Why Content Marketing Is The Future

In the past a lot of SEOs got caught up in nefarious schemes of link building, low quality content, and silly games. It’s not that they were bad people. They were influenced by bad ideas. The search engines finally caught up with them with the Google Panda and Penguin updates. Now, they’re coming out from nowhere to tell us all how to recover from the updates. But here’s the catch: How would they know how to recover from those updates?

If you answered, Because they were some of the SEOs who originally bought into the bad ideas and got caught, then good for you. You hit the nail on the head.

The truth is, they should never have allowed themselves to get caught. The excuse that they were following the search engine guidelines doesn’t cut it. The most important think in Internet marketing has always been the content. If it was good, unique, and valuable content, and if it was original, then it would pass muster. If it was schlock, it would lead to problems.

I don’t think the web will ever be the same. If you are still doing SEO and Internet marketing like it’s 2006, your content won’t do well in the search engines. It’s time to evolve.

Content marketing is where it’s at. What that means is you have to write original content that provides value to your readers. Put that content on your own website and on other websites that care about quality and link it back to yours. Real simple. Seek targeted traffic, not rankings.

June 4th, 2012 / Content Development

You Might Be A Spammer And Not Know It

It’s really hard today to write content for the Internet and not be a spammer. But I wouldn’t go so far as to that you are a spammer by virtue of writing online content. In fact, writing and publishing content is precisely what you should be doing.

So what makes a spammer?

By definition, a spammer is someone who keeps sending out unwanted commercial information. The definition started with e-mail. If you sent out constant e-mail solicitations that consisted of commercial content, then you were a spammer. That definition still holds true today.

So what is web spam?

Web spam is defined the same way as e-mail spam. It’s unwanted and unnecessary commercial content. One could could call it SEO spam to distinguish search engine spam from social media spam. They are really two different reflections of the same image.

With social media, if you are constantly sending out links to your commercial content to people who aren’t interested, then you could start to see your friends and fans lists on the various social media sites start to wither away. That’s because they are unfollowing you. You don’t see that with search engine spam.

What you get with search engine spam, however, is de-listings or penalties from the search engines. If your content is spammy, you’ll fall in the search engine rankings.

So what makes your content spam?

Content in the search engines is considered spam if it appears to be there simply for the sake of being there. In other words, if your content provides no value to a searcher, then the search engine web spam team is going to send it to the heaps. To prevent that from happening, you should ensure your content meets certain quality guidelines. It should provide value, be relevant to the search query, and convey a bit of information that people actually want to read.

Make your content original, valuable, and unique and you won’t be a spammer.

May 31st, 2012 / Content Development

High Quality Links, Low Quality Content

Post-Panda and Post-Penguin it’s just as important to manage the quality of your content as it is to manage the quality of your links.

Think about it. Panda killed thousands of articles in article directories with one little tweak. The article authors had been doing the same thing that article authors had been doing for 15 years. They were producing article schlock that delivered inbound links for great anchor text. And it worked for many years before Google killed it.

Panda was a wake up call. Google was saying to article directories, article marketers, and webmasters, “Make your content better and we’ll give you credit for your links.”

The Penguin update was designed to target web pages with too many ads at the top of the page. Even if the content was good, the quality of the web page itself was in question due to the number of ads “above the fold.” Again, Google was telling webmasters, “Watch your content quality – specifically, your page layout quality – or we’re going to nail you.” And they did nail thousands of webmasters on that one.

In years past, if you had high quality links, it didn’t matter about the quality of your content. That’s no longer true. Your content has to shine. It has to be high quality or the links may not count as well.

What’s that mean for the future of SEO? It means that your content should be of the highest possible quality. Period. Produce low quality content and everything else is trash. Will a few content pages make it through some loopholes? Probably. But make no mistake. You’d better think high quality or your links will go down the drain.

May 24th, 2012 / Content Development

Your Content Is A Reflection Of Your Reputation

Content and reputation go hand in hand. That means you have to take your content strategy seriously. Choose your service providers carefully. Anything else is putting your online reputation at risk in ways that are very dangerous.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you hire an article writer to write your content for you for $5 an article. That’s a pretty good price. But have you checked that article writer’s quality? You should. The best price in the world is not a good price at all if the quality of the content makes you look like you don’t know what you are talking about.

