Apr 19

“Evergreen” Content: What It is and What You Need to Make One

UntitledWeb pages might not last for a lifetime, but I do think that most of them can do even better. Most pages and web contents these days are lacking that what you call “evergreen” qualities. This would only mean that in just a few months or even weeks, they would be old and no one will continue to read them. They will just be like billions of other pages on the internet which are unread and forgotten.

This might seem to be a sad issue, but it doesn’t mean that your content or pages have to suffer that same fate. So what does an “evergreen” content means?

An evergreen content is a content which still continues to receive traffic and readership even after it has been on the internet for long. Basically, an evergreen content has several features which most would ignore, but is still necessary for making your content marketing strategy a success.

  1. It’s all about search traffics and readers combined

Perhaps the biggest misconception about an evergreen content is that it is only about readers, instead of the search engines as well. When talking about an evergreen content, you have to take into account that it can’t be evergreen unless it is being indexed in the search engines. After all, what would be the point of an evergreen article if it’s not even indexed and returned in the search results? Unless the article is considered evergreen to the search engines, then it wouldn’t be evergreen for anyone else.

  1. Some contents just can’t be evergree

Not all contents are supposed to be evergreen, and that’s probably because of their topics. However, just because a content can’t be evergreen doesn’t mean it’s bad. Why? It’s more likely because  higher search volume for such topics is worth the extra traffic it provides. Even though it’s not expected to last for long, it will definitely be good while it does last. Some good examples of such type of content would contain something like “Best SEO Practices for 2015” in their titles. By the time it reaches 2016, such content will be obsolete.

  1. Evergreen doesn’t apply on to articles

There are several types of contents other than just articles. Do not be limited to the idea that “evergreen” applies only to them. In fact, several types of relevant contents include videos and infographics. It only takes a little bit of an experiment to figure out which types of content would be more likely to become evergreen.

  1. The idea of evergreen content lies on relevance

The whole idea of evergreen content is basically a relevant content which has different meanings for different people. Relevance is actually a sloppy thing, considering that an old article could actually be relevant to someone looking for outdated information, but somehow irrelevant for someone looking for fresh, updated content.

How Do You Make an Evergreen Content?

When creating an evergreen content, there are two main components which you should consider – relevance and quality. To create an evergreen content, there are some techniques which you can use, which are as follows:

  • Display the date – the date of your content is actually important to let your readers know when it was published and to provide them with a choice of whether to stay or leave. When you hide the date, you’re actually raising questions in the reader’s mind regarding the evergreen nature of your content. After all, the reader would like to know if your content is relevant to his interests as of the moment.
  • Update regularly – just because your content is evergreen doesn’t mean that you won’t have to update it again and again. In fact, even evergreen contents need occasional updating to keep them fresh. This is actually in relevance with Google’s “freshness factor” which prefers those pages which are updated on a regular basis. The more you update your content, the fresher it will be in the search engines.
  • Let everyone know that you updated your page – there are some contents which deal with topics which change constantly. In such as case, you can change your content or adjust it according to the changed topic. Also, don’t forget to place a notice on the top stating that your article has been changed due to some changes or topics in a particular field.

Creating an evergreen content could actually change the way you market your website online. By considering the creation of an evergreen content, you will be able to make your content marketing efforts last for long, if not a lifetime. However, you have to remind yourself that an evergreen content is an ongoing work. As mentioned earlier, you just can’t leave it behind and expect it to remain in the same rank all the time. Evergreen is actually about keeping your content fresh while it lasts.

Apr 18

Internet Marketing and Your Business: Making Your Work Stand Out

184184184So you want to make your website searchable? Our world runs on the internet and the internet runs on search engines. These electronic masters of the online library guide us every day to find exactly the links we need, but as with any library, it is essential to understand the inner workings if you want to easily access its material. A savvy businessman/ businesswoman will not only understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but will know how to make the system work to their advantage. Using the right links and keywords will not only add validity to your content, but lead customers and internet allies to your online doorstep.

Understanding SEO

Before you can add the right terminology to your sites, you need to understand the system. Search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo work as managers of all of the information flowing through the internet database. Using a combination of pieces (such as titles, key words, page links, etc….) known as algorithms, the search engines can pick the best results relating to the initial request. For example, if the user types the words “green lizard,” then the engine proceeds to choose results relating to “green” and “lizard.” Sites with the best reputation, the most trustworthy links or the most fiscal backing will be ranked highest on the list of results. The more pieces in the algorithms that your site fulfills, the easier clients will be able to access your page. The more clients visiting your page will then add greater weight to your page’s ranking on the search engine listing and so continues the circle of online life.

