Great Content Draws Its Own Links

Great content has a way of attracting its own links. You can do your own link building – and you should – but if you write great content, then you will get natural links, and those are the best links you can get.

But what is great content? What qualities does it have?

There’s no easy answer to that question. Great content is not content that is necessarily well-written. It IS content that connects with a lot of people on a gut level. I say that because if you connect with a large cross-section of people, then a certain percentage of those people will link to you naturally. That will drive up your search engine rankings naturally.

Many SEOs spend a great deal of time building links in hopes that they will accomplish what these natural links do on their own. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

The truth is, not all content can be great. Nor can anyone write great content all the time. But if you strive to write great content every time you sit down to write, then your chances of attracting natural links increases with each piece of content you write. Don’t get discouraged. Write with your human audience in mind and work hard to write content that meets their needs.

July 27th, 2012 / Content Development

What Is Article Syndication?

If you’ve been wondering how to steer clear of duplicate content while still seeking traffic, backlinks, and all the benefits of being a published author, then let me tell you a little bit about article syndication.

But first, what is duplicate content?

Duplicate content is when you have the same article appearing on multiple websites with no connection between them. They just sit there as if each website was the primary or first publisher of the article. Guess what? The search engines know better. And they’ll only rank one of those articles.

But imagine if you published the first article on your website. Then, you published that article on other websites and began linking back to the original article from your bio. That’s article syndication.

What’s the difference, you say? The difference is you aren’t trying to snooker anyone with article syndication. You are open and up front about the fact that the article is being published on multiple websites. And your pay off for that openness is multiple link backs to your website as well as new sources of unique traffic. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

When you want to take your content marketing up a notch, try article syndication. But stay away from duplicate content.

July 18th, 2012 / Content Development

Turn Your Business Into A Book

I like the way John Jantsch thinks. He’s encouraging people to write a book through their business and, frankly, I think it’s a novel idea (pun intended).

But how can you turn this idea into a reality for your Scotland business?

First, you need to develop a methodology. After all, that’s what John’s philosophy is based on. Your business needs a methodology. And that methodology needs to be something that is teachable, a system.

Once you have your system or process in place, then you can set about teaching it to others – through your business. But how do you do that? For starters, you can write a daily blog. Put your thoughts into a daily blog and that not only helps you solidify your process, but it also helps with your website’s SEO. Then share those blog posts through social media.

Start an e-mail newsletter. Put your best content into that newsletter. In order for people to get that best information, they have to sign up for your newsletter.

Next, offer an e-course or two. Market that e-course through your newsletter and your blog. Sell it for cheap. You want people to sign up, so make it affordable.

Over time, as you build and grow your business, you’ll be teaching people how to do what you do. It becomes an entrenched process in your mind and before you know it you actually have a book that you can publish that teaches people how to do what you do. It’s a great business model for any business.

July 16th, 2012 / Content Development

Why ‘More Often’ Content Is Better

If I were to ask you, “How much gasoline in your automobile is the optimum amount,” you’d likely respond “a full tank.” Theoretically, if you could have 1 million gallons of gas in your tank, then it would be better to have 1 million gallons than 500 gallons. The reason is simple. You can go farther, faster.

The same content holds for online content. The more you have the better your marketing.

I’m not talking about mediocre content here. I’m talking about premium grade content. The kind of content you’d expect to publish on your website every day.

If you are prone to accepting low quality content (I hope not), then imagine 1 million pages of low quality content. That’s better than 1 page of low quality content, or even 500 pages of low quality content. But upgrade your content to mid-grade or high-grade. Same quality, different amount. Which is better, 1 million pages or 500 pages?

Quality is always preferable to quantity, but given that the quality is the same, you are much better off with more content rather than less. The reason is, you can go further in your marketing much faster.

Every page of content you create has the potential to rank for a certain number of keywords and phrases. If you perform your SEO correctly, then you increase your chances of getting more traffic with every content page you publish. That’s why more is better.

July 9th, 2012 / Content Development

The 4 Rules Of Content Marketing

Whether you are a small business or an enterprise corporation if you engage in content marketing, then you’ve got to know the rules. The rules are unbendable and for the most part unwritten. They are extremely important if you want to succeed online.

So what are these unbendable rules of content marketing? There are 4 of them:

  1. Set some goals – Don’t just wing it. Establish what you want your content to accomplish for you and make sure all of your content fits into that box.
  2. Be useful – Your content has to carry some value. If it isn’t useful to your target market, then people will stop reading your content. Make your content useful and ensure each piece provides valuable information that helps someone.
  3. Don’t be boring – If you try to impress people with your knowledge of your subject, you’ll bore them to death. Be interesting and useful, but don’t be boring.
  4. Be personal – Speak to a person, not an idea of a person. Know who your audience is and address that audience personally. Don’t be afraid to include personal anecdotes of yourself or your company in your content. Make it relate to someone.

Content marketing is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing strategy. Keep your head up and stick to your goals.

June 28th, 2012 / Content Development

2 Characteristics Your Content MUST Have

Do you know what two uncommon characteristics your content absolutely MUST have? Do you think it’s search engine optimisation? How about an attractive web design? Or a strong call to action?

