Content Strategy

Heard Of Dynamic Title Tags?

I’ve discovered what appears to be a glitch in Google’s algorithm and it results in two title tags showing in the SERPs for a single landing page, dependent on the search query. Is Google doing this intentionally, or is this actually a glitch in the algorithm?

The Discovery

I was conducting routine checks on some of our landing pages in the SERPs when I came across something very interesting. We were targeting two main keywords with one of our pages, and I wanted to check where and how that page was ranking for those terms. Sure, I could just use SEMrush for a quick check, but I also wanted to see competitor title tags and if our page might be a featured snippet.

When I searched for “medical inventory software” this is what showed up in the SERPs:

medical inventory software SERP

And when I searched for “medical supply software,” here’s what I saw:

medical supply software

Notice the difference? It’s the exact same page and URL, but each result has a different title tag to match the exact search term. When I saw the different title tags initially, I thought another one of our landing pages was showing for “medical supply software.” But when I double-checked the URL, it was the same. See for yourself, this is the landing page. I was baffled. I was using a Chrome incognito browser tab, so clearing my cache and cookies wouldn’t have done anything to affect the results. I finally realized and accepted that Google was showing a different title tag for this landing page, depending on the search query. I had NEVER seen this before. We all know Google AdWords has dynamic search ads, but a dynamic element in organic results? This was a new discovery and a tasty little revelation from Google’s algorithm.

Was this an old glitch or mistake in the algorithm that fell through the cracks?

Can this be replicated and exploited to more easily rank for two keywords?

Next was the fun part – the investigation.

The Investigation

The first thing I had to find out was – where was Google pulling the second title tag from? I compared the title tag and page title, and they were the same:

Title tag vs page title

“Medical Supply Software” is in the URL: https://www.fishbowlinventory.com/industries/medical-supply-software/, so that was a definite possibility. The other possibility was when I pulled up the source code and searched for “medical supply software” – this is where I found the likely culprit. “Medical Supply Software” was indeed in the breadcrumb code snippet.

medical supply software breadcrumb code

If you’re not familiar with the term, breadcrumbs (or the breadcrumb trail) are a secondary navigation scheme that reveals the user’s location in a website or web application.

Below, highlighted in red, is how the breadcrumbs look to a user on the front end:

Fishbowl medical supply breadcrumb example

I feel safe with the assumption that Google pulled the dynamic title tag from the breadcrumbs instead of the URL text. It’s just more likely for them to pull from the HTML. We had set up the breadcrumb trail a long time ago, but Google chose to pull from it this time for some reason. I checked with our Sr. Front End Developer and he confirmed it was the breadcrumb trail and that it was a bit outdated. In an attempt to find other examples, I reviewed similar landing pages where we were targeting multiple keywords. Standard findings – the title tag was the same, no matter the search query.

The Conclusion

These are the observations we can make:

Observation 1 – Google has an algorithm rule to pull in the breadcrumb title tag as the title tag instead of the set title tag for a page, if it matches the search query

Observation 2. – This occurrence is rare

These are the claims we can make:

Claim 1 – Dynamic title tags exist

Claim 2 – Google has never publicly mentioned this algorithm factor (big surprise, right?)

How Can You Benefit from This Algorithm Discovery?

Right now we’re at the point of theory and experimentation, but here’s how you could leverage this tactic. With Google only displaying the first 50-60 characters of a title tag, this can absolutely benefit you if there’s another top-level keyword variation you prefer to rank for with a landing page. Put the most important keyword as the title tag and then put the next most important keyword as the breadcrumb title tag. In theory, you could rank for both without having a diluted or lengthy title tag. However, the standing issue is the unpredictability of this occurrence.

What factors or conditions must align for Google to reproduce this? Stay tuned as we head back to the SEO Science lab…

This is a guest post from George Nielsen, digital marketing manager at Fishbowl.

How Your Business Can Incorporate UGC Into Your Strategy

Creating content on computer

Image Pexels

By now, you should know that content is king. It drives conversions, increases traffic, and boosts your brand awareness. Whether it’s a long-form blog post on how to save money for your business, or a photo catalog of your product collection, content is king.

But crafting and creating good quality content takes time. Research, typing it up, editing the final draft — it can quickly eat into your valuable time. So more and more, savvy brands are using user-generated content as a vital part of their marketing strategy.

Essentially outsourcing your content to your community can save you time and stress, so you can focus on other things. But what exactly is UGC, and how do you go about integrating it into your strategy? Read on to find out…

What is UGC?

User-generated content is basically any form of content that has been made and provided by unpaid individuals, usually customers or fans of your brand. It can include blog posts, photos, videos, tweets: almost anything that comes from people outside of your brand.

Why should I use UGC?

Let’s crunch the numbers. Why should you be using UGC for your brand? Well for a start, 76% of social media users trust it more than branded content. And why not? It’s content that’s been made by their peers, rather than those with a vested interest in the business.

Add to that the fact that brand engagement goes up by a whopping 28% when consumers see a mix of UGC videos and brand content. And 93% of customers say that UGC informs their decision when they’re considering making a purchase.

The stats don’t lie: user-generated content is an MVP in the marketing world. And you can use it everywhere and anywhere your brand is, from your website to your social media feed. UGC might not be the holy grail your business needs, but it’s damn near it.

How can I use UGC for my strategy?

You’ve got the what, you’ve got the why: here comes the how.

Create your own product

This is a super popular means of leveraging UGC used by brands the world over, from Coca-Cola’s famous #ShareACoke campaign to StarbucksWhite Cup Contest. It’s simple: you get your customers to create, design and customize one of your products. The world is full of creative individuals just waiting for their fifteen minutes of fame — and your business can give it to them. They get their design recognized and embraced by a brand, and you get any number of likes, shares, tweets and tags, and that’s money in the bank as far as your image is concerned.

One brand that deserves a special mention is video game company Nintendo. In 2015, they launched the Super Mario Maker, where avid gamers from all over the world could create their own Super Mario levels to play. When the iconic franchise opened their doors to their fans they were overwhelmed with submissions, and people really got creative!

Show your product or service being used in the real world

Or, instead of getting your customers to design a new product, you can get them to show the world how they use your existing ones. Online furniture stores like Wayfair encourage their customers to show off their purchases with the #WayfairAtHome hashtag, sharing their photos on their social media feeds for all their fans to see.

And ASOS follows a similar direction, with their fashion-conscious fans showcasing their style with the #AsSeenOnMe hashtag. It’s free publicity that their customers love to share, and works a treat!

ASOS As Seen on Me (hashtag)

Image Instagram

And be sure to like and comment when your customers use your hashtag or you tag you in a post. Use a social media management tool like Sprout Social to stay on top of your customer conversations and let them know they’re appreciated.

Show off your customers themselves

And it doesn’t need to necessarily be your own products that people are sharing. Why not reach out and find out about the customers themselves? They are your lifeblood after all, so show you appreciate them by getting them to give you insights into their own lives.

The social media management tool Buffer is killing this. Using the #BufferCommunity hashtag, they show off content from their worldwide user base ranging from concerts and wedding photos to just simple (but crazy cute) photos of their customers’ dogs!

Buffer Community

Image Instagram

Video reviews and testimonials

If your customers love your product, they want to tell people. Where in the past they would have just passed it on through word-of-mouth, the advent of the internet means they can do it online too. There are plenty of video reviews of products available on YouTube, so brands can easily incorporate it into their marketing strategy.

Head on over to skincare brand Boom by Cindy Joseph’s website, where they embed video reviews from real women on their product pages. This use of social proof is hugely effective, as it comes not from the brand itself, but from everyday shoppers who really believe in the product.

Video testimonials are easy to find, so why not integrate it into your email marketing strategy? Moosend for example lets you easily embed videos into your emails, so you can use real-world social proof of your product in your marketing strategy.

If you’re launching a product or want to bring in new leads, use testimonials from genuinely satisfied customers to encourage people to sign up or buy.

I said earlier that content is king, and that’s true. But if content is king, then user-generated content is queen. Your customers are your fans, and they love your product or service. They’re just aching to engage with your brand through photos, videos, blogs, and more — so let them!

This is a guest post from:

Victoria Greene from Victoria EcommerceVictoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. For all the hottest news from the worlds of ecommerce, marketing, and design, check out her blog, Victoria Ecommerce. Victoria is passionate about helping store owners get the most out of their online stores.

7 Content Marketing Tips for Pinterest

It’s hard not to agree that there is more to Pinterest than just pretty pictures.

Although at the start it might seem otherwise.

Launched in 2010 this social networking site indeed took the world by storm. But it also took content marketers a while to fully realize its potential.

Today, the site is probably 2nd or 3rd largest social networking site on the planet (depending which sources you check).

And those who still ignore it, miss on some great opportunities.

Because Pinterest may be an ideal tool to promote your brand. With its large following and heavy engagement (a typical visitor spends on average 3 minutes more on the site than Facebook and 12 minutes more than on Twitter), it is a great way to spread the word about your products or services.

It can also help you demonstrate your expertise in your area. Many companies turn their knowledge into visual content and showcase it on Pinterest to build their image of authority.

It increases brand visibility. Pinterest images get shared and forwarded between users. You really never know where your image might end up.

Moreover, Pinterest is an excellent way to showcase your products. After all, an experience of real product is what ecommerce stores lack. Customers can only see images supplied by a producer, often generic ones and revealing very little of the experience of a product in use.