Using SEO

For businesses and bloggers alike, achieving the top ranking on a search engine results list is especially important to drawing in viewers and/or potential clients. However, knowing what to post can be tricky. Here are some tips to guide you and your business in the search engine arena.

Choosy Content for Choosy Customers

The content on your website is very important. Your web page should be treated like a physical store. You would not want to cater to a shop that is dirty, disorganized and poorly stocked and the same principles apply online. Customers and readers are more likely to stay and browse if the site is organized and attractive with a wide variety of merchandise to cater to their individual needs and inquiries. When you provide more key words and topics on your website, search engines will have an easier time applying your site to consumers’ internet explorations. Posting a wide variety of articles (blogging is great here), visuals (memes, captioned photos, etc…) and videos will offer more connections for those engines to find. Studies, surveys and updates help in this department as well. Remember to double check before posting anything to ensure the quality and clarity of the content.

Networking

It is all about who you know. The incredible expanse of the internet allows companies and individuals alike to form connections that could not be known only a few decades ago. The business arena now encompasses the entire world. With the internet, each time a client visits your page, they are interviewing you, searching the page for answers to their business inquiries and needs. Just as with a physical resume, your web page should exhibit not only what you have to offer, but concrete references to back you up. A wide variety of links will help you to gain the notoriety needed to propel the website. However, be warned. When adding links to the page, more is not always the merrier. Quality versus quantity is the best mantra. Do not let the excitement of being seen get your attention for the wrong reasons. Stick to trustworthy links. In many cases, individuals will purchase or create fake links which simply direct consumers back to their site. Rather like citing yourself as a reference on an application, this move only serves to annoy the readers and make the site appear unreliable. Search engines are actually programmed to detect these faked links and will in turn give the web page in question a lower ranking on the list of results.

Doing the Research

While this part may come across as dull to those excited to get the website moving, researching is a key aspect of any company’s progress. You have to analyze the customer base, what they want or need and how they search. You need to know what you have to offer and how to convince your customers that they need you. Take a look at your company. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your crew? What can you offer consumers that others cannot? Knowing your business inside and out will allow you to better measure who to target and which key words to hone for optimal search engine rankings.

Search engine optimization is key to expanding your online reputation, whether it be for a business or for informal posting. Understanding the inner workings of the internet system gives you as the website caretaker the advantage in rankings and consumer response. Know your business; know your tools; know your customers. Here is to a new year of optimized searching for your webpage!

Apr 15

How Your Business Can Benefit from Social Media

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While a huge number of individuals are using social media these days, there are still many who choose not to. However, they fail to realize that they are actually missing out on something very important, especially if they have their own business.

 Lots of business, small and big alike, tend to create their own pages and profiles in various social media accounts. The problem is, most of them weren’t able to come up with a foolproof strategy to use social media to their own advantage. Hiring an expert social media marketing specialist might be a worthwhile investment, but not all business owners accept the idea.

 So that question is, what does social media do for a brand, particularly when that brand hasn’t even gain enough popularity to make it to the global market? The answer is, a lot. There are actually lots of things that social media campaign can do to a business, regardless of how small or big it is. Even though you can’t be able to replicate the success of social media campaigns by huge companies  your small-scale business, you can still learn a lot about what you should include in your own strategy.

 Why Social Media Sites are Beneficial for Any Business

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There are actually several advantages of social media, which lots of businesses weren’t able to comprehend. If you don’t have your social media presence just yet, then you might want to consider the following reasons:

  • You can turn your customers into potential endorsers – most customers who follow a brand on any social media platform found it overwhelming if the brand replies to their messages or comments. Moreover, there are even those who are even compelled to share and recommend the brand to their other friends.
  • They build trust – social media makes a one on one engagement a whole lot easier these days, especially now that we are living in a world where companies should be able to provide their customers with a personal touch. Without an active social media account, you could actually harm the reputation of your brand.
  • You can learn more about your customers – social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to learn more about your customers through customer statistics. These include basic demographics, interests, preferences as well as potential tie ins to other businesses.
  • They provide you with other sources of traffic – these days, you don’t have to depend on search engines alone to bring traffic to your sites anymore. By building a more reliable online presence through the help of social media, you can actually create diverse sources of traffics as well as new visitors for your business.
  • You can monitor and address any issues regarding your business – it’s not really pleasant to hear someone insulting about your business. However, not knowing about it is even worse. With social media, you can have to chance to keep track of your brand’s reputation and can even address any issues that show up.
  • You could monitor your competitors – the key to succeeding with social media lies not just in monitoring your own reputation, but by looking at others’ as well. More likely, your competitors along with their customers are already on social media, and you could learn a lot simply by watching them.

