Tag Archives: content

High Quality Blog Content: Keep It Simple

Computer with Content on Screen

High-quality website and blog content builds brand awareness, and turns website visitors into customers and referral sources. The 2019 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks report shows that 96% of the most successful content marketers strongly believe that their organization’s credibility has increased because of high-quality content.

Below is a list of some of the elements that constitute a high-quality blog post. If you follow this checklist, you are well on your way to creating quality blog content.

The Content is Aligned With Brand Objectives

Our objective in creating this blog post is to establish ourselves as experts on content marketing, SEO and brand development.  If this article does not at least partially support this objective, than it is not high quality. Having a one-on-one conversation with the website visitor that helps that visitor to better understand the subject matter at hand is the objective.  To have organized and well written content will further help to achieve that goal.

The Content is Designed to Provide Solutions

High-quality content solves specific problems and offers actionable advice that the readers can apply to their situation.  In our case, many of the solutions require technical expertise that most of our customers do not possess, but it is still comforting to know that there is a resource or a procedure available for solving a problem.

The Content Shares Specific Tools To Solve The Problem

Useful content provides resources to solve problems.  For example, we often cite resources like SEMRush, Ahrefs.com, and Google Search Console that help to provide solutions for various SEO problems ranging from backlinks to keyword research to on page SEO techniques.  The point is that you should not be shy about providing the sources of your solutions. That is what makes your blog content unique and valuable.

The Content Should Be Easy To Read.

A study by the Nielsen Group found that 79% of website users scan the content on a webpage for highlighted headings. In fact, the study shows only 16% of users read the content word for word. Use highlighted headings, keep the content brief and to the point, and use graphs and illustrations to explain complicated concepts or conclusions that require a lot of data to support.  Use language that is conversational and easy to understand, even when explaining technical subject matter.

Conclusion: Keep It Simple

Creating high-quality content is not complicated.   The key is to have a firm understanding of the topic that you are writing about, and explain it as if you are talking to a friend who is not in your industry, or better yet, explain it like you are speaking to a new customer of your firm.  If your discussion covers the problem at hand and provides the theory and assets necessary to create a solution, then you have satisfied most definitions of high-quality content.

Eric Van Cleave is the CEO and Digital Director for Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa California Digital Marketing and SEO Agency.

What is the Best Content Strategy for My Business?

According to Google, creating valuable content is key to both successful SEO and creating website user engagement and conversion.

Essentially, the steps are:Content Is King!

  1. Identify customer needs.
  2. Go beyond the blog post!
  3. Proper titles are essential.

A brand must determine who their customers are and create relevant content for them. Using second level data, focus groups or simply talking to your customers are great ways to discover what they want.

If a bike shop continuously receives questions about the different types of mountain bikes, then it would be wise for the bike shop to write about the different types of mountain bikes. Furthermore, if data shows heavy traffic to a particular product page, the retailer would want to create content around that specific product.

Blogging isn’t the only advertising brands should be creating, although blogging is a fantastic source for promoting, brands don’t want to become stuck only creating long form content. Using multiple channels is ideal, such as social media, video content, vines, and infographics are all great ways to expand your brands reach. Being able to use the same content in multiple ways is profitable for your brand– take our bike shop for example. If mountain bikes are a hot topic why not create an infographic of different mountain bikes, or a YouTube channel focusing on Mountain Bikes? Re-purposing content is a simple way to create a larger audience.

The title of your content is also huge when it comes to attracting attention to your copy. It is crucial that the title is relevant to your content, it is fun to come up with clever and witty titles, just make sure it is simple enough to understand and relevant to your topic. If our bike shop is writing about mountain bikes but the title is “Four Ways to Concur a Mountain” potential readers may become confused. Be sure to use keywords in your title to help increase your SEO initiatives.

FAQs and Blog Posts are an important part of every content plan. It is key for online marketing success to be upfront with the information your potential customers want to know in the navigation of your website.

If you have questions about your content plan, or would like to discuss any SEO or online marketing concerns that you have, please reach out to us.  We are here to help!

 

How to Amplify Your Content

Today we have a guest post and infographic for you from the multi-talented Ivan Serrano about how you can amplify your content! Take it away, Ivan.

Back in its early days, many marketers focused on link-building techniques to get a higher ranking on Google. With Google focusing more on providing relevant content to its visitors, these old tactics are now a great way to get your site flagged. Now their focus has shifted to the quality of the content. This switch has forced brands to change their tactics to content marketing. 93 percent of B2B marketers currently use content marketing for a couple reasons:

  • Seven out of ten consumers prefer custom content because it is tailored to their interests.
  • Good content is a major reason consumers follow brands on social media.

