Category Archives: Content Creation

How detailed niche content drives traffic

Bobcat specsIf you ever wondered what makes great content that drives good traffic and search engine love, then here’s a quick case study.

I am going to show you how to create a page that ranks well because of highly targeted niche content using these steps

  1. Provide great content on a site where not much else exists.
  2. Do it better than the competitors.
  3. Be comprehensive and provide valuable content.
  4. Offer video and downloads as well as embeds where merited.
  5. SEO it properly so it can be found

Underserved niche topics on the web

We operate a site called WrenchIQ.com which specializes in construction repair manuals. Now that may seem like an odd business for a marketing company to be in, however we are always on the lookout for underserved niche topics on the web.

This gives us a chance to hone our skills in SEM, SEO and content marketing, but also in ecommerce. We own a few of these including WarehouseIQ.com, which serves the forklift industry. We also run Soursopstore.com and AboutSoursop.com which deals in  tropical fruit and leaves sales that has a reputation to fight cancer.

Anyway, back to WrenchIQ. On this site we did an analysis using the Ahrefs.com tool to see what works to drive traffic on this topic. We discovered the big traffic trend for people who search for construction truck specifications.

Bobcat specs are super niche

Specifically Bobcat specs. Now a Bobcat is a small 4.5-ton digger that is known as a skid-steer loader. And it turns out that thousands of people every month look at the specs of the various models. So we built a page about the various Bobcat specs, like this one which lists Bobcat 753 specs. We built images from the manuals we had. We transcribed all the key specification of the loader and we embedded a spec sheet. This provides an indepth look for anyone interested in the equipment to at a glance understand it specifications. And we do it better than any of the competitors.

This has Google raise its position to the top 10 search results (SERPs) as it is not that competitive, yet there is good traffic to be had of we rank well.

How to win search traffic with niche information on the web

So the take aways are this:

  1. Provide great content where not much else exists.
  2. Do it better than the competitors.
  3. Be comprehensive and provide valuable content.
  4. Offer video and downloads as well as embeds where merited.
  5. Be sure to do your keyword research in a tool like AHREFS.com and ensure you optimize the onpage keywords selected.

Do this for any site and any topic and you will find you will rank better than anyone else and win the traffic you want.

The key takeaway:

Cover content no one else is doing well, do it better, and serve the audience that seeks it. They will come, because Google will send them.

Andy Walker is chief strategist for Cyberwalker Digital. Reach him at [email protected].

 

 

 

Learn what content ranks well on Google and Bing

What content ranks well on search engines?
What content ranks well on search engines?

Search engines like Google and Bing love good content that is helpful and useful to people, so if you produce it, your site will rank well. But here are some tips on what content ranks well:

  1. Detailed unique content that best answers the keywords typed in by a searcher.
  2. Longer quality content with word counts of over 1000 words will rank (as a rule) over shorter content. That said shorter content will also rank if it gives a great answer.
  3. Unique content not found anywhere else. Copying existing content that everyone has won’t attract better rankings. But if you create content that no one else has created or produced it in a way that is unique and useful then it will rank better.
  4. Good content will be linked to by other sites which give it credibility so this is a huge factor in the validation of good content.
  5. Content with mixed media types also ranks well, so ensure you include when available related videos, image galleries, audio embeds, related social media content (ie dynamically show the latest or best tweets or posts about the topic.
  6. Content that is written in good English (or your language). Spelling and grammar also count.
  7. And this is the best advice that produces solid ranks that we have discovered in our SEO practice, above all: **Create clusters of related content.** For example, if you produce content about the best dog food, then a cluster of content that answers these related questions search engines will define it as content that ranks well and promote it accordingly:
  • Which brand of dog food is most healthy for your dog
  • What is dog food made of?
  • The difference between vet-sold dog food and grocery store dog food?
  • What is the price range of dog food
  • Dog food brands and types ranked
  • What is limited ingredient dog food?
  • Reviews of all the top brands of dog food
  • What dog food do you give a puppy vs. an adult dog

As you can see in the tip above, this demonstrates a solid understand of the topic. It also demonstrates your site’s expertise on the topic and is likely unique relative to your competitors.

