Tag Archive | "even"

8 Elements that Make Your Next Piece of Content Even Better than Your Last

Moving on to your next piece of content — regardless of how your last one performed — is the mark…

The post 8 Elements that Make Your Next Piece of Content Even Better than Your Last appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Related Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Is Google caching getting even more confusing?

Even if “it doesn’t mean much,” seeing organic rating data not matching the latest crawl data is concerning.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Related Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Copyblogger Book Club: Stay Creatively Productive (Even on Crappy Days)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but keeping your creative confidence going is hard. Our friend Austin Kleon has one…

The post Copyblogger Book Club: Stay Creatively Productive (Even on Crappy Days) appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

A Minimalist’s Guide to Visual Content Marketing (Even If You’re Not a Designer)

What if I told you there’s a passageway directly into the brains of your readers — and it doesn’t involve…

The post A Minimalist’s Guide to Visual Content Marketing (Even If You’re Not a Designer) appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Find More Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

How to Publish Regularly, Even If You Lack Writing Confidence

Recently, a writing student asked me about the dilemma of keeping to a publishing schedule, even when you can see all of the flaws in your own writing. How can we publish content every week, or even every month, when we still have so much to learn? Most of us run into this sometimes —
Read More…

The post How to Publish Regularly, Even If You Lack Writing Confidence appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Mother’s Day 2017 Google doodle celebrates all moms – even cactus moms

Google’s animated image of a cactus caring for her cactus-offspring leads to a search for “Mother’s Day 2017.”

The post Mother’s Day 2017 Google doodle celebrates all moms – even cactus moms appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

How to Create Content That Keeps Earning Links (Even After You Stop Promoting It)

Posted by kerryjones

Do your link building results look something like this?

  1. Start doing outreach
  2. Get links
  3. Stop doing outreach
  4. No more links

Everyone talks about the long-term benefits of using content marketing as part of a link building strategy. But without the right type of content, your experience may be that you stop earning links as soon as you stop doing outreach.

In this sense, you have to keep putting gas in the car for it to keep running (marketing “gas” = time, effort, and resources). But what if there was a way to fill up the car once, and that would give it enough momentum to run for months or even years?

An example of this is a salary negotiations survey we published last year on Harvard Business Review. The study was picked up by TechCrunch months after we had finished actively promoting it. We didn’t reach out to TechCrunch. Rather, this writer presumably stumbled upon our content while doing research for his article.

techcrunch-link.png

So what’s the key to long-term links? Content that acts as a source.

The goal is to create something that people will find and link to when they’re in need of sources to cite in content they are creating. Writers constantly seek out sources that will back up their claims, strengthen an argument, or provide further context for readers. If your content can serve as a citation, you can be in a good position to earn a lot of passive links.

Read on for information about which content types are most likely to satisfy people in need of sources and tips on how to execute these content types yourself.

Original research and new data

Content featuring new research can be extremely powerful for building authoritative links via a PR outreach strategy.

A lot of the content we create for our clients falls under this category, but not every single link that our client campaigns earn are directly a result of us doing outreach.

In many cases, a large number of links to our client research campaigns earn come from what we call syndication. This is what typically plays out when we get a client’s campaign featured on a popular, authoritative site (which is Site A in the following scenario):

  • Send content pitch to Site A.
  • Site A publishes article linking to content.
  • Site B sees content featured on Site A. Site B publishes article linking to content.
  • Site C sees content featured on Site A. Site C publishes article linking to content.
  • And so on…

So, what does this have to do with long-term link earning? Once the content is strategically seeded on relevant sites using outreach and syndication, it is well-positioned to be found by other publishers.

Site A’s content functions as the perfect citation for these additional publishers because it’s the original source of the newsworthy information, establishing it as the authority and thus making it more likely to be linked to. (This is what happened in the TechCrunch example I shared above.)

Examples

In a recent Experts on the Wire podcast, guest Andy Crestodina talked about the “missing stat.” According to Andy, most industries have “commonly asserted, but rarely supported” statements. These “stats” are begging for someone to conduct research that will confirm or debunk them. (Side note: this particular podcast episode inspired this post – definitely worth a listen!)

To find examples of content that uncovers a missing stat in the wild, we can look right here on the Moz blog…

Confirming industry assumptions

When we did our native advertising versus content marketing study, we went into it with a hypothesis that many fellow marketers would agree with: Content marketing campaigns perform better than native advertising campaigns.

