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August 16, 2012

Building a Massive Customer Base through Content-Driven SEO

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There is one search engine strategy that has withstood Florida, Big Daddy, Instant, and Caffeine. It plays nicely with Panda and works seamlessly with Search + Your World. The gist? Create better content than 99% of what’s out there and share that content in a genuine way. In this session, you will hear case studies on building businesses using this technique. You will take home a perspective on SEO that is so simple that it feels brand new, and a philosophy that pervades not just marketing but all of business.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The type of content people respond to best online, in terms of format, subject matter, and size.
  • How to become classified by Google as a resource rather than a sales-driven website, thereby gaining far more search engine traffic.
  • How to cause your site to show up for thousands of targeted, long-tail keywords in a few months.
  • The tenets of conversion optimization: turning traffic into customers, members, and e-mail subscribers.

Moderator:
Simon Heseltine, Director of SEO, AOL Inc.

Speakers:
Evan Bailyn, CEO, First Page Sage (@FirstPageSage)
Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR (@gregjarboe)

Evan’s going to tell us about his strategy which is a nuclear football. On his company website:

The signature service of First Page Sage, the Nuclear Football is the only effective way to do SEO today. Its emphasis on high quality content, thought leadership, and organic link building gives websites the trust that Google requires of its top search results.

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Content + Sharing are the two-parts of the content-driven SEO strategy.

Engaging content has to be inspired, and puppies, babies and love are basically guaranteed triggers for engagement. Beautiful, clear and hi-res photos are important for images.

Targeted niche blogs articles: example is a runner’s story interview series of marathon runners for a podiatrist blog. The local angle and the runner’s own network sharing it got the doctor many customers from it.

Links, press and social sharing:

  • Systematic outreach to webmasters, bloggers and journalists.
  • Find category experts and tastemakers through Twitter, industry blogs, conference speakers list and real-time search engine Topsy.
  • Ask people you know to link to your site.
  • Share on social media but always remember to comment and pose questions, not just post the article.

In your effort of systematic outreach, you may find 1 in 10 of your emails are returned IF you have a very targeted email that is personal. Research the person you’re reaching out to so you know them as well as possible.

Case study: EntertainmentDesigner.com

They write one interesting interview a day. They find a sweet spot for getting interviews are people close to cool things, not celebrities. Like Disney artists and theme park designers. They send the email out with subject line “Interview request” which people respond to.

Ranking 1 or 2 for “entertainment design”
77,000 long-tail keywords
Purchasing related keywords make up the big success. Her biz model deals with companies looking for designers. She makes the intros between the company and the designer.

Greg Jarboe steps up next.

Demand Media has been called a content farm. It shouldn’t work in a post-Panda world, but it does. And new financial reports show Demand Media grew revenue 12% y-o-y. Greg will show us what’s working.

A page on the Demand Media website tells their several step strategy.

demand media studio how it works

1. Demanding: They try to figure out what the world wants to know. Unlike traditional media who wants to tell the world what to listen to, DM reverses it.

We can all do this by looking at the available data, Google Insights show interest, and one thing to notice is that “how to” tops “news” and “weather”.

2. Listening: They analyze the data and find out what content do millions of consumers want. The Google AdWords Keyword Tool tells us there are 618 million searches a month for how to videos. It can be hard to get corporate approval to do video, but it’s easier to get approval to do how-to video. There’s no pressure to be funny or have cats.

3. Analyzing: There are 13,800 searches a month for “how to bunny hop”. How many people expect to read a newspaper article tomorrow of how to bunny hop? People want to know it, they’re looking for it, and the info isn’t being provided by the usual sources.

4. Creating: Everyone’s an expert in something; user generated content, get people to write about what they like. This is the part that got DM in trouble with Google. How to bunny hop on a BMX bike is a DM video on YouTube. It’s got 2000+ likes and 200 dislikes.

While everyone may be an expert in something, not everyone’s a copy editor. They changed their strategy along the way by hiring editors. After Panda they actually took down some content. Since then their revenue has gone up.

To see what to be doing on the web, take a lesson from Matt Cutts. He’s posted hundreds of how-to videos. Google has hundreds of YouTube channels.

Video is a content type we’ve been slow to get to because we know words. But in 2007 the world shifted as Google incorporated images and video through Universal results. Now 75% of SERPs have a video.

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