Contrast that with images submitted by actual product users showcasing how it helps them or enhances their lives and you’ll know why the site offers so many possibilities to online retailers.

Lastly, Pinterest can drive traffic to your site too. In fact, some brands report it driving more of it than Twitter or Facebook.

OK, but what exactly is Pinterest?

This relatively new social networking site has indeed taken the world by storm. Launched only couple of years ago (2010), it attracted more than 85 million users in less than three years.

And, it is still growing, fast.

Perhaps part of this success is because the idea behind Pinterest is so simple.

The site allows you to create image posts, called pinboards and share them with other Pinterest users. Moreover, you can organise those images in “boards” and add photos or videos to them. This process is known as “pinning” to the board. And if you thought of a corkboard when reading this description, you are just about right.

But behind all those lovely images Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool, one that brands use to connect and increase engagement with their audience.

Interested in doing the same? Here are some ideas for promoting your brand on Pinterest:

Showcase Images of Your Products in Use

Given the image based nature of Pinterest, it makes sense to use it to showcase your products in use. And there is an unlimited number of things you can do here. You can post images of products in use in clients homes. Or showcase it from their shelf life to being packaged and shipped to a customers. You can then ask your customers to send pictures of them using it to complete the picture. If you sell cake decorations, showcase your clients cakes. Tattoo parlour can showcase the best tattoos they did for their clients and so on. The possibilities are truly endless.

productsinuse

Publish Customer Testimonials

Pinterest is for images only, right? So how could you present an actual testimonial from a client then? It’s all words after all. Well, how about posting a picture of your client with a testimonial? Of course you would have to do it with the clients permission but if you can, these pins could have a very strong impact on how your prospects trust your brand.

testimonials

Highlight a Product’s Feature

Is your product complex to use? Or even to fully communicate all that you could do with it? Why don’t you then highlight its features with images? Kreg does it with their feature highlight series of pins, each highlighting one particular aspect of the product (or offering a super quick tip how to use it).

feature highlight

Make Your Audience Laugh

Your audience rarely uses social media for information. Most people are on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest for entertainment. And if that’s the case, why not giving it to them? Hubspot created a pinboard dedicated to memes, cartoons and other fun online marketing related content.

memes

Teach Them Something Too

Images are worth more than words. In fact, to use, images are worth more than 60000x more than words. That’s how much quicker we humans process visual information compared to text. It comes as no surprise then that so many of us prefer visual tutorials rather than text based manuals.

If you sell products that could be used to create or repair something, posting a visual tutorial how to do it on Pinterest is bound to attract attention. Just check what Liagriffith did with this simple guide:

tutorial

Show Your Company Behind the Scenes

Many customers want to see your real, human side not just the brand image you maintain. Hubspot recognizes this by creating a dedicated behind the scenes pinboard and showing the company’s everyday life.

behind the scenes

Pat Your Clients on the Back

Your marketing should not only be about you. Your customers are equally important to promoting your brand and in such case, why not make put them in the spotlight? Constant Contacts features a pinboard with tips from their customers.

customers

Conclusion

Pinterest users spend on average 3 minutes more on the site than Facebook and 12 minutes more than on Twitter. This is a highly engaged audience seeking entertainment. Such audience offers enormous opportunities for engagement and connection to any brand. And the key to them lies in what content you post.

What the Growing Wired Empire Can Teach You About Identifying Niches

wired-germany-black-out

Recently I have been enjoying the new issue of Wired Germany very much. Wired is now almost a monthly publication here in Germany (10 issues a year) after a start as a quarterly a while back.

Intriguingly the German market for tech oriented “lifestyle” publications didn’t seem that lucrative

before for the locals. How come Wired expanded to Germany, the fifth market after the US/UK, Italy and Japan then?

 

The envied Americans

I always envied the US for their progressive technology press. By press I do not only mean online publications but real life magazines made out of paper. At a time when Germany was flooded by articles on how the Internet is scary, dangerous and a menace to society Americans already had Wired Magazine extolling the new virtues of online freedom and prosperity.

Even though there has been a lot of turmoil in the Wired Magazine history and some failures along the way by now the Wired brand seems to be stronger than ever and expanding globally.

While the US, UK and Japan may seem like very obvious markets for such a publication it nonetheless intriguing to see that Italy and Germany seem to be the next logical stops as the path to the “techno-utopia” the mag initially stood for. The Japanese are infamous for their technological geekery. Italians are rather known for high fashion designer clothes. Most German technology brands that thrived in the past, the likes of

  • Grundig
  • Dual
  • Telefunken
  • AEG

are only shadows of their glorious past. There is no real consumer electronics sectors run by locals here. It’s all Made in China now. Only South Korea can compete.

 

Why Germany not France or Spain?

Take note that there is no Spanish or French Wired magazine despite huge potential audiences. Spanish is not only spoken in Spain by its 40 million inhabitants. Most of South America and even a large minority in the US speak it.

French is not only spoken in France but also in half of Africa, especially in northern African countries, most known for their recent democratic movements that were very Internet-savvy. Also Conde Nast,

the owner of Wired has a large portfolio of magazines in France, mostly focusing on lifestyle and fashion though.

In Germany we had two more or less failed attempts at creating a technology lifestyle magazine. We had Tomorrow for a few years, a copycat mag that tried to imitate the US Wired without having the same type of audience here in Germany (there is no Silicon Valley equivalent here). We also had DE:BUG magazine, a print mag focused on all things electronic including a big part of the music scene.

 

Is there a German audience or not?

Tomorrow had to give up a few years ago, I think in 2009. Shortly before they went out of business they became desperate and even started adding images of naked models to the last few issues. Sadly the much better and independent DE:BUG magazine (full disclosure: I have contributed a few articles to it in the distant past) had to stop publishing the print issue in 2014 too.

The reasons for failure were not the same but in both cases the audience increasingly went online, especially the musicians who could access music right away instead of reading reviews of it offline.

So you have to ask yourself: is there still a German audience for a progressive technology magazine that doesn’t only deal with nerdy topics but also attempts to cover a wider range of aspects of technological progress?

We have a lot of computer magazines dealing with hardware, software, even web development or marketing. There is no real digital culture mag as of now. Well, now there is one again. Wired Germany. So you could argue that now that there is no competition left anymore it’s the best time to enter the empty market again.

 

Nobody wears shoes in Africa

There is an old joke from Poland I have to think of in this context. I’d like to adapt it to the new context:

two shoe marketers visit a newly established country somewhere in Africa, a pessimist and an optimist. The pessimist calls right back home and says “nobody is wearing shoes here, we can’t sell anything!”. The optimist is still in awe and calls in second: “Amazing! Nobody is wearing shoes here yet, we can sell them to everybody!”

Dear African friends: I know people from Africa and I know they wear shoes in most cases. Some don’t because they don’t want to or don’t have to as it’s sometimes too hot in Africa.There are also Westerners who don’t wear shoes either in order to keep their feet healthy (most shoes are bad for your feet hence there are barefoot shoes by now).

This joke is not meant to discredit Africans as primitive or something. It’s a great metaphor on how people in the West (and elsewhere too I guess) can look at the same thing and see two completely different things depending on their personal attitude.

 

The one year long test

Conde Nast has tested Wired Germany with a quarterly publication first. After four issues, which mostly very pretty good, prepared by ad hoc teams and freelancers the publishers finally got the results they wanted and decided to establish a whole new team and invest money and effort into making a monthly mag, organizing events, and offering an online subscription while still offering most of them content online for free (at first?).

So what can we learn from all this? Do you have to move to Germany or at least expand your business there? Not really. I’d like to generalize the lessons I have learned from this niche market identification process:

  1. an empty market is a good market – few or no competition is better than successful competition
  2. testing the waters yourself is better than just looking at other people’s failures
  3. expanding a niche to become almost general interest can be a good idea
  4. you need a substantial investment to enter a niche market not just copy and paste
  5. using an internationally acknowledged brand name is better than coming up with a generic or cryptic title
  6. print is not dead in general, it’s just some business models that go down the drain
  7. the digital audience grows with the Internet so you can tap into it, even “offline”

A Kick-start Guide to Content Marketing on Facebook

It’s a fact – content rocks todays marketing. It costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times as many leads (DemandMetric). It’s no surprise that according to Content Marketing Institute, 93% of B2B marketers rely on content to promote their brands.

But, given the wealth of different platforms, in order to fully avail of it’s abilities; you need to understand each one and create strategies to best avail of it’s abilities.

Over the last few weeks I outlined basic strategies for content marketing on Twitter and Pinterest. Today I want to tackle the biggest social network of all – Facebook.

What drives Facebook CM?

A wise person once said that just like Pinterest is for creativity, Facebook on the other hand is for communication. And, it seems just about right. In the recent study by Vision Critical, 80% of Pinterest users say the network is useful for generating ideas and projects while 63% of Facebook users say that their network makes them feel connected.

And what else drives connection better than content these days?

After all, it is content that gets Facebook audience to like a post, comment on it or share it. And unlike other social networks, Facebook offers a plethora of options and content types you can use to engage with your audience.

To begin at the beginning, what make a good content for Facebook?

In short, it would be one that relates to the interests of your audience and engages them because it relates to real life. A good content tells stories, asks the audience for their opinion and provokes them to share their personal opinion.

Types of content for Facebook

Before you start planning your content strategy, let’s first discuss different content types you could post on your Facebook Page.