While creating quality content is definitely important, the problem is that every brand is doing the same thing. If you’re just expecting to earn a huge following simply by creating a blog entry or white paper, you’ll be in for a rude awakening. With so much new content available to consumers on a daily basis, if you don’t promote it, there’s no way anyone will ever find it.

Content Amplification

Content amplification is a strategy where you increase the value of your content and reach the largest audience by promoting it on the right channels. All content amplification starts with your owned media which includes:

  • Social media profiles
  • Blog
  • Website
  • Email list

From there, you can and should utilize different avenues of paid media like Facebook ads or Twitter’s Promoted Tweets so you can reach a wider audience. The best part is that these paid social ads allow you to pinpoint your amplification strategy to exactly the right people, who ultimately will help build your community. The infographic below provides more information on how to amplify your content properly, the questions you should ask yourself when creating your content and the tools to find influencers (click to enlarge).

Amplified Content

click to enlarge

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What’s New For October 10, 2013 – Hummingbird, Product Descriptions, Ad Revenue

New Hummingbird Google Algorithm Update Complicates SEO

On October 1st, Google announced a rewritten algorithm called Hummingbird. The announcement stated that the new algorithm was released a month or so ago. Google is being extremely tight-lipped about the update and its exact effect on rankings, but we know that longer-tailed keyword streams that relate to searches for specific useful content, social shares, and the longer search phrases that occur in voice search, as well as Google Authorship, are key components of the change.

Google claims that these changes should not affect rankings, and we have not seen rankings affected for our clients, but the chatter online continues to focus on the changes on August 24th and September 12th related to this update.

Google Hummingbird

Product Descriptions: Not Necessarily Unique Content?

Product descriptions, which have been shared amongst numerous ecommerce sites for years and have been re-written to be unique content by many SEO firms and webmasters, may not need to be unique, according to recent comments from Google’s John Mueller during Google Webmaster Hangout. If you jump about 20 minutes into the video, you will hear the following:

“Let’s say a company uses product descriptions on their own site and at the same time provides the descriptions via a database to official retailers who might reuse them on their website. How can correct content attribution / ownership be ensured?”

John answered that in these cases, Google doesn’t look into the ownership of the content. See the comments below:

“So, for example, if there’s an online store that’s selling a book, and it’s selling it worldwide, and there’s also a local bookstore that’s selling the same book and on the site they have the same description as the big general online store, and if we can recognize that a user wants to find local content, then maybe we’ll show them the local version.

And if we can recognize that the user doesn’t want to find just local content but something maybe they can buy online, then maybe we’ll show them the global version…

So it’s not something where we’d say that if you wrote this product description your site will always be ranking for queries for that product description, but rather we’ll try to show them the appropriate version that matches what we think the user is looking for.”

This changes the focus from unique product descriptions in ecommerce to content that identifies the site as the best response for that search in the scope of what the searcher is seeking.

Internet Advertising Bureau: Digital Ad Revenues and Search Revenue Up From Last Year

Total digital ad revenue in the United States for the first six months of 2013 was just under $20.1 billion, versus $17 billion in the same period of 2012. Mobile ad spending represented 15 percent of the total. Search revenues were up to $8.7 billion, a 7% increase from last year. The full results are broken out below:

Digital Ad RevenueBottom Line: Is Google making organic search so difficult to optimize that the cost will become prohibitive for most small to medium sized businesses? Will PPC and Display ads, along with social media and other strategies, overtake SEO? This is a trend that bears watching as businesses continue to improve tracking of their metrics and the return on investment from their online ad dollars.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Development and Online Marketing Firm.

What’s New for August 13, 2013 – Graph Search and Content Ideas

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search Is Fully Launched

Facebook has announced that the new graph search is now available to all US English Language Facebook users.

The announcement from Facebook read as follows:

Graph Search makes it easier to make new connections; you can continue to search for friends and Pages by name, or use simple phrases to find something specific across people, photos, places, interests, and more.

Graph Search was originally seen as competition for Google, but upon further review, it seems to be a completely different way of accessing information online. Log into Facebook and give it a try. Please notice the personalization of information.

Content Creation

Good Blog Post and Content Ideas – Where Do They Come From?

Where can you look for ideas for fresh content and blog posts for your website and social media sites?

When trying to come up with ideas, I always start with these sources of information:

1. Reviewing questions that my customers ask me in the course of business. If one customer asks a question, chances are good that others are wondering the same thing. Poll your sales and customer service teams regarding topics that customers ask of them, as well.

