Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Important Tips for developing high quality sites

We receive a lot of questions from publishers wanting to know best practices to grow your businesses with AdSense. While there's no one right answer, our advice continues to be to focus on creating high quality content and delivering the best possible user experience on your websites. Here are some key suggestions on how to design and organize your website content with an overall emphasis on the quality of the site.

Don't create multiple pages or sites with duplicate content.
We encourage you to create high quality sites rather than a large quantity of sites. Focusing on one site and making it richer in information and authentic in content not only benefits users, but also helps you win more of them. When users are browsing online, they want to find what they're looking for quickly and easily without combing through endless multiple pages, subdomains, or sites with substantially generic or duplicate content. If you have pages or sites that are similar in content or template design, consider consolidating the pages or sites into one.
Provide content that gives users a reason to visit, and return, to your site. 
When you create content on your site, it’s important to ask yourself if the page provides substantial value or service when compared to sites covering similar subjects. It's worth the effort to create original content that sets your site apart from the rest. This will provide useful search results and keep your visitors coming back.
Provide the information or service promised. 
Some publishers create sites that appear to offer a product or service, but instead trick users into navigating through several pages and viewing ads. This results in a negative user experience, and causes your site to be perceived as untrustworthy. Use keywords appropriately and in context with your content and make sure users are able to easily navigate through the site to find what products, goods, or services are promised.

There’s no shortcut to success. Building high quality site takes effort and time. However, we’ve seen that publishers who focus on their users instead of using quick and deceptive techniques are the real winners and experience long-term revenue growth and success in our network. For more information, check out Google Webmaster Guidelines and the policy section of the AdSense Help Center.
Written By: Lingjuan Zhang

Saturday, April 21, 2012

7 Tips For Big Marketers To Increase Social-Media Marketing ROI

This article is by V. Kumar, Ph.D., Richard and Susan Lenny Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing and executive director at the Center for Excellence in Brand & Customer Management, and director of the Ph.D. Program, J. Mack Robinson College of BusinessGeorgia State University,
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase
Whether or not to engage in social media marketing is hardly a question in today’s world. Anyone wishing to sell a product, a service, or even an idea would not question the need for engagement.  Social media made Kim Kardashian and destroyed SOPA. It made the uprisings in Egypt possible and the elimination of Occupy Wall Street impossible. It’s no surprise, then, that marketers have recognized the power of social media in connecting with their target customers and creating an engaging brand experience online.

