15 Experts Discuss Content, Digital Marketing & SEO (Pt. 1)

  In Content Marketing, SEO

Interested in ranking #1 on search engines like Google? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how you drive targeted traffic and leads to your website. Whether you’re an online retailer selling products, sole proprietor marketing your services, or a B2B company establishing your expertise and thought leadership, your digital presence is the bridge to higher visibility in front of your customer. There are many aspects to SEO including the keywords you use on your site to the number of backlinks you receive from other authority sites.

If you’re an SEO professional, you know these essentials already. But like with many things in life, there is always more we can learn – especially from each other. We’ve gathered 15 experts to share a few industry insights from the insiders who know best. From common SEO mistakes that are being made, and how to avoid them, to knowing how to drive immediate traffic to your website. Let these experts be your guide.

 

Gerry White has been working in SEO for fifteen years. From building government websites to analytics at the BBC, his experience spans most forms of delivery. At the moment, Gerry is working with Just Eat to improve their organic visibility. In his spare time, he helps organize the TakeItOffline round tables and can be see talking at conferences as Search Elite.

www.TakeItOffline.co.uk

What are the most common SEO mistakes? 

 HTTPS. Whilst I historically wasn’t much of an advocate for so many reasons, today, I believe that for all new sites, HTTPS is an absolute must. Oddly enough, every day, I see sites that lack this simple security step. This isn’t going to make your data secure but it will give users a trust signal that you are taking their privacy and data concerns seriously.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others? 

The greatest description I have ever heard of what is “shareable” is the pub test. Is this something you would share with your friends in the pub? Would you discuss it with your partner at home, or is it good enough that you would share with colleagues. Sometimes, something can simply be just cool. But is it shareable? The web is massive. To be shared average doesn’t cut it anymore.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately? 

Driving traffic isn’t the challenge. It’s driving QUALITY traffic. And the only way to do it immediately, sadly, is by effectively paying for it. At the moment, the cheapest source of traffic tends to be from social channels. There are many ways of getting reasonable volumes of organic traffic from social channels – like utilizing influencers. Influencer marketing is alive and effective.

Andy Drinkwater is a seventeen year SEO veteran who has experience working with companies of all sizes across the globe. He specializes in SEO auditing, where he helps companies track down problems/penalties, link building and online reputation management.

www.IQSEO.uk

What are the most common SEO mistakes? 

HTTPS. When you want to make your site secure, you need to make sure that this has been rolled out correctly. It is very common to find sites that are a mix of http: and https: with no real reason. This can cause havoc with the signals that it sends to Google. The second is robots.txt files. Whether it is after a period of testing or a mis-matched URL structure, it is so easy to block your site from Google, and other search engines. It is important to check this using the testing tool in Google.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others? 

Shareable content is subjective and always will be. If you do your research for a certain audience then you will uncover articles that are being shared heavily. A little bit of digging can often uncover why. Shareable content is almost always going to something that either hasn’t been seen before, is better/more informative, or that gives the readers a new perspective. There is no definitive rule that states what is going to be a guaranteed success. Without some level of outreach through social media, or other means, it might very well just stay buried on your site.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately? 

There are a number of ways this can be achieved. But I would say the easiest is through social media. Take LinkedIn Groups – they are wonderful for starting discussions, but there is little point in just going in with all guns blazing and asking people to visit your site. Be thoughtful and start a discussion that has a lead into what you do. Create an article and ask for views and opinions from group members. It won’t take long for people to find an article link to your site and follow it. Especially if you come across as someone interesting.

Rob Watts has over twenty years of experience in building online traffic. He is a professional SEO consultant who has encountered most markets and scenarios. 

www.YackYack.co.uk

 

What are the most common SEO mistakes? 

I don’t know about THE most common mistakes, but I have encountered a few silly ones over my time. Blocking robots in the robots.txt file or leaving noindex tags in the head of documents, are probably two of the most devastating mistakes you could make. Failure to do proper keyword research and evaluate the likelihood of ranking for them. Little point in being a local insurance broker and expecting to rank for “car insurance,” for instance. Keyword stuffing is another mistake. Overdoing the incidence of keyword mentions is never good, and harms conversions and rankings. Invisible text – hiding keywords on the page  in hopes of gaining secret boosts – is also a mistake.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others? 

People often like to make their friends laugh. Or seek to inform peers, and colleagues about a topic. Content that hits those objectives is likely to be shared as a result. Funny content for instance, or a really cool useful piece of research. Content that is breaking news is another – a piece that adds to a current context for instance. Some domains have perceived authority – a bit of a halo effect from past efforts perhaps. These have their content shared more than those that are obscure or lesser known. Some sites look cool and funky. If your domain looks like a pile of rubbish, then people might be less inclined to share. Put lipstick on your face!

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately? 

The most immediate means are through PPC traffic that elicits a direct response to a user query. Search engines blur the line between paid and organic. And many users are clueless as to the difference between an ad and an organic result. Other methods might be to use display ads across a network of domains with high placement, prominent visibility and a big readership. If the ad is engaging and click worthy, you’ll get traffic.

