Grant Cardone’s top message — Being Seen is Job Number One. Without being seen many times, you’ve got nothing. Anyone starting a business knows that for certain. They’ve got a great value prop but no one knows they exist.
Grant sells real estate and he’s become one of the top coaches and influencers in the field of sales.
He’s producing more content than ever including videos, podcasts, books, and social media posts. His sales message is direct but valuable.
His advice is to get attention, avoid competition, and dominate your market. As digital marketing people know, dominating means developing fantastic content, getting in front of everyone’s eyes, engaging which means increasing attention, leaving nothing for competitors, and promoting frequently.
The end game for him is creating a one to one relationship with the client.
You Should Have A Good Sized Budget
That’s a big job that might require a big team.
Wait a minute. No, you could hire a digital marketing specialist with multiple talents and give them the tools to improve their work. Match a good researcher/copywriter/SEO guy up with a great graphic artist/designer and you’ve got the beginnings of something awesome.
Add a social media strategist and a video producer and you may be able to challenge top sales performers and influencers like Grant Cardone.
Like Grant says, you must dominate your market. As Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla, and Amazon demonstrate, dominating a market has incredible benefits. It’s so crowded out there. Competing kills you, wastes resources, strains staff, reduces clear thinking, and cuts profitability severely. Others have said it too — don’t compete!
Why Is Excellent Content So Important?
Content is the medium of digital marketing – from Tweets to blogs to Video
Good content creates visibility and engagement
Content positions your company as completely unique – negating competition
Content is sustainable and Evergreen Content continues producing forever
Paid media campaigns benefit from good, engaging content
Paid media is expensive
Organic rankings are prestigious
Organic rankings augment paid ppc advertising and email
Good content can be redeployed for social media and is the currency of social exchange and sharing
Supports good customer loyalty and brand awareness
Educates, entertains, and reinforces your company’s value persistently
Content testing gives you feedback to learn faster
Organic content generates better, pre-motivated, informed prospects so your sales team doesn’t have to work so hard
SEO produces website traffic continuously for free — give Google value and they’ll send you leads
Am I Better Than Other Digital Marketers?
I innovate. One such innovation is “Evergreen Content.” It’s content that keeps improving in performance despite seasons, over the years, hot or cold, through any harsh times. It rides on current events and is seemingly relevant to everything (LOL). That’s why I enjoy it so much. This is fun to me.
I produce content that is epic, in-depth, and it’s real. It’s continually tested and revamped so it keeps producing more traffic, inbound links, social shares, and return traffic.
Rather than disappearing in the corporate content archives, my top evergreen content is reinvented, redesigned and so it keeps producing forever. In fact, its strength grows every year until it completely dominates.
Octopus SEO – I’ve Been Doing It a Long Time
Evergreen content has even more benefits when combined with the octopus strategy where I grab up the top rankings for all related keyword phrases. I prove to search engines that my content is more relevant, high quality, engaging. By using semantics, search engines rank my client’s pages high for similar phrases. The engagement levels over years verifies to Google that this is the best content.
That pulls in 100 times the traffic! So much better than only capturing the traffic from a single, obvious high volume keyword phrase that so many SEOs and content people obsess over. And this persistent “omnipresence” generates excellent brand recognition.
Advertisers realize it takes repeated exposure before prospects will act on their intent. The more revisits and longer the stay, the more likely they will become a customer or client.
Building an Unbeatable Advantage
Beating the giants is something I’ve always done. I expect to beat big companies with big budgets because they lack innovation, flexibility and a broad frame of reference. They kill their performance obsessing with best practices, taxonomy, and meta tags. Customers just want good content and a good visit.
By not focusing on routine, we’ve got time to keep producing the highest quality content. Great content is like a great quarterback. It can make everyone look good. We need that time for research and to strategize how we’re going to make it better.
Don’t complicate things for the sake of bringing more mediocre content into play. We focus on the 10% that engages and creates real results in leads and sales.
Good content and powerful SEO are the cornerstone of content strategy and a worthy digital marketing campaign. If you don’t develop great content, leverage it to the hilt, and get your UVP/Brand visible, Grant Cardone won’t have kind words for you. And you won’t close sales either.
Good content is a real lifetime workhorse and makes you and your business look really good.
You can keep floundering with silly content strategies that sound good but don’t produce, or you can hire me. Put me together with your graphic artist and other team members and we will dominate your market. And good content is a lot more fun for us all.
Call me at 416 998 6246 and let’s start dominating your market.
What Signals Does Google Use to Calculate Your Content Quality Score?
Every once in a blue moon, Google makes major changes in its algorithm. The Mountainview behemoth has used silence and cloaking very to keep SEO pros off balance.
Hidden in the shadows of its new RankBrain algo update, is a new approach to calculating web content quality. Why? That we don’t know. It may be just a vain, academic play, or it could signal they’ve found a new, rich vein of digital gold.
“Thar’s Gold up in them thar Mountainview mountains”
What if Google would like to turn on big corporations and squeeze money out of them, and in turn give SERPs visibility back to smaller organizations (who can produce high quality content)? It may be far-fetched, but one thing for sure, change in SERPs means opportunity for some.
Earlier…, some publishers began noticing changes to Google’s search results. We had asked Google if this due to a Panda Update or any other type of update, but Google replied no. Since then, more reports came in, with the change even being dubbed the “Phantom Update” because something did seem to have happened, even if Google wasn’t acknowledging it. — courtesy of Search Engine Land regarding a quality update in 2015.
Google’s been looking for alternative ways of ranking web pages for many years now. It makes sense that they would test out changes. Still highly dependent on volume of inbound links and link anchor text for its search ranking results pages, Google is easy prey for big corporate SEOs. In fact, many corporate marketers have become quite bold using ppc and remarketing to bolster their organic rankings. They’re gaming authority and trust way too much now, simply by using their overabundance of cash. That’s embarassing for Google if people start talking about it.
With a new demotion of pagerank and authority, and the rise of content quality and engagement metrics, corporate SEOs can’t rely on their big ranking power. And corporations generally aren’t nimble, responsive, genuine, flexible, and tuned into Google’s demands. That spells trouble for big corporate publishers with big budgets.
Perhaps Google’s realizing it’s been too lenient on rich corporations and now is a good time to squeeze them?
For Google, content quality was always determined by off-site signals such as link volume, authority, and trustrank. Those can be and are gamed by SEOs. With the new content quality update, Google can detect real, true engagement of content based on behavior and click outcomes. In other words, Google may feel it can assess engagement quality. Will the purchase button and thank you page be the ultimate quality cue?
Indexing algorithm updates such as Big Daddy, Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird have helped them pick out and rank better pages and sites and demote poor quality pages and sites including spammy ones. The strategy was to diversify and contrast ranking signals so SEOs would face more difficulty. The goal was to make companies give up on SEO on instead pay for Adwords Ads although SMBs appear to have turned more to Facebook ads than Adwords.
Still, the squeeze worked incredibly well for Google’s corporate profits. Small businesses however got hit hard as they couldn’t play Google’s new indexing game.
So for some years now, big business has enjoyed a bounty of traffic and ease of rankings. Volume and big money has definitely won out. But if content quality becomes a bigger factor, small businesses who are able to create high quality, epic content may once again capture a share of free organic search traffic and avoid pricey paid channels.
