SEO Articles

How to Build Links Using Google Alerts

How to Build Links Using Google Alerts

Link building is hard. But did you know that Google makes it easier for you?

Seriously… they do make it easier because they provide you with free tools.

No, I’m not talking about the ones you already use like Google Search Console and Google Analytics

They actually have tons of other tools. Some you may have heard of, but I bet you don’t use them.

And today I am going to show you how you can build links using Google Alerts.

What is Google Alerts?

As the saying goes, if it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.

Google is the most popular search engine in the world. Their database contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size.

Because of their massive size, they are able to crawl web pages more frequently than any SEO tool including my own, Ubersuggest. This is precisely why you want to start using Google Alerts to build links.

So, what is Google Alerts?

As I mentioned above, they have a bigger database of web pages than any other link building or SEO tool. So, you’ll want to use their database to find easy link opportunities and ideally without wasting time digging through billions or even thousands of web pages.

Google Alerts allows you to create notifications on any subject, topic, or keyword.

So, when a new web page talks about anything that could be an easy link opportunity, you’ll get notified in an email.

Just like this one…

So, let’s set it all up step by step so you can get some backlinks.

How to set up Google Alerts

First, I want you to go here.

You’ll see a screen that looks like this (make sure you sign in at the top right).

I want you to type in your domain name without the www or the https part.

In my case, I would type in: neilpatel.com

You may see an alert preview like the one above, but if you have a newer site you probably won’t see any results, which is fine.

Then I want you to click on the “Show Options” link next to the “Create Alert” button.

Your settings should match mine:

How often – at most once a daySources – Blogs, Web (select those 2 options, you don’t want news as an option as it tends to create more irrelevant results and we’ve found that it is harder to get news sites to link back to you)Language – English (or the language you are targeting)Region – any region (or you can select the country you are targeting although I recommend picking “any region”)How many – all resultsDeliver to – should be your email.

And then click “Create Alert.”

Up to once a day, you’ll get an email with a list of pages that mentions your website or domain.

I want you to repeat the process and create an alert for the following items:

Your domain – you should have just done this.Brand name – in my case I would create an alert for “Neil Patel.”Product names – if you are selling any services or products you can create an alert around that. In my case, I would create an alert for “Ubersuggest.”Industry terms – create alerts for anything related to your industry. When people are talking about your space, it is an easy link opportunity. In my case, I would create alerts for the terms: digital marketing, online marketing, and SEO.Your email address – create an alert anytime someone gives out your email. Again, another easy link opportunity.

Here’s what mine looks like:

You’ll also notice for all of my two-word phrases I have quotation marks around them.

For example, I would not create an alert for: Neil Patel

But, I would create an alert for: “Neil Patel”

The reason being is that alerts for two-word phrases without quotes aren’t as relevant. For example, here are some alerts from the term: online marketing.

When I use quotes, here are the results.

See the difference?

Getting links

Now that you have alerts set up, it is time to get links.

Keep in mind that when you get an alert email, someone could have already linked to you. So, not every alert will be a link building opportunity, but many will be.

Typically, more than half will be opportunities.

Depending on the alert type, some will be easier than others. So, let’s go over how to convert each opportunity into a link.

Your domain

You’ll find that a good portion of the mentions of your domain will contain a link back to your site.

For those, you don’t have to do anything as you’ve already got a link. 🙂

For the ones that aren’t linking to you, I want you to send the following email to the webmaster…

Subject: Did you make a mistake?

Hey [insert first name],

First off, I just wanted to say thanks for mentioning [insert your domain] in this article [insert a link to the URL that mentions your domain].

I know you are busy so I will just cut to the chase.

Would you mind hotlinking my domain to my website? I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that extra traffic really helps small companies like mine.

Cheers,

[insert your name]

PS: Let me know if I can do anything for you.

Brand name

When it comes to brand names, it is a 50/50 shot. Roughly half the people will link to you when they mention your brand and the other half won’t.

For the ones that didn’t, send them this email:

Subject: You forgot to do this

Hey [insert first name],

I’m flattered.

Thank you for mentioning [insert your brand name] in your article on [insert the title of their article].

[insert the URL of their article]

You really made my day with that.

Again, thank you!

I feel bad doing this because you already mentioned us, but it would mean the world to me if you also linked our name to our site.

Would you mind doing that?

Sorry to bug you.

[insert your name]

PS: Let me know if I can do anything for you.

Product names

With product names, usually 70% to 80% of the websites will be linking back to you and the rest not. For the ones that don’t, send them an email similar to this:

Subject: Did you mean to do this?

Hey [insert their first name],

I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how much I appreciate that you mentioned [insert your brand name] here [insert the URL of the webpage that mentions your product].

Seriously, thank you!

Now, I feel bad doing this, but would you mind hotlinking [insert your product name] to this page on our website where people can find the product [insert the URL on your site that covers the product]?

Sorry to bug you.

And again, thank you for mentioning us. It really means a lot.

[insert your name]

PS: Let me know if I can do anything for you.

Your email address

Now this one is rare as most people won’t be publishing your email address.

And when they do, they usually aren’t linking to you.

If you try to get them to link the email address, you will find it hard. But what’s easier is to get them to remove your email address and link to your contact page instead.

Here’s the email template I use for this.

Subject: Privacy issue

Hey [insert their first name],

I noticed you mentioned our email address, [insert your email address], on this page [insert the page they mentioned your email on].

Would you mind mentioning and linking to our contact page instead [insert your contact page URL]?

For privacy reasons, I would rather have people get in touch with us through that page instead of our email.

Thanks for your time.

[insert your name]

You also notice that in this template I didn’t include the PS at the bottom. The PS typically helps boost your success ratio, but when it comes to this email, you want to be a bit more firm as it is related to your privacy.

You ideally want the link and fewer people sharing your email because then you’ll have to deal with a ton of spam messages.

Industry terms

In almost all cases, alerts that contain industry terms won’t be linking to you. And this group will also be the largest number of results you get with each alert email.

You’ll have to go through each alert and look at the context of the web page.

If they are talking about something that you have already covered on your website and did more in-depth than they have, there is a good chance you can convince them to link to you.

For example, if there is an article about SEO and they mention how you need to build links, but they don’t go into how to build links, I would email the site owner pointing to this article as it breaks down how to build links.

Here is the type of email I would send:

Subject: Some feedback for you

Hey [insert their first name],

Love your article on [insert the topic of their article] [insert the URL of their article].

I just have one piece of feedback for you (hope you don’t get offended), but you mention [insert the subject they mention that you go more in-depth on within your own site], but you didn’t go too in-depth on it.