This was a missing stat; there hadn’t been any studies done proving or debunking this assumption. Furthermore, there wasn’t any publicly available data about the average number of links acquired for content marketing campaigns. This was a concrete data point a lot of marketers (including us!) wanted to know since it would serve as a performance benchmark.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 1.16.47 PM.png

As part of the study, we surveyed 30 content marketing agencies about how many links the average content marketing campaign earned, in addition to other questions related to pricing, client KPIs, and more.

After the research was published here on Moz, we did some promotion to get our data featured on Harvard Business Review, Inc, and Marketing Land. This data is still being linked to and shared today without us actively promoting it, such as this mention on SEMRush’s blog and this mention on the Scoop It blog (pictured below).

scoop-it-citation.png

To date, it’s been featured on more than 80 root domains and earned dozens of co-citations. It’s worth noting that this has been about far more than acquiring high-quality links; this research has been extremely effective for driving new business to our agency, which it continues to do to this day.

Debunking industry assumptions

But research doesn’t always confirm presumptions. For example, Buzzsumo and Moz’s research collaboration examined a million online articles. A key finding of their research: There was no overall correlation between sharing and linking. This debunked a commonly held assumption among marketers that content that gets a lot of shares will earn a lot of links, and vice versa. To date, this post has received an impressive 403 links from 190 root domains (RDs) according to Open Site Explorer.

How to use this strategy

To find original research ideas, look at how many backlinks the top results have gotten for terms like:

  • [Industry topic] report
  • [Industry topic] study
  • [Industry topic] research

Then, using the MozBar, evaluate what you see in the top SERPs:

  • Have the top results gotten a sizable number of backlinks? (This tells you if this type of research has potential to attract links.)
  • Is the top-ranking content outdated? Can you provide new information? (Try Rand’s tips on leveraging keywords + year.)
  • Is there a subtopic you could explore?

Additionally, seeing what has already succeeded will allow you to determine two very important things: what can be updated and what can be improved upon. This is a great place to launch a brainstorm session for new data acquisition ideas.

Industry trend and benchmark reports

Sure, this content type overlaps with “New Research and Studies,” but it merits its own section because of its specificity and high potential.

If your vertical experiences significant change from one year, quarter, or month to the next, there may be an opportunity to create recurring reports that analyze the state of your industry. This is a great opportunity to engage all different kinds of brands within your industry while also showcasing your authority in the subject.

How?

People often like to take trends and add their own commentary as to why trends are occurring or how to make the most of a new, popular strategy. That means they’ll often link to your report to provide the context.

And there’s an added promotional benefit: Once you begin regularly publishing and promoting this type of content, your industry will anticipate future releases.

Examples

HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, which features survey data from thousands of HubSpot customers, has been published annually for the last eight years. To date, the URL that hosts the report has links from 495 RDs.

Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have teamed up for the last seven years to release two annual content marketing benchmark reports. The most recent report on B2B content marketing has earned links from 130 RDs. To gather the data, CMI and MarketingProfs emailed a survey to a sample of marketers from their own email marketing lists as well as a few lists from partner companies.

In addition to static reports, you can take this a step further and create something dynamic that is continually updated, like Indeed’s Job Trends Search (171 RDs) which pulls from their internal job listing data.

How to use this strategy

Where can you find fresh industry data? Here are a few suggestions:

Survey your customers/clients

You have a whole pool of people who have been involved in your industry, so why not ask them some questions to learn more about their thoughts, needs, fears, and experiences?

Talking directly to customers and clients is a great way to cut through speculation and discover exactly what problems they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking.

Survey your industry

There are most likely companies in your industry that aren’t direct competitors but have a wealth of insight to provide to the overall niche.

For example, we at Fractl surveyed 1,300 publishers because we wanted to learn more about what they were looking for in content pitches. This knowledge is valuable to any content marketers involved in content promotions (including ourselves!).

Ask yourself: What aspect of your industry might need some more clarification, and who can you reach out to for more information?

Use your internal company data

This is often the easiest and most effective option. You probably have a ton of interesting data based on your interactions with customers and clients that would benefit fellow professionals in your industry.

Think about these internal data sets you have and consider how you can break it down to reveal trends in your niche while also providing actionable insights to readers.