Today, big publisher websites dominate Google’s rankings. It leaves smaller websites with little visibility even though they may have just as much real value to share as larger publishers. It’s not fair, and the content produced is predictable, shallow, and skewed for big corporate values.
If Google does increase its preference for particular, high quality, engaging content further, we’ll have to plan, strategize and implement our SEO campaigns expertly.
If your content doesn’t impact, inform, engage and convert, Google can see this. It can also make some judgements as to why it’s not converting. Google could make more judgements about your content relevance, visitor’s clickpaths, time on site, user emotional engagement, and not tell you why it won’t rank.
RankBrain is the software component that regulates the overall search results and because it’s considered artificial intelligence, it learns and then predicts what is quality content. If you and I can understand how it makes those decisions and what it typically values, we will get a boost in current and future rankings.
So before we embark on our new content strategy which emphasizes content quality signal optimization, let’s review some important issues.
If Google can’t rely on specific ranking factors and instead must read between the lines of all of them to get a true overall picture of the best sites, we’ll have to look at big picture optimization.
On the Google site, Google does mention poor quality signals such as broken links, spelling errors, and excessive advertising. They recommend original, helpful content. That might point to better engagement and strong user intent and these behaviors they like to try to measure.
How is it some people can fascinate, transfix and get others eating out of their hands? It seems they know some tricks of their trade and I”m thinking we can take what they know and do and make it work for us online. There’s one particular star who had that lasting magic.
What made him so good as an entertainer that will make your site industry leading? Let’s discover the secrets.
I don’t think we can doubt aht Hollywood stars have a smart strategy and process to help them connect with emotional impact and engage their audience? They make an impact and deliver compelling content to keep viewers engaged.
Back in Hollywood’s silent film era, they had to work hard to entertain audiences. The medium they used was without sound, just black & white video with subtext. And exactly 100 years ago, audiences of the era were captivated by one unusually creative American actor named Harold Lloyd. He was like Jim Carrey and Arnold Schwarzenegger combined in a fun way. His fans adored him and his movies and antics where no doubt the center of conversations.
Lloyd’s career took off when he moved to Los Angeles and met Hal Roach who was launching his own studio. The persona they created for their films was one of ambition, success seeking and overcoming obstacles which was highly respected in the roaring twenties.
Lloyd’s comedy/action flicks had him climbing brick exteriors of buildings, balancing himself on chairs on the edge of skycrapers, hanging from clock arms many stories up, riding on top of trains. He made viewers feel intense emotions and some of his audience actually fainted in the theater seats. Some of these images are the most enduring images and experiences ever created in Hollywood.
It reminds us that with a little ingenuity, we can create magnificent customer journeys like this too. Today, our web visitors only remember the good stuff. It’s a balancing act of creativity and strategic focus.
Here’s Harold Lloyd on set where he never used safety nets. Pic Courtesy of pinterest.com/errolperez/harold-lloyd/
Lloyd was a hero of cinema and his style epitomized the art of audience engagement. This quick video compilation of clips and amazing stunts gives us an idea of why he was so compelling to moviegoers.
Harold Lloyd was innovative and compelling. His silent movies are still a marvel.
We should ask, how would Harold Lloyd do websites? There would be an entertaining narrative with video, humor, suspense where a hero survives and wins.
Lloyd would definitely enter the element of surprise. He was constantly surprising his audience with unexpected situations and outcomes. This is an area that web designers haven’t explored and could be a key to setting your customer experience apart.
The value of engagement optimization is that it makes everything else look way better than it actually is. So winning at engagement may be the holy grail of digital marketing right now. It’s driving content personalization software and marketing AI — and sewn right into the much desired predictive capabilities which will soon revolutionize digital marketing.
Marketing AI’s ability to predict successful content will likely involve the engagement optimization techniques below.
What’s the Key to Content Engagement?
A post in Fast Company by Helio Fred Garcia, says it’s HiJacking emotions. He advises making emotional impact, targeting a person’s amygdala brain part to make audiences feel first, then make them think what we want. The author advises to: a) make an emotional connection before doing anything else, b) create a framing statement that makes them anticipate what comes next, c) remind them of that statement, and d) remind them again with 3 key points.
“We need audiences to feel first, and then to think.” This is a great point to keep in mind as we launch into engagement strategy for your web and social content. Focus on emotions and eliminate friction.
Good insight, yet engagement requires more than this.
It isn’t easy to engage or persuade people via web content. Flashy video, photos, graphics, or big keyword loaded headlines isn’t enough to keep them long. A well explained UVP or interesting story well told might leave them yawning and bouncing. Forget the platitudes and gimmicks, we need a strategy that works consistently and permanently. Engagement is about continuous involvement.
Data suggests engagement may be about relaxation, surprise, delight, awe, confidence and other positive emotions. Those emotions are a precursor of awakening a belief in them or destroying a frustrating disbelief. And in the process you get yourself positioned in between them and their dreams so you can begin elaborate on your offering.
If We Must Grab Emotions First, then Fascination is our Goal
Do you remember the last time you were fascinated with someone? For me, it was a Vegas circus performer who did so many tricks simultaneously, he managed to crash my idea of what was physically possible.
Then there was the famous, beautiful actress (at right) who sang, danced, performed tricks, acted, and made everyone laugh in a one hour show. She was so talented, and no one knew it.
Was it their talent? Or was it simply that they removed my belief in frustrating limits? Can you remove your customer’s limits?
Key Goal of Engagement Strategy: to create Wow factor, build positive emotion to get them over their hurdles and challenges — to ease their fears, doubts, and stimulate hope.
If you can align sequentially all of these tactics below then your prospects or customers are bound to be transfixed with your offering. After we get the process understood, we can take it to our idea people, designers, videographers, and copywriters to create awesome content pieces. Get ready to spend some money.
Combine these 21 Engagement Tactics to Build Emotion and Keep Visitors Transfixed
1. study your prospect’s background and discover things they’re interested in — know their wish list
2. understand the unique value proposition (solution) visitors are looking for — list all the benefits they’ll receive
3. have a relevant hook that catches their imagination because it relates to an intense need or problem they have (it might be your featured photo, headline, or promise, or an intriguing question)
4. create a hero, villain, and a calamity of technology clashes (they need somoeone to relate to)
5. create emotion through surprise, humor, awe, shock, fun, excitement (stimulate their amygdala).
6. have some amazing facts to throw at them – do some research about product usage and customer satisfaction
7. understand what fun is to them (auto parts buyers like cool cars and car jokes, campers like nice campgrounds)
8. make your content compelling with the values, words and imagery they typically use (check out some forums and ask sales staff about what customers talk about)
9. ask a provocative question that leads to the most pressing reason they need your solution
10. explain your own perspective or reason that you’re discussing the topic (let them know your position)
11. be emotionally present and demonstrate your personal involvement (tell stories, share pics, and get them to visit your social pages if necessary)
12. share a personal experience (how about a discussion with an actual customer?)
