Archive

Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

Content Marketing: How scrapers impact your content strategy

May 22nd, 2012
Share

Content marketing is an important strategy for both consumer and B2B marketers, and it’s a major component of inbound and email marketing as well.

One issue that probably receives less attention than deserved is content scraping. This is a particular problem with easily digested material such as blog posts, whitepapers and articles.

Less than scrupulous website owners will go to your site, scrape your content and repost your work to their website.

This hurts your content marketing strategy in two major ways: one, it dilutes your brand awareness because some people will find your content on someone else’s website; and two, it essentially confuses search engines with the duplicate content and negatively affects your SEO.

To find out more about content scraping, and learn some tricks to combat the practice, I spoke with Rami Essaid, co-founder and CEO of Distil, a company that protects websites against unauthorized scraping.

As you might guess, this topic is near and dear to Rami’s heart, and he provides insight into how it happens and what you can do proactively to protect your content.

 

MarketingSherpa:  Tell me why content marketers should be aware of, and concerned about, content scraping.

Rami Essaid:  Marketing has shifted toward content marketing as the medium to drive traffic to websites. The reason it’s so powerful is because it provides valuable information to the end user, and allows marketers to brand within the content along with sending out the company’s message.

By having that content diluted and copied around the world, you are not able to capitalize on one hundred percent of the market reading your content.

When you think about any time you put something out there and it gets copied, scraped and duplicated, people are consuming it all around the world, but they are not consuming it from you, and you are losing the effectiveness of all of that hard work that you put into that content marketing.

  Read more…

7 Signs That You’re Overvaluing Search Engine Optimization

April 3rd, 2012
Share

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become such a giant buzzword, that even my non-marketing friends and family members discuss it. It seems that every person I interview for one of our job openings is an “SEO expert.” And I now see Danny Seo all over TV.

Jokes aside, let’s take a look at some research …

 

Click to enlarge

 

According to Jen Doyle’s research for the MarketingSherpa 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, 29% of B2B marketers consider search engine optimization to be very effective — more than email marketing, content marketing, and most noticeably, paid search.

But could that be a problem? It is human nature to overemphasize something that we think works well. (The minute someone tells me I’m funny – watch out! I’ll come up with every joke I can think of, and they’ll just keep getting worse.) And also, if we overvalue our investment in any one tactic, of course it will be more effective than the ones we’ve shunned.

With so much focus on SEO from every marketing blog on the Google-powered Web, I thought it might be worth your while to question if you’re overvaluing SEO.

So put the Google Keyword Tool down for just a minute, and for a contrarian viewpoint, see if any of these seven reasons that you’re a little too obsessed with search engine optimization / SEO / organic search / natural search / search marketing resonate with you:

Read more…

Content Marketing and SEO: The world doesn’t need another blog post

February 23rd, 2012
Share

What is the most powerful way to improve your search engine optimization?

“Content creation works the best, but takes the most work,” Kaci Bower, Research Analyst, MECLABS, said. Take a look at the data from Kaci’s research in the MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition.

 

Click to enlarge

 

“Content creation stands apart in the cluster of tactics, both for its difficulty and its effectiveness. Good content creates buzz and attracts links,” Kaci said. “For this reason, marketers who commit to the effort required in creating quality content can improve their SEO positions.”

 

So what makes good and effective content?

This is one of the most common questions I’m asked by marketers. Keep in mind, mine is a skewed sample. If I made plumbing fixtures, I would probably always get asked, “What makes good and effective plumbing fixtures?”

So I was very interested by Kaci’s data that, yes, marketers really do struggle with this. I’ve noticed that, when they become aware of this opportunity, marketers tend to fall in the same common trap — they focus on things, like blog posts or Facebook pages.

Instead, let me suggest you …

  Read more…

Most-Tweeted MarketingSherpa Blog Posts of 2011: Top social media tactics, email marketing testing, and more

December 29th, 2011
Share

It’s that time of year again … time to look back and reflect on what we’ve learned. For the MarketingSherpa blog, we wanted to focus that reflection on what you, our readers, valued most in 2011. So we created our top posts list from the number tweets you shared for each post.

And to say social media marketing dominated this year’s most-tweeted Sherpa blog posts would be an understatement. But it’s not surprising marketers have social marketing on the brain as we found more than two-thirds of organizations increased their social marketing expenditures in 2011, according to the MarketingSherpa 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report.

Without further ado, here are your top 11 Sherpa blog posts for 2011 along with a brief (140 character of less) description of the post from your peers …

Read more…

Search and Email Marketing: Why these channels dominate

October 4th, 2011
Share

I always start an interview with general questions. I ask about the company, the marketer’s role, and the company’s marketing in general. It helps frame the case study or tactics we’re about to cover.