Curated resources

Research can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of creating content. If someone has pulled together a substantial amount of information on the topic in one place, it can save anyone else writing about it a lot of time.

If you’re willing to put in the work of digging up data and examples, curated resource content may be your key to evergreen link building. Let’s look at a few common applications of this style of content.

Examples

Collections of statistics and facts

Don’t have the means to conduct your own research? Combining insightful data points from credible sources into one massive resource is also effective for long-term link attraction, especially if you keep updating your list with fresh data.

HubSpot’s marketing statistics list has attracted links from 963 root domains. For someone looking for data points to cite, a list like this can be a gold mine. This comprehensive data collection features their original data plus data from external sources. It’s regularly updated with new data, and there’s even a call-to-action at the end of the list to submit new stats.

Your list doesn’t need to be as broad as the HubSpot example, which covers a wide range of marketing topics. A curated list around a more granular topic can work, too, such as this page filled with mobile email statistics (550 RDs).

Concrete examples

Good writers help readers visualize what they’re writing about. To do this, you need to show concrete evidence of abstract ideas. As my 7th grade English teacher used to tell us: show, don’t tell.

By grouping a bunch of relevant examples in a single resource, you can save someone a lot of time when they’re in need of examples to illustrate the points they make in their writing. I can write thousands of words about the idea of 10x content, but without showing examples of what it looks like in action, you’re probably going to have a hard time understanding it. Similarly, the bulk of time it took me to create this post was spent finding concrete examples of the types of content I refer to.

The resource below showcases 50 examples of responsive design. Simple in its execution, the content features screenshots of each responsive website and a descriptive paragraph or two. It’s earned links from 184 RDs.

Authority Nutrition’s list of 20 high-protein foods has links from 53 RDs. If I’m writing a nutrition article where I mention high-protein foods, linking to this page will save me from researching and listing out a handful of protein-rich foods.

How to use this strategy

The first step is to determine what kind of information would be valuable to have all in one place for other professionals in your industry to access.

Often times, it’s the same information that would be valuable for you.

Here are some ways to brainstorm:

  • Explore your recent blog posts or other on-site content. What needed a lot of explaining? What topics did you wish you had more examples to link to? Take careful note of your own content needs while tackling your own work.
  • Examine comments on other industry articles and resources. What are people asking for? This is a gold mine for the needs of potential customers. You can take a similar approach on Reddit and Quora.
  • What works for other industries that you can apply to your own? Search for terms like the following to see what has been successful for other niches that you can apply to yours:
    • [Industry topic] examples
    • types of [industry topic]
    • list of [Industry topic]
    • [Industry topic] statistics OR stats
    • [Industry topic] facts

No matter which way you choose to proceed, the time investment can help you garner many links down the line.

Beginner content

Every niche has a learning curve, with various words, concepts, and ideas being foreign to a beginner.

Content that teaches noobs the ins and outs of your vertical has long-term linking potential. This type of content is popular for citations because it saves the writer from explaining things in their own words. Instead, they can link to the expert’s explanation.

And the best part is you can tap your internal experts to provide great insights that can serve as the foundation for this type of content.

Examples

101 Content

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO is a master class in how comprehensive beginner-level content becomes a link magnet. Not only does the guide have backlinks from more than 1,700 RDs, it also edges out the home page as the most-trafficked page on the site, according to SEMrush.

“What is…?”

Beginner content need not be as massive and thorough as the Moz guide to be linkable. It can be as simple as defining an industry term or concept.

Moz’s meta description page, which has backlinks from 244 RDs, is a solid example of an authoritative yet simple answer to a “what is?” query.

Another example is the first result in Google for the query “what is the Paleo diet,” which has 731 links from 228 RDs. It’s not a 10,000-word academic paper about the paleo diet. Rather, it’s a concise answer to the question. This page has served as an excellent source for anyone writing about the Paleo diet within the last several years.

screenshot-robbwolf.com 2017-02-21 14-17-01.png

If a lot of adequate top-level, definition-style content already exists about topics related to your vertical, consider creating content around emerging terms and concepts that aren’t yet widely understood, but may soon be more mainstream.

The perfect example of this? Creating a definitive explanation about content marketing before the entire world knew what content marketing meant. Case in point: Content Marketing Institute’s “What is Content Marketing?” page has amassed an impressive from 12,462 links from 1,100 root domains.