Facebook offers 4 distinct options for those content types:

Single Image

Photos are one of the most engaging content types. They are quick to absorb and digest their meaning. Not to mention that they take up a considerable space on the users news feed, making them highly noticeable and sticking out more than text. By using photos, you can boost the attention your posts receive from users.

Moreover, Facebook images generate 120% more engagement than an average post.

There are different types of images you could post on your Page:

  • Photos
  • Memes
  • Product Images
  • Ads
  • Press clips and many more

Facebook content: single image

Photo Album

Photo albums allow you to post multiple images at once in a single post. Images collected into a specific album are a great way to promote content from events, promotions, product lines and more.

Facebook photo album

Videos

Videos have become one of the most engaging content type today, and to no surprise. 93% of marketers use video for promotion and 52% of them name video as a content type delivering the best ROI (Brainshark) 100 million users watch online videos each day (VideoBrewery)

Video is also a powerful communications tool. A single minute of video can convey the same message as 1.8 million words (VideoBrewery).

It comes to no surprise then that videos are a highly engaging content on Facebook. In fact, videos posted to the site receive 40% higher engagement rate compared to Youtube for instance (SocialBakers). They also account for 93% of the most engaging content on the site (FastCompany).

When posting your video to Facebook, make sure to stick to these rules:

  • Include eye catching default image
  • Make it short
  • Make it simple to absorb and relevant to your audience

Facebook video

Text

Lastly, text based content. Even though Facebook allows posting long content, it’s the short text that gets the most engagement from the site. Updates up to three lines of text see 60% more engagement than any longer content. Cutting your text even shorter, below 80 characters might result in 66% more engagement (FastCompany).

The best text based updates to drive engagement are questions, which receive 100% more engagement than other types of text-based content (Hubspot).

Facebook text post

How to make your content relevant to your audience

Before you start posting to Facebook you should define who you want to engage with on the site and what content themes would achieve this objective.

When defining your audience, don’t just look at their age, location and other demographic factors. When it comes to Facebook, its user base crosses many geographic boundaries, and thus your best bet is to target their interests as well.

To post relevant content, focus on:

  • Focus on your audience’s common interests
  • Target their most common problems
  • Deliver news relevant to them
  • Offer advice on making their lives better
  • Entertain them too, after all, you can’t be serious all the time.

When an how often should you post to you Facebook Page

Timing is everything, fact. Having your post appear on your audiences News Feeds right when they are the most receptive to your message would be ideal. But even though it would be ideal, there is no single ideal time to post to Facebook. Even though there are so many studies on the subject, there is no unified opinion what day and time would generate the most engagement from users.

In spite of that, you can still find your best time to post to the site by doing the following:

Understand your audience. It’s hard to decide on the best time to post if you don’t know who’s on the other side, listening. Define your audience and try to understand their habits.

Think about how their day looks like. Once you know who your audience is, think how their typical day might look like. What are their productive times? When would they be trying to unwind and relax? All these factors will help determine the best time to post.

Post within what you think is their most receptive time during their day. Use the information about your audience to define times you will be posting at. Of course, you should measure and refine your strategy to find the most optimum time.

Posting About Yourself

Even though, as we’ve seen, your content should target your audience and their interests, needs and problems, there will be times when you’ll want to post about yourself. You may have a new product line coming out or will want to promote the company. On Facebook however, there is a fine line between informing users and being overly too promotional. And needless to say, the latter usually moves people away from a brand at an instant.

Facebook fans don’t care about you they care about themselves. Therefore,

  • keep posts about your company to absolute minimum.
  • if you need to post something about your company, try to make it relevant to your audience or at least entertaining
  • when posting about your products, always show them at an angle how they could help the audience

Promoting Your Content

This might come as a surprise but your posts reach only a fraction of your fan base. In fact, according to official data from Facebook, posts on company Pages appear on only 16% of their fans News Feeds.

Therefore, if you want to reach more people, you need to promote your posts.

There are two ways you could do so with:

–       Promoted Posts

–       Promoted Page Posts

Promoted Posts allow you to promote your content directly to your fans’ News Feeds as opposed to the sidebar where the majority of standard Facebook Ads appear.

Promoted Page Posts appear in the sidebar on the site, making them less effective when promoting your content. On the other hand, they allow you to reach people who are not your Page fans yet and be laser focused with what demographics you target with your ads.

Monitoring your actions

One of the greatest advantages of using Facebook for engaging with audience is the ability to gain insights and data to monitor and analyze your actions.

Facebook Insights make it easy to monitor the performance of your content marketing strategies in real time. Thanks to this data you can quickly see which type of content engaged your audience the most (and thus which one you could promote even further to them).

Here are some of the data types you can monitor in Insights:

Reach – the number of unique people who have seen your content,

Organic – the number of people who’ve seen your content in their NewsFeed or on your page.

Paid – the amount of people who’ve seen your post from paid ads.

Viral – the amount of people who’ve seen your content because one of their friends interacted with it in some way (liked it, commented on it or shared it).

8 Tips for Using Google+ For Content Marketing

I can’t deny it, I was very disappointed with Google+ when it first launched.

Too many things seemed wrong with it back then.

– I didn’t understand what it’s for.

– None of my friends were on it.

– I had no time for another network.

I am sure I wasn’t the only one having doubts about Google+. But the social network has changed a lot since the day of its launch. It has managed to find its own competitive edge.

It never beat Facebook in building and maintaining relationships. Or Twitter for up to date news. It becomes evident only now that Google+ was built for something else, content marketing.

What Makes Google+ Ideal for Content Marketing

1. It’s Tightly Integrated with Search.

With the introduction of Search Plus Your World Google Plus became tightly integrated with search. Search results are now enhanced with photos, posts and more coming from your friends.

Authorship is also omnipresent in search results today, allowing users to pick information from people they trust but authors to also gain that authority.

2. It’s Integrated With Other Platforms.

Google plus is hardly just a social network. With a tight integration among various other Google products: Maps, Ads, Reviews, Hangouts, Youtube, Calendar and more, it follows you across every Google product.

3. It’s Better For Building New Relationships.

Unlike other networks who connect you with people you already know, Google+ is ideal to meet new people with whom you share similar interests.

4. It Gives You An Exposure.

Through Authorship Google+ connects your profile or page with any content you publish to give you even greater reach in search and helps you gain exposure while building your personal brand.

8 Tips for Using Google+ For Content Marketing

1. Use +Mentions and #Hashtags to Increase Visibility

hashtags

The reason to use Google+ is to increase visibility and awareness of your brand, company or product. And the network offers two features that can help you with that: mentions and hashtags.

– A mention allows to you to let a particular person or a brand know that you have mentioned them in a post. You may be familiar with a similar feature on Twitter (the @username) or Facebook (tagging people). This is an ideal way to get yourself on their radar in hope that they will share your content with their audience, comment or engage in any other way on your page.

Hashtags are not unique feature to Google+. They have been created to help users follow online conversations. And that’s exactly why you should use them in Google+. The search giant will include your post in any search for hashtags you included in it. This way you can gain attention of people interested in specific conversations or topics.

2. Attract More Viewers with Visual Content.

images

Photos make up for highly attractive content on Google+.  And, for a reason, they are easy to consume. So to make the most of it, include images along with your posts and even build up a dedicated Google+ visual content strategy. Users often scan images in their news feed to assess which posts are worth reading. Use big and descriptive images to stand out for them and get picked from other, competing posts.

3. Segment Your Audience for Better Content Targeting

circles

The ability to segment your audience and feed targeted content to different people is one of the most powerful features of Google+. After all being able to share targeted content with specific audience is an invaluable asset for any content marketer. In Google+ you do this by posting content to specific Circles, segments you can create to divide your users into categories.

4. Grab Readers Attention with Text Formatting

formatting

Readability is a serious issue on the web. Especially in an environment as Google+ News Feed where information changes very fast. It is crucial then that whatever you post stands out from other updates. Proper formatting allows you increase your chances at your content being noticed and read by users.

There are very simple ways to format your content:

  • putting an asterisk before and after a word (*word*) makes it bold.
  • underscore before and after a word (_word_) makes it italic
  • dash before and after (-word-) adds a strikethrough.

5. Breathe New Life into Your Archived Content

The relative newness of Google+ gives you an advantage of being able to promote your archived content, one you’ve already promoted extensively through other social networks. Chances are that your Google+ followers haven’t seen these posts yet and will be happy to receive more advice from you.

6. Use Ripples to Identify and Target Influencers

Ripples are quite unique feature on Google+. In Ripples you can see each time your post gets posted on Google+ or shared directly from your website. What’s more, you can also see who shared your content and view their Google+ profile. This single functionality allows you to:

  • spot your brand ambassadors
  • identify influencers and,
  • measure your social engagement.

7. Engage Your Audience with Hangouts

Image courtesy of Business2Community.com

Even though Facebook offered chat option for a long time, it’s Google+ Hangouts that revolutionised how a brand can engage their audience in real time. With the ability to create a video content, from interviews with important figures in your industry for instance, live events or private presentations, Hangouts should become an important aspect of your content strategy.

8. Build Engagement with Long Form Content in Google+

long content

Lastly, create content specifically for Google+. The site allows you to post long form content which can attract the most engagement from its users. Link to your own blog from it too and use hashtags to make the post more discoverable to increase its reach.