There are several ways that bad content can hurt your reputation:

  • Inaccurate information about topics you should be considered an expert in
  • Bad spelling and grammar
  • Trash talking the competition
  • Linking to non-credible sources
  • Publishing shallow articles that don’t inform your readers about topics that matter
  • Keyword stuffing your articles to achieve high search engine rankings without providing value to the reader

I’m not saying you should go with the highest-priced content providers online. Even high-priced service providers can make your business look bad if the content isn’t edited or there is no quality control. Rather, you should look at the reputation of the company you are doing business with and check the quality of the content they provide for you.

In short, guarding your reputation is one of the most important tasks you should pay attention to. Checking the quality of your content is one way to protect your reputation.

May 4th, 2012 / Content Development

Creativity And SEO

SEO is more than a bunch of technical elements that are thrown together for some anonymous robot to crawl. Creativity is just as important as keyword research, keyword densities, meta tags, alt tags, link building, and title attributes. Those things are important, but equally important is the presentation of your content.

I’m not merely talking about web design though that is important. I’m talking about content presentation.

So how can you be creative in presenting your content? Actually, there are a number of ways.

  1. First, you can be creative in presenting your content by finding unique content that no one else has. That might seem like a no-brainer, but think about how many websites you’ve visited that is just rehashed content. Be unique in the information you provide and you can virtually create your own search engine optimisation rankings.
  2. Present your content in a unique way. Incorporate videos, infographics, and other content elements that other websites in your niche don’t incorporate. Present your content in a unique fashion and your website will be seen as providing something new and different. That actually passes SEO value believe it or not.
  3. Thirdly, use rich snippets. Rich snippets are pieces of code that you can use on your web pages to draw the search engines’ attention to a particular piece of content and to shed new light on what your page is about. It actually works.

In the race for search engine rankings, being creative is one of the best ways to increase your website’s SEO value. And it doesn’t take any more time than simply focusing on the technical aspects of SEO.

April 11th, 2012 / Content Development

Should You Buy Links Today?

I can’t say that link buying has ever been acceptable, but it was popular at one time. In some circles it still is. But I believe that it may soon be dead altogether. Buying links can get you in trouble, but if you continue to buy them then I believe you will disappear from the Internet for good.

I say this because Google has been getting more aggressive about chasing down link sellers and link buyers and snuffing out their schemes. Consider this:

  • Every link you have online leaves a trail, whether you buy it or acquire it naturally. Link buyers leave patterns that give them away – just like drug dealers.
  • One hallmark of paid-for links over the years has been canned content, or spun content. If you see web pages with spun content or re-hased mash, then the links on that page are likely bought. If your links on that page and the search engines find out, you’re toast.
  • Google spies on link buyers and link sellers. Just like undercover cops spy on drug lords. They pretend to be the type of customer the drug lord is looking for, then when the drug lord offers dope for sale – boom! In for the kill. Google sniffs out link buyers and link sellers in the same way. Beware who you offer deals to.

Google is getting more sophisticated all the time. I believe they will soon be measuring author trustworthiness. In the future, if you want to be deemed worthy of search engine results you’ll have to prove that you are not a schemer, or link buyer, or link seller. With the social clues that you leave behind, that will be harder and harder to do if you actually are a link buyer or seller.

Your best bet is to do the right thing. Don’t buy or sell links. Instead, produce quality content that the search engines want to crawl and index.

March 31st, 2012 / Content Development

5 SEO Mistakes Scotland Businesses Make

Google is now giving out SEO advice. The cynical side of me says don’t trust it. It’s a ruse. But the SEO side of me was open minded enough to listen and discovered that I actually agree with the advice. I’ll let you watch the video and decide for yourself.

There’s a lot of good advice in that slightly more than eight-and-a-half minutes. Here are a few gems that I hope you picked up on when you watched it (because I did).

  • Don’t focus on keyword densities. Instead, focus on writing high quality content for your website visitors.
  • Provide your visitors with value, not keyword-stuffed schlock
  • Instead of segmenting your content and online marketing efforts, try to think of it holistically and provide a good user experience.
  • Don’t follow the SEO trends. Chasing the search engine algorithms will just have you running around in circles.
  • Trying to find a workaround to the next high search engine ranking can lead to endless frustration and a lot of time spent on nonessential SEO strategies. Provide value and set yourself apart from the competition.
  • Don’t be slow to implement quality content strategies. The key to staying competitive online is agility.

