Getting Found Online Depends on You Doing These Five Things

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ducttapemarketing/nRUD/~3/mgeD1Vg2Gmk/

Getting Found Online Depends on You Doing These Five Things written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Serious entrepreneurs know that the key to scaling a company is having a strong online presence.

But the thought of competing for attention online sounds about as easy as getting the attention of your friend across the room at a Justin Bieber concert. There’s lots of noise, lots of motion, and a lot of distraction.

Showing up on page one of the search results is a solid place to start, but even that is an uphill battle. Or is it?

If you’re putting in the work and doing the right things, you have a shot at attracting an audience. So, what are the right things? Let’s take a closer look at five important steps to getting found online.

 1. Find the Right Competitive Keywords for You

The first thing entrepreneurs do when trying to compete online is choose keywords, right? Right. But even though having target keywords is a smart strategy, it comes with two main challenges.

The first challenge is that it’s a shot in the dark. Many entrepreneurs treat keyword research as a guessing game. They make a list of general terms that they assume people type into the search box to find their product. Then, they go guns blazing toward ranking on page one for those broad search terms.

The problem with this is the broader the search term, the broader the searcher’s intent.

The second challenge is finding where you can compete.

If you’ve ever used Google’s Keyword Planner for keyword research, you’ve seen the column that says whether a term has high, medium, or low competition. This competition is only on the Google Adwords platform, which means the ranking only has to do with how much you’ll have to pay to have your ad show up on page one of the search results. It has nothing to do with organic searches.

If you want to rank for organic searches, you must understand how to know if you can compete on page one of Google. This gets a little trickier. You need to have a solid understanding of how valuable Google thinks your website is.

One of the best ways to find this out is to go find your Domain Authority through Moz by using their free tool, Open Site Explorer. Your website will be ranked on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher the number, the more competitive you are.

Compare your Domain Authority to the others showing up on page one for the keyword you’re targeting. If everyone else’s is higher than yours, you probably can’t compete and should choose another keyword to target.

Don’t spin your wheels trying to beat out high-ranking websites on page one. It won’t work. Instead, find the keywords where you can rank and infuse those in the content on your website. You’ll have a far higher chance of showing up on page one faster, making you more visible online.

 2. Come Up With a Plan For Your Content

Ever heard the expression, “what gets scheduled, gets done?” It’s true, especially in the world of entrepreneurship when you’re juggling 117 different balls in the air at once.

You found your keyword in step one but now you need to incorporate these keywords in your website through content. Creating that content takes time.

Although you know the importance of blogging and producing high-quality content, it’s easy to push to the side. But, if you want to rank online, you need to prioritize your content production. Without a robust website, you’re not giving Google any reason to rank you, or people as much of a reason to talk about you.

Plan your content marketing around the keywords where you can rank (as you found in step #1). Come up with ideas around each keyword and then put those blog post topics on your editorial calendar. Commit to writing them. Schedule your content creation like you would schedule a client’s work.

Then, create.

The more content you create, the more reason you’ll give for search engines to rank you and for people to talk about you.

3. Forging Business Partnerships Online

Here’s a sobering fact: It’s much harder to get people to talk about you when they don’t have any skin in the game. Your customers? The only skin they have in the game is their reputation.

I’ll talk more about how to use this to get them talking online in a second, but first, let’s look at the group of people who have more incentive to talk up your brand – other businesses.

Partnering with another business online can be done in a variety of ways:

  • You could create content for their blog
  • You could offer your product at a steep discount to their audience
  • You could take over their Instagram story for a day (and let them take over yours too)
  • You could host a business partner on your podcast

The list goes on and on but one thing remains: the key to a quality partnership is when you’re both offering value to the end consumer. Businesses online are always on the hunt for new ways to bring value to their audience. Come up with a way to offer that value and you’ll get more exposure online.

Exposure sounds great, but there’s one more added SEO bonus to forging business partnerships online: It makes you look good in front of Google.

When you create content for another website or give another business a reason to link to you from their website, you’re showing Google you’re valuable. That backlink can boost your Domain Authority, which as I discussed in point #1, can help you rank higher in the search results.

4. Telling Your Customer’s Story

You’ve filled out several buyer personas. You might even have a bulletin board hanging in your office with pictures that represent your target buyer. You’ve done a lot of digging, but still, there’s confusion over who is reading your stuff and what’s really going on in her mind when she’s looking for you.

And therein lies the disconnect between your content and your conversions.

The crux of getting found online depends on speaking a language that excites your buyers. This excitement stems from letting your buyer see herself in your content. To do this, you need to understand the way she views the world.

Seth Godin said it best when he said, “Enough with the facts and figures and features and benefits. They rarely move people into action. It’s our worldview (the way we acted and believed and judged before we encountered you) and your story (the narrative we tell ourselves about who you are and what you do) that drive human behavior.”

The better you tell your buyer’s story, the more likely she is to share your content, share your business, and share your mission with others. When your buyer does that, your word-of-mouth marketing (the most trusted and least expensive kind) will take off. You’ll get found online simply because your customer loved what you were saying enough to share it with her network.

