The Blog

What Tumblr Can Teach Us About Content Creation

Posted Thursday, March 26th, 2015 in Content Marketing by .

It’s easy to overlook Tumblr. The microblogging site doesn’t have the easy demographic information or advertising revenue of Facebook, nor does it have the stream-of-consciousness communication style of Twitter. It’s a social network that’s kind of hard to categorize; a lump sum of pictures, video, blog posts, and random thoughts.

It also may be one of the most important things to happen to the world of content creation in years.

Let’s back up a bit. I should probably offer a bit of justification, no? It wouldn’t be proper for me to just sit here making a ton of baseless claims, would it? (more…)


Want to work in marketing? No marketing degree required

Posted Thursday, March 19th, 2015 in Marketing Strategy by .

So you finally graduate from college. But then you decide that your major just wasn’t really your true calling. Maybe you’re stuck on a career path that isn’t going in the direction you want it to. And you’ve decided you want to work in the booming business of marketing! Don’t worry, you can still get into the marketing world even if you don’t have a degree in it. Here are a few majors that give you all the training you need, just without that “marketing” title.

studying

Communications/Journalism

One of the most easily translatable areas of study is anything under the umbrella of communications. As long as you’re able to communicate properly, you’ll be golden in marketing. Com students are taught public speaking and trained to produce excellent content. Depending on what area of marketing you’re working in, this could be exactly what your potential employer is looking for.

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February 2015's Best SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

Posted Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 in Resource Roundups by .

BOOK HEARTAfter a slow start to the year, Google has started making some moves in 2015. Recently, there was the announcement that tweets would be indexed in real time, as well as the news that Google wants to start ranking pages based on "truthfulness." We've said it before and we'll say it again, the true skill of any good SEO is the ability to adapt in a sea of never-ending change. And as content marketing and social media continue to be a very important component of SEO success, we've included a number of posts that will help your gain real value from your efforts in these area. Check out the best of what you missed from February and so far in March when you have a moment, and if you're looking for the same great content he rest of the month, join us on Twitter, Google +, or Facebook. Enjoy! (more…)


Is Pair Writing A Worthwhile Pursuit For Your Blog?

Posted Monday, March 16th, 2015 in Content Marketing by .

pencilI’ve been a writer for most of my life; ever since I was old enough to pick up a pen.

In all the time I spent putting together essays, stories, articles, press releases, and a whole host of other content types, I’ve generally worked alone.

I’ll sit down, do my research, pump out an article, put it through several rounds of edits, and boom - I’m done.

That is, I’ll wager, how most people write - and they wouldn’t have it any other way. After all, writing is something to be done alone; that’s how the greats do it. You don’t see George R. R. Martin sitting down with a focus group to write up each page of the next Game of Thrones novel, nor would you see Forbes’ Michael Solomon entrust each paragraph of his articles to a different author. That’s simply not how it’s done...right?

Maybe; maybe not. (more…)


Is Dividing Your PageRank Really a Bad Thing? (With Math!)

Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 in Link Building, Search Engine Optimization by .

If there is just one piece of jargon that has destroyed the SEO industry's understanding of PageRank, it's got to be "link juice."

Never have two words uttered is succession created so many misconceptions.

(In shame, I have to admit I've probably used this evil incantation at some point in the past.)

Here's the truth: PageRank is counterintuitive, so counterintuitive that most people who try to "sculpt it," one way or another, will end up shooting themselves in the foot. And I'm not saying that because I believe they're going to get penalized. I'm saying that because they simply don't understand how PageRank works.

Here's what made me want to write this post.

I was just reading through Brandon Buttars' post on categories and tags over at Avalaunch Media. In general, I agree with his advice. But he said something that made me stop and think:

Each page of your site starts with 100% of the page’s total link value and that value is divided among the links on the page. To get the most out of the links on your page you want to minimize the link bleeding.  Link bleeding refers to link value being sent to worthless pages like your contact page, about page, etc. Every link on the page decreases the total value passed through each link, so less links adds more value to each link.

What Brandon is saying is true on the micro-scale. Unlike later ranking factors, Google has always been very upfront about how the (original) PageRank algorithm works. Each page passes about 85% of its PageRank forward, to the pages it links to. That PageRank is divided equally between the links. So, if it links to two pages, the PageRank is split in half. If it links to a third page, the PageRank is split into thirds, meaning each page gets less PageRank.

The knee-jerk reaction, then, is to assume that if you put more links on the pages of your site, you're going to end up "bleeding link juice" at the expense of other pages on your site.

Is that always true?

No, it turns out, it isn't always true.

Well, it sort of is, and it sort of isn't. It depends. But I can show you how it works, and I can prove it with math.

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The Most Important Question You Need To Ask Yourself As A Content Creator

Posted Monday, March 9th, 2015 in Search Engine Optimization by .

question markIf there’s one thing I’ve noticed about content marketing - one common flaw I’ve picked up on where content strategy is concerned - it’s that way too many businesses hammer out articles and media without any clear idea of their reasons for doing so.

Sure, they know they want to bring more traffic to their site. But they haven’t really given it much thought aside from that. That, my friends, is a very serious problem.

“Why does your business have content?” asks Florida Trend’s Ron Stein. “Most businesses say they use content to drive people to their website because it’s simply the best way to do that. Solid content will help get your website noticed, yet driving eyeballs to your site is just one piece of an effective marketing program.” (more…)


How Google's Knowledge-Based Trust Algorithm Works

Posted Thursday, March 5th, 2015 in Search Engine Optimization, Semantic SEO by .

By now you've probably heard the news: Google is working on an algorithm, not yet incorporated into the search engine, that would allow them to score web sources based on their trustworthiness.

That is, all else being equal, if one webpage or site has a reputation for producing factually accurate information, it will be more likely to show up in search results.

Google published a paper on the algorithm, which they call Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT), at arXive.org.

While the news that Google plans to rank sites based on facts has certainly made the rounds, I haven't seen much in-depth discussion of how the algorithm works. Aside from Aaron Bradely's thoughtful post, I haven't seen any discussions that seem to be inspired by the paper itself, as opposed to the New Scientist article and the spin-offs it has inspired.

With that in mind, I thought I'd go ahead and give the paper a read, and summarize what I came back with. What follows is going to be a bit technical, but I shouldn't have to apologize for that in an industry that uses the name "optimization" in its title. That said, I like to think I've kept things informal enough for the relative layman to understand what I'm getting at.

For more depth, there's always the paper itself.

Let's get started. (more…)


Five Steps For The Creation Of An Awesome Infographic

Posted Monday, March 2nd, 2015 in Content Marketing by .

awesome_guyIt seems so easy on paper.

Put together an infographic detailing a bunch of awesome facts related to your industry or brand, and you’ll pull in a ton of traffic to your site.

People will share it, talk about it, and ultimately trace it back to you.

Well, here’s the thing. If infographics were super easy to do, then everybody would be doing them. They wouldn’t be valuable for a brand: the web would be inundated with an overwhelming tide of insightful, high-quality infographics.

As it is, it’s inundated with infographics of an entirely different quality: poorly-designed messes that are misleading, salesy, and just plain boring.

If you know what you’re doing, you can ensure your own infographics don’t fall into this camp. That’s what we’ll be talking about today.

How can you make sure your infographics are just plain awesome? (more…)


How To Get In Google's Rich Answer Box

Posted Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 in Search Engine Optimization by .

CarterThe following instructions apply if you are trying to get included in a rich answer box for a "how to" style query. It's up to Google whether or not they choose to display an answer box, but if they do, the rules below seem to apply under most circumstances. See my evidence listed after the instructions.

Instructions: Getting Into Google's Rich Answer Box

  1. Rank yourself well for the query.
  2. Start your sentences with command words.
  3. Write a clear, unambiguous heading.
  4. Use <li> tags, and keep the section short.

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Why You Need To Understand Demand Generation’s Connection To Your Brand Image

Posted Monday, February 23rd, 2015 in Content Marketing by .

smiling girlHey there, folks! Today, we’re going to talk about reputation management and brand awareness. See, the days when a brand could generate a positive image of itself solely through advertising are long behind us.

Thanks in large part to social media, brand recognition is now only the tip of the iceberg. Today’s users are more empowered than they’ve ever been, able to directly impact a business’s chances of success through words alone. As a result of this shift, brands now need to pay attention to the conversations consumers are having across digital channels - they need to examine comments, read reviews, and respond to negative feedback.

“The landscape in which brands now operate has changed beyond recognition,” writes B2B Marketing’s Toby Southgate. “A brand’s reputation, once the healthy product of a successful strategy, can now be driven and developed completely by its customers, prospects, and other external audiences.” (more…)


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