13. spell out the payback or what’s in it for them (spell out key benefits in an easy to see list)
14. use a list of points that prove or support your message (top 10 customer problems)
15. use good visuals or videos that illustrate your points and engage their senses
16. tell them you’re going to explain the solution so they know it’s worth their time
17. arrange each of your value points sequentially so they progress naturally and build intent
18. keep it simple using the rule of 3
19. cross reference your points with brands they already trust
20. insert a little bit of humour, drama, suspense, and awe where appropriate to generate a more complex emotional experience
21. Ask them to visualize how they’re feel after purchasing and using it for the first time
There’s no substitute for creative imagination, innovation and time to create great content. Add talented designers, copywriters and videographers to the mix and you really create epic content and be the Harold Lloyd of the Internet era. If you don’t have a great digital marketing consultant to help out, then hire one.
There you have 21 tactics to weave into your engaging content strategy. If you can’t afford expensive content forms, just curate someone elses! I do it all the time. Good luck designing and creating the compelling experience you’ll need to capture your customer’ heart and mind. Practice makes perfect!
Want to see more of Harold Lloyd? You’re really into this engagement thing aren’t you?
Should you Personalize your Content for Each Visitor?
Trends happen. Content personalization is one of the most important and exciting trends in digital marketing in 2017. In 2018, it may be that personalization is a top factor in impact, engagement, and sales. In a nutshell, this is about delivering unique customer content experiences and using it as a way to learn more about your customers.
It’s not easy to meet visitor’s demands and make digital marketing work in the era of extreme attention scarcity. Yet we do have a way to create awesome, epic content experiences that make an impact.
That’s to use Content Personalization Software. Let’s take a good look at why you might want to use it.
If Customers Believe They’re Special — Maybe We Should Too
Artificial intelligence software can help with personalized content however, it’s a little pricey. This is why content personalization software is likely the right entry point to a massive shift in how you do marketing. Let’s discuss why and how content personalization will help your business. Powerful software combined with the strategies I cover in The SEO/Content Strategy Guide delivered could be a game changer for your business.
Content personalization has been around for a while. Today, they’re adding AI driven testing to speed up results. Personyze, Onespot, and Ezoic are a few notable solutions you can get familiar with to help you customize your content and grow your revenue.
Back in the year 2000, website visitor attention span was 12 seconds. Today it’s about 8 seconds! Visitors scan quick to see if your content is relevant
A Perfect Fit for Your Content Success
Here’s the real goal of your digital marketing process:
Build high volume visitors via SEO or PPC, identify the few visitors who really matter, then build high quality content to suit their needs personally.
I’m not going to say your content sucks. However, would you agree that it could be better? Would you also agree that visitors likely are bouncing because they feel they’re wasting their time? Content engagement is crucial to Google rankings and conversion rate success and we can never be good enough.
Feeling a Little Dubious About Automating Insight?
3 Reasons Why Your Current Web Content Doesn’t Work
Number 1 Reason: Your content topics and presentation of them do little for 90% of your readers, including your top prospects. To discover those interests, you must test to find them. The personalization software speeds that process up, and can actually respond to each individual visitor. You can’t accomplish this any other way.
Typical site bounce rate: 80%. Each of your visitors have their own unique interests so responding to them manually is impossible. With content personalization software, we can learn what each visitor wants based on the landing page they arrived at, the combination of content they did see, layouts, types of images, videos, data, downloads, copy, headings, keywords used, page load speed, their click path through your site, how long they engage with certain pages, and more.
The software can collect, process, and remember a lot about a particular visitor. And with some Artificial Intelligence learning, it can help us discover the best content paths overall, which could open up the volume of leads and sales you are hoping for.
Number 2 Reason: Your traffic is low volume and low quality. The few visitors you’re getting aren’t well-qualified visitors, just people surfing who stumbled on your site via some extraneous topic. You need better visitors and that’s done through PPC, organic search engine optimization and content optimization.
Number 3 Reason: You’re going it alone without fresh ideas, professional help, software, or a focused strategy. This is why most small business people avoid SEO and Content Strategy and digital marketing. If you’re unsure who to ask, just starting asking anyone and work your way through to the best content strategist.
Are You Getting the Results you Need?
Is it time to assess your website, SEO, and content strategy and get revved up for a better year in 2018? Contact me now at 416 998 6246 to discuss your goals and needs.
Do you need New, more Relevant Content?
Or can you use what you already have? You can modify whatever you have if it’s appropriate. However, all this data below suggests you need content built for your best prospects.
A study conducted by OneSpot discovered that 87% of respondents reported that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand.
Personalization Software Advantages
The advantages of personalization software is impressive. You can tailor your content experience for each visitor, or visitors from a specific city, create custom promotions, and test constantly to improve your lead success. You can identify your most important visitors and serve the ideal content for them.
deeper engagement of visitors/customers
hooking your visitors on arrival better
lower cart abandonment
reduce wasted time/cost of ineffective content
create dynamic landing pages
perform multivariate tests
discover real KPIs
recommend relevant content
improve remarketing emails
improve socialmedia engagement
personalize your content and content marketing
The advantages of content personalization go further. When content is relevant, visitors are more likely to share on social media, more likely to create links to your site, and boost your authority and brand value to customers. And more content isn’t the goal. It’s creating the right content that matters that generates real sales.
Onespot is just one provider of content personalization software. Have a look at their features and new developments at onestpot.com. Does content personalization really work? Delta Faucet boosted pageviews by 49%, created 4X more clicks on CTAs, and quadrupled on-site engagement.
Creating, designing, and managing a content strategy is hard work. But when you automate this and make it work for each individual visitor, you’re giving your value proposition a healthy booster shot.
This software could provide an excellent learning process for you too. We can conduct a content audit, measure key statistics, find the best targets/segments, create content for them, then continually optimize it to improve sales.
By using your CRM and analytics reporting, you can discover which content is generating the best results. And it won’t take long to improve your content and grow your visitors interest in you or your business.
Ezoic Ad Testing
Ezoic is an artificial ad testing software for publishers. However, they will soon provide a level of content testing too. They do this for FREE! If you’re a publisher who makes money off of ads, the Ezoic is a great choice. By testing your content, and personalizing it using ezoic, you could increase your ad revenue significantly.
Content Personalization has been a big priority for several years now, and the pace is picking up considerably along with the arrival of more artificial intelligence marketing software. This is one more way I can add value to your marketing campaigns.
With all these strategies, software and opportunities available, you can create a superior market position and start giving the market leaders a rough time of it. You can be competitive and create a unique niche that competitors can’t mimic.
It’s time to take content strategy seriously by combining software with high quality content.
Traffic is everything. Without it, there is no impact, no content consumption, no brand, no convincing sales pitch, and no sales. So why would a business person decide not to create the biggest flow of well qualified traffic?
It doesn’t matter how much traffic you have — Get More and Better Traffic
When I met the team at Delta Hotels, they had a lot of traffic, over 1 million visitors per year. They said they wanted more! Well, I wondered at the time whether I could help them. How would you feel if you were handed that assignment? It’s a different kind of challenge when they’re already doing well. It wasn’t that long before I grew their traffic to 2.5 Million per year.
Who knows for sure how a hotel booking is actually generated? If you’ve searched online for a room, you know how much searching goes on. The hotel that wins a booking has to hang in there, stay visible, keep them engaged, and convince them.
