Content Pilates leads to a strong core. Start where I intend to end. A system for visualizing how to balance Content Strategy through SEO and content marketing.
These things have to work together. And that means people have to work together. In many organizations these are siloed activities or individuals or their seen as separate “tricks” instead of practices that support each other.
My background Higher Ed, Nonprofit, Small business/start up, Marketing for anybody Accelerated learning: Experience the same amount of people, workload, and opportunities in 2 years that I had in the previous 12. I also teach and live by the principles of my school: Teaching, Service, and Research.
My real job knowing audiences and their needs, wrangling content producers and technology. Herding cats. I help get the right content done on time, where it belongs.
So, let’s talk about myths that are preventing our clients from getting the most from content and SEO and also keeping them from understanding what their teams need to make these tactics successful.
Fields of Dreams Theory If you build Blog, Facebook Channel, Twitter Account, SnapChat, Whitepaper, event, video. Making it will be enough.
They act of building alone is enough. People will drop everything, come to you, and give you’re their time, money and do your promotion/marketing for you. But we don’t live in a drop everything culture.
None of this works if They don’t know you They can’t find you You don’t have want they want once they find you. You will be alone unless you direct all activity towards customers.
Start by talking about Why. What is the situation? Why is there a problem? What are the symptoms of the problem? How do we treat it? It’s not a scientific experiment to me but it is a diagnosis and treatment plan. Accuracy above expediency. You don’t have to make content! You do have to communicate within and beyond your company.
Blogging about your company, products may interest you but will it interest your customers?
Myth is metadata will save you. Metadata may make you findable, alone it is not enough and always, it’s about long-term preservation over immediate traffic and sales.
Good infrastructure and speed are critical to site success but can only take you so far. But you need a coordinated team from writing to IT, ideation to promotion. Being able to respond to situations. Timely, topical Always keep Competition in mind
Treat audiences as if they are are always ready, able, and eager to buy from you right away with very little information, persuasion from you. Wrong.
Stop me if you’ve seen this site before. There is one large hero image with one tagline with a buy button. You scroll. Maybe there are some bullet points or more images with maybe 5-6 words about some features. And another type of buy button.
More words won’t fix this problem. A more relevant image won’t fix it. Video won’t fix it.
Making content for the sake of content is high risk. When someone pours a lot of time and resources into a new things and it fails, they’re hesitant to try again. It’s often not the content or the marketing or the SEO’s fault that it didn’t work, it may be that those things weren’t funded, supported, or they were launched before they were ready.
In order to make content strategy, seo, or content marketing work for you it will have to be researched X3. Research thrice, cut once.
The Internet is full. Of your competition. I want to talk about something that is time consuming, requires investment of time, money, and resources and which takes awhile to see a payoff. SEO gets a bad rap because of tricks and hacks, really it’s a long term investment in helping people find things they need.
Out of 100 ideas, finding the top 10 to try first. Often fail because they’re working alone instead of integrated. Work across silos Set up repeatable diagnostics, experiments Take advantage of tools
Make things Useful. Findable. Meaningful. From the outfield to home base.
Business goals Audience needs Resources
Not something my clients inherently understand. Indiana Jones boulder. Important to get more than 2 words in.
Think about your customers, users, audiences. What information do they need?
Can a person make a decision and complete a task based on content provided?
Information Architecture, User Experience, Interaction Design, Visual Design, Brand, Storytelling, Dev This is where your research and content really counts. As well as your team building skills. Get on the goal of serving customers who stay customers. Behooves all to play together to create the outcomes.
Cover the field with it. Doesn’t mean make more, make it available. Make it connected and connectable. Make it for them. Product descriptions, Blog posts, social media, F2F, print, promotion anywhere. What do your customers need to know? All the details matter as well as their priority. Start here because maybe this is all you can do. It’s a good foundation.
Math Adventure – Wix
Think like a robot for a second.
Site speed. Infrastructure. Physical location of your servers. Optimization of both code, metadata, and one page aspects so that search engine bots can easily crawl and index your website
Myth is metadata will save you. Metadata may make you findable, alone it is not enough and always, it’s about long-term preservation over immediate traffic and sales. Title tags Strength in accuracy. “SEO can’t just be putting title tags on pages”
A meta description is like a handshake
What happens when you have 31 H1s on a page? How about 200 links? How about 30 occurrences of a “keyword” Google doesn’t like it.