How to use this strategy

Buzzsumo recently released a new tool called Bloomberry which scours forums including Reddit and Quora for questions being asked about a keyword. You can search by time period (ex. questions asked within the last 6 months, all-time results, etc.) and filter by source (ex. only see questions asked in Reddit).

Use Bloomberry to see what beginner questions are being asked about your keyword/topic. Keyword ideas include:

  • [Industry topic] definition
  • How does [industry topic] work
  • [Industry topic] guide
  • What is [industry topic]

After doing the search, ask yourself:

  • What questions keep coming up?
  • How are these common questions being answered?

Bloomberry is also useful for spotting research opportunities. Within the first few results for “SaaS” I found three potential research ideas.

bloomberry.png

Pro tip: Return to these threads and provide an answer plus link to your content once it’s published.

Yes, you still need to promote your content

Don’t mistake this post as a call to stop actively doing outreach and promotion to earn links. Content promotion should serve as the push that gives your content the momentum to continue earning links. After you put in the hard work of getting your content featured on reputable sites with sizable audiences, you have strong potential to organically attract more links. And the more links your content has, the easier it will be for writers and publishers in need of sources to find it.

What types of content do you think are best for earning citation links? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you – please share your experiences in the comments below.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

More Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

3 New Upgrades Make the Web’s Best Keyword Research Tool Even Better

Posted by randfish

If you know me, you know I’m hyper-critical of the software, data, and products Moz releases. My usual response to someone asking about our tools vs. others used to be to give a rundown of the things I like about the competition and why they’re great, then look down at ground, shuffle my feet in embarrassment, and say “and Moz also has a good tool for that.”

But Keyword Explorer (and the progress Moz Pro & Local have made this year) brings out a different behavior in me. I’m still a little embarrassed to admit it, but admit it I must. KW Explorer is the best keyword research tool in the market, period*.

But we are never satisfied, so today, it’s getting even better with the addition of some killer new functionality.

#1: Rank checking inside KW Explorer lists

First on the list is the ability to easily see whether a given domain (or URL) already ranks on page 1 for any of the keywords on a list. Just enter a domain or page, hit “check rankings,” and the Rank column will fill in with your data.

Why is this crucial?

Because many of us who do keyword research need to know whether to add a list of keywords to our “already visible/getting traffic” set, or to the “in need of content creation or optimization” set. This feature makes it simple to build up a multi-hundred keyword list for targeting, and quickly include or exclude the keywords for which we’re already ranking page 1 (or above/below any given position). This column now appears in the CSV export, too, so you can mash up and filter the data however you’d like.

Quick aside: If you have a keyword list with expired SERPs (after 14 days, KW Explorer assumes that Google’s results may have changed substantially enough to invalidate the prior Difficulty & Opportunity scores), you’ll get this experience when checking rankings. Just refresh the keywords on the list to fetch the latest SERPs and you’ll be good to go.

But, of course, there’s also the need to get more ranking data — the ranking positions beyond page 1, tracking over time, comparison to competitors, etc. And that’s why, we’ve also added…

#2: Send keywords directly from a list to Pro Campaigns for rank tracking

Undoubtedly, our most-requested feature of the summer was the ability to import a list (or selected keywords from a list) over to a campaign to track. The previous export/import system worked, but it was an unnecessary hassle. Today, you can simply use the “I want to” menu, choose “Add XYZ to Campaign,” and then select which campaign you want (or create a new one).

The keywords will auto-magically copy themselves into your campaign, using whatever default settings you’ve got for rank tracking (US-English, Google.com is most common, but you can rank track in any country or language).

Why is this crucial?

Because once you know the keywords you’re targeting, you need to know how you’re performing over time, how your competition’s doing on those terms/phrases, and how the rankings are changing to include or exclude various SERP features (yup, as of August, we also track all the SERP features in Pro Campaigns).

The challenge, of course, is that you’ve got to know which keywords are worth targeting in the first place, and how relatively important they are, which is why we’ve worked like mad to deliver…

#3: Better, more accurate keyword volume and coverage than ever

(that’s way, way frickin’ better than whatever Google AdWords is doing with their “low spending” accounts)

Russ Jones and the Keyword Explorer team have been going full-force on a new, more powerful solution to replacing Google AdWords’s weird, imprecise, always-30-days-or-more-behind keyword data with better information. We started working with clickstream data (searches and click patterns gathered from browser extensions, anonymized, and sold to us by various folks) early this year; Russ wrote a detailed account of the process here.