So add engagement to a ton of traffic, and you can see how that would affect a company’s bottom line and boost long term value.
In my new book, The SEO/Content Strategy Guide, I explain how to build BIG traffic using engaging content that customers like and which Google’s new artificial intelligence ranking system (RankBrain) also likes. There’s lot of benefits to having traffic so the effort is well worth it.
You know never who out of all those people who will visit your site will become your next best ever client, or who will share your message to others via social media, or who will become your raving fans. And there’s more.
When you get big traffic it lights up your analytics. In your analytics are hidden patterns of customer fulfillment. Here you not only find out what keywords they typed in, but also which content most likely led to a sales conversion.
Albert is Adgorithm’s new AI robot. Albert finds patterns in visitor behavior that leads to sales. It then looks for incoming visitors who are “lookalikes” to these visitors who became actual customers. It greets incoming visitors, identifies the and can help serve up the content that most likely will create a sale.
Out of a thousand visitors to your website, only a fraction will become customers. So you need more traffic. And as the volume grows, the small percent of well qualified ones grows faster. When you get closer to the top rankings on Google, the quality of the visitors grows immensely. You need to know this.
Is your site traffic ailing? Whether you’re an ecommerce business, big brand sports manufacturer, Realtor, Hotel manager, professional service provider, or restaurant owner, you must grow your website traffic. And throw in the issue of how people are using mobile devices to discover businesses and you must agree that being visible online is really important to your business health.
Sit down with your business partners or manager and discuss your business plan for the next 5 years. If your website isn’t up to snuff, and your content has no purpose or direction, you know here it’s all heading.
Get the jump on building a great business, one that has no competitors. Contact me now at 416 998 6246 to get started. Buy my SEO Content Strategy Book and get a FREE consultation so you can begin mapping out a new path for your business — one to high traffic and much better visitor satisfaction.
Your Customers are Waiting to Hear from You on Your Blog
While others are winding their digital marketing efforts down as 2016 ends, they should actually be looking ahead to 2017 and 2018 and planning a strategy for unlimited growth. Next year’s success happens now. How can you be the best? By creating a powerful blog and budgeting for the resources it needs.
Poor performance and unfair comparisons to traditional media are 2 reasons blogs haven’t been respected. There’s plenty of travel companies, real estate companies, insurance companies, IT companies, manufacturers blogging but they’ve done it wrong. Blogging when done from a successful model, with skill and imagination, and with a great strategy enjoy success. As you’ll see in the blogs shown below, it takes time to get rolling, but when they do, wow, the results are amazing.
Blogs don’t sound romantic but they are seriously undervalued. It’s time we corrected this injustice.
Why Does Everyone Look for the Blog?
Whenever web users arrives on a website, they will look for the blog. Blogs are still the most respected source of information about brands, products, trends, and information. Research shows consumers trust blogs more than mainstream media. Trust and credibility are important and while consumers trust the power of big brand money, they also know that truth and good value are likely to be demonstrated on a small business blog.
These same benefits apply to companies as well. And if you map company revenue success online using your stats, you’ll see a corresponding growth in revenue and customer loyalty. This happened with Marcus Sheridan and the Sales Lion which you’ll read about shortly.
We haven’t yet explored the full potential of blogs to create customers and grow a company’s sales and it’s you who decides how powerful yours will be. If you aren’t fully convinced of the power of blogging, then you won’t commit the resources, time, and respect it needs to be your top producing digital marketing asset. It deserves a chance. And when you hear that professional bloggers are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars on their blogs, you have to think there’s something here.
Here’s digital marketer Neil Patel with his 5 stages of blog growth and how he says you can generate $100,000 a month from a blog. He’s been very successful with his own blog which you can see is taking off at an accelerated rate. Yours could do this too. What is the key to big traffic and revenue from a blog? Content Strategy + Blog Strategy + SEO = Big Results.
And how about Larry Kim with his Wordstream Blog?
And how about Ariana Huffington’s blog which is only 6 years old. Is she could amass this level of traffic, why couldn’t you?
It all suggests that the blog has immense power and the potential market is almost infinite. It can get the reach and it can be persuasive. If you create an excellent blog strategy, do the hard work of researching and presenting valuable insight, the kind of experience visitors want, and continually working on it, it can be more productive than any other digital marketing campaign you could do.
And there’s more successful people using blogs. How about Australian Jeff Bullas who has become influential in the social media marketing channel.
Marcus Sheridan was a swimming pool company owner and his business was failing until he started blogging and helping customers with their problems. He was so successful at this he became an online marketing consultant who teaches content marketing.
With the blog’s success, Sheridan naturally transitioned to coaching and consulting by 2011, as well as becoming a HubSpot partner that same year.
Can you separate blogging from social media and content marketing? And how about SEO? They all go together well as Marcus discovered. You can think of the blog as a key landing page for content marketing material because product pages aren’t persuasive enough.
The truth is that Marcus didn’t leverage the power of SEO enough. He could have been more successful and accelerated his site’s growth to capture more customers and get his brand spread further.
lack of leadership and buy in from management – no respect for the value proposition
lack of buy-in from employees and ownership of project
lack of content
lack of strategy and strategist
too many silos
lack of good tools
Now that we know it is so powerful and we know what’s causing the trouble, we’re ready to make it happen.
If you’ve avoided blogging because you didn’t understand it, review my post on the power of blogging strategy and how to reverse engineer content. You can build this traffic and persuasion beast and continue perfecting it just like all of the above did. They were where you are right now and summoned up the courage to build a powerful blog that would transform their business.
Blogs Drive Business, Sales Revenue. What’s your Strategy?
A great blog strategy should be the real heart of your marketing program and even at the heart of your content marketing strategy and your SEO strategy. Blogs speak directly to your customers — the real voice they want to hear which is why people search out company blogs. Of all the digital marketing channels and media you have at your disposal, your blog is the one asset that engages and convinces.
That’s why building a powerful blog strategy is so smart, and this post will get you a great start. I’ll show you how to keep it simple and stay on course with a 5 Step Blog Strategy. You’ll develop big picture thinking while letting the details organize themselves. That’s what a worthy strategy does. It gets rid of the annoying details and micromanagement that cause most to toil in anonymity.
Right now let’s keep it simple with a look at the basics of initial blogging strategy. Don’t get caught up in how to write copy right now, since copywriting is a different challenge. There you’ll strategize how you’ll promote features and benefits with a unique tone of voice that resonates with your audience. Right now, you need to get organized!
5 Simple Steps to a Powerful Blog Strategy
identify your blog’s purpose – how does it serve your communications and sales goals?
establish your target customer profile and needs – who do you need to reach, what interests them?
determine who will create the content and what they’re capable of producing – will you hire a pro blogger or have your in house staff create it?
determine the topics and keyword focus – which topics are capable of producing significant results and which keyword phrases should drive your traffic?
design your blog layout – how should you layout your blog post pages, what message should the visuals convey,- and should you have customized layouts for each topic category of blogs?
Read the more detailed discussion of these steps down the page.
Big Picture Thinking Should Rule
Business people who think big picture are more optimistic, enabled, and energized. I really enjoy knowing and working with big minded people. They don’t get weighed down with pessimism and restrictions and they make you think anything is possible. And really, anything is possible.