To be sure, your content should have all of those. But they aren’t essential characteristics of great content. Ugly websites can make money, you can promote your content through social media and still be profitable, and you can close sales without a strong call to action. Accidents happen. But your content, if it is to be effective, MUST HAVE the following two characteristics.

  • It must address the deepest needs of your target audience
  • And it must be unique

In other words, your content can be well optimised, but if it isn’t unique content, then all you’ll get is search engine rankings. Why repeat the same old tired cliches that your competition is repeating?

Your content can be good, but unless it addresses the deepest needs of your audience, then it won’t be effective in closing sales and helping people reach their goals.

Your content must commit itself to helping people solve their problems. But not just any and all people. You must identify a specific market you want to serve and write to that audience. That’s your market. Make your content unique and address the needs of your market. That’s how you make money online.

June 20th, 2012 / Content Development

Content Producers – Score!

The need for online content just keeps rising. We alluded to this a couple of days ago, but I may have left the impression that iPhone apps are the only form of content being consumed on tablets. That’s really not the case.

In fact, the most consumed type of content on tablets today is video content. More specifically, short-form news and entertainment.

And, here’s the beautiful truth of the moment – the one thing that tablet users use their tablets for the most is to access online content. Bingo. Score!

If you are in the content production business – and that includes any type of content – then tablet usage is the next technology wave to tackle. Not only is tablet usage on the increase, but it’s already penetrated 31% of the market and that’s expected to grow again in the next year.

So what are the most popular tablets? iPad 2 and Kindle Fire. The iOS platform has 52% of the market and Android 51% (some tablet users have more than one type).

If you are a content creator and you’re looking for another avenue for producing and distributing your content – whether it be videos, podcasts, e-books, a blog, a magazine, or a newspaper – then you’d better pay attention to what is happening in the tablet market. This could very well end up being more important than smart phones.

June 19th, 2012 / Content Development

Should You Link Out On Your Website?

Linking out is a controversial topic in SEO. Many search engine optimisation specialists will tell you there is no benefit to linking out. It’s not true. There is a benefit.

A good, relevant link to a site related to the topic you are writing about is further evidence that your page is about a particular topic. So outbound links can serve as SEO. Besides, the anchor text is also on-page content, which is SEO.

While there are benefits to outbound linking, there are also drawbacks. For one thing, every link out is an exit door. Do you really want to drive your traffic to another website?

One way of thinking says if you create great content, then that traffic will return to you anyway. But what if you run an affiliate site?

The Web is made of links. Links are good. Inbound links, outbound links, internal links. They’re all good. The only really bad link is the spam link (or, some would say, the paid-for link). Otherwise, linking is usually a good thing.

Your job as webmaster of your company’s website is to determine the real value of every link on your site – internal links, outbound links, and inbound links. Is the traffic that flows through your outbound links worth the benefit you receive from the link overall? If so, it might be worth it. If not, you should ditch it.

There are very few hard and fast rules about linking. You have to do what is right for your readers and for your website.

 

June 11th, 2012 / Content Development

Is Your Content Engaging Enough?

So you write high quality content and it’s optimised to the hilt. Congratulations! But are people sticking around to read it?

People won’t stick around and read your content if it isn’t engaging. Make your content more engaging and they’ll read it and share it with their friends. But how do you do that?

Here are 5 ways to make your content more engaging.

  1. Add some images. Images break up the text and give a visual cue to readers. Many people will skip over great content if there is nothing visual drawing their eye to it. Make the connection and make it visual with images.
  2. Make it scannable. That includes adding bullet lists (like this one) and subheads that grab the reader’s attention.
  3. Make it interactive. People love to do things. So give them content that is interactive. Give them a video or a link to click. Maybe even give them an app to download. Whatever you have to do, make your content interactive.
  4. Use short paragraphs. Don’t write long tomes. People want to read short texts. They’ll read more of your content if the paragraphs are shorter.
  5. Include a call to action. Let your readers know you are going somewhere. They will follow you if your content is engaging and you’ve earned their trust.

If your content engages the reader, then she’ll come back for more. And she’ll tell her friends too. So give your readers what they want – fun and engaging content.

 

June 6th, 2012 / Content Development

You Can’t Cut Corners On Content

I talked to a colleague the other day on the phone and he had this idea that content marketing was different from SEO. So he asked me if we could do some content marketing for him and still do SEO? I asked, “What’s the difference?”

His answer was startling. He did have an answer, but his definition of content marketing was woefully incomplete. The truth is, SEO and content marketing are one and the same. If you do it right.

The idea that content marketing is different than SEO came about because SEOs for years focused solely on the technical aspect of ranking web pages using keywords and links. That kind of strategy today would be a pure killer. You’d end up in the dung heap of search engine results pages.

Rather, what you want to do is write outstanding content that is optimised properly.

Read that sentence again. Content marketing consists of writing unique, valuable content that is optimised for search engine traffic. There is no such thing, in real terms, as non-SEO content. There is content that is better optimised than other content, but for all intents and purposes, if you create content online then it is optimised – even if by accident and even if for terms you didn’t intend to target.

Today, you can’t cut corners on your content. You have to put some sweat into your content, optimise it for search traffic, and write it for human consumption. To do anything else is to sell yourself short.

June 5th, 2012 / Content Development