But now our volume numbers are even better, with the addition of dramatically more data via a partnership with the awesome crew at Jumpshot. Their clickstream-based search behavior, plus what we get from other sources, combined with our modeling against AdWords’ impression counts on real campaigns, gives us higher accuracy, more coverage, and faster recognition of volume trends than ever before.

Why is this crucial?

When you enter a term or phrase into Keyword Explorer, you can now expect that we’re providing the best, most accurate volume ranges available*. Marketers need to be able to trust the numbers in their keyword tools, or else risk prioritizing the wrong search terms, the wrong content, and the wrong investments. We have confidence, thanks to our test comparisons, that the volume ranges you see in KW Explorer’s ranges will match real volume for the prior 30 days 95%+ of the time.

In the months ahead, Russ will have more to share comparing Moz’s keyword volume data to AdWords’ and, hopefully, an external API for search volume, too (especially after all the resounding requests on Twitter).

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also added volume numbers to Pro Campaigns, so you can see this high-quality information in the context of the keywords you’re tracking.

Not too shabby, eh?


Let’s get real. Moz had a number of years where getting one change to one product, even a small one, felt like pulling teeth. It took forever. I think you could rightly point at our software and say “What’s going on over there?” But those days are long gone. Just look at all the useful, quality updates in 2016. This team is firing. on. every. cylinder. If you work on Moz’s software, you should be proud. If you use our software, you can feel like you’re getting your money’s worth and more. And if, like me, you tie far too much of your self-worth to the quality of your company’s products, well, even you can start holding your head high.

Rock on, fellow Mozzers and Moz subscribers. Rock on.


* In the English-language market, that is; outside of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia (where we get Jumpshot and other clickstream data), the suggestions aren’t as comprehensive and the volume numbers are often missing. Sadly, it’ll probably be this way for a while as we’re focusing on English markets for the time being, and will need to find and make deals with clickstream providers in each country/language in order to match up.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Optimizing for RankBrain… Should We Do It? (Is It Even Possible?) – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

If you’ve been stressing over how to optimize your SEO for RankBrain, there’s good news: you can’t. Not in the traditional sense of the word, at least. Unlike the classic algorithms we’re used to, RankBrain is a query interpretation model. It’s a horse of a different color, and as such, it requires a different way of thinking than we’ve had to use in the past. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand tackles the question of what RankBrain actually is and whether SEOs should (or can) optimize for it.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about RankBrain SEO and RankBrain in general. So Google released this algorithm or component of their algorithm a while ago, but there have been questions for a long time about: Can people actually do RankBrain SEO? Is that even a thing? Is it possible to optimize specifically for this RankBrain algorithm?

I’ll talk today a little bit about how RankBrain works just so we have a broad overview and we’re all on the same page about it. Google has continued to release more and more information through interviews and comments about what the system does. There are some things that potentially shift in our SEO strategies and tactics around it, but I’ll show why optimizing for RankBrain is probably the wrong way to frame it.

What does RankBrain actually do?

So what is it that RankBrain actually does? A query comes in to Google. Historically, classically Google would use an algorithm, probably the same algorithm, at least they’ve said sort of the same algorithm across the board historically to figure out which pages and sites to show. There are a bunch of different ranking inputs, which we’ve talked about many times here on Whiteboard Friday.

But if you search for this query today, what Google is saying is with RankBrain, they’re going to take any query that comes in and RankBrain is essentially going to be a query interpretation model. It’s going to look at the words in that query. It’s potentially going to look at things possibly like location or personalization or other things. We’re not entirely sure whether RankBrain uses those, but it certainly could. It interprets these queries, and then it’s going to try and determine the intent behind the query and make the ranking signals that are applied to the results appropriate to that actual query.

So here’s what that means. If you search today — I did this search on my mobile device, I did it on my desktop device — for “best Netflix shows” or “best shows on Netflix” or “What are good Netflix shows,” “good Netflix shows,” “what to watch on Netflix,” notice a pattern here? All five of these searches are essentially asking for the very same thing. We might quibble and say “what to watch on Netflix” could be more movie-centric than shows, which could be more TV or episodic series-centric. That’s okay. But these five are essentially, ” What should I watch on Netflix?”

