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COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES:
MASTERING THE CREATIVE &
TECHNICAL SIDE OF
SEARCHABLE CONTENT
KATY KATZ
Hello!
I am Katy Katz
Senior Consultant
SmartBug Media
You can find me at:
@katykatztx
#StateofSearch
Let’s talk SEO and
Content Marketing
“I endeavored to make [my content] both entertaining
and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such
demand, that I reaped considerable profit from it.”
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“I endeavored to make [my content] both entertaining and
useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I
reaped considerable profit from it.”
- Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth (1758)
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“Content is the reason that search
began in the first place.”
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“Content is the reason that search
began in the first place.”
- Lee Odden, CEO of Toprank
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
THE
PROBLEM
MARKETERS EXCEL AT
RUINING A GOOD THING
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Link Spamming
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Image from White Rabbit
Keyword Stuffing
Image from SEOPressor
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Over-Automating Social Media
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“Content is a game that
every type of team and
agency plays, so we’re all
competing for a piece of
that pie. Meanwhile,
technical SEO is more
complicated and more
important than ever before.”
- MICHAEL KING, FOUNDER
iPULLRANK
(bit.ly/tech-seo-king)
SEOs BE LIKE
- Cyrus
Shepard (on
TF-IDF
bit.ly/tf-idf-moz)
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
WRITERS BE LIKE
“Language is my whore, my mistress, my wife,
my pen-friend, my check-out girl. Language is a
complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing
square or handy freshen-up wipette. Language is
the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it's
the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of
morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf
a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is
the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts,
it's a half-remembered childhood birthday party,
a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a
frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a
leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the
underside of a granite boulder, the first downy
growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl,
cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington
boot.”
- Stephen Fry, Linguist
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Why’d we have to
go and make things
so complicated?
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“I believe that more than
90% of the content
marketers are going to
have a long cold winter,
and many of them will
end up looking for new
careers. I don’t want that
to be harsh, but a big
content marketing glut is
coming. “
- Eric Enge, CEO Stone
Temple Consulting (via
Didit)
SHIT!
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
GOOD
CONTENT
NOW, MORE THAN EVER,
YOU NEED
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“Mediocre content will hurt your
brand more than nothing at all.”
- Joe Pulizzi, Author
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“Slow the *&%^$ down and do your content
marketing right – or don’t do it at all.”
- Ann Handley, Content Marketing Institute
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
People Now Use Ad Blockers
- PageFair 2015 Ad Blocking Report
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
SEARCH OPTIMIZED CONTENT IS NOT GOING
ANYWHERE BUT IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN
EVER TO OPTIMIZE FOR YOUR
PERSONA FIRST
AND APPLY YOUR
CHECKLISTS AFTER
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
“Annual growth in unique site traffic is up
7.8X for content marketing leaders
compared to followers.”
- Aberdeen
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Pepsi has invested big in
a state-of-the-art content
studio in Manhattan.
- Image source Ad Age
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
BACK TO BASICS
content
headlines
meta descriptions
on-page SEO / formatting
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
MAKE IT
USEFUL &
INTERESTING
THE CONTENT SECRET?
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
CONTENT
GOOD CONTENT
SPEAKS TO A
PERSONA
Your target market needs
to connect with what
they’re reading to forge a
relationship with your
brand.
IS WELL
CONSTRUCTED
Use tools or hire a real
editor to make sure your
content is interesting to
read and follows writing
best practices.
ANSWERS QUESTIONS
Make sure your reader
comes away feeling that
you’ve added value and
that their visit was worth
their valuable time.
SERVES A PURPOSE
Think about your end goal
– amplification, lead
nurturing, raising
awareness, sealing the
deal – define the goal
ahead of time and stick to
it.
DRIVES TO A CTA
The end of your content
(and throughout if
possible) should help point
the visitor in a direction.
Spell it out for them!
SHARE & SEARCH
OPTIMIZED
Apply your checklist at the
end so that you don’t
sacrifice creativity for
technicalities.
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
DEMOGRAPHICS
+ Age
+ Gender
+ Salary
+ Location
+ Education
+ Family
GOALS &
CHALLENGES
+ Values and fears
MARKETING
MESSAGE
+ Elevator pitch
SOCIAL MEDIA
+ Platforms
+ Behavior
NAME & JOB TITLE
+ Where they work
+ Details about their role
PERSONA TEMPLATE
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
CRAVEABLE CONTENT
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Makes us laugh or cry
Has an unexpected twist
Reminds us dreams
come true
Inspires action
Reminds us we matter
Reveals a secret
Surprises us
Encourages us to never
give up
Reminds us we’re unique
Where David beats
Goliath- CMI (bit.ly/crave-info)
A Bit More on KEYWORDS
MAP OUT
RELATED
TERMS
DESIGN YOUR
STRATEGY
USE A
KEYWORD
TOOL AT THE
BEGINNING
FORGET
ABOUT THE
KEYWORDS
TILL THE END
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
HEADLINE
S
HEADLINE MUSTS
➜ CLEAR
➜ RELEVANT
➜ FOCUSED
➜ CONCISE
➜ EXCITING
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
➜ Yes, start with a keyword
➜ But then get creative with it!
