6 Timeless SEO Tips Content Marketers Can Do Now


Timeless SEO Tips

Content is the research search began in the first place.

Learning about how to get customers to visit newly created websites is where my search engine optimization education began. In that journey from before there was a Google to today, many things have changed. What has stayed the same is the opportunity to grow business by connecting customers to content by being the best answer and inspiring those customers to take action.

The best SEO practitioners stay on top of what’s current, always experimenting and evaluating what works for topics in a particular industry for the websites and content they’re in charge of attracting customers to. At the same time, the best SEO advice isn’t worth much if it doesn’t get implemented. That’s why many marketers with long term SEO experience emphasize the fundamentals.

If content can be found in search, it can be optimized for better performance.

With over 200 million search results for the phrase “search engine optimization” on Google, there is no shortage of advice for marketers, copywriters, designers, web developers, programmers and creatives. SEO is definitely a team sport. In the spirit of simplicity with the goal of easy implementation, here are 6 timeless tips for content marketers to improve their search visibility:

Avoid overuse of pronouns like “it”, “they” and “them” in favor of more descriptive keyword phrases where Google is looking for them: in page titles, file names, text links between pages, image alt text and in body copy.

Facts tell, stories sell: Figure out why customers buy and create keyword optimized content that tells stories about how and why your products solve customer problems. Problem solution formatted content naturally invites the kind of information structure that can satisfy customer intent when they are looking for solutions. Google is dedicated to creating a great search user experience so anything content marketers can do to deliver topically specific information that satisfies what people are looking for is likely to be rewarded with better placement in search results.

Links are like electricity: “Light up” your website content to be so useful and engaging that it is worth linking to by others who compile and share resources. To make it easier for others to know about your link worthy content, promote it by sharing with industry influencers (better yet, invite them to help you create it), on social networks, through blogging, byline articles in industry publications, through guest posts on industry and association websites and by being digitally active in the industry you are working in.

Be the best answer: Create and promote comprehensive and remarkable information resources on topics of interest to prospects and relevant to your business. Strive to “be the best answer” for what customers are looking for by creating content that is in-depth, engaging, and inspires deeper clickthroughs into your site. Develop content based on topic clusters and aim to answer any questions buyers might have about those topics, keeping in mind to use an index page and to cross link between pages.

Close the gap with an SEO audit: Have your website audited by a SEO professional (yes, we do audits) to ensure keyword targeting in content, technical friendliness of your website to being crawled, and the health of links between pages as well as inbound links from other topically relevant websites. The audit will uncover gaps and provide prioritized opportunities where you can focus your efforts to improve search visibility and the marketing performance of your content.

Always be optimizing: Optimization of content including text on web pages, videos, audio, images or a combination for better search visibility is a continuous process. Search Engine Optimization is not a project or a single event. SEO is an ongoing effort to create and promote keyword optimized content that can be the best answer for what customers are looking for. It is also the process of monitoring performance through analytics and making refinements at regular intervals.

There are numerous long lists of SEO best practices that you can and should follow. There are also some fundamentals that can be made part of the content marketing operation and process which are very doable for most organizations. Leaving search engine visibility to chance isn’t something most companies can afford to gamble with as competition for customers continues to increase in digital channels. Search Engines are a trusted resource for customers at all stages of the buying journey and represent an opportunity for brands to be useful at the very moment buyers need help the most.





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Write from the Heart for More Memorable B2B Content Marketing


Hands holding illustrations of a human brain and heart image.

B2B marketers have been pushing for personalized content for a good long while. Now we’re also trying to humanize content — to make the case that B2B buyers are human beings who want to connect with other humans on an emotional level.

Isn’t it remarkable that we still have to make that argument? 

But I’m not here to write another 1000 words about humanizing content. I want us to take it a step further, beyond personalization, humanization, personality and empathy.

B2B content marketing needs to come from the heart.

True, genuine heart is the last frontier in content. Every brand has an Instagram with behind-the-scenes content to boost authenticity. Every brand is striving to give at least the appearance of sincerity, personality and transparency.