Now, RankBrain is going to help Google understand that each of these queries, despite the fact that they use slightly different words and phrasing or completely different words, with the exception of Netflix, that they should all be answered by the same content or same kinds of content. That’s the part where Google, where RankBrain is determining the searcher intent. Then, Google is going to use RankBrain to basically say, “Now, what signals are right for me, Google, to enhance or to push down for these particular queries?”

Signals

So we’re going to be super simplistic, hyper-simplistic and imagine that Google has this realm of just a few signals, and for this particular query or set of queries, any of these, that…

  • Keyword matching is not that important. So minus that, not super important here.
  • Link diversity, neither here nor there.
  • Anchor text, it doesn’t matter too much, neither here nor there.
  • Freshness, very, very important.

Why is freshness so important? Well, because Google has seen patterns before, and if you show shows from Netflix that were on the service a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, you are no longer relevant. It doesn’t matter if you have lots of good links, lots of diversity, lots of anchor text, lots of great keyword matching. If you are not fresh, you are not showing searchers what they want, and therefore Google doesn’t want to display you. In fact, the number one result for all of these was published, I think, six or seven days ago, as of the filming of this Whiteboard Friday. Not particularly surprising, right? Freshness is super important for this query.

  • Domain authority, that is somewhat important. Google doesn’t want to get too spammed by low-quality domains even if they are publishing fresh content.
  • Engagement, very, very important signal here. That indicates to Google whether searchers are being satisfied by these particular results.

This is a high-engagement query too. So on low-engagement queries, where people are looking for a very simple, quick answer, you expect engagement not to be that big. But for something in-depth, like “What should I watch on Netflix,” you expect people are going to go, they’re going to engage with that content significantly. Maybe they’re going to watch a trailer or some videos. Maybe they’re going to browse through a list of 50 things. High engagement, hopefully.

  • Related topics, Google is definitely looking for the right words and phrases.

If you, for example, are talking about the best shows on Netflix and everyone is talking about how hot — I haven’t actually seen it — “Stranger Things” is, which is a TV program on Netflix that is very much in the public eye right now, well, if you don’t have that on your best show list, Google probably does not want to display you. So that’s an important related topic or a concept or a word vector, whatever it is.

  • Content depth, that’s also important here. Google expects a long list, a fairly substantive page of content, not just a short, “Here are 10 items,” and no details about them.

As a result of interpreting the query, using these signals in these proportions, these five were basically the top five or six for every single one of those queries. So Google is essentially saying, “Hey, it doesn’t matter if you have perfect keyword targeting and tons of link diversity and anchor text. The signals that are more important here are these ones, and we can interpret that all of these queries essentially have the same intent behind them. Therefore, this is who we’re going to rank.”

So, in essence, RankBrain is helping Google determine what signals to use in the algorithm or how to weight those signals, because there’s a ton of signals that they can choose from. RankBrain is helping them weight them, and they’re helping them interpret the query and the searcher intent.

How should SEOs respond?

Does that actually change how we do SEO? A little bit. A little bit. What it doesn’t do, though, is it does not say there is a specific way to do SEO for RankBrain itself. Because RankBrain is, yes, helping Google select signals and prioritize them, you can’t actually optimize for RankBrain itself. You can optimize for these signals, and you might say, “Hey, I know that, in my world, these signals are much more important than these signals,” or the reverse. For a lot of commercial, old-school queries, keyword matching and link diversity and anchor text are still very, very important. I’m not discounting those. What I’m saying is you can’t do SEO for RankBrain specifically or not in the classic way that we’ve been trained to do SEO for a particular algorithm. This is kind of different.

That said, there are some ways SEOs should respond.