I think if you adjusted that it would provide a lot more value to your readers.

Or if you don’t have the time to, I already have an article on it here [insert the URL on your site where you go in-depth on that topic] that you could just link to.

Let me know your thoughts.

[insert your name]

PS: Let me know if I can do anything for you.

How do I get in touch?

Now that you know what kind of emails to send depending on the alert you receive, you’ll have to, of course, get in touch with the site owner.

So how do you find their email address?

Well, the simplest way is to go to their contact page and see if their email is there or if they have a contact form.

You can also check out their terms of service or privacy policy.

Another option is to use tools like Hunter. Just type in a domain name into Hunter and you’ll see a list of people you can contact.

Their free plan allows 50 requests per month, which should be enough to get you started.

Conclusion

Google Alerts is an easy way to build links so I would start with that.

What’s beautiful about it is that you’ll get notified of opportunities. This will save you a lot of time.

And if you find yourself with a bit of extra time, I recommend one more strategy to build links.

Go here and put in your competition’s URL.

Once you hit “search” you’ll see a report that looks something like this:

These are all of the websites linking to your competition. What’s interesting about this list is that it is sorted.

The results at the top have more authority, in which they typically boost SEO rankings more than the ones at the bottom of the list.

You’ll want to go through the list, click on each site, and see if it makes sense to reach out to that website and ask them to link to you.

Typically, if you have similar content to your competition that is more thorough, it’s possible to convince someone to link to you. You’ll have to send them emails like the one below…

Hey [insert their first name],

Question for you…

How do you think it makes you look to your readers when you link to another site that doesn’t really help them?

It kind of makes you look bad and maybe even lose a little bit of trust with your readers, right?

In this article [insert the URL on their site], you link out to [insert the competition’s URL].

The article you are linking to doesn’t cover [insert the areas the competition missed].

I actually have an article [insert your article URL] that covers [insert what you cover that the competition doesn’t and why it benefits readers more].

If you aren’t interested in linking to us no worries. I just know that you care about your readers and you want to do the best for them.

Cheers,

[insert your name]

PS: Let me know if I can do anything for you.

If you follow the steps above, you’ll start building links.

It isn’t that hard and you can do it. You just have to be willing to put in the time and not get discouraged if you send out a handful of emails and no one links back to you.

Just think of your email as a sales pitch and it may not be perfect the first time… so you may have to modify and adjust it.

If you have any questions on the steps or are confused about anything, just leave a comment below.

The post How to Build Links Using Google Alerts appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Guide: How to use podcasting in your content marketing campaign

Guide: How to use podcasting in your content marketing campaign

30-second summary:

Podcasting can add a new dimension to your brand and content marketing strategy.
There are many ways you can approach this, utilizing different mediums, channels, and distribution methods to accomplish this, but many content marketers stick to the basics, almost exclusively focusing on written content. 
Georgi Todorov shares a comprehensive guide on podcast content which encompasses the benefits, SEO perks, types of podcast content, publishing and marketing platforms, and a lot more!

If you have a content marketing strategy already in place, you’re no stranger to the fundamental principles that guide it. Your goal is to naturally attract more readers, fans, and followers by providing them with information and/or entertainment they want to consume. There are many ways you can approach this, utilizing different mediums, channels, and distribution methods to accomplish this, but many content marketers stick to the basics, almost exclusively focusing on written content. 

If you want to stand out from the crowd, reach new audiences, and capitalize on a medium with enormous momentum, you should consider starting your own podcast. But how can you integrate podcasting with the rest of your content marketing campaign? 

Why podcasts?

First, let’s talk about why podcasts are so valuable in the context of content marketing. A podcast is a series of pieces of audio content, usually released regularly in the form of episodes. These episodes vary in length and format, with some primarily unfolding as interviews and others attempting to provide an entire narrative experience.

Five big benefits of podcasting

In any case, there are several benefits to using podcasts: 

1. Current popularity

Podcasts have become incredibly popular in the past several years. There are currently more than a million podcasts, with 30 million episodes between them, and more than half of all households are podcast listeners. Podcasts still seem to be on a fast growth trajectory, as more people discover and become immersed in the medium. 

2. Ease of entry

Podcasts are also valuable because of how easy they are to create. Make no mistake, you’ll still need to put the effort in, just as you would with any kind of content. However, you can get started with a relatively inexpensive assortment of equipment, and you don’t need any special training in audio engineering to make an episode that sounds good. 

3. Cross-medium potential

Podcasts are also a gateway to produce multiple forms of content simultaneously. For example, you could record video of an interview you conducted with an industry leader, then release it as a video, a podcast, and as a blog (with a written transcript), capitalizing on the content in three ways. 

4. Collaborative potential

The interactive audio experience lends itself well to collaboration, you can benefit by going on other podcasts, and other industry experts can benefit from attending yours. This cross-pollination effect allows you to spread your influence more easily, while also getting help creating new content. 

5. New audience segments

Some people who prefer listening to podcasts may never discover your work unless you break them in with audio content. In any case, you’ll be able to reach new segments and existing segments in new ways, broadening your audience. 

Podcasting as a new content marketing channel

With those benefits in mind, the best way to think about podcasting in content marketing is to think of it as a new content marketing channel. Content marketing always has the same overarching goal. You want to give people content they want. This could mean providing them with answers to their questions (which is especially important if you’re optimizing for search engines), or merely entertaining them. 

Take ASAP Science as an example. The popular Youtube channel has racked up over 9.3 million subscribers since launching over seven years ago. About two years ago, they launched a podcast called Sidenote to supplement their popular video content.

Each content marketing channel represents some way for consumers to find your content and consume it. For example, there’s blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, and videocasting – in some ways, podcasting is just another lead generation channel to add to your repertoire

As with the addition of other channels, the best way to harness the power of podcasting is by treating each channel as a complementary unit in a broader whole. For example, you’ll use your email newsletter to showcase your best blogs, and you’ll call for email newsletter signups in the body of your blog posts. This allows channel-specific consumers to discover your other mediums and helps keep your brand top-of-mind in many areas. 

If you decide to podcast, you’ll need to take advantage of this, leveraging your existing channels to push your podcast and using your podcast to deliver listeners to other channels. 

This is what Neil Patel and Eric Siu did to launch their four-year-old podcast, Marketing School. Both are well-recognized experts in the field of online marketing, and they leveraged their existing content channels, including their blogs and email lists, to launch Marketing School, which now enjoys over 1 million downloads per month. 