There’s a lot more in the video. I hope you’ll watch it yourself and take notes. Then, when you’re ready to take your Scotland business to the next level with high quality content that provides value, give us a call.

March 21st, 2012 / Content Development

The New Face Of Article Marketing

Article marketing has been around for a long time. It is one of the mainstays of online syndication by serious Internet marketers. But it has undergone a serious overhaul in the last year thanks to a search engine update called Google Panda.

The question is, is article marketing still a viable content marketing model? And the answer is, Yes.

But you have to do it the right way.

Mass submission is all but dead. But that doesn’t mean that article marketing is dead. There are article directories that still receive a ton of traffic and still have articles picked up on a regular basis to be used by website owners, e-zine publishers, etc.

That said, article marketing is still a good way to build inbound links and drive traffic to your website. Here are 4 things to keep in mind if you want to employ article marketing today.

  1. 1. Write high quality articles. Don’t use sales language. Think ‘information’. Your audience wants to be informed and entertained. Do it well with quality in mind.
  2. 2. Instead of mass submitting your articles to every article directory on the planet, pick one or two to focus on and build up your readership at those article directories. Submit to those high quality directories often and consistently.
  3. 3. Develop a relationship with a handful of publishers. Let them know where to find your articles and periodically send them something that can be used exclusively by them.
  4. 4. Keep your author bio short and limit your links to one or two. No more than that. Make sure your bio is appropriate for the article and for the markets you are targeting with the article.

If you keep your article marketing strategy simple, it will be more effective. Focus on quality, not quantity.

March 20th, 2012 / Content Development

How To Write Content People Will Share

Do you know how to get people to share your valuable content? Here’s the secret: It’s in the writing of the content.

There are some techniques that professional content writers use that will encourage more people to share your content. And all you have to do is employ those techniques to get people to share and share alike.

Here is the bona fide recipe to getting more shares for your content.

  • Be helpful - Bottom line, at the end of the day, your readers need to feel like you’ve helped them solve a problem. That’s what your content must do.
  • Make a personal connection – If people feel connected with your business, they’ll be more likely to share your content. Make it personal and get them to interact with you in some way.
  • Be entertaining – People hate to be bored. You don’t have to go off the deep end here, but if you can elicit a laugh or a chuckle, or entertain while you inform, then you’ll catch people’s attention. That’s when they’ll willingly share your content.
  • Start a conversation - If people talk on your blog or content, that will get more shares. Start a conversation and watch it take on a life of its own.
  • Ask for the share – If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Give people reasons to share your content and they will. One reason is you ask for it.

People really want to share your content. You have to give them reasons to. And that means you’ve got to make your content entertaining as well as informative. Of course, it helps if you optimise it for search as well.

March 14th, 2012 / Content Development

5 Things An SEO Copywriter Can Do

Running an online business requires that you hire people to help you. Unless you are an expert in website design and online marketing, you won’t be able to do it all yourself. Here are 5 specific tasks that an SEO copywriter can help you with as you take your Scotland business online.

  1. Website content – Your website content is very important. It can make or break your business. Every page of your website deserves the best written content with a strong call to action. Don’t leave this to chance.
  2. Write your blog – A blog can be an instrumental part of your business – and should be. A good SEO copywriter can write your daily blog content and help increase your search engine exposure.
  3. Meta content – Your meta tags are the “behind the scenes” content that only search engines see. They are a vital part of your search engine marketing efforts too.
  4. PPC ads – An SEO copywriter should be able to write your PPC ads and landing pages. Focus them on quality and you can see a huge increase in business thanks to your online copywriter.
  5. Off-site content – Your SEO copywriter should be able to develop your off-site content strategy, which is instrumental in helping you build inbound links. This includes guest blog posts, articles for distribution, and other link building methods including social media marketing.

A strong SEO copywriter is a big asset to any online business. Without them your business will likely fail. Find out how an SEO copywriter can take your Scotland business to the next level online.

March 8th, 2012 / Content Development