  1. If you have not already killed the concept, the idea of one keyword, one page, you should kill it now. In fact, you should have killed it a long time ago, because Hummingbird really put this to bed way back in the day. But if you’re still doing that, RankBrain does that even more. It’s even more saying, “Hey, you know what? Condense all of these. For all of these queries you should not have one URL and another URL and another URL and another URL. You should have one page targeting all of them, targeting all the intents that are like this.” When you do your keyword research and your big matrix of keyword-to-content mapping, that’s how you should be optimizing there.
  2. It’s no longer the case, as it was probably five, six years ago, that one set of fixed inputs no longer governs every single query. Because of this weighting system, some queries are going to demand signals in different proportion to other ones. Sometimes you’re going to need fresh content. Sometimes you need very in-depth content. Sometimes you need high engagement. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you will need tons of links with anchor text. Sometimes you will not. Sometimes you need high authority to rank for something. Sometimes you don’t. So that’s a different model.
  3. The reputation that you get as a website, a domain earns a reputation around particular types of signals. That could be because you’re publishing lots of fresh content or because you get lots of diverse links or because you have very high engagement or you have very low engagement in terms of you answer things very quickly, but you have a lot of diverse information and topics on that, like a Dictionary.com or an Answers.com, somebody like that where it’s quick, drive-by visits, you answer the searcher’s query and then they’re gone. That’s a fine model. But you need to match your SEO focus, your brand of the type of SEO and the type of signals that you hit to the queries that you care about most. You should be establishing that over time and building that out.

So RankBrain, yes, it might shift a little bit of our strategic focus, but no, it’s not a classic algorithm that we do SEO against, like a Panda or a Penguin. How do I optimize to avoid Panda hitting me? How do I optimize to avoid Penguin hitting me? How do I optimize for Hummingbird so that my keywords match the query intent? Those are very different from RankBrain, which has this interpretation model.

So, with that, I look forward to hearing about your experiences with RankBrain. I look forward to hearing about what you might be changing since RankBrain came out a couple of years ago, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

How to Write with Power and Authority, Even if You Feel Like a Nobody

use it! you've got the power

In this overcrowded online world, do you ever wonder why people would listen to your advice?

I used to feel the same way.

I didn’t understand why people would read my writing tips when the web is awash with writing advice from people more experienced, more knowledgeable, and more authoritative than me.

Why would anyone listen to me?

I’ve learned that mindset was flawed.

When I learned how to write well, a new world opened up. I connected with people across the world. I built a thriving blog. People started listening to my advice — and more importantly, they acted on it.

Can you make an impact with your words?

As writers, our toolbox may seem limited. We can’t shout. We can’t use body language. We can’t even bang on a table to add weight to a message.

We only have our words to communicate with passion and power.

But written words are enormously powerful. You know that. When was the last time words made you smile? Or cry? Or inspire you to take action?

Once you learn how to write with power, readers start listening to your ideas, acting on your advice, and buying your products and services. You can inspire change — even if you feel you don’t have the required clout or authority right now.

Want to learn how?

Step #1: Write with clarity and substance

Weak writing rambles, rattles, and prattles.

Powerful writing, in contrast, is simple and to the point.

Many writers misunderstand this …

Writing with substance is not about writing longer articles. It’s not about word count. It’s not sharing as many tips as possible. The opposite is true. Often long articles lack substance; too many superficial ideas that compete for the reader’s attention weaken the content.

Substance is not about the breadth of your ideas; it’s about the depth of your arguments. Even an email of 100 words can have substance. A nugget of wisdom. A super-practical tip. A spark of inspiration.

Substance is about adding value, exceeding your readers’ expectations, and moving beyond the echo chamber.

“If you’re not adding value, you’re taking up space. The more space you take up, the more difficult it becomes to continuously earn your spot, and the more likely you are to become ignored and irrelevant.” – Sally Hogshead

So, how do you write with substance?

  • Have a clear purpose for each piece of content — how will you help your readers?
  • Create a list or mind map of what you want to include in your article.
  • Review your ideas and narrow down your topic — an initial mind map is often too unwieldy, so cull irrelevant ideas that lead readers astray.
  • Revisit your content’s purpose — will your content deliver on your promise? Will you solve a problem?

Becoming an authority is not about you. It’s about your readers. About their lives, their worries, their challenges, and their dreams.

Powerful writing starts with empathy, generosity, and a passionate drive to help your readers.

Step #2: Boost your authority with these content tricks

Focusing on a narrow topic may feel scary. Can you write enough? Will your article seem flimsy?

Don’t panic.

And don’t start adding irrelevant ideas and semi-related trains of thought.

Instead, use the three content tricks below to turn flimsy writing into persuasive and authoritative content.

Authority content trick #1: use specific examples

My favorite way to boost authority is using examples. They are an undervalued tool in your authority tool box.

Examples demonstrate how you translate theory into practice. Examples breathe life into your content by making abstract concepts concrete. Readers can visualize your ideas, and you show you’re not just talking the talk; you know what you’re talking about.

Want examples?

Each post discusses one narrow topic (writing in a conversational tone, writing sales copy, writing with substance) with a series of examples.

Authority content trick #2: add compelling statistics

Statistics are not my favorite type of content. I find numbers boring.

But it’s a mistake to ignore numbers.

Because numbers add substance to an argument. They show you know your field. They instantly make your content more factual.

For instance, for my own Enchanting Marketing blog, I wrote a post about 10 proven headline formulas. First, I present figures to explain how important headlines are:

“The average click through rate on Twitter, for instance, is only 1.64% (source, 2012), so 98 out of 100 people may read only your headline, and fewer than 2 of them click through.”

Then, for each of the headline formulas, I provide examples of popular headlines and support my points with facts:

“The ‘Burning Question’ formula is probably the most underused formula on the list. But its attraction is undeniable: the third most popular post on Moz (8.2k shares) and the fifth most popular post on HubSpot (13k shares) use this formula. We also know from research that questions get more clicks on Twitter than statements, and that subject lines with question marks get 44% more opens than those with exclamation marks (source).”

Statistics boost your credibility and appeal to rationality. But be careful: Don’t let the numbers undermine the clarity of your message. Only add research results and other numbers if they help clarify your ideas.

Authority content trick #3: support with quotes from experts

Can’t find any statistics to back up your argument?

Try using quotes from well-known experts. A quote demonstrates you’re familiar with other work in your field. Notice how I quoted Sally Hogshead earlier?

Strategically selected quotes support your claims. They help you “borrow” other people’s authority to grow your own.

Step #3: Inject power into your words

Does power make you think of dictators, bullies, and other dominant personalities?

As Sally Hogshead explains in her book How the World Sees You, power lives on a spectrum. Power’s gentle side manifests itself in the parental nudge and in the sports coach who motivates you to train harder.

Powerful writing inspires readers to take action. An effective sales page, for instance, encourages readers to click and buy. Strong social media updates make people click to read more. And authoritative blog posts motivate readers to implement your tips.

How?

Embrace your inner bossiness by using the imperative form and shorter sentences.

For instance, read this paragraph aloud:

Your job as a blogger is not simply to write tutorials that share tips, facts, and advice.

A useful tip that’s not implemented is like a riveting book that’s never opened. It’s forgotten and useless.

Instead of acting solely like a blogger dishing out your tips, you should become a mentor for your readers, a chief of your village, a leader of your tribe. You should fire up your tribe and jump-start their actions because your readers are waiting for you.

It feels a little flat, right? That’s because the sentences are long and the final sentences use “you should” instead of the imperative.

The alternative version below (from A Rabble-Rouser’s Rules for Writing Kick-Ass Closing Paragraphs) is more inspirational because it uses shorter sentences and the imperative form (“Fire up your tribe” instead of “You should fire up your tribe”):

Your job as a blogger is not simply to write tutorials.

Your job is not to share tips and facts and advice.

A useful tip that’s not implemented is like a riveting book that’s never opened. It’s forgotten and useless.

You’re not simply a blogger. You’re a mentor for your readers, a chief of your village, a leader of your tribe.

Come on. Fire up your tribe. Jump-start their actions.

Your readers are waiting for you.

Does that inspire you more?

The magic of writing

When I started writing, I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I doubted my skills. I didn’t know whether I had enough ideas.

But every time I had to write an article, I learned more about writing. I followed my curiosity. I discovered what I’m passionate about, and I learned what resonated with my audience.

You might think you don’t have enough to share. Or you might doubt your writing skills.

This is what I’d like to tell you:

You’re unique. You have unique experiences. And you’ll discover your voice and your passions when you write more. Writing brings clarity, deepens your understanding, and strengthens your ideas.

So, commit to writing. To creating valuable content. To being helpful to your readers.

Start making tiny ripples.

That’s how change begins.

Are you a writer who wants to become a Certified Content Marketer?

Inside Copyblogger’s Content Marketer Certification program, there’s a lot more for writers.

The training program helps writers make the most of their careers. Writers learn how to position themselves and their offerings, so that they can build profitable freelance writing businesses.

And the program is opening up soon. Drop your email address below and you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Find out when our Certified Content Marketer training program reopens:

The post How to Write with Power and Authority, Even if You Feel Like a Nobody appeared first on Copyblogger.


Copyblogger

More Articles

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Advert