Tag Archives: SEO marketing

Not All Keywords Are Created Equal

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Since the earliest days of search engine optimization, there has always been some disagreement with regard to keywords. To this day, many small business owners, zealous to optimize their company websites as best they can, wonder about the best keywording principles: How many keywords should they use? What should those keywords be? Where should keywords be placed?

A key concept in any SEO endeavor is keyword research. Google AdWords provides a keyword research tool that’s invaluable, even if you’re not necessarily using it for PPC purposes. You can do research using this tool that informs all your on-site keyword efforts—showing you the best, most valuable and competitive words to use in your Web content, on your blog, and so on.

Branded vs. Non-branded Keywords

As you dip into keyword research, it’s important to understand that there are different types of keywords out there. One of the first distinctions you’ll want to make is the one about branded versus non-branded keywords.

Let’s start with branded keywords—the ones that are connected to your specific brand. Some examples of branded keywords include:

  • Your website name;
  • Your company name, if different from your website name;
  • Misspellings of your website name; for example, you have to prepare for the possibility that some people might search for Grammar Chick instead of Grammar Chic; and
  • Branded products—like Big Mac, iPhone, etc.

Often, branded keywords are the ones that prove to be the highest converting. That’s what makes it so important to optimize for these terms; they represent your best chance at turning traffic into paying customers. Additionally, it’s important for brand management. You wouldn’t want your competitor to outrank you for your own company name, would you? And can you imagine what Microsoft would do if they actually ranked better than Apple for the term iPhone? It certainly wouldn’t be good for Apple!

As for non-branded keywords, those are the ones that don’t fit into the categories above. These don’t convert as consistently, but are vital in reflecting the way people really search for information. A lot of people are going to Google for writing company rather than Grammar Chic because they simply don’t know that Grammar Chic exists; optimizing for non-branded keywords is important for reaching those users.

Informational vs. Transactional Keywords

These two broad categories of keywords can be further broken down into additional types—specifically, informational and transactional keywords.

  • Informational keywords are upper funnel keywords that attract users and creates awareness. You optimize these keywords with goal of wanting to increase new users and traffic.
  • Transactional ones, meanwhile, are the lower funnel and money-oriented keywords that are more likely to turn into a transaction of a lead, depending on website’s goal.

These types of keywords function differently, and you may want to emphasize one type over the other simply depending on the type of content you’re writing (that is, where in the sales funnel you’re trying to reach people). As you seek to determine whether a keyword falls under the informational or transactional heading, I recommend asking the following three questions:

  1. Use AdWords to see the kind of traffic and the kind of conversions associated with each keyword. A high-converting keyword is more likely to be transactional; a keyword with lots of traffic but not many conversions is probably informational.
  2. If you are not running AdWords or you don’t have sufficient data, look at Google’s keyword planner and find out the cost per click for each keyword (it’ll be abbreviated CPC) as well as the competition. If the CPC and competition are high, then that is more likely to be a transactional keyword because marketers often don’t spend a ton of money on informational ones.
  3. Finally, you can always just copy and paste each keyword into Google to see what Google returns. For example, if you type in “how to get an oil change,” most of the search results are blogs and articles, which are informational. But if you search for “where to get an oil change” then the results will change and show nearby mechanic shops, Yelp results, etc.—businesses where you’d make a transaction.

Know Your Keywords

No matter what marketing activity you’re engaged in, it’s important to know which keywords you’re dealing with. That all starts with research—and if you need a hand with any of the heavy lifting, don’t hesitate to contact the digital marketing experts at Digital Advertiser.

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Filed under Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Writing, Social Media

Why Content is Still King—And Always Will Be

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Content is king. That was a popular phrase in the early days of search engine optimization, more popular still once content marketing started to take off. The meaning of that phrase is pretty simple: For whatever other gimmicks, tactic, or strategies you employ, high-quality and compelling content is the single most essential, make-or-break component of your marketing strategy.

It’s a useful phrase for a couple of reasons. One, it provides focus. SEO strategies tend to ebb and flow, as Google’s search algorithms themselves are subject to change—but the importance of content is something you can rely on. So long as you don’t get distracted from that simple premise, you can’t veer too far off course.

In addition, it provides some practical direction for your blog and Web content development. Your starting point is always going to be more or less the same: Devise topics and themes that not only align with your company’s vision, but that also offer practical, actionable value to your targeted readers. That first step sets your entire content development process in motion.

But content is king, as a marketing truism, has long drifted into cliché—and in some ways, fallen out of fashion. It’s enough to raise the question: Is content still paramount to effective online marketing?

Google’s Value Proposition

To answer this question, we need to step back and make a few observations about how search engines work; for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just use Google as shorthand here. What is Google’s ultimate aim with its search engine results page? Like any company, Google is trying to provide its customers with a product that is useful and satisfactory. In this case, the customers are search engine users; the product is the list of search engine results themselves. What Google needs to do to keep its customers happy is simple: Continue to provide useful, to-the-point search results that answer the questions search engine users are asking.

That’s the one constant thread in search engine optimization and content marketing. Algorithms may change and trends come and go, but Google is always going to have an interest in providing a valuable product to its customers—which means that algorithms are always going to be looking for content that gives users what they came for.

Not only does this mean content will always be king, but it suggests some helpful ways of thinking about what good, effective content really is. Consider this checklist of what high quality content should be:

  • Easy to navigate
  • Descriptive and accurate in its headlines and meta descriptions
  • Formatted to ensure easy skimming and reading
  • Engaging and well-written
  • Enriched with graphics, videos, and supplemental links
  • Actionable in its practical takeaways
  • Relevant to the targeted search engine queries

Keep this in mind as you develop content with search engine optimization in mind: You’re ultimately helping provide Google with its product—and so long as you develop something that Google’s customers want, you’re on the right track.

For help with this, don’t hesitate to contact the Grammar Chic writing and marketing team right away. Reach us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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SEO and Content Marketing: The Perfect Match?

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Some online marketing pundits lend the impressions that content marketing has effectively replaced search engine optimization (SEO)—that you can do one but not both, and that content marketing has basically killed SEO, or at least exhausted its usefulness.

A Complex Relationship

There is a grain of truth in this, of course. Changes to search engine algorithms have made content quality the key metric for search engine success, whereas many of the older, exploitative SEO strategies have been heavily penalized. If you want to boost your search rankings, then, writing compelling content works way better than keyword-stuffing or other questionable SEO tricks.

But even this statement points to the complex relationship that content marketing and SEO have: They are not as easy to separate or to consider on their own merits as some would have us believe. Ultimately, content marketing and SEO can be used together, working toward the same end. So long as your focus is on content quality—on delivering value to the user—there is no reason why you cannot also incorporate some thoughtful, well-balanced elements of SEO strategy, including some judicious SEO keywords.

How Keywords Help with Content Marketing

Not only do keywords have SEO value, but, when used properly, they can actually make your content even better—of even higher quality, that is. Consider:

  • A keyword will help to focus each blog post or article on a single idea; it will provide you with your topic and your central thrust, and ensure that you’re not veering too far into tangents. Keywords help you stay organized.
  • A keyword can also make the blog or article more helpful and readable for the user, providing a clear sense of what it’s about.
  • Using keywords means researching keywords, which will help you develop a better understanding of your topic and your audience’s needs.
  • Keyword research can also be invaluable for prompting new thoughts and fresh ideas.

In addition to all of the above, of course, SEO keywords can increase the chances that your content actually gets found and read. That’ not to say that all keyword use is helpful, and there is certainly such a thing as being inelegant and clumsy with the way you shoehorn keywords into a piece. When done properly, though, keywords can enhance the quality of your content.

To learn more about content marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact the Grammar Chic, Inc. team today. Learn more by visiting www.grammarchic.net, or call 803-831-7444.

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How Penguin 2.0 Impacts Your Company’s Website & Content Marketing Efforts

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Most businesses understand that having a favorable ranking on Google can increase their web presence, as well as their chance of drumming up new business. They hear the words “SEO” and “Google ranking” thrown around, but don’t exactly know how these terms impact their company’s website, content marketing efforts and the like. It’s important to understand that Google rankings are not random. They are determined by a series of algorithms, which change regularly. Ultimately, the goal of these algorithms is to allow fresh, authentic online content rise to the top, overpowering spammy sites that are built just to host ads or get links.

SEO enthusiasts and online marketers alike are abuzz over the unveiling of Penguin 2.0, a new generation of algorithms that specifically target web spam. The previous Penguin update simply checked out a site’s home page, whereas this new generation takes a deeper look within the subpages and considers smaller details. This means that it’s getting harder to disguise spam, and fresh content is a must.

So what’s changed?

Penguin 2.0 essentially aims to locate sites that serve as an authoritative voice on a subject, thus providing these pages with a boost in the rankings. The new algorithms punish “black hat SEO” which refers to unethical or unsavory tactics that a site may use to try to boost its Google ranking. This may include buying links, scraping content from other webpages, or overloading the site with keywords and ads.

How do I stay in favor with Google?

This is pretty simple: if your site is creating regular, unique content that considers the reader, you will do well in Google’s index. It’s also important that this content has some substance to it, and is high quality. Quickly throwing an article or blog together doesn’t count; providing the reader with useful information does.

How do the changes impact my business?

With these new changes comes the need for attention to detail. Some of the things a content creator or business professional should consider are:

  • Titles and descriptions: Many people overlook these components of web content, but they are becoming increasingly important. In order to truly have success with search engines, you should know what these mean and how to write them. Avoid writing titles and descriptions that are duplicates or are too wordy.
  • Anchor text: It is possible to over-optimize and overuse your keyword text. Consider instead how someone would naturally link to your site.
  • Outbound and inbound links: Questionable links to or from your site can cause a negative impact on your search engine results. If it appears as though you’re paying for a service to link back to you, you may find that your whole site falls down or out of the index entirely.
  • Advertising: Ads are how sites make money, but if it seems as though the site is up solely to support these ads, you will get penalized.

Even if you don’t see any difference in how your site is ranked since Penguin 2.0 was unveiled, it’s still important to alter your content creation strategy to accommodate the developments. Make use of talented and experienced writers who are able to offer up expertise, perspective, and depth, thus making the content on your website stand out. Instead of just hiring anybody to string together a few words, it’s more important than ever before that the press releases, blogs, articles, and other content you develop has real meaning and purpose. Filling your site with this kind of writing bolsters your business’s online presence, turning your company into an authority on the Web.

The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.

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