telling you – This can be a lot to digest in the beginning. There are a lot of terms and acronyms you might not be familiar with, so take a moment to understand what you’re looking at. The data will start to be more accessible if you do.
  3. Set up an automated email report – Many of us will be either too busy or forget to login in regularly to look at the data. Take care of this by setting up a regular email that sends to the data in a PDF format, so you can act on it!
  4. You can track a lot more than your site – There are few web properties that can’t accept the JavaScript code required to track for your Analytics. Therefore, be sure to use it in code on all of your significant pages, such as social media, squeeze and landing pages, videos and emails.
  5. Note key changes in your data – If your site went through a redesign, or you began a pay per click campaign, or some other significant change occurred that impacted your site, make note of it so you will understand the variations in the data you are viewing. If you don’t know why that spike in traffic occurred, you might find it difficult to act on it!

Content Marketing

How to Make Content Marketing Pay for Your Business in 2014

It’s been drummed into our head for years: Content is King! Well, perhaps that was the pre-coronation phase, for it seems that the time for content to actually rule has truly begun.

Content marketing is without a doubt the hottest buzzword going into 2014, and for good reason. Some 27 million pieces of content are shared daily. And with Google’s search algorithm getting smarter, and by that I mean being able to properly discern a piece of content’s actual popularity via social signals amongst other things, it’s harder and harder to foist unmerited content on the search results.

So let’s look at a few trends and best practices for content marketing in 2014.

  • Make a content plan – Just as major publishers use an editorial calendar, you should make and stick to a content plan, one that’s flexible enough to allow for spontaneous adjustments when necessary.
  • Make a blog – Since each month more than 329 million people read blogs, and companies that have an active blog are getting 97 percent more leads than those that don’t have one, what’s your excuse now?
  • The advent of branded content – Another newish term of late is branded content. This is content intended to sell while at the same time offering an undeniable entertainment value.
  • New channels – Exploring new content channels you might not have tried before ought to be on your to-do list. LinkedIn sponsored posts, Slideshare and Google+ are awesome outlets to plunder.
  • SEO your content – Organising your content with SEO in mind is crucial. Social sharing, links and tying in with email are items to think about. It never hurts to keep Google in mind when writing your content.
  • Have a social media strategy – Since 80 percent of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook, an active social media plan in conjunction with your content is imperative.
  • Optimize for mobile – 56 percent of Americans now have a smartphone, and are not shy about using it! Make sure your content is optimized for mobile viewing and reading. No one wants to read volumes on a small screen, so always remember that.

2014 could be the year your content helps you separate from your competition, if you plan for and execute it. It will be worth it!

Local Search Marketing

5 Ways to Kill it with Local Search

Despite the undeniable fact that your business website can be seen all over the world, it matters little if you are a local business who’s not present in Google Local search results. That’s where you bread gets buttered, and you really need to be visible locally.

Since 1 in 3 searches in Google is now local in intent, plus some 70 percent of searchers are for offline services, it’s clear this is of utmost importance to your business. There are a number of ways that you can start to dominate your local search results.

5 Tips for dominating your local search results

  1. Your Google+ Local Page – A Google+ local page for your business is a quick way to help your local search rankings. Not only does it help in indexing your pages nearly instantly, but it’s a practical aid for anyone looking to find you.
  2. Claim Your Citations – Citations are simply listings for your business on search engines and within social media. This can be on Facebook, Google, Bing, Yelp, and FourSquare, in addition to many other sites. Claim your listings on these websites for the links and direct traffic they provide.
  3. Reviews – Reviews are great not only for social proof, but also for boosting your ranking in the Google local search results. Getting reviews to your Google+ local page is one of the biggest things you can do. Ask your customers for reviews and offer them a link to where they can leave it.
  4. NAP – This is an acronym for name address and phone number, and is a critical piece of your local optimization. Citations including this information are worth more, both in Google’s eyes and  in practical terms.
  5. Mobile – Since three out of four mobile searches result in follow-up actions like a store visit, social share, phone call or word of mouth recommendation, it’s important your site is optimized for mobile, so that you can be where all your customers are any time of the day or night!

Customer Communication

4 Tips for Stellar Customer Communication

These days it’s no longer enough to speak with your customers only where there’s an issue. Dealing with ever stiffer competition, a savvy business owner understands this and ensures they have an effective and enlightening customer communication system in place.

Getting feedback from your customer and learning about what they need from a service or product like yours is nothing but smart, and will help you stay in business for a long time. So how do you get this done? There are so many choices when it comes to communication now, email, social media, instant messaging, phone support or more. Here are four ways to help make some decisions when instituting a customer communication system in your business.

