The SES roundtables were introduced 3 years ago and went down an instant storm, with SES attendees having the opportunity to meet and ask the industry experts some of questions that had been troubling them, gain some inside information, tips or news and even, “If you were a biscuit, what biscuit would you be?”… OK I made that last one up, but you never know?
At Content Marketing table the hosts are Lisa Myers (Verve Search and SEO Chicks) and Steve Lock (Linkdex) and there are plenty of people gently jostling to hear what they have to say, jumping straight in:
Q: How and why do link farms still exist in some countries and are not affected by Google spam teams?
LM – many countries alogrithms are slightly different, so where link farms still exist, you can be pretty sure that once the algo updates are rolled out, they will soon disappear. Its really odd that companies still engage in this activity as we have a “search engine crystal ball” in the form of seeing whats happening in the US and UK, so you already know that it affects these countries and sooner or later they will change the algo’s and all those bad links will come back to haunt you.
Q: Is focusing on keywords still as important for content marketing?
LM – 15% of search terms on a daily basis are brand new, that haven’t been searched for before. Keywords do still play an importance, but you have to think and focus a lot more on the long tail. Creating content for the human, how do they search and what words or questions they ask the search engines. If you can think and create like that, it should really help in shaping your content marketing.
Q: What do you suggest for finding out what the long tail searches are?
LM – a good idea is to head into your GWT and see what people are landing on your site from. You can also use google suggest as it gives you some real-time insight into what people are searching for right now.
Q: What can brands do to create content outside of just their product terms?
SL – Really try to expand your CM and think about what other attributes a user may look for around your products, think of practical uses for products or even other products that you could talk about to bring it all together
LM – Think about seasonal search terms, so if Xmas is coming think more about what people could be searching for around those times, i.e. Valentines day, think of roses, cards and so on.
Q: What about industrial industry – can they create anything interesting?
LM – There are lots of ways to create valuable B2B content that people will find interesting, it doesn’t need to be boring. Perhaps you could write really good health and safety content that applies outside of your industry and a lot of other businesses would find useful. How will other B2B use your products, think about the pain points of that business to shape your content marketing. Talk outside of your industry i.e. if you company makes wooden doors, perhaps create some environmental content around where the wood comes from.
Q: Any advice on staying ahead of the curve for content marketing
LM – create great content, but make sure that its not just hidden in your blog. Make sure to tag and categorise your content with the user in mind, how would they like to find or read it, do they have to trawl through your blog pages to find it? Surface the content so its easy to find across your site and promote it better.
With all the algo changes, especially Hummingbird search is now a lot smarter and will deliver the relevant results for search, so try to think how the “human” searches and really expand your content into the long tail.
SL – Developing personas, so you can focus on a customers pain points are a really great way in keeping you focused on what you should write and create. It allows you to think about the customer, what they want, what are their frustrations and how you can answer them and of course develop your content marketing strategy.
Q: What about tracking and seeing the value of content
LM – there needs to be a simpler way in which we can attribute value to content, perhaps create some funnels in GA that will allow you to track how a customer gets to your site, what they read and how or where they convert. It could allow you to think more about whats working on a site and what content performs best.
SL – brand should think more about the customer journey and what that looks like, we are all familiar wityh sites that ask you to leave your contact details via sign up forms – I think they will be a big thing this year, as you can add value to the content via CRM sign ups and the cost of CPA for that customer.
LM – Jeez I hate those things, they always make me want to leave a site, but I also think that if they become more and more popular, then perhaps people will be happier to leave an email address (me on the other hand, I never want to leave anything, I certainly will never sign into something using my Facebook details).
Well that was a pretty frantic but also insightful session, around 20 people at the table in one go and all listening and scribbling intently to what was being said. Some really great advice, insight and tips from the experts. Now time for some lunch.