Increase creativity by:
o Using a headline tool
o Testing multiple variations (like 25)
o Dropping over-used terms (*ULTIMATE)
HEADLINES
• Impactbnd.com Title Generator
• Hubspot Blog Topic Generator
• TweakYourBiz.com Title Generator
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
NOW CHECK THE SEO
ARE YOU AT
THE RIGHT
LENGTH
(55-60 characters)
EXPERIMENT
(test, test, and test
again)
IS THE
KEYWORD
UTILIZED &
RELEVANT
(aim for long-tail)
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
* FACT: Shorter title tags perform better in search than longer ones. – Study by Code As Craft
META
DESCRIPTIONS
But Google said that meta
descriptions aren’t a factor in
the algorithm so why should I
care?
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Relevant Traffic
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
➜ Again, start with a keyword
➜ But then get creative with it!
Increase creativity by:
o Researching competitive terms
o Circling in on THE WHY
o Focus on benefits over features
o Keep it clear and crisp
o Don’t repeat the headline!
META DESCRIPTIONS
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
NOW GO BACK AND OPTIMIZE
ARE YOU AT
THE RIGHT
LENGTH
(160 characters)
EXPERIMENT
(test, test, and test
again)
IS THE
KEYWORD
UTILIZED &
RELEVANT
(aim for long-tail)
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
* CHECK OUT THIS GREAT DISCUSSION ABOUT META DESCRIPTIONS ON INBOUND.ORG
(bit.ly/metas-rock)
STRUCTURE
ON-PAGE SEO & FORMATTING
KEYWORD
Is it in the title, URL,
introduction, conclusion,
and other key spots? Is it
used a natural amount?
HEADLINE TAGS
Did you utilize H1 and H2
tags throughout the
content? Bonus for
including a keyword in an
H2.
LINKS
Did you utilize a variety of
internal and outbound
links?
IMAGE
Did you include visuals
that support your content
and include your target
keyword in the Alt Text?
AMPLIFICATION
Did you make it easy for
your message to be
spread on social media
with prominent buttons?
CTA
Did you include ways to
keep people on your page
and clicking through to
other parts of your site?
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Now is the time to break out the checklists!
Check out Moz’s SEO Checklist for more (bit.ly/moz-seo-list).
Great content is both
CREATIVE and
TECHNICAL.
#StateofSearch @katykatztx
Image Source: swelldesigner via Flickr
Thanks!
Any questions?
You can find me at:
@katykatztx
kkatz@smartbugmedia.com

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Mastering the Creative and Technical Side of Searchable Content

  • 1. COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES: MASTERING THE CREATIVE & TECHNICAL SIDE OF SEARCHABLE CONTENT KATY KATZ
  • 2. Hello! I am Katy Katz Senior Consultant SmartBug Media You can find me at: @katykatztx #StateofSearch
  • 3. Let’s talk SEO and Content Marketing
  • 4. “I endeavored to make [my content] both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reaped considerable profit from it.” #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 5. “I endeavored to make [my content] both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reaped considerable profit from it.” - Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth (1758) #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 6. “Content is the reason that search began in the first place.” #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 7. “Content is the reason that search began in the first place.” - Lee Odden, CEO of Toprank #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 8. THE PROBLEM MARKETERS EXCEL AT RUINING A GOOD THING #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 10. Keyword Stuffing Image from SEOPressor #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 12. #StateofSearch @katykatztx “Content is a game that every type of team and agency plays, so we’re all competing for a piece of that pie. Meanwhile, technical SEO is more complicated and more important than ever before.” - MICHAEL KING, FOUNDER iPULLRANK (bit.ly/tech-seo-king)
  • 13. SEOs BE LIKE - Cyrus Shepard (on TF-IDF bit.ly/tf-idf-moz) #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 14. WRITERS BE LIKE “Language is my whore, my mistress, my wife, my pen-friend, my check-out girl. Language is a complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing square or handy freshen-up wipette. Language is the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it's the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts, it's a half-remembered childhood birthday party, a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the underside of a granite boulder, the first downy growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl, cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington boot.” - Stephen Fry, Linguist #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 15. Why’d we have to go and make things so complicated? #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 16. “I believe that more than 90% of the content marketers are going to have a long cold winter, and many of them will end up looking for new careers. I don’t want that to be harsh, but a big content marketing glut is coming. “ - Eric Enge, CEO Stone Temple Consulting (via Didit) SHIT! #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 17. GOOD CONTENT NOW, MORE THAN EVER, YOU NEED #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 18. “Mediocre