Category Archives for Content Marketing

How to Audit Your Website

How to Audit Your Website

If your website is not performing as well as you would like, it may be time to do a website audit. You can pay someone a lot of money to do it for you, but you can also do it yourself. When you audit your website you're essentially looking for elements that are working, as well as elements that aren't working and need to be updated.

Every few years the internet changes in a big way. How we do things today is different from how we did things just ten years ago. What's in today will not be tomorrow. Therefore, it's important to keep your website up to date with the modern technology available to you for your industry and niche.

How Is Your Branding?

This speaks to your use of color, typography, visuals, and even favicons. Also, is your "about us page" updated, and is it telling the story clearly of who you are and what you can do for them? Have you included testimonials, success stories and more to keep your visitor interested?

How Is Your Design?

The look and feel of your website have a lot to do with the layout, whether the content is organized well, the white space you have on your website and your calls to action. Do they stand out? Do you have too much old-school design on your website? How can you modernize it?

Is Your Coding on Point?

Do you have an updated sitemap file? Are you still using frames and old-school coding that doesn't work today? Are your URLs indicative of what's on each page? Are you using headers and sub-headers properly?

Is It Usable?

Are you following best practices when it comes to layout? If you're not sure you can read Google's advice to webmasters as well as the W3C consortium to see what they recommend. Right now the menu should go at the top, with certain things expected in the footer and sidebars.

Do You Have Holes in Your Content?

If you have any old content that is not quality-focused, engaging and relevant, you will want to work on updating it. Then focus on continuing to be consistent with adding fresh content.

Are Your Keywords Focused?

In the old days, you might have put a lot of keywords on a page to attract your audience. Today, keywords are important but they need to be used in titles, headers, and sub-headers. They should only be used sparingly in the content, which should be written first for your audience. But ensure that when you do use keywords you're using the right ones for your audience.

What Can You Do to Improve On-Page SEO?

This is all about how your page titles are written. They should represent exactly what's in the content that you present. Clickbait is not appreciated even though a lot of even mainstream press uses that trick to get you to click. Focus on that, the URLs for each page, and meta descriptions which are still very important, as are meta titles.

Are You Using Social Media Right?

Ensure that it's easy for your audience to share your content socially. Connect your website to Google and YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and more depending on what your audience likes to use. Plus, ensure that you're engaging with social media too.

Is Your Site Mobile?

Today there is no more excuse for not having a mobile site. Your main website should be mobile first and then it will also work on regular browsers. This will require you to have a clean design, which is great for everyone.

What's Out of Date?

If there is anything on your site that is out of date or no longer necessary, get rid of it. This includes things such as keyword-stuffed articles, duplicate content, spun content, a ton of ads, paid links and more.

By going through this list you can do a website audit yourself. This will help you keep your site modern, usable and working for your business.

How to Market Your Business Website Online and Offline

How to Market Your Business Website Online and Offline

So, you finally have a business website... but you don’t know what to do with it. When you build a website, you have very powerful marketing collateral that you can use to get more business than you ever thought possible. It doesn’t matter if you have a bricks-and-mortar business or a completely online business - these marketing methods work wonders. Here's how to market your business website, both online and offline.

Blogging Content

The more relevant content in the form of blogs you can put on your website, dripping out a little at a time, the more traffic you’ll get to your website. You don’t want the content to go up all at once; you want it to go a little at a time so that the search engines grab it, and so that you get a steady trickle of traffic every day.

Social Media Networks

When you write a blog post or add any content to your site, let people know on all your social media networks about the new content. Try to make each update to social media unique so that it doesn’t look like just the same thing all the time. Each network has its unique appearance and personality. Just match your blurbs with each network.

Your Business Card

Believe it or not, you can get a lot of business with the good old-fashioned business card. Put your URL on it, and hand it out to people you meet. You never know if someone you meet today will call you months or even a year down the line because they need what you’re offering.