A lot of it is about as deep as the checkout clerk telling you to “have a nice day.” To stand out now, B2B content needs to hit on a more fundamental level. 

Why Write from the Heart?

Even as we talk about “human to human” or “B2Me” marketing, we still tend to think that B2B content needs to be head-driven, mostly logic and reasoning, with a thin gloss of personality and emotion on top to “humanize.” 

The truth is, of course, that humans are inherently emotional creatures who seek connection with each other. We most often decide with our hearts first, then apply logic in retrospect. 

B2B content with heart seeks to make a connection first, then supply value, then finally ask for a next step. It has to be in that order.

So, what does it mean to write from the heart? 

1. Upgrade Personality to Passion

 I am not passionate about, say, a software-as-a-service platform that collects customer data for marketers. And I’m not sure I want to meet the person who is. 

But I am passionate about less intrusive marketing, about people getting connected with solutions that meet their needs, and about a future where marketing is helpful and productive, not annoying. So I can lead with the passion, the why that drove us to create this solution, and then I can talk about the product’s capabilities.

2. Upgrade Empathy to Compassion

Let’s face it: The marketing term ‘empathy’ sometimes has little to do with what the word actually means. While we may strive for truly feeling someone else’s hopes and fears, it tends to be in the service of persuasion, rather than connection.

Compassion is more than just walking a mile in someone’s shoes. It’s sincerely desiring to help them — to ease suffering, bring joy, and help them be successful. Do you care if the people you’re marketing to get promoted, get to spend more time with their kids, can finally afford to buy a starter home, and so on?

If you can show that you have true compassion for your audience, beyond the solution you’re offering, you’re far more likely to make a connection.

3. Upgrade Authenticity to Vulnerability

Here’s a hard one. Very few brands want to seem vulnerable or fallible. Even with behind-the-scenes content, they tend to present a highly sanitized version of the business. If you admit a fault, or share an obstacle you had to struggle to overcome, will you lose people’s trust and confidence in your brand?

Absolutely not. You’re writing to people who experience hardships and make mistakes. You’ll make a better connection if you show that your brand is made up of fallible human beings, too.

There’s nothing more authentic and transparent than a warts-and-all look at the problems your company faces and the ways in which you try, fail and ultimately succeed. 

4. Upgrade Thought Leadership to Humility

What’s the fastest way to make a connection with a stranger? Ask them to do you a favor. Ask for help. Most salespeople are familiar with this phenomenon, sometimes called the “Ben Franklin Effect.” The idea is that if someone does you a favor, they’re demonstrably more likely to do a second one, and to regard you more kindly than if you had done a favor for them. 

I think the same is true with content marketing. Thought leadership content tends to lack the notion of humility — it usually focuses on establishing knowledge and authority, of the author as an inerrant source of truth.

The problem is, no one really likes a know-it-all. A hefty dose of humility can make thought leadership content much more engaging, and much more likely to start a conversation. 

Imagine a blog post that goes, “I’ve seen success in my business with x, y, and z. But I’m still not sure how to best go about a, b, and c. What are your experiences? What do you do in this situation?” 

The thought leader in this case is adding value by sharing their own experience and success, but also allowing others to share their expertise as well. The result can be a conversation that benefits everyone involved – author, audience, and brand.

Your Heart Will Go On

As Maya Angelou famously said, people may forget what you say, but they will never forget the way you made them feel. And the best way to engage someone’s emotions is to share your own. We can’t settle for the shallow marketing equivalents of passion, compassion, vulnerability, and humility. 

We need to embrace the difficult but rewarding task of bringing our whole hearts to what we’re creating.

How do you create content with heart? Let me know in the comments.

And take our B2B Influencer Marketing Survey to share your opinions.