Accordingly, there has been a shift in marketing dollars, with many companies now focusing at least part of their marketing efforts on some aspect of social media. Larger companies in particular, because of their market position and access to resources, are best positioned to reap all the benefits of a well-conceived and well-executed social media marketing campaign.
But  one great question remains.  Instincts aside, is it really possible to measure social media results?  Budgeting is a quantifiable science, however, social media measurement remains the last big question when deciding how to allocate marketing dollars. Companies need not just a social media campaign, but a measurable, optimized social media strategy to support their marketing efforts.
With a mix of creativity and marketing science, we have developed a seven-step framework for big-budget marketers to measure social media return on investment (ROI), and the value of a customer’s word-of-mouth (WOM).  For example, Procter & Gamble is about to launch a new form of laundry detergent and wants to generate buzz for the detergent via social media.  Even this giant among CPG companies needs to put some metrics around its efforts.  By executing the following steps, P&G would not only bring more awareness to the brand, but also be able to measure the ROI and the share of total growth in sales.
1. Monitor the conversation.
If P&G wants to determine the potential for influencing purchase decisions on social-media platforms, they must first monitor the platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to see what potential consumers think and talk about the brand.
2. Identify the “ideal” candidates who can spread your brand message.
P&G would need to figure out what makes their ideal candidates ideal; living in the same geographic location, using the same platform as others, the number of people they are connected to in the network, etc.
3. Identify the influential characteristics that make up an “ideal” candidate.
P&G’s ideal candidates would need to have a high ability to influence their social network. For example, when a message is sent, the receiver should see it and also forward it in addition to posting comments about it.
4. Use the influential characteristics to locate all of the influencers.
P&G would then use the identified characteristics to find similar influencers within their chosen social-media platforms to select potential brand ambassadors.
5. Enlist the identified influencers to spread positive word-of-mouth (WOM)
P&G would develop interactive online content specific to the product that is being launched. This content would be used to promote positive WOM from influencers and allow their messages to be tracked and measured for its influence (for example, creating online games).
6. Use the candidates in a social-media campaign to talk about your brand.
P&G’s social-media campaign would incentivize influencers who would promote the spreading of positive WOM to customers, prospective customers and other potential brand ambassadors.
7. Evaluate the performance of your social-media campaign.
Last, but not the least, P&G would assess the successfulness of the campaign based on their chosen key metrics such as ROI, sales revenue and brand awareness. Our implementation of this framework with an ice-cream retailer—HokeyPokey–has shown that social media can be used to generate a 40% share of the total growth in sales, 83% increase in ROI, and a 49% increase in brand awareness in addition to inducing more positive word-of-mouth.
As social media channels continue to explode, and the urge to exploit them continues along with it, the need to develop measurement tools
Dr. V. Kumar
becomes ever more important. The steps outlined here form the basis for cogent social-media measurement for marketers from P&G to the local coffee house, and everything in between. Social media is certainly here to stay, and finally, so is the ability to effectively assess the performance of a social media marketing campaign.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Local Search and Content Marketing - Tips Need to Know

Everyday, my company helps small business be found on the internet.  The majority of our clients are mom and pop shops that only need to target local residents within a five mile radius.  When I first meet with a potential client, they occasionally think that they need to target an entire metro area.  While that might be a goal one day, the way people are trending (especially with high gas prices) is sticking to their local areas.  The high gas prices are not the only issue to factor into the equation.  These days, our younger generations just don’t care about driving.  You can see this as fewer and fewer teenagers are getting their drivers licenses.
So, if my target market is within a five mile radius, it should be obvious that my if I am located outside of a city such as Atlanta, I should not be targeting Atlanta (usually.)  If my business is service based and travels to the client, I should want to target a five mile radius even more.  It makes zero sense to travel 30 miles to go paint a house, when there are 18,000 homes that need to be painted around my office.  Still, some business owners do not see the logic in this.  They will likely be the ones that do not survive the next few years, especially as we transition into a mobile age.
small business local SEOHere are some basic ways to build your local market through SEO and content marketing:

Home Page SEO

As it is with any large city with a metro area, locals almost never search an entire metro area when they know what they are looking for.  If I live in Norcross, Georgia, there is no way that I would ever search for a chiropractor in Atlanta.  My returned results would be 20 miles away.  So, the first thing I want to do is establish my true local market for my client.  This should be included throughout the meta code.
  • Title – Use your primary keywords towards the front of your title.  You have around 60 characters to use, so choose wisely.  If it were me, I would put the main service and local market closer towards the front.  If the market is saturated with that particular service, try winning somewhere else.  For example, if I was marketing for “apartments in Marietta, GA” (which is extremely saturated), I would win with another angle using “Pet Friendly Apartments in Marietta, GA”.  I can then position my client to win as the local pet friendly apartment community, and eventually the great content marketing and basic SEO techniques used will push my client up the rankings for “Apartments in Marietta, GA” as well.  It’s a double win.
  • Description – The description should be informative, compelling, and include your local market as well.  Include keywords, but don’t awkwardly stuff keywords.  We have all come across search engine results with descriptions that literally make no sense.  Not only will I skip over this, but search engines are working on filtering through these types of tactics.  I still come across them, but this might be due to the fact that the local market just isn’t saturated with decent digital marketers.  If this is the case, your creative description can outrank these poorly written meta descriptions.
  • Meta Keywords – This is an indicator that has been phased out by most major search engines, mostly due to keyword stuffing.  Matt Cutts recently addressed the issue, letting on that your time is better spent on creating a great meta description.  Move on.

