After a delicious lunch of pork, rice and beans, and churros, we’re on to Session 3, which is all about content marketing
Jon Henshaw is up first.
If you have content that’s not in a good place, then it’s not going to thrive. You have to give it the right environment to grow.
Whoa, animated PowerPoint backgrounds. Cool.
There are two main things that he focuses on. One of them is keyword research. Based on that, you’ll have what you need to structure your website. Information Architecture is extremely important.
Once you figure out your site, you have to figure out how to code it. Living standard HTML gives us the ability to have semantic elements, meaning you can specify to a search engine or bot that this is your navigation, this is an article, etc. It not longer matters where you put things as long as they’re inside of the semantic elements.
Site speed is important to search engines, so he said to focus on caching, CDN, image compression and good hosting.
Once you’ve made your speed changes, there are tools to test how fast it is. GTmetrix, for example, will give you two different speed grades. If you have a site that’s been around for a while, use Google webmaster tools.
Structured data has been around for several years in the form of microformats and RDFa. The new kid in town is microdata, but it’s missing one thing — you have to know the schema. You can use schema-creator.org, which will help you get started.
Social Meta Data needs to be considered. Open Graph protocal is one of the smartest things you can do with your HTML. It helps you control what people are going to share.
There are a lot of little things you can do in your code that can go a long way.
Social sharing — buttons and comments — can make a difference. He’s not a big fan of the left bar full of icons that scrolls with you, but it works, so you might want to test it. Choose the services that relate to the people visiting your site. Do the things that are simple, quick and actionable.
His blog uses Facebook comments because there’s generally a spam issue, which makes it a pain to monitor comments. Facebook comments provide better content and they’re inside the Facebook experience, so comments show up on their walls/timelines. He finds this brilliant. Since they added it, their traffic increased 250% and they had a 99% decrease in “crapulence.”
+1 is here. You need to have it.
In regard to images:
- include the URL on images
- use keywords in the file name
- always use ALT text
- treat infographics like videos (include text)
He also mentioned Slideshare, which he said is a nice strategy to put targeted presentations on with links. StumbleUpon Paid Discovery is also useful because even if a small percentage of people thoroughly enjoys the content, they’ll share it.
And, “Bam! Done!” as Jon put it on his final slide.
Now it’s Marty Weintraub’s turn, and he’ll be talking about the ever-crucial blog headlines.
There are so many reasons why blog headlines are important. Aside from being a vital word tool for attracting attention, your CMS echoes post titles via internal linking.
And I’m not sure what just happened, but Marty’s doing a gerbil impression saying the gerbil is a “beady little freaking rodent.” Awesomely random.
“What you say about your content in the SERPs is everything,” he said.
There are three steps to writing headlines. His headline theory essentially involves these steps:
Write a literal, straightforward headlineàResearch the keywordsàJazz it up
Once you’ve tested availability, log the related keywords you saw in the research and tell everyone to use them when they tweet. Make sure to include words that are appealing.
Then look at the SERPs and study the publications that are in the SERPs.
Refine and decorate your headline theory. Move important words to the left. Generally don’t put brand names in the front.
He just called cuddly bunnies boring! There are lots of fuzzy animals in this presentation.
Note the semantic cluster. Communicate with the rest of your company. Tell PR and anyone else working with and posting the content to use different, provided keywords and not just the title.
You don’t always have to come up with hyperbolic things to put in blog posts. It doesn’t have to be complicated every single time. Sometimes you just have to solve a problem and give them a resource, and it doesn’t have to be flashy.
“if you invest a little time and figure this stuff out, you’re golden,” Marty said.
It can be really difficult to move the important words to the left of your blog title for many reasons, and that’s why he uses his Snappy Phrase Theory, which, as mentioned before, involves moving the KW to the left.
The trick to this theory is the following formula:
KEYWORD (colon) Explanation/snappy phrase with hyperbole.
It’s a great idea to crowd-source snappy phrases. For the second part of the formula, using questions can be good tactic because they ask people to do things. You can also use questions that are really answers. For example, “When SEO Works.” Other strategies include touting benefits and explaining negative consequences. (There’s lots of data that says the negative sort of pitches work.)
Also, leverage the power of clichés; they work! Everyone already knows them and there’s an element of humor. Utilize memorable phonetics like alliteration when possible, too.
I wish I had captured more of Marty’s presentation, but I could hardly keep up. He ended by saying how he’s met lifelong friends at BlueGlass conferences.
“I think you are one of the coolest audiences in the world,” Marty said.
Session 4 is coming soon!