Jeannette Cezanne eWay Direct Benjamin Lloyd Amplify Interactive David DeVries Microsoft Small Business
Moderator Jennifer Laycock
Jeannette is up first. Content is the future of search and design. The expression has always been content should never be an afterthought. Content is usually created without much thought or without SEO thought. Her take away is content, design and SEO should all go hand in hand. It’s easier said than done but you must focus to get the job done.
Important part of SEO is linking, but what makes a site want to link to you? Do you have quality relevant content? You must give them something of value. When content is keyword rich and focuses then people will link to it. Become a resource.
Jeannette says a great example of site with good content is Progressive Car Insurance. They are a resource, have become trusted so both spiders and humans go back to.
Look at each page and ask yourself the question “so what?” If you can answer that – good. Look at each page from the point of the end user. If I was the end user what would be useful for me to read, see or hear? Tell your visitor how to do everything on the site. Make it easy to find things.
Pretty pictures don’t bring people to a site it’s the content that engages people with a site. What’s the path to go through the site? Make it easy for people to find all elements on your site. There is a reason the site exists, explain it.
What is the site trying to do? Is it an information site? It’s it entertaining? Determine what the site is and then design each page of the site around it. Here’s the theme of the page – if it’s not clear then you’ve not optimized the content properly. Good information should be at the top of the page.
Think about the end user, this is the person you want to communicate to about the content.
Quick exercise to use on your site: make a list of all site pages then ask yourself:
Does each page have a theme? Is there a call to action on each page?
Best SEO specialist is you. Here’s a handful of useful tools to analyze content and help you work: Cleverstat - Shareup Snapfiles
Know your audience what is the content your visitor wants to see there? Find someone who is part of your target audience to go through site with you.
Be creative in your user keywords, broader keywords are less competitive
People and spiders like new content, be sure it’s relevant to your site.
You need to be careful with misspelling, people are turned off with them, and they might not use you for lack of trust. Check for grammatical errors and misspelled words.
Make what you want your customers to do – the easiest thing they can do.
If you give her a card/email she’ll send you a cheat sheet for content providers.
David DeVries – Microsoft
At the end of the day it’s the results that matter to a business owner.
Showed Microsoft small business pages when bCentral which was very content heavy versus now (showed site) it has video, call to action, ask the experts, etc – exposing content in different ways. They’re taking a more multimedia approach.
Here are there 5 steps to great content:
1. Identify your audience and their needs – ask what their needs are, what problems can the content solve? How does your audience search?
2. Choose new keywords. What’s the target market searching for?
1. Take stock of your existing content – look for gaps in resources, don’t have the same information everyone else does. Inventory the properties/assets on your site
2. Build content within zones of opportunity. Be sure you can place it in a way that it makes sense and is easy for customers to consume it. Look to build wikis, blogs, podcasts, forums, training, user generated content, etc – how can you add all these elements so the end user can easily use and understand?
3. Once content is in place, promote the content on the site. Promote through RSS, newsgroups, develop a personal dashboard, blogs etc. Promote the content off site as well, share video with YouTube and Google video, increases traffic and real estate in Google universal.
Great results come from great content strategy. A planned journey is key, continually re-evaluate your site.
Going to show case studies and practical advice to help with your content strategy.
First case study – Tripwire. Unfortunately, Benjamin used a laser pointer on the screen opposite where I was sitting to point out elements while he spoke so I couldn’t see what he was talking about!
Focus on solution content development, architecture improvement and optimization. Leverage content rich white papers and web casts content for search traffic and lead generation. Develop niche specific links to deep content.
Don’t put your white papers behind a registration process, search engines can’t find it. Include an overview of what the paper is about. Bold headlines, include forms for people to fill out and ask for more information. When content changes were made search results and conversions went up.
For B2B clients – need to think about what you need to solve. Boost content and increase effectiveness.
TheFertileSoil.com was the second site for the case study. Site is about acupuncture.
The owner wanted to generate qualified prospects and registrations for a retreat she offered. To drive more registrations, they used PPC but needed more long term strategy. Through research they found out women searched for problems not solutions so content was written to talk about women’s problems. Search traffic went up as a result.
Universal search results mean more of your content is content for search engines. But text is still critical. Wrap video and audio results into page. Timely content is found faster, allow your users to generate content for your site and blogs.