The Blog

Why Rand Fishkin is Very, VERY Wrong About Correlation

Posted Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 in Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Optimization by .

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...Okay, here we go...

Look, I don't like to pick internet fights for attention. I respect Rand Fishkin's opinions on a lot of things in the industry. I use Moz's little title tag tool practically every day. I've published posts at Moz. But there are times when an idea gets perpetuated and it just has to be put to a stop. What follows isn't about Rand, or Moz. Heck, in my opinion, it's also much, much bigger than a misconception in the SEO community.

So, Rand just published this blog post today, and in it he says this:

Today I'm going to make a crazy claim—that in modern SEO, there are times, situations, and types of analyses where correlation is actually MORE interesting and useful than causality.

Alright. A lot of interesting things come from correlation studies. They are a good jumping off point. They can tell us where causality might exist. But he is so very, very dead wrong about correlation ever being more interesting or useful than causality.

To give Rand his fair treatment, let me summarize the point of his blog post: SEOs should sometimes spend more time thinking about what Google is trying to rank, rather than specifically how. I want to be 100% clear before I move on: I don't disagree with that point. What I disagree with is what appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between causation and correlation. I'm not just throwing an academic conniption fit here, either, and here's why. (more…)


Why Aggregators Should Fit Into Every Content Marketing Strategy

Posted Monday, January 19th, 2015 in Content Marketing by .

bulletin boardLadies and gentlemen, today we’re going to talk about the New York Times Innovation Report - and the bearing it has on content marketing.

Published a few months ago, the staggering 97-page paper details print media’s struggle - in particular, the struggle of the New York Times -  to remain relevant on the modern web as the way we consume and engage with content continues to shift and evolve.

If you’d like, you can read the whole document here.

You don’t really need to, though. The insights and revelations contained in the report shouldn’t prove entirely groundbreaking to anyone who’s been paying a great deal of attention to content creation strategies over the past few years. After all, it’s really just telling us what we already know - the way in which we discover content has undergone a fundamental change, and any content marketers who fail to address or understand this change are destined for failure.

It’s a change that’s as tightly bound up in the core of the social network as it is with content aggregation sites. (more…)


December Resource Round-up: The Best of SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

Posted Monday, January 12th, 2015 in Resource Roundups by .

simpsonsSEO, social media, and content marketing are constantly evolving to almost the point of ridiculousness. Whether it's Google coming out with a new algorithm update, a never-ending onslaught of new technologies to adapt to, or just trying to keep up with what's cool, inbound marketers always have their work cut out for them as they start a new year. So why should 2015 be any different? Each month we like to round up the best content from the previous thirty days, and you'll definitely see that December's best had a focus on changes to make for the year ahead.  Check out what you missed when you have a moment, and if you're looking for the same great content the rest of the month, join us on Twitter, Google +, or Facebook in 2015. Enjoy! (more…)


Should You Do Your Own Content Marketing, Hire A Team, Or Outsource?

Posted Monday, January 12th, 2015 in Content Marketing by .

pensBy now, the power of content marketing is really no great secret. Everyone knows how much revenue a well-trafficked blog can bring to a digital storefront, or how much brand recognition a post that goes viral is capable of garnering.

In addition, there’s a huge body of research which hammers home the value of good content - not only does it help consumers make better purchasing decisions, it both costs less and and generates more leads than traditional marketing.

Basically, what I’m trying to say here is that if your business isn’t already involved in content marketing, it’s long past due to get involved.

“The short and sweet of it is,” writes Entrepreneur’s Derek Miller, “you should be investing in content marketing.”

The problem, of course, is that not everyone necessarily possesses the skills required to craft amazing content. Not every business owner is a great writer or a charismatic radio host; and not every industry expert is able to weave their expertise into an interesting story for the audience. In many cases, it’s better for both the brand and its management to hire someone that’s able to do the job for them.

That brings us to our next question - how can one tell if they should? (more…)


53 Enlightening Questions About Title Tags

Posted Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 in Search Engine Optimization by .

books

Image Credit: Moyan Brenn

1. What Does The Title Tag Look Like In HTML?

If you need to hard code the title tag in HTML, it looks like this:

<title>Your Title Here</title>

While HTML code will typically render in most browsers without a title tag, it is considered invalid.

