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August 16 2013

Creating Multimedia Content that Drives Links

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Multimedia content, such as infographics and videos, is user-friendly and highly sharable. And, because multimedia content is not text-centric, it can easily be “repurposed” for use in your offsite content and across your social media channels.

But, if created haphazardly, this type of content can harm your brand by appearing sloppy and unfinished. Instead of rushing to compete, or publishing content that doesn’t put your “best foot forward,” take a step back and focus on creating quality multimedia content that gets noticed.

Creating Quality Video Content

Thanks to the availability of inexpensive video cameras and video editing software, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create great videos. But you do have to be mindful of a few “make-it-or-break-it” concepts. These include:

  • Sound Quality – Users never want to watch a video where they hear white noise, or where the audio sounds muffled or distant.
  • Visual Content – If possible, provide content from a variety of shots, images and/or camera angles. This will help your videos to be visually interesting.
  • Branding – It’s a great idea to “brand” your videos by including a graphical introduction that runs in the first 1-2 seconds of each video. (Make sure that the introduction does not run for more than 1-2 seconds. Anything longer may cause the user to lose interest.)

Once created, video content can be used on social media channels such as Facebook, Google+ and YouTube, and on your website. Just make sure to write unique, keyword optimized introductions to help your videos get noticed.

Creating Quality Infographics

When done correctly, Infographics are highly-sharable “link bait” that can help create groundswell around your products and ideas. The best Infographics have a few things in common:

  • They are visually appealing.
  • They have a single, specific purpose.
  • They use pictures to tell a story or illustrate a point.
  • They are easy to understand and follow.

Infographic content can live on your website (usually as part of a larger blog post), as well as be repurposed on your Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest pages. As with video content, be sure to use unique, keyword optimized description content and tags, so that your infographics can be found, wherever they are.

The Best Ideas Win

As with any content, the multimedia content you create should be useful to your audience. In other words, it should do more than sell.

Steer clear of creating promotional content and focus on providing solutions and illustrating points. If you can do this in a way that entertains, all the better.

June 21 2013

The Importance of SEO Continues to Grow

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If you’ve been ignoring SEO in favor of other marketing efforts, it may be time to change your strategy. In its annual report, out this week, Forrester Research stated that more survey respondents found websites by organic means then any other method — up 4% from 50% in 2011 to 54% in 2012. In other words, the importance of SEO continues to grow.

The report also indicates the growing influence of social media marketing, as its own numbers climbed 7% from last year to 32%.

While this doesn’t mean you should dump your Adwords budget in favor of SEO, it does mean that it’s time to take an “all in” approach to internet marketing — combining SEO, Social and PPC marketing — for a powerful cocktail that creates the kind of ubiquity needed to build brand recognition and drive conversions.

How Do You Get Started?

SEO is a complex combination of technical configurations, on- and offsite keyword optimized (and user-friendly) content, and website popularity.

Before you do anything with content, it’s extremely important to make sure that there are no technical configurations standing in the way of having your content seen — and crawled — by the search engines. Then, it’s time to determine how your users are searching — and what they want to know.

Then and only then should you begin creating content. This content should live on your site and on other relevant sites, including social networks.

While time consuming, SEO is an extremely rewarding marketing method. Should you ever again doubt the importance of SEO, just look at the numbers. And ask yourself: How important is it that the majority of your potential customers find your website?

How do you stack up against your competitors? Request a FREE Search Engine Visibility Report.

June 18 2013

Blogging Ideas – What To Do When the Well Runs Dry

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Blogs are a wonderful way to provide your customers with a great resource while also keeping your website stocked with fresh, SEO-optimized content. Blogs can also be pretty daunting. Once you create a blog, you’ve got yet another demand on your time — and your creativity.

But take heart — every webmaster or content editor runs out of ideas eventually. When you do, there are some tried and true methods for kick-starting the brainstorming process. When you’re out of blogging ideas, take a step back and remember why you’re writing, and who you’re writing for.

What Do Your Customers Want?

You should be engaging with your customers on a regular basis. Otherwise — how will you ever know what they want and need? The best way to do this is on social media. Look, for example, at which posts your customers respond to the most, and how they respond. You can also ask your customers what they want. Feeling shy? You can always run a Facebook Poll.

Another great way to find out what your customers want is to do some quick keyword research. This will tell you not only what your customers are searching for, but how they’re searching.

What Do Your Customers Love?

Another method for deciding what you should do today is looking at what you’ve done in the past. Do some quick research within Google Webmaster Tools (or on Opensite Explorer, if you’re not using GWT) to find your site’s most popular content by looking at your inbound link data. Your inbound link data should provide you with a quick snapshot of the web pages, and blog posts, that your customers have found most useful.

Once you have your data, look beyond your site’s main pages to find the interior (or blog) pages with the highest number of inbound links. Once you’ve got that, you can start to brainstorm topical “jumping off points” — looking for topics that are similar to your popular content, but that provide a fresh perspective or new approach. You never want to cover the same ground, but you can do something similar while staying fresh and relevant.

What Are Your Competitors Doing?

It’s a good idea to follow your competitors on social media in order to keep tabs on what they’re doing. Specifically, take a look to see where they’re gaining traction with your audience:

  • Which of their social media posts get the most interaction?
  • Which of their blog posts get the most comments?
  • Which of their website interior pages have the most inbound links?

For information on this last point, you can use Opensite Explorer for a quick look at your competitor’s most popular pages. (Kind of cool, huh?)

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