 5. Moving the Conversation Off Your Website

Creating content boosts your website in the search results. That we’ve covered. But what happens when your content appears and gets shared on social media?

Although there’s no direct SEO benefit to sharing your content on social media, there is another benefit – exposure.

“Build it and they will come” has never been a solid growth strategy, so it makes sense that it’s not a reliable strategy for content marketing either. Social media offers an excellent way amplify your content so you get more traffic and quality traffic to your pages.

If you’re creating valuable, interesting, and quality content that speaks to your audience, that traffic will then turn into shares, which will help spread your marketing message to the masses. And that in turn, will help you get more of the coveted backlinks, which will help boost your Domain Authority and help you rank higher in the search engines.

So, We’ve Come Full Circle

Let’s recap:

  1. Find keywords where you can compete for a spot on page one of the search results.
  2. Plan your content because what gets scheduled gets done.
  3. Work with other businesses in your niche to get more exposure and get backlinks to bolster your domain’s authority.
  4. Understand your customer’s worldview so it’s easier to share your content, and again, get more backlinks.
  5. Amplify your content on social media so you increase your chances of getting seen.

There’s a lot that goes into these five steps, so consider this a bird’s eye view of what needs to happen in order to get found online. Doing at least one of these well will inch you forward and bolster your website.

 


About the Author

Kimberly CrosslandKimberly Crossland is the owner of The Savvy Copywriter, a content marketing agency that offers content marketing strategy, copywriting, and other digital communications. Visit her website to claim your free worksheet on defining your customer’s worldview and help your business get found online.

 

Like this month’s theme? We are sharing even more about how small businesses can grow with SEO over at www.SEOforGrowth.com.

How Google Works – The Animated Infographic

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how google works

So how does Google work? Have you always wanted to know? Well, you’re in luck, Google decided to disclose their “secret sauce” on April 1, 2002, by announcing “Pigeon Rank.” “PigeonRank’s success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation. The common gray pigeon can easily distinguish among items displaying only the minutest differences, an ability that enables it to select relevant web sites from among thousands of similar pages.” Sounds pretty unbelievable right? That’s because it is. If you’ll notice the date mentioned above,…

The post How Google Works – The Animated Infographic appeared first on The Daily Egg.

8 Techniques That Helped Me Improve My Writing During Ten Years of Blogging

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Quicksprout/~3/AdBxHzFvKh8/

Epic copywriting is an integral part of driving traffic and making conversions.

Smashing Magazine even states that “it’s not uncommon for proper copywriting to increase search traffic by 50 percent and conversion rates by 30 percent.”

But being a great copywriter requires more than simply being great at writing.

You need to have a fundamental understanding of human psychology to be able to persuade readers to buy your product/service—you need to know what motivates people to purchase.

Plus, there are several other variables that will impact your approach, including your audience, overall aim, and desired customer reaction.

This graphic from ABC Copywriting offers a nice visual breakdown of the specific elements of great copy:

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But how can you become a world-class copywriter in a short period of time if you have only minimal experience?

It took me 10 years to improve, figuring out these techniques. By practicing them, you’ll be able to improve a lot faster.

1. Learn from the best

If you’re just starting out, I suggest diving in head first and absorbing as much information as you can about the process.

Unlike other forms of content writing, copywriting is a highly specialized field and requires a unique approach of its own.

I’m a proponent of reading books from some of the brightest minds to get their take on things.

They’ve been there, done that, and can get you to where you need to be.

Some specific authors to check out include David Ogilvy, known as The Father of Advertising, and Bob Bly.

This list of 50 attributes of a great copywriter from Jeff Bullas can be helpful too.

I also recommend checking out this list of 75 resources from Kissmetrics specifically designed for those who want to become great copywriters.

This covers the entire spectrum and is ideal if you’re just getting your feet wet.

2. Get in the habit of practicing your craft

There’s a definite possibility that you’ll suck at your first attempt at copywriting. Don’t take it personally.

But you would be amazed at what can happen with enough continual practice.

Even in as little as a week, you can make tremendous strides.

You’ll learn to be more efficient and will develop hacks for streamlining the process. You’ll also discover what works for YOU.

That’s why I recommend practicing on a daily basis if possible.

3. Study the psychology behind purchasing decisions

As I mentioned earlier, psychology is a key element in copywriting.

In order to persuade someone to buy something, you need to understand their thought process and behavioral patterns.

Copyblogger has an interesting article that highlights seven psychologically-backed copywriting tips.

In it, you’ll read about the concept of mirror neurons—neurons in the brain that “activate when you ‘observe’ something happening, and then transfer some of the feeling on you.”

I think a good example of it is the Allstate’s “Mayhem” ad campaign.

You know, where they say “mayhem is everywhere” and show disastrous scenarios like a tree branch falling on your car?