Content Marketing Strategy: Marketers Share their Favorite Books, Blog Posts & Resources

“Strategy” can be kind of a dubious term. As someone who has done a lot of acquisition and transaction-oriented marketing work, I’m sometimes a bit skeptical of an over-emphasis on strategy and under-emphasis on execution.

That said: if you don’t have any strategy and direction at all, or if you’re chasing after the wrong goals, all of your tactical execution is going to be wasted. I also know that strategies can vary wildly from business to business and website to website, and there’s really no such thing as a single, one-size-fits-all, be-all-end-all content strategy (not even our own content marketing roadmap).

For that reason, we got the input of a number of marketers on their favorite content marketing strategy resources. Check out the answers folks have given below, and see if there are a few resources you can pick out that give you some inspiration and help guide the direction of your own content strategy.

“What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?”

Meet Our Panel of Marketers:


Kelsey MurphyKelsey Murphy

Kelsey Murphy is a Professional & Personal Coach, communication specialist, public speaker, advertising director, and business owner. Learn more about Kelsey and her work at www.kelseymurphy.com.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

Dana Malstaff is brilliant – she helps get to the root of what you REALLY want to say, and lay it out in a digestible, smart, organized way. She is creative, brainstorming savant. I’d be lost without her.

She has a great free resource on her site here – expandyourreach.club – and is an incredible coach.


Sam AnthonySam Anthony

Sam Anthony is the Owner of TheSiteEdge, a Minneapolis-based online marketing and web design agency.

The single best resource on content marketing that I have ever read is…

The “17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies That Will Generate More Subscribers Today” article from Brian Dean at Backlinko.com.

You can find it at http://backlinko.com/list-building (pretty much everything on this site is solid gold)

Why was it life changing?

There are millions of articles on content marketing and “how to do it better.” But the simple fact of the matter is that if 1,000,000 people are all saying that is the way to do it better – you are just going to be doing the same thing as everyone else. This piece is about going 5 steps further than the rest of the content marketers out there. It is so easy to just post content that doesn’t take much thought, which is why it doesn’t get shared or utilized and it certainly does not establish you as an authority. You need to utilize the tools available on the internet and [some of] your own brain power to do something better. Lastly, every bit of advice in this article can be learned from and adapted to use on one’s own site – all of it is actionable.


Natalie BidnickNatalie Bidnick

Natalie Bidnick is the digital strategist for Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in Austin, Texas. She has over nine year’s experience working with more than 50 brands on improving their online presence.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

As a content marketing professional, I recommend reading OpenTopic and the Moz blog for ideas, inspiration and best practices regarding blogging and curation.


Richard HollisRichard Hollis

Richard Hollis is the CEO of Holonis, the next generation online platform. He has
spent the better part of a decade researching best practices for online marketing when developing Holonis and is an expert when it comes to content marketing.

In my years of research I have read a myriad of books and two that I would recommend as my top resources on content marketing strategy are…

“The Age of the Platform” by Phil Simon, and “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott.

I would point out two great resources these books have to offer, one from The Age of the Platform stating, “Platforms comprise individual components, features, products, and services, collectively referred to in this book as planks. Put simply, without planks, there are no platforms.”

And the other resource on content marketing strategy comes from The New Rules of
Marketing& PR stating, “Great content brands an organization as a trusted resource and calls people to action – to buy, subscribe, apply, or donate. And great content means that interested people return again and again. As a result, the organization succeeds, achieving goals such as adding revenue, building traffic, gaining donations, or generating sales leads.


Ben JorgensenBen Jorgensen

Ben Jorgensen is the CEO and Co-founder of Klick Push, Inc. Klick Push connects consumers to brands through digital music. We allow marketers to use music as dynamic content to drive omni-channel marketing initiatives.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

I would have to say that our CRM, Hubspot, is a great source of content marketing materials. Additionally, reading between the lines, you can simultaneously infer Hubspots marketing strategy. This is a company that not only has good content marketing materials but have a sound strategy.


Robyn TippinsRobyn Tippins

Robyn Tippins is the Co-Founder and leader of community marketing and business operations for Mariposa Interactive, a content marketing agency specializing in inbound and lead generation for Manufacturing OEMs, Startups and High Tech. She has been managing online communities for 17 years. Her book, Community 101″ is a primer on online community management. Over the years she has worked with large and small companies, including Yahoo, Intel, MTV, AT&T, Behr Paints, Fleishman Hillard, ReadWriteWeb, SAY Media , Mozilla, Cisco, Facebook and Current TV. She authored the Community Certification program at GetSatisfaction.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

Soup to nuts, for both insiders and beginners, it’s “Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage and Delight Customers Online”, by the founders of Hubspot, Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah.

Each of our new employees, from admin staff and sales folks to our account managers and creative staff, get a copy of the book and are required to discuss it with me within their first 30 days. We’re Hubspot Partners, so it’s vital they’re up to speed quickly on both the rationale and vision behind content marketing and the unique way a Hubspot partner agency works. We’ve thrown around the idea of writing a book ourselves, but can’t find a better way to put the overall process and value of content marketing than this one.


Arlissa VaughnArlissa Vaughn

Arlissa Vaughn is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Aegis Power Systems, Inc. – a custom power supply design and manufacture center. She has helped the company develop a video and blog series, as well as implement social media promotion for B2B marketing.

The best publication I’ve read on content marketing is…

The Blueprint of a Modern Marketing Campaign” e-book produced by Kapost and Eloqua (subsidiary of Oracle.)

This e-book goes in depth on digital content strategies, providing marketers with a great year-long plan of how to implement a derivatives pillar-style plan for each campaign.


Chris PilbeamChris Pilbeam

Chris Pilbeam is a content marketer and Senior Manager of Editorial at Alarm.com, the leading connected home platform used by millions of people to make their homes safer, smarter and more efficient.

Pound for pound, the best content marketing strategy resource I’ve ever read isn’t a book. It’s…

A short guide written by Geoff Livingston for Cision, called How to Content Market (Better Than the Competition). It outlines eight steps for executing a content strategy, including nailing down your editorial mission, researching to differentiate yourself, and weaving content types together. It’s a birds-eye view of the process that really does lay it all out without getting lost in case studies.

They’ve ungated it and there’s a copy online here:
http://www.cision.com/us/resources/white-papers/how-to-content-market-better-than-the-competition/


Beth BridgesBeth Bridges

Beth Bridges is the Marketing Manager for J – I.T. Outsource, a full-service technology and digital identity management company. She is a published book author with hundreds of articles, blog posts, and videos published for herself (as The Networking Motivator) and her current and former employers.

The ironic part of content marketing resources is that there is so very much content available. How do you know what’s best? By their reach and how often you see other marketers using, sharing, and referring to those resources. Because if they’re doing content marketing right, you’ll come across them over and over. That said, one of the single best resources I’ve found is something I had to dig for…

Coursera.org offers free online classes called MOOC’s, Massive Online Open Courses. They have a very powerful, systematic, and relevant course called “Content Strategy for Professionals in Organizations.” Best of all, it’s free! https://www.coursera.org/course/contentstrategy


Michael EpsteinMichael Epstein

Michael Epstein is a successful CEO turned Online Marketing, Web Development & Business Strategy Consultant at GetOnlineWithMe.com.

Perhaps the best singular resource I’ve found on content marketing is…

The Definitive Guide to Engaging Content Marketing from Marketo, found here: http://www.marketo.com/definitive-guides/definitive-guide-to-engaging-content-marketing.

It’s 110 pages covering the entire process from developing an understanding of your target audience to defining your tone and style, to writing and distribution/promotion. Very comprehensive and useful for someone who wants to understand the complete process for a good content marketing strategy.


Brooke ElliottBrooke Elliott

Brooke Elliott is the Marketing Director of REDVIKING® Bold Engineering, designers and builders of manufacturing and test solutions: machines, automation, conveyance, software, process design and implementation.

The best ongoing resource of content marketing strategy for me, a B2B marketer, is…

The daily email I receive from MarketingProfs, which quickly describes 5 of their offerings.

Every day it gives me the ability to quickly choose from some of the best content marketing advice I’ve found anywhere, including courses, webinars, seminars and instructional videos. I am a huge fan of MarketingProfs for content marketing (they haven’t asked for an endorsement, I promise!).


Valentin ValovValentin Valov

Valentin Valov is the Digital PR Strategist of Hop-Online, a full service online marketing agency. He helps people and brands better understand the new age of communicative & interactive driven marketing.

The one single factor in content marketing is always story telling. You cannot create content around keywords or agenda and expect revenue. Shaping your outgoing resources around an idea worth sharing to the right audience at the right time is both an art and an engineering. Couple of books to start:

“Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” by Ryan Holiday and “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely.

One of the most compelling video sources I recommend is Annielytics on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Kg6_Mckn_M_ARZL6vdd5w

Tools for researching great topics are available today. These are probably my greatest source for content marketing. Try Buzzsumo to get insights on the most share-ble content on your topic, or the new Content Explorer in Ahrefs. You’ll be surprised how many web resources are in need for improvement.


Brett BastelloBrett Bastello

Brett Bastello is a Content Marketing and Link Building specialist at Inseev Interactive, a digital marketing company located in sunny San Diego.

One of the best resources I have for content marketing is…

BuzzSumo.

Conversely, Ahrefs just released a similar product, however I have been using BuzzSumo much longer. What these products do is highlight the most popular content over a given time set based off the keywords you’ve entered. This is so important to content marketing because it allows me to see exactly what readers are reading and what viewers are watching when I’m working on building out my content strategy.