Podcasts and SEO

Podcasting also requires attention to search engine optimization (SEO) in two main ways. First, if utilized properly, podcasting can boost the search engine visibility of your main site. 

You can list and distribute your new podcast episodes as individual pages of your site, much like a blog, and if you provide adequate titles, meta information, and episode transcripts, you’ll easily have a new way to optimize for specific keyword phrases. Each new podcast episode will also be a piece of content that can be discovered in search engines. This is the approach Shane Barker takes with his podcast, Marketing Growth Podcast.

Over time, as your podcast becomes more popular, it will attract more citations and other types of links. This is vital for improving your domain authority, which in turn will make it easier for your site to rank. If you’re interested in building a separate domain, you can do that too, using your podcast as an engine of exclusive support. 

There’s another way to think about SEO, however. Podcasts are an avenue to grow the authority and visibility of your main site—but you also need to think about promoting the podcast’s authority and visibility. Most people discover podcasts by browsing podcast distribution networks and conducting searches for topics that interest them. Accordingly, you’ll need to optimize for these podcast-specific search engines. 

The process for optimizing a podcast for podcast networks is very similar to website-specific SEO, you’ll need to optimize for specific keywords and improve your reputation. Take, for example, the aptly-named podcast The Fantasy Footballers, who rank very well in search results for their niche, “fantasy football.” 

In addition to your podcast’s name, you’ll need to collect as many ratings and reviews as possible, which means calling listeners to action each episode and ensuring you provide them with high-quality material. 

The saturation dilemma: Finding a unique angle

The 30 million podcast episodes currently in circulation are a sign of podcasts’ popularity, but this is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good sign that you’re onto a hot channel, but it also means you’re facing a ton of competition. The podcast market is, in some ways, saturated, and if you want to succeed, you’ll need some way to stand out. 

Four ways your podcast can be unique in some way
1. A new topic

You could introduce an entirely new topic to the podcast world — something no one has covered before. Given the length of time podcasting has been around and the sheer number of people trying to do this, finding a truly unique topic may be exceedingly difficult. 

2. A different format

You may also try to take an existing topic and cover it in a different format. Instead of short episodes, you could do deep, two or three hour dives. You could also try to produce bite-sized segments, five minutes in length, to capitalize on audiences with minimal free time. If most people in this space are doing interviews, you could create a narrative or vice versa. It all depends on your goals. 

3. Strong opinions

It’s also possible to differentiate your podcast by offering strong opinions on a given subject. It’s okay to be controversial, even if some people disagree with you, they’ll be inclined to voice their contradicting opinions, which will only bring more attention to your work. Just make sure you’re still being respectful in your expression of your opinions. 

4. A different tone

You can also consider introducing your topics with a different tone. For example, if people usually treat this topic overly seriously, you could give it a cheeky, tongue-in-cheek spin. 

However, you choose to be unique, make sure you’re also showcasing your authentic self. People listen to podcasts in part because they feel like they get to know the hosts; if you’re trying too hard to put on airs or if you try to use a personality that isn’t your own, you’re going to turn people away. 

The quality factor

It should go without saying that your podcast needs to be “good,” or people won’t listen to it. But what exactly is a “good” podcast? 

As with written content, there are some easily identifiable hallmarks of “good” work, but also some harder-to-place subjective qualities you’ll need to consider. Listen to a lot of podcasts to get a feel for what you like and don’t like. 

The most important quality to strive for is value; are you providing listeners with something they find valuable? Beyond that, you’ll need to think about the integrity of your recording; are your voices coming through loud and clear, with little to no background noise? 

Distribution and promotion

Much of your podcasting success will depend on your ability to distribute and promote your work. Let’s say your podcast is objectively the best podcast ever recorded, it’s funny, informative, and has something for everyone. That’s still no guarantee of success. If people aren’t able to find and listen to it, they’ll never even know what they’re missing out on. 

Accordingly, you’ll need to make additional efforts to improve its visibility. As we already covered, it’s important to optimize your podcast for search engines. It’s also important to distribute your podcast on as many podcast distribution networks as possible. Spotify is the biggest podcast platform currently, but Apple Podcasts is also a major player, and there are several smaller platforms to consider. It doesn’t take much effort to list your work in these channels, so you might as well do it. 

You’ll also want to publish new work on a consistent basis. Many podcasters strive for a weekly new episode or even a daily new episode, but the frequency isn’t nearly as important as the consistency. Consistency is what allows you to retain your existing audience and snowball new listeners into your fanbase. 

In addition to distributing your podcast on multiple platforms, you’ll want to promote your work so people can find it easily. Again, cross-promotion on your other content channels is ideal here, but if you want a quicker route to early momentum, consider paying for advertising. 

As your podcast begins to mature, you’ll want to spend extra effort nurturing your existing audience to encourage their loyalty (and hopefully get more referrals). Respond to comments on your podcast episodes when you can, thank your listeners regularly, and get involved on social media; you can even consider starting a Facebook Group or similar network for your fans. Here’s a guide with 101 tactics to promote your podcast.

A note on monetization

This guide assumes that you’re using podcasting as a way to market your brand or website overall. Accordingly, it’s a form of advertising on its own. However, it’s worth noting that if your podcast accumulates a significant enough listener base, you may be able to monetize it. 

Ads, sponsorships, and affiliate deals can all help you offset the costs of recording and establish a separate stream of revenue — but they may also turn some audience members away. 

Content marketing touchstones: Measurement and analysis 

As with other elements of your content marketing strategy, the only way to tell if your podcasting strategy is working is to measure and analyze your results. How many new listeners and subscribers are you getting? How many times is each episode downloaded? Is your podcast responsible for generating new traffic to your site? How many site visitors eventually download a podcast episode? 

Set up Google Analytics or your platform of choice to track these metrics, then experiment. Do people respond better to a certain type of episode that you release? Did your numbers drop off when you took a big risk? More importantly, what trends do you see emerging over time? 

Conclusion

Podcasting is a powerful complement to your existing content marketing efforts, and it can stand on its own as a path to revenue generation if you treat it right. But to be successful, you’ll need some way to distinguish yourself from your numerous competitors, a high emphasis on quality, and constant refinement with the help of measurement and analysis. 

It’s a complex and nuanced content marketing channel, but getting started is easier than most people think. Give it a try, and see if it can work for your brand.

Georgi Todorov is a digital marketing specialist at Green Park Content. He can be found on Twitter @GeorgiTodorovBG.  

