Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida

Relationship Powered Link Building Pubcon

Keywords, content and links. This is the currency of the Search Engine Optimization world and the rules for spending that currency seem to be in a constant state of flux.

At TopRank Marketing, we take a conservative approach to attracting links through purely organic means. Our focus is on creating content that’s actually worth being linked to with an emphasis on customer engagement and share optimization over pure SEO value.

The irony of this approach is that while we don’t “build links” directly for SEO, the attraction based approach we take typically results in links that are very high value and sustainable that many overt link building tactics.

In this session at Pubcon Florida, Ann Smarty @seosmarty from Internet Marketing Ninjas broke her multi-year silence on link building to share her current insights on the topic of link building through relationships.

To understand link building for SEO, you must first understand what NOT to do.

One important lesson is not to scale link building. Scale risks not being useful to consumers and Google responds to that with penalties.

Early on, Ann recognized the value of guest blogging and started a community. In 2012 Matt Cutts from Google shared that guest posts were ok as long as bloggers simply didn’t duplicate the same post over and over.

However, once SEOs recognized the value of link building, they exploited it. In 2014 Google penalized Ann’’s community and guest blogging has been deemed a risky tactic ever since.

Controlled link building of the past:
* Paid links
* Directory links
* Press releases
* Site networks

The effect of Google’s penalties on link building tactics like those listed above has been significant. 89% of sites that ranked 7 years ago are not ranking today. Marcus Tober, SearchMetrics

The rub: You cannot scale link building, but you can’t really get anywhere in SEO without it.

The adjusted approach suggested by Ann is “link earning” vs. “link building” with a focus on building relationships

1. Relationship powered link building. The most important rule is that you do not “ask” for links. Be authentic. Genuinely and openly do your best for each opportunity you come across.

  • SEMRush does a great job at this – they have multiple active community managers, they create free and useful content that attracts links organically.
  • “The best way to ensure that lucky things happen is to make sure a lot of things happen.”
  • Spend at least 20% of your time genuinely helping people without asking for anything back.
  • Make sure your brand identity is consistent across all your web networking channels.
  • Create relationships of mutual value and the relationships will grow. This is true with people who are not yet influencers – they may be more willing to collaborate. But when they do become influencers, the relationship will be far more valuable.

2. Resource Building + Outreach (Trust bait)

  • Brainstorm educational resources and types. What can you contribute to the community in terms of educational content?
  • Research niche quotes (answerthepublic.com). Research niche questions. (serpstat.com and buzzsumo.com/research/questions
  • Research broken links in your industry and related industries: Take a trusted resource in your industry and use Majestic Site Explorer to identify broken links. Find all pages linking to that deleted resource. Then reach out to with a fix using your resource.
  • Research broken links in your industry and build a powerful connection. Work with industry experts (scientists, teachers, writes) to create a better resource than the original. Enhance your outreach by mentioning a notable industry expert who has been working with you on the new resource (that had been involved with the deleted resource).

Why use research-powered trust bait linking:
1. You create a better guide, it improves content quality
2. You can refer to a well known expert in your outreach
3. You’ll receive links from your experts / contributors
3. Viral Marketing and relationships.

Create a variety of formats of content, aka digital assets. Use viral content + social media promotion + smart email outreach. Get exposure on popular destination or community sites. For example, find moderators or sub-reddit influencers to seed your content on Reddit.

Content that gets featured on Reddit’s front page can attract many links. If you seed your content the right way, it can get noticed by many media properties which can mean a quantity of high value and organically sourced links.

Tools for seeding content assets:

  • LaterForReddit allows you to discover relevant subreddits and analyze what time slots and days of week are best for discovering content. Also helps identify active Reddit users and moderators.
  • Twiangulate  can be used to discover influential media contacts (journalists or bloggers) in your niche / location. Search using the specific publication name to find employees.
  • BuzzSumo to discover more influential media contacts in your niche. Search content to find interviews that have already been done and who did the interviews. Also who was the interviewee so you can interview them as well.
  • Twitter Lists & TweetDeck to manage influential media and engage with them.

To EARN links:

  1. Engage in relationship building 24/7 with influencers, bloggers, and journalists.
  2. Create a LOT of good content, both educational and viral / entertaining + identify people who can help you get the word out.
  3. Invest in community management and brand ambassadors.

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Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida | http://www.toprankblog.com

Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida was posted via Internet Marketing

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How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO

This session on influencer marketing and SEO is the first up for me on day one of Pubcon Florida, which has grown from a one day to a two day event. It’s easy to see why: The speaker line up is chock full of current smart search marketing advice from a great collection of expert practitioners.

With moderation duties handled by Susan Wenograd @SusanEDub the speakers for this session included the dynamic duo of:
Marcela De Vivo @marceladevivo from SEMRush
Dixon Jones @Dixon_Jones from Majestic

First up is birthday woman Marcela De Vivo. Happy Birthday Marcela!

Influencer Marketing is hot right now for a variety of reasons: consumers increased use of ad blocking, increased competition and working with the right influencers can make your marketing more effective, especially with SEO.

But working with influencers and getting them to pay attention to your brand can be hard.

There are many examples of big brands leveraging influencer marketing including Pedigree, Hulu and Bob’s Red Mill. But there are also small brands like YogaClub that have had great results too. “Working with influencers revolutionized our brand.”

Impressions are nice, but how do you get influencers to truly impact your ROI?

One of the best ways to get ROI out of influencer marketing is to bring it into your SEO strategy.

To do that, understanding the top SEO ranking factors will help you understand opportunities to incorporate influence with SEO.

  1. Site traffic – Number of direct visits for high volume keywords. Influencers can be a great source for direct traffic. Influencers can generate demand for your brand which also creates visits to your site.
  2. User engagement signals – Visitors coming to your website from search – pages viewed per session and bounce rate. Influencers that have a trusted niche of followers that trust them to recommend sites to visit. That trust should result in an audience that delivers stronger user engagement signals.
  3. Links – Total backlinks to a domain, referring IPs, and total follow backlinks. With influencers you get links they share to your site but ideally, their followers may also link to you. One way to work with influencers this way is through giveaways where content is part of the contest.
  4. Natural organic content – Longer content tends to perform better than shorter content. Things like keywords in the title and H1 tags. Influencers can contribute content to your site that your brand owns. Then you can encourage influencers to share that content that they created hosted on your site. You can also use Facebook ads to promote that content. Alternatively, you can sponsor the influencer to create content on their own site and encourage them to promote.

Steps to build an effective influencer marketing campaign:

  1. Start by picking the social media channels you want to target.
  2. Create a list of potential influencers using Google, social networks or specialty tools / networks of influencers.
  3. Shortlist your influencers.
  4. Contact the influencers via email, phone and/or social media. Get creative.
  5. Get pricing information from the influencer.
  6. Negotiate a detailed agreement with deliverables. Focus on long term partnerships.
  7. Send the influencer a descriptive campaign brief.
  8. Track, monitor and amplify their posts.
  9. Measure performance.

Hacks for working with influencers:

Measure influencers against each other with an assessment tool. Gather all the data about influencer activity and estimate the CPM value. Include data like: followers, blog traffic, demographic data, engagement per post.

Calculate total relevant audience. Then figure out the engagement to audience ratio. Add total cost and divide by total relevant audience divided by 1000. With this data you can identify which influencers are the best to work with.

Combine Facebook live videos with influencer amplification. Live videos often have good organic reach. Run ads against the influencers own audience. Be sure to use the same post ID when you promote content to build social proof.

After the live video on Facebook, upload them to YouTube, creata a bog post with them, get the influencer to share your video blog post and use Facebook ads to amplify the posts.

Following these guidelines will result in links, traffic and engagement – all signals that are good for SEO.

Next up is Dixon Jones who is retiring after 20 years in the industry at the end of this year. Congratulations Dixon!

Dixon asks, to leverage influencer marketing to improve SEO what are we trying to do? Get them to write about you and to get them to like and share your content.

Likes and shares are nice, but they’re just not as impactful to SEO as links.

BuzzSumo did some research on why people share and link to content which is useful when planning how to get influencers to link to your content.

Why might influencers link to your content?

  1. Original insights research
  2. As reference to support an article
  3. To share authoritative content including research and facts
  4. To cite dynamic data that changes

But do links still matter? “Yes” says Andrey Lipattsev from Google. Also Google’s Gary Illes, “Ranking without links is really, really hard. Not impossible, but very hard.”

Takeaway – An influencer can amplify a link for you very effectively.

How many links is enough? Dixon says “one” if they’re from the right source. It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. That means being careful about which influencers you work with.

Steps to engaging influencers:

  1. Identify the right influencers. Use Majestic’s search engine to find relevant content with desirable inbound co-linking ratios. Also, BuzzSumo’s tool for finding top content and authors for a keyword. Review where they publish. Use whatever communication tool that the influencer prefers – not what is most convenient to you.
  2. Engage the influencers. Doing this right is hard. Networking is priceless. It’s your chemistry not the tools that matter. Use tools like Influsionsoft, Sendible, Outlook, Rapportive. Build trust, be honest and be sincere. Ultimately, its about the beer (for Dixon). Build genuine relationships that can be leveraged when you have something valuable to share with them.
  3. Define the digital asset. Content isn’t necessarily king. The best thing might be an idea, a produce, or a process. It doesn’t have to be a URL.
  4. Prepare the launch. When you have something good to say and great relationships with relevant influencers, send them a preview of what you’re going to announce. Tell them the link URL and the exact time of launch. Then remind them it is live.
  5. Monitor results. Choose a KPI and stick to it, Is it a digital asset? Traffic from the influencer’s content? Search traffic? Citation flow or Trust flow? Just be sure to look at impact over time, not just in the short term. Compare similar campaign metrics with each other vs. mis-matched metrics.

Finally, Dixon asks and answers: How can you get influencers’ attention? By sharing something new, authoritative, referenceable, or unique.

And that’s a wrap. Great job Marcela and Dixon!

If you’re interested in influencer marketing tools to use or other content about influencer marketing, be sure to check out our past posts on the topic.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |
How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida | http://www.toprankblog.com

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida was posted via Internet Marketing

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks Report 2018

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks Report 2018

Social media marketers, how are you feeling? Take a minute to breathe if you need to. The last few months have been a wild ride. Fatigue, vertigo, and even a little nausea are perfectly understandable.

As I said before, social media isn’t dying, but it is changing. Marketers are used to quick changes, naturally, but it’s important to be sure we’re making the right changes. We should approach evolving our social media with the same data-driven, strategic rigor that applies to everything else we do.

The good folks at Rival IQ recently published their 2018 Social Media Benchmarking Report. The data points to some clear directions for the next evolution of social media marketing.

Here are some of the key data points – and, more importantly, what you should do about them.

#1 – Influencers Have the Highest Engagement Rate on Facebook

Facebook Engagement Benchmark 2018

The report breaks down engagement by platform and by vertical, which invites some intriguing comparisons. If you’re in the food & beverage industry, congratulations! You’re likely seeing some of the highest engagement.

If you’re not, however, there’s no need to roll out a new Cloud-Based SaaS brand of soft drink. Influencers are also hitting the top engagement rate (a whopping .24%, but more on that later).

What to Do:

TopRank Marketing has been talking about influencer marketing since before it was cool. These stats underline the importance of co-creating content with influencers who are relevant to your audience. It’s incredibly tough for brands to make a connection with organic social. Influencers can provide the person-to-person relationship that most people want out of social media interaction.

Read: Death of Facebook Organic Reach = New Opportunities for Influencer Marketing

#2 – More Posting Doesn’t Equal More Engagement

The highest post frequency on Facebook is in the Media vertical, with an average of over 10 posts per day. That’s an artifact of an old way of thinking about social media: Flood your page with posts and hope one or two stick. That strategy doesn’t seem to work anymore. Media has the lowest engagement rate, at .08%. Especially with Facebook, upping your posting frequency is counterproductive. The algorithm will show your posts in fewer feeds, fewer people will interact with them as a result, and you start a vicious cycle that ends up slashing your organic reach.

What to Do:

Stick to one or two posts per day, and really make them count. That’s right at the industry average, and seems to be the threshold on most platforms for how much an audience wants to see branded content. If you have ten potential posts, get ruthless: Pick the two that are most interesting, most relevant, most valuable to your audience. Then save the rest for a roundup blog post at the end of the week.

#3 – Engagement Rates Vary Widely by Platform

We tend to talk about social media as though it were a single monolithic platform. Of course we know there are differences between channels, but the report underscores just how much they can vary. The engagement rates for Instagram are above the 1% mark, with some verticals seeing over 3%:

2018 Instagram Engagement Benchmarks2018 Twitter Benchmarks

While Twitter has an average engagement of .046%. That’s 4 hundredths of a percent, or engagement on one out of every 4,000 posts.

What to Do:

If Instagram fits your brand, and your audience is there, these stats are definitely an endorsement for hopping on the ‘gramwagon. But don’t count Twitter out completely. There is a great deal more content posted on Twitter than Instagram, and Twitter moves a lot faster. So that low engagement rate shouldn’t scare you off completely. Instead, use Twitter to boost your brand awareness, provide customer service via social media monitoring, and to engage with potential influencers.

Paid posts on Twitter can also have a powerful impact. One of our technology clients initially ruled out Twitter completely. We were able to prove they had a potential audience on Twitter and helped them run a paid program. In the end, their Twitter engagement was far higher than engagement on any other platform.

#4 – Engagement Is Low on Every Platform

More than anything, the report shows just how low the benchmarks are across the social media spectrum. If an email marketing campaign had a .046% average open rate, we would be throwing in the towel writing our resignations at the same time.

The drop in engagement makes sense, though, with how social media platforms have evolved. They used to be based on delivering all the posts the user opted into seeing. Whatever accounts the person chose to follow, that was what filled their feed.

Now every major social site is curated by algorithm. The user doesn’t control what they see, and neither do brands.

What to Do:

There are two key ways to thrive in the Age of the Algorithm. We’ve already covered the first: Start thinking of most of these channels as pay-to-play. Take your most compelling content and throw some paid promotion behind it on your highest-performing platform. Then A/B test your audience targeting until you find the sweet spot.

The second is to produce the type of content that the algorithm will promote. For Facebook and Twitter, that increasingly means native video. Facebook in particular has been explicit about their favoritism for video. Posts that match what the platform wants to promote will get a bigger initial push, which can help you get engagement, which will signal the algorithm to promote it more.

It’s also a good idea to explore the major platform that’s missing from Rival IQ’s report: LinkedIn*. The reported engagement rate on LinkedIn is .054%, lower than Facebook but higher than Twitter. However, it’s easy to more than double that benchmark with a little optimization, as this infographic from LinkedIn shows.

You can also branch out on LinkedIn by having your C-suite post their own thought leadership content on their own accounts. Personal posts are likely to get more engagement and more shares.

Stay on Your Mark and Don’t Get Benched

Social media marketing is still one of the newest marketing disciplines there is. We’re still developing best practices as the platforms continue to evolve. It’s a little like trying to build a train while you’re going 60 miles per hour down a track built on top of a pool of lime Jell-O.

These benchmarks can provide a starting point for the next iteration of your strategy. They might not speak to your specific vertical or audience, but they do highlight the broad changes taking place across social media. To make sure your train keeps rolling, focus on just a few high-quality posts per day, boosted with paid ads on your most valuable channels.

Need help mastering social media marketing? Here’s how we helped one company expand their reach.

*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing Client.

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus was posted via Internet Marketing

What We Learned in March 2018: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

87 Million Facebook Profiles Harvested by Cambridge Analytica

March has possibly been the toughest month for Facebook since it was created 14 years ago. Whistleblowers revealed how the social media giant had shared data with Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm behind successful presidential and Brexit campaigns. The data they gathered was then used to develop software and allegedly influence choices at the ballot box.

This saga is still ongoing with Mark Zuckerberg due to stand before Congress in April.

Read the full story (Guardian)

Further reading:

Google paid out a bug bounty for a black hat exploit for the first time

Within 48 hours an SEO was able to rank above sites such as Amazon and Walmart for high-value money terms, for just $12. By exploiting an XML sitemap vulnerability, Distilled VP Product, Tom Anthony had exposed a major flaw in Google’s product.

The twist is that it was all done in good faith, and any vulnerability was immediately declared to Google with a full fix for this bug now in place. As a reward Tom Anthony was rewarded a bug bounty of $1337, becoming the first bug bounty for a black hat exploit.

Read the full story (tomanthony.co.uk)

Read the follow up (Search Engine Land)

Google rolling out mobile-first indexing

The end of March saw Google confirm that mobile-first is finally rolling out after a year and a half of “careful experimentation and testing”. The aim of this is to ensure that mobile searchers have the best possible search experience, in particular on domains where the mobile and desktop experience are vastly different. Google very clearly states that they continue to have one single index rather than separate indexes for mobile and desktop results.

Read the full story (Google)

Further reading:

Zero Result SERPS arrive… And then leave

It was short and for some, sweet, but for a brief while, we saw zero result SERPs for the first time. Google commenced running a large-scale experiment that saw all organic results removed for queries such as “What is the time in Seattle?”, instead displaying a Google Knowledge Card and the option to show all results.

While the change certainly caused noise Dr Pete from Moz reports that of the 10,000 searches MozCast tracks daily only 0.01% of searches were impacted, meaning high-volume, competitive queries were generally not affected.

Read the full story (Moz)

Google to prioritise stories for paying news subscribers

Google has begun to make significant effort to help media companies retain paying readers by allowing publications to appear higher in search results if a user is a subscriber. Google will also be sharing search data to help publishers identify potential subscribers.

Several publishers including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and the Washington Post have already been getting users ready to pay for content as advertising revenue continues to dry up.

Publishers also feel that the likes of Google and Facebook should be doing more to support trusted journalism in the combat against fake news which has been rife in recent years.

Read the full story (Bloomberg)

Google to give publishers an alternative to AMP

Sticking with publishers, Google has indicated that it is looking into providing publishers a new path to appear in the increasingly-important Top Stories carousel on mobile search results pages.

While AMP was a considerable success for users, meaning a previously slow website could render quickly even on a relatively poor connection,  there were a number of publishers who had complaints about the level of control publishers were being given over their own content.

Google is looking to address this by offering publishers new frameworks that they would have to work within, however, at present, there is no timeline on when these changes would be implemented.

For now, publishers have to continue to contend with AMP.

Read the full story (TechCrunch)

Google Core Algorithm Change

Core algorithm changes always create conversation in the SEO community, even more so if Google comment on any shifts. Early in March as the community reported higher than normal levels of flux the @searchliaison team released the below statement via Twitter. As it suggests, larger than normal changes were made; however, this is one of many changes that they continue to make throughout the year.

Read the full story (Google)

WeWork acquires Conductor

In a move that surprised most of us in the SEO community, it has been announced that WeWork is to acquire SEO and marketing company Conductor. According to TechCrunch, the move indicates that Conductor are planning to expand their expertise into other types of marketing and advertising

WeWork President & Chief Financial Officer Artie Minson elaborated on that idea in an emailed statement:

“There’s a lot that make WeWork and Conductor a natural fit. Seth and his team built Conductor to provide the insights, education, and resources their customers need to succeed — in other words, Conductor helps their customers do what they love, and do it better. Conductor has made it easier for us to reach potential WeWork members who are looking for workspace. It’s also helped us get the word out about the services and amenities that we offer to companies of all sizes.”

Read the full story (Tech Crunch)

Distilled News

Distilled wrapped up March with our first SearchLove conference of 2018 in sunny San Diego. For those of you that made it we hope you had a fantastic time, and for those that missed out, we hope you can join us in either Boston or London later this year. In the meanwhile, speaker slides are now live on Slideshare for you to get an insight into the topics covered. For those that are DistilledU members, all the conference videos will be live by the end of April.

On the blog front, Principal Consultant Ben Estes had a busy month continuing his Effecting Change series with How to present a recommendation, and he talked us all through taking our first steps in Google Data Studio.

Anant Choxi produced an excellent guide on how to get more YouTube views, which was followed up by a special guest post from Christian Højbo Møller educating us on, What mathematics can teach us about email marketing?

Finally, closing off the month Consultant Robin Lord headed over to Moz showing us how to get around some of the quirks of Unbounce in his post Getting Around the “One Form” Problem in Unbounce.

What We Learned in March 2018: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute was posted via Internet Marketing

Crushing Conclusions: Why Content Marketers Shouldn’t Skip the Ending

Importance of Conclusions in Content Marketing

Importance of Conclusions in Content MarketingWe marketing writers spend a lot of time crafting a piece of content. In fact, according to Orbit Media’s most recent blogger survey, most writers spend about three and half hours crafting one blog post—which is a one-hour jump from its first report in 2014, highlighting to me the focus on quality over quantity of output.

But let’s be honest, regardless of how long we spend on a piece of content, we have our priorities in terms of how we spend that time. The title, while just a few words, is how we grab audience attention or entice the click. The introduction is how we hook the readers. And, of course, the body is at the heart of it all where we make good on everything we’ve promised in the headline and introduction.

But when it comes to tying it all up with a solid conclusion, I’d argue that many of us aren’t giving that component the thought and care it deserves.

In today’s crowded content landscape and increasing numbness to marketing messages, we can’t afford to leave any opportunity for engagement, connection, and conversions on the table. So for me, conclusions shouldn’t be an afterthought, but rather an essential marketing storytelling element for three main reasons—which is something I detail in this little video shoot I did with TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis.

Take a peek at my video debut if you want the Cliff’s Notes, but I encourage you to keep reading to get more depth and examples that can inspire the next piece you craft.

3 Reasons Conclusions Deserve Content Marketing Care

#1 – Content consumption is bite-sized.

First of all, it’s no secret that humans have short attention spans. How short? Roughly 8 seconds. And in an age of so much content at our fingertips, so much content that is ready to be consumed—it’s overwhelming. As a result—whether we’re curious about a new trend, researching something we may need to purchase, professional development—we often scan or skim content to get satisfy our need for credible, quality content in the shortest amount of time.

All that said, there are absolutely moments when we’re willing to commit to diving deeper and give something our full attention—which brings me to my next point.

#2 – If we’ve done our jobs and we’ve enticed a reader to the end, we absolutely want to leave them with something of value.

At a minimum, you should be circling back to your main points to give your audience a great summary and then providing them with a next step. Depending on your industry, audience, topic and stage in the funnel, there’s a few different considerations here:

The Engagement Play

Keeping folks on-page and encouraging them to interact with the content. The easiest example here is asking a thought-provoking question that relates to the topic and gives readers a chance to lend their voice.

Here’s an example from my recent post regarding Facebook’s latest algorithm changes and what they meant for influencer marketing.

As you can read, there’s a summary, actionable next steps from a takeaway and other reading standpoint, and then a related question to encourage discussion.

Engaging Conclusion Example for Content MarketersThe Emotional Play

Appealing to your reader’s emotions by leaving them with a little food for thought, inspiration or encouragement is a great way to reinforce every word up until that point and create a more personal connection. From my perspective, this route is especially great for thought leadership pieces.

In my journalism days, one of my go-to tactics here was to end with a compelling quote from one of my sources. I’d bring it all back together and then frost it with an interesting, uplifting, or sometimes a little heart-wrenching quote to really drive it home.

Here’s a subtle example from the *LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog. Titled Play Ball! How Marketers Can Apply the Principles of Spring Training and Experimentation, this baseball-themed post discusses how marketers can use spring training as inspiration for validating and optimizing social ad campaigns. With baseball season kicking off, the metaphor itself has a great hook for appealing to their audience’s interests.

When it comes to the conclusion, the minimum best practices of circling back and providing a summary are in play. And it’s done with the inspirational, “you can do it” sentiment woven throughout. Then the final line—”Step on up to the plate and give it a try”—gives readers “permission” to try a little something new. Of course, there’s a related CTA, too.

Emotion Evoking Conclusion Example for Content MarketersThe Tactical Play

This one is simple and probably one of the most widely used. This is all about giving readers something to do next. You’ve addressed a pain point or issue, you’ve offered insights and some solutions, but now the question is: What do they do next?

I want to be careful to say that this isn’t just a simple call to action. The conclusion should absolutely lead them to believe that the end CTA is worth their time.

Here’s a lovely example from TopRank Marketing’s Anne Leuman. Her recent post on search marketing integration, which featured a philosophical theme, she reinforces her main point and highlights key benefits. When it comes time to deliver the next step, she uses a “but wait there’s more” approach that tells the reader they have more integration possibilities to discover.

Tactical Conclusion Example for Content MarketersPlay Integration

These three plays don’t stand alone. They can be played with and combined to fit your topic, audience, and natural next steps for readers.

In our own Nick Nelson recent post In a World of Diminishing Trust, Data-Driven Marketers Can Turn the Tide, Nick tackles consumer mistrust and what that means for marketers moving forward. He begins with data-mishap story, outlines the trust issue, talks about the solution, and then it’s time for the conclusion where he artfully leverages a combination of the plays above.

His first few paragraphs tug at the emotional and inspirational heartstrings, but also delivers tactical value with next steps and takeaways.

Conclusion Example from Nick NelsonBut his final line really drives it all home:

Final Line of Nick Nelson ConclusionFinally, the related CTA isn’t just a simple “Read more” line.

CTA in Nick Nelson Conclusion

#3 – Every great story has a great ending.

Last, and certainly not least—and although it may sound a little hokey: Every great story has a great ending. No actually, every great story deserves a great ending. Period.

In Conclusion …

< Wow. No pressure or anything. >

We marketing writers are dedicated to our craft, spending hours to develop click-worthy headlines, compelling hooks and valuable body copy. But let’s not forget that every great story needs to have a great ending.

At a minimum, you should be circling back to your main points to give your audience a thoughtful summary and then providing them with a next step. And depending on your industry, topic, audience, and stage in the funnel, you should blend tactics to leave readers with something of value—whether that be inspiration, food for thought, actionable nexts steps or takeaways, or a little mix of everything.

The bottom line? Take it from the Master of Conclusions, Tom Smykowski:

Don't Skip the Conclusion MemeLooking for ways to up your writing productivity, while also delivering on quality? Getting started can be the hardest part, so why not start with your conclusion? Get more content productivity hacks to help you take creation from failing to flying high.

What are your thoughts on the importance of conclusions? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Share your thoughts on the subject.

*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

Crushing Conclusions: Why Content Marketers Shouldn’t Skip the Ending was posted via Internet Marketing

Digital Marketing News: CMO Diversity Shortfalls, Goo.gl Retirement, Facebook’s New A/B Tests

Brands Fail to Meet the ANA’s Diversity Goals, Too

Brands Fail to Meet the ANA’s Diversity Goals, Too
Progress has been strong in CMO gender balance while ethnic diversity continues to face significant shortfalls, according to new research from the Association of National Advertisers and its inaugural CMO scorecard. While 45 percent of top marketer positions examined in the ANA member data were female, only 13 percent were people of color. AdWeek

Instagram Makes Stories Advertising Easier with Automatic Full-screen Support
Instagram advertisers can now have square or landscape ad photos or videos automatically reformatted for full-screen utilization, one of several new features the firm recently announced as part of an effort to improve Instagram Stories. Marketing Land

YouTube Launches Reach-Based Pricing for User-Skippable Ads
YouTube advertisers can buy spots skippable after five seconds with prices based on a CPM basis, the firm has announced. With TruView for Reach, YouTube now offers an ad option aside from its in-stream non-skippable “bumper” ads and its traditional TrueView ads. Variety

Goo.gl Shutting Down – These are Your Options
Google’s popular URL shortener goo.gl is being phased out over the next year, with the Internet giant supporting a move to the newer take on short and persistent links that is offered with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). Existing goo.gl links will continue to function, however, Google has noted. Search Engine Journal

Advertisers on Facebook Have Some New Ways to Conduct A/B Tests
Facebook advertisers can now use split A/B tests in its Ads Manager’s Quick Creation system, the company announced Monday, a new option to augment the creative split testing it launched in October. The option to easily duplicate split tests while keeping them separate from existing settings was also among several new features Facebook rolled out this week. AdWeek

Snapchat Lays Off 100 From Advertising Division in Department Restructure
Three percent of Snapchat’s workforce has been cut in layoffs, with 100 workers in the firm’s advertising department being the latest affected in a series of downsizing that has followed lukewarm quarterly earnings results, Snapchat announced this week. AdWeek

Diversity And Gender Progress Is Mixed Among ANA Member CMOs

Facebook Will No Longer Allow Third-Party Data for Targeting Ads
Facebook has begun disabling its popular Partner Categories, as part of a continued recent effort to combat potentially vulnerable advertising practices, the company has announced. The Verge

Twitter’s Timestamps Lets You Share Live Videos from Any Specific Moment
The ability to schedule live videos with a new Timestamps feature has been announced by Twitter, as part of a new set of tool options that also allows video replays to begin at any point. The Verge

Snapchat is Testing ‘Connected Apps’ for Sharing Information
Snapchat has made way for the possibility of offering connected apps in its latest beta version, a move which could eventually mean a similar feature in its widely-used release version. Mashable

Google Lets Businesses Post Offers to Organic Search Results
Google is testing a new feature that allows businesses to present offers in both maps and directly in SERPs, from Google My Business pages, including offer photos, text, link, dates and times. Search Engine Journal

Facebook Restricts APIs, Axes Old Instagram Platform Amidst Scandals
Facebook is shutting down portions of the Instagram API for developers months ahead of a previously-scheduled July 31 deprecation, in the wake of Facebook’s must-publicized recent privacy concerns. TechCrunch

Bing Adds More Intelligent Search Features
Bing has launched several new search features, including aggregated facts from multiple sources, hover-over definitions for uncommon words, image search object detection zoom enhancements, along with updated handling of how-to questions, the company announced. Search Engine Roundtable

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Personal Data Simplicity Comic

A lighthearted look at product proliferation, non-universal USB frustration, and Steve Jobs’ product matrix – Marketoonist

April Fools’ the Day After: Our Roundup of Every Brand Stunt You Missed the First Time Around – AdWeek

Google Rickrolls SEOs With Recrawl Now Button – SEO Roundtable

‘Stolen office lunch’ drama has Twitter gripped – BBC

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • LinkedIn (client) – How to Ignite Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy [Infographic] — Marketing Profs
  • Lee Odden – 47 Quotes about content marketing from top content marketers — Medium
  • Steve Slater – Search Marketing Scoop with David Bain #5 [podcast] — SEM Rush
  • Ashley Zeckman – Romancing B2B Influencers: How to Attract, Engage and Persuade Influencers to Co-Create — AMA Iowa
  • DivvyHQ (client) – [Interactive Guide] Take Your Content Marketing Program Back to the Future with DivvyHQ — DivvyHQ

Don’t miss next week, when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


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Digital Marketing News: CMO Diversity Shortfalls, Goo.gl Retirement, Facebook’s New A/B Tests | http://www.toprankblog.com

Digital Marketing News: CMO Diversity Shortfalls, Goo.gl Retirement, Facebook’s New A/B Tests was posted via Internet Marketing

SearchLove San Diego 2018 Round Up

2018 was our fifth year in San Diego for SearchLove and what a blast it was. This year we hit a couple of personal milestones: selling our 5,000th SearchLove ticket and San Diego was completely sold out for the third year in a row. SearchLove San Diego 2018 saw 200 people in one room from all over the world including USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Australia and more, all united to watch some of the leading speakers in digital marketing take to the stage. Let’s see what they had to show us!

Dana DiTomaso – From Organization-Centric to Customer-Centric

  • Goals that are often set by management encourage marketers to be reporting the wrong metrics such as email signups, bounce rate and time on site.
  • Always think about the users’ needs and use those to shape your marketing goals.
  • Define customer conversions by building personas with the goals the customer is trying to achieve rather than goals your business is trying to achieve. “I am a……. Who wants to…… So I can…….

Rob Bucci – Featured Snippets: From Then to Now, Volatility, and Voice Search

  • Featured snippets are appearing for longer, natural language queries with the words “how”, “where”, “is”, “does”. These type of queries are still growing in volume.
  • Featured snippets are the cornerstone of voice search – they’re stable, not going away any time soon, and they are the way to maximize your reach for voice searches.
  • Optimize for voice search by creating snippet content for long tail search queries.
  • Voice search commands are translated into search queries: “What are the best headphones for $100” turns into: [best headphones for $100]”

Alexa Hubley – Real Lessons in Growth Marketing… From Watching Romantic Comedies

  • Create intimacy with your customers by using segmentation to speak to your customers at scale, while still talking to them as individuals. To do this, you need to create personalized assets including landing pages, pricing plan tables, emails, videos, and at times personalised items such as thumbnail images at scale (Alexa created 3,500 thumbnails for one campaign!).
  • “Woo” customers by generating humour. “If you can make someone laugh, there is an emotional connection with them, and anything you say beyond that is going to be more meaningful.”
  • Build trust with your customers by offering items such as swag packs, conference tickets & exclusive deal extensions. This helps make your customers feel special,  building the trust between them and your brand.

Justin Briggs

  • You can get YouTube search volume using YTCockpit. It’s like SEMRush but for Youtube!
  • When creating titles for your YouTube videos you should look to keep them under 50 characters to avoid truncation in most places, e.g. organic search & suggested videos. Video descriptions should be between 300-350 words to hit the sweet spot.
  • The optimal number of word phrases in tags is 2-3. You can source suggestions and common keyword tags using TubeBuddy.
  • Older videos tend to perform better. Videos originally receive a freshness boost when they are launched for the first 0-6 weeks. To leverage this, you should use high publication rates to help your other videos perform better.
  • Make your thumbnail images even more clickable by bumping up image contrast and saturation.
  • When measuring the success of your video content, ensure you are focusing on the right metrics. Views is a pretty poor metric, instead, use watch time which is a stronger ranking factor.

Tom Anthony – An Introduction to HTTP/2 & Service Workers for SEOs

  • Browsers typically open around six connections maximum, causing a backlog of file requests as a result slowing down page load time.
  • HTTP2 solves this issue by allowing many requests to happen on a single connection.
  • HTTP2 is quite simple to implement and doesn’t require a site migration in the same way we had to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. It doesn’t even need developers to do anything as the servers do all the work!
  • Service workers can modify view source (and thus you can get different source code with and without JavaScript).

Mat Clayton – Site Speed for Digital Marketers

  • Images often account for ~50% of file size for any given page. Compressing images, is one of the easiest wins you can make to improve site speed.
  • Use progressive images rather than baseline images. Progressive images produce a low res image to the users creating an illusion the page has fully rendered.
  • Make sure you are removing redundant code from your site, in particular, remove any unused CSS. Less code > less data to transfer > faster site.
  • Remove all code bloat such as tracking pixels and 3rd party scripts.
  • Caching is super important. Use a CDN to reduce latency and server load.

Rand Fishkin – How Marketers Can Incite Hunger Rather Than Just Serving Food

  • Don’t cater to existing demand in the market; use your marketing efforts to create the demand.
  • Don’t undervalue your branded search volume.
  • To create demand we have two options. The historical approach that SEO has taken; serve existing search demand by ranking. Alternatively, create more demand for your brand and rank automatically!

Wil Reynolds – Power BI For Marketers – Make Big Data Easy Again

  • “Don’t bring an opinion to a data fight.”
  • There are no more broad-based rank factors. There’s only what matters for your rankings.”
  • Stop talking about keywords and let’s start talking about MONEY!
  • Don’t just use search volume to make decisions. Instead, use Power BI to back up your recommendations with dollar amounts and actual click-through data from paid accounts to prioritize the most valuable terms for a specific client.

Sarah Esterman – Marketing Emergencies: A Survival Guide

  • Sometimes marketing mistakes can open opportunities, but only if you aren’t too wrapped up in feeling like a failure that the error happened in the first place.
  • It is vital to set up an emergency response plan and to establish a point person for marketing emergencies.
  • Sarah’s five steps to dealing with a marketing emergency:
  1. Keep your cool – remember to breathe!
  2. Be kind – when stress is high be kind to others and yourself. Choose your words carefully.
  3. Know the facts – use positive facts about yourself and your abilities to reassure yourself.
  4. Don’t freak out – ask questions about the scenario
    • What actually happened?
    • How many people were affected?
    • Is there any $$ to be lost?
    • How would your customers be feeling?
    • What are the consequences?
  • 5. Take action – Do you need to respond to this incident? 
  • Potential ways you could respond to any given situation:
    • Fix the thing
    • Email a follow-up
    • Social call-out
    • 1:1 customer relations

Darren Shaw – Local Search Hacks You Probably Haven’t Seen Before

  • Hack for driving more interactions on your Google My Business listing: Seed the Q&A section with your own questions you want customers to know the answers to.
  • Incentivizing customers to leave reviews directly breaches guidelines set by Google. Instead, incentivize your employees to have customers leave reviews.
  • Ensure consistency with your phone numbers. Add additional phone numbers to the second and third listing spots on Google My Business and Google will tie all of this data together.

Ashley Ward – Reuse, Recycle: How to Repurpose Your Content and Make the Big Bucks

  • Mobile devices projected to reach 79% of global internet usage this year, mobile-first content strategy essential.
  • Think about your own user behaviour patterns when you are creating content for your customers, especially on mobile!
  • Steps to reuse content: Define specific business goals, audit your existing content, create your “gem” list (this is the content you will repurpose), distribution (get that information out there).
  • Use the content you already have! Repurpose existing content into an ebook, update content with more relevant & useful info, recycle it to make the original into something new. TIP: don’t change the URL.
  • There are two types of repurposing content:
    • Republishing – find content that had previously been successful and update it with new imagery and stats.
    • Recycling – turn existing content into new content, e.g. podcasts, videos, infographics etc.

Aleyda Solis – Moving URLs

  • Simplify hreflang implementation by avoiding adding it to every single page of different international versions of your site.
  • Migrations require involvement from marketing, development, and design & UX. Collective buy-in and understanding across these teams makes all the difference.
  • Three reasons to consider using AMP

    • You can’t fix your mobile site speed.
    • You need to appear in Google’s Top Stories Carousel ASAP.
    • You’re building a new site and using AMP is your easiest solution.
  • However, be aware of “shiny object syndrome SEO”. Determine what is relevant for your website visibility before investing time, effort and resources into something like AMP.

Brandy Lawson – Smarter Reporting with Data Studio

  • Creating reports can be time-consuming and feel like a waste of energy, particularly if we feel that no one even looks at them. Google Data Studio gives us the platform to start demonstrating value to our clients/bosses.
  • Google Data Studio can help cut the amount of time you spend compiling reports for your clients by roughly 50%!
  • Reasons why you should start using Google Data Studio for reporting: it automatically updated, the reports are interactive, you can add other data sources, it’s versatile, it comes with pre-existing templates removing a whole lot of work!

Ryan Charles – Newsjacking: How To Add to the Story and Earn Big Links in Real Time

  • Newsjacking requires agility. Can you build something and ship it within 24 hours for that story.
  • For newsjacking its best to have a connection to the story, there are varying degrees of connections required to newsjack. Do you have a unique and original angle? You need this for it to land with the audience.
  • Reporters have to generate news 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they are on the look-out for a story. HARO… Help a reporter out by adding to their story.
  • If you’re looking to newsjack a story start local. If you see success this will create a ripple effect into larger news organizations.

Will Critchlow – From the Horse’s Mouth: What We Can Learn from Google’s Own Words

  • Early web spam was okay as long as it didn’t make Google look stupid by flooding the SERPs with low-quality sites. In fact, early Googlers saw this as a game of cat and mouse. As this spiralled out of control, this forced Google to produce more complex algorithms to protect their reputation.
  • Adsense is one of the most underrated things Google has ever done. It incentivised the creation of a huge amount of long-tail content, but it also created the monster that eventually required Panda to fix it.
  • Where is Google going next? Given their recent purchases, Google is (most likely) coming for the cloud computing space.
  • Facebook is going through many of the learning curves that Google has already experienced, e.g. content spam/fake news.

SearchLove San Diego 2018 Round Up was posted via Internet Marketing

Google’s Love/Hate Relationship With Being Human

So I do Google Opinion Rewards to earn Google Play Credits to play Final Fantasy Record Keeper. If you grew up gaming in the late 80’s early 90’s I highly recommend checking it out. Anyway, I was going through a survey this morning and after the first question of “What Types of Searches” have I done this week, it got really really interesting. Google Opinion Rewards are normally anything but interesting, the last one asked me if I had visited a Kohls or some other department store in the last month (spoilers, no). The 2nd, 3rd and 4th question on the interesting survey are below:

 

 

 

 

3 of 44 of 4

I honestly did a double take as I didn’t expect this to be used to train Google’s ML/AI stacks, though honestly, it makes perfect sense. It’s easy to fire off a survey to a reasonably sized population (as of this writing it has 587,977 reviews on the Google Play Store). On top of that, it costs them as little as .10 cents a survey to be able to help with understanding searcher intent, query disambiguation and potentially other problems that arise when a machine is in control of search.

In fact, as an outcropping of the holocaust debacle, they announced that they would better train the machines to spot offense queries. Looking at the 3rd screenshot, you can see that they are doing just that in a particularly heavy-handed and IMHO irrelevant way. Search queries are rarely offense in and of themselves, context is important for understanding language in the first place. This is why things like structured data are so critical for the future of search as they provide context. 

Google’s Love/Hate Relationship With Humans

Google has long rejected “manual” solutions to problems, as their response to the holocaust debacle shows. I think this is a problem with company culture, as Mike Blumenthal recently wrote:

“The algo is god and that puts the damper on putting real, trained humans on the task.”‘

One of the reasons I love Mike’s work is that he never fails to keep Google in the proper context. They are a billion dollar mega-corporation that is legally driven to provide value to their shareholders and they primarily do this through selling ads. Other products like Nest, Google X etc made less than 1% of total revenue, while ad sales made up ~90%. So when a massive ad network fetishizes everything as a software problem, and has the ability to execute on them, that leads to some really bad outcomes.

A perfect example is Google Photos labeling black people as Gorillas because of their AI/ML stacks. The racist history of comparing black people to primates is a distinctly human problem and one that needs to be addressed at the human level. This is why more and more social science scholars are calling for inclusive teams as a way to combat the bias of applications mainly written by white men. I highly recommend checking out Safiya Umoja Noble book “Algorithms of Oppression” for a deeper dive in the subject matter. Just look at how a former member of the Google Webspam Team views how that team operates:


Honestly, I think this view fails to properly grapple with human nature. Humans are flawed, they do stupid things. When given lots of power these stupid things can have massive repercussions. Edward Snowden made us all acutely aware of how this works with the NSA, where lack of oversight and transparency led to individuals abusing their power and public trust. Google’s is not very transparent, Google does not have 3rd party auditors to make the public feel safer about abuse.

This is IMHO why Google needs to be regulated, but that is a subject for a different post.

So What Does This Mean For SEO

Seriously, don’t trust the machine to get it right. They may sometimes, other times they will fail. When they fail you aren’t going to get any help or support from them because that’s a human solution instead of a programmatic one. Google regularly rolls out changes and updates that affect the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. What do you think their acceptable failure/defect rate is for search changes? 20%? 5%? Either way, people on the edge or who may be wrongly affected have little recourse in order to rectify their plight. And a lot of times, it’s not even an accident. Maybe they intentionally crushed your business, but don’t worry, it isn’t personal. Just gotta keep people on a SERP page and sell more ads.

If your SEO strategy is “Google will get it right most of the time” and you are in that 5%/20% bucket, my condolences.

Google’s Love/Hate Relationship With Being Human was posted via Internet Marketing

To Gate, or Not to Gate? Answers to an Age-Old Digital Marketing Question

When Not to Gate Your Content

When Not to Gate Your ContentModern marketers understand that quality, engaging and relevant content is at the core of any integrated digital marketing strategy. After all, in a world where consumers are increasingly self-directed in researching their options to make purchasing decisions, that quality, engaging and relevant content aids their journey and decision-making.

But let’s face it. While marketers want to inform and engage their audience, they ultimately want to generate viable leads to meet their goals and grow their respective businesses. Oftentimes, that means deciding when, where and how to gate certain content assets. In fact, perhaps one of the most common questions we get from our book of clients is: “Should I gate my content?”

The answer? It depends.

It depends on your objectives. It depends on your brand or product’s maturity in the marketplace. It depends on your content ecosystem. It depends on the “content of the content.” And it depends on your lead nurturing capabilities.

As a result, strategic decision-making is crucial, otherwise your content may never see the light of day. With that said, there are several situations where we believe gated content should be left off the table.

#1 –  When you’re looking to build brand awareness.

Simply put, if you’re hoping to get eyeballs on your content and drive traffic and on-page engagement, give your content away “for free.”

If you’re an emerging brand or part of a younger or smaller company, brand awareness is an important step in building your audience. By providing your prospects with great, accessible content throughout the funnel, you can plant seeds and strengthen your perceived value—which can pay off later.

For more established brands, you know that just because you have high visibility and a strong reputation doesn’t mean a focus on brand awareness is no longer necessary. Awareness is still key for growing your audience, staying top of mind or gaining share of voice when a new product or service is released into the wild. So, if you’re creating content with the goal of strengthening awareness at the top and middle of the funnel, leave it ungated.

[bctt tweet=”Simply put, if you’re hoping to get eyeballs on your content and drive traffic and on-page engagement, give your content away “for free.” – @Alexis5484 #DigitalMarketing #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

#2 – When your brand, product or service is new to market.

This point is particularly important for startups or rising brands in a competitive marketplace.

For those pioneering a new field, you’re likely up against little to no demand for your product or service—meaning you’ve created a solution for a problem your audience doesn’t know they have yet. So, how can you expect someone to “pay” for content if they don’t know anything about your purpose, function or value?

For those rising brands in more established sectors, you’re likely competing with well-known or long-standing brands the same share of voice. And while you may be desperate for leads, providing quality, relevant content for “free” is where you should start in order to stand out.

#3 – When you don’t have quality, ungated content to bolster a gated asset.

When you gate a content asset, you’re signaling to your audience that what you’re offering is of premium value; content that requires a bit of payment to be enjoyed. So at the very least, you need to ask yourself if the content is truly valuable and worthy of that payment.

In addition, you need to make sure that your “free” content is up to par, too. Think of it this way: Your ungated content serves as an appetizer for your audience, allowing them to gauge whether their entree, a gated ask, may be worth it. So, it’s important to ensure you have a strong ecosystem of ungated content to bolster any gated content. It’s as simple as that.

[bctt tweet=”It’s important to ensure you have a strong ecosystem of ungated content to bolster any gated content. – @Alexis5484 #DigitalMarketing #ContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

#4 – When you don’t have a thoughtful nurture strategy in place.

We’ve established that all marketers are hungry for leads and gated content helps satisfy that hunger. But once you get those new leads in, do you have a lead nurturing strategy in place to support them?

If your plan only involves a standard “thank you” email and then sending the names off to sales, you’re not ready to gate an asset. You need to put together an automated email nurture first, as well as tracking and testing, to make sure you can optimize and personalize the experience for prospects.

#5 – When you’ve co-created content with influencers.

When you co-create a piece of content or asset with influencers, you want them to be proud of the finished product and ultimately share it with their followings. However, in our experience, if that content is behind a wall they’ll be far less likely to promote it.

Why? For a couple reasons:

  1. If your influencer partnerships were unpaid, some may feel uncomfortable with you “charging” for their content and expertise—especially if it comes as a surprise at launch. Or they may feel like they deserve further compensation, which you probably haven’t budgeted for.
  2. Your influencers have more skin in the game if your content is gated. Think about it. If they’re promoting a gated asset to their followings, they’re sending the signal that this content is premium. If at the end of the day they don’t feel it’s worthy of payment, they may not share.

Now, there is a slight caveat to this. If you’ve developed an integrated influencer content campaign with multiple content types, a gated asset may be mixed in there. However, something needs to be left ungated not only to demonstrate value to your target audience, but also to make it easy for influencers to share.

Gate With Care

Gated content absolutely has a place in the digital marketing mix. But you need to be thoughtful and strategic when choosing which assets to gate—otherwise you run the risk of investing time and resources into content that stays mostly hidden.

So, as you ponder whether to gate or not to gate, consider your objectives, market position and industry, current content ecosystem, nurture strategy, and influencer partners. This will help you see the bigger picture, while also enabling you to align your objectives and expectations.

Looking for a way to build and bolster your content marketing strategy? Check out these seven steps for documenting your strategy.

What other factors do you consider when choosing to gate an asset? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

To Gate, or Not to Gate? Answers to an Age-Old Digital Marketing Question was posted via Internet Marketing

Hacked Site Manual Action Report from Google? Try Bing To Find It

While procrastinating last Friday afternoon, I noticed a distress call show up in my Twitter feed:

Now Marie and Alan are both fine SEOs, but I’ve got to admit when I saw this I had a moment of professional #jel. I mean had Rand not seen The Ultimate List of Pharmaceutical SPAM Keywords? Had Rand not listened in on last week’s phone call with a prospect who wanted to know why his site didn’t show up in Google, where I mentioned that perhaps showing Google content about online casinos was not necessarily hitting the buyer’s journey for a medical waste management site? I mean had he not seen Wix’s Real SEO Heroes #NSFW?

Now that I have the internal linking out of the way, let’s get back to our original programming.

So @Amy91485 was thinking that because their implementation of an A/B test happened right before they got notified of the hack by Google, that it must have been related. But that sounded fishy to me. As the master himself likes to say:

So I jumped into the conversation and had Amy DM me the notification, which specified the hack was on a subdomain of their site which Amy said was no longer in use.

Now as I demonstrated in the Pharmaceutical SPAM post, a quick way to detect a site has been hacked is to search Google for site:subdomain.site.com + typical SPAM keywords. But doing this with Amy’s site not only yielded zero SPAM results, it yielded zero results for the hacked subdomain. This may have been because Amy and team had already shut down the subdomain (which basically solved the hack issue) and/or Google may have deindexed the hacked content once it was detected. So if you looked at Google there was no way to identify the hack and apparently they couldn’t (or didn’t want to) figure it out by searching through their code.

But all they had to do was the same site:subdomain.site.com + typical SPAM keywords search on Bing which hadn’t notified them of the hack and may not be as speedy about purging these results. In about five seconds, I found the evidence of the hack and DM’d it to Amy.

So in the future if you get a hacked site manual action notice from Google and you can’t find the evidence of the hack, check Bing.

Or maybe protect your site with something like CodeGuard and you won’t have to worry about it.

 

Hacked Site Manual Action Report from Google? Try Bing To Find It was posted via Internet Marketing