Captains of a ship don’t worry about waves hitting their boat. Their goal is to run right over barriers and issues by sticking to their plan and getting to a defined destination. I want you to focus on that defined destination when it comes to your blog. Focus on your unique value proposition whether you’re a professional or a small business owner and don’t let any details distract you. Focus on the rewards that will occur.
Your Blogging Strategy 2017 – Good Questions are Critical
Documenting your blog strategy and progress is a recommended process today. You should begin this by asking the right questions and writing your answers down. This will prepare you and your team of content creators to produce an excellent blog and to help you gauge whether your blog strategy is working. Good questions help you to ensure you’ve got the basic fundamentals covered. This includes producing the best value for your readers and maximizing reach to your target audience.
what is the purpose of your blog — customer service, customer engagement, information for visitors, help presell customers and improve conversions, SEO rankings and traffic from Google, or interesting content for your social media connnections?
who is your target customer and describe their persona/profile is one is possible?
what do they want and what don’t they know yet?
what is your unique value proposition?
how will personalize your value offer and make it significant to visitors?
how will you write to interest, impact and engage visitors so they become your advocates?
which topics can help you convey your value proposition best?
what topics are semantically related for SEO purposes?
what are best keyword phrases to optimize for?
what type of content or media types can we include in your blogs?
where will readers come from?
how will you promote your blog?
what kind of content will you create that others will want to share?
how will your blog act to prepare or pre-sell visitors before they go to conversion pages?
which similar blogs can act a model of success?
how many posts should you create and are able to produce each week?
A Key Part of your Content Strategy
Two things you will find among very successful blogs such as Marcus Sheridan’s, Neil Patel’s, Larry Kim’s, or Ariana Huffington’s is really good information, perspectives, insight and good visuals. Don’t forget that blogs are a form of visual content. Too much text is tiring. These blogs often have a carefully crafted, busy hub look to them and quite a bit of expense has gone into their creation and growth.
Just like your overall content strategy and content marketing plan, you’ll have better performance by building a view of the perfect, high performing blog, and by finding a real world blog in your niche that is super successful. You can reverse engineer the content of these highly successful blogs to discover their secrets and then build out your own unique content plan. And if you don’t have graphic artists, videographers, or friends in high places, don’t fret, you can “curate” other people’s content. It’s a fun thing, this blogging!
Keep it interesting. Plan to create a lot of good content with a good selection of deep, epic level posts that visitors find endlessly fascinating. You’ll also need to create a lot of shorter blog posts to act as support for your major key posts. And, these shorter posts work better for viewing on mobile phones. It’s a fact that more customers and prospects are finding and viewing posts on their smartphones, mostly iPhones.
Whenever you think of me, Gord Collins, remember this graphic below. This is my brand. It’s hypergrowth of traffic, hypergrowth in impact, and hypergrowth in customer loyalty. I’m working on the engagement part! But a blog is time consuming and my value proposition is ever growing and evolving. You can get on this digital marketing train anytime you want.
Your Blog’s Purpose
Big Picture: The key purpose is to communicate your unique value proposition. And it will have many objectives: building Google rankings, generating Google traffic, generating interest, making impact, creating engagement with the content, building visitor’s intent, and pre-selling/convincing them to become a customer.
That’s the role of your website and your marketing, yet the blog is often expected to carry the load today. When the blog doesn’t carry that weight, businesses are forced to buy Facebook and Adwords Ads. The purpose then is to maximize revenue while decreasing expensive advertising. Your blog plays a key role in visitor conversion and is a vital cog in that wheel.
A bold goal is for the blog to carry your marketing communications by building relationships with customers in a transparent, trustworthy and comfortable way for them. If it’s all about them, then it makes sense that your blog will help you get closer to them. Compare that to your About Us + Product Pages and you can see the difference.
Establish Your Customer Profile
If your like most businesses, you have no customer profile. You need to visualize who it is you’re speaking to. If they’re not in a particular industry, then speak to their work role, and their own interests and specific needs and values. You need this insight to develop rapport and get them to respect and listen to you. Their age, income, job title, gender, and geographic location are key. Did you know you can deliver special content to visitors based on their geographic location? Check your current web stats to see what visitors are interested in and ask your sales staff about the customers they remember the most.
Who Will Create The Content?
This is no small matter. If you don’t really have the skill in-house, don’t burden them or yourself with the task of creating blog content. Most people are not cut out for deep research, content writing, nor have the stamina for it. Hiring a good content writer/creator who can learn your industry is wise. But they must love your industry. Otherwise, you need to designate staff and train them to create great content using their experience and knowledge. You’ll need to give them time to do this, enable them to get resources and information, and put them on a schedule to produce. The more they blog, the better the results — if it’s good quality. In the end, it’s the quality that produces top notch results.
Determine the Best Topics and Right Keyword Focus
Selecting the right topics is paramount and it might be a matter of instinct and experience. The topics have to be of specific, immediate interest to prospects and allow your business to appear to be the best solution. It should be relevant to your solution. Study your top competitor’s blogs for ideas and see which keywords they’re focusing on for Google rankings. You may need the help of an SEO expert to discover hot keywords and topics that can bring big traffic.
Choose your topics carefully, because visitor’s believe you are your topics. The topic itself speaks more loudly than what you say.
The Ideal Blog Layout?
Is there a perfect page layout for blogging? Some experts believe there isn’t a perfect template that fits all users. And your blog’s purpose, assets and target audience are unique. Templates and consistency kind of point to mediocrity. Whatever layout(s) you choose it should appeal to your audience and let you achieve top Google rankings, related topics presented and provide an efficient, mobile friendly structure.
It doesn’t hut to have a layout like this one below in mind as you create your blog posts. Yet, uniqueness and character are complex and important matter in this day and age. Many experts are criticizing how character deficient today’s web marketing and brands are today. Trends pass.
Content Topic Ideas
If you keep in mind what captures your eye and imagination, you’ll be close to what appeals to your own prospective readers. Think of what your target customer doesn’t know and is interested in, and you are into those topics that will draw a lot of traffic. Find topics that intrigue, fascinate, challenge, and even upset people (e.g., posts about Donald Trump, carbon taxes, high fuel prices, market crashes, government debt, unemployment, and popular trends you might see explored on your competitor’s blogs). You can read my post on content reverse engineering, but remember that your market leader’s may have missed the mark on topic coverage. Look for important gaps in information and perspectives (such as experts opinions), and make something much better.
In SEO, there is a strategy that’s been dubbed the skyscraper technique. This is the strategy of finding very high performing blog posts with lots of links pointing to them from other websites, studying them, and then creating an even better blog post on that topic. Then you would contact all the people who linked to the high ranking post, and ask them to link to your post too. It’s always good to have links to your post!
The best topics depend on a lot of factors such as keyword search volumes, current news events, how much it’s been covered already, and your own knowledge and skill. Don’t avoid topics because you lack technical knowledge and experience. It’s your right to produce topics with a unique slant that has enjoyment in mind. If the topic is hot and valuable, then spend time doing the research.