Content Marketing for Small Business

I am still a firm believer that if your content sucks, your web presence will suffer.  Creating great content is not only an opportunity to increase your on page SEO, but it is also a great way to increase your natural links.  Putting thought into the content you produce is essential.  Targeting a local market offers you great opportunities with your content, especially when using a blog to build your web presence.
Here are a few things to consider when writing your content:

  • Keywords – Is your content keyword rich?  A better question might be, is your content over saturated with keywords?  Google is getting better and better at penalizing those who try to game this system with stuffing keywords everywhere.  Your keywords should come naturally.  When I include keywords in titles, links, bolding, etc, they must be used with the user in mind.  Will my keywords help the user find the content they need?  Will the keyword linked take my customer to a page that will help them?  Use keywords strategically, to not only make the search engines happy, but also to help your customer.
  • Blogging – Using a blog to help boost your site’s keyword density is a great way to boost your search engine rankings.  This isn’t breaking news.  However, last year especially, Google started pounding the companies who tried to game the system who were using content farms to try and boost their SEO.  This means that your content needs to be original.  It doesn’t need to be anything ground breaking, but it does need to be from you.  If you’re going to spend time writing content, you might as well make it useful to your clients.  Small businesses can use blogs to help solve problems that their customers come across.  They can even take the spotlight off of their business every now and then, and share exciting news about what is going on in the local area.  Creating great blog content will help you, your client, and even help potential clients find you when they search for something other than a “home remodeler in Norcross, GA”.  Great content also attract natural links.  These have been used as indicators of quality.  If you want to increase your search engine results, create great, keyword rich, useful content.
  • Video – A staggering amount of US citizens have cut the cord to their TVs.  Around 1/3 of the US population has a connected TV. The increasing adoption of streaming video into the home should light a fire under your butt.  Start making video content yesterday!  This seems to be one of the most difficult pill for small business owners to swallow when it comes to digital marketing.  Many business owners think that they need to create video series on a high quality production level.  As mentioned above, the bells and whistles don’t really matter anymore.  All that matters is that your content rocks.  Small business in a local market could kill it with YouTube if they wanted.  For example, a plumber could make a YouTube “How To” series with his iPhone.  By focusing on easy fixes, like “How to unclog your shower drain”, a plumber could earn trust and win over the client who used the video series for easy fixes, but needed a plumber for the more technical fixes.  I would imagine that for the majority of plumbers, driving out to a customer (high gas prices…), and unclogging a drain (taking him away from working a bigger job), would end up being a waste of his time.  Helping someone in your area with an easy fix, that doesn’t really pay well for the business owner anyways, with a simple YouTube video will leverage the business’s credibly in the long run for those big jobs that they really want.  For added SEO value, you can place that video in your blog with written content.  Now, if a user lands on the blog post, they are now under the small business owner’s banner and branded site.  Worst case scenario is that the person cannot perform the task, and needs to call the business owner to help come fix it.
  • Photography – Are you stumped over why Facebook would pay out $1 BILLION for Instagram?  Are you wondering why Pinterest is taking off like wild fire?  Photos, as content, are huge!  Users are no longer sending text based updates alone.  They are taking photos.  The web user is quickly jumping on with photography and video as a content source that attracts attention (natural links and social indicators).  Small businesses can make a few huge wins simply with implementing photography into their content marketing plan.  Photos pull your content marketing strategy into the mobile world like nothing else.  For your SEO needs, tagging, titling, and using content to describe your photos adds extra benefit as well.  If you’re small business client isn’t comfortable with pulling out their iPhone to create videos, take the time to train them to use mobile photo apps like Instagram.  This adds extra value to all parties involved.
If you use all of these basic local SEO tactics, you will still only be scratching the surface.  As you implement them, your client’s world dives deeper and deeper into how you can leverage SEO and content marketing into local dominance via search engines, mobile, and social media.
Written By:
Kevin Ekmark Source:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to Increase Businesses with Starting YouTube Videos

Making videos, much like Facebooking, blogging, and tweeting, is not an end but a means. It is a means of communicating with customers and marketing your wares. And it is increasingly a means of promoting yourself more visibly via search engines. On many a Web search, Google will place videos at the top of the results. This is common for many terms, and some have suggested that Web pages that contain embedded videos place higher in Google’s search results.