The post Guide: How to use podcasting in your content marketing campaign appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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5 Important Copywriting Tools Every SEO Pro Needs

5 Important Copywriting Tools Every SEO Pro Needs

You’re an SEO. You’ve found an incredible keyword gap for your client that their competitors aren’t ranking for.  

Thrilled, you develop title tag and on-page copy recommendations for your client and are sure that your advice will propel their organic traffic forward.

Copywriting tools? For on-page recommendations and a title-tag?  Your writing is fine as is. Or so you think.

See, you didn’t use copywriting tools to make sure your language was actionable, invoked emotion and had perfect spelling and grammar. Users didn’t click on your client’s result because they felt indifferent and unmotivated while reading your title.

But here at Distilled <> Brainlabs, we can help you with that.

In case you missed it, we’ve merged!

While an SEO’s job can include mapping keywords or making content recommendations, these actions won’t matter if we can’t attract users to click on and read our results. The perfect keyword can exist, but if we can’t position it and attract a user to it, we could be left wondering where we went wrong.

Because of this, I’ll share with you five important copywriting tools that ensure your title tags, headers, and on-page copy stand out from the crowd and attract your target audience.

1. Avoid any costly spelling mistakes – Grammarly

When writing, we can think of the most enticing and encouraging language to get users to click on our results. This is a goal that we should strive for, except when our titles or copy have egregious misspellings or hard-to-ignore grammatical errors. 

A persuasive title with a spelling error is pretty much user-repellant.

Users are looking for results that display:

authority
expertise
trust

Misspellings and grammatical errors scream the opposite of authority. We need to make sure our content is cleaned up. 

Want to know how we can do this?

Using Grammarly, a free digital writing tool that uses artificial intelligence and natural processing language to check grammar and spelling. 

It would be really disappointing if the first tool we recommended to you is a glorified spell-checker. 

Luckily, Grammarly is more than that. It also makes recommendations based on vocabulary, clarity, brevity, and tone. You can insert Grammarly into your optimization arsenal as a first line of defense, whether you prefer editing as you write or towards the end of your work. 

Grammarly has an online editor on their website and browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. Having Grammarly installed will also improve your writing anywhere on the web quickly and seamlessly, without ever having to open another tab.

Grammarly’s algorithms help raise issues that may be present in your writing, and give the reasoning behind any potential correction, which help you make informed and thoughtful decisions while editing your work.

Grammarly also offers functionality in Microsoft Office on Windows and a Grammarly Keyboard for IOS or Android. They also offer a Gmail plug-in, so when you’re communicating with your client or colleague, you can draft up that 4:55 pm email knowing you’re in good hands. 

2. Improve hard to read sentences – Hemingway

We want our writing to be error-free and grammatically correct. But sometimes we need that extra push to make our writing more concise. Many writers find themselves constructing difficult and hard to read sentences. This can lead to writing at a comprehension level higher than your target audience.

Enter the Hemingway editor.

Hemingway Editor is a free writing tool that helps make your writing clear and bold. It can help with improving the style of your writing and letting the reader focus more on your message. 

Think about being a reader yourself. Do you want to spend time having to re-read a sentence to understand its meaning? 

You can enter your copy directly into the Hemingway Editor and watch as it dissects your text for adverb usage, use of active voice, and hard to read sentences. 

For SEO professionals, another valuable aspect of Hemingway is its built-in readability score.  After you enter text or copy into Hemingway, it uses the  Automated Readability Index, which basically informs you what “grade level” your writing is at.  

Why is writing for grade level important?

We want to consider who we’re writing for, as SEO professionals, content writers, and writers in general. 

Writing to capture traffic for a direct-to-consumer electronic company should look and read differently than a B2B cloud migration company. 

Studies have shown that the average american reads at an 8th-10th grade level. So if your copy starts to creep up to 12th or 13th grade level, consider whether this level of reading comprehension makes sense for the users you’re trying to cater to.

The next time your client asks you to review a blog post, or you’re constructing title tags and meta descriptions, you can rest assured that your recommendations will include robust and readable copy.

Hemingway is available for your browser. They also offer a paid version–the Hemingway Editor 3 for Mac and PC. This version works without an internet connection and lets you publish directly to WordPress or export directly to HTML or Microsoft Word.

3. Keep readers engaged with your content – Bucket Brigades

We now have two free tools to make sure our writing is grammatically correct, bold, and easy to read. 

Think about how much value you can now provide your clients with:

Their content will be punctual and powerful, and they’ll have you to thank drawing all of this new organic traffic to their website and resulting in a 15% increase in conversions. 

Except you can’t keep users on the page. 

Your blog post is boring her. She’s now headed to your competitor’s site.

Now: how can we draw the reader in?

Using a classic copywriting technique called Bucket Brigades. 

As SEO’s, we know that average time on page can directly affect a result’s ranking potential. And while bounce rate doesn’t necessarily indicate a decrease in ranking potential, wouldn’t users be more likely to convert if they were drawn in by and attracted to our content?

Think about it: we want to keep users on our client’s pages. We can’t do that if they stay on the page for less than 15 seconds.  

A bucket brigade is traditionally defined as a human chain, used to transport items from one person to the next (think firefighters passing a bucket of water).

Thankfully, we’ve invented fire trucks.

In writing, a bucket brigade is a phrase that motivates a user to continue reading. Of course, writers being the creatives we are, had to steal this concept and make it about ourselves.

It does make sense though. As writers, we want our reader’s attention to easily “pass” from one sentence to the next, and bucket brigades help accomplish this.

As an SEO, whether you’re reviewing a blog post for a client or trying to create attention-grabbing headers, including bucket brigades is a simple and free way to improve users’ time on-page and improve a client’s conversion rate. 

Whether you’re working in-house or for an agency, one idea to keep in mind is your client’s brand voice and to ensure the language you recommend ties in accordingly. If they employ a more conversational approach to content, using bucket brigades would be a welcome addition to their strategy.

If your client’s content exudes a more formal tone of voice, bucket brigades are still an acceptable strategy, but it may be beneficial to limit your usage to avoid coming across as too informal. 

Some classic Bucket Brigades include:

Want to know..
Now:
It gets better/worse:
But wait..
Think about it:
On the other hand,
Here’s why:

You could use some of these examples or get creative and develop attention-grabbing bucket brigades yourself. 

This is incredible. You now know how to write powerful, error-free, and captivating copy.

But how can we ensure users will even click on your result in search engines?

4. Improve dull and unexciting headers – CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

Any SEO professional will tell you that a title tag can make or break a piece of content. How can you improve a client’s organic traffic if you can’t even get users to click on your result in the search engine? 