These commercials are good at making you envision and feel what it would be like if it happened to you. In turn, you’re more inclined to buy their insurance.

image03

The point I’m trying to make is that your copywriting should resonate with readers and make them feel something.

You need to get in their heads and truly understand what makes them tick.

In turn, this should guide your copywriting and help you create more potent copy.

4. Do your research

Effective copywriting isn’t just clever wordplay. A big part of it is great research.

Why is research so important?

For one thing, it makes your content more authoritative.

By including relevant statistics, case studies, and quotes from experts, you back up your argument.

It shows that your copywriting is based on objective facts and not merely an opinion.

Anyone can make a claim, but when that claim is backed up by data, it becomes credible.

It also adds a layer of depth to your content.

When you take the time to research, you’ll inevitably gain a deeper understanding of a topic.

You’re more likely to see the big picture rather than just bits and pieces, and this should be reflected in your writing.

When you put all this together, it’s going to be helpful in building trust with readers.

Trust is obviously important because it’s going to make it easier to persuade your prospects to buy.

Even if you really know your stuff, I still suggest you get in the habit of performing some preliminary research because it’s going to add a new dimension to your copy.

5. Work on your headlines

Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter how great your overall content is if the headline sucks.

In fact, “on the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

If your headline isn’t captivating, very few readers will make it to your call to action (CTA).

While it may seem easy enough on paper, creating a great headline can be pretty tricky.

But I’ve come up with a formula for streamlining the process to ensure you create attention-grabbing headlines.

In one of my previous articles, I talk about “the four u’s of headline writing:”

  1. Your headline should be unique.
  2. Your headline should be ultra-specific.
  3. Your headline should convey a sense of urgency.
  4. Your headline should be useful.

Here’s an example of a great headline. It’s quick and to the point:

image02

6. Master the art of the opening sentence

Just one rung below headlines on the importance scale is your opening sentence.

Once you’ve caught the reader’s attention with an awesome headline, you want to motivate them to read through the rest of your content until they ultimately reach the CTA.

And this always begins with a well-written opening sentence.

What do I mean by well-written?

It needs to be short, engaging, and able to reel in the reader immediately.

Here’s a perfect example from Chartbeat:

image04

If you look at the opening sentence, it meets all three of the criteria mentioned above.

It simply says, “It’s not enough to just count clicks and page views anymore.”

This is obviously short and to the point. It’s engaging because it gets readers wondering what they should be assessing if clicks and page views aren’t enough. And it also makes them want to read on to find out what solutions Chartbeat offers.

What’s the takeaway?

Work diligently at perfecting your headline and opener.

If you’re able to do this, you’ve already won half the battle, and you’re in a position to capitalize on the maximum percentage of leads.

7. Use the AIDA formula

AIDA is an acronym created by copywriter Gary Halbert.

It stands for:

image00

Here’s a breakdown of how it works…

You start by grabbing the reader’s attention with an awesome headline and opener like we just discussed.

You build interest by touching on their needs, wants, and pain points as well as ways your product/service can solve their problems, improve their lives, etc.

You create a desire to buy your product/service by clearly explaining its benefits.

image06

Finally, you insert your CTA to encourage your readers to take action right away.

I’ve found this simple formula to be incredibly helpful for guiding my copywriting.

While the specific details will vary depending on your audience, industry, and product/service, the AIDA formula always works and will keep you on track.

8. Be meticulous about spelling and grammar

Did you know that “poor grammar on websites scares 59 percent of people away?”

Spelling and grammar mistakes can be the kiss of death for your business because it makes you look unprofessional and diminishes your credibility.

After all, would someone trust and want to buy from a company that doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re?

A study was even done to determine the biggest mistakes a company can make.

According to the findings, the overwhelming number of respondents (42.5 percent) said they were most influenced by spelling and grammatical errors.

image01

As you can clearly see, poor spelling and grammar can be a real deal breaker, and your conversion rate is going to take a big blow.

This is why it’s so important to be incredibly thorough and even borderline obsessive about proofreading your copy before it’s published.

I also recommend using a tool such as Grammarly to help you catch grammar errors.

It’s a free Chrome plugin, and it will greatly reduce your mistakes.

Conclusion

There are countless people who are great writers but lousy copywriters.

Mastering this craft demands a unique approach and a specific skillset.

Fortunately, it’s possible to learn how to become a world-class copywriter in a fairly short period of time if you’re willing to put in the effort.

Even if you’re just starting out, following these tips and techniques should put you on the fast track to quality copywriting, which means two important things.

You can convert more of your leads AND increase your profitability.

What do you think the most important aspect of copywriting is?

7 key components to a winning mobile marketing budget in 2017

Original Post: http://feeds.marketingland.com/~r/mktingland/~3/8nUKXQL5PgE/seven-key-components-winning-mobile-marketing-budget-2017-200960

Now that we’ve said goodbye to 2016, it’s time to get your mobile strategy in place for the new year. Contributor Gilad Bechar outlines seven mobile building blocks you can’t afford to ignore.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.