For the vast majority of businesses, producing and distributing videos is probably not a natural activity. Yet, while calculating the hard ROI of online video is a fool’s errand, the data suggest that video adds real value--and potentially lots of it--because users really do watch the stuff. RevZilla, a small motorcycle gear store in Philadelphia, jumped into YouTube on a whim in 2009; since then, its videos have received over 4.1 million views.

What Kind of Video to Shoot

Once you’ve decided to get your small business into video, what kind of videos should you make? Consumers are interested in the inner workings of corporate America, as TV shows like How It’s Made, Undercover Boss, and Dirty Jobs prove. You may think your business is boring, and it very well may be. But there’s literally nothing that can’t be peeled back, expounded upon, or satirized for entertainment gold. (Consider a long-running sitcom like The Office if you don’t believe me.)

If you’re still having trouble thinking of something, remember that your video doesn’t have to be a true story. For some inspiration, check out Orabrush, which makes tongue cleaners and which has used YouTube to grow into a $10 million business.

The Key: Be Funny

If there’s a single takeaway from most companies’ success with online video, it’s that humor works: Funny videos are the biggest overnight YouTube hits. Consider your own video-viewing and -sharing habits; would you rather share a recorded PowerPoint presentation, or the commercial below, for California taxidermist Chuck Testa?


So, how can you use comedy to promote your presumably serious business? A coffee shop could create a highlight reel of awful open-mic performances, or create a hoax cooking show. A jeweler could make a faux Home Shopping Network segment, complete with callers dialing in. A corporate branding expert could stage a product-name brainstorming skit in a conference room, Mad Men-style. All of these can serve as a call to action to viewers to become a real customer.

Blendtec has made a cottage industry--190 million views and counting--out of grinding up iPhones and other otherwise nonblendable objects. The recent overnight phenomenon Dollar Shave Club, below, matches laugh-out-loud comedy with a compelling business case.


Of course, you know your customers best, and how far you can push comedy, satire, and self-deprecation. Kick back over pizza with trusted colleagues and brainstorm; the ones that make you laugh most are probably the ones to pursue first.

Or Don’t Be Funny

Okay, maybe you don’t have a knack for humor. Videos don’t have to be funny to be successes. You might have legitimate reasons to explain, soberly, how a product works or to prove your company’s expertise as, perhaps, a first-aid services outfit (where too much humor might be seen as cavalier). Gary Vaynerchuk’s long-running (now inactive) Wine Library TV turned him into a worldwide sensation, despite largely featuring a guy drinking wine in front of a wall.

Making the Video: Think About the Audience

YouTube shows you who's watching.
It’s been said that you don’t choose your audience; your audience chooses you. To some degree that’s true, but you can still guide the kind of viewer that you most want to reach: your ideal customer, naturally. Have a handle on what this customer looks like, demographically speaking, and write down a customer profile: Is she a 29-year-old urban fashionista? A suburban older man facing retirement?

YouTube provides demographics about viewers, so if you find a video that you think would resonate, check out who’s watching it. To reach YouTube Analytics, on any video just click the small graph button to the right of the number of video views. You’ll see when the video has been viewed; where the traffic came from; and the age, gender, and location of the audience. Use this data on your own videos, of course, to confirm whether you are reaching the audience you intended, and to help your next production.