Luckily, Distilled’s own Dominic Woodman recently discussed how to write an incredible title tag where he goes into defining a title tag, what your goals should be when constructing one, and how to write different kinds of title tags and expectations one should have.

 

When constructing headers or title tags, many copywriters like to brainstorm and write down as many as they can, and this is something SEO professionals can benefit from by implementing into their title tag creation process. It can help get the creative juices flowing and explore different title or header structures one might not have thought of at first.

What should we do when we decide on two to three that we love? 

We can use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.  

After briefly filling out a call-to-action, you can use this free tool to help you write headlines that will drive traffic, shares and search results.

The Headline Analyzer has a couple of useful features.

It measures a header’s “word balance”, which includes how many common, uncommon, emotional and powerful  words are used in great headlines. They recommend a strong header has the following balance:

Common words – 20-30%

Uncommon words – 10-20%

Emotional words – 10-15%

Powerful words – at least 1 powerful phrase or word

While I wouldn’t be too alarmed if you aren’t hitting every single target here (writing title tags and headers is hard!) this part of the tool is helpful to consider your usage of powerful and emotional words. 

In addition, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer includes a length analysis feature that measures if your headline is the proper length and uses an ideal amount of words.

All in all, this tool can assist in giving thoughtful insights for titles and headers that you may not have previously considered. Feel free to use this during any part of your title tag or header ideation process! 

5. Find out what your users are really searching for – AlsoAsked.com

Last but not least, we’d like to introduce you to  AlsoAsked.com, a new SEO research tool that focuses on informing users on how questions are topically grouped. It isn’t necessarily a copywriting tool, but provides us with valuable insights into what we should actually be writing about. 

This free tool takes your search term and displays related questions from other users. It uses “People Also Ask” data, rather than Google’s Autosuggest, which is a main reason why we use this tool to create relevant headers and write copy that helps our readers.

We know what questions users are searching for and what language they’re using. Why not use it to our advantage?

To use the tool, you simply plug in a keyword you’re targeting, select the language you’d like results for, and choose the region you’re trying to target. 

Let’s say we want to know what questions users have about meta descriptions.

We just plug “meta description” into the search bar, choose the language and region of our choice, and let AlsoAsked do the rest.

You can see below that we’ve now been given an overview of different types of questions users have, and how those questions can lead to even more specific searches. 

With these findings, we now know what answers users are looking for, and can create content that satisfies them.

For example,  if you’re writing a blog post about meta descriptions, some topics we may want focus on include:

Defining what a meta description is
Giving a meta description example
How to write a meta description
Google’s usage of meta descriptions

All in all, AlsoAsked is a useful tool that can help inform your content strategy and give you new ideas to write about or recommend!

We’d like to hear from you! 

At Distilled <> Brainlabs, we’re constantly testing out new and old tools alike, seeing what helps us deliver valuable client work and grow and improve our clients’ visibility. We hope you find some of these tools and tips helpful in your future content goals.

What are some of your favorite engaging words or phrases to use? What’s the most captivating title you’ve ever written?

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Which is better Ahrefs vs SEMrush? (Feature Comparison)

Which is better Ahrefs vs SEMrush? (Feature Comparison)

SEMrush and Ahrefs are two of the most popular SEO tools in the market. Both companies are in business for years and serve thousands of customers per month through their platforms.

If you’re a professional SEO or trying to do digital marketing on your own, at some point you’ll need the help of a tool and both Ahrefs and SEMrush will definitely appear in your shortlist.

In this guide, I’m going to help you decide which is the best SEO tool to use for your needs.

I’ve used both tools for years and I’ll explain which tool is better for performing the most common tasks a modern SEO expert is expected to do on a daily basis.

I’ll cover the following topics:

Do you really need an SEO tool?
What is SEMrush?
What is Aherfs?
Ahrefs VS SEMrush Comparison
Which SEO Tool I’m using on a daily basis

Do you really need an SEO Tool?

Being a good SEO specialist requires insight, knowledge, talent, and follow-through. None of that would help you if you didn’t have the right data, though.

Accurate data about keywords, your site’s SEO performance, your competitors’ sites, your backlinks, and other metrics are the cornerstones of good SEO. How do you get that data? It all comes down to the tools you use.

Considering that 51% of all web traffic comes from organic search, SEO is a critical part of any brand’s digital marketing.

Without an SEO tool, you’ll have to keep spreadsheets and feed them with manually exported data from various sources, a process that is prone to errors and time-consuming.

A good tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs can help you automate this process and present the data in a way that is meaningful and easy to access. As we’ll see below, you can make use of dashboards to read and analyze your data fast and easily create reports for your own use or present them to your clients and management.

Before we take a deeper look at the features of Aherfs and SEMrush and how they compare, let me quickly introduce the companies behind these tools.

What is SEMrush?
SEMRush

SEMrush is a complete digital marketing platform with 40+ tools covering all aspects of digital marketing. The company was founded in 2008 and has more than 800 employees in 7 countries.

Their tools are grouped into four main categories: SEO, paid traffic, social media, content marketing, and market research.

According to stats provided by SEMrush, their user base is 5 million and their database includes 18.8 billion keywords, and 717 million domains covering 142 geographic locations.

What makes SEMrush a great tool to consider is that it’s an all-in-one platform with a number of quality tools and features.

SEMRush Trial

If you want to test SEMRush yourself, you can use this link to register for a 14-Day SEMRush trial for free. You can use the tool for 14 days without any charge.

What is Aherfs?
Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an SEO platform offering a set of tools to grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and monitor your niche. The company started in 2010 and it became quickly one of the most popular SEO tools.

The main tools offered are site explorer, keywords explorer, site audit, rank tracker, and content explorer.

According to stats provided by Ahrefs, their database includes 10.3 billion keywords, 170 million root domains, 16 trillion known links, covering data of 10 search engines (including Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon) in 171 countries.

What makes Ahrefs a great tool to consider is their comprehensive links database which makes it a very good option when it comes to link analysis and link building.

Ahrefs Trial

Ahrefs offers a 7-Day trial period for $7. During this period you get full access to the tool. To register for an ahrefs trial, use this link.

Overall, both SEMrush and Ahrefs have similar features, but which is the best tool to use?

Ahrefs VS SEMrush Comparison

We have compared SEMRush and Ahrefs against the following features

SEO Auditing
Keyword Research
Rank Tracking
Topic Research
Identifying Link Building Opportunities
Link Analysis
Search Engine Marketing
Social Media Features
Tools to Analyze Content for SEO
Ease of Use
Pricing
Support

1. SEO Auditing

When you’re planning a trip, you can’t find the right directions if you don’t know your starting point and final destination.

