Archive for the ‘Content’ Category

Should I Delete Content or Should I Revise My Posts?

There has been the suggestion made that under performing content should be deleted from a site. This may be hard to do if you have been posting often to your blog, so what strategy should you follow?

I have been working on a website audit for a blog that has been running for three years now. When I began that blog, I was writing for many different sites, and I wanted a home for all of my posts. I did not really want to always be posting on sites that were not my domain. I started pulling posts from other places, and I included articles from ebooks that I had written, but I had not posted on the web. I think that a few business owners may be in a similar position to what I faced: no organic traffic, and you need posts to help generate that traffic.  We begin posting items to have something there. I knew one blogger who was writing about fifty posts a week. Each post was about three hundred words at most, and he did not really say anything significant with any particular post. He claimed he could be writing two hundred a week if he desired. There was a belief that quantity equated quality, but we know better.
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Content that Converts to Content that Drives Potential Clients Away

Is marketing on the internet any different from your other marketing? We do have to jump through a few different loops, but marketing remains the same, so what are you doing with your content?

There seems to be buzz around the concept of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), but I wonder why now. My point is: have we not always tried to convert potential clients into clients? Maybe we arebetter understanding the tools that will help us achieve this goal. I set up various goals for my website that I found to be pretty standardfor many sites. If someone is reading more than four pages, I know that they are engaged, and they could be a potential client (or they may be searching for a certain article with better information). If they stay on the site for more than thirty minutes, I may have a client (or did they walk away from the computer to deal with the children while leaving my site open). If they follow a certain path, ending up on the page to contact me for my services, they could become a client (or is that a competitor scoping out what I have done). As you can see, there may be a flip side to the metric that you are studying, but we have to discover how a user is moving through our site, and can we determine behavior that is indicative to a user becoming a client. I am speaking of a service site, but we could transfer the service request page for a checkout page. What we need to be sure of is our content working?
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What Should We Do with Dead Content

Should you dump pages that are not performing? Maybe they should be rewritten? How do you choose?

I remember being told that you never know what twists and turns your business can take. You may find yourself with an opportunity that will completely change your job, but it can be more lucrative, so you have to develop the ability to notice these chances. We could view our websites through this perspective. We create content that we think is relevant to our clients or potential consumers. The problem is that they may not feel the need to know. We may place some content up on the site that is helpful to our clients, but these pages or posts have nothing to do with our core business. For example, let us say that I am a doctor, a heart specialist, and I have found that there is a certain type of amaranth grain when eaten on a regular basis is the perfect food for heart health. I write about this on my blog. Problem is that this grain is not readily available, so my readers contact me for this grain. I could refer them to my supplier, or I could set up a business to sell this grain. We all have this kind of content on our sites, and we may be presented with this opportunity.
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How Unique Is Your Unique Selling Position?

We all know that we need our own call to action. We know that we have to distinguish ourselves from our competitors, but did we really accomplish a separation?

I had an epiphany when going over the copy of the tenth website that I was studying on that day. There was not really much that would tell me how the service provided was going to be different from the service offered by any other company in that field. I then asked myself why that could be. Were the companies trying to differentiate themselves? Yes. In fact, these service providers did make remarks about their experience, and they all had a different experience set. Some touted being Christians. Some touted belonging to a specific industry association. There was also different educational backgrounds. However, when it came to the service provided, all were stating similar facts about their service. Do our potential clients see this as well?
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Did You See Your Site Drop in the Search Result Rankings Last Week?

Many site owners are complaining of lost business through loss of traffic. Do you have a strategy in place for your web marketing when you have lost your rank? Maybe rethinking your content can help.

