INTRODUCTIONS!The top 5 things you should know about Keith Ecker:• He’s a vice president at a national marketing/PRagency.• He’s the founder of two of Chicago most successfullive literary events.• He’s been blogging for more than 13 years.• He has a dog named Lucky.• You can email him questions outside of class firstname.lastname@example.org.
EXERCISE: WHO ARE YOU?Now it’s your turn to do the talking! Tell us:• Your name• Your level of blogging experience• What you are seeking to promote, e.g., business, non-profit,yourself, etc.• Where we can find your blog online, if applicable.
THE CONTENT WEBSource: ContentChemistry by OrbitMedia Studios
BUT WHY CONTENT MARKETING?• Changes in technology• Changes in traditional advertising, marketing andPR, i.e., the media• Changes in audience expectations, i.e., engagement
BLOGGING & CONTENT MARKETINGSo where does blogging fit in? A blog serves as a central repository for content, including original, repurposed andcurated content. A blog is affordable to set up and often intuitive to use. A blog can easily integrate with social media, making deployment across the Interneteasy. A blog can allow for comments, increasing customer/audience engagementopportunities. A blog can include internal links, thus increasing SEO ranking. A blog can include other elements, such as keywords, which can help increase SEOranking. A blog can be observed using such tools as Google Analytics to understand howyour audience interacts with you and your brand, which can help inform yourmarketing efforts and product/service offerings.
AN SEO PRIMER• SEO stands for search engine optimization• It is important for search engine placement.• Search engine placement is important so thatpeople will find your blog
SEO TACTICS – TARGET KEYPHRASES• Target keyphrases – Groups of words you incorporate into parts ofyour blog post that you want to rank for. The key is to find phrases thatare searched for frequently but have lower competition.• Question: What are some keyphrases a company like the Chicago Tribunemight want to rank for?
SEO TACTICS - LINKS• Inbound links – Links from other, external websites to your page.• Internal links – Links within your own site, e.g. from an older post toa newer post.• Tip – When creating internal links, make the target keyphrase for thepage you are linking to the link text, also known as the “anchor” text.• Example: If you’re selling software to lawyers, you should read up on legalvendor PR.
BLOG LAYOUT EXAMPLESKeith Ecker’s Blog - http://keithecker.com/blog/Essay Fiesta’s Blog - http://essayfiesta.com/Orbit Media Blog - http://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/The Hiring Site (CareerBuilder) -http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/
PARTS OF A BLOG – TITLE TAGS• Incredibly important for SEO• Should incorporate the keyphrase you are attempting torank for• Often appears as the link in search engine results.• 70 characters max• Put your company name at the end
TITLE TAG EXAMPLES• Blogging for Business | StoryStudio Chicago• 7 Ways to be a business blogger | StoryStudio Chicago• Why you should learn to blog for business | StoryStudioChicago
TITLE TAG EXERCISEContent Kings Inc. wants to rank for the phrase “marketingcontent” while also creating a title that will attract readers, shouldit appear in search engine results. The company recently publisheda post on its blog listing five content marketing tips.Write three possible title tags that Content Kings could use toaccompany its blog post. Keep in mind it must both be optimizedfor search engine placement but also draw the interest of thereader.
PARTS OF A BLOG - HEADERS• Incredibly important to draw in readers. It’s often the first thing a personsees.• Should incorporate “interest piquing” creative writing techniques, e.g.• Superlative lists, e.g. “Top 5 Best…”• Interrogatories, e.g., “Why…What..Who..How…?”• Intriguing promise, e.g. “This post will change your life!”• The bizarre/comical, e.g. “Hot pizza delivered by a drone.” (actual header)• The service minded, e.g., “How to..”• Important for SEO – use keyphrase at least once• Can be identical to the title, but not necessarily
HEADER EXAMPLESLet’s take a look at a site that has made amassed a following purely off itsheaders:BUZZFEED
HEADER EXERCISECreate a header for the corresponding blog post in yourpacket.Think more about interest piquing copy than keyphrases.
PARTS OF A BLOG – META DESCRIPTIONS• Like titles, they often appear as part of search engine results.• People read meta descriptions to decide what to click on.• 155 characters max is the approximate magic number or else it will beautomatically truncated.• Incorporate the target keyphrase once.
PARTS OF A BLOG – BODY TEXT• This is the “meat” of any blog post. It’s the substantive information.• It should be geared toward your audience and reflect your brandidentify.• Incorporate your target keyphrase approximately four to sixtimes, including one time within the first paragraph.• Consider breaking up copy by using bullet points, numbered lists andsubheads.• DO NOT KEYWORD CRAM!
BODY TEXT EXAMPLES• The top 5 publications for legal vendor PR• Viral Infections: How to Overcome Bad Press on SocialMedia• Cooking Training With a Pork Recipe From Journey
BODY TEXT EXERCISEWrite the body text for a mini blog post on thetopic of cooking an egg. Your target keyphrase is“scrambled egg/s.” Pay special attention to howyou present the text through your layout.
PARTS OF A BLOG – INTERNAL LINKS• These are links that point to other posts on your blog.• They are important for reader navigation.• They are also critical components of an SEO strategy.• A best practice is to make the anchor text of the link thekeyphrase for the post that it points to.
EXAMPLES OF INTERNAL LINKSAn internal link is a hyperlink that is a reference ornavigation element in a document to another section of thesame document or to another document that may be on orpart of the same website or domain of the internet. Inarticles like this one, the words highlighted in blue areexamples of internal links.
PARTS OF A BLOG - CALL TO ACTION• Call to action is often the final line of copy in a blog post.• It directs readers to act.• Examples of actions it might direct readers to take include: posting acomment, subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a form or downloadinga PDF.• They are important because they can help foster engagement, generateleads and share sales and marketing information about an organization.
CALL TO ACTION EXAMPLES• Comment call to action: Share your thoughts about content marketing.Leave a comment below.• Newsletter subscription call to action: Did you enjoy reading this post?Fill in the form below to subscribe to our newsletter and receive weeklyupdates directly in your inbox! (We promise we won’t SPAM you.)• Download a white paper call to action: To learn more about data privacyissues in the EU, download a free copy of our white paper, “Bestpractices for conducting international electronic discovery.”
OTHER PARTS OF A BLOG• Categories and meta keyword tags – Also known as ataxonomy, these can help organize blog posts for archiving andnavigational purposes.• Widgets – These are plug-ins that some blog platforms enable youto add into blog sidebars, e.g., a Twitter feed widget.• External links – These are links that point to a site outside ofyour blog.
IN-CLASS EXERCISEWrite a blog post relevant to your business or organization thatincorporates the following elements. For the sake of time, keep the bodytext to only 100 words.• Title tag• Header• Body text• Meta description• Body text• Call to action
SUMMARY• A blog is a critical component of a content marketing initiative.• SEO (search engine optimization) is key to maximizing theeffectiveness of your blog.• A blog post strikes a balance between SEO and entertainingand/or informative and/or useful content.• An individual blog post has a variety of parts, some of whichplay more into SEO than others.
HOMEWORKFind a blog post you like. Dissect it into its partsand tell us what you think it does well and whatyou think it could do to improve.