The same is true for SEO. Performing an SEO audit will help you create an SEO action plan and show you the path to follow to reach your destination which is no other than higher rankings for your target keywords.

Both SEMrush and Ahrefs offer a technical SEO audit feature. They evaluate your website using a number of pre-defined rules related to technical SEO and give you a list of recommendations on what you need to fix to improve your SEO performance.

The two tools are alike in that general audit structure, and they work in similar ways. They both include helpful instructions that explain the issues they’ve found and how to fix them.

One of the differences though is that SEMrush gives you more information about your internal link distribution.

SEMRush Technical SEO Audit Tool

Your goal with internal linking is to help users by providing them with additional information about a topic and search engines by giving them hints as to which pages of your website are more important.

This is a very powerful (and simple to use) SEO technique and SEMrush makes it easier to understand how your internal links are distributed across your website.

2. Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important and critical SEO processes. If you get your keyword research wrong, you’ll end up targeting the wrong keywords and even if you manage to get traffic, it won’t convert.

So, it’s important to use a tool that provides accurate information about keywords.

Both SEMrush and Ahrefs give you strong insights into the keywords you want to optimize for on your site.

SEMrush calls their tool Keyword Magic, and its Ahrefs equivalent is the Keywords Explorer.

SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool

When searching for keywords for a particular topic, SEMrush seems to provide more results but Ahrefs has more filters to get rid of irrelevant or nonsense keywords.

Both SEMrush and Ahrefs also have content gap analysis tools, which can be a great help. They let you compare your site to your competitors’ sites that are ranking above you on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Both tools produce similar results by listing the keywords that your competitor is better optimized for.

Special Keyword Features

There are some features that are specific to one tool over the other, though. For instance, SEMrush offers comprehensive data about keyword trends that Ahrefs doesn’t.

SEMRush Keyword Trends

The data lets you see which keywords are on the rise and which are falling in popularity. It also tells you if a keyword is popular at a particular time of the year, for example. Then you can focus on that keyword in your content during a particular season.

For its part, Ahrefs has a handy click estimation feature. This estimates the number of clicks you’d get for each keyword if you were the top-ranked result.

Ahrefs Traffic Estimator Tool

This is helpful because Google’s rich snippets often give users answers without having to click on any results. A keyword might have great search volume but if hardly anyone clicks on the results after searching it, it may not be worth your time.

3. Rank Tracking

As you work towards optimizing for particular keywords, you want to be able to see your results. This is where Ahrefs and SEMrush’s rank tracking features come in.

Both of these tools have rank trackers that show you how your ranking is shifting for specific keywords. They also show you your site’s overall average across all the keywords you’re tracking. Both tools let you compare your site to your competitors as well.

As far as accuracy goes, both tools appear to be equal. At first glance, Ahrefs appears to have an advantage because its interface is more attractive and easier to use. When you dig deeper, though, SEMrush wins in other critical areas.

SEMrush updates their rank tracking every day. This lets you watch your results in real-time and get a powerful picture of rank fluctuations.

SEMRush Rank Tracking

With Ahrefs, the most frequent update schedule available is every three days. That is only the frequency for Ahref’s two most expensive plans. With their most economical plan, you only get weekly updates.

Ahrefs Backlink Checker
4. Topic Research

Your site’s content is a vital part of your SEO. One of the top ways to produce SEO-focused content is to check out the competing content that performs well and use it as a model.

Ahrefs makes that easy with their Content Explorer tool, and SEMrush does the same with their Topic Research tool.

Both of those tools go beyond basic web stats. They tell you how each page in the search results is performing on social media. Whether you want content that will be popular on Google or on a specific social media platform, you can optimize accordingly.

Ahrefs has a slight edge in this area with its publication history. It tells you how many pages are published and updated for that topic over time.

Ahrefs Content Explorer

This helps you see whether the topic is on the rise or the decline among content creators. You’ll be able to identify the topics that are in need of a fresh perspective and those with a lot of competing content.

5. Identifying Link Building Opportunities

Building a network of backlinks from reputable, high-volume sites will make a world of difference for your SEO. If you’re struggling to see where to start, SEMrush and Ahrefs both have features designed to help.

Broken-link building

This is a newer feature on Ahrefs’s platform. They added it to their Content Explorer when they debuted Content Explorer 2.0 in May 2019. You can search for a particular topic and the tool identifies broken backlinks.

You can use that information by identifying pages with many backlinks that have now moved or disappeared. If you recreate the content on your site and send the link to the sites that link to the broken URL, they may swap it for your link. It’s a handy way to get new backlinks.

SEMrush’s tool is called the Link Building Tool. It does the same thing Ahrefs does by identifying broken and outdated links. It also has another feature, though.

SEMrush’s distinctive tool identifies many ways to build your backlinks. It offers a list of sites you could reach out to in order to get a backlink.

SEMRush Link Building Features

Along with that list, SEMrush gives you the contact information for as many of those sites as possible. It integrates with many email platforms so you can contact the sites directly from SEMrush. The tool tracks all that outreach so you can see the fruits of your labor.

SEMRush Email Outreach Feature
6. Link Analysis

Backlinking isn’t just a numbers game. You need your backlinks to be from credible sites. The opposite can actually harm your SEO.

Both tools let you analyze your pages to see the number of total backlinks and referring domains they each have. In the past, Ahrefs was the better choice for link analysis because they had a stronger database.

However, SEMrush did a major database update in 2019. Since then, the two tools are neck-and-neck for performance.

SEMRush Backlink Database

Overall, SEMrush wins out because of a crucial special feature: its backlink audit tool. This identifies potentially toxic backlinks that could be hurting your SEO. You can disavow them with Google to stop the damage.

Ahrefs doesn’t have this feature, though it does show you which of your backlinks have the lowest domain authority. From there, you could investigate each site to see if it’s a potential problem.

7. Search Engine Marketing

Along with its keyword research tool, SEMrush has a unique feature Ahrefs doesn’t have. It shows you keyword data for PPC ads like Google Ads and product listing ads, or PLAs.

SEMrush also has a cost-per-click map, showing you how much you’re paying for clicks from different regions. As a result, SEMrush goes beyond your site’s SEO to help all facets of your search engine marketing campaigns.

8. Social Media Features

This is another SEMrush-only feature. Beyond all the data it offers you for building your SEO, it helps you manage and evaluate your social media marketing.