2. Follow social media conversations with others in the industry and your own social media sites, if you have them. Topics of conversation in social media, chat rooms, and forums are great ways to find out what customers want to know. To help make this task less time intensive, consider using a tracking tool that will allow you to track conversations online that center around the keywords you select.

3. Don’t neglect images. Images that depict problems your products can solve or the happy results of the successful use of your product or service will help to engage online viewers.

4. Review search terms that website visitors are using to find your website. Look at the most popular search terms that website visitors use to find you, and make sure that you provide ample information about those terms. Search competitors and review search terms that they are optimizing for to identify industry trends that you may not see from your customer base. Look at those competitors that are in large or “cutting edge” markets for your field. For example, if you are in a high tech business, Palo Alto would be a more relevant market than Los Angeles. The reverse would be true if you are in the entertainment field.

5. Keep current with published articles on topics that relate to your field. If a print publication is writing about it, chances are the public is interested in it. Many marketers neglect industry or trade publications, but many emerging technologies, ideas, and trends can be found when the insiders of an industry talk with each other.

6. Do not neglect topics that are more during certain times of the year. For instance, an HVAC contractor would be better suited to advertise air conditioning repair in the summer than in the winter months. Updated content shows your audience that you are current and relevant to their lives, and that is a key component of engaging an online audience.

Generating these ideas and then strategizing with a calendar is a daunting task. Many companies work with an annual calendar, but I am fond of a strategy never plans more than 45-60 days in the future. The modern world is constantly changing, and website and blog content needs to be current and valuable to its users. I certainly do not know what I will want to know more about 12 months from now, do you?

Bottom Line: Content is king, and looking for the right content to feature on your website or blog has become a hot topic for those actively marketing online. It is a grind to constantly create new content, but the reward of successful SEO and Social Media campaigns is huge.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Design and Online Marketing Firm.

Tips for Creating Great Content Writing

There are many different ways to increase the effectiveness of your content writing and encourage more interaction. Blogs, social media, and websites all require different approaches, since their used for different goals. Your first step toward creating interesting content and increasing the likelihood of interaction from your audience starts by figuring out what you want.

Are you interested in leads or brand recognition? Receiving reviews or making sales? Climbing search engine rankings or creating a loyal customer base? All of the above? Then make sure you select the correct approach. Technically, if you’re creative, any of the following could be used for any of the aforementioned goals. However, here’s how they’re most frequently used.

writing good content

Website content is the static content available on your website, both on your homepage and your internal pages. It is often used to create brief marketing copy to give users a bite-sized synopsis of what your business does, aids in local SEO services, and give calls to action.

Blog content can be purely informative or highly creative. If you want to build a loyal audience, you’ll want to approach with innovation and write about topics that draw responses. If your goal is to further your website’s relevance to search engines, then creating interesting content isn’t going to be as important as creating informative, relevant content. If you can combine the two, you’re golden.

Social media content has become incredibly multi-faceted. It can be used to increase your company’s weight on search engines, but it can also be used to build brand recognition, practice customer support, or weigh audience sentiment. It’s shorter, punchier, and designed for fast and easy consumption. Brevity is key.

Approaching your content takes slightly more skill than throwing some keywords into a paragraph and throwing it up on your website. It’s always best to work with a professional copywriter, particularly one who’s up to date on the most recent SEO requirements for the major search engines. You have to be willing to really sit down and decide what, exactly, you want your content to get people to do, and then put a plan in place to make it happen. Magic works in storybooks, but not in marketing.

A few more tips to live by:

If you want readers, you have to be readable. This sounds like complete non-advice, we know, but extrapolate a little. Research other blogs and social media in your industry to see what they’re doing that’s working… or not. If you’re not getting bites, change course. When people respond, take note of how and why.

Succinct delivery defeats verbose posturing… within reason. This tip comes with a caveat: sometimes it’s okay to be a little long-winded. Google’s getting smarter, which means it can figure out when you’re just repeating the same content with different keywords. Organic content – content that reads naturally rather than structured – is gaining prominence. For marketing purposes, make your point quickly and cleverly. For relevance and gaining authority, learn to write good, organic content. If you want to be read, either write short or write quality.

Ask for what you want. Don’t be afraid to directly ask people to share your content. Make sharing easy by adding share buttons. Tell people what you want them to do. Don’t be pushy, but do be direct.

Stephanie Wargin is the Social Media Strategist at Zenergy Works, a web design and SEO company located in Santa Rosa, California. Her friends like to brush her hair into her eyes whenever she talks about Facebook.