Content types that rank well on search engines

Here is a list of content types that also rank well on search engines.

Comparative lists:

Content that means a list that explains or compares thing and how they rank against each other.

This vs. that reviews

Comparative reviews tend to do very well then they are unique.

In-depth examination of a topic

Go long and deep and provide all the answers in one long helpful article.

Related videos in a cluster

Create content focused on embedded video that explains a common or related topic

How to content

How to content is the king of web content. If it answers a question or shows you how, then it stands a good chance of ranking well as most people go looking for that kind of content to solve their problems.

Related to the topic” What content ranks well”, see also:

How to convert website visitors into customers with excellent content positioning

infographicNever underestimate the power of website content positioning. Experts will tell you that getting your positioning right can be the difference between generating large volumes of business and generating none at all. If your website looks attractive and professional then potential customers will be impressed but if they can’t find your products and/or services or don’t know how to contact you, there is no point in having a website. Some good examples of pages with good structure are those pages from elo boosting services for online videogames, the ones that tell you how to avoid cheap elo boosts.

Once you develop new online slots, it can be easy to think that you have done all of the hard work. You’ve created engaging videos, image banners, an excellent logo and you know it is going to look great on your website. And it no doubt will look great but if you don’t position your content correctly, it will have all been in vain.

If you’re going to go to the trouble of developing great content, make sure that you position every item in the right place for maximum effect. So for example, you need to position your call to action in a highly prominent place. This is the key feature that will be converting your visitors to customers, so it is your number one priority.

You can use this handy infographic from UKwebhostreview.com: 25 features every online business must have in 2017, to guide you in regards to where to position all of your website’s content. From where to add your logo and tagline, to your navigation menu and what to put in your header and footer, it has everything you need to know.

If you use this as a template, you can’t go wrong with your content positioning. It can also serve as a checklist to ensure that you’ve remembered to include all of the key features that any good website should include.

 


10 simple ideas to generate blog content quickly without much effort

10 simple ideas to generate blog content quickly without much effortContent marketing requires that you publish a lot of great content. And specifically you’ll need to publish content that demonstrates your (or your company’s) expertise on a particular niche topic. The idea is that you draw people who find that content useful and interesting toward your company, teach them that your are an authority on the topic, and through the process develop trust and over time a relationship, which is the foundation for a sale.

But what if you are not much of a writer? Or you find generating content ideas tedious?  Or you have no time to pen the next great post? Or perhaps you don’t have a budget to hire a journalism grad or professional writer to produce content for your brand? No problem. Just use these 10 simple ideas to generate content quickly without much effort.

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1. Top 5 and Top 10 lists

Go find the best resources on a topic on the internet that can be pulled into a list. 10 things you need to know about X, or 5 must have tips on how to Y. Find web sites that  publish the material. Describe their tips in a few sentences. Put a link to each one and list them. Write a brief intro and BOOM!: You’ve got one awesome article ready to publish.

2. FAQs

That’s Frequently Asked Questions. List 10 questions that your customers ask your sales reps. Then answer them. Don’t be self promoting. ie Q: Who is your favorite plumbing company. A: Ours! More like: Q: What’s the best way to unclog a garbage disposal. A: We like this Youtube video for do it yourselfers (LINK) but give us a call and we can talk you through it or send one of our pros out to get it done for you.  

3. Retop a rewrite

This is an old journalism trick that editors teach young reporters at newspapers. Find a piece of news or an article (usually from a competitor in the media business) that is of interest to your customer base. Rewrite it into a summary using your own words. Do not use the quotes – paraphrase these. The finished product must be all new and it’s helpful if the top of the article includes a new app development that is not covered in the original piece. BTW – No copying and pasting – that’s plagiarism. ie. Source: “Apple announces the ultra thin new iPhone 9” Rewrite:  “Thin is in – but some say breakable – for the latest smartphone from Apple” 

4. Write definitions

Pull together lingo or or complex terminology from your business or market and define them.  Over time build a glossary of terms that is specific to your industry and publish this on your site.