I sometimes ask, “What are your top marketing channels?” This helps me understand the team’s priorities. Some say ‘catalogs’ or ‘telesales,’ but the two channels I most often hear are email marketing and search.

Again and again, marketers say one or both of these channels are the primary drivers of their success. That got me thinking about the similarities between email and search engine optimization (SEO)/pay-per-click (PPC). I came up with three: Read more…

Google as a Grocery Store: Use SEO and search engine marketing in tandem to boost lead generation

September 13th, 2011
Share

The week before last, I attended Dreamforce, along with more than 45,000 marketing and sales professionals, as a guest of HubSpot. I’m still sorting through all of the notes and information I gathered that week.

One breakout session I found interesting, and thought you might too, was on using SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) tactics to improve lead volume, and featured Todd Friesen, Director of SEO, Performics, and Bill Leake, CEO, Apogee Results.

Read more…

Search Engine Marketing: Taking advantage of local search and local business listings

August 16th, 2011
Share

It’s a pretty safe bet that everyone understands the importance of search engine optimization for global search. But local SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) is something of a different story. Did you know Google estimates 20 percent of all searches now have a local intent? Have you taken any steps to address this shift in search behavior? If not, you are not alone.

While looking through the MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition, I found this interesting chart:

Click to enlarge

This is from the report:

Forty-three percent of organizations consider local search a critical or important factor for achieving search marketing objectives. Individuals and businesses are increasingly looking to local listings for shopping, restaurants, services, vendors and more. For these reasons (among others), appearing in local search results, which are listed at the top of the SERPs, can help a business stand apart from its competition.

What really stands out to me is that more than one quarter of the marketers we surveyed described local search as “not important” for search marketing objectives. That’s not even asking where local search fits into overall marketing objectives, just within SEM. To my mind, that is a large percentage of marketers overlooking a potentially lucrative area of search. Read more…

SEO Tactics Chart: Creating content is the most-effective tactic — here’s how to get started

July 12th, 2011
Share

I’ve been thumbing through the just-published MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition. This thing is so hot-off-the-press that my fingers hurt.

There is a massive amount of analysis in this book, but one theme immediately jumped out at me: SEO thrives on content, and content does not come easily.

Below we have some great advice for jump-starting your content creation, but first let’s look at a chart ranking the top SEO tactics used today.

Most effective SEO tactics chart 1

As you can see, content creation sits comfortably on the top with 92% of SEO marketers saying it is at least somewhat effective and 50% saying it is very effective. Keyword research comes in second with 87% saying it’s at least somewhat effective.

The other side of the content-coin is that it is also one of the most difficult tactics to execute. Here (pulled from another chart in the report) are the three most-difficult SEO tactics:
1. External link building
2. Content creation
3. BloggingDNA 2

These three tactics are as intertwined as DNA. Nothing I know of will generate more high-quality links on a consistent basis than good content that is published regularly. And more than 50% of SEO marketers use blogs to create content, according to the report.

Blogging results in six months

Even though creating content is the most effective SEO tactic, it comes in sixth in terms of popularity with 60% of marketers using it. This disconnection could be due to the difficulty of creating content, and I recently heard a great example of how to simplify the process and get started.

Marcus Sheridan, Co-Owner at River Pools & Spas, had some great advice at our recent Optimization Summit on how to dive into content creation (Dive! Get it?). Sheridan outlined the simple tactics he used to blog his company’s website into the world’s most popular swimming pool site in terms of traffic.

Here are tactics he suggested for establishing a traffic-building blog:

Tactic #1. Answer prospects’ questions

First, gather everyone in your company and ask them to list the top questions they’ve received from prospective customers. Write down a list of 50. Those questions are the titles of your first 50 blog posts.

“As a pool guy, as soon as someone calls us on the phone, what do they ask? What do they ask in every industry? — How much does it cost? That’s the first question all the time,” Sheridan said.

So Sheridan’s first blog read: “How Much Does a Fiberglass Pool Cost?“.

Tactic #2. No, really answer their questions

Some companies are afraid to answer questions about price or to directly compare their products to alternatives (which is another popular question). Sheridan urged companies to overcome their discomfort. Prospective customers are asking these questions, regardless. Who would you rather have answering them?

“We can’t be afraid to talk about anything that the customer wants to talk about; the good, the bad and the ugly,” he said.

Tactic #3. Two posts per week for six months

Once you gather questions from your team — keep everyone involved. Get them excited about writing a blog post to answer a question. Divide the work across the company and set a strict schedule.

