The Point

Archive for the ‘Search/SEO’ Category

Jul

The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding AdWords PPC

Understanding AdWords PPC

How do you get on the first page of Google fast?

You run Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

If you don’t have the luxury of writing for one of the web’s most established websites, search engine optimization (SEO) is the hard way. Gaining visibility and generating leads requires creating stellar content and a ton of persistence. It’s not magic. And there are no shortcuts.

Pay-per-click is a different story. Patience is not required. You can enjoy results immediately.

You won’t succeed with zero understanding of the AdWords PPC advertising platform, however this article will give you enough knowledge to get started and put you on the path to success.

PPC is a money game

With pay-per-click, you get your web page displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) when someone searches for the keywords you’ve selected. As the name suggest, you pay only when your ads are clicked. Fees are based on a cost-per-click. (more…)

Jul

100 Ways Your Company Loses to Better Online Marketers

It's a jungle online

It’s a jungle out there.

Online marketing has become a wild animal. But you don’t have to be a gorilla to dominate. Nor do you have to go ape and do absolutely everything. However, you do indeed need to understand what’s working for the leaders of the pack.

I thought I’d survey the landscape and give you my take on how the most cunning companies are killing it with online marketing tactics. So here you are: 100 ways companies are thriving on the wild, wild web.

(more…)

May

Digital Marketing Lead Generation Strategies [Free eBook]

Free ebook Three Deep Marketing

I wrote a 40-page eBook covering today’s most effective digital marketing lead generation strategies. It was recently published by Three Deep Marketing, a sizable agency in Minnesota that’s one of the nation’s premier practitioners of data-driven digital marketing. From content marketing to marketing automation and many other tactics, the eBook covers a lot of ground. You can scroll down to see the chapters list. Go here to download the eBook in its entirety. Or check out how the book begins here and now….

The story begins with the predictably unpredictable buyer

The customer’s buying path is forever unpredictable. The only thing that is predictable is they will do their research.

You’re doing research here and now. You might pull the trigger soon. You might not.

buyer journeyIn a way, you’re a lot like everyone else. The decision you’ll make—in this case, about your company’s marketing—will be an informed one. You’ll put in the time, do your homework and make an informed decision.

And in a way, you’re unlike anyone. You’ll bounce around from source to source however you please. No one knows the path you’ll take—including you.

Let’s lay it on the line. Buyers command the buying process now. They absorb information like sponges, but don’t stand in line to get it. They go online and get it entirely on their terms.

If you want them to consider buying from you, you have to buy into the realities of the new media landscape. You have to map your marketing to their journey. And again, the journey’s wildly unpredictable.

Go ahead and gulp. In the 2010s decade, marketing and media have matured. Keeping up with the changes is a priority, but a highly challenging ambition. Deny the dominance of digital marketing and you’ll go down in defeat. Digitally savvy companies shall inherit the earth.

This eBook is a roadmap of sorts. Our hope is it will equip you with the insights you’ll need to achieve success in the age of the carefully considered decision.

(more…)

Feb

SEO Bullshit (And How to Avoid Stepping In It)

SEO Bullshit

I’m NOT calling SEO bullshit.

I’m not saying you don’t need to understand SEO. You do. And when you do, search will become a leading ingredient in your marketing mix and possibly the largest source of traffic to your website. (Psst… I simplified it for you here.)

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do SEO. If you’re doing content marketing, it comes with the turf. If you persist in knowing little or nothing about SEO, you’re sabotaging your success.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t hire SEO professionals. If you can’t parcel time to do the necessary research, link seeking and ongoing analysis, you should enlist the help of experts. It’s too important to ignore.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re still wondering…

Why the harsh title for this post?

I gave this post the title “SEO Bullshit” because we’re all up to our earballs in misinformation about the topic. It’s everywhere. (more…)

Jan

How to Find Keywords People Use (But Your Competitors Don’t)

Keywords People Use

Winning at SEO calls for outmaneuvering the field.

Let’s examine how to find keywords your competitors aren’t using—with tactics they don’t even know about. 

“Keywords don’t matter much anymore.” You find it written everywhere lately.

I asked a friend who eats analytics for breakfast and snacks on SEO all day long, “Whatcha’ think about that man?” He smirked. Then he turned toward his massive monitor, typed “g-o-o-g-l-e-(.)-c-o-m” on his keyboard. The ubiquitous page with the crude, but familiar multi-color logo and single blank field popped right up.