On each Monday, I study my analytics. I look at my analytics more often than that, but I do a more in depth analysis to guide my plans for the week on that day. Last Monday, I saw one of my sites drop significantly for keywords that I was targeting, while new sites popped up on my radar. By now everyone is aware that Google changed the method for how they obtain their search results, and you may see many sites upset about their loss of traffic. I had a different experience.Although my rank went way down, my traffic soared up. This is due to a strategy that I have maintained for a while, which I will describe below, but the real story may be a bit bigger: we cannot rely on a search engine to help our business grow, and I want to deal with that idea first.
    When you first publish your first web page, you will not be finding massive traffic from a search engine right away. We have to work towards that goal. Most industries tracking consumer behavior will inform you of a survey that states that our clients are going on line first before buying a product. They do their research, and then they may go onto buy on line, but they may not. The take away for a small business is that we have to be on line. To be noticed on line, we have to be ranking well, so we become fixated on a set of keywords and our position on the list of results for that keyword.  That is not a problem; the problem is that we do not look beyond that results page rank. The change in rankings last week in the Google search pages was done to improve the quality of the results for the end user; however, have you conducted a few searches lately? I am assaulted with more advertisements than results, and sometimes those ads do me no good. Furthermore, I am now being given results based upon my own social network, as well as results that are personalized to my own history. This leaves me wondering what is the significance of a ranking for a particular keyword. Many of us have a bad experience with a pay per click campaign, so we drop it. We also fail to understand where our potential clients may be lurking on the internet, so we miss opportunities. We are forgetting that marketing on the web is like any other marketing, we cannot put all of our eggs in one basket.
    How did my traffic go up when my rankings went down? The answer is simple: quality content that is focused on providing the best information related to my business geared towards my local region.  Let us forget about rules of how often you have to post- a good article will always bring in traffic. We should consider how to obtain local readers. I still see advocates stating that you need to discuss local events, no matter what the event is. For example, you are a plumber writing about the latest Spanish restaurant opening near your home on your blog. Hey the food was great, but what does it have to do with plumbing? A visitor coming to your blog will not return for plumbing advice; they will likely not return at all. If a new water feature opened at a park, like a new fountain, as a plumber I may write about this fountain, and I would mention how you could have a similar feature in your yard. If the event does not tie into your business, then you should not be in a rush to write about it. Many people conducting searches will want to know why something is happening to something they own in their area. Back to the plumber: why do my cold water pipes have hot water in them in Miami? (People do type in search queries like that one).  The plumber could write a post about how the heat from the sun heats the ground and the attic, and this is where water pipe are located in certain houses. This Miami plumber may not have a top site for plumbing in that city, but he was discovered by the searcher who wanted to know what is effecting his water in that city. People looking for answers will type longer queries to their search input, and they often include location, since many people feel that location could play a part in their problem. Once your collection of articles dealing with specific concerns increases, and you have effectively placed references to your own community into the articles, you will find that locals will perceive your site as a resource. Hopefully, they will then use your service, but that gets into conversion optimization. I want to deal with the content that brings in traffic here.
    Do not post just to be posting. I have heard rules that you should be posting once a day, four times a week, or three times a day. Nonsense. I will say that if you wish to build up an audience, you do have to post consistently. You cannot post five articles in one month, then go six months before posting another article (and the person who really did that is wondering why her site does not have more visitors). Consistency in marketing pays off. Of course, you want to go after that top position in Google for your keyword; I am not saying that you should stop trying on that front, but your site can still do well in bringing your message to your potential clients. My blog is my base. My print ads lead back to the site. I have a ppc campaign that drives traffic to that site. I advertise on different sites, which have users that could be good for my potential client base. I do email marketing, and I participate in social media. I do not try to spend too much effort on any one idea, because then I could be wasting an opportunity to gain clients. This is the easiest trap to fall into: focusing on the one big thing. For example, Twitter is big, so I need to work on building up a follower base, but really, are your clients on Twitter? The same could be said about Facebook.
    Focus on quality. Quality content, or maybe I should say content that answers the query of a search, will continue to drive visitors to your site. I need to go back to the drawing board when it comes to the keywords that I want to hit. It is a shame that so much effort seems to be wasted. On the other hand, Google is sending more traffic to my site for many related topics, and that helps to build my brand. Think about it: did someone just hand you a Kleenex or a tissue paper? There are people who still hoover instead of vacuum. So maybe you are not the top result for plumbers in Miami, but you are the plumber everyone goes to have their questions answered, and when they cannot do the job, they call you.

Give the User What He Wants: Something for Free

However, is that free item what they really want?

The internet is changing. More sites in trying to find ways to monetize their content are charging for what they have. Users still want to find bits of information for free.  Well, more than bits. For most of us who are providing a service our knowledge is what we charge for, and giving it away for free seems counterproductive. Yet, we hear stories of those who have done just that with great success for their business. I began thinking about giving away something for free, because of two incidents yesterday.

   I had been on a job the week before to examine a specific job done by a contractor. In fact, the contractor was the one who hired me. While going about my work, I noticed a problem which had nothing to do with why I was there. This was a potentially dangerous issue, so I informed the contractor’s client. This nugget of free information led to the client calling me about further work. In a way that is what I do with writing a blog post. A nugget of free information may lead to further work, but how many free nuggets should I give? Does there come a point where I have given too much away? I think that is where experience comes into play. I can mention what I do, but a user may not be able to replicate it exactly, due to the experience factor.
    I received an email offering me a free trial of an internet service for a month. The problem is that there is a similar site which is quite popular offering this service always for free.  This caused me to consider about what we offer. Free is good, but do we offer value? If we state that we are giving away something for free, did we actually offer something? Will the user pay for it at some point? Here is where small businesses may be failing.
    Marketing is hard and expensive. Blogs provide a cost effective way to do marketing which can be quite simple for some. Lets face it, writing a post does not come easy to everyone. Going back to my job where I shared a bit of data. I obtained the call back because a gave a piece of valuable information away for free which demonstrated my experience, my knowledge. Would that work on the internet? Well, in my scenario, I gave a bit of specific data which struck home with a potential client. Internet users are generally faceless though. My information could help others. If I write the blog post in a personal way, and explain the situation as I did to the client, I may touch the user with this free nugget like I did in person.
    Now consider your competitors. Are they providing such free nuggets? You may be reading several internet marketing sites to find ways to improve your business. How many of those sites are giving you free information which is entirely different from what you have read on another site?  I imagine that few truly are. So do you read through your competitors’ sites? You should. Being in real estate, I looked through several sites from people in the same specific real estate field.  I discovered that you will see the same topic come up on various blogs with much of the same thoughts. One way to break away from your competitors is to write content on one aspect of your business. For example, you could focus on writing about new products in your field.  Maybe a more specific example. Alright, you are an accountant. Maybe you specialize in tax preparation. How about writing about new laws? Just that. Not how to prepare your own taxes, or your thoughts about taxes. Laws which effect the financial market and how they may effect income, which is a factor on tax.  You have a niche which no one else amongst your competitors has tackled.
    Can we take this further? You have limited the topic of your blog; you are giving away free content; but you could do more. Creating ebooks or resource documents for journalists or other package for the user, you can build up word of mouth, as long as you brand the resource. Let us jump back to real estate. Everyone has a mortgage calculator on their site. Offering your own does not make you stand out. Changing the language to Spanish is a first step to being unique. However, we could offer something else. We could have a utility bill calculator, or a calculator that shows how paying more of the mortgage’s principle will effect your mortgage over time. The utility bill goes in a totally different direction which meets a current concern, while the principle mortgage calculator offers a variation to the other calculator which can be a concern for the client/user.
    Free works. Study your competitors. Provide something which shows the user something that they cannot find elsewhere, and which shows that you have value. Those are the take aways from this post. At least once a month find out what your competitors have done. Also find out who your competitors are. This can quickly change on the internet. Find a niche, and exploit it. This may be your experiences  on the job. The soap drama that goes on behind the scenes may be what the user needs. You have to find it.

How Far Can You Stray With Your Content

Consultants who blog may wish to go further from their topic to help brand themselves

A golden rule in blogging is try to have a focus for your content; do not stray to far from it. Every blogger has the odd post that does not fit the true purpose of the site though, but what if that content becomes half of the site? I was analyzing some popular blogs in specific industries, and found that they go against the focus rule; however, they do engage their audience, which is the ultimate goal of the site, but does this lead to conversions?
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Writing Posts for Keywords Which are not Trending

Writing quality content may not be enough if no one is looking for a post on your topic.

I used to write an informative post without concern if the post would be read by users or found by the search engines, because the post served my greater writing goals in regards to my business. With a website, this can be an error. Each written post should add value to the site. Value will be defined as bringing in users to the site; users who will hopefully convert to being your clients. Yet maybe you still need a post on a topic that will not add value, so how can you craft your writing to meet the goal of adding value?
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How to create a post for your blog

The art of writing comes with its own rules that you need to know, once you begin to write a post for any webpage.

I was asked how do I develop titles for blog posts, and I thought that I might write a post on that topic, but writing for the web is different from other styles. I have been working on a couple of anchor/pillar posts, when I wrote a piece that fits into my overall scheme, and kept my blog post schedule. While writing this post, I became self conscious of the techniques involved. This feeling was enhanced when an editor worked on a post that I submitted for another site. With these thoughts in my head, I felt that a post about writing a post would be better suited here.
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Becoming a Thought Leader in Your Field

New websites are popping up every minute; however, this does not mean that quality content is being produced. How would you set yourself up to be the source of information in your field?

I have been doing research on why users come to my site. This involved finding how they came to the site, what content did they examine, and what content was actually read. That last one was important to me. You have a short time to attract a visitor to stay on your site, so I may want to improve content where people arrive on the site, but I need to understand which posts caused people to stay and why. Those posts (not the ones that have the most visitors- which may or may not be read) will show you what your readers truly want. For example, users of my home inspection site fall into different categories. Two main categories are people looking for my service and people who want to understand how a repair to their home is made. The first group will find my phone number, and they leave the site. The second group will spend seven minutes on average reading an article. Obviously, this second group can become important to me in marketing, so I do want to cater to them. Read the rest of this entry »

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