Showing posts with label content writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label content writing. Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Is Keyword Stuffing Really a Big Deal?

Keyword stuffing has been one of the biggest grey areas of SEO for some time. If not, the dictionary definition of a black-hat tactic to avoid at all costs.

But when considering the endless complexities of SEO from a 2022 perspective, is keyword stuffing really such a big deal? Does the overuse of keywords have any negative effects, or does it simply result in the keywords you use being ignored by Google?


What is Keyword Stuffing?

Putting an exact definition to keyword stuffing isn’t easy. This is because depending on what it is you are writing about, it may be absolutely necessary to include a specific keyword or term throughout your copy.

Keyword stuffing refers to the deliberate overuse of a specific target term, with the goal of tricking the major search engines into handing out higher rankings. Irrespective of whether these keywords are visible or concealed, any signs of deliberate overuse will be picked up and acted upon by Google.

What’s the Problem with Keyword Stuffing?

Google’s job is to recommend websites and pages that deliver the best possible user experience. Where keywords are deliberately overused for SEO purposes, it has a major impact on the quality of the copy in question.

Consequently, these are exactly the types of pages Google does not want to recommend. Keyword stuffing is a sign of desperation on the part of the publisher - not an indicator of quality or relevance.

Increasingly, Google’s crawlers are scrutinising the overall UX of a website with remarkable sophistication when handing out rankings. If there is clear evidence of the overuse of keywords, it indicates a substandard user experience.

In which case, the efforts of the publisher to get ahead through the excessive use of keywords will almost certainly backfire.

Are There Any Real Consequences to Keyword Stuffing?

Attempting to take these kinds of shortcuts almost always proves counterproductive. Where Google makes clear its attitude and approach to a low-road tactic, it makes sense to listen.

“Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context,” as spelled out in clear terms by Google.

In practice, keyword stuffing can (and often does) result in a major fall in the rankings. Take things too far and you could even run the risk of your pages being delisted entirely.

Of course, this only applies in instances where keywords have clearly been used excessively without justification. If there’s no alternative but to use the same terms dozens of times - such as in a technical post or academic piece - Google will pick up on this and you won’t be punished.

In all other instances, it’s a case of following a few basic guidelines to get your keyword game in order:

1. Always ensure your keywords are included in your copy naturally

2. Focus on one primary keyword and several secondary keywords

3. Write content in a way that prioritises the user experience

4. Optimise in other ways and don’t rely too heavily on keywords

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Smart Content Marketing

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to content marketing is the following:

Every web user presently online around the globe is online for a specific reason.

There is a surprising number of businesses that assume that every second web user is online with no specific purpose in mind whatsoever. Drifting around with no requirements or intention, thus wide open to their tempting offers and suggestions. The reality, however, is much different.

Whether it is for socialising, entertainment purposes, seeking services or researching products of any kind, there is always a reason for going online. This in turn means that to some extent at least, there is something specific every person in question is looking for.

Exactly who fulfils their requirements and expectations comes down to one simple thing and one thing alone – quality content.

Value and Quality

Online webmasters and businesses in general can throw all the hype they want at their target audiences. But without genuine value and quality to back it up, it is an exercise in futility. Above everything else, the crucial thing to remember when implementing a content marketing strategy is that web users will always respond best to websites that are providing them with some sort of help.

It can be help filling some minutes with quality entertainment, help with researching services and products, help with buying services and products and so on. Web users in general like to know that after each engagement or experience with an online entity, they come away better off.

Which is exactly why the most successful content is that which delivers benefits and value of some kind. How-to guides, tutorials, infographics or pretty much anything unique that can’t be found elsewhere.

Web marketers who exist for the sole reason to separate consumers from their hard earned money rarely find success – those who try to satisfy the needs of their audience usually perform much better.

The Psychology of Selling

Studies and the experience of millions of online businesses worldwide remind us that strong customer relationships could be forged if you help them solve a problem. If you’re willing to offer support and advice that is relevant, useful, transparent and accessible, you will stand a greater chance of standing out as a leader and authority in your field.

This means that next time they need any support or help along the same lines, they will most likely gravitate in your direction.

In a way, it is the classic example of selling without really selling in practice. Rather than bombarding your audience members with marketing materials, you are instead focusing on what they really want. And by doing so, you stand out from the crowd as an authority in your field.

So rather than focusing on and investing in the kind of hype that will most likely lead to nothing, think about how your business and your website could provide valuable and genuine help, for the benefit of your web users.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Writer’s Block? Where to Look for Blog Post Inspiration

Every now and again, even the most committed and capable bloggers struggle to find inspiration. You’ve every intention of publishing another quality post, but can’t for the life of you decide what to write about.

The problem being that this is usually the point where many bloggers simply throw out a load of old garbage to fill the vacant space. An inadvisable move that could compromise the quality and appeal of the entire blog.

If struggling to pull inspiration out of thin air, the solution can often be found in a slightly more strategic approach. That being – knowing where to look to take inspiration from others.