He turned back to me and said, “What do I do now Barry?” His point was pretty clear. However all-powerful the search engine that changed the world may be, it can’t yet read your mind. Whether you choose to type or talk, you tell it what you’re looking for with a string of words.

Notice I wrote, “string of words.” I meant to suggest three, four, or more, words. These searches have come to be known as “long tail” and represent the majority of searches. It’s also important to note long tail keywords, being more specific than one or two word searches (or “head” keywords), have proven to deliver superior conversion.

To illustrate, consider “acoustic guitar” vs. “Used Taylor 12-string acoustic-electric guitar.” It seems intuitive the longer, far more specific term suggests the searcher has a better idea of the product he seeks and is therefore closer to reaching for his wallet. Research consistently provides confirmation.

Perhaps an even more important reason long tail keyword enters the SEO discussion so often is because as an online marketer you have a remarkably higher chance of earning page one search results by developing content targeting the lengthier phrases. The “big fish in a small pond” metaphor applies.

By strategically implementing long tail keywords, you’re far more likely to rank high, attract the audience you desire, and show motivated prospects the way to your website.

Your challenge is to identify the right long tail keywords

How do you do this? (more…)

Dec

How to Get Your Blog Post on the First Page of Google – Featuring an Interview with Andy Crestodina

the first page of google, Crestodina

The “SEO is dead” parade marches on. Even some search professionals are now writing obits for their old friend.

But search continues to thrive. It continues to drive traffic more than, well, anything. So what gives? For any given search, ten web pages are going to command page one rankings and earn waaaaaay more clicks than the gazillions of pages that follow.

If you’re a content marketer, you’d love to see your next blog post on the first page of Google. How important is it to understand SEO? It’s crucial.

I’ll be straight with you. If you want to play last decade’s lightweight Google games, you’ve come to the wrong place. A pro like Andy Crestodina won’t indulge you.

However, if you want to talk about creating immensely useful content while executing a strategy to rank atop Google SERPs (search engine results pages), you’d want to listen to Andy, if you could. And you can.

Right now. Right here. I present my friend, the content chemist himself, with a full set of answers on how he gets his blog posts on the first page of Google and how you can do the same.

Listen to Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media explain:

•  How he puts in the effort—in advance—to create blog posts with a very high chance of landing on the first page of Google.

•  Why it’s always more important to appeal to readers than searchbots.

•  His formula: traffic x conversions = success.

•  The three questions that must be asked and answered:

  1. Is anyone searching for this phrase?
  2. Do I have a chance of ranking for the keywords?
  3. Can I make the best page on the internet for the chosen topic?

•  The number one factor for ranking in Google.

•  What to do after you publish.

•  A better name for “SEO.”

•  A more effective approach than keyword density.

•  The case of the ambidextrous armadillo.

(more…)

Nov

SEO Simplified for Short Attention Spans

SEO Simplified

“We really do want to understand SEO.”

I was on a conference call with a client who said that. And then:

“Let’s plan to have a 15 minute call where you can explain SEO to us.”

Gulp. Can SEO really be simplified to that extreme? Well, I do love a good challenge. But I don’t love SEO. I’m not the analytical type. If SEO isn’t exactly your cup of tea, here we go: SEO, with a spoonful of sugar.

(The article takes 15 minutes to read aloud and, of course, less to simply read.)

What’s SEO mean?

Search engine optimization. It’s a clunky term for sure. You can’t optimize search engines. In fact, you can’t even learn exactly how they work. These are well-guarded secrets.

What can you do? You can do the right thing to your website’s pages—optimize them—to increase the likelihood Google and the other search engines know where they are and what they contain, so it will present them as a recommended resource when they match a search.

That’s not all you can do. It’s ground zero—what you have to do. And though you need to understand what you’re up against to do it well, this activity, defined as “onsite optimization,” is the easy part.

The other stuff you can do represents the hard, but more meaningful part. This other stuff happens “offsite.” I’m going to explain.

But for now, to answer the question, I’ll say SEO means the things you do onsite and off to help get presented by a search engine and discovered by its users.

(more…)

Jul

How Publishing Crappy Content Ruins Your Rankings

content farm

Lessons from (and confessions of) a former content farmer.

This is a guest post from Erik Devaney of HubSpot, aka @BardOfBoston, pictured above 😉

Ever stumble across a poorly written, vaguely comprehensible article with a title like, “How to Cook Atlantic Pygmy Octopus on a Weber Grill” or “The Best Types of Blue Flowers for Japanese Rock Gardens”?

Chances are, an article like that came from a content farm: a website that publishes thousands upon thousands of crappy articles, all for the sake of ranking for as many keywords (and keyword combinations) as possible.

If you want to think about them in terms of actual farms, content farms are like giant, multinational agriculture corporations. Corporations like these can have thousands of employees, hundreds of different products, and they often use genetic engineering in order to optimize those products. Likewise, content farms can have thousands of writers, hundreds of different verticals, and they often use black-hat SEO tactics (especially keyword-stuffing) in order to optimize their content for search engines.

Of course, genetic engineering is a tad different from SEO. Yet both are frequently viewed as ways to “game the system,” and often carry with them negative (and unnatural) connotations.

It should come as no surprise then to learn that Google is not a big fan of content farms. And just a few years ago, they made these feelings known to the world with the release of their Panda update.

(more…)

May

12 Content Marketing Tips Every Small Business Must Know

cmsmallbiz cartoon

Garrett Moon of Todaymade is one of my favorite bloggers. I loved the tips he offered in this post and he agreed to let me republish it here. 

Ahh.. the life of a small business owner. So peaceful, so serene, and so little stress. Am I right?

Of course not–your life is crazy! But you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

Being a small business owner has many benefits and many job titles. In the course of a single hour, you can easily jump from Chief Executive Officer to Chief Financial Officer, from Chief Operations Officer to Chief Marketing Officer. In small business, you are in control of your own destiny. You are also in control of your own content marketing.

Every day, I hear from small business owners like you asking about how they can get the most out of their content marketing. They simply want to promote their business to best of their ability, and who can blame them? For that reason, I decided to compile a list of my top twelve tips for content marketing for small businesses.

1) Listen To What Your Customers Ask You

Small business content marketers struggle with what they should be talking about online.

It is easy to get into sales pitch mode and push our products and service on our customers, but that isn’t what they want from us. They want the same thing that they want in the store – advice. One of the simplest tips for small businesses that are using content marketing is to simply answer the questions that your customers are asking.

Take a poll in your business and figure out the top ten questions that your customers ask most frequently. What do they want to know about? Make a plan to write a blog post (or several) answering each question one by one. Do this regularly, and you will soon build a library of practical content for your future customers.

(more…)

Apr

Search Yourself: A Personal Branding Must

search yourself on google

Personal branding is all the rage.

I wrote a post offering 11 suggestions for getting started with your personal brand development last month, which was well received. Then I wrote a listicle version for the popular site, 12Most.com, which went ballistic on social media, especially LinkedIn.

Next, (with a big assist from my friend Seth Price of Placester) I created an infographic called “The A to Z Guide to Personal Branding.” It quickly became the most popular piece I’ve ever done. 78K views on SlideShare. It’s been republished by HubSpot, MarketingProfs and Steamfeed, to name just a few.

Google it and see for yourself.

Speaking of Googling it…

This article is about doing a search of yourself. I suppose that could be your name or your company. Since we’re talking about personal branding today, try it with your name first.

I guess I have a good overlap thing going on in that my company has my name in it. The search results won’t be the same for “Barry Feldman” as they will be for “Feldman Creative,” but there will be some overlap.

I want to tell you that was a smart naming strategy is, but it’s mostly smartly lucky. (Or would that be luckily smart?)

See, in 1995, when I launched my company, I wanted to name it BFD Advertising. That is, “Barry Feldman Does Advertising.” Wifie gave the idea an enthusiastic thumb down. Feldman Creative was approved.

Anyway, consider a few of these new media realities:

  • Your brand is what other people say it is—not what you say it is.
  • Like it or not, a Google search result is the easiest, fastest and best way to gauge your public persona.
  • It’s also the best way because it’s what potential employees, partners, customers and even friends are going to do.
  • Google is essentially your home page.
  • A Google search result is essentially your business card (or even resume)

You with me? If so, I believe you’ll understand why I suggest Googling yourself now and then.

I hope to help you understand why—and the process—and the results—and its implications.

Do you like what you find?

When I search myself, it looks like I’m doing some things right online. I’m not saying all is perfect. It’s a work in progress. But results I want people to see dominate the first page.

What about you? Happy with the results?

(more…)