Here’s some more ideas:
find small issues and offer up potential solutions
do a how to post on something your audience is stumped on
tell a great story
cover a topic that an industry expert has already covered and discuss points they missed
Smart Content Strategy for Insurance and Real Estate Startups
Do you know why your insurance or real estate website sucks compared to the top sites in your industry? Why do so few people visit or return, talk about you and your amazing products and services or share your stuff on social media?
Great websites are engaging, helpful, visually compelling, fast, and convincing. But building that kind of site in the insurance or real estate sector isn’t easy. Perhaps there are others you can model yours after?
How interesting is it that you can spy on your top competitors, strip apart their website and presence on the social sphere, and find out why they’ve succeeded, and then apply that wisdom to your digital marketing? Most marketers go about building a sustainable marketing powerhouse wrongly.
The new rule is simple: start with a successful model, study it, and duplicate its assets and process rather than learning quick from mistakes using a testing-based incremental model.
We’re going to do all that, learn the process, set goals, use the spy tools, and apply what we learn to a content marketing brand and a major auto insurance company examples below. In my upcoming post, I’ll introduce you to a full swath of incredible competitive intelligence tools and other tools to help you plan and build better content.
This is a big topic and you’ll need to bookmark this post and return many times before it all sinks in. Make this first read a general exploration and then dig into specific areas one at a time to master them.
Let’s Do What No One Else Will
We all wish success was easy. But it’s not. Somebody smart is always making better things and creating more value and is more likable. It’s up to us to take the initiative to be smarter, figure out how things work, and produce something way better. To be successful in 2017, you’re going to have step it up, or suffer yet one more year of mediocre results.
Along with a process of reverse engineering theory and analytical techniques, I’m going to introduce you to some spying tools so you can discover great content and then assemble it so it creates a powerful traffic building and visitor conversion effect. During this process you may have to build rankings and traffic first before you can switch over to content that has converting power. With this insight, you’ll be enjoying the content creation and strategy process much more.
Are you ready to learn how to spy, infiltrate, and analyze your competition’s best competitive secrets? Then let’s get immersed in this journey where you’ll create the very best content and publish it on your website, other websites and social pages.
Competitive Intelligence Tools Have Improved Immensely
Spying on competitors is big business and very valuable information. Software such as Similar web can help you find your real top competitors and tell you what they’re doing and what success they’re having.
Today, Your Company, your Brand, Product, Offer: Is Your Content. It’s that simple.
Great content will make the biggest impact to your marketing results. You can have the best content, the kind that’s powering up your competitor’s success. Why not visit their site right now and marvel at their great stuff and really get into why customers love them? Then you’ll find out how to tear it all apart and know why it works so well.
What your customers and incoming visitors see and believe is what your content tells them to believe, such as whether you’re relevant, expert, creative, trustworthy, and capable of providing the fulfillment they want. You’re as valuable, deep, fascinating, generous, authoritative, attractive, fun, and impactful as your content suggests. You have to believe that content is everything today. Top competitors know all about content and so should you.
So right now, take a deep breath and relax, because you’ll comprehend this material better if you’re calm and balanced. Treat this as a journey into a dream where you’ll have plenty of “ah ha” moments and you’ll realize success is there for whoever wants it. The only question a marketer, entrepreneur, startup financier, or other professional has to answer is “Do I want to Succeed?”
Delete Your Old Content because it’s Killing your Business
The problem with traditional content approaches is that the market doesn’t care about our stuff. Customers care about what they want, hope for and expect. They don’t care what you believe. They care whether you believe what they believe. These visitors may actually believe you’re worth it, but your content hasn’t validated or confirmed your relevance to them. The top sites do deliver that confirmation. They’ve got the right content delivered the right way to resonate with web users. So why not do what they’re doing?
In order to create content that drives leads, you need to understand your clients’ and prospects’ problems and aspirations first, then write about those things. But at a deeper level, you need to know what they are searching for at the various stages of the buying cycle, and have content written using the same core language that they use – Kevin Whelan, B2B Digital Strategist of KVNW Digital Marketing Toronto.
We’re not going to copy the leader’s content (as copycatters do). We’re going to study what their top content is and deduce, using tools, why it is so effective, then create our version of the best content. We capture the what and hows and it may lead us to all of the why’s. Sometimes the why’s are tricky because we assume people like certain things and styles of content and experience when in fact, we just don’t get what’s really going on. You’re going to find out what’s going on.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to start your great content strategy by discovering who has the best content and how you can create the same highly effective content for your site. Don’t be intimated by the phrase “content reverse-engineering.” You’ll soon learn how it’s only a tag applied to a simple process of dissecting things.
Here’s the reverse engineering you’ll be doing:
engaging in a process that will help you learn about and create the best content in your niche and organize it on your site to get exceptional results
envisioning content ideas that will have impact and draw a lot of traffic and discovering how to create them
discovering how to link a network of pages so they support each other’s rankings, optimizing the customer journey, and ramping up your conversion power
leveraging software tools to analyze the most successful websites in your niche
learning to see content in the bigger picture, not in aimlessly churning out irrelevant content
It’s often said by today’s management experts that a key to success in business is to fail quick and learn fast. Yet it might also be said that you should bypass failure altogether by producing the ultimate solution right away. Find perfection first, then you won’t even have to fuss with that unpleasant failure stuff. Which way would you prefer?
Successful websites usually have that excellent, high impact valuable content that leaves an impression on you. If we find out the what and how, we might discover why they’re successful. They’re a great starter model.
Our Goal: What Are We Trying to Do?
find the top companies/websites are in our niche and spy on them
discover their value proposition and how it is delivered via content
determine what their top performing content pieces/pages are
determine which keyword phrases are driving our top competitor’s rankings and traffic
determine how competitors use social media and get their stuff shared there
determine how to assemble the best content topics and media on our site
determine how to optimize it so it will rock in one or two years time (you won’t get immediate success)
how to market our content like them so that supporters/visitors/influencers link to our site and talk about us
how to optimize the customer journey to maximize visitor conversion and sales
Delete your First thoughts about What Your Site is Missing
Don’t start with preconceptions about what you’re missing. Filling in blanks and gaps isn’t going to work. At this point, you don’t know what you need, how to create it, or how to lay it out to your customers over time — you’ll have to discover what works and do that.
And It might not be the absence of epic blog posts written with wit and panache, slick 4K youtube video or whitepaper, or podcasts and infographics that makes your site weak. It could be that your content isn’t linked or promoted properly. But if you watch what your competitors produce and how they lay out their content and present it to their visitors, you begin to get a feel for this excellent presentation process.
What is Content Reverse Engineering?
Here’s a good definition of Content Reverse Engineering for our purposes:
Content reverse engineering is the study of top performing content websites/businesses to develop an ideal website content strategy (so that it can be reproduced on your web site) which will allow your website to rank high on Google, impact visitors, build their intent, persuade them to become loyal customers, and encourage them to share your marketing materials via social media.
Why is Search Engine Optimization still in this definition? SEO is powerful and influential. If you can’t rank on Google, you’re neglecting a huge, influential, sustainable and free source of traffic and influence. It’s not everything now, but it’s still the most important element.