QR Codes

These are those funny square things that you can use your smartphone to take a picture of and grab the information. A QR code can take your customer or contact to a newsletter sign-up page or just your webpage. It’s up to you.

Pay Per Click

All search engines, plus most social media networks, allow you to do some form of pay-per-click marketing. Right now, the easiest and best one to use is Facebook. You can design an advertisement and target it in the minutest way possible to get the most convertible clicks.

TV Advertisements

Yes, you can market your website using TV spots. Depending on what you promote on your website, especially if it’s a highly desirable that appeals to mass quantities of people, local advertisements can do wonders for your business. Contact your local news affiliates for more information about how to run a TV spot.

SEO

Search engine optimization should be your first go-to marketing method for your website. SEO involves ensuring that you have the right content on your site, using the right keywords and in the right order for the best results. SEO also happens off your website and is called off-page SEO. This means that you find ways to produce material that provides a link back to your website.

Sponsorships

Locally and internationally there are always sponsorship opportunities available where you can help put on an event, support a charity, or combine resources with other businesses offering complementary items to your audience. The result is more traffic to your website.

Marketing your business website is an important part of having a business. If you want people to find out about your business, the website is essential. And telling people about the website and making it easy to find using SEO techniques is the only way they’ll know it exists.

Getting More Bang for Your Content Marketing Buck

Online marketing is highly focused on content marketing. Content is the king, and it always will be when it comes to marketing, especially online. If you think about it, though, the content has always been the king - even before online marketing existed. Previously it was on TV and radio, in books, newspapers, and magazines and at in-person events. It was in advertisements, in brochures, and more.

People are truly insatiable for more information. Now you need more, and it can get quite expensive and overwhelming. But there are ways to get more bang for your content buck.

Know Your Audience

All marketing begins and ends with your audience. The better you can get to know your audience through research, interaction, and engagement, the more you can create and buy content that will appeal to that audience.

Create Goals

Every single piece of content that you push out to your audience in every manner should have a purpose. It may be to spread awareness, build credibility, build your list, or some other goal, but you need to know what it is before even planning it.

Plan in Advance

The best place to start is with the goal and the product you want to sell. Then work your way back through your product funnel and marketing funnel so that you bring them in, educate them, inform them, and convert them.

Create a Publication Calendar

Part of planning is to have a publication calendar. You may have several calendars, one for each network, blog, and goal, as well as one main calendar so that you can see everything at a glance.

Incorporate Private Label Rights

Content is so important that you can’t create it all yourself. You’re going to have to fill the gaps with other means such as private label rights (PLR) articles, blog posts, eBooks, and information. The fastest way and least expensive way to do so is via PLR.

Repurpose Everything

One excellent thing to learn is how to repurpose your content. A blog can become a video, a video can become a small report, and everything can be combined to make one big package or membership website.

Refresh Old Content

Depending on your niche, it may be possible to rewrite and refresh old content, making it new again. This tactic is especially true in technology areas where things change very fast. When a fact changes, spend time updating old content, then remarket it.

Interconnect Your Content

Everything needs to work together to some end. If you could look at your entire business on a map, how would it all connect? If you can’t answer that, you will have gaps in your content coverage. If you can explain it, you’ll rock and make the most of your content buck.

Push Visitors to Your Email Lists

The ultimate goal of content is to sell your products. But to do so, you’ll need to push your visitors (whether via social media networks, websites, YouTube, or blogs) to sign up for your email lists. Once you get someone in your audience on your list, your chances of selling to them explode over traditional marketing.

Finally, it’s vital that you don’t just publish content without promoting it. Content needs to be promoted to be successful, and ironically you will use content to promote the content. That’s why content is king.

8 Reasons Why Press Releases Are Worth the Time and Effort

One of the oldest marketing ploys around is the old-fashioned press release. But, do they still work? The short answer is that if you have a newsworthy reason to issue a press release, then by all means you should do it. Press releases still have great value for many reasons. They still get results, although not always the types of result you might expect.