Nikki WhiteNikki White

Nikki White is the Content Team Lead at Payoff, a next generation financial services company. She is a seasoned content strategist who has created content for fortune 500 companies as well as top 3 E-Commerce companies, worldwide.

My all time favorite content resource I’ve ever read was…

“Contagious” by Jonah Berger. My team and I reference his content on a daily basis. The nuggets in that book are indispensable and the anecdotes really drive the point home.


Dan WadeDan Wade

Dan Wade is the Director of Marketing at Life Floor, a Minnesota-based manufacturing startup that produces a slip-resistant, impact-absorbing tile. Prior to joining Life Floor, Dan was the Director of Activation at LockerDome, where he worked on campaigns for clients ranging from media companies like VICE to professional athletes like Patrick Willis and Brandon Phillips.

The best resource for content marketing I’ve ever found is…

The community at GrowthHackers.com.

They’re particularly good at finding SlideShares from marketing presentations and highlighting the best ones, and while there’s more there than just content advice, that’s my first stop whether I’m looking for something specific or just looking for the top new ideas in marketing.


Jon BinghamJon Bingham

Jon Bingham is Director of Marketing of BKA Content, a provider of high quality content for agencies and enterprise businesses to use in their content marketing efforts.

I find this piece on content marketing to be very helpful, especially for novice content marketers…

What’s the Difference? Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing on Search Engine Journal.

It describes the differences between Content Marketing and Content Strategy and does a good job of explaining what each entails.


Linda PophalLinda Pophal

Linda Pophal is content marketer, business writer, and CEO of Strategic Communications, LLC. Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences.

My top go-to resource for content marketing strategy is…

EContent; it has both hard copy and online editions and provides news and perspectives about a wide range of content marketing/management-related issues. Their regular columnists include a wide range of thought leaders who are up-to-date on the issues and new opportunities in this field.


Matt-AntoninoMatt Antonino

Matt Antonino is the Head of Product for Pay on Performance, a full service digital marketing agency in Melbourne.

With apologies to Copyblogger, the single best source of content marketing strategy for me has to be…

Convince & Convert.

Not only do they have a range of content topics and great ebooks, they also focus on other content-related material such as podcasts, content conversion optimisation, social media & email writing, content calendaring, software and tools and other content-related topics that may not get as much attention on strictly copywriting & editing content blogs. The variety of information and depth of knowledge makes them my first choice for content resources.


Andy HuntAndy Hunt

Andy Hunt is the Founder of Uplift ROI, a pay-on-performance optimization service.

One of the best resources I have read about content marketing was…

This post by Robbie Richards.

One of the reasons I love it so much is that is very easy to follow and relies on tools that are mostly free or offer free trials. Even knowing a bit about content marketing, I was able to learn and implement a few things from this post and have recommended it to more than a few people.


Dave WaringDavid Waring

David Waring is the Co-founder and Editor of FitSmallBusiness.com, a site that helps small business owners choose the right products and services for their business.

We focus our content marketing efforts on search engine optimization and have built our site from 0 to 9000 visitors a day in the last year and a half using this method. The single best resource on content marketing that I have read is…

Moz.com’s Beginners Guide To SEO.

It gives a full overview of everything the reader needs to know to get started in SEO and is required reading for all my staff.


Katie BissonKatie Bisson

Katie Bisson is Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Technology Seed, a managed IT service provider.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

My first resource is Marketing Profs. They provide great tips on content ideas, writing and creation. Along with providing tips in blog or article format they also host an abundance of webinars all geared toward content creation. This is, by far, my favorite site to turn to.

My second resource is social media. I follow a large number of marketers and marketing agencies that all write great blogs and tips for content marketing. Skimming social media allows me to get a varied insights and also get numerous opinions on new content marketing trends.


Jason BayJason Bay

Jason Bay is a millennial entrepreneur and marketing fundamentalist who specializes in helping young entrepreneurs 10x their marketing efforts. He is also the Founder of the site GenYSuccess.com.

My favorite content marketing resource is…

Fizzle.co.

The guys at Fizzle do a wonderful job with their podcast, blog and membership platform. Their monthly membership gives you unlimited access to video courses on everything related to running an online business. It’s where I learned everything I know about creating a podcast that gets featured in New & Noteworthy on iTunes and writing blog posts that get shared hundreds of times.


Maurice BretzfieldMaurice Bretzfield

Maurice Bretzfield is a Certified Business Mentor and Digital Marketing Solutionist. Learn more about Maurice and his work at MauriceBretzfield.com.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less” by Joe Pulizzi.


Greg ScottGreg Scott

Greg Scott is an Author, Founder of Infrasupport Corporation and a veteran of the tumultuous IT industry. After working as a consultant at Digital Equipment Corporation, Scott branched out on his own in 1994 and started Scott Consulting. A larger firm bought Scott Consulting in 1999, just as the dot com bust devastated the IT Service industry. Scott went out on his own again in late 1999 and started Infrasupport Corporation, with a laser focus on infrastructure and security.

What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?

I’ve seen David Meerman Scott‘s presentation on the subject twice now and I have his book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR.” His presentation made sense and so that’s the way I set up both my company website and new book website.

Starting a Business Blog: Blogging Mistakes Companies Make on Corporate Blogs

Lots of companies are starting blogs. If you’re new to blogging, it’s tough to get traction and easy to make some of the various, common mistakes other blogs and bloggers (myself included) have made. To help new blogs and bloggers avoid some of the common pitfalls that companies make when starting a blog we’ve asked several marketers to share some of the biggest mistakes they see companies make when first launching a blog. Check out their answers below and hopefully you can avoid some of these all-to-common mistakes!

“What’s the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog?”

Meet Our Panel of Marketers:


Matthew JonasMatthew Jonas

Matthew Jonas is the President of TopFire Media, an integrated digital marketing and public relations agency.

One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when starting their own blog is…

Feeling the need to flood it with large quantities of content, most of which doesn’t fit within their scope of work or align with their business model.

There’s nothing wrong with a multitude of content, but if the blog posts you create aren’t relevant to your company and don’t include keywords that will help to bring traffic and attention to your website or social media profiles, then you aren’t doing yourself any favors.


Valerie JenningsValerie Jennings

Valerie Jennings is CEO of Jennings Social Media Marketing (JSMM) and Viral Bolt Media, located in the Kansas City metro but representing publicly traded to start up companies from all over the world. Jennings has had the honor of working with major brands such as Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Time Equities, Inc., Orient Express Hotels, Experian Market Research Services and Green Plains Renewable Energy, as well as many other established and up-and-coming companies in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and St.. Martin. She started her business, JSMM, at the age of 24 and has been featured on magazine covers, awarded 2014 Most Influential Women in Business by KC Business magazine, and featured as a Woman To Watch by FridayGirl TV.

The biggest mistake companies make when formalizing a blog is that…

They forget about the strategy and search marketing tactics.

Companies forget that the content for the blog topics should be built around targeted keywords and information that is pertinent to their customers/clients and prospects. Not all educational content is ideal for a blog as some of it is too niche and uninteresting to the reader.

The real question brands should be asking before they launch a blog is if they have enough general interest among their target audience to even blog. If not, G+ may be a better fit since it will still generate search engine results and it is not as high maintenance.


Hans van GentHans van Gent

Hans van Gent is a Client Service Manager at DigitasLBi, a global marketing and technology agency that transforms businesses for the digital age. Next to that he teaches early stage startups how to start and grow their company, and he is also the Founder behind Inbound Rocket, a new way of generating traffic and converting them into leads.

The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is that…

They don’t have a real set of goals what to achieve with their company blog.

In many cases after some time the blog then turns into a glorified list of company news or ego enriching opinion pieces, ranging from “Welcome Person X to the Team” to product updates to attempts at being brilliant or clever rather than helpful.

And that is where it goes wrong and from that moment on the company blog is not helping the goals of the company and might in the end turn out to be pretty terrible at driving and growing your audience and your customers online. You turn from being the expert on whatever it is your company tries to solve into yet another company doing the same as everyone else.


Nick SantoraNick Santora

Nick Santora is the CEO of Curricula, a cybersecurity training company located in Atlanta, GA.

The biggest mistake I see people make when starting a blog is…

Not truly identifying your audience.

Trying to cater to every single person on the Internet will make your content bland and not unique enough to be read. Identify your key stakeholders and develop content to engage that audience.


Julie M. EdgeJulie M. Edge

Julie M. Edge, Ph.D is a co-founder and Chief Storyteller of Creelio, which harnesses technology to make online content creation (e.g., blogs, social media) easier for top executives who desire a thought leadership position and want to humanize their corporate brands. She’s the mad scientist with an affinity for storytelling and leads VoiceScience(TM) and content development for the business.

The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

Not leveraging the voices of their executives to tell their company story!

Consumers are tired of hearing the robotic voice of Corporate America; they want the warmth and personality of the leaders. When they speak to customers in their own language and their authentic voice, without pretension or over-formality, they give the customer the chance to connect with them emotionally.

According to research from BrandFog, 82 percent of consumers trust a brand more when the CEO and senior leadership are on social media. When it comes to blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and connecting on LinkedIn, leaders have an opportunity to connect externally and internally in ways that weren’t possible at the dawn of this new century. While it may be hard to believe, the more a leader participates on social media on behalf of their company, the more others will trust their company.


