“But I don’t really think about SEO very much anymore.” That was my initial reaction when we all agreed that March would be SEO month here at Copyblogger. At which point, of course, I knew I’d have to write about it. “Look, I just create useful content for people. Do that, get it read, get it shared, get links, have good hosting and fast page-load times … and productive search engine results will follow, right? I mean, what else is there to say?” Turns out, plenty. Keyword research is more fundamental to your content marketing strategy than you may think. Also, you may already be making fatal optimization mistakes . Plus, who knew SEO advice could be so … practical ? (Including #8, which will punch you square between the eyes.) I read those articles, rethought my position, and decided to examine exactly how much I actually think about SEO on a post-by-post basis. And, turns out, plenty. (Whether or not I realized it.) It’s easy to forget about the basic steps I’m going to outline below, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. Because the minute I stop doing them is the minute my content starts attracting fewer targeted visitors. Same goes for you. So let’s start at the top, because the first one is by far the most important of the seven — and it will take me the longest to explain. ( Note: I’m going to use my site AssemblyCall.com as an example throughout this post. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform , which has all of the tools I’m about to mention built right in. And thank goodness, or I’d probably forget about them. StudioPress Sites has all of these tools built in, too.) 1. Be extra intentional about your SEO title tag You don’t have to […]
As every content strategist knows, content needs management. Most often, content is managed by an IT system referred to — unsurprisingly — as a Content Management System, or CMS. Many content strategists also know that another technical tool helps to manage access to the content as well, something called metadata. But what metadata is, and does, it often not clear. I want to address three common misconceptions about metadata for web content. To understand how metadata is misunderstood, we first need to understand the purpose of metadata. Metadata exists so that computers can understand what the content is about, which allows these computers to deliver the appropriate content to audiences. Audiences are the ultimate beneficiaries of metadata, but they aren’t the immediate users of the metadata — computers are. When viewing content, audiences see text on the screen that looks like metadata, such as a label identifying a menu item or a descriptive field on a webpage. But what they are seeing may not actually be what computers are using to decide which content to deliver to the viewer. Some of the organisational elements that audiences encounter when viewing content are just styling as far as computers are concerned. What humans see and understand, and what computers see and understand, can be very different. Even if the content looks highly organised, that doesn’t mean that computers will understand that organisation. I want to qualify my prior statement about the purpose of metadata, to make it even more explicit. Metadata exists so that any computer can understand what the content is about. This is an important distinction. You may have a neat file structure in your CMS that helps you manage your content. But that doesn’t mean that other computers will understand what the content about. What makes sense to […]
According to BuzzSumo, the Internet grew by a little over 500 link building-related articles last month. Buzzsumo content analysis report Of course, this is a good thing, as everything that was published before April 24, 2012 can be safely disregarded thanks to Google’s Penguin update. Yes, 2012 happened forever ago, or at least that’s what it feels like, but some of those old posts and articles still pop up here and there in search results (speaking of link building done right). No doubt, link building is still an in-vogue topic not only because it is one of the most important ranking factors , but also because it’s a vital part of any brand’s credibility or PR strategy. People tend to purchase services or goods from familiar brands, so that means your company’s name has to resonate with your potential consumers when they are sifting through numerous other brands. Being mentioned by popular online news resources is one of the best ways to gain your clients’ trust. In this article, I am going to discuss some link building strategies that any company will find affordable to implement. Since I have in-depth expertise on building links through content creation and distribution, that’s what we’re going to focus on here. I strongly believe that basing your link building strategy on content management principles will not only earn you links but will also increase social shares along with referral traffic. Interviews Whether you’re presenting an existing idea in a new light, capturing a new audience, or simply growing your list of connections, interviewing the right people for their insight is a smart move that makes sense for brand publishers. However, it’s so easy to bungle or miss a potential opportunity. Below are a few things worth keeping in mind if you want to […]