“If you set 50 titles and you do two per week, then you have 25 weeks’ worth of blog content. Within that six months time, everything will start to change for that company and that business and the traffic they’re starting to get on their website,” Sheridan said.

Related resources

MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition

Optimization Summit: Tests with poor results can improve your marketing

Members Library – Optimization Summit 2011 Wrap-up: 6 takeaways to improve your tests and results

Evidence-based Marketing: This blog post will not solve your most pressing marketing challenges…yet

June 23rd, 2011
Share

Here at MECLABS, we have a pretty singular focus – to help you optimize your sales and marketing funnel. Or as I like to say in every email I write: Our job is to help you do your job better.

But, as Tom Cruise said to Katie Holmes (or maybe it was Cuba Gooding, Jr.), “Help me, help you.”

So evidence-based marketers, on what topic do you need more evidence? Evidence to help you understand what your peers are doing. Evidence to help you understand what really works. Evidence to do a little internal marketing to your business leaders (or for the agency folks out there, your clients)?

Below are a few key topics you’ve been telling us you want to learn more about. We’re trying to decide on the topic for our next MarketingSherpa Benchmark Report. In which topic should we invest 5 months of a research manager’s time digging into to discover the evidence you need.

Please take 7 seconds and rank them in order of importance in the poll below. Or if we missed a topic entirely, please tell us in the comments section below.

In no particular order, the nominees are…

  • Analytics – Using analytics and metrics to drive business decisions from which products to launch to which landing page works best to which content is most relevant to your audience.
  • Mobile – Mobile tactics can vary slightly or widely from traditional approaches, so how are marketers developing and implementing wireless strategies? How are marketers planning their budgets and measuring their results? And, for the love of all that is holy, when on Earth will I be able to view Flash on my iPad? OK, maybe not that last one. But seriously Steve, it would be nice.
  • E-commerce – What do direct sale sites view as the top opportunities for the upcoming year? Are they investing in site speed enhancement, conversion optimization, or both? And is social media impacting purchases?
  • Agency and vendor selection and management – What factors play into how marketers choose and compensate agencies? How do marketers determine if they need a software platform in a specific space? And if so, do they buy, go with open source, or attempt something homegrown? How do you get IT’s support in choosing a vendor? And then, more importantly, how do you get IT to stop talking about “Star Trek: The Next Generation” already?
  • Salary survey – How much does Bill make?  He hasn’t had a good idea since 1993. And his tuna salad lunches stink up the office. OK, if not Bill, then what about the rest of your peers. Are you being fairly compensated? And what should you pay your team?
  • Lead generation – Which information do marketers view as most valuable? How do they keep their databases updated and clean? Do marketers find third-party lists effective? And in an age of social media, do marketers value a big email list as much?
  • Content marketing and lead nurturing – Do my peers outsource content creation or do it in-house? If so, how? Do they have their own teams? Or just beg, borrow, and steal from other departments?

New Marketing Research: 3 profitable traffic sources most marketers are ignoring

June 2nd, 2011
Share

If you’ve been reading this blog for just about any amount of time, you already know that landing page optimization is an effective way to increase the ROI of your website traffic.

But when most people think of landing pages, they think of pages tied to certain traffic sources. The most popular of those sources are generally PPC ads and email messaging.
But there are a few other opportunities to capitalize on your traffic with landing pages. Take a look at this marketing research chart from Boris Grinkot’s 2011 Landing Page Optimization Benchmark Report:
dedicated landing pages chart

According to the chart, most marketers aren’t optimizing traffic from:

  1. Social media sites
  2. Referring sites
  3. Organic search

Now right off the bat, you might be thinking that the reason those traffic sources aren’t capitalized on has to do with the fact that most websites aren’t getting traffic from those sources.

However, this data only factors in marketers who have traffic from these sources.

So for example, of the E-Commerce sites that are currently receiving organic search traffic, only 31% of them are capitalizing on it with dedicated landing pages.

The fact that some marketers are dedicating landing pages to these particular sources of traffic is a good indicator that they are working to convert that traffic, but that most marketers are simply missing out.

This one chart signals that there is a tremendous opportunity to get ahead of your competition and start capitalizing on more of your traffic.

Get 41 more charts like this one…FREE

This is simply one insight from one chart in the Benchmark Report. If you really wanted to, I’m sure you could get a lot more out of this chart. You’re only limited by your own business intelligence.

For the next few days, the entire chapter from the Benchmark Report this chart is in can be downloaded for free thanks to a generous sponsorship from HubSpot. All you need to do to get your 41 free charts including Boris’ insightful analysis is click the link below, fill out the form on the landing page, and download the chapter.

Get your free chapter now…