Ed MarshEd Marsh

Ed Marsh is Founder and Principal at Consilium Global Business Advisors, LLC, a firm that provides market development strategy and consulting to mid-sized B2B manufacturers.

Without a doubt the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

To simply start publishing some articles because they should have a blog.

The blog itself does nothing (and often even calling it a blog is counterproductive vs. insight, commentary, articles or something more accessible depending on their target) and the typical tentative approach is often counterproductive – sending a clear message to visitors who stumble into it and find only a couple press releases from months ago.

The value of a blog is to create very targeted optimized organic search material, to demonstrate relevant expertise and provide insight, and to create conversion opportunities to create leads from traffic. For all of those to work the blog must be strategically planned and tactically executed. It must be optimized for the buyers, problems and stage in the buying journey – using their language and speaking authoritatively and naturally on topics of import to them, from their perspective.

In contrast most blogs are started with the idea that we need an article a month. And since most companies are very inwardly focused with their marketing, that results in blog articles that are company announcements.

Nobody cares. And nobody in the company plans on how to measure the impact so it takes some time to realize there’s no value – and then they abandon it because that sort of marketing just doesn’t work in their industry with their type of buyers.


Chris ParenteChristopher Parente

Christopher Parente is the Founder of StoryTech Consulting, a consulting firm that provides content marketing strategy and consulting for business success. His work has appeared in MarketingProfs, E-Commerce News, CommPro.biz and Social Media Today. He also publishes a monthly column for WashingtonExec.com, and serves on the marketing committee of the Association for Corporate Growth, National Chapter.

The biggest mistake some companies make when launching a blog is…

Talking about themselves and their product/service too much.

A blog isn’t a channel to educate prospects and customers about how great the company is. The blog should be a tool through which the company educates prospects and customers about their vertical or niche. Make them smarter, better at their jobs. And then have deeper engagement options available — webinars, whitepapers – when prospects are in the market for the service the company offers.


Taylor AldredgeTaylor Aldredge

Taylor Aldredge is the Ambassador of Buzz at Grasshopper, a Virtual Phone System for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The biggest mistake a company can make when starting a blog is…

Not having a focus for the blog.

What is the blog going to do for your customers and leads? I think taking the time to learn about your potential audience is crucial and will guide any company in a better direction when they start a company blog.


Paige Arnof-FennPaige Arnof-Fenn

Paige Arnof-Fenn is Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a global strategic marketing consulting firm.

In my experience the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

They come out of the blocks strong with a lot of energy and ideas and start blogging regularly then after a few weeks it starts to drop off and a month or so later a few weeks go by and they just can¹t find the time then before you know it it has been months and no new postings.

This is a problem on a few levels, it shows lack of commitment to the process (this is a professional undertaking not some fly by night hobby), naïveté that they did not really understand what they were getting into (wow I did not realize how much work this would be), lack of respect for their audience (don¹t waste my time if you are not serious), etc.

If you are not sure then start by responding on other people¹s blogs first and see if you like it. Build an online following and reputation first. Then after you know this is a good communications tool for you and plays to your strengths then start your own blog. And then stick to a schedule so that you incorporate it into you routine and comment on topics that are of strategic importance to your business.


Andy WalkerAndy Walker

Andy Walker is President and Senior Strategist at Cyberwalker Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Tampa. He is the author of five books including the forthcoming “Super You: How Technology is Revolutionizing What it Means to Be Human” (Que Publishing).

Perhaps the single most biggest mistake that companies make when they start a blog is…

Producing content that is highly self-serving.

That means they are promoting their products in their posts shamelessly. I call these articles the “Why we are great” posts. They don’t think about what their audience wants to hear or needs to hear. The agenda is to sell sell sell.

However the most effective way of connecting with an audience and giving them reason to think about your brand is to produce content that answers questions around problems that they are having. Becoming a topic expert in an area where a buyer has a problem will have them see you as the place to go for a solution. And if you offer a product or service that happens to solve that problem in the mix then they are likely to consider you as a potential source for the solution.

I always ask my clients what does it feel like when somebody is trying to sell you? Nobody likes that. And so if you write copy that makes people wince because you’re selling them too hard and then you’re going to fail. That’s why your post should explain issues, layout the landscape of the problem and provide a range of solutions – one of which could be your product or service.


Chris PostChris Post

Chris Post is the Founder and CEO of Post Modern Marketing, a Sacramento based internet marketing company. Chris and his company focus on helping small business marketing their products and services online through business web design, search engine optimization and content marketing.

The biggest mistakes companies make when starting a blog is…

They simply give up on blogging prematurely because they are not seeing results fast enough. It takes time to gain an audience and see the dividends from blogging start to roll in.


Brett FarmiloeBrett Farmiloe

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Markitors, an internet marketing company for small businesses looking to outsource their email, SEO and social media marketing efforts.

The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

Not installing tracking software that gives them insight into key marketing metrics.

How many visitors turn into leads, customers or email subscribers? What’s your most popular blog post? What’s your most popular referral source? Installing Google Analytics is a free and easy way to begin reporting on how a blog is contributing to the company’s marketing goals.


Gregory LeeGregory Lee

Gregory Lee is the SEO Director of BKV, an Atlanta based marketing agency specializing in direct response marketing since 1981. Greg has over 10 years SEO experience and over 15 years marketing experience working with small businesses and well-known brands.

The biggest mistake I’ve seen when launching a blog is…

Not dedicating time to write consistent posts.

Whether it’s a reward plan to get staff to write, a content calendar with pre-written posts, or curated content from a third party, there must be a way to fill the blog with consistent posts, even if it is only a couple per month. We’ve all seen blogs, Facebook pages, and even websites that have not been updated in months or years. It looks like they’ve been abandoned. It leaves the impression that the company is no longer active.

Also, as an SEO consultant, another big mistake I’ve seen when launching a blog is when companies develop their own blog instead of using WordPress.

A client came to us after unknowingly making this mistake. They heard the advice that blogs are good for SEO. When it came to choosing a platform, WordPress was considered. But their website was already on a different platform. They thought it would be easier to only maintain one platform. So their developer did some customizations and created a blog within their existing website platform. The problem is that it takes years of development, testing and input from many people to create a great working blog platform that excels for SEO.

The client’s blog ended up not being SEO friendly. WordPress is made for blogs and has specialized technology for the social communication aspects of blogging that search engines eat up, as well as being SEO friendly to the Nth degree. Social and SEO conventions and technology evolve quickly. A community supported platform such as WordPress will change and update to meet these needs infinitely faster and at no cost. Imagine trying to fund the development for a custom made blog to keep up with changes of social media and SEO.


Jen JamarJen Jamar

Jen Jamar is a content strategist, freelance writer, and social media manager. She co-organizes the Minnesota Blogger Conference, now in its 6th year, as well as Prestige Conference, a business development conference for entrepreneurs, startups, and agencies. She speaks frequently on the topics of content strategy, analytics, and social media.

The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

Jumping in without a strategy.

Company blogs should serve a purpose for their customers that aligns with their business objectives. That means a business needs to answer several questions to before implementing a new blog initiative, such as:

  • Why do we think we need a blog?
  • What are we hoping to accomplish with it?
  • Which goals should we focus on first?
  • How are we going to measure these goals?
  • What topics will help serve our customers and our business?
  • Who is going to do the writing? Editing? Promotion?
  • What standards or guidelines do we need in place?

Like any new business initiative, a sound strategy is key for carrying the idea through planning, implementation, and feedback.


Alexander RuggieAlexander Ruggie

Alexander Ruggie is the PR Director for 911 Restoration, and he has been in the advertising, marketing and entertainment industries for more than a decade. When Alexander isn’t crafting strategies and campaigns to help homeowners in need, he is trying to save the world, one well-worded idea at a time.

The biggest mistake I find regularly is…

Lack of Direction.

Many of the company blogs that I come across in my research, competitive analysis, and just personal information gathering are poorly constructed, visually unappealing, and occasionally even poorly written. I believe that a lot of this chaos stems from a lack of direction either within the company, or the blog specifically.

Blogs, typically being written by novice wordsmiths, are trying to find their voice as much as their contributing writers are, and this tends to come across on the page. Even a veteran writer trying a blog for the first time will make it read on the page more eloquently than a savvy blogger with diminutive writing talent, and this trait embodies both the charisma and curse of the blogs nature.

Part of me wants a blog to have a few spelling mistakes with writing that dives in between facts and opinion because that’s the nature of the beast, but in the end, if it can’t project ideas clearly that’s a real problem for a company. Tactically it seems a better strategy to create a blog that is consistent rather than one that is voluminous and this takes the talent of a writer rather than the speed of a burgeoning blogger. The best blogs are a combination of both worlds, and companies should keep this in mind when creating them.


Brendan EganBrendan Egan

Brendan Egan is founder and owner of Simple SEO Group, a small business online marketing, search engine optimization, and web design firm. Simple SEO Group’s main goal is to achieve a sustainable ROI for all their clients and help them grow their business by leveraging the internet.

Identifying the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is tricky – as most companies make multiple mistakes which lead to their blog never being what they dreamed of it being. But if I had to identify one mistake, I believe that mistake is…

Being overly promotional in nature.

If people want to read about your products/services, they would go to the appropriate pages on your website, not to your blog. A blog should be neutral, sure it’s alright to be promotional from time to time when appropriate, but as a rule of thumb I believe the majority of content on your blog should be informational and exist simply to establish yourself and your company as an authority in your niche, to provide education, and of course to help you drive more traffic to your website.