4 Ways to listen to and hear your customers

  • Make customer communication a top priority – Make a decision not to treat customer communication like plumbing problem: only dealt with when it’s overflowing. Effective communication with your customers and prospects will lead to satisfied customers, more customers, enhanced reputation, and consequently more cash in your wallet!
  • Monitor the social channels they frequent – Find out which of your social media channels your customers are frequenting, and make sure you have an interactive and engaging presence there. This is an excellent way to learn about and head off problems, and also give your business a friendlier, social face to know like and trust.
  • Use surveys and contests – Conducting regular surveys and contests is a fantastic way to find out what your customer base is thinking and bringing up, and to be able to deliver on some of those needs and desires for them. Listening to customers ask for a product or service you were thinking of providing can serve both as a confirmation for you and make you look like a rock star in their eyes.
  • Employ transactional feedback – Try to get feedback after every transaction, whether in the form of a feedback card emailed to them, handed to them or printed on their receipt. You can even incentivize this with an offer of some sort. This also works very well for events, and helps them feel even more looked after.

Managing effective communication with your customer base requires a bit of effort and desire, but it can pay off handsomely in the long run.

How To Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics for Small Business 101

Many of us understand that using Google Analytics to understand how our marketing efforts are performing can be a key to unlocking future success. Even so many people are put off by the incredible immensity of the data facing them. You might want to start by answering the right questions: what are my goals, and what do I need to know to achieve them. Google Analytics can indeed be a perplexing mountain of data to decipher, and without having a game plan you can get lost very easily. Let’s take a look at some ways to recognize which metrics to track, and ways to use Analytics to your best advantage.

Understanding which metrics you need

While each business will present somewhat different needs, the more useful common needs follow.

  • Total visits – Discovering how many visitors you get is a basic measurement of success, assuming they are targeted visitors. Examine both “unique” (first time) visitors, and total visits, which includes returnees.
  • Keyword phrases – Understanding which keyword phrases are driving traffic to your page is paramount. This data will help you know how to target your primary and secondary keywords.
  • Popular pages – Which of your pages are getting the most notice, and which aren’t!
  • Visitors geo-location – Which countries are generating the most traffic for you?
  • Referring pages – Which pages are sending you the most traffic? This could be from any number of sources, including affiliates, video, images, social media and more.
  • Search engine traffic – Which search engines are delivering the most visitors.

Use these advanced Google Analytics features to help you sort the data

Three beneficial advanced features are very useful when processing and understanding this information.

Custom reports will provide you with the power to create a version of Google Analytics just for you. You are able to pick the data that’s important to you, and organize it any way you like.

Advanced segmenting will let you sort traffic into segments that highlight your data, such as segmenting out mobile or tablet traffic.

Intelligence events is akin to Google Alerts, and sends a you an email or text to your mobile device when anything out of the ordinary happens on your site, such as a spike in traffic, either up or down.

Yes, Google Analytics is a LOT of data. And yes, you can make it work for you, with just a little effort!

Using Google Updates

How to Benefit From the Recent Google Updates!

While it’s forever been shouted from the virtual rooftops that “Content is King”, many of us never truly took Google seriously. Until now. Since the recent search engine algorithm updates throughout the last couple of years including Panda (and its subsequent offspring) Penguin as well as others, it’s become ever more clear that Google has finally reached the stage where it’s able to enforce what it said, and that is nowhere more evident than in the latest incarnation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

So how does this impact small business?

To put it in a nutshell, this means that we are to prize quality over quantity, and strive to ensure that our content isn’t there merely to collect a link back to our pages, but to contribute worthwhile and meaningful grist for the conversation. This flight to quality signifies that we have to abandon excessive, low-quality SEO for a more organic, long-tern qualitative approach to search engine optimization and link building. However, it doesn’t mean that we avoid attempting to promote our pages with link building. It’s the link schemes, link farms and manipulative machinations that Google is seeking to get rid of.

What to do and what to refrain from doing!

  • Create awesome content – Craft content that people are eager to both read and share. Lend your distinct voice to the conversation and don’t be afraid to ruffle feathers!
  • Make it shareable – Since Google is now making social signals an element of the search algorithm it’s very important to make sure that folks have the capability and want to share your content. It can make a difference in your rankings.
  • Don’t use content automation – Google is getting better and better at finding and exiling automated content. Since most of the time this kind of spun or rehashed text is instantly recognizable as such, just decide to avoid it entirely.
  • Make your links diverse – Don’t use the very same keyword text in all of your links. It’s not natural and won’t help you rank for that keyword. Make use of keywords, naked URLs, some “click here’s” and other common terms.
  • Don’t employ linking schemes – Back in the day you could get away with this, and there are many who would tell that it is still so, even so the cost of being found out is high. Do you actually want to build your business on that?