Low Cost

Press releases are still relatively low-cost ways to get the word out about a new product, service, or event. This is true whether you do it yourself or hire a service to do it for you. If you are choosy about when you send a press release as well as to whom it is sent, the cost will be a lot less than other forms of advertising.

Improves SEO

Today, one of the biggest benefits of a press release lies in the SEO value. Google Search still places a press release at high value in term of content. This is mostly because scammers don’t typically spend a lot of time, money and effort on producing press releases, so if your business does then you must be legitimate.

Potential for Wider Exposure

Even when you target your press releases they can be picked up by others, and often are if they fit a news story someone wants to tell. Therefore, you have a large potential to reach so many more people than via normal advertising methods.

Becomes Part of the Record

Press releases, especially delivered online, become part of the record and can be found long after the opening, product launch or other newsworthy event. In this way, someone who is looking can find a record of your business.

Establishes Expertise

The record and combination of releases will help establish you and your business as experts in your niche. They help get your name or the name of your business associated with a professional business.

Enhances Credibility

People who don’t take their business seriously don’t send press releases. So by sending them out you are establishing that you’re a serious contender and business entity, which will give you credibility with your audience.

Improves Branding

Any way that you can regularly get the word out about what your business is doing, through blogs, articles, and press releases, will improve your brand’s image, especially if you make it part of your normal marketing efforts.

Viral Potential

Every press release you send out has the potential of going viral if you send it to the right people at the right time. Be sure to not only send them out, but also to share the online version on your blog, website, and via social media accounts to help the process.

You should send out a press release any time you open a new business, add a new product or service, or have anything that is newsworthy to report about your business to the world. In addition, it’s imperative that you learn how to target where your press releases go so that they get in the hands of the right people.

Eight Ways to Use a Book to Market Your Business

Marketing your business with a book is a great way to prove your knowledge and develop some credibility within your niche. The act of publishing a book sets you up with expert status almost automatically. Of course, the book needs to be good too, but the idea is that the book is not the main product. The book is just a way to market the main product which is you, or your business.

Sell It Inexpensively on Kindle

You can give it away by signing the book up exclusively on Kindle, and then allow it to be given away. Alternatively you can sell it for $2.99 or even more. It's up to you. If the book is good, and you want to make money off it, it doesn't exclude you from using the book as a marketing tool. This only works if you also include links and information about your website and other information inside the book.

Collect Leads by Giving It Away

As mentioned above, you can give it away on Kindle. You can also give it away as lead bait or incentive to your customer to sign up for your email list. Still include links in your book because your audience will want to buy what you suggest, and come back to your website if they know where it is.

Use It to Get Speaking Opportunities

A book's topic is a great platform to get speaking engagements. When you're a published author, people will want to know what you know, and speaking is a great way to market your business.

Publicity through Authorship

Just becoming a published author carries some clout. And, don't let anyone tell you that self-publishing is "less than" any other type of publishing. Self-publishing is actually more lucrative today than finding a publisher unless you are already famous and want to outsource some aspects. Publishers will not do much to help someone who is not already known; therefore you may as well self-publish and use the proof of your knowledge (your book) to market your business.

Viral Marketing Campaigns

An eBook can be a great way to "go viral" if you know how to promote it. Use social media, book trailers, and excerpts of the book to market on social media to get the word out about the book and your business at the same time.

Create a Book Trailer Video

A great way to both market your book and your business is to use the book to make a book trailer video to post on YouTube. This video can then be posted on your website and social media networks as a way to promote the book and also your business.

Put Links inside Your EBook

This is the most important thing outside of marketing your eBook. Ensure that you include links inside your eBook because this is how the people who buy or download your eBook (or even if they steal it) will give you business from it.

Promote It on Social Media

Don't forget to market your business and book on social media using all means available, such as infographics, the book trailer, memes and infographics.

Using a book to market your business is an excellent idea. It's something that's been done long before online marketing. A book can be a great calling card for your business with proof of your expertise.

Content Syndication – How to Do It Right

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ne way to increase your reach with your content is through content syndication. Content syndication licenses your content, or parts of your content, to be published on other platforms and can help lead new audiences to your website or blog. Content syndication can help you build a larger fan base, bring more publicity, improve SEO, and allow for more widespread sharing of your content on social media.

Choose the Right Syndication Partner

Syndication isn’t about duplicate content; it’s about forming a relationship with a partner that will help push your content out to their audience while providing a link back to your website, giving you more credibility and perhaps also putting you inside an advertising network of sites so that you can share revenue. Some examples of sites that do this well are SheKnows.com, StyleList.com, BlogHer.com and WomensForum.com.

Know Your Niche

Part of choosing the right syndication partner is to understand who your audience is, and what your niche is. If you have a technology blog, you don’t want to syndicate on a food network and vice versa. Ensure that you choose a popular, legitimate, and well-run network so that it will pay off for you in terms of increased traffic and revenue.

Syndication Networks Legitimize Your Content

There are syndication partners in every niche that accept applications for participation in their network. One popular one is outbrain.com. Outbrain is focused on finding great content for their audience. It revolves around using the content on your site to recommend other content to your audience that resides on your site and other people’s sites, depending on which plan you choose. When you sign up you put the code on your site, as others have it on theirs, and you each have an equal opportunity of recommending the others’ content.

Syndication Offers Monetization Opportunities

As you can tell if you’ve looked at some of the recommendations, these syndication sites are advertising networks. While recommending your content to others and sending them deeper into your site, you will also share in ad revenue that the network sells based on having thousands of smaller sites banded together. This makes advertising sales more lucrative for even the small publisher.

Build Your Traffic Up First

To syndicate your content, work hard to build up your traffic. The more traffic you have, the more leverage you will have with the networks you apply to. In the syndication game, traffic is currency.

Know Your Syndication Goals

Do you want to drive traffic? Do you want to provide education? Know your goals so that you can choose the right network that will help you reach those goals.

Work on Your Content Strategy

To be accepted by legitimate syndication networks your content needs to address your audience, be honest, not be spam, and look professional. Professional content has compelling headlines and benefits for the reader whether they choose to sign up for your list and buy from you or not.

Understand the Different Types of Syndication

There are free and paid syndication. An example of free content syndication is SlideShare.net. Then there are advertisement-supported networks as mentioned earlier. Finally there are licensed syndication networks like Outbrain.

Once you have worked out these issues and understand your goals, you can work on your syndication strategy. Before joining any network, read all the fine print. You want to ensure that you never break the rules or contracts to make the most of a syndication network.

Are You Leveraging the Right Resources to Grow Your Business?

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arketing your business with online content is the ultimate way to bring traffic to your website. You can use articles, newsletters, blog posts, social media updates, FAQs and more to help bring traffic, but there are ways to do it so that you can grow your business the right way. Having a lot of followers isn’t indicative of success. Earning money is. So, if you want to grow your business you have to know which resources to leverage.

Content Is Still King

Everything revolves around content. Content is needed for every aspect of your business. If you create information products you need even more content. However, even if you sell other types of product or service you still need a lot of content in order to educate, engage, and encourage your connections to buy from you.

Forms of Content

There are many different forms of content that you can use, such as blog posts on your website, guest posts and articles on other websites, inside print publications and online newsletters. Content can be text, audio or visual in nature. Having a combination of different forms of content will ensure that you reach more of your audience.

Have a Plan of Action

The other key to ensuring that you are leveraging the right resources is to have a plan of action. Don’t just create or have content created without a point of view, voice, and the goals for the content in mind.

Create a Publication Calendar

When you know what content you want to create, it’s important to spell it out in a calendar so that you will do first things first. For instance, if you are launching a new product in three months, you can start whetting the appetite of your list now.

The Email List Is the Most Important

They say the money is in the list, and that’s as true today as it was five years ago. Social media marketing hasn’t replaced email marketing; it has created another way to lead people to your email lists. Leverage your social media to build your list.

Develop Incentives to Collect More Email Addresses

The point of your blog posts, social media updates, and even webinars is to collect information from your target audience so that you can market to them within your email lists. Host webinars, ask for sign-ups on social media, and incentivize lists with free give-aways or low-cost entry products and services.

All Content Should Work Together

Starting with the product, service or event that you want to promote, work your way back to today to decide the different types of content that you will use to get more email subscribers to whom you can market and promote your wares. Decide what type of content they need to become educated and informed about your products and services so that they will purchase.

Consider Drawing a Workflow

Looking at how all your content works together to bring in buyers as well as encourage the purchase, may help you identify gaps in your content needs. Your content workflow might look like this: Email Subscription Bait > 7-Day ECourse > Webinar > Short Report > Long Report > EBook > Coaching > etc… Seeing it written out should help you decide what you need.

By knowing what your goals are for the content that you create, you’ll be able to use it more efficiently to grow your business far beyond what you thought possible.

Common Online Marketing Mistakes

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hen it comes to online marketing, everyone starts off thinking they know how to do it. But, the truth is, online marketing is not very different from other types of marketing. The tool is different, but the way you go about it really isn’t. You still need to understand who your audience is, what your product or service is, and know how to explain to your audience why it will solve their problems and why you are the one to offer it.

The following mistakes can lead to problems with getting more business.

Not Sticking to One Brand

Don't try to be someone different online than you are offline. Don't try to recreate your brand for every social media network. Keep the same brand image, slightly changed up for each network's platform and features, but keeping the same colors, values, and ideals as you have on your website. You want your customers to know who you are, no matter where they connect with you.

Not Watching Your Competitors

You don't want to copy your competitors, but watching them will help you stay one step ahead of them. It might even alert you to some cosmic change in the marketplace if you are paying attention. Be aware of what type of products and/or services your competition provides and be ready to do them one better.

Not Having a Goal

It's imperative that for each type of marketing you do, you have a goal in mind. Whether it's content marketing, pay-per-click marketing, or social media marketing, having a goal to reach will help you know whether or not you've accomplished your mission. Plus it will help you know how to move forward.

Not Having a Domain Name

Not only should you have a domain name, but you should also have an email @yourdomainname if you want to be taken seriously as a business owner. You can easily set up your own email address with your webhost provider, sometimes at no additional charge.

Not Having Diverse and Regular Content

It's no longer enough to simply put up 500-word blog posts and expect to get a loyal following. Today you need longer blog posts, video, podcasts, infographics, memes and more to ensure that you are reaching all parts of your audience. Everyone learns differently, and it's your job to educate them in the way they learn best.

Not Having an Email List

It's surprising how many business owners there are who don't realize the importance of building an email list for successful online marketing. But it's true; some people don't build an email list, and they should.

Not Having Well-Written Content

You can't just slap anything up and expect it to be successful when it comes to content marketing. You need original, unique content that speaks directly to your audience. In addition, you need curated content from other experts which you comment on.

Not Focusing on Benefits over Features

It's tempting to discuss all the features of your product or service instead of the benefits. All marketing messages, even on your "about us" page, need to be focused on your client and how your products or services benefit them. That can be difficult to wrap your brain around sometimes, but it is imperative in order to get more conversions.

Don't make these mistakes with your online marketing. If you really want to be successful at online marketing, learn from those who have gone before you, and do not try to reinvent the wheel.

Eight Reasons Press Releases Still Works

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ress releases are highly underrated these days. Whether you have a digital business or a bricks and mortar business, you should still be sending out press releases for each newsworthy event that your business participates in. New products, new services, events, and anything that your business does or accomplishes that is important to the industry should include a press release. Here are eight reasons why.