Reverse engineering of content can work for more than just Google rankings and traffic. We can reverse engineer for social viral success, content persuasion, conversion rates, intent and engagement, and help to build a site that will power up visitor’s desire and commitment to do business with us. You’ll inevitably be looking at all things to reverse engineer for. This is just the beginning. You’re not an expert now, but in 2 years you may be the ultimate authority on content reverse engineering. Let’s start thinking like experts!
This post is about a plan to build a powerful website from the ground up. This isn’t UX design or web design. It’s about a site that can dominate Google rankings and power visitors through your conversion funnel. While we might spend time studying the most successful sites, in the end, we need to design content that resonates with our selected keywords and our brand image. And determining which are the actual great sites isn’t easy either. It may take you a while to discover which of your competitor’s really does have it going on and whether they’re worth studying.
Like any good builder, we’ll be drawing up blueprints, ordering building products, gathering tools, and perhaps subcontracting stuff to experts. Experts really help. Envision the powerful digital marketing content, and forget about design. Image and design will distract you. Go to your browser setting and turn off the images. This will let you see content only. You need to focus on your content.
Start with the End
If you’re a goal minded business person, you probably agree that having goals, a vision of success to aim for is important. One of the best ways to map out a path to your goals is to begin with the end in mind, build your vision (perhaps like the top companies in your niche) draw up blueprints for a new website and then backtrack with all the steps between then and now.
Having a vision like this helps to illuminate all of the details and in an order that you currently aren’t aware of. It can raise your confidence too.
The competitive intelligence tools such as Similarweb, Spyfu, Alexa, Opensite Explorer, SemRUSH and others are very helpful for helping us cut through the clutter to find worth websites to emulate. And it’s not just websites we’re after. Ultimately, we want to view their complete digital marketing program and extract the best techniques, processes, resources, and conversion strategy from them.
Confidence, Faith, and Optimism – Something Incredible is Coming
We’re going to start with the end – the powerful, top ranking and high converting website, the one that has it is all. This vision is a powerful, magnetic and persuasive force for you and for your future customers. And like Field of Dreams, they will come.
We need to study, observe and learn. Why did a competitor’s content (FB post, blog post, infographic) get shared so much, why did people link to their content, and why are the topics they chose to cover so relevant? We can use software such as Spyfu, Semrush, Moz, Google alerts, Similarweb, to see what others have done and are doing currently. Tools don’t give you everything you need however they can be insightful.
What Content is Best?
Take a good look at the top sites in your niche and note the type of content, messaging, style, content navigation, and social media distribution they use. Check out where they advertise, what those ads say, and what they’re dishing out with their content marketing. Content marketing is likely the key to most businesses success. Find out what they’re doing.
And if you’re stumped about which content types are best and how you should develop them, there are helpers. For instance, a company called Market Muse offers a software-based solution that assists with the discovery of the best content ideas and helps you map out a content strategy that fills all the semantic and keyword needs of Google, so that your site is the Big Kahuna of your keyword sector. That’s reverse engineering.
By mapping out all the content needed to rank for your top keyword phrases, all the content you create between now and your goal, will support your rankings very well. This is how I get an octopus stranglehold on keyword sectors. It takes time, but each piece of content you create will make your ranking position even stronger. And this collection of content will be more useful to your customers and they’re share it happily on social media.
Your 6 Content Strategy Model Key Questions
Who is your target prospect and what are their needs? What does your unique value proposition and branding statement have to be to fulfill their needs?
Which topics are these prospects interested in?
What do your prospects believe?
What don’t your prospects know?
What are all the keywords/related words of these topics and your solution/product?
What is the core idea or brand message that has to be in there and reinforced like a laser?
Strategizing Content for SEO
A website’s content and how it’s linked internally is hard to visualize. The site’s navigation for users is not the same view Google gets when it spiders the pages, or processes its collection of your pages. Google’s view is different. In fact, Google will disregard a lot of the links and material on your pages without you knowing why. It barely recognizes the menu nav bars that some SEOs still optimize. Don’t fret, you’ll have a user-based naviation system too. In fact some systems will deliver content based on the visitor’s gps location. That actually has to be reverse engineered too and entered into the strategy.
The sophisticated analysis of keywords, linking, text semantics, trust factor, pagerank, and linkjuice flow is probably better left for me to figure out. It’s complicated. If you don’t know the phrase “keyword reputation” or “semantic indexing” then it’ll be hard to know to write and link your content.
SEO Copywriting tip: write your current content so that includes keyword phrases (and semantic cues) that you’ll have content to point to. This sort of prearranges additional rankings in future without rewriting and rewiring all your content. That’s a pain. Know that you can do that now, and then return later to the page to insert hyperlinks where needed.
Here’s what to do:
1. name the top 10 topics you need to cover and assign one page to each topic
2. collect the top 5 keywords your site needs to resonate to
3. collect 5 keyword phrases for each of your topic pages
4. collect all the synonyms, related words, and stemmed variations of your keyword phrases
Example 1 – The Content Marketing Institute
If you’re into content marketing, (using content as a medium for getting your message out to whereever you want to put it) this website is number one, but why? What is their best content, where do visitors go on their site, and how do they acquire customers from the hundreds of thousands of visitors they get?CMI started out like any other site, but with money and more content, and a good content strategy they grew on the wave of people just learning about content marketing. Just so you know, marketing today is the same thing and content marketing (If you ask CMI).
Well, anyway, CMI has a lot of traffic which they receive mostly through Google. If you do a search of the base keyword phrase “content marketing” you’ll find them at number one and as well for “content strategy.” And they get traffic from millions of additional phrases that include the words content marketing (e.g. what is content marketing).
We can use tools such as spyfu.com and semrush to help us learn about how they rank and where visitors land on their site. This tells us which content is bringing them in. Then we can find out what content links to their top pages so we know why it ranks at the top. Then we can analyze the content of the big pages themselves to see what’s so compelling about them.
In CMI’s case, they provide beginner’s guides to content marketing and content strategy. People want to know and they want a guide to tell them how to do it. So, everyone links to this page and they share the url with everyone on social media. CMI creates impressive visual content that offers quite a bit of insight and they’re rewarded with boatloads of traffic.
If you use Google keyword suggestion tool, you can see what searcher’s are looking for specifically. The tool will show you the top phrases in terms of volume and in terms of what advertisers are paying per click for Adwords ads. Both are important to determining where they real value is. If ppc prices are $16 to $25 per click, you’re onto something vital to customers. In this case, it looks like they want a way to understand content marketing and how to use it.
The previous pic above of their website homepage shows they offer classes, webinars, guides, and just about anything to do with learning content marketing. The left most button is to their articles section because that’s probably where everyone wants to go. Why? Because they want to read the latest expert discussions, tips and tricks about CM. The blog is always popular and expert blog posts are what underpin high Google rankings. Regular web pages aren’t interesting and Google almost disregards them. Blogs are usually rich in info, visual stuff such as infographics and video, and helpful info and that’s what people want.
This cool tool from Similarweb lets you see so much about your competition it’s awesome. We can see CMI’s traffic sources and where they send visitors too. And our favorite, the one where they tell us which pages are most popular! Isn’t this fun?
CMI is generous which indicates a market leader. They give away some great stuff including their yearly state of content marketing reports in pdf format. The visitors are looking for all that excellent information which is laser-like efficient and extremely well presented. I like CMI a lot. Of course, the material leaves you wanting more, perhaps deeper data rich content.
Strangely, the only time they mention content reverse engineering is in this on epost from Simon Penson from 4 years ago! http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2012/11/reverse-engineer-content-strategy/ Oh well, it’s probably because it’s not a beginner topic.
Smaller insurance companies and brokers can’t compete with the big brands and their video advertising, brand mascots, and thousands of agent sites linking to their corporate website. Smaller companies can instead pay attention to how their content helps drivers, homeowners, etc stay confident that they’re getting the best value for their insurance expense. The big companies also create a lot of content too to appear sincere and helpful, as well as to rank on Google for endless insurance related keyword searches.
As an example for an auto insurance company in Los Angeles, we would have topics such as:
auto and truck makes
auto and truck models sizes, engine power, repair costs
los angeles neighbourhoods
zip codes and how they affect rates
cheap, low cost savings tips for drivers of various vehicle makes
driving instruction and tips
accidents and claims
teens and high risk drivers
how to save on insurance guide
liability, coverage, and gaps
why don’t millennials get lower insurance quotes?
where do car accidents happen in LA?
The top keywords and keyword phrases your site needs to resonate to: auto insurance, car insurance, car insurance quote, insurance company, lowest price, online insurance, comparison, reviews, etc.
If we study the content of the top ranking sites in this search for a Los Angeles Car Insurance quote: we’ll find Progressive Insurance at the top e.g.,
The key branding message is that “warm, friendly, cheery, supportive, and caring Flo is just a quick phone call away.” She’s so clean and heavenly looking, you feel you’re meeting religious requirements by getting insurance from Progressive. So, Progressive avoids all those numbers, probably because Progressive (and Gieco) is actually one of the more expensive auto insurance companies, and instead the content directs you to more brand intensive communications or right to the insurance quote form. Progressive advertises a lot on TV thus the website is more or less a landing page for TV ads.
Other insurance companies online will lead directly to material about rate comparisons and demonstrations of the actual, cheapest insurance available. Hard core, bottom line cheap quotes, which we should remember, is something that might get shared online. With progressive, what gets shared are Youtube videos.
Why Does Progressive Insurance Company Rank at the Top?
Progressive.com ranks highly because it has high trustrank (a lot of trusted sites link to it), lots of inbound links, 56,000 pages indexed, and a whopping Moz domain authority rating of 83 ) which many of the major brands possess because so many local agents link to the major brands. That’s why major brands dominate Google. If Google changes it’s policy on that sort of “employee vote) ranking power, the rankings would become a free for all for everyone! Wouldn’t that be something!
Progressive also has many hard to find old style SEO’d pages which laughably (they’re horribly written, for SEO purposes) still work, and they provide extra help for rankings without being too visible. This is one of the key tricks of SEO is utilize content subtlely for SEO but not let actual customers find it because it’s rarely a good customer experience. The key is that your pages won’t rank on their own. They need lots of support from other unique pages to give them a top ranking.
Progressive.com enjoys 3.1 million visitors per month and they get traffic from 131,ooo unique keyword phrases such as car insurance.
If you check this page using Open Site Explorer, you’ll see this page has lots of links pointing to it. And the content on these linking pages/sites is important to the progressive page’s rankings.
Getting people to write the right things and link to your site is one of the tougher aspects of search engine optimization. Yet, what other pages suggest about your site is critical to your rankings and which keywords you can rank on. We’re not going to get into SEO and advanced linking here, but just to mention that even the links from other websites has to be reverse engineered too. This means creating content bloggers, journalists, and insurance agents will want to link to. Your content’s messaging will influence what these people write about and where they link to on your site. 255 links point to progressive.com’s /auto/ page from 66 different domains. That kind of link support can work wonders.
On this screenshot of progressive.com’s homepage, notice the drop down navigation menu links. About us, media and investors, and sign in have little to help us rank for insurance phrases. In this sense, we need to know which content wastes ranking resources because you won’t have as much ranking power to waste as Progressive.com possesses.
They have plenty of links pointing to their how to save page which has 6 key posts on how to save on auto insurance. Visitors want to save on their auto insurance so tying the brand thematically is good for branding. Does that work for SEO too? It may factor in a little on the lowest price quote thing, because Google is smart enough to know that most consumers are shopping for cheap insurance. That theme kind of taints the whole business of insurance, and makes brand differentiation difficult.
How does their Los Angeles location page rank? It’s mostly due to something called domain authority and the fact that quite a few others websites are linking to that page.
Another big boost is from their Google local business/maps listing where they are able to list all of their physical locations throughout the US and Los Angeles. The Google local business listing is a verified location on a map. It is a powerful asset, and SEO works well in concert with local maps exposure. Integrating your Google local listing into your content strategy is wise.
Now that you’re finished your primer in content reverse engineering, you may want to share it with your coworkers and boss so you can get the ball rolling on growing your digital marketing results.
More Helpful Stuff:
Hubspot offers its advice on content reverse engineering: http://academy.hubspot.com/projects/customer-projects-how-to-reverse-engineer-content-creation
Curata offers a helpful guide on content strategy where they identify the best types of content to use to move visitors through your conversion funnel. They use an easy to comprehend content pyramid model. You can download the guide http://www.curata.com/assets/marketing/Ebooks/Curata_Content_Marketing_Pyramid_CurataBlogAd.pdf on their site.
Gord Collins — I provide digital marketing services for companies in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, St Louis, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Oshawa, Hamilton, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Calgary, Kelowna, Mississauga, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Fresno, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Mountainview, Palo Alto, Portland, Washington, Atlanta, Irvine, Nashville, Sunnyvale, Salt Lake City, Riverside, Carlsbad, Santa Clarita, Henderson, Mesa, Temecula, Kirkland, Redmond, Kansas City, St Louis, Stockton, Scottsdale, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Chula Vista, Escondido, Santa Monica, Miami Beach, and Honolulu. Get an innovative and efficient digital marketing specialist to work for you.
I wanted to give you a good look at which content Realtors are interested in on my blog in the last little while. Right now, what is your first thought that realtors would be most interested in? Compare your initial thoughts to what they are actually reading.
Most of my traffic comes from Google with a small smattering from Linkedin. I have to admit, I haven’t had the time or money to spend on outreach for this blog, but when I do, this content will pull in some major traffic.
So Much for the Belief that In-Depth Posts aren’t Wanted
Over the last two weeks, the post on Fascination has an average view time on page of 18 minutes and the post on how to be a millionaire real estate agent has a view time of 26 minutes! The post on creating a great UVP came in tops at almost 30 minutes average reading time. Wow, I’ve never seen that anywhere. Must be getting people thinking;)
From the graphic below, you can discover what Realtors (and other visitors) viewed most.
Most of my posts have high level thought which may not appeal to most visitors, but intelligent or ambitious realtors do like them — and they are my target prospects. When visitors spend an average 6 minutes on your page, that’s good. And Google takes note of this. When you’re writing your blog posts, aim for lots of interesting and supporting data, good photos, infographics, and interesting stories that involve the ideas you’re speaking about.
Hopefully, these insights will help you create better, more engaging content for your readers. Please remember that online, you are your content.