 How to Build and Connect with Your Audience on Social Media

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Now that you have an idea about the importance of taking your business to social media, it’s about time to take a look at how you can be able to build and connect with your audience on social media. The steps are as follows:

  1. If you don’t have a business page or profile on social media sites, you should create on each of the leading social media platforms such as:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  1. Consider the image you want your business to portray within these sites. You should know the kind of message you want to send, as well as the audience whom you want to send your message to.
  1. Once you are able to gather your audience, you should make sure that they can trust you by being honest and transparent. Sometimes, you don’t have to post only about you and your business. Instead, try posting about others and what they are currently doing. Ask yourself what your audience would care about and what you can provide that will surely interest them?
  1. Consider a giveaway or. Not only does it allow you to keep your customers in your business, it also allows you to attract potential customers. After all, who wouldn’t want free stuff such as a giveaway or a special?

Building a strong presence in social media and connecting with your audience are actually two time-consuming tasks. However, social networks are powerful platforms all by themselves. And in a world where people buy from other people, the relationship you are able to build online could mean everything.

Apr 14

How to Stand Out in the Inbox

Open your email and tell me what you see; 50 new emails since yesterday, maybe 100? Mostly advertisements, right? How do you make your email advertisement stand out among hundreds of others in an inbox?

Keywords

Key words are one of the most important factors in getting noticed.

What word completely sums up the point you are trying to make in just a few syllables? Are you having a sale? State the percentage knocked off the price in the first three words. 70% off is the draw; then wait to tell us what you have for sale in the body of the email. If your email is also a coupon, state the amount of the coupon in the subject line. Do you have last minute price discounts that are only good for a limited time? Use the words last minute in the first line.

What words do consumers love? Everyone loves things that are free. Announcing a free item with purchase is sure to draw in customers. People also love a deal.

Some other words, are urgency words, such as end, only or hurry. But set a time limit. Letting us know up front that we will be missing out if we don’t click today is going to make people more likely to look at your email, if only to see what they would be missing out on.

Capitalize Everything

When you capitalize an entire word, the word is suddenly bigger and jumps off the page. Some emails capitalize words, some only the first word, some capitalize only key words.

Use Symbols

Symbols are used simply to draw the eye. They are bolder than all the other words taking up space on the screen of your inbox and tend to stand out. Simple symbols I have seen used lately are check marks, arrows and hearts. A symbol method that I find interesting and unique is the use of an icon within the company name. Most of these are placed ahead of the actual company name. Symbols are used this way to draw your eye away from other competing emails. It works, too. The bigger and more original the symbol, the better the draw.

Show Your Excitement

If you aren’t excited about your product, then your customer won’t be either. Excitement is contagious. Use excitement eliciting words, such as, wow, rock star and stunning. You can Google, a list of exciting words to use if you aren’t real creative. Use exclamation points! Are you number one? Tell us you are #1.

Ask A Question

We all want answers, don’t we? Isn’t it normal to listen for the answer to a question even if we aren’t interested in the answer? Curiosity is human nature. Ask me a question and your chances of my clicking on your email to get the answer go up. For example: a large retail company recently sent me an email in which they asked me “what does a smart watch do?” I don’t really care what a smart watch does. But, immediately my curiosity kicked in, and even though I had no interest in smart watches, I wanted to know because of their question exactly what they did.

Incomplete Statements

Everyone wants to know what happens at the end. How many times have you finished watching or finished reading a book that was terrible, but you have suffered through to the end just so you would know what happened? It’s human nature to want to know the whole story. A catchy one I saw recently was “Up to $10000 overnight!” (notice there also is no comma in the appropriate space between zeros, leaving the mind to create even more zeros). How about “It’s been a while, but…” Making a partial statement is like leaving a surprise inside, and who can resist opening a surprise package?

TRICK THEM

This one is a bit of a nasty trick. I’m not sure I like it. Using this one is a good way to alienate customers and get your email tossed into the spam folder for good; non-the-less, companies still use it.