Provides Links to Your Website

Even though there is controversy about whether or not press releases are good for SEO due to Google's algorithm change that doesn't count them anymore, the truth is they are still good for SEO in terms of providing links to your site that people will click on.

A Permanent Record of Events

They are great for keeping a permanent record of events in your business. If you file them away, you can use them later to document the progress of your business.

Unfiltered Information

A press release, due to how it's written (with guidelines and the specific newsworthy story), has truly unfiltered information without the fluff. Therefore, if your release is picked up, it will mean something to the readers.

Attracts New Audiences

Blogging and social media posts are great ways to get people to visit your website, but a press release can attract entirely new people within your audience to come to your website.

Improves Your Brand Image

Real businesses send out press releases. If you want your business to be taken seriously, you should be sending them out when you release a new product, plan an event, or do something that is newsworthy in your industry.

Potential to Go Viral

Any well-written press release that you've sent out that has something to do with current events will have an opportunity to become viral. Once something like that goes viral, you'd better be prepared for the onslaught of visitors.

Great Additional Content on Your Website

When your press release is picked up by major press, link to that website with the press release on it. This is a great way to get information "as seen on" to impress your website visitors. This gives you additional content to talk about when you post your press releases.

Gives You Proper Bragging Rights

When your press release is picked up by a major news source, it's great to be able to put their logos on your website due to the fact that you've been seen in their publications.

If you don't think press releases work, then you need to give them a try. The next time you have a newsworthy event, experiment with sending out a press release. It's important that you follow advice and get some professional help with sending them out, though. Also, don't just send them in a way that they go everyplace; find out whom to send them to in advance and send them directly to the right people.

9 Tips on How to Save Money on Content

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very business today needs online content to help market and promote the business. The best way to do this is to ensure that you have a plan for your content based on the products and services that you offer. Once you set up an editorial calendar it will help you come up with content on a regular basis. There are several ways that you can save money on content.

Hire a Writer

That might sound like you're spending and not saving, but a good content writer can be a life saver. If it takes you an hour to write one blog post, and you could earn more doing other work during that hour, it only makes sense to let a writer do it for you.

Buy and Use PLR

Private label rights articles are very useful to use and very inexpensive. If you choose well, you can use PLR for a lot of your content. When you use PLR it's important to update it and change it around to make it your own first, but that will take minutes to do.

Write It Yourself

If you think you can't write, you're wrong. If you know a topic well, you can write about it. Just write how you talk, and act like you're just telling someone who would be interested the information. In fact, using voice to text on your computer might help you.

Repurpose What You Have

Every piece of content you create can be used again; you will just need to change it up a little bit to use it in other places. You can use a blog post in a newsletter, compile them together into a book and more.

Refresh and Update What You Have

This is a little different than repurposing in that you will take older content that has what is now wrong advice, due to changing technology and so forth. Updating it will make it new again.

Curate Content

In addition to your own content it's important to tell your audience about other people's content by curating content. The way that works is that you find excellent content that would be of interest to your audience, write a short blurb about it, add in your thoughts and link to the content.

Make the Most of the Content You Have

When you already have content, you can make the most of it. Turn a blog post into a video. Turn a data-centric blog post into an infographic, turn several newsletters into an eBook - if you keep a plan in place it will see as if the content you have multiplies.

Mix It Up

As mentioned, creating different types and forms of content is really a great way to expand how much content you have. A newsletter becomes an eBook; a blog post becomes a video and so forth. Use many types of content to keep your audience's interest.

Promote Your Content

Promote each and every piece of content that you spend time creating. If you aren't willing to promote it, then it's probably not that good.

Creating content is one of the best ways to market your business inexpensively. Saving money on the content that you create is essential because you need so much to stay in the game today. But, it doesn't have to break the bank to be effective.

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