Henry AdasoHenry Adaso

Henry Adaso is the Content Manager at DMN3, a full-service marketing agency in Houston. He has worked for Consumer Media Network, Apple Inc., Rocawear, The Houston Press, L.A. Weekly and About.com. Henry has taken lead on content strategies, coordinated social media campaigns, created advertising copy and performed analysis on content marketing and social media. He was named one of the Top 20 social media influencers in Texas by the Austin American-Statesman.

I think the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

Not having a documented content strategy.

That’s like going on a road trip without a map. You might get somewhere but not where you want to go. Without a documented strategy, you don’t have a framework for everyone involved in the content process to follow. By outlining your blogging goals, target audience, distribution channels, budgets and resources in writing, you stand a much better chance of succeeding.


Lori Nash ByronLori Nash Byron

Lori Nash Byron is Founder of Famous in Your Field, a content marketing and PR company for professionals who want to be known as the leaders and experts in their industry.

I’ve worked with dozens of companies on content marketing and I’ve seen the
same two mistakes over and over:

1. No editorial plan.

The companies start a blog without a list of topics they’ll post about and a schedule for posting. They say things like, It’ll be easy – we’ve got tons of material to write about! But then, after an initial flurry of posts, they’re out of ideas and they stop publishing for weeks or months at a time.

2. Believing that if you publish, the readers will come.

Even the best content needs to be promoted, or brought to the attention of potential readers. Most companies start a blog without any plan to get the content in front of readers. They don’t have an email list, they post a Twitter tweet and on their Facebook page and consider it done. Content has to be promoted to be seen! Instead, they should use the right key words in their posts, ask their employees to share the posts, share the posts on social media multiple times, build a list of email subscribers and ask *them* to share the content, reach out to influencers in the industry, etc.

For blogging success, companies need to have an editorial plan and a promotional plan.


Matthew SteffenMatthew Steffen

Matthew Steffen is Founder and President of Imprinsic Marketing Group, a New Jersey based marketing and advertising group.

The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

Most companies don’t have goals when they blog.

Most feel they can just write about what they want to write about devoid of any long-term strategy that includes increasing market share, strengthening customer retention, driving external links and media attention.

The goal of a blog (for the most part) should be twofold:

  1. Produce content that will rank for keywords that prospects are searching for online with regard to a company’s product or services. For example, if you’re a landscaper in Philadelphia, PA, a great blog to write would be: *How to Select a Landscaper in Philadelphia*. See how we snuck that keyword in there? That’s just the type of posting that Google loves: Informative, not spammy.
  2. Produce content that contributes to your industry. Here you have a real chance to write blogs that will demonstrate your intellectual firepower, all while making valuable contributions to your industry. Most of all, go places with your content that your competitors aren’t. This gives you a better chance of receiving media attention and driving more links to your website that improves your search engine optimization, all while making your company a unique answer to your customers’ needs. Also, it’s a great way to get out of being viewed as just another commodity.


Bob BentzBob Bentz

Bob Bentz is President of ATS Mobile – a Philadelphia mobile marketing agency that provides social media services to businesses and organizations.

There are several mistakes that companies make when starting a blog. Here are some of the most egregious:

  • Nobody is in charge of the blog – The boss might start off with the best intentions of updating the blog, but then other priorities get in the way. Somebody needs to be sure that the content is updated regularly. Nothing sends a worse message about a business website when a prospect sees that the blog hasn’t been updated in a year. That says this company isn’t on its game.
  • SEO Tools – If you are using WordPress, be sure to add a plug-in for SEO. I recommend the Yoast plug-in.
  • Adding pictures from the web – Randomly copying pictures from the web is problematic as companies are actively enforcing their rights to photographs. Be sure that if you grab a picture from the web that it is permissible to use it. Simply giving credit to the source isn’t enough in most cases.


Termeh MazhariTermeh Mazhari

Termeh Mazhari is an Independent PR, SEO and Copywriting Consultant based in NYC. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

There are several big mistakes companies make when starting a blog:

  • Not having a great copywriter. Whether the blog is being created to turn the company CEO into a thought leader in his industry, to engage with customers, or purely for SEO purposes – hiring a professional, experienced copywriter is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, most companies just ask an employee with a light work load (and even lighter writing experience) to handle the blog. There’s no point in having a blog if no one will find it (SEO) or read it (good copy), or pass it along to friends (engaging).
  • Not using good photography. All of the best blogs use great photography – often their own, but even professional, relevant stock photography works! When starting a blog, most companies fail to recognize the importance of spending a little extra time finding a great feature image. Articles with images get 94% more total views – that’s not a negligible number!
  • Not having it written or edited by someone with knowledge of SEO. It’s such a shame that there’s a lot of great content out there but it’s buried on page 3 of Google’s results. By not working closely with an SEO expert (or, ideally, with a copywriter that knows SEO), your blog article will simply not be able to compete with the bigger blogs when it comes to organic search results.


Garrett PerksGarrett Perks

Garrett Perks is the Founder and Creative Director of EvenVision, a Northern California web development & digital marketing firm. He is a gifted communicator who works with a client’s marketing staff to understand the client’s unique identity and goals, and direct the design & development of creative marketing campaigns & web applications.

There are two huge mistakes I see companies make with their blogs every day in this industry:

  1. Nobody likes to hear this one, but one of the biggest mistakes is thinking anybody else will care about what you care about. Just because the client has a glues and adhesives company & loves their industry, it doesn’t mean a blog will have an interested audience. The first thing to do when starting a blog is to think hard and self-critically about the unique value you can offer your audience, because that’s going to be the key to your success. Not thinking that through critically is the biggest mistake I see.
  2. Small businesses often fail to understand the commitment they’re making by starting a blog. Recognized or not, once you start a blog you absolutely must create valuable content. And keep doing it. A blog that’s neglected will be a liability to your brand not an asset.


David J. BradleyDavid J. Bradley

David J. Bradley is Author of “Getting Digital Marketing Right” and Managing Director of Primal Digital Marketing. He works with growing businesses to use digital marketing for increased profits and more customers.

My experience as a digital marketing consultant is that there are several mistakes. Here’s one common mistake:

Consistency.

It’s easy to get excited with your new blogging plan and be eager to build out a large, comprehensive campaign. However, after the first few exciting weeks, it may become difficult to maintain.

We need to start realistic, and a bit pessimistic, when we plan our blogging strategies. It’s best to start with fewer articles consistently released each month and increase later on.

The risk comes when we are too aggressive and don’t realize the time and energy commitment needed to build an effective blog. Sporadic posting makes it more difficult for your audience to follow you and it doesn’t give off a professional view of your company.


Kat HaselkornKat Haselkorn

Kat Haselkorn is the New Media Manager at Go Fish Digital, an SEO and online reputation management company in the Washington, DC area. Declared a “Social Media Guru” by the Washington Post, Kat has significantly increased the online presence of brands through customized social media campaigns and innovative content marketing techniques. Kat is a featured writer for The Huffington Post and her work has appeared in The Examiner, Buzzfeed, Yahoo!, Jezebel, The Washington Post, and many other high-profile publications.

The biggest mistake we see companies make when starting a blog is…

Setting up a blog on a subdomain (blog.companyname.com) instead of off of the root domain (www.companyname.com/blog).

When it comes to adding value to a company’s website and ranking well in search engines, companies set themselves up for success when the blog traffic continually adds visitors to the main URL.


Kieran EdwardsKieran Edwards

Kieran Edwards is the Head of Social at Bring Digital, a UK-based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design.

One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make when starting a blog is…

Not realizing the ‘curse of knowledge’.

No matter what business you’re in, we’re all experts in our field. We wouldn’t be here, writing blogs, if we didn’t know what we’re talking about, right?. But it’s often the case that we forget who we are writing for and assume that our readers always know what we’re talking about. It’s very likely that you’re writing blog posts in order to educate an audience and position your business as the thought leader. If so, it’s vital that you take into consideration the fact that you readers may not know the backstory, nor will they always understand your jargon. Without running the risk of becoming condescending, be as informative as possible and always explain yourself.


Matt FieldingMatt Fielding

Matt Fielding is SEO Manager at Bring Digital, a UK-based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design.

The worst mistake a business can make when starting a blog is…

Not understanding why they’re starting a blog.

What does the business stand to gain from blogging? Having a tangible goal in mind (e.g. attracting links, increasing our social following etc.) shapes your blogging strategy by defining your audience and allowing you to create content that those specific people want to see, share and interact with.


Corey BarnettCorey Barnett

Corey Barnett is the Founder of Cleverly Engaged Marketing, a digital agency serving clients in Texas and beyond with content marketing, search optimization and website management. Corey has been featured on websitemagazine.com and actively contributes content to globerunner.com’s blog and his own agency blog.

The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

Not creating a content calendar, which would help align topics to industry events, holidays and more.

It would also define who is supposed to write the content and help measure goals and results of blogging efforts.

Yes, there still needs to be flexibility, and some events are truly unpredictable and will become great blogging opportunities. But, most content should be planned ahead of time. So many companies are playing catch up, realizing their blogs are several months empty and scrambling to write something, anything.

Content that is planned ahead of time also has a chance of being more unique. A survey to customers with the result of that survey published is an example of content that is unique that requires months of planning beforehand. No longer can companies push out half baked articles that are no different from hundreds of competitor blogs, to get engagement and leads from blogging, requires unique content through a content calendar.