Writing a Script

Once you’ve conceived your video thematically, it’s time for the hardest part: Writing the script. It’s a terrible idea to take a camera and just start shooting, figuring that you’ll edit the footage together into something funny later. The best viral videos are tightly scripted productions that were agonized over until they were perfect. They may come across as spontaneous and improvised, and that’s intentional.

The good news: The best videos are short. Audiences have very limited patience for Web video, so keep yours under 90 seconds long, and the shorter the better. You’ll be able to cut in postproduction, but you’re best off planning a brief video during the writing process.

Shooting a Great Video

Need help shooting your first production? Don’t forget these tips.

First, shoot in high definition, and in widescreen if you can.
As with still photography, lighting is everything. Pay careful attention to the lighting to avoid harsh shadows and dimly lighted environments. Take test shots to get a sense of how the video will look after it's made: What might seem perfectly bright to your eyes often looks impossibly dark on video.
While lighting is everything, sound is everything else. If you can’t afford a boom microphone, try to shoot in otherwise quiet locations, and avoid shooting outdoors on windy days. Your camera’s microphone is just as important as its lens.
Don’t be afraid of multiple takes. Use a real Hollywood-style clapper, if you’d like, to mark, at the beginning of each scene, the chronological number of each take, and have someone on hand to keep notes on which takes worked best to save you time in the editing process.
Shoot with a tripod. If you don’t have to move the camera, don’t.
Leave the zoom lens alone. Zooming in and out a lot is the first sign of an amateur production and a quick way to turn viewers off. If your shot absolutely needs to move, move the camera by physically moving in and out, and leave the zoom lens out of it.
Don’t shoot your video using your phone's camera. Use a real video camera if at all possible.
Edit fast and heavy: Get your video down to the shortest possible length, and cut out every last frame that doesn’t have to be in the finished product. You want your video to move, to be urgent, and to leave your audience with a smile or a laugh, not a sigh that you’ve overstayed your welcome.
Use overlays to add information about your company at the end of the video (or throughout the clip): your website, phone number, email address, or physical address--whatever’s most appropriate for your business. Other than this, ignore all the other “special effects” your editing software or camera may offer.

Polishing Your Video

Once your video’s done, polish it for publication and consumption. First, make sure you have a Channel. All YouTube accounts automatically have a Channel associated with them, which you can customize by clicking the Edit Channel button on your Channel’s home page. Here you can promote a featured video, connect to social networks, and add links to your business’s website. You can get fancy with a corporate logo and custom background, too; the more branding, the better.

When you upload your video, use the same guidelines as you would for creating any page of content on the Web. Thoughtfully use the keywords you want to optimize for, add descriptions, and check your spelling. Don’t spam the fields with excessive keywords, but be savvy about the use of synonyms that searchers might type when searching for content like yours. YouTube suggests popular terms once you start typing inside its search box.

Adding captions or subtitles to your video is a great idea (Google explains how), not just for accessibility for the hearing impaired but for SEO purposes, too. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to caption your video if you’ve kept it short.

Also, if you’re making video an ongoing project, invite viewers to subscribe to your Channel. Subscribers get new videos sent directly to their home page, making this one of the best ways to keep fresh content in front of your audience.

Promoting Your Video

Finally, a great video is useless unless you promote it properly, so rally your other social networking connections to get the word out. By now you know the drill: Use Twitter, your Facebook pages, Google+, and even LinkedIn to tell the world to check out your creation. You’ll want to embed videos directly on your own website, too. If you’ve made your video genuinely entertaining (test it out on a few friends), you can try to take it viral through submissions to StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, and other social news sites.

If you aren’t getting the eyeballs, you can promote your video with Google AdWords for Video (now being beta-tested and launching to the public this spring). Video ad campaigns work the same way that text ads work, by letting you bid on keywords and pay-per-view. YouTube explains how the system works here and in the video below.