LIE. Sort of.

Typing a “Re:” in the subject line of an email will possibly make the recipient think that they had contacted you previously and you are getting back to them, therefore, prompting them to open your email. And that’s what you want, right? But it’s risky. If your product doesn’t take their breath away and make the angels sing, you may have lost them forever with your half-truth.

Other even more dishonest wording examples would be: Confirm your package. Transaction notification.

 It all depends on how desperate you are to get a click.

 Personalization

Personalization is the way straight to your customer’s heart. Everyone wants to feel special. We all love it when someone does something only for us, or buys something only for us; something that includes no one else. Use your or you or the person’s first name, or even their email address in your email subject to address the customer personally.

Whether you are advertising your clothing store or marketing your personal skills, when using email to reach customers, standing out in the endless inbox is the key. Using these simple strategies to draw your customer’s eye, pull on your customer’s heart strings, and get your point across effectively will assure that your email is distinctive in the inbox.

Apr 13

How to Detect Low Quality Content in Your Site and Fix It

Having the ability to notice thin content once when you it could be very easy, but looking for it on your own site could actually be a little bit challenging. In order to do it successfully, you will need a full content audit and perform a complete content audit at least once or twice a year. A complete content audit includes several things like:

  • Looking for broken links
  • Making sure your content is unique and informative
  • Removing content which is no longer useful for your site’s goal
  • Checking any outdated references

UntitledIf you have published high quality content on your site, most readers won’t even bother trying to look for the thin content since they know it doesn’t even exist. However, the entire concept of a thin concept doesn’t just revolve around a poorly research content. It actually includes looking for poor links and making an analysis of your content as a whole. Take a look at the benefits of spotting thin content and how to fix it below.

Detecting Thin Content and Tips for Auditing your Content

Technically speaking, the term “thin” content applies to pages which are just too vague to offer enough information. On the other hand, a “poor quality” content is a content which isn’t properly written and is hard to understand. When it comes to the dates, broken links, statistics and more, the term “expired” content applies. The process of content auditing includes all three types of content along with any duplicates. To detect a thin content, you will need some manual work along with the use of tools.

How to Detect Thin Content Manually

Most content auditing companies use a combination of manual process and the use of tools. However, manually looking through your content could be a good idea if you haven’t done a content audit before. You should decide who will conduct the content audit. Most of the time, it will take more than just one in order to make it happen, since planning right ahead of time is very important. Most content audits would require 3 to 4 persons, and the work is either divided by web page or tasks. Don’t forget to set a deadline for the audit, and head over to the next step.

The next step is a spreadsheet which contains all the data necessary for the content audit. Each time someone updates a piece of content, make sure to mark the changes in your spreadsheet right next to the URL where the content is updated. You should include other vital information like the date of the audit, the content’s URL, title, keywords, author and the status. It’s also important to perform an SEO audit alongside a content audit. Since an SEO audit tends to overlap with a content audit, it could be an excellent timesaving if you are able to work them together into one.

How to Detect Thin Content using the Tools

If you still believe that the content audits you’ve done still require a lot of revisions, then you should consider using some tools which have been introduced over the past few years. These tools include the following:

  • Google Analytics Custom Report – by allowing you to take a look at your engagement levels, you can actually see which among your webpages have content which is underperforming. The report includes all important metrics such as bounce rate, pageviews, average time on page, and more.
  • Screaming Frog – the Screaming Frog is a tool which allows you to create a crawl report of your site wherein you can take a look at various metrics such as page titles and addresses, word count and status code. It is recommended to look at the addresses first in order to find out any possible duplicates, then sort them from the lowest to the highest word count. You should also consider looking for 404 errors in the status column of your report.
  • Content Analysis Tool – the Content Analysis Tool is a tool specifically designed to help you improve your site’s content. By using this tool, you can obtain a summary of your site’s file types, page-level details, analytics, screenshots and more. Other than that, it would even allow you to export your results. The best part with the Content Analysis Tool is that you can avail of a free trial before you go with the paid version.

After successfully completing your site’s content audit, you should make sure to keep up with your tools and spreadsheet and thoroughly go through your site’s content every year to make sure that there will no longer be any future issues ahead. Do you know of some helpful tips or tools which could help in completing a successful content audit or detecting low quality or thin content? If so, feel free to share with us in the comments below.