Mark TuchschererMark Tuchscherer

Mark Tuchscherer is the President of Geeks Chicago, a Web Design & Development company.

The biggest mistakes we see when companies start blogs are three things:

First, they never promote their blog posts. Most people think that if they write a blog article people will magically come to the site.

The second mistake we see all the time is the quilaty of what they are posting. Many people think if they repost stuff they find on other blogs or they write some very short articles with no substance people will flock to their site. Most companies don’t understand you need to provide something of value and something people want to read.

Finally, everyone gives up on writing or gets too busy and this is usually the final mistake that kills the blog. You need to post often and it takes time. Most companies are probably competing against 100k other content sources in the same industry and you are not going to bring readers in over night. If you want to run a blog you need to set aside time each week to write, just saying you are to busy is not an option if you want to grow.


Lexie BondLexie Bond

Lexie Bond is the Content Marketing Manager at Blue Corona, an online marketing company headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD.

The biggest mistake I’ve seen other companies make when blogging for their business is…

Starting a blog with no real goal in mind.

A blog is a marketing investment and should be treated as such. You need to define success, as well as measure and track your efforts. When you treat your website like a sales funnel, your blog can act like a hook to get more traffic into that sales funnel. By tracking how much traffic, leads, and sales come from our blogs at Blue Corona, we’re able to put a dollar value on each post and know how many we need to write each week/month/year to meet our leads goal and sales goal.

But keep in mind that blogging is not a get rich quick scheme or a way to get leads as fast as tomorrow. Instead, think of blogging as a way to brand your company as an authority in your industry and to build a reliable, low-cost, long-term lead and sales channel.


John ZupancicJohn Zupancic

John Zupancic is the Founder of Wriber, a company that can supercharge your B2B writing staff by making your content more engaging, targeted, and consistent across all channels.

The single biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…

Not maintaining it.

Before you start blogging, you should determine the frequency of your posts. Are you going to post daily, weekly, or every Tuesday? And, do you have the resources to maintain that frequency? We all know blogs that lack consistency and have dropped off. If you can stick to a regular schedule, your audience will be more likely to stay with you.


Andrew HerraultAndrew Herrault

Andrew Herrault is the lead strategist for Connective Insights, a digital marketing agency located in
Boone, NC.

The biggest blog mistake companies make is…

Lacking promotional activities.

The build it and they will come mentality will almost never work. If a great piece of content is written, someone from the company should do email & social outreach to find readers and others who might link to the content.


Ezra RufinoEzra Rufino

Ezra Rufino is the Founder of NYMB.co, a small company based out of New York City and New Jersey that creates handmade & American made bike bags and accessories.

The biggest mistake companies make in starting a blog is:

  1. Not speaking to their audience
  2. Focusing on keywords vs content

Both are very important and easy to overlook. With the first one, many companies don’t consider WHO their consumer is before diving in to write the blog. What should the style of the post be? What type of voice is being used? How casual or formal should you be? Think about how you frame your blog from a higher level before diving in and speak to your audience.

Another big mistake is focusing on a keyword strategy vs having a content strategy. It’s important to have a good keyword strategy while formulating you blog posts, but first approach the blog from a content perspective. What are your users looking for already on the Internet? This can help you get into Google searches by clearly answering questions that are already being asked. Focus on quality writing, that hits your market, for shareable and well received content that helps you convert. A keyword dump in your blog post won’t be inspiring anyone to continue through the funnel on your website.


Jake CainJake Cain

Jake Cain is the Brand Manager for Long Tail Pro, a keyword research software that helps
businesses find keywords/topics to target with their content.

I think the biggest mistake businesses make when starting a blog is…

Having no plan for their content.

They do the classic Ready, fire, aim. A blog should be used to connect with your current audience and pull in new readers that you can turn into customers. So write about the things that customers ask you most often. Turn common questions into blog posts, since many other people are likely asking that same question to Google.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what people want to read on your blog, think about what they are asking on a daily basis and deliver great answers.


Bill FishBill Fish

Bill Fish is the Founder and President of ReputationManagement.com, a robust resource for all things online reputation management on the web. Prior to Reputation Management, he co-founded Text Link Ads (now Matomy SEO) in 2001. Text Link Ads was acquired by a private equity firm at the end of 2006. Bill decided to stay on to run the business, and when he stepped away at the end of 2012, the company was up to $25M in yearly revenues.

In both of my roles, my team dealt with businesses who knew they had to create content with a blog, but didn’t have it as a major priority. The biggest mistake I saw companies make with their blog was…

They framed each post as an advertisement.

Let’s say you are offering 15% off this week, that’s great, but if every single one of your blog posts are about a promotion, that begins to make those promotions seem hollow. The goal should be to create content that is useful for the target audience of your product or services. If you are selling wine racks, research and put together a quality post about the new wines coming out of Napa this fall. Creating content that interests your current and potential customers will keep them coming back, and builds trust. That trust will amount to additional business down the road.

Are You Leading Visitors Astray? The Dangers of Letting Your Content Rot

rotten-content

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Trillions of web pages out there are full of outdated advice, broken links or worse links to rogue sites.

Publishers usually focus on churning out fresh content because that’s what content marketers preach.

At the same time old content is hurting your overall credibility on the Web, when it comes to readers and Google.

DJ Content Con and The Fresh Prince

As a blogger who has been publishing for several years in a row I increasingly worry about the things I have written in the past. On my own blog I’m able to fix or delete the posts in question but even there I sometimes overlook outdated posts. The content marketing wave of recent years has been seemingly about quantity. The more the better.

Creating fresh content has been the epitome of doing the right thing.

After all even Google seemed to favor articles that were published recently and even showed their dates on search results. Yes, Google’s Panda updates were about stopping mass produced low level content but also about downgrading sites full of obsolete content in various stages of decay.

There’s something rotten in the state of content

When your existing assets already stink putting fresh content along them doesn’t make sense. Visitors who venture deeper into your publication by following some internal links may quickly wind up in the gutter. It’s not just small-time bloggers like myself.

Large corporate owned blog empires are among the worst offenders. Just think of Mashable, the perhaps still most popular social media blog, it’s full of rotten content that is truly misleading by now. It’s coverage of Google Buzz is exemplary:

mashable-google-buzz

In this screen shot you can still see the date so that you may ask yourself whether the article is still valid when you find it. I resized it though so that I can capture a better image. In reality the date is displayed in light grey and small type at the left below the author photo so that you are likely to overlook it unless you actually look hard for it.

Mashable is too big to fail, is your blog big enough?

Reading the Mashable article doesn’t give you a clue about the current state of affairs. Neither Google Buzz nor Seesmic still exist and Tweetdeck has been bought by Twitter long ago so that it won’t support competing Google services in the near future. Many of the links in the article are dead but the link to Google is still leading to an equally outdated announcement post.

Unless you are Web professional dealing with social media on a daily basis you will have difficulties to find out that the article is completely wrong by now. It’s simply not true anymore. I know what you think.

Mashable is too big to fail by now. They don’t have to care.

You are probably not as large as Mashable though. Also Mashable is just a publication while your blog is probably part of your business or reflects on your personal authority.

Let’s say someone assumes you’re a social media expert, then reads about Google Buzz on your site and then tries to sign up for it just to realize s/he has been tricked? Think about your parents, potential employer and generally people who aren’t spending the whole day online. What kind of impression of your level of expertise will they get from such an outdated article?

Do you need advice on Google Buzz SEO?

Outdated articles often rank well in search results. Here are some of the top results on DuckDuckGo. Please note how all the authority publications make you believe that Google Buzz still exists.

google-buzz-resuls

Google itself is a bit better at the telling the truth about the whereabouts of it’s deceased Buzz service but even here factual and outdated results mix in the top 10. As fickle as modern Web users are the likelihood of overlooking the “was” is still high. Only one article clearly marks Buzz as “dead” right in the title where you can spot it with ease.

google-buzz-results-2

What about Google Buzz and SEO? When we search for advice on it [google buzz seo] we find this page on #1:

google-buzz-seo-impact

Ironically at the bottom of the article the author states:

“As an SEO expert at Fluency Media, I look to stay on top of the latest search engine algorithm changes for our clients, and these recent developments by Google intrigue me.”

There is no date that clarifies that the article is several years old. The only date we can see is “February 9th”. It appears to be of this year. there is no way to comment on that page so nobody can clarify publicly.

The Google Buzz ghost is haunting me

Why did I choose to the Google Buzz example? Isn’t that a bit far off? No. When I search for [google buzz seo] as mentioned above I find myself twice in the top 10 explaining the virtues of Google Buzz SEO to unsuspecting visitors. Why?

An agency I have worked for 4 years ago is careless enough not to update or rather delete these articles. They are meaningless at best by now. Why keep them? To get more search traffic and mislead people? No, that’s probably sheer recklessness or lack of funds.

The Web evolves fast. When you let your old advice online for years you are actively misleading people after a while.

It is your responsibility as a publisher to keep track of changes and to fix your content. When you don’t that “strategy” will backfire by damaging your overall credibility. You will ultimately lose trust and authority. Google may penalize you with it’s low quality content algorithms (Panda) even faster.

Content maintenance is a must. In case you don’t have a budget for that you at least need to provide a disclaimer above all your old content saying something like “this page hasn’t been updated for 2+ years old and the content on it may be outdated.