Written By: Christopher Null Source:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

7 Types of Content to Get Traffic, Links and Social Exposure

I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently working with clients on their content strategies for 2012.  Its something I’ve been keen to evangelise and get them to invest resource into, some clients have been harder than others to convince!  I can see why its sometimes a hard thing to buy into, but I firmly believe that having a solid content strategy in place is essential for the majority of sites we work with.  Tom wrote this post on content marketing yesterday which I’d urge you to go and read.

Why companies struggle with content marketing

Two of the common problems that many companies have with content production are -
  • Resource to create content – many do not have time or specialist writers in-house
  • They lack ideas of what content they can create or their industry is “boring”
There are more, but these are probably the consistent ones that I hear.
I am hoping that the rest of this post helps solve these problems.  I’ve given the following examples for a few reasons -
  • Most of them can be used across most industries – boring or not
  • They don’t all require hours and hours of resource to get done
  • They will help you get traffic or links or both

Getting Inspiration

Before diving into examples, I wanted to give some pointers and tools for how to get inspiration for your clients content. It can be difficult at times, particularly if you have a client in an industry that doesn’t seem particularly interesting at first glance.
Brainstorming internally and with the client
First step should be a bit of a no brainer. But remember some key points to running a good brainstorm session and don’t overlook the opportunity to brainstorm with your client if that is an option. This can have lots of advantages, one of which being that the client can veto or approve edgy ideas straight away. So the outcome will be a list of ideas which you know you can get sign off for which makes the time you send researching more focused.
Non-competitor analysis
You all know to look at what competitors are doing, again thats a no brainer. But make sure you look outside your vertical too and see what cool stuff other people are doing, sometimes you’ll come across an idea that can be easily applied to your own niche or a concept that can be applied to your own content.  For example, with the right data, could you become the Ok Cupid of your industry?
I’ve mentioned this before but its worth mentioning again. I love Spezify. If you are ever in a jam and have a bit of brain freeze, plug a keyword or two into it and leave it for a few minutes. It will go off and aggregate loads of tweets, images and all sorts of other results to give you an idea of what is being talked about right now.
For some extra fun, plug a friend or colleagues name into it and see what it finds :)
So what here we go with seven types of content you can produce for traffic and link building.

Video Content

This is something which is getting bigger and bigger within Google SERPs at the moment and I think that websites that get on board with this now can dominate in the future. For me, there are two ways you can leverage video content to help your website.
As a link building tool – I’ve written before about getting links using your YouTube videos which is something I’d highly recommend. The other way you can leverage videos is to create your own and use them as link bait – but this is hard. If you have the resources, then go for it and create your own videos.  Just take a look at Zappos who have over 50,000 product videos!
This leads me onto the second way you can leverage video content.
To increase click-throughs from SERPs - Take a look at this result from Zappos:
This puts them a step ahead (see what I did there) of their competitors.  If they can get to a point where their product pages are ranking well and have these snippets showing, then they will most likely see an increase in click through rate from search results because they stand out so much.
We’ve been doing some testing lately on a client site where we are trying to get a video showing in SERPs which when clicked, go straight to the client site rather than somewhere like Vimeo or YouTube.  So far its been working well and I’d recommend using something like Wistia to help you with this.


I’ll say it, I don’t really like them that much.  The reason being that I see so many terrible ones that can’t even be classed as infographics.  I also think there are sometimes easier and more efficient ways to get links.  That being said, they can (and do) get links.  If you have the time and resource to do them well, then infographics can be a good way of getting links.
I’ve stolen a few principles from Mark which I’m going to put here.  Really, infographics should do the following if they are to be successful -
  • Answer a question or solve someones problem
  • Be based on real data that can be backed up
  • Make data or facts easier to digest than written content
  • Show the user something they didn’t already know
If you do have a good infographic to promote, there are loads of sites out there which are dedicated to just infographics, I published a list here of the ones which I know of.
I know what some of you are thinking, infographics are mega expensive to produce.  Yes they can be, but they do not have to be.  Take a look at this one which Mark did on his personal site which attracted 115 linking root domains.  All he used was a camera and some nice cake mix!

Interactive Content

This excites me a lot more than static infographics.  For me, the companies who find a way of bridging the gap between their product and interactive content will win in the long term.  Lets take a look at an example.
I love this World Cup planner by Marca.  Imagine if you were a retailer of tickets for the World Cup and you produced this.  Imagine you could click through and purchase tickets for the game of your choice, but rather than the standard way of finding them, you use this interactive selector?
This is a perfect use of interactive content because it attracts people to your website for being genuinely useful, but it doesn’t end there, you can convert these people into buyers with the right integration and calls to action.
The next step of link building and content marketing is the integration of this interactive content onto product and category pages – solving the age old problem of getting links to ecommerce pages.  Do this and you’ll win the internet – its hard though!

Q&A Content

If you are tight on budget, this can be a great one to use.  Chances are that whatever product or service you sell, you get common questions about it.  If you have email support staff, they probably have standard copy and paste answers that go into emails – is that content on your website and indexable?  If not, get it on there.
The beauty of this type of content is that it has the ability to attract traffic as well as links, in particular in technical fields.  Also, it is obvious that Google are moving towards becoming a better place to get direct answers to questions, searches such as this prove it -
The trend for users searching using a question rather than a keyword is growing too, look at the insight data for “how can” and “does the” -
If you can position yourself as a site where you provide direct answers, you will not only get good long tail traffic, but you will also move towards becoming an authority in your field.
Make sure you take a look at the Wordtracker Question Tool which can give you some ideas of what people ask related to your keywords.  Also look at your keyword data in Google Analytics and filter for keywords which include things like “how” “what” and “can” etc.
Bonus for ecommerce sites – if you can tie Q&A content into your product pages, you have a massively scalable way of getting good quality, relevant content onto your product pages.  Here is an example of how Jessops are doing this -
I don’t believe this content is currently crawlable, but if it were, long tail traffic would most likely increase.

User Generated Content

You’ve all read about customer reviews as user generated content, but what about other forms of content such as images or videos?  Amazon have been doing this for a long time now but smaller retailers are doing this too, even this retailer that sells garden sheds -
You may need to add an incentive to get customers to go to the effort of this, but even if its just a 10% off voucher, some will do it and you have another sale.
Pro tip – make sure you are asking these customers if they have a blog, Facebook or Twitter accounts.  If they do, send them appropriate calls to action to get them to share the images once they are live on your site.

Guest Blogging

I bet most of us have spent time guest blogging to get links for clients, but how many of you have invited guest bloggers onto your blog to write for you?  It has two main advantages -
  • Allows you to get good content if your own resource or time is short
  • The writers will naturally share it and link to their article
You will need to dedicate some time to quality control, but this will not be anywhere near as much as you writing the content yourself.
Taking things a step further, you can also use a few principles of gamification to motivate your guest bloggers.  For example you can reward bloggers who get the most traffic, most links or social shares with a random prize.  The key is to make this reward publicly visible and be super transparent about how bloggers can win these prizes.


Don’t dismiss this one.  If you can get creative enough, this can not only be a content win but also a link building one.
If you can find a way of coming up with a competition which involves people producing content in order to win, you are onto a winner.  Here is an example of this on PostGrad which involved getting entrants to visualise a piece of data.  The best visualisation won the competition and was featured on the blog.  This not only got links but provided great content for their site -
You can be pretty flexible on the type of content you ask for -
  • Written content such as a blog post
  • Images – e.g. baiting photographers for their best photos
  • Videos – e.g. record a video of yourself singing a song
Some thought it needed to make sure the barrier to entry is low but the quality of the output is high, but this is definitely possible across most industries.
To wrap up, I know that producing great content is not easy.  But you need to at least make a start on the path to getting it right, online brands who are not investing in content are going to get left behind.
Written By: Paddy Moogan Source: