Penguin and Panda

If you are a small business owner who finds Google alliterative algorithms Penguin and Panda to be intimidating territory, you’re not alone. You have enough on your hands with running a business and maintaining a website without having to decipher what each Google algorithm update means for your marketing and SEO strategy.

While it’s certainly possible to make a full-time career out of the analysis of these search engine rank determiners, it’s also possible to break it down into manageable and actionable bites. Let’s start with some clarifications: READ MORE

laptop on a desk at night

I was browsing the internet the other day (because I had writer’s block) and I came across the article 6 Ways To Power Through Writer’s Block. I found the advice to be pretty spot-on for those times when I am staring at a blank screen, drumming my fingers on the keys and not actually pressing them. But the most sure-fire way I’ve found to beat writer’s block is to never get it in the first place.

Before I shifted my career toward content marketing, I had experienced patchy creative blocks here and there while writing college term papers, creating ad copy, or putting together newsletters. I have become much more intimately acquainted with writer’s block in recent years, however. Since joining Webs, I have written around 500 blog posts. That’s 500 staring contests with blank screens – not all of which did I win. But over the years I’ve learned some tricks of the trade that I’d like to share with you here today for avoiding that all-too-familiar situation in the first place: READ MORE

Variety of doors

You know how people say that less is more? Yeah, they are not talking about webpages. When it comes to the number of pages that connect to your website’s domain, more is always better – especially when you’re doing search engine optimization.

In today’s online world, people rarely come to a website by typing in the name directly. Most website hits come from search engines – specifically from Google. If you want more people to enter your website, consider adding more doors. And not just more, but doors of all different shapes and sizes. READ MORE

Vine Website Screenshot

Unless you’ve been in some sort of social media deprivation tank, you have probably seen a Vine, or at least know what it is. While Vine, which came on the scene in early 2013, has enjoyed quite a bit of success with both personal users and brands, it has yet to become as ubiquitous a marketing tool as the company that owns it (Twitter).

Vine is newer than Twitter, sure. But another reason for the slow adoption, specifically among smaller businesses, is the tech intimidation factor. It’s easy enough to download the Twitter app, write a message with a link or a hashtag in fewer than 140 characters, and hit send. But with Vine, busy entrepreneurs might be stymied by the idea that they have to plan a video, figure out how to shoot it, figure out how to share it, etc. But we’re here to tell you that not only is Vine not that hard, it can be incredibly worthwhile. READ MORE

Header image from The Content Explosion

 

By now, you know all about the benefits of content marketing for your small business – improved search ranking, increased social media engagement, better brand awareness, lead generation, etc. And, knowing all this, you are no doubt creating lots of high-quality, relevant content for your audience on a regular basis. But the problem is, you’re not alone. According to the data company Fractl, over SIX MILLION novels-worth of blog posts are being read on WordPress alone every single day.  Will your blog post be one of them? READ MORE

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We’ve talked about the concept of
Content Marketing a lot lately. How creating and sharing relevant content can boost your web traffic, what kinds of content you can put out onto the web, and some examples of brands that are doing a great job. Today we’re going to look at a few companies that have taken content marketing to a whole new place – with branded mobile apps.

How does this apply to your small business? While it is certainly true that highly complex, flashy mobile apps can require a bit of an investment, the DIY mobile app scene has come a long way, and today there are a number of great options for small businesses. READ MORE

Linked_new

What do you have in common with Richard Branson and President Barack Obama? Soon you’ll all be blogging and posting content on LinkedIn’s publishing platform!

That’s the idea, anyway. Since the late 2012, when LinkedIn introduced its publishing platform (which you might know as LinkedIn Influencers, LinkedIn Today, or Pulse), regular users like you and me have been able to glean wisdom from a collection of several hundred hand-picked thought leaders. Through the content hub we could find insights and long-form content that stood out from the links and status updates the rest of us could post. READ MORE

howto

For today’s installment in our content marketing series, we’re going to take a look at three very different brands doing content marketing in unique and interesting ways. And while these are well-developed brands with a fair amount of capital (human and financial) behind their efforts, the techniques they employ are absolutely accessible by small businesses as well. Let’s dive right in.

1. Saveur Magazine
Of all the types of content you could create, video certainly has the potential to go viral very quickly, and with very little added effort on you part. The key is to create something that will answer a question that a lot of people might have on their minds. Saveur does exactly that with their SAVEUR Basics video series. While there are probably a number of expert chefs consuming the magazine and website, the majority are more the aspirational set. People who cook frequently and want to be able to expand their skills so they can be more like the pros. Enter this series of just a handful of tutorials that are brief, helpful, and beautifully shot. I find these incredibly useful and really make me value Saveur as a brand. And judging from the YouTube details, over 1 million other people feel the same way. READ MORE

contentbenefits1

Our series on content marketing continues today with a discussion about the benefits this marketing strategy can have for your small business. Now that you are familiar with what content marketing is, and some different types of content you can create, let’s talk about why you should be doing this in the first place.

1. Content is great for SEO
Search engine optimization trends come and go, but relevant, quality content never goes out of style. Each time Google updates its search algorithm (like the recent switch to Hummingbird), SEO experts pepper the Internet with articles about how to take advantage of the new system. And a lot of that is great advice, even if it can be impossible to keep up with. But one sure-fire strategy for improving your ranking without living on SEO blogs is to regularly publish quality content that people will find useful. READ MORE

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In our recent introduction to content marketing, we talked about the established and ever-growing trend of publishing content as a means of drawing more potential customers to your front door – virtual or physical.

Marketing has taken a sharp left turn in recent years away from the old broadcasting style of communication and toward more customer-focused tactics. This provides big benefits from both a human and a search engine optimization standpoint for your business – especially if you’re on a budget. You might not be able to afford a TV or radio spot to get your name out there, but you can probably afford to start a blog and a set up a few social media profiles. READ MORE

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