So if you find yourself struggling to come up with solid topic ideas for your next post, here are four places you’ll probably find all the inspiration you’ll ever need:

Other Blogs in Your Niche

First up, there’s nothing wrong with seeking inspiration from the blogs of other businesses within your niche. However, the key to making it work lies in taking inspiration from a specific topic and doing something brand new with it in your own words. Simply ripping off your competitors wholesale is not the way to go about things. Feel free to sign up to as many mailing lists and newsletter subscription services as you like for regular inspiration in your mailbox every week.

Social Media

Whatever line of work you’re in, social media is the very best place to find out what’s generating conversation among your target audience. Industry blogs and resources are one thing, but what’s making waves at ground level? Browse relevant groups and pages on the platforms of your choosing and you’ll soon discover the hottest topics to steer your posts in the right direction. And while you’re at it, feel free to join the conversation and boost your reach at the same time.

Colleagues and Employees

Unless you’re a sole-trader of some kind, all the inspiration you’ll ever need could come from those in the immediate vicinity. Simply chatting with colleagues and employees can open the doors to all the inspiring ideas in the world for your posts. Not to mention, the benefits of seeing current topics, trends and discussions from an entirely different perspective. Even if you’re entirely bereft of inspiration, your colleagues and employees could be anything but.

Your Existing Content

Last but not least, repurposing old content is a great way of dealing with writer’s block. The key in this instance being to take one of your better prior posts and approach the subject with a slightly different spin, or from an entirely different angle. You could turn a factual piece into an infographic, an instructional piece into a video tutorial or a popular blog post into a podcast. While it’s important not to simply copy your own work verbatim, there’s always plenty that can be done to extract maximum value from your existing content.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Content Marketing: Why Is It So Effective?

By this stage in time, you don’t need us or anyone else to tell you how important content marketing is. You may or may not be using it to its full potential, but still…chances are you know it’s a big deal.

But have you ever stopped to ask the big question: why is content marketing so effective?

With so many other approaches to digital marketing out there, why does content marketing top the table?

Two very important questions, for which there are thousands of deep and unnecessarily convoluted answers. In truth, the explanation as to why content marketing is so effective can be summed up in just two words:

Value and influence.

Content of Value

The basic principle of content marketing is one that focuses on value. Whatever kind of content you produce and regardless of who you are reaching out to, you need to provide them with something of value. This is the only way they will look beyond your content to the brand behind it, slowly but surely building a sense of trust. And they build a sense of trust because content of value has influence.

Which in turn means that effective content marketing increases influence, which is just about the single most important thing a business can have plenty of.

When you think about it, the most successful businesses the world over are built on influence. Overtime, they increase their influence to such an extent that their target audience members practically eat out of their hands. The greater their authority and influence in their niche, the more power they have to grow, evolve and vastly extend their customer base.

You really only have to think of two brands to get the idea. One being a household name, the other being some random name you read on the packaging of an equally random product that you had never heard of. Which of the two would you be most likely to trust? Which would you be more likely to become a regular customer of? Or for that matter, give their product a try in the first place? More importantly, which would you recommend to your friends, family and colleagues?

The answer is almost always the same – the company or brand with the greatest influence.

Influence Through Value

There is a direct correlation between creation of value and greater influence. That being, the more value you provide, the more your influence grows as a result. Once again, it’s a case of thinking about which brands and even individuals in your life have the greatest influence over you. The brand you are loyal to instinctively, the people you look up to and so on. Chances are, the reason these companies and individuals have so much influence over you and the decisions you make is because you value them.

You may value what they do, what they stand for, the products they provide you with or anything else at all. Value breeds influence, which in turn breeds loyalty, which in turn breeds even greater influence.

So to answer the question once again, content marketing works because it is just about the only approach to contemporary digital marketing that focuses on value above and beyond everything else.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

When Can I See Content Marketing Results?

As much as you probably hate hearing “It depends” in a response to “When will I start seeing the results of my content marketing?”, the simple fact of the matter is that marketers hate saying that even more. Unfortunately, sometimes it is indeed the only true answer.

But if the questions won’t ease up until you receive at least a ballpark estimate, then the answer is more often than not six to nine months. Naturally, there will always be brands that see results before this time and others who will need to wait longer than nine months. Put simply, it depends.
In a time when we have all grown quite used to instant gratification, this answer could be a hard number to swallow. But as common sense usually dictates “Nothing worthwhile is easy.”

What Factors Impact the Time Between Execution of Content Marketing and Its Results?
Two different categories of variables will affect the timeline of content marketing – those you have control over and those you have no control over.

What CAN I Control?
The time and budget you’re willing to invest
Your Goals
Your strategy
How frequently you publish content
How you measure success and failure
How well you promote your content
The level of quality of your content

What CAN’T I Control?
The marketplace
The economy
What your competition is doing

As you could see, while there is a handful of factors you cannot govern, there are many more things that you can. To increase your chances of success and to have a more predictable timeline, you will need to establish a plan for each of these elements.