5. Transcribe an interview

Call a seasoned know-it-all n your shop and record an interview on a topic her or she is expert in.  Or call a industry colleague or supplier. Ask them 10 questions about an area of expertise. Transcribe the answers and clean up the Ummms and Errrs and turn it into an article with a brief introduction. ie.   “Have you ever wondered how to  organize a bedroom closet? We called Susan Littleton, a professional closet organizer, who provided the following tips on how to optimize space in a bedroom walk-in closest.”

6. Record an interview

Too busy to transcribe an interview? Record it on Skype and post the audio or video file on your blog and write a brief description to introduce it. Use Recorder, which is an add-on app from Skype.

7. Photo slideshow

Explain how to do something using a slide show. Grab your phone and take step by step pictures and describe each step as captions. Niche “how to” content is hugely in demand.

8. This week in history

Go back in time five years, 10 years or further and pull up an old article or post or newspaper clipping or even a photo that marks a historic day  that is of interest to your audience. Rehash the piece into a retrospective or post a series of old pictures.

9. Aggregate great tweets

Use Twitter’s search engine to find people who are experts on a topic and aggregate their tweets together. (Use a screen grab software like Snag-It) ie.  Top 5 hurricane preparedness tips from smart people on Twitter!

10. Social media interviews

Speaking of Twitter post a request on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus for help with a question that everyone wants answered – that your audience will love. Aggregate the best answers into a single post. Credit the contributors and link to their social media accounts.

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Be weird: The most effective attention-getting strategy

Here’s a quick question you may not have considered:

What does a raccoon riding alligator have to do with digital marketing ? (Scroll down below the picture to reveal the answer)

The most effective attention-getting strategy: Be weird

Absolutely nothing.

Except for the fact that it does make a great segue into our discussion on why “weird” is a good attention-grabbing strategy in digital marketing.

It got you to read this, didn’t it?

If you want to get your people in your target market to actually stop what they are doing, and be so fascinated by what they see they can’t help but to click the link you just posted, you’ll want to try using strange, weird and wonderful headlines.

BUT – a word of caution:  Read this post before you use the weird strategy to learn how to do it effectively. There are some basic but crucial rules on its execution.

The most effective attention-getting strategy: Be weird

Why Weird Works:  

The weird attention-getting strategy works because it uses a human survival instinct we all have to spot things that are out of place. It is something we do because we:

a) Always want to ensure we are safe, and weird or unusual can mean danger…

b) We are curious beings by nature. Learning is how we evolve. It’s how we, as a species, get better.

If you think about it, that’s likely what had you click this article. 

Humans want to understand and solve things.  And, it’s easier to spot things that are out of place than things that are usual or to be expected.

This strategy is used be some of the top copywriters in theoprah world. Like the guys who work for the National Enquirer.  It is the No.5 most read publication in the world.

For those who aren’t familiar with the magazine, it’s got articles with the latest celebrity news. The stories are completely made up, but they often seem valid and real. Like this one about Oprah:

Just to be clear, I’m not going to show you how to make up stuff so you can fool people into reading your articles. Below you’ll learn how to use weird to get attention only, while remaining a credible resource with your integrity in tact.

Want more proof?

increase web traffic by 10 timesCWD recently used this tactic for a forklift dealership in California and increased web traffic on the day it was posted BY MORE THAN 10X.   How did we do that? On April Fools day CWD added this listing to the company web store for a hover lift truck. It was a fun joke that made warehouse manager smile and got them some major attention:hovertruck

 

3 Rules when using the be weird attention-getting strategy:

1. Use weird in your hook or title, then follow up with facts and truths.  It’s important that any content your business shares publicly provides value. When you are constantly feeding your target market information and solutions they need, you become a credible resource that your people trust.

So, if you use the be weird strategy use it only to hook your reader. It’s best used in titles and email subject lines.

Once you get their attention your job is done.  Your strategy worked.  Then, you have to follow up with true facts and serious information to keep your credibility in tact.

You never want your customers to feel fooled or dumb. That breaks trust and can damage your brand.

Here are some examples of how to use “weird” to hook:

  • North American Nutritionist’s blog: “Why eating crickets is good for your health” – Article that explains how crickets are high in protein and are eaten in many countries around the world for good health.
  • Tampa news blog article: “This Christmas there’s snow in Florida”  – Article is about a popular new toy for kids – a mini snow cone machine – that’s selling out quickly in at local department stores for the Christmas season.
  • Health blog: “Why you should be happy if you’re bald” – Article reveals a research study that shows bald men live longer, also it advises people to check www.the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk every time they face a medical negligence situation.

2. Tap into niche topics in your industry. Look at your industry and evaluate the topics that aren’t commonly discussed openly.  You want them to be common enough that people deal with them, yet things that no one else is solving.

Here are some examples:

  • Doctor’s blog:  “What your pooh says about your health”
  • Therapist’s blog: “Why less sex can be good for your marriage”
  • Online recipe:  “How to make low-fat zucchini fries that taste like french fries”

3. Use odd images.  Pictures that look out of place are good attention grabbers.

Jeff Johnson, an expert in lead generation suggests that people are drawn to images the suggest luxury or living a good life.

The experts at LeadPages.net have tested many landing page conversion rates using the same copy but changing out the pictures. They found that using a picture of an attractive woman smiling will increase your chances of conversion.  This is true for every industry and even if your landing page content is completely unrelated to women.

See our use of the weird image tactic here:

dontbeahogbutton

How to write content that converts

What if you could write content for your web site, web store, blog articles, ads, social media posts and emails that’s so engaging it sells your products and/or services automatically?

How to write content that convertsI am about to tell you how to do this. There’s a secret formula that many of the world’s greatest copywriters use to achieve this. And you can remember it easily by using this acronym: AIDA.

It stands for: ATTENTION – INTEREST – DESIRE – ACTION .

Below I reveal what each component means. The tactics will help you develop highly effective sales copy  for your business.

How to write content that converts:

ATTENTION: How to get your reader’s attention: If you want to get a reader’s attention (in your target demographic) you need to first gain an understanding of who you are speaking to. Before you start writing your sales copy, find out:

  • What they like,
  • what they don’t like,
  • who they spend their time with,
  • what they do on the weekends,
  • what their hobbies are,
  • what time of day they like to shop
  • when they like to read their emails…

…the list goes on. These are just some examples, but the better you understand your potential customer, the easier it will be to sell to them.  The more you know, the more you’ll be able to write to them knowing what they want. (As an aside, the mistake inexperienced copywriters make is writing from the perspective of what they want.)

The best way to  get to know your target market is to survey them or interview them or ask someone you know that is close to an individual in this target group. If you are selling to Moms of toddlers, go talk to a few and pick their brain. You can do this while in line at Starbucks or call a relative with small children or check with a neighbor.

Find out their “pain points”. What are their complaints and problems with every day life?  What do they need help with?  What do they want to avoid? Use this information in your copy.

Secondly, assume people, are too busy to read what you have to offer.  So, if you want them to stop and take a minute to read an email, blog, or an ad you’re company has produced, it has to be something that they either:

  1. Need right now
  2. Is too weird for them to bypass

These two tactics when executed effectively will take your reader from a passive state of attention to an active state of attention.

Active concentration happens when a reader is so immersed in  the material you’ve presented to them that they drop everything else to focus on the task at hand. When you engage in learning a new skill it requires this type of concentration.

How to get attention using the “need right now” tactic:

There are three ways to get a reader to come across something you’ve written, stop everything, and read it right away. If it:

  1. Solves a problem
  2. Saves them from a potential disaster
  3. Speaks to a deep desire or passion

Here are some examples of headlines:

Solve a problem: “What to do when your car won’t start”

Saves them from a potential disaster: “7 dangerous mistakes most parents with teenagers make”

Speaks to a deep desire or passion: “How to be the sexiest person  person in the room regardless of your looks”

How to get attention using the “be weird” tactic:

Another incredible attention grabbing tactic is: Be weird. It works because humans are curious by nature. But be careful. When you say something outside the norm you do have to follow it up with valuable information to maintain your credibility.

Here’s an example: Cincrease web traffic by 10 timesWD recently used this tactic for a forklift dealership in California and increased web traffic on day it was posted BY MORE THAN 10X.   How did we do that? On April Fools day CWD added this listing to the company web store for a hover lift truck: hovertruck

Remember: Learning how to grab attention is the most important step in writing in the AIDA format. If you don’t grab attention the rest of what you write is useless. It simply won’t get read.

INTEREST: How to spark interest: Once you get a reader’s attention it only takes one sentence to lose it. Especially if they feel they are being sold to. Here are some interest-building tactics you can use:

  1. Prompt them on a free giveaway
  2. Tell them they’re going to learn something they don’t know / or immediately show them they don’t know something they thought they knew or hadn’t considered
  3. Create a bond of relatedness (i.e. you write something that makes them feel like they know you)

How to use the “Prompt them for a free giveaway” tactic: Tell your reader you are about to give them something valuable, but don’t give it to them right away. Make them wait for it.

Humans are by nature self-serving. So, you can easily develop interest when you prompt them to receive something they would find valuable.  (Especially if it’s free!)

For example, a great email may have a line like: “Below, you’ll find a link to the article: Top secret expert tip for freeing up an hour per day”.

Then, you place the link at the bottom so they have to read the rest of your email. Or, you may write a sales letter with a line that says: “I’ve enclosed a promo code that you can use to redeem a $50 Amazon gift card if you take 2-minutes to read this letter”.

How to use the “teach the something invaluable they won’t learn anywhere else” tactic:

Information is as valuable (sometimes more valuable) than free tangible goods.  Learning an interesting fact that only experts know is interesting and often worth reading.

If you use words like “top secret”, “exclusive”, “only for you”,  it conveys to the reader that they are about to receive confidential information.  And most people won’t refuse learning something top secret.

Example: “Yesterday we interviewed the leader of the Transhumanism party who is running for President in 2016. Read this interview to find out why he says advances in stem cell research in the next five years will create a war between religious bodies and the government”.

How to use a “create a bond of relatedness” tactic:

Connect to your reader on a intimate level by sharing an interesting story about yourself that relates to them deeply. Or mention a phrase, or make a joke only they would understand.

Examples: “We haven’t met in person, but like you, I’ve lost a loved one to cancer too.”

“When I was pregnant I pee’d my pants on a New York city subway car, which is why I thought you might want to know about these new support underwear for pregnant women”.

DESIRE: What you need to know about developing desire in writing:

This is where someone who is interested becomes completely emotionally invested in what you’re saying so that they have no choice but to take action.

Carlton suggests that the best way to do this is to have your reader envision a future of favorable outcomes that result from them taking an action you are about to ask them to take.

With interest you are saying “how would you like this product” but with desire you are saying “here’s what you get when you purchase this product”. Here are to tactics that help to build desire:

  1. A bulleted list
  2. Testimonials

How to create use the “bulleted list” desire tactic:

When you create a bulleted list one of the most effective formats to use involves three points.

Bullet point 1: Presents you as credible by fully giving away what they are about to get as a result of taking the action you want them to take

Bullet point 2: Gives away a bit less information

Bullet point 3: Reveals a sneak peak of what they’ll get but keeps them guessing.

Here’s an example:

In this book you’ll learn:

  • How to establish yourself as a leader in your industry by positioning yourself as an expert resource. You can do this by building a content-rich web site that naturally attracts individuals in your target market because it irrefutably demonstrates your expertise.
  • Search engine optimization, how it’s done and why it’s a necessary component of your overall marketing strategy.
  • The 5 free must-have tools available to you online that will make your life much easier.

How to use the “testimonials” tactic:

At CWD, we’ve tested the conversion rates or landing pages with and without testimonials. We found that pages with landing pages always have a higher conversion rate.

The best way to use testimonials is to present them with images. When people see faces it helps present the testimonials as credible sources.  As a business you should always collect testimonials that you can use online.

ACTIONWhat you need to know about asking a reader to take action:

Action is the easiest part of the process but it’s often overlooked. It’s the second most important aspect of AIDA, besides Attention.Once a reader has gone through the emotional states of desire it’s an opportune time to ask them to do something.

Many sales people lose the sale simply because they are too afraid to ask for fear of getting a “no”. It also helps you understand if a reader is engaged.

If they take an trackable action like clicking a link in an email or purchasing a product, you’ll be able to tell that the copy you’ve written is effective.

If you ask for action later, often the emotions are gone and the rational mind kicks in.  Instead of “I need that right now” they could be thinking “I still want that but I don’t really have the money to spend, so I can wait”. The sense of urgency is gone.

How to ask for action:

Be direct and concise.  Remove apologetic words like “please” or “feel free”.  Be straight.

And perhaps, the best way to show you is to make a request:

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Article subheads create readability – and an SEO boost

shutterstock_146958269Break up long articles with subheads. Visitors will linger longer on your web site if a long article does not look so daunting to read. There should be a perception that they will be able to get through it quickly so ready 5 x 300 word chunks appears to register easier on the human brand than 1500 words all in one go.

Adding images and subheads makes an article visually appealing and easier to read. People linger on these pages longer.

PLUS the SEO Secret to Subheads

The other tactic you should know about subheads is that using the <H3> HTML tag or the <H2> HTML tag tells Google that the subheads help describe what the page is about. So when it is scanned by the Google bot the words in the subhead are noted. If you are trying to get the page ranked for “best dog food” then these subheads should reinforce the topic by using similar words like “kibble” and “dog chow”.

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Calculators are content that drives mega traffic

Calculators are content that drives mega trafficInteractive calculators and tools can go a long way
to attract people that are looking for help with a particular problem. Cooking sites, for example, can offer metric conversion calculators. Banks can offer quick loans no guarantor, financial calculators and industrial companies can offer calculators related to their niche operations.

We built these materials handling calculators  for a client and the pages are top traffic generating pages receiving visitors for related sites and search engines.

Why do calculators drive traffic?

Why does anyone visit a web page? Because its useful.  Calculators solve problems instantly for people and so they return to them often and that repeat traffic is extremely valuable. IF you have the ability to build a web calculator on your content oriented site, then invest in it. It will require the help of a web developer, but its content that will return dividends again and again.

Content that asks if the reader made a mistake

Content that asks if the reader made a mistakePeople are terrified of making mistakes, so be sure to produce content that asks if the reader made a mistake. This content can be very viral. Everybody wants to know what they are doing wrong, or validate what they are doing right.  Spell out the mistake such as – Did you fail to deploy this one easy traffic attracting strategy that most people miss?  These kinds of articles are what’s called link bait that everyone loves to click on.

Why “mistake” content can go viral

People are afraid of missing out on something that they should have known. Or could have easily done. There’s a fear that everyone knows something that they don’t, so when a headline with this kind of content pops up people check in to make sure they are up to speed. It comes from the innate desire to survive. And when there’s an apparent threat (to your competency, for example) you act quickly to fill the hole. The only problem a lot of people use it to mis-direct web visitors. They make it sound like a concern and then get the click only to reveal its not such a big deal. This  trains web visitor to be less responsive to this five -alarm content so be sure if you use this tactic that what you reveal as a solution to the mistake has great value.

 

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Produce evidence-based content, and be seen as an expert

Produce evidence-based content, and be seen as an expertProduce evidence-based content. That’s where you write articles that include information you have discovered about issues that matter to your constituent audience. People love stats and measurement when it relates to things they care about. Give them proof that they can use with other people to demonstrate a point.

Why evidence-based content works

You provide value to some who is trying to prove a point in their own life – usually around work. when you can provide statistics it can help someone ground an argument in fact that can be pointed at. And notice you are helping someone with their content or business. That makes you a useful source and useful source are considered experts and considered valuable. That breeds trust and trust needs to be present for a sale to occur. People buy from people and organizations they trust.

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