You can use SEMrush to schedule your social media posts for numerous platforms. SEMrush also tracks your social media analytics to offer all the data in one place. Better yet, the tool shows you your competitors’ analytics.

SEMRush Social Media Tracking
9. Tools to Analyze Content for SEO

Finally, this is the third useful feature SEMrush offers that Ahrefs doesn’t: content marketing audits. This tool evaluates your content for its SEO capabilities. It shows you your keyword frequency, readability, and other scores for each page.

If you’ve used the popular WordPress plug-in, Yoast, SEMrush’s Content Auditing Tool is similar. The tool can evaluate your published content or you can use it while you’re writing and updating the content.

SEMRush Content Analyzer

As we noted, this is a tool Ahref’s doesn’t have, just like social media management and SEM keyword data. To be fair, this is simply because Ahrefs focuses on a more specialized type of SEO data. SEMrush aims to be a more diverse tool.

10. Ease of Use

When it comes to usability, Ahrefs and SEMrush both have their advantages and disadvantages. Ahrefs has a more intuitive user interface. Data is prominent and their graphics make it easy to understand at a glance.

In our experience, though, SEMrush has better performance. Ahrefs is sometimes slow to load. If you’re trying to check many sites or pages in a short period of time, Ahrefs may slow you down.

It comes down to a matter of preference in this case. Some users prioritize performance while others feel that Ahrefs’s interface is with the time.

11. Pricing

Cost is always an important consideration, and for the most part, Ahrefs and SEMrush are similar.

Both of these tools offer several plans with increasing capabilities. They each start around $99 per month for one user.

SEMRush Pricing

It’s important to note that Ahrefs’s $99 is more limited than SEMrush’s $99 plan. However, Ahrefs’s pricier plans offer more users for the price: three users for the Advanced plan, five for the Agency plan. SEMrush only offers one user for every plan price with the option to add more users for additional fees.

Ahrefs Pricing

Depending on how many users you need, SEMrush may be a better deal because of its extra features. For instance, it allows you to cut out the cost of Yoast Premium as well as your social media management tools.

12. Support

Overall, both Ahrefs and SEMrush have reliable performance. Still, you always need to know whether a tool has solid support in case a problem arises.

Both of the tools are very quick and responsive in their support. They also both allow you to reach them with an online chat feature.

With Ahrefs, though, the chat feature is where it stops. There is no visible way to reach them by phone or through email. SEMrush, on the other hand, provides email and phone support in addition to their chat.

Ahrefs vs SEMrush: The Verdict

When all is said and done, what’s the final word? Who wins in the battle of Ahrefs vs SEMrush?

Those that follow my posts know that my preferred tool is SEMRush. It’s the tool that I use on a daily basis for all my digital marketing needs. It’s easy to use, affordable, and reliable. New features are introduced all the time and in general, you get the feeling that the money you pay for the monthly subscription is worth it.

That doesn’t make Ahrefs a bad tool. On the contrary, it is a great tool but when it comes to features, SEMRush gives you more tools to manage your digital marketing campaigns and not just SEO.

The post Which is better Ahrefs vs SEMrush? (Feature Comparison) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

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Setup Automated Backup

Setup Automated Backup

We like to say Backup Before You Crackup.  Being in a situation where you have no backup to restore your site can make things go from bad to worse.  Follow the easy steps below to setup an automated backup system for free in minutes.

Login to your site and visit Plugins>Add New
Type in UpdraftPlus and install and activate it
Once active, visit Settings>UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore
Click on the Settings tab and adjust as desired

That is it.  Your WordPress site now has a smooth running automated backup and restore system.

Current Subscribers

Simply fill out the form below with your name and your email address and this will instantly subscribe you to our WP TAT™ campaign.

This way you will never miss a new post and never miss out on these valuable FREE tips to make your WordPress life better!

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We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. */

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Email Address *

(function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[1]=’FNAME’;ftypes[1]=’text’;fnames[0]=’EMAIL’;ftypes[0]=’email’;}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true);

The post Setup Automated Backup appeared first on WP Fix It.

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How to Scale Content Production That Doesn’t Suck

How to Scale Content Production That Doesn’t Suck

Soon after Local SEO Guide hired me last year, one of our multi-location retailer clients asked us to produce a few hundred buying guides for all sorts of products they sell.

Bulk napkins, refrigerators, laundry detergent, you name it. My first big project!

The timeline was about one month, on top of overlapping deadlines for other client projects. As the new content guy, I had to figure out how to make this happen without drowning.

But hot damn, that’s a lot of words to research, pay for, edit, format, and internally link in a month.

You’ve experienced some flavor of this, especially if you work for a small, scrappy agency without an existing editorial infrastructure. Sure, you can turn to Upwork, Zerys, or another content writing service to get it done.

But then how do you decide what to spend on great editors? Should they be subject matter experts, or hired guns who handle any topic? How many do you hire?

What if the client doubles or triples the project for your next engagement? Do you have the resources to…scale your content production?

How do you build an in-house content process that can be scaled 10 or 100 times over?

via GIPHY

Alas, scale. Love it or loathe it, “scale” (to me, anyway) just means delivering a proportionally bigger chunk of work while retaining high-quality content.

We’re working in a BERT environment where we don’t really optimize content. I focus on making content readable, logical, and unique enough that it stands out.

I don’t want to write one template, then apply a Find-Replace job across location pages for a national retailer, say. That’s too easy, and Google’s getting smarter about rewarding well-written copy with a purpose.

Call it craft content at scale.

So, how do you ensure you’re still brewing Lagunitas at the scale of Heineken?

via GIPHY

Five key elements to scaling content

To scale up a content writing program that doesn’t suck, follow these basics:

Find writers
Get organized
Ask questions
Provide a style guide
Give feedback and iterate

Will this work? I can all but guarantee it. Since December, we’ve published new site copy on hundreds of locally targeted URLs for a multi-location national retailer. Check it out.

How to find writers

via GIPHY

I prefer working with our own roster of writers, as opposed to a third-party service. I’ve found that it’s easier to communicate with them, from project clarifications to fixing snafus.

Writers tend to be more engaged and accountable when they’re working directly with us. In my experience with content farms, I cede an element of communication to the platform that makes it seem transactional, distant, and detached. And for some copywriting, I guess that’s OK.

It takes time to assemble a content team, there are endless job boards and groups out there. Some focus on content marketers, journalists, social media managers, and bloggers. But they’re all in the blast radius of “writing.” Chances are, you’ll find some great people.