Chief marketing officers have one of the hardest jobs in the corporate world. According to research by the consulting firm Russell Reynolds, it’s only getting harder. Last year, CMO turnover reached its highest point since Russell Reynolds began tracking the data in 2012. After years of swift technological development disrupted marketing to its core, CMOs and their teams are now responsible for a bevy of critical company functions: optimizing the sales process, improving customer experience, and marketing the product across a complex array of channels. Meanwhile, CEOs understand that technology allows for accurate tracking of marketing dollars spent, creating immense pressure on CMOs to perform. Now, another technological breakthrough is on the horizon: artificial intelligence (AI). According to many experts , AI has the potential to be the most revolutionary technology since computing itself—and marketing is first in line for disruption. Should marketing leaders panic or celebrate? It depends on who you ask. The artificial intelligence hype machine 2016 was a big year for artificial intelligence. Google’s AlphaGo program defeated the world champion in the complex game of Go , a landmark in AI development. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all made significant investments in AI. Wired proclaimed that the world’s biggest tech companies are “remaking themselves around the technology.” In marketing, Salesforce and Adobe announced new intelligence programs, called Einstein and Sensai, respectively. We’re in the midst of an AI arms race. “I’m astounded in how AI is going to transform every industry,” said Leslie Fine, VP of product at martech giant Salesforce. “Companies today face an imperative to integrate AI into their products and services, or risk becoming less competitive with companies who are applying AI to improve customer experiences and make more intelligent business decisions.” But what is AI exactly? And how does it apply to […]
In Los Angeles, where I live, I constantly see billboards for popular YouTubers…which tells me that Google (who owns them) is investing a lot of money into helping popular brands succeed. More and more frequently, we are seeing popular YouTubers transcend the internet and move into more traditional media and movies, knocking down the gatekeepers that held the old guard in place. Guess what? It’s still free to start making this type of content. All you need is a laptop with a webcam and a free YouTube account. You can record the videos on your computer and upload them. Within minutes, you’re up and running. Of course, you’ll improve your content and upgrade your equipment as you keep going…but the point is that it’s free to start. So what are you waiting for? Related: These Are the 18 Most Popular YouTube Stars in the World — and Some are Making Millions How to produce content that people want to read, watch or listen to: The first decision you’ll have to make is what you want to talk about. This applies not just to written content, but to all content. What are you good at? What could you talk about enthusiastically for days from many different angles? It could be one thing, or a collection of things, but find those core ideas. For instance, the core idea and focus behind Rich20Something is helping young people live better lives by upgrading their wealth, health and happiness. I use my own experiences to write about making more money, becoming more well-rounded and feeling better about yourself. This could take the form of: Step-by-step how to’s for starting a freelance business Case studies of successful readers and students who’ve left their boring jobs to become entrepreneurs Thought pieces on my philosophies behind improving […]
Companies like Apple, Netflix, Google, and Dell are 40% more productive than the average company, according to research from the leadership consulting firm Bain & Company. You might think that it’s because these companies attract top-tier employees–high performers who are naturally gifted at productivity–but that’s not the case, says Bain & Company partner Michael Mankins. “Our research found that these companies have 16% star players, while other companies have 15%,” he says. “They start with about the same mix of star players, but they are able to produce dramatically more output.” It’s what they do with these high performers. Executives from large companies across 12 industry sectors worldwide said three components of human capital impact productivity more than anything else: time, talent, and energy. And the top quartile organized its business processes in a way that they’re 40% more productive than the rest and consequently have profit margins that are 30%-50% higher than industry averages. “They get more done by 10 a.m. Thursday morning than the others do in a week, but they don’t stop working,” says Mankins. “This difference compounds every year; over a decade, they can produce 30 times more than the rest, with the same number of employees.” Mankins explores their methods and mindsets in his new book TIME | TALENT | ENERGY: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power . Here’s what he found: The average company follows a method of unintentional egalitarianism, spreading star talent across all of the roles, says Mankins. Companies like Google and Apple, however, follow an intentionally nonegalitarian method. “They select a handful of roles that are business critical, affecting the success of the company’s strategy and execution, and they fill 95% of these roles with A-level quality,” says Mankins. “The rest of the roles have fewer star […]
Stephen King calls him a “terrible writer”. Book reviewer Bill Morris says that Patterson doesn’t really write books as much as he produces products. The British newspaper The Telegraph calls his novels a “bestseller factory”.
