I constantly hear SEOs and internet marketers evangelizing good content, suggesting that brands “create high quality content,” or “build link-worthy content.” Content has definitely become a trend word, with many people, including Bill Gates, proclaiming “content is king.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for great content, but I think all too often brands find themselves unable to define and create “awesome content.”
So, I’m going to break down steps to creating high quality written content. I’m focusing on written content, because that’s what I see brands trying to create most often—but obviously there are many types of web content.
It is relatively standard practice nowadays to do keyword rank checking with tools such as SEOmoz, Authority Labs or Conductor. It just makes sense to us as SEOs to keep an eye on them, whether you are of the school that you should be reporting them to your clients/boss or not. However, we know that with rankings there are so many variables at play that it is more of an art than a science to react to them when you see big changes.
Rank tracking helps inform us of how our tactics are working, whether competitors are up to something, or if Google has been playing with the dials again. However, I’ve been thinking recently about what other things we should be routinely tracking, and which of these might be helpful in prompting more specific actions.
One thing that I know some SEOs do, on and off, but something I haven’t really done much of until now is tracking my competitors’ sites (their markup, structure and content). Sure I look at their rankings, and if their has been interesting changes then I might look at OpenSiteExplorer, Majestic of Ahrefs to establish whether they’ve been doing anything new on the link-building front, but if it is internal changes to their site then I probably won’t spot the exact changes unless it was something in-your-face (like a complete redesign).
If you’re an SEO, it’s easy to discount the role of PPC in overall online marketing strategy. When most other types of online marketing succeed, they improve search engine optimization: content increases backlinks, usability increases conversion rate and makes our search traffic more profitable, and social media and email marketing both increase user engagement. But if PPC succeeds, you had to pay Google to send visitors to your site, which feels like an SEO failure.
After working for months to secure a top spot on a search engine results page and losing the click to the PPC team’s ad they wrote and targeted in under an hour, SEOs can feel like the straight-laced athletes losing the race to the herculean competitor that we know is doping. “They might be winning now,” we think jealously, “but SEO is long term. SEO will win in the end.”
And that’s true, to an extent. SEO is long term: you’re never going to get immediate results. With PPC, you absolutely can. But that’s what makes them great together: they have opposing strengths and can fill in for each other.
The TL:DR of getting pages indexed with a video rich snippet is “submit a video XML sitemap“. Unfortunately, this advice is not much use for the majority of users, who host their content with external providers or social video platforms and are then forced to work out whether or not their hosting service does this for them, and if not, how they should create and structure a video sitemap for their specific circumstances. To help simplify the whole process, I have created this post as a reference guide for those who have video on their site and want an answer to the ”how do i get video snippets?” question without having to do the additional work.
Below is a glossary of the simplest and most reliable (but not the only) ways to get rich snippets for each of the major hosting platforms, which I will keep updated as a reference guide with the most up to date information I have. With Google changing the way they handle video on a regular basis and platform adjustments being frequently rolled out across the competing online video providers, I’ll add in a caveat that the list below isn’t 100% foolproof, but I’ll do my best to keep it as fresh as possible.
For those in the Seattle marketing community, the odds are pretty good that you have met Max Minzer (follow on Twitter) at a local meetup in the past year. He’s almost guaranteed to be the first person to introduce himself to everyone in the room as he is always engaged and interacting with everyone he can in the crowd; certainly one of the friendliest guys you will meet.
For everyone else, you may have caught wind of Max’s recent creation, Max Impact, a video interview series, where Max interviews various folks from the SEO and marketing community on topics of interest to all of us. If I were to guess, Max will be a leader in fostering community conversations in 2013
So, you’ve spent hours slogging through the net for a beautiful list of prospects. You’ve created a great piece of content and have crafted (what you believe is) the perfect pitch that will propel you to supreme internet fame… only instead of fame, you find an inbox full of bloggers asking for ‘posting fees.’
We’ve all been there – the “outreach blues” as I like to call it. Those times when you can’t seem to find the outreach love that you’re so desperately looking for. But why is this? How is it that great pieces of content are frequently rejected by bloggers? I mean don’t they want every article they can get their hands on?
This time of year is always fun. Gyms are packed with people fulfilling their new resolutions and the internet is flooded with people making predictions of what the new year will hold. There’s a renewed sense of optimism and rejuvenation after the holidays, which promptly lasts for +/- 2 weeks. After about 2 weeks it seems life catches up and we fall back into bad habits and lose sight of our ambitious resolutions. Whether we want to admit it or not, making a real change is something that doesn’t just happen but something we have to actively work at, and often times, that work isn’t fun. However, that’s where we come in…
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