There are more reasons for a search engine to deny you organic traffic than to promote it. Like too many keywords, too many H1s is confusing. No priority. No signpost or structure.
Accessibility. Archiving. If you only want to show up in Google image search, by all means, don’t use text or alt tags.
Front end considerations Where is the main content? Content over navigation.
Clients expect magic tricks such as technical SEO will be enough but bad content isn’t easy to make findable, neither is not enough, or buried, or duplicate. Frankly, I can’t market a bad experience.
Know your users. SEO research as well as analytics can provide insight. What are people searching for? Goes back to information. They have questions. Your answers can help them make a decision.
Customer words – in site search, user research, survey, interview Users words – in site search, user research, surveys Audience Words – SEO tools, competitors, online research Plan for how their words, syntax can be translated into your site.
You will get traffic forever. TOMORROW. You will get sales today. Everyone who sees your PPC ad for the first time will immediately go to your website and buy your $150 product.
SEO is a long game. 3 months to 2 year. OF constant diligence, attention, and optimization efforts. Competitors are all around. Adjust accordingly.
My co-workers from seo to social media to ppc to analytics to creative come to me for rescue, “I can’t do my job without a content strategy. I can’t get clients the results they need or deserve without knowing that content strategy.” What’s the content strategy, Misty? I became an Emergency Content Strategist. Making up story arcs and 12 month plans our clients were most likely to adopt. Marketers need something to market. We’re not magicians. Magicians do tricks. We help people who want what you have find the good things you do.
At this time, Words count. The order in which they appear counts, too. Having enough of them to develop relevance is one critical factor to ranking.
The new keyword is topic. Have you said enough? Did someone else say it sooner? Can you do it better? Stay consistent and clear. Make connections between topical content and keep those connections alive.
Content for content’s sake. Too much content isn’t just bad for governance. Volume and weirdness is no guarantee of exposure. Crawl limits Out of date Crap
Field of Dreams forgets linking strategy. Really hard to be successful at SEO without traditional aspects from editorial to PR. PR – Press and public relations, increasing customer experience and community building. Audience research and finding influencers.
Links do matter and strategies for linking change. Hi, I made an infographic. Hi, we share each other’s blog posts. I was once a marketer at a small theatre, we did a play on cancer and gave free tickets. Do you know how hard it is to give away free tickets? The time when traffic/eyeballs/followers was enough for your bottomline is closing. We’re starting to get to $$$, you will need to look beyond just having a good, optimized website.
A way to refresh blog content
Inform. I’m here. I’m useful.Visibility Answer. I’m relevant! I have the actual thing you’re looking for! You need a content strategy to do this
“It’s the new advertising” “Format over function’ What do I get over Why am I doing this?
Add value by giving knowledge This is the most radical thinking I know.
Content strategy is content sense. Most of us are paid for being clever. Content Marketing is going to be the cleverest piece of common sense you have ever delivered.
Give to get Pay to play You move from providing a drink to cultivating a garden.
Good content is not enough. You will structure. You will promote it by providing connected informative content. You will provide answers and accurate timely information in a priority order (Inverted Pyramid, Nut graph). You will meet highest editorial standards in accuracy and creation. You will be useful and findable.
Use what informs and answers to educate.
Audience research Internal resources Talented & creative team Plan
User research that answers these questions for your ideation, production, and promotion
People come from anywhere and everywhere and take their own paths, you just have to make sure you have enough coverage and connection.
What, where, when, how How much, how hard
Flip your research to become your production. Start with educate/meaningful and allow that to feed how you create Answers and Information.
Then you’ll be ready to add slices and scale your work.
Flip the model to consider how you would use it in production. Start with your themes.
Neko Atsume What if we treated customers like other people’s cats. They don’t care about you. They come when they want. The ultimate in interruption.
Failed high five
Failed high five
Yes, we can. Tie together strategy with optimization and marketing. We can be useful. We can be found. We can make meaning.
Making content findable, useful, and meaningful
Leaving the Field of
Useful, Findable and Meaningful
Now What Conference