Here Is What to Do:
1. Choose your specific goals. You are certainly free to use industry standards as a starting point, but no brand is exactly like yours, which simply means that no brand will have the same precise objectives. Choose the goals that will make the most sense for your brand.
2. Evaluate your resources. Be realistic about how much money and time you are able to dedicate to content marketing. If you need to outsource, then do it. Don’t try to bite more than you can chew.
3. Determine your strategy. Again, you are free to research and study the best practices, but your strategy will need to be your own. What has worked for another brand will not necessarily work for you. Think about your specific resources and goals.
4. Consider measurement criteria. Know what defines a win and what constitutes a loss. Any vagueness will make it very difficult to optimize your campaign.
5. Set the publishing frequence. Ensure you post often enough to keep your audiences interested, but not so often that there is no way for them to keep up. Try to engage them, but don’t overwhelm them.
6. Get the word out. All of the best content in the world doesn’t mean anything if there is nobody that knows about it. Post on social media platforms, use PPC campaigns where necessary and create relationships with industry leaders who are able to promote your content to their specific audiences.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

How To Make Article Marketing Work For You

When it comes to article marketing, it’s important to have high quality, unique content.  Simply submitting content to article sites will not do you any favours unless it offers a new viewpoint, addresses a genuine issue or offers useful advice.

There may be links to your website from poor quality articles, but this is no good if nobody bothers to read till the end. In fact they can do you more harm than good: if the article is very badly written it will tend to reflect badly on your company. Here, then, is what to do to ensure that your article marketing has the effect you intended:

Writing Quality Articles: This is the most important rule to remember: before you start posting your content onto articles sites, test it out on your own website first and see how customers respond. If you are writing pieces that are useful to your website visitors then you can be fairly confident that potential customers who have not yet seen your website will also find them helpful. And don’t just hide them away in your ‘blog’ section (many customers won’t bother clicking on that), display them prominently on your home or product pages with catchy titles that will get people reading.

Getting Article Ideas: If you are struggling with the above because you simply can’t come up with any strong article ideas, don’t panic: this is a skill that can take a while to master. A good way of generating ideas is to do a search using the most relevant product or service keywords for you and seeing what kinds of information people are looking for. You could also look in forums related to your industry sector and find out what the big topics are at the moment or what kinds of problems people are struggling with: you can then base your article around this.

Make It A Collaboration: You may find that you don’t have the time to write all the articles yourself, and this is not a problem either. In fact, it’s good to get another perspective from time to time if you’re running low on ideas. You can encourage your employees to contribute their own articles. If they are heavily involved in marketing and selling your products then they will probably have plenty to say. You could even ask your customers if they would like to contribute content, along the lines of ‘tips on how to use these products’. Finally, if you’re really struggling to produce enough content, you can hire writers in to create it for you. Just make sure they have knowledge of the subject and can create engaging content.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

How To Improve Your Online Content

Today, the content that appears about your company online is your calling card. To a great extent, it is this that helps you maintain a good reputation. But if the content isn’t right it can also have quite the opposite effect, which is why you should pay a lot of attention to it. Obviously you can’t control what others write about you, but you can control what goes on your website, social media pages and so on.

If your current content doesn’t seem to be doing its job effectively, then here are some strategies you can look into:

Functionality: First and foremost, strong website content is nothing if you haven’t first made sure that it’s easy for users to locate what they’re looking for. Therefore, keep your website simple and easy to navigate without. Also, remember that more than 40 per cent of web traffic comes from mobile devices today so make sure your content can be properly viewed across all platforms.

User Generated Content: Not all your website content should be created by yourself. To make your customers really feel valued and a part of your ‘journey’ you should encourage them to contribute to your site. For example, you could encourage them to ask questions or pose problems which you can then respond to (and display your expertise at the same time). You could invite guest bloggers to write relevant articles on your site, which in turn could lead you to blog on other people’s sites.

Hire A Content Marketing Expert: If you really want to transform your online content then you should maybe think about investing some money in it. Why not hire someone who can dedicate all their time to this one task and work out a proper online strategy? After all, if you’re trying to do it all yourself you are naturally going to spread yourself a little thin and you just may not be able to get the best results. Even if you only hire someone on a temporary basis, you should begin to see a real difference.

Run Surveys: Try running monthly surveys or competitions and then posting the results. You will find this a good way to generate user-generated content. If you can, try to think of surveys that are likely to create a PR buzz – ones that, if the results go a certain way, other websites, magazines or newspapers may want to pick up on for stories. As well as publishing them on your site, you can send the results out in the form of a press release to anyone you think may want to publish them.

Tell A Story: Consumers related to a good ‘journey’, so the content of your website – your company background, how you have got where you are – should be a compelling story in itself. Try to make it unique: offer something that others don’t. But don’t overdo it with the word count – remember that it is quality that matters, not quantity. Your story will be more powerful if it is succinct and every word is weighed carefully.