Any good content strategy maps information you create
against both the buying cycle and subject matter your target audience is most
likely to be interested in—whether they find you through search or see your
content shared on social networks.
Previously, one of the best ways to peer into the minds of
your customers was through keyword research: what words are being searched on
in general and which words are driving traffic to your website and, more
importantly, leading to conversions?
Unfortunately, multiple changes Google has made in this year
to its algorithm and ranking factors have made content strategy development
more challenging than ever before.
On top of that, Google has also moved to encrypt all
searches, rather than just some of them. This means it no longer sends organic
keyword data information to analytics programs, including its own.
Now, when you try to find out in Analytics what
non-paid search words yielded traffic and sales on your site, the organic
search words report is increasingly full of that mysterious faux
keyword called “(not provided)”.
Here’s a look at content strategy in a “no keyword” world.
Freshness of content
matters. It’s not enough to create content for a specific set of keywords,
especially now that Google Analytics can no longer tell you what keywords work
on your site. Page ranking is more affected than ever before by when the
content was published.
that editorial calendar up-to-date. Publish as often as resources will permit.
Except when it
doesn’t. In addition to publishing on a timely basis, incorporate in-depth,
authoritative articles into your content strategy plan. Over time, they will
continue to attract links which are still one of the primary signals to Google
of a page’s ranking value.
Solution: Plan for
longer, authoritative articles on subjects your organization has expertise in.
If possible, supplement with a link-building campaign.
Write for answers,
not keywords. Google quietly launched its biggest algorithm change in years
with Hummingbird, designed to serve up results based more on the concept behind
an individual search than what keywords were used. The fancy name for this is
“semantic search.” It’s yet another way Google is devaluing keywords as a
authoritative articles you’re incorporating into your content strategy and
editorial calendar? Answer questions with them. If you can’t get this data from
keyword research any more, do it the old fashioned way: talk to your customers.
If you have a customer service function, talk to your reps. What do they get
asked the most?
Now more than ever, a solid content strategy can mean the
difference between a well-ranked site and one that disappears from Google
completely—taking your search customers with it.
Planning now can help you avoid lost sales and ranking in
From search engine
optimization to content strategy, CDG Interactive is on top of the trends;
we’ll craft a solution for your business that works for today’s SEO
environment. Contact us today to find out whether your current site’s content
is helping you rank well—or hurting.
As a platform for reaching your audience, video is highly
effective: by large margins, videos are watched,
shared and turn up in search.
And creating videos for use in marketing has gotten easier
than ever. With the launch of the Vine mobile app by Twitter and the addition
of video to the Facebook-owned app (and site) Instagram, anyone with a cell
phone can create very short videos—6 seconds for Vine, 15 seconds for
Instagram—by just pointing and shooting.
Because Vine and Instagram accounts can be connected to
other social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, videos can be
cross-posted, reaching your audience at multiple touch-points.
Setting up an account on these services is the easy part, of
course: now you have to create video content.
Not sure what to shoot? Here’s a list of ideas:
7 Ideas for Short Form Videos to Market Your Business
the scenes. Create a sense of
connection with your customers by taking them behind the scenes: making a
product, meeting with a client or a mini-tour of your offices.
testimonials. Customers may be more willing to appear in a very brief video
clip than something longer that feels like a commercial. Keep it simple: ask
them to provide just one word that exemplifies the business. (Or make it a
contest. Ask your customers to film their own “one-word” testimonials and pick
peeks. Getting ready to introduce a new product or service? Build
excitement for the launch with sneak peeks of either the finished product or
bios. Introduce your staff and add bio videos to your About or Team page.
Get creative; what’s the one thing they should share about themselves in such a
If you’re already filming company events to post to an official YouTube
channel, use Vine or Instagram for the “uncensored” oops moments.
- How to.
Show off a unique feature of a product you offer or give a quick tutorial. Yes,
it can be done in such a short time frame, especially if you use …
lapse/stop motion. Take advantage of the apps’ functionality. Because each
video can be shot 1 or 2 seconds at a time, this lends itself to using
techniques like time lapse or stop motion. Although elapsed time is only 6 (or 15)
seconds, you can compress more into that by combining several one- or two-second
shots into a total mini-film.
At these brief lengths, you’re often aiming for more
atmosphere than narrative, although you’d be surprised by some of the creative
storytelling that brands and users are doing in such tiny bites. Just think how
much is conveyed in TV commercials or radio spots which have historically run
at 15 or 30 seconds.
Creating videos via a smartphone-friendly platform like Vine
and Instagram is also smart mobile marketing; more
than 9 in 10 mobile phone customers share mobile video content.
Resources for Learning More About Vine and Instagram Video Marketing
Vexed by video?
Stymied by social media? Talk to the marketing experts at CDG Interactive. From
a complete digital strategy to hands-on training in social media, we’ll get you
on the path to marketing success that you can measure.
A report released today by the Pew Internet &
American Life Project found that 72% of adults are on social networking sites.
Not so shocking, I know. But the figure that really caught my eye was the rise
in the number of older Americans and senior citizens who are on social media.
The report claims “Six out of ten internet users ages 50-64 are
social networking site users, as are 43% of those ages 65 and older.”
In the 65+ group,
social media usage has tripled in the last four years. That’s a rising
demographic that’s not usually represented in our thinking about how to use—and who to
target with—social networking sites. The report doesn’t isolate statistics for
any one social media site, except Twitter (used by a paltry 13% of 50 –
64 year olds and just 5% of those over 65). It’s safe to assume, though, that
Facebook has the lion’s share of these plugged-in seniors.
As social media and its audience matures, any business that counts seniors in its target demographic would do well to start reaching out to
an older audience and figuring out which messages and calls to action
resonate on a social platform. First, check your demographics in Insights and
find out how many seniors are already in your audience. You may be surprised.
revising your user profiles, refining your messages, and testing, testing, testing
to see how you can engage seniors that are reachable via social media, and
ultimately get them to take action.
Put some effort
into cultivating an older audience. They’re not all there just to see photos of
reaching the right people with social media? Contact CDG.
You’ve done everything right. You’ve researched your keywords (and those of your competitors), you’ve beefed up your meta tags, you’ve created highly optimized and compelling content, you’ve optimized for local search . . . heck, you’ve even optimized the file names of the images you’re using! You take a deep breath, look and log in to view your analytics, and, drum roll . . . traffic is static? Or worse, it’s a little down? What could have gone wrong?
Actually, something may have gone very right. If you’ve done a thorough job with SEO, you may have met the needs of your users so well that they don’t even need to click through to your site. “Come again,” you say?
Here’s the thing: depending on the nature of your business, customers may not need to get to your site once they see you in search results. This is exactly what happened to one of our clients, a surfing company in Hawaii. We optimized its site heavily for local search, and as a result, users now see the business name, address, website and phone number near the very top of the results for "Surf lessons in Waikiki."
At that point, it's just as people to call up and ask about lessons and tours as it is to visit the site (this is doubly true if the person is searching on a smartphone).
If a lot of users bypass your website but call instead, then you won’t see a bump in traffic. But you should—like Big Wave Dave—see a bump in sales. And if sales are up, then your SEO has paid off—literally!
It's that time again. At CDG, we're beginning work on our fifth iAd. We've set the bar high for ourselves, and we're trying to out-do our extremely high metrics for user engagement and conversion rates. Let the concepting begin!
Above, the newest addition to CDG's design team, Marina Linderman, pitches ideas to Creative Director Matthew Snyder.
Matthew records the ideas provided by the design team. At this stage in our creative process, no idea is too out-there or strange. We'll edit and refine them over the next week as we hone in on a creative concept on which to base the iAd.
search engine optimization is a bit like playing whack-a-mole. Just when you
have your eye on a sure-fire SEO tactic, it becomes moot (or less effective)
and another one springs up somewhere else. Anyone who tells you they have the
secret to perfect SEO probably also has a very affordable bridge to sell you.
are tried and true methods to optimizing your site for search, and some are not
as obvious as you might think. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to
focus on the best way to optimize copy on a page-by-page basis. This is only
one part of any solid SEO strategy (we’ll tackle other pieces, like
link-building later), but it’s of course one of the most essential.
creating your content, pay attention to these items:
keywords are at the heart of any well-optimized page, so before you start
writing, do you research. Be thorough, and make sure to not only look at the
keywords you’re currently planning to target, but also research the keywords
for which your competitors are optimizing. Google trends is a great starting point,
and it’s free. It will tell you the terms people
are actually using, what’s becoming more popular, and much more. Paid tools like SpyFu and SEMRush
are handy in looking at your competitors.
Once you’ve got keywords, you’ve got to
know what to do with them. Which leads us to .
Page Title (Meta):
title is the first thing people will see. Think of it as the subject line for
your content. Only the first 65 characters of the title will be viewable to
users, so keep it short. And for best results, lead off with your key words.
For example, if you’re optimizing on “car insurance quotes.”
- Good: Get
Free & Fast Car Insurance Quotes from ABC Insurance
- Better: Car
Insurance Quotes: Free & Fast at ABC Insurance
Example of a well-optimized page title for the search term "budget hotels in San Francisco"
Description Tag (Meta)
the title, your description is your most important meta content, as it also
shows up in search engine results and can be very effective in convincing a
user to click. When you write your description, use your keywords judiciously
and focus it on what the user most wants to see. If they’re searching for the best price on a
hotel room, lead with your special rates, not the fact that you’ve been open
for 25 years. If you take the time to craft a
descriptions that are relevant to each page, you’ll increase the odds that
people will find what they expect—and that will reduce your bounce rate. And remember: Keep those descriptions to 165
characters or less.
be surprisingly effective weapons in your SEO arsenal. Make sure every
contextual image has a caption and alt tag peppered with keywords. The alt tag
is especially important, as the first 255 characters of it will show up in the
increasing powerful Google image search. Use your keywords to intelligently label
- OK: “child on a swingset”
- Better: “child on a
swingset with a nanny from ABC Agency”
- Best: “A certified nanny from ABC agency plays on the
swings with a child in New Jersey”
not all. You can even improve your results by using keywords in the file name (e.g. ABC-Agency-nanny-with-child.jpg).
well-optimized page relies primarily on the content itself. (And really, what’s
the point in driving people to a page with crappy content anyway?) When writing your content, use—but don’t
overuse—your keywords. There’s no magical formula to figure out optimal keyword
density, but you definitely don’t want the page to sound like it’s been optimized. If you can
read it aloud and it has a natural-sounding flow, you’re probably on the right
track. Equally important is the structure of your page. Make sure to use
keyword-rich headers and subheads, and make sure your code uses <h1> and
<h2> tags to call those out.
Et voila! Implement these five steps and
on your way to the world’s most dazzlingly optimized page. That’s only the
start, though. Once you’ve dealt with your own pages, you need to look beyond
your own site, with link-building, blogger outreach, social media efforts, etc.
But we’ll save that for another post. Check back soon for more!
Need help understanding how to optimize
your site for search? Contact CDG & let our experts work with you on a
comprehensive SEO strategy.