People who read generally hate him; his scads of best sellers that he cranks out at the rate of usually a few every 4–5 months while collaborating with other writers rankles any bookworm by the mere mention of his name. Admittedly, I turned my nose up at him too: How could a series of books written so fast with so many other writers be any good?
Being a strong advocate of fairness I decided to see for myself whether or not Patterson was a “terrible writer” by checking out the latest in the “Alex Cross” series, “Cross the Line.”
The verdict: he is pretty much a terrible writer. Short chapters, poorly worded sentences, silly plots and equally silly dialogue.
But, at the same time, he is also very engaging too. The stories and the characters sort of grab you, the same way you might get engaged in a TV reality cooking show. I went back to the library and started checking out the Alex Cross series in order; after I am done with these I will look into another series of his, perhaps “Women’s Murder Club”.
I can hear your thoughts: “Why on earth would you waste your valuable reading time on novels by this hack?”
My answer is this: Well, because, pizza.
I like pizza. I like cheeseburgers. I like tacos. I doubt fully that anybody would call the food I get from Papa John’s or Wendy’s or Taco Bell (or as we call it it in our house: “The TB”) gourmet food, yet these chains sell billions of items to people who enthusiastically enjoy them regularly. There is no shame in saying I like a cheap slice of pepperoni every once in awhile and there should be no shame in the fast-food equivalent of fiction, Mr. Patterson.
The thing is, not all writers get to be George R.R. Martin or Cormac McCarthy or Gillian Flynn or even Stephen King (who has been unfairly saddled with the “hack” label himself); on the outside of these authors is James Patterson and Lee Child and Tess Gerritsen. They are the relief for the busy mind when I want to sit and knock out a read in a few days (in some cases a few hours) before plunging back into the harder stuff.
And what the heck is wrong with that? Novels are in their very nature meant to be enjoyed, right?
So take my advice and get over your inner snob and grab a Patterson. Now if you’ll excuse me, Cross is hot on the heels of criminal master mind Kyle Craig!
You don’t need me to tell you how potent content marketing is. I could spout off a laundry list of stats, e.g., “ conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters” or “content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.” You get it. But the term “content marketing” is a wide umbrella, encompassing a nearly infinite number of strategies and variations. What you really need to know is which content marketing tactics will get you legitimate results—which ones will boost your traffic and generate sustained leads. In other words, which strategies are truly worth your time? In this post, I’d like to discuss six key tactics I feel are most pertinent for content marketers in 2017. More specifically, these tactics will give you 142% more traffic in six months. Here we go. 1. Create multiple landing pages […]
Driven by trends in lower performing advertising and changing consumer behaviors, many marketers have embraced content with the majority of companies adopting the practice. According to CMI and MarketingProfs 2017 Content Marketing Benchmark report, the most successful B2B marketers spend an average of 39% of their marketing budget on content marketing and 39% plan on increasing spending in 2017. However, even with the promise of greater marketing performance through content, organizations are challenged to produce a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis and there are a few key reasons why: 41% of marketers are clear on what an effective content marketing program looks like 36% are somewhat committed or not committed at all 75% are minimally or moderately successful at content marketing What’s missing in the content marketing success equation where clarity is not so clear, commitment is not in full force and most companies think their […]
Although some firms consider hiring a chief content officer (CCO) a best-practice, it turns out that bringing an executive on board at that level hasn’t been realistic at most companies.
Most B2B organizations (other than publishing, communications, and media companies or agencies) don’t have a person with chief content officer title who has a seat at the CEO’s table.
Not to worry, though: similar to the results of a Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs study, a 2016 study conducted by Curata found that 75% of companies are increasing their investment in content marketing, and 43% are increasing staff levels.
Chief marketing officers have recognized the need for a core content marketing team, led not by a CCO but by a content executive (typically with a marketing operations manager or writer/editor title), who develops and orchestrates a content strategy across the company.