Valid HTML puts the title inside of the <head>...</head> tags.

2. What Is The Purpose Of the Title Tag Outside of Search Engines?

Browsers display the title tag as the name of the window or tab that your page is displaying in. Various other tools and scrapers may also use the title tag as the title associated with a particular URL.

3. What Does The Title Tag Do For Search Engines?

The search engines typically use the title tag as the text they display in the search results. Other than the description listed below it, it is the only content a user sees before clicking through to your page. The words used in the title tag are also weighed more heavily in rankings than any other content on the page. (more…)


The Do’s And Don'ts Of Creating Content For Social Media

Posted Monday, December 29th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing by .

like buttonSucceeding on social media is a whole lot harder than it looks, yet people make it sound so easy.

According to Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed - as quoted by Danielle Cormier - the key to success is simply to create content people love.  Well...one of the keys, anyway.

If finding success on social networks was simply a matter of creating great content, most of you probably wouldn’t need to read up on the topic of social media.

It’d simply be a matter of buckling down and creating. The trouble is that there’s a whole lot more to it than just belching out a few articles.

“You need to spend 50% of your time on the idea and 50% on how you spread it,” Peretti explained at a keynote attended by Cormier. “Not 95% and only a tiny portion on how to spread the idea.”

“Quality alone is simply not enough to make something spread,” adds Cormier, “you need a strategy.” It’s the foundations of that strategy that we’re going to go over with today’s piece. (more…)


Why Every Content Creator Should Have A Personal Blog

Posted Monday, December 22nd, 2014 in Content Marketing by .

fountain penYou’ve already heard by now that you should probably have a blog on your business’s website.

Not only does it bring you visitors  and sales prospects who might otherwise never find your site, it also fosters goodwill amongst brand loyalists.

It gives your readers some idea of the human face behind the brand (whilst also providing them with a wealth of valuable information).

Today, I’d like to propose a concept that some of you might find a little strange at first glance: I firmly and strongly believe that every content creator worth their salt should maintain a personal blog, at least for a short time.

Basically, you should write a blog simply for the sake of doing so, not because you want to generate traffic for a digital storefront or goodwill for a brand. Write on whatever interests you - your likes and dislikes, your hobbies, your friends and family, your personal experiences; you get the idea.  Doing so could well be the best decision you ever make, from the perspective of content creation. (more…)


3 Ways Your Facebook Image Strategy May Be Outdated

Posted Friday, December 19th, 2014 in Social Media Marketing by .

facebook imagesEverybody "knows" that images are the key to Facebook.

If anybody wasn't clear on that back in 2012, they were after Hubspot published a landmark study showing that images, on average, saw 53% more likes than typical Facebook posts.

But is that still true?

Facebook's algorithms have changed, competition has soared, and time spent on Facebook has dropped.

Are images still king, and does your image strategy still make sense?

Read on to find out. (more…)


How To Tell If A Topic Is Too Off-Topic For Your Blog

Posted Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 in Content Marketing by .

confusedPicture this - you’re a relatively successful blogger.

Maybe you’re no superstar, but you do alright.

You’ve established yourself pretty high up in your current niche, and you’ve got a devoted following who are regularly reading your stuff.

Then a topic comes along that completely blows you away. You can’t help but want to write about it.

There’s only one problem, though - you aren’t really sure if it’s the sort of thing your readers would be interested in.

Much as you want to put together a piece, you’re not sure if you’ll end up alienating your visitors.

What can you do? (more…)


November Resource Round-up: The Best of SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

Posted Monday, December 15th, 2014 in Resource Roundups by .

CHRISTMAS STORY LIGHTWe hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that you’re not too busy preparing for the holiday season. The biggest news since our last roundup had to have been the release of the new Jurassic World and Star Wars Episode VII trailers. In the world of SEO, the impact of October’s Penguin 3.0 continued to be felt and content marketers and social media strategists are getting ready for 2015. Check out what you missed from November when you have a moment, and if you're looking for the same great content the rest of the month, join us on Twitter, Google +, or Facebook. Enjoy!

SEO

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of SEO

“80 percent of success is showing up,” Woody Allen famously said about life. Marketing in 2014 is not much different. You need to show up when consumers search for your product or service on Google, when you are spoken about on social media, or when you receive a review or a comment. (more…)


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