content will hurt your brand more than nothing at all.” - Joe Pulizzi, Author #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 19. “Slow the *&%^$ down and do your content marketing right – or don’t do it at all.” - Ann Handley, Content Marketing Institute #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 20. People Now Use Ad Blockers - PageFair 2015 Ad Blocking Report #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 21. SEARCH OPTIMIZED CONTENT IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE BUT IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO OPTIMIZE FOR YOUR PERSONA FIRST AND APPLY YOUR CHECKLISTS AFTER #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 22. “Annual growth in unique site traffic is up 7.8X for content marketing leaders compared to followers.” - Aberdeen #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 23. Pepsi has invested big in a state-of-the-art content studio in Manhattan. - Image source Ad Age #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 24. BACK TO BASICS content headlines meta descriptions on-page SEO / formatting #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 25. MAKE IT USEFUL & INTERESTING THE CONTENT SECRET? #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 27. GOOD CONTENT SPEAKS TO A PERSONA Your target market needs to connect with what they’re reading to forge a relationship with your brand. IS WELL CONSTRUCTED Use tools or hire a real editor to make sure your content is interesting to read and follows writing best practices. ANSWERS QUESTIONS Make sure your reader comes away feeling that you’ve added value and that their visit was worth their valuable time. SERVES A PURPOSE Think about your end goal – amplification, lead nurturing, raising awareness, sealing the deal – define the goal ahead of time and stick to it. DRIVES TO A CTA The end of your content (and throughout if possible) should help point the visitor in a direction. Spell it out for them! SHARE & SEARCH OPTIMIZED Apply your checklist at the end so that you don’t sacrifice creativity for technicalities. #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 28. DEMOGRAPHICS + Age + Gender + Salary + Location + Education + Family GOALS & CHALLENGES + Values and fears MARKETING MESSAGE + Elevator pitch SOCIAL MEDIA + Platforms + Behavior NAME & JOB TITLE + Where they work + Details about their role PERSONA TEMPLATE #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 29. CRAVEABLE CONTENT #StateofSearch @katykatztx Makes us laugh or cry Has an unexpected twist Reminds us dreams come true Inspires action Reminds us we matter Reveals a secret Surprises us Encourages us to never give up Reminds us we’re unique Where David beats Goliath- CMI (bit.ly/crave-info)
  • 30. A Bit More on KEYWORDS MAP OUT RELATED TERMS DESIGN YOUR STRATEGY USE A KEYWORD TOOL AT THE BEGINNING FORGET ABOUT THE KEYWORDS TILL THE END #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 32. HEADLINE MUSTS ➜ CLEAR ➜ RELEVANT ➜ FOCUSED ➜ CONCISE ➜ EXCITING #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 33. ➜ Yes, start with a keyword ➜ But then get creative with it! Increase creativity by: o Using a headline tool o Testing multiple variations (like 25) o Dropping over-used terms (*ULTIMATE) HEADLINES • Impactbnd.com Title Generator • Hubspot Blog Topic Generator • TweakYourBiz.com Title Generator #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 34. NOW CHECK THE SEO ARE YOU AT THE RIGHT LENGTH (55-60 characters) EXPERIMENT (test, test, and test again) IS THE KEYWORD UTILIZED & RELEVANT (aim for long-tail) #StateofSearch @katykatztx * FACT: Shorter title tags perform better in search than longer ones. – Study by Code As Craft
  • 36. But Google said that meta descriptions aren’t a factor in the algorithm so why should I care? #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 38. ➜ Again, start with a keyword ➜ But then get creative with it! Increase creativity by: o Researching competitive terms o Circling in on THE WHY o Focus on benefits over features o Keep it clear and crisp o Don’t repeat the headline! META DESCRIPTIONS #StateofSearch @katykatztx
  • 39. NOW GO BACK AND OPTIMIZE ARE YOU AT THE RIGHT LENGTH (160 characters) EXPERIMENT (test, test, and test again) IS THE KEYWORD UTILIZED & RELEVANT (aim for long-tail) #StateofSearch @katykatztx * CHECK OUT THIS GREAT DISCUSSION ABOUT META DESCRIPTIONS ON INBOUND.ORG (bit.ly/metas-rock)
  • 41. ON-PAGE SEO & FORMATTING KEYWORD Is it in the title, URL, introduction, conclusion, and other key spots? Is it used a natural amount? HEADLINE TAGS Did you utilize H1 and H2 tags throughout the content? Bonus for including a keyword in an H2. LINKS Did you utilize a variety of internal and outbound links? IMAGE Did you include visuals that support your content and include your target keyword in the Alt Text? AMPLIFICATION Did you make it easy for your message to be spread on social media with prominent buttons? CTA Did you include ways to keep people on your page and clicking through to other parts of your site? #StateofSearch @katykatztx Now is the time to break out the checklists! Check out Moz’s SEO Checklist for more (bit.ly/moz-seo-list).
  • 42. Great content is both CREATIVE and TECHNICAL. #StateofSearch @katykatztx Image Source: swelldesigner via Flickr
  • 43. Thanks! Any questions? You can find me at: @katykatztx kkatz@smartbugmedia.com