I figured since the "What is Spam?" session was so popular, I would attend the "What is Content?" session. Spam and Content are basically the same thing. Ok enough with humor.
Chris Sherman mods up this session, for you forum junkies, Jensense is on the panel. Chris said that content really works, "content is king."
Kent Lewis from Anvil Media Inc. explains what content can do. He will give a case study on some pharmaceutical company that hired him. So he created a content site on melanoma condition and its an objective resource site, they are not pushing a sale or a specific treatment. But the client does offer services to treat the condition. Unfortunately the projector is not working at this moment, so bare with me. He said he had to deal with a lot of legal loopholes. Now his own computer went blank so we took a moment for the speaker to dance on the stage, while waiting to get things back online (I would describe his dance but, I am not good with those types of adj.). So what they did was speak with people with this condition, and they can up with a FAQ to use. Then they organized their content into seven basic categories and then further organized it into sub categories. They did a ton of bolding, hyper-linking and underlining. They did not yet get to go live with custom title tags yet, due to politics, but he hopes it to come. He then showed (in words) what a site map was, and he recommended using that as your custom 404 page (but I like to make it a variation of the site map, not exactly like the site map). They have a FAQs, "What is melanoma? Melanoma is..." good keywords. In the end, they ended up with, a reasonably strong visibility percentage. They are #1 for melanoma in Google and #4 in Yahoo. They are in the top 10 and 20 for most words without unique title tags, impressive (he didn't say anything about links). Keyword research he said is key, when you talk about each page, each page needs a theme with stemming. Finally, someone pushed in a cable and the projector popped on. So now he slides back and shows us what he so eloquently described in words. Ok back on track... Balancing objectives with optimization, he rather have a number 5 spot that reads well versus number 1 listing with a site that reads like gibberish (he adds he is a white hat). Source code optimization is important but you can get #1 placement without it, like this site. Leverage content, syndicate to boost link pop. Top performing content types: press releases; articles, FAQs, blogs, directory listings, and glossary.
Jennifer Siegg from Jensense.com, she has a cold she said. She said she has a lot of web sites in all types of web sites. She generates content to make them work, basically. Content Creation Tools: statistics program (give you great ideas), customer service requests and questions, copywriting books, dictionary and thesaurus and professionalism. Don't always focus on the competitive things; dont go after just the primary keywords - look for the secondary words you can capture a ton of traffic from it. She then showed showed some examples of Google searches on primary versus secondary keywords. Seasonal topics, such as "cashing out your 401k can be expensive" and lots of referrals came in so she added more content. She said catchy titles work: "I've been bad in Google, now what? it creates an action for people to click from the SERPs to go to your site. Article length, good content doesn't mean you need to have 3,000 words, all you need is 250 - 300 words. Content ideas; look at your emails and customer service requests, she added what may be basic for you can bring in bring in good traffic. Message boards as content, people write it for you, just make sure its search friendly, watch your forum referrals fly. If you find a particular forum page is very popular, create an article on it or something. Bam, the projector went blank again, they are messing with the same cable, but doesn't seem to be working, so she continues without the PPT. Things she found did not work well were; submitting your content for free content areas but what she found was that the people who were taking the content and not linking. She had an other issue with the duplicate content filter issue and it seems to be a big issue these days. You need a lot of time to track people down, send out letters, contact hosts because Google ranked the content thieves above her - all writers have this issue. She recommends that you take an 10 word abstract and put it in quotes and then search on it. It will bring up all the sites that took your article. To know if you have been dup filtered, just click on that link in Google that says something like "some results have been omitted from the results to see them all...." something like that.
Anthony Garcia Future Persuasion Officer for FutureNow, he is short so his first joke was that "yes I am standing up." You literally can not see his face over the podium. He has been involved in the Internet community for less then a year. Bryan and Jeff Eisenberg, sitting on my right, work with him. Most people write content to reach the masses. Persuasive online copywriting is different, your audience is one single reader, its easier to write in that style. How can SEO non expert optimize content? Its a process of knowing your customers, a customer centric methodology. He brought up Leo Shachter, the number one diamond brand in the world, he showed that the page has one link in and it ranks well. He showed a beer machine site and the site has been live for 11 months and ranks well for home made beer or something like that. Search engines love deeding us relevant content. The major search engines are eager to deliver the most relevant content. Algorithms will change, not the search engines end goal. So work with that in mind and it will work. Content is not king when it exists for its own sake, when it attracts unqualified traffic, etc. Content informs, persuades and relevant content does both. He then showed examples of how content query searches drive the next action after the click. How do you start writing this copy? He said its about knowing your customers and walking in their shoes (persona). They gather data on topographics, psychographics and demographics. They developed 5 user persona for Leo Shachter. He showed examples of 2 of those 5. One was of a nice guy making 32k named David Commonsense, and the other was of a girl named Ms. Goldigger (the name says it all). How can they create the pages of content that work for those two people? Description words appeared on the page 72%. There are two types of actions they plan for (1) macro actions are the end goals and (2) micro goals lead to the macro actions. There are two types of hyperlinks (1) call to actions and (2) point of resolution. Optimize relevant content. They map all the click throughs for each user persona, very detailed. They have a process for keyword research, but how they differ is they map keywords and phrases to their implicit intent. For David Commonsense, they wanted to help him learn about diamonds and how to buy it online. So he showed us a page on "how to pick a diamond" "how much to spend on diamonds" etc. They also have a "find a jeweler" page, on how to find a reputable diamond. Goldigger is a bit differ, they target "perfect diamond" taking you to a page "which is the most perfect diamond he can GIVE me?". "Diamond settings" and they have #1 and 2 ranks for these types of keywords. Secret forumlas for call to actions. What is the micro action I want them to take, what person wants to be persuaded and what do I need to persuade them?