Friday, April 19, 2013
In SEO circles, content marketing is the rage for 2013, but it's a concept that not all our clients and prospects are understanding just yet.
So, let me put it in the simplest terms, using one specific example of a resource for content marketing: Slideshare.
In addition to making sure that your website content matches the types of searches people are doing to find you, it's also important to promote your content more widely across the Internet. Remember the old days, when we all had a business card? That business card didn't do us much good unless we distributed it, by passing it out at trade shows, during visits with clients and prospects, and by advertising our contact information in print ads.
Well, your website is now your business card, although Google has certainly made it much easier to find you. Now the key is to make sure your "business card" doesn't end up at the bottom of the stack, where no one will look for you. Creating content you can seed on third-party sites and link back to your website is one way to help move your "business card" up in the deck.
The more links you have from other websites, the more credible your company will be viewed by the search engines, and the higher your site will rank.
There are a number of ways you can create content for these third-party sites, but let's just focus on one today -- Slideshare.
Slideshare is like YouTube, except instead of sharing videos, you share Powerpoint presentations. For businesses, this is great, because it's very likely you have at least one sales or marketing person in your organization who has created a Powerpoint, so the technology isn't daunting.
There are just a few things you need to know while creating a Slideshare presentation to make it an effective piece of content for SEO purposes:
1. Include keywords that are important search terms for your audience so that your presentation can be ranked well by search engines;
2. Include links in the presentation to your website so that prospects can find your site and so the search engines can associate the content with your company;
3. Try to make it interesting to generate the most interest in your topic.
4. Once you've posted it, share it via your social media accounts, by e-mail and by embedding it on your website.
If you haven't jumped in the content marketing pool yet, start with Slideshare. It's not difficult and it'll help you get a feel for the SEO and promotional opportunities with third-party content sites.
Here's an example of a Slideshare we prepared for our client EDCO Awards, a manufacturer of corporate awards.
Need help with your SEO and website marketing? Contact Pilot Fish at 877-799-9994 ext. 2104 or fill out this form.
Some of that could be a function of budget, ie "You get what you pay for." But, there have been enough times where we pick up a client after they've dealt with months of frustration working with a web developer that ultimately can't deliver what they need. Sometimes it's a lack of knowledge on the developer's part, that they really don't know SEO. Sometimes it's plain old trickery; the client has succumbed to promises that turn out to be too good to be true.
Many of our new projects come from those types of situations -- the business went with someone cheaper, more local, a relative or friend, or a company that seemed really slick (and they were). They wasted time and money and oftentimes are forced to put good money after bad to fix a really bad situation.
So, to help out all those businesses that might be struggling with a web design or SEO company relationship that just doesn't seem to be panning out, here's some advice. Get out. Get out of that relationship and find someone who can really help your company with their Internet marketing. And, to that end, here's a column on things to watch out for and how to identify a reputable SEO company for your B2B website and SEO.
Friday, March 8, 2013
After the housing crisis that engulfed our country the last few years, more and more people are opting to stay in their homes and update rather than buying a newer more expensive home. And, there are plenty of TV shows that appeal directly to the eager homeowner seeking a new look for their kitchen, bathroom, landscaping, etc. My personal favorite is "Love it or list it" on HGTV.
If you're looking at replacing any doors or windows, I'd recommend you take a look at ProVia. They have some incredibly beautiful replacement entry doors and sliding glass patio doors.
What's more, they've just been awarded the 2013 EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for their energy-efficient entry and patio doors. So, you're not only getting a door that enhances the looks of your home, you're also buying a high-quality product that improves your energy use.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
If your business would like to show up on the first page of Google (who wouldn't?), its Penguin and Panda updates made content marketing a much more important wrench in the SEO toolkit.
In fact, a new report by the Content Marketing Institute says that 91% of business-to-business marketers engage in some form of content marketing, with businesses employing an average of 12 tactics to disseminate their content.
Among those businesses, content marketing is taking up a much larger piece of their marketing budget, an average of 33% of dollars spent in 2012.
Interested in finding which content marketing tactics are the most popular among B2B companies?
Read more about this content marketing report.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Yet, the NRA’s response to the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn., is that we should have an armed guard in every school. So, when that fails again, what will be their response? Arm the teachers, principals and fourth-grade safety patrol?
In most of these cases, the shooters have no illusion of coming out alive, so putting guns in schools not only will not deter shootings, but might provide added incentive for those seeking a way out without using their own gun.
Since their post-Newtown press conference, the NRA has increased its vigilance against gun control laws and now plans to exert even more influence over judicial nominations, opposing anyone who has any hint of a pro-gun control sensibility.
On the second anniversary of the shooting of former U.S. representative Gabby Giffords, she and her husband, former astronaut and ex-military man Mark Kelly, announced the formation of Americans for Responsible Solutions, which seeks common sense controls on the type of weapons sold and to whom they are sold.
As gun owners from one of the most gun-friendly states, Giffords and Kelly understand the culture, politics and personal cost of this debate and are uniquely qualified to represent our call for gun laws that reflect the will of sensible gun owners and non-owners alike.
The NRA has had many years to build its membership and coffers and remains one of the most powerful lobbies in the country, even though it represents the interests of a small minority (gun manufacturers and dealers). No private industry should have such a strong hand in determining safety policies in our country. The collective voice of individual citizens must be heard and heeded.
Please join me in supporting this effort with your voice and your financial support, because we all know that the only way to make this point of view "louder" than the NRA's is through active financial support of efforts like this one that will directly reach out to our lawmakers.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
That's why, EDCO has issued some tips on buying corporate awards. What I found interesting was the description of the difference between glass awards and crystal awards, as well as the importance of asking for the right type of engraving for the material type.
The company also issued a similar Slideshare presentation on corporate award buying for folks who prefer less reading.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Not remembering where I'd last had my license, I called a colleague who found the Ohio voting requirements page on the Ohio Secretary of State's web page and was told there were a number of forms of ID I could use: state- or U.S.-government issued ID, utility bill, pay check, bank statement, etc. So, I grabbed the first thing whose location I knew and which I felt best represented an appropriate proof of my identity -- my U.S. passport. Went back to the polling station, waited another 20 minutes in line, only to find out as I was checking in that my U.S. passport would not be accepted as an appropriate form of ID.
WHAT???!!! I said, "Really? The state website says a U.S. government-issued ID is OK."
I was adamently told that that applied to a military ID, not a passport. When I asked why, the four workers at the table all told me "that's what we learned in our training." I suggested they contact someone to clear this up, because certainly this was a mistake, but they weren't budging, so I left again.
Don't worry -- I did vote after returning with a utility bill. I wasn't about to let the voter suppression folks take away my vote. But, it did give me reason to consider the potential impact of the various voter suppression efforts launched throughout the country and what that says about the supposed "greatest democracy in the world."
Clearly the GOP feels they made a mistake in letting the horse out of the barn by granting women and African-Americans the right to vote. Why else would they be creating obstacles now that cause people to wait hours in line or give up in frustration when they can't meet confusing ID requirements?
After returning to my office yesterday, I started searching for more detailed info on Ohio's voter requirements. I found varying descriptions of what was required:
- Summit County Board of Elections
- Montgomery County Board of Elections -- A ha! Finally a document that clearly says passports aren't allowed.
The only reason I can think of is that Secretary of State Jon Husted intentionally left his web page vague to cause the sort of confusion and frustration I experienced at the polls and that local county BOE's that actually have to deal with the voters are trying to clean up the mess by providing their own interpretation.
At the same time, where's the logic in allowing someone to provide a driver's license with an out-of-date address, but not allow a U.S. passport? For that matter, how is it that "other government documents" (read #7 on Montgomery County document) from agencies, commissions and colleges like letters, notices, court papers, grade reports and transcripts are all acceptable, but a photo ID issued by the U.S. government is not? Or, utility bills, including cell phone bills, which come from private companies are acceptable identification, but a U.S. passport isn't -- especially when the first desired form of ID is a government-issued photo ID?
Add to that the pre-election shenanigans of trying to cut-off early voting in Ohio Democratic counties and you see a very desperate party trying to rig the election.
My state wasn't the only place where this occurred, and it's been a factor for the last several elections. The question is: Is this the example we want to set for all those developing democracies around the world? How can we oppose tyranny in other parts of the world when we can't or won't oppose it here at home?
Perhaps it's time for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment that sets uniform election procedures across the country, out of the hands of politicians who would manipulate rules to disenfranchise the electorate.
As President Obama noted in his acceptance speech last night, "It's time to fix that." Let's do that.