Many of Local SEO Guide’s best content writers came from these (free) watering holes:

Binders Full of WRITING JOBS Facebook group (I’m not a member – had a colleague post in the group for me)
News Nerdery Slack group (heavy on data journalism, but there’s healthy overlap with analytics, SEO, and writing)
Twitter
Word-of-mouth referrals (from above, former coworkers, editors, friends, etc.)

Ask around, do some lurking, and give someone a chance to succeed. I recommend hiring freelance writers, as opposed to moonlighters with full-time jobs, so you’re not at the bottom of someone’s priority list. (I’ve never been a fan of writing tests—taking them, nor asking others to—but if you go this route, pay them.)

Regardless, building a rapport with whomever you decide to hire will make your job easier. Mutual trust reduces headaches for inevitable hiccups or, uh, pandemics.

For example, the Covid-19 lockdowns emerged in the middle of a sprint to produce 700 pieces of content for a multi-location national retailer (mentioned above). It was among our bigger content projects so far this year.

Many people’s lives were turned upside down—kids suddenly at home, schedules affected, you name it. We were able to contact everyone, figure out where we needed to shift assignments, or plan for late submissions. Wasn’t easy, but we did it.

Be flexible, trustworthy, and give helpful feedback. The writing quality will reflect that.

How to organize your content writing program

No top-secret solution here. We use G Suite’s Google Sheets to track our editorial progress.

Doing a great job? Client suddenly wants to double the copywriting for next month? Add the rows, boom. Scale me up, Scotty.

“What, you don’t use a sophisticated piece of project management software?”

I do for other stuff. Google Sheets works best for obvious reasons:

Most people know how to use it and easily access it
You can quickly add cells to track client-specific inputs
You can have writers submit assignments through Google Forms, which can populate Google Sheet cells with assignments or other info
You can create a tracking spreadsheet template, then copy it and tweak it for project-specific needs
You can use VLOOKUP functions to feed data to or from other spreadsheets. For example, tracking invoicing payment amounts, populating keyword research, or validating completion to monitor writer progress
It can be expanded to accommodate large-scale projects easily
Searching and filtering is [chef kiss] It’s free (relatively—aside from G Suite costs)

Camayak vs. Notion vs. Asana vs. Workflowy vs. Google Sheets

There’s slick content project tracking software out there. We’ve looked at Camayak, Notion, Asana, Workflowy, to name a few.

We keep it simple with Sheets.

What I include in our tracking sheets:

URL of where content will be published (or proposed path/slug for new pages)
Word count
Link to relevant keyword/editorial research
Writer assigned
Editor assigned
Cost (per word, flat rate, whatever it is)
Status updates from a drop-down menu (using Sheets’ Data Validation options)
Date assigned
Due date
Approval (usually my initials, or another LSGer)
Other client-specific notes as needed

Create a basic template and deploy it quickly for new projects.

You’re probably thinking, Whoa, this guy just discovered Sheets. Cool blog.

The point here: Don’t underestimate the value of being elastic to scale, tweak, and implement your content tracking with a simple organization solution.

Questions to ask when scaling up content production

Each project’s content strategy will raise different questions.

For any content creation project, we ask these four questions to orient our strategy. Be honest about the answers with yourself, your stakeholders, your clients, and your freelancers.

If you’re BSing your team members or phoning in the answers, you’ll have big problems with high-scale projects—especially if you’ve produced, published, and promoted the content.

What’s the goal of the content?

Are you looking to grow local search traffic for a national brand? Do you want to drive some type of conversion? Or are you simply looking to educate readers at the top of the funnel?

Figure out your target audience before you do anything, or you will be at sea.

What type of content do we need?

“Content” isn’t just a hand-wavy catch-all term for words. Yes, body copy might require heavy lifting. But content also refers to your keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, headings, slogs, anchor text, photos, infographics, captions and alt-tags, video/audio/podcast transcriptions, and call-to-action copy.

When you produce content, think about everything a user sees: every word, from the H1s to the fine print.

Where will the content be published?

Is there a category path under which your content will live? Or will it be published under the root domain?

Content alone doesn’t have the same effect as having a robust website taxonomy.

Huh.

In other words, you could have the Best Piece of Content ever. But if the information architecture of a site won’t appropriately display or organize your content pieces, you might be embarking on a fool’s errand. Blobs of text do nothing.

Blobs of text do nothing.

You might expect readers to find your great content directly from organic search. The more logically a website is built, the easier it is for search engines to understand how information is organized. Work with your stakeholders to determine the best place to publish.

How will you measure the content?

What does success look like? Do you care about performance at the page level, or site-wide?

Learning about KPIs has been one of the bigger learning curves for me, personally. I spent the last 10 years in newspapers and magazines, where someone else worried about analytics.

As the scale of your content production process increases, the importance of what you measure gets magnified. That sounds heady, but I’m going with it.

It’s not just about lines on a chart. Your clients will make decisions about where to invest in their SEO program depending on how your content performs. Know that you’re measuring what matters.

Create a style guide (or ask your client for one)

via GIPHY

Luckily, most of our clients have editorial or brand guidelines. This saves everyone time, and helps me low-key evaluate which of our freelance writers pay attention to our specs.

Even if your client has a style guide, there might be one-off requests, compliance updates, or other notes from an upstream marketing team.

Best to compile crucial information in an instructions shared document for your content creators.

This serves three purposes:

It’s an editorial blueprint for your writers
It’s a quality control reference
It’s a form of redundancy in your own note-taking. We’ve all searched our inboxes for that thrice-forwarded email about some style note and can’t find it.

Avoid the headache of small errors propagating across hundreds of pages of copy.

Give feedback and iterate

A few pieces of writing advice I always give to freelance writers:

Write like your audience is smart and busy
Write the way you’d want to be written for
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good

(I didn’t come up with these. Other smarter people did.)

We don’t have a crystal ball here at Local SEO Guide. And you don’t either. That makes it impossible to know what’s a perfect blog, a perfect sentence, and a perfect process.

If the content’s performance sucked, I try to understand why. It sucks to suck. So I improve it for next time, or propose a content refresh.

Give your writers and editors honest, actionable feedback. Offer to give it mid-process instead of at the end, so they can apply your suggestions.

Make improvements to your tracking process, your editorial guidelines, and the questions you ask throughout the content process. It’s not a sign that your methods were bad.

Make small improvements that gradually compound, rather than wholesale changes that move the earth beneath everyone.

Of course, You’ll know how your content program performed when it’s published. The benefits of knowing where to nip-tuck your content production process will become apparent the next time around. I smell another blog post…

The post How to Scale Content Production That Doesn’t Suck appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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