Also, email marketing. If you have a big list of subscribers and create an email that’s engaging and click-worthy, then you can get a whole lot of immediate traffic as a result. Just don’t over use, else your subscriptions will fail.

Danny Star is an expert on the use of search engines, paid advertising and onilne visibility for businesses. As a consultant and head of a Google Partner web agency, he has worked with hundreds of clients in a wide range of industries. 

www.SEOExpertDanny.com

 

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Most common mistakes are clients using wrong titles for their pages. For example, they would name their home page title “Home” instead of their main keyword they want to rank for. Another common error is when sitemaps are missing and not being submitted to Google Webmaster Tools. When this happens, Google crawlers can’t index all of the pages on a site. I often see images with alt tags tagged wrong, or are missing all together, like “slide1” or “picture1,” rather than a keyword.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

When content presents added value to the public, people love to share it, specially when someone is expressing their experiences or data based on their business experience and knowledge. When content gets too promotional, people don’t like sharing it. But when it’s neutral and insightful, people love to share it. It all depends how well it’s written and the added value it brings to the Internet.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

For generating immediate traffic to a site, we need to use paid advertising strategies, such as Google Adwords, Facebook ads, display marketing or banner marketing. SEO takes longer and we can’t count on immediate traffic if the keywords take a while to rank. If they’re ranking already, say, page two of Google, then we can push SEO and achieve faster traffic in less than a month. We have also tried out press releases, which rank immediately on Google news. Those tend to bring immediate traffic as well.

Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He comes to the Group from eg3.com, where he has been Senior Editor in charge of content since 1994.Dr. McDonald is a “technologist” crazy enough to begin experimenting with online media in 1994, when he founded eg3.com as a web portal for embedded systems, broadly defined. He has extensive online journalism and teaching experience.

www.jm-seo.org

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Of course, I would say that the “most common” SEO mistake is not trying, in any sense of the word; not trying, to understand how SEO works; not trying, to implement ON PAGE SEO tactics such as great content and correct SEO-friendly tags; not trying, to build links in an on-going fashion; not trying, to get reviews. I always remind people that, as Henry Ford said, if you say “you can’t” or “you can,” you’re right. SEO isn’t rocket science but it requires systematically “sticking with it,” and many people just try a little, and give up. Within that framework, then the most common mistake is not doing the really, truly easy things, like having optimized TITLE tags, or constantly asking for reviews from real customers. It’s the easy, simple things that have very HIGH ROI. Most of the time, your competitors will be doing little to nothing, so if you just do a little, you’ll win. “You don’t have to run faster than the bear, just faster than your buddy.”​ The most common mistake is not entering the race, or giving up after just a few minutes.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

​Simple answer: EMOTION. If you look at a tool like Buzzsumo for what get’s shared, you’ll see it’s EMOTION EMOTION EMOTION. Things that are useful are a very, very distant #2. As SEO people or social media marketers, we do ourselves a terrible disservice by overthinking this problem. Emotional, easy-to-understand, useful content that’s written at a 2nd grade level will ALWAYS outperform factual, difficult-to-understand, non-useful content!​ (Witness our 2016 Presidential election).

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

Oh, that’s easy: advertise. You didn’t ask the better question. “How can I get real customers to find my website, and be interested?” That takes a long-term, systematic SEO and social media marketing effort. By the way, I hate the term “drive traffic.” Your customers are not cattle – they’re real, thinking human beings, and if you “think” you are going to “drive” them to your website, you’re already on the wrong conceptual track. You don’t “drive” traffic. You create content (and products or services) that serve REAL needs and excited REAL desires. If you dehumanize your customers into abstractions like “traffic” that you “drive,” then you’ve already lost the battle. Ask yourself first and foremost, why does anyone want what I have to offer? Then, who wants it? Then, where do they “hang out” on the Internet, and how do you get your message in front of them in a useful way? Then you’re on the road to success. But if you want to waste a lot of money, then use Google AdWords to “drive traffic” to your website and “send money” to Google.

Shahid Maqbool is the founder and CEO at Tape Daily. He is currently working in Zoom Digital as an SEO Specialist. Shahid has a passion for creating engaging content and is an expert in promotion by integrating elements of social media, SEO, advertising and interactive design.

www.TapeDaily.com

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Here is a list of the most common mistakes people make: Writing for search engines. Lack of consistency in content creation. Not using google webmaster tool. Not using image ALT tags. Underestimating the power of meta descriptions. Lack of authoritative outbound Links. Keyword Stuffing. Optimizing for the keywords that have very low search volume. Overusing keywords. Writing Articles less than 300 words Fail to optimize images with ALT Tags.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

I have analyzed allot of contents to find out what qualities they have in common that I can use in my work. In my research, I find out that quizzes, videos, and list-based articles get more share compared to other types of articles. The reason behