3 Tips for Monetising Your Content

With any marketing activity, the killer is finding a tangible way to demonstrate ROI. It’s something that continues to hold back investment in new and emerging channels and something marketers have to constantly work at – often more so than the sexy, creative side.

If you do it well, creating and publishing quality content has a range of benefits. It improves the user experience; it produces the kind of pages Google wants to index and return in search; and it can also drive conversions. When you look at your content strategy, finding a way to tie what you’re doing to how you make money is vital and something that’s often overlooked.

Here are three tips to check that your content and commercial strategies are pushing in the same direction…

Setting a Clear Conversion Goal

Working in this industry I look at a lot of websites and it’s surprising how often I’m left wondering what it is they want me, as a visitor, to do. The site has pulled me in from search or through social media or a maybe an email, but what’s the next step they want me to take?

Now, people that don’t work in content marketing probably don’t actively think like that, with their eyes scanning the site for a clear and relevant call-to-action. But these sites are missing an opportunity to learn about their visitors, capture useful information about them and find ways to engage with them.

A call-to-action can be anything from a simple contact form to a white paper download. Any website (and in fact any web page), needs a relevant call-to-action, regardless of the nature or wider purpose of the site.

Drilling Into Your Keywords

One of the benefits of last year’s Google Panda update was that the practice of churning out an endless stream of pages covering every conceivable keyword variation around a particular topic has promptly gone out of fashion.

In the post-Panda age, you need to avoid producing lots of very similar pages that look as though you used Google’s keyword suggestion tool as an editorial calendar. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drill into your keyword data to look for content ideas.

Trending keywords and keywords that you know send you good, converting traffic, can drive blog posts, landing pages, white papers and infographics that meet demand and improve the relevance and usefulness of your website.

Keyword research and intelligent use of the results can get people directly from search or social media to the most suitable page on your site, which means not only a better experience for them, but higher chance of achieving a conversion for you.

Putting Conversions in Context

My final tip follows on from that point about building pages that target specific user demand. One of the great things tailored content can do for a website, is put conversion opportunities (sign up, learn more, download etc) in context.

What that means is making a call-to-action a logical next step for whoever discovers and consumes a particular piece of content. A regularly-updated blog, for example, can provide a great opportunity to drive people towards more substantial content, such as a white paper.

By blogging about topics covered in your white paper and then providing a well-placed call-to-action on those posts, you put your conversion opportunity in front of more of the right people. This can be especially powerful if you use your blog to tap into relevant breaking news stories and trending topics that you relate back to the content in your white paper.

Source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/3-tips-for-monetising-your-content/43454/

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The One Thing You Absolutely Need To Know About Writing For The Web

Titles are incredibly important when you’re writing for the web.

Startup Stats CEO Nick O’Neill wrote an interesting blog post discussing the importance of titling articles on the Internet in which he looks at an example of a New York Times story, which Forbes also covered with a different title, only to see more shares and traffic than the original piece.

The original title was: “How Companies Learn Your Secrets”

The Forbes title was: “How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did”

I don’t think the original was too bad, and apparently, it got a fair amount of traffic too, but the Forbes version is certainly more provocative.

I’m sure the traditional media outlets who call blogging about stories that already exist stealing will view this as an example of a publication “stealing” the work of others, and in this case, the Forbes article did borrow pretty liberally from the original source, though it did credit and link to thee NYT (Again, this is Forbes. Not just some blog.). However, there is a different point being made here, showing where the original sources can drop the ball.

I’ll say it again. Titles are incredibly important on the web. It depends on the goal you’re trying to reach with your writing, but titling can make all the difference.

Are you trying to gain traffic from search engines? You better think about what people are searching for, or what they would be searching for to get to your article. Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool is actually really good at helping you determine this.

Or maybe it’s the social traffic you’re after. You want people to share your content. There’s always the sensationalistic approach. The controversial titles. The titles that promise to give you a reason (or 10 reasons) why whatever this article is about will “absolutely change your life”. These things may seem cheesy sometimes, but people do gravitate towards these kinds of headlines, and share them.

This line by O’Neill pretty much sums it up: “The reality is that in the world of newsfeeds and streams, titles matter more than ever before. The best content in the world will fall flat without a great title.”

Consider all of the ways people are consuming content online these days. It’s not like when you just bought a newspaper and read the stories that were printed because they were the ones that were there. People are getting stories through Email, Twitter, Facebook, Flipboard, Google Reader, Google Google News, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, and many, many more social services, aggregators, etc.

SEO is still a factor, but it’s not the only factor. In fact, social is a factor of that factor.

The main thing to remember is that the right title can mean the difference between a little bit of traffic and your site getting slashdotted.

Source: http://www.webpronews.com/the-one-thing-you-absolutely-need-to-know-about-writing-for-the-web-2012-02

How to Create an Effective Google+ SEO Content Strategy

I’ve recommended from the beginning that businesses should use Google+, but with the launch of Search Plus Your World, the web marketer’s game has changed

And getting that Google+ account is critical.

But just having an account will not help you. You must optimize it to get the best results from Search Plus Your World. Let me show you how.

Google+: Why you can’t ignore it anymore

Search for “social media” on Google and you will get these results:

The results on the right…the sidebar “People and Pages on Google+”…that’s what’s really important. The question is: how did they get there?

Here is another set of results:

Same thing…but different. Note: These are all brands or people who’ve ranked for a very competitive term. What’s the common denominator? They are all on Google+. And “social media” is in included somewhere in their account.

See, Search Plus Your World is an intentional strategy for Google to lead people to join Google+. How do I know that? Google offers an opportunity to getting in those results:

That leads you to a button to sign up for a Google+ account:

But just signing up for the account won’t make you leap to the top of the sidebar results. You have to optimize your Google+ account in these 8 critical areas:

  • Optimize your Google+ profile
  • Optimizing your Circles
  • Format your posts headlines
  • Create compelling content
  • Share compelling content
  • Optimize the +1 button
  • Confirm ownership of your site/account
  • Confirm authorship

Let’s explore each in detail.

Optimizing your Google+ profile

There are two things that matter when it comes to showing up in searches with your Google+ account: where the keywords show up in your profile page and who you are connected to.

Concerning keywords, AJ Kohn points out the four places in your Google+ profile that keywords matter for ranking are:

  • Introduction
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Places

In our search for “social media”, we see this to be true. All the bold “social” or “social media” words can be found in their Introductions:

Take away: thread relevant keywords through your Google+ profile…namely in the Introduction, Employment, Education and Places sections…and you may start ranking for some highly-competitive broad terms. After that, though, the size and quality of your Circle needs to be optimized.

Optimizing your Google+ Circles

This is pretty straightforward…the more high-quality people you have in your Circle that link back to you the better.

That’s Google+ Circle optimization 101.

So how do you get those high-quality people to Circle you? In the post 10 Productive Tasks You Should Be Doing On Google+ Right Now at Problogger, I shared some tips on how to engage these high-profile Google+ users to entice them to connect with you. Here are the tips in a nutshell:

  • Comment like crazy on Google+ thought leader posts.
  • Focus on a particular thought leader and promote his content. When you get that connection, repeat the process with another thought leader.
  • Share your work in comments…but sparingly.
  • Fill out your profile fully so people know you are for real when they check you out.
  • Create posts with a particular thought leader in mind.

According to my own experiments with clients and what others have been saying, if you don’t have a lot of people in your Circles, the next factor that seems important is engagement. I share a handful of tips on how to engage with your Google+ audience in another Problogger post…The Blogger’s Guide to Meaningful Engagement on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter… but the take away for this section is this: Buckle down and focus on attracting high-quality Google+ users into your Circles.

Format your Google+ posts headlines

The title of your Google+ posts are the only “meta” that you can optimize when it comes to Google+ posts. Didn’t know you could title the posts?

This is how posts are usually published on Google+:

There is no headline. This is how AJ Kohn publishes posts:

That’s the headline tag you want to optimize. How do you do that? Simple…add asterisks to the front and back of your headline: *Your Headline Here*.  And use keywords.

By the way, the asterisks will go away when you publish.

Create compelling Google+ content

Chris Brogan argues that Google+ is a great platform for storytelling. I couldn’t agree more. So you have to wonder why so many people are satisfied with simply posting: “This restaurant rocks!” with a photo of it below.

Instead, to create Google+ posts that attract attention, gain followers and rank in search, try these tips:

  • Create a content schedule – You don’t have to write a full blown article each time you post…but you should schedule one in once a week.
  • Share videos and photos – But explain in a paragraph or two why you are sharing the content. Don’t forget your headlines!
  • Conduct surveys – Engage your audience with a little survey. Start the survey off with your question as the headline…then explain in a few short paragraphs why you are asking the question.
  • Use it as a niche blog – Use your Google+ content to focus on a topic you’ve wanted to explore…but you could never find a good reason to do it on your blog.

Here are a couple of cool things: your Google+ content can rank with Google’s search personalization turned off. Furthermore, it’s truly amazing how quickly this content can rank…sometimes within minutes you can see your post in the results.

Finally, to keep track of how your content is spreading, use Ripple. Just click the nav arrow to the right of any post…

…and you can get historical data of where that posts has traveled:

Take away: Treat your Google+ posts with the same respect you would treat your own blog posts…because now your Google+ posts matter more.

Share compelling content on Google+

Because compelling content takes time to create, you probably don’t have time to write a substantial post every day. You have work to do, your own blog to take care of…but you still need to keep good content coming down your Google+ stream.

In order to do this, you simply have to find great content in your Google+ stream…and then share it. That’s an easy enough take away.

Optimize the +1 button

Well, you’re not really optimizing it except to say you are using it…which is critical.

For the moment, it seems that Google gives more weight to the +1s you get directly from the site versus the +1 you get from content on Google+. In other words, the 29 +1s I got for this article…

…do not include the 8 +1s I got on Google+ for the same article…

That’s too bad, because the more +1s you get the better the impact social proof can make on your readers.

Google does share some pointers on optimizing your +1s:

Take away: If you haven’t already, drop the +1 button on your blog. Google is paying attention to how many people are using it for your content…and it is impacting your search ranking.

Confirm ownership of your site/account

Google highly recommends that you link your Google+ account to your website/blog and vice versa. Your first step is to link your Google+ account to your blog/website.

Google explains how:

Your next step is to get a Google+ badge for your website/blog…then submit a Google+ page verification request. Unfortunately, one of the stipulations for that verification is to get 1,000 people to link to you…not a small feat for some small businesses.

Take away: It’s not known how much, but confirming ownership of a site seems to influence search inside Google+…so take the time to do it.

Confirm Authorship

To enhance your social identity, improve your search results and increase click through for those searches…you should officially claim you are the author of your content through authorship markup.

Here’s what that looks like from a search standpoint:

As an author claiming his content, Danny Sullivan is provided some outstanding advantages to the other SERs. For example:

  • Profile picture appears in results lending credibility to him as an author.
  • The “by Danny Sullivan” drives searches to his Google+ page.
  • And then the “More by Danny Sullivan” leads to an entire Google search dedicated to Danny Sullivan content.

Pretend you didn’t know who Danny was…if you were looking for “SEO advice,” the term I used to search…which SER looks the most promising?

Almost doesn’t seem fair, does it?

However, implementing REL=AUTHOR is sort of complicated. That’s why I highly recommend AJ Kohn’s guide on how to implement REL=AUTHOR. He put that together with the help of three Google engineers, so read it and then bookmark it.

Take away: It’s worth the investment in time to confirm authorship for you or your clients since it influences your rankings, Google+ profile and click-through conversion.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you have no excuse for not being on Google+. However, I have a feeling I am probably preaching to the choir, so instead of using this post to convince you…use it to help convince your clients of the immense value of setting up a Google+ account.

Sure, they probably hired you to do SEO “work,” but as is becoming clearer as time goes on, the lines between SEOsocial media and internet strategy are getting blurred. It’s a great idea to know not only what to do…but how to explain it clearly to clients or partners.

What other influence is Google+ having on search that I forgot to mention?

Source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-to-create-an-effective-google-seo-content-strategy/39734/

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How To Create SEO-Friendly Content

Getting your voice heard on the internet is never easy. It can be like setting up your soapbox on a crowded street, and waving frantically to get passers-by to pay attention. You might be an expert in your chosen topic, with pearls of wisdom to dispense on X particles or Z-list celebrities, but how do you get people to stop long enough to listen?

The answer is finding the right balance between SEO-friendly content and readability.  It’s essential to make sure the Google (and Bing) spiders – and therefore readers – can find your website or blog. Knowing a few tricks can help you climb their rankings, without sacrificing your sparkling writing or specialist knowledge.

Choose Your Keywords

Keywords are the most important aspect of SEO , so think about them before you even start to write. It can be hard slotting keywords in afterwards without sounding clunky and forced.

Brainstorm words and phrases you think people are looking for, and use trusted tools such as GoogleAdWords to help pick the best. Consider how much competition there is for each phrase.  Instead of catch-all terms such as “travel agency” consider more specific terms, such as “Italian luxury travel specialist”, to sell your particular area of expertise.

Place Keywords Carefully

Search engines don’t just analyze which words you use, but where you place them. Getting keywords in the title or first sentence is obviously a good start. Many newspapers change their pun-heavy headlines to more SEO-friendly versions on their websites.

You need to find the right keyword density – “keyword stuffing” can be penalized by search engines, as well as being a turn-off to readers!

Don’t forget “hidden places” to put your keywords, such as meta tags and image captions.

Use Free Tools

Take advantage of free tools, such as Google Analytics which can assess where your site traffic comes from and which aspects need more work.  For bloggers, WordPress has various plug-ins that can help you choose the best post title and keywords, avoid duplicate content and make the most of meta-tags. Mashable has a list of the top 20 WordPress SEO plug-ins.

Become An Expert on Your Topic

Let’s say users are searching for “Edinburgh travel tips” or “easy Christmas recipes”. If you’ve got several articles on the same topic, then search engines will assume you know what you’re talking about. Choosing a targeted area of expertise will help you get on that coveted first page of search results.

Use Links Wisely

It’s not just what you write that counts. Clever use of links will help your site climb the rankings – including ones to other parts of your own website. If another page has relevant information or you’ve written a similar post in the past then add a link. Just don’t overdo it!

Wear the right Coloured Hat

SEO techniques are sometimes referred to as “white hat” or “black hat”. Search engines regard “white hat” techniques as legitimate ways to optimize your website and help users find the information they want. “Black hat” techniques refer to practices such as using hidden text, or having separate versions of websites to deceive search engines. They might work in the short term, but could lead to Google blocking your site – not a good strategy!

Write for Your Audience

“Content is king” may be a cliché, but it’s basically true. SEO techniques can grab readers, but engaging writing keeps them there. Don’t let your text get so loaded down with keywords your main points get lost. Giving away useful information or creating a lively, informative blog is the best way to keep readers coming back to your site.  Think of your audience. Are they interested enough to plough through a long piece of text? Or do they just want the basic facts as quickly  and succinctly as possible?

Make it Readable

And on the same theme, make sure your writing is easy on the eye. Break up chunks of text into subcategories, and use images effectively. Lists can be a good idea – and a way to repeat keywords without readers noticing! Use short sentences and leave plenty of white space.

Source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-to-create-seo-friendly-content/36880/

Redefining “SEO Copywriting”

Source: http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2011/10/redefining-%E2%80%9Cseo-copywriting%E2%80%9D.html

http://seoph2.cafe24.com/wordpress/

Here at SEOptimise we’ve been thinking a lot about copywriting recently. More than usual, that is! As the person responsible for overseeing copywriting at SEOptimise, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the frankly quite lamentable state of what has become known as “SEO copywriting”.

Any copywriter worth their salt will doubtless share my opinion that so-called “SEO copywriting” gives the world of copywriting a bad name. Despite using the name “copywriting”, it couldn’t be further from this highly skilled profession. As we all know, this lesser species of copywriting has evolved because once upon a time, it was considered acceptable to throw together a quick article on “the secret to cheap international calls” or whatever, and submit it to a dozen or so article directories for a few quick links. But Google quite rightly recognised that that kind of rubbish was not remotely helpful to its users, and has been banging on about high-quality content with renewed vigour ever since.

In the light of the Panda update we made the conscious decision, as an agency, that the content we produce for our clients during the course of routine link building activities would have to take a big step up from the typical article directory fodder which has unfortunately come to be associated with the SEO world. Moving away from devalued article directories, it becomes necessary to intensify link building efforts in other areas; guest blogging is one area which immediately springs to mind, and one in which we have been met with considerable success for most of, if not all, our clients. But for this strategy to be successful, and to gain good links from high-authority blogs which have a high readership, it’s necessary to produce decent pieces of writing that bloggers will actually want to feature.

It’s just a shame that a lot of professional copywriting services seem to be stuck in the past when it comes to churning out the kind of copy regularly to be seen gracing the spammier article directories. Haven’t they heard of the Panda update? Don’t they realise that this sort of crappy copy doesn’t cut it anymore? In the past, we’ve been through a string of copywriting services and the blog posts we’ve had written have been very much of the article directory ilk – ill-thought-out, boring and, I might add, riddled with typos and fundamental grammatical errors. If you’ve read my previous posts or if youfollow me on Twitter, you may remember that I take a dim view of poor grammar, so you can imagine my reaction to finding it in the work of professional copywriters. I also recently completed a Diploma in Copywriting, and the course material for that wasn’t much better. A woeful state of affairs!

At SEOptimise our rationale is that investing more in copywriting ultimately pays dividends. An interesting, insightful piece of writing that takes an original look at a topic will quite simply do far better for your SEO efforts than the sort of lazily spun “how to” articles churned out by “content generation” companies. Not only will you have far greater success in publishing the work on decent sites, but you’ll also find that it’s far more likely to be shared in the social media networks and you’ll reach a much bigger audience. And more exposure means more links! To use a buzzword that I’m not altogether fond of (I don’t like buzzwords either), it’s pretty much a win-win situation!

So I would argue that it’s time for a rethink of how we – the SEO community – view copywriting. Rather than thinking of it as “SEO copywriting” or “content generation”, our focus needs almost to shift back to a more traditional, journalistic approach to writing, with the emphasis on tackling new subjects, providing readers with meaningful insights and embracing the limitless possibilities of the English language beyond the narrow confines of article directory spam.

And on that note, if you’d like to write full time for SEOptimise, we’re currently expanding our copywriting team:  check out our copywriter job vacancy for more details.

Please visit: SEO Blog

Content Optimization Tutorial: How to SEO your Content for Rankings

Source: http://www.searchengineguide.com/stoney-degeyter/content-optimization-tutorial-how-to-seo.php

http://seoph2.cafe24.com/wordpress/

A lot of people have trouble figuring out the “correct” way to optimize content for keywords. Copywriters are resistant to having to use particular words to get their point across and, rightfully, don’t want their content cluttered with dumb sounding “keyword” phrases.

It’s unfortunate that “optimized content” has somehow come to mean something other than “marketing content” for a website.

Optimizing content for search engine rankings is first and foremost writing marketing copy for your visitors. The key difference is we know what (key) words your visitors are looking for, and it’s just a matter of crafting the content to accommodate their interests.

When optimizing a page, we generally like to have something to work with. Most clients provide us some initial verbiage to use as a starting point. This information can help us better understand the client’s perspective on their products or services and is an excellent resource for the finalized product.

Of course, this is only one resource. We also like to have a good understanding of the client’s philosophies, hot points, key selling propositions, etc. All these get worked into the content as needed.

Keep Your Focus on Keywords

While optimized content is primarily sales and marketing driven, it must also use the keywords that searchers are using to find your products or services. There are three different types of “keywords” we try to work into every optimized page: core terms, supporting words, and related words.

Core Terms

Core terms are generally the subject of a page. A core term is a two, sometimes three-word phrase that summarizes what that page is focused on. All other phrases will be based on this primary phrase.

Examples:

    • motorcycle battery
    • dog collar
    • plastic card
  • kids clothes

Supporting Phrases

Supporting phrases are essentially the core term plus one or two other “qualifying words” that create a unique phrase. Generally, any single core term can have 100-1000 supporting phrases, but we like to focus a page on 10-20 of these phrases that are tightly related to each other.

Examples:

    • motorcycle battery charger
    • bark control dog collar
    • plastic business card manufacturer
  • kids ski clothes

These additional supporting words (charger, bark control, business, ski) can be used liberally within the content (keeping quality a priority). They do not necessarily need to be used within the full phrase, but should be when possible and it makes sense to do so. The key is to make sure these words are used on the page in some form or another.

Related Words

Related words are words and phrases that are generally found on pages focused on this particular topic. They may or may not be words people are typically searching, and they are definitely not words we are trying to rank for with this page, but they provide the reader (and search engine) greater context regarding the topic of the page.

Examples:

    • motorcycle battery chargers
    • bark control dog collars
    • plastic business card manufacturing
  • kids ski clothing

Related words might include stemmed variations of the core term (i.e., if the core term is “run,” then stemmed variations might be: running and ran). But they are not always words that can be worked into the target phrase.

Look for words with similar meaning as the core term (jog, walk, hike, stroll) or words most often used in conjunction with the core terms (shoes, fast, sweat, exercise, hide, hydrate, etc). Not all related words will be relevant for a particular page. The writer should pick and choose related words to be used within the proper context.

It is important for all core, supporting and related words be carefully considered before optimizing a page. Core terms are the most important terms on each page and should be used as a phrase as often as good, readable copy allows.

Pay Attention to Writing Style

While keywords must be considered an important aspect of each optimized page, the ability to produce content with a natural style of writing and a focus on the marketing goals trumps all else. The content should use customer-focused language which speaks to the visitor’s needs, providing solutions and organized in a manner that makes reading, skimming, clicking and purchasing easier.

Sales Message: Each page must have a clear sales message that entices the visitor to continue reading, offering easy click-access deeper into the site and ultimately into the final conversion. The writer must research both the company and the product or services being sold in order to deliver that message and provide enough information to help users make an informed decision about what they want.

Headings: Page and paragraph headings should be used wherever appropriate. Every page must have a page heading which succinctly introduces the content on the page. Headings should be matter-of-fact and, if it makes sense, use the core term (i.e. Expert PC Repair and Computer Networking Solutions).

Bullet Points: Certain paragraphs can often be broken down into bulleted lists for easy reading and scanning. This is a great way to get readers to find the benefits of a product or service quickly without reading a lot of the other text. Bullets help break up a redundant text page while making skimming and scanning easier.

Bolds and Italics: Bolded and italicize words should be used infrequently and only in ways which help the overall readability of the page. Skim- and scan-ability can be improved with selective bold and italic usage of important information. Don’t only bold or italicize keywords, but rather phrases that contain key takeaways.

Internal Hyperlinks: When writing each optimized page, look for opportunities to link out to other pages of the website, or in some cases, external resources. Linked text should be absolutely relevant to the topic and link to pages that give greater detail or more information that can’t be worked into that page. Links to ‘about us,’ ‘contact us,’ and products/service pages can be used liberally, as good writing and usability allows.

Calls to Action: A page without a call to action is a page wasted. The goal of every optimized page is to get the reader to take an action. Whether that action is to read more, find out how, download, purchase or to get additional information, the call to action is necessary to propel the visitor forward toward those goals.

Write Strong Page Titles and Descriptions

Each optimized page must have both a title and description (for HTML title and meta description tags), which are separate from the visible body content. Titles and descriptions are most often seen in search engine results and are primarily responsible for driving the click from the search result to the optimized page.

Titles: The “title” of every optimized page is probably the single most important place to optimize. The title should be 8-12 words in length and contain the core term.

Since the title is the clickable link in the search results, it must provide value to searchers so that they will be compelled to click into to the site. Titles should never be deceptive or provide information that is not found in the body content of the page.

Descriptions: Also used in the search results, page descriptions need to provide additional, relevant information that can’t fit into the title. Both core and supporting keywords should be used in the description, giving the searcher as much information as possible in a very short and succinct paragraph. Description should be 30-50 words in length.

Putting all of these components together can give you a very strong, well-crafted, optimized page that will perform well for both search engines and visitors alike. Getting keyword rankings isn’t good enough. The page must generate profits! Any page can get traffic. An optimized page should draw traffic through rankings and be a critical part of the conversion/persuasion process.

Please visit: SEO Blog