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B2B MarTech Spending On The Rise, More Brands Turn To Personalized Content, Microsoft’s New Multimedia Ads, & The Power Of B2B Storytelling


2021 July 16 MarketingCharts Chart

Twitter’s Fleets Format To Disappear, Just Weeks After Ads Test Commenced
Twitter has abandoned its Fleets feature that automatically deleted messages in the format after 24 hours, noting that the format and its accompanying full-screen vertical ads, hadn’t performed as well as initially envisioned, the firm recently announced. MediaPost

Digital to power a 10.4% recovery in global ad spend
Global digital advertising spend will ascend to $311 billion to hit 15.6 percent growth in 2021, according to newly-release forecast data from Dentsu, the firm recently announced. Social ad spending is expected to rise even more swiftly at 23 percent, with video ads predicted to rise by 17 percent, according to the forecast data. The Drum

Facebook Launches New ‘Creative Guidance Navigator’ To Provide Marketing Stats and Tips
Facebook has launched a new mini-site of interest to digital marketers, highlighting a variety of the social giant’s ad campaign options, with best-practice examples of how many of the formats are being put to use by top brands, Facebook recently announced. Social Media Today

Text Marketing On The Rise, 61.8% Of Consumers Have Opted In To Messages: Study
78 percent of consumers say they most often use their phones for texting, with 61.8 percent having chosen to receive texts from a business over the past year, while 59.5 percent said the top reason they’ve opted out of business texts was for receiving too many texts, according to newly-released survey data. MediaPost

US Ad Spend Projected to Soar This Year
A 23.3 percent increase in advertising spending is expected in the U.S. in 2021, with some 57 percent of the entirety of U.S. ad spending going to pure-play online channels, according to recently-released forecast data of interest to online marketers. MarketingCharts

Gen Z and millennials seek diverse voices in audio
58 percent of millennials and some 48 percent of the Gen Z demographic say that they have actively looked for audio content from more diverse creators over the past year, with 40 percent of the two demographic groups saying that they have greater trust for podcasts than tradition sources of news, according to data from Spotify’s Culture Next report. Campaign US

2021 July 16 Statistics Image

IBM CMO is taking ‘a completely new approach’ to B2B marketing
Telling B2B technology marketing stories and creating relationships that add value are key in a fully new approach to B2B marketing, according to Carla Piñyero Sublett, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at IBM. Campaign Asia

Microsoft Debuts Multimedia Ads For Search
Microsoft has launched new responsive machine-learning Bing advertising options for its Microsoft Advertising program, which bring more multimedia ad format choices to digital marketers, the firm recently announced. MediaPost

Augmented Reality Ads See Better Reception Than Other Digital Formats
Some 75 percent of consumers say that they are more likely to notice ads that utilize augmented reality (AR) features, with 70 percent noting they’d like to view more AR ads in the future — two of several statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in recently-released survey data. Adweek

2 in 3 B2B Marketers to Up Their MarTech Spend
68 percent of B2B marketers say they plan to spend more on marketing technology in the coming year, with more than a quarter planning to significantly increase their martec budgets during the same timeframe, according to newly-release survey data. MarketingCharts

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2021 July 16 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at the “marketing myopia and brand choice” by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

AT&T Fiber Drafts Kevin Garnett to Poke Fun at Slow Web Connections — Adweek

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lane R. Ellis — What’s Trending: Summer Standouts — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — 10 Online Marketing Tips to Gather and Convert More Leads — Small Business Trends
  • TopRank Marketing — 4 SEO Factors to Consider Before Removing Outdated Website Content — Content Marketing Institute
  • Lee Odden — GUEST COLUMN: What marketers will need to learn about voice and audio — Indian Television
  • TopRank Marketing — Are there lessons to be learned from Love Islanders? Brand influencing confirms its worth in the B2B space — IBA International
  • Lee Odden — The 12 Best Ecommerce Marketing Strategies You Should Try in 2021 — eCommerce Fastlane
  • Lee Odden — Your Website – Another Business Asset — WrightIMC

Have you come across your own top B2B marketing news item from the past week of industry news? Please drop us a line in the comments below.

Thanks for joining us for this week’s TopRank Marketing B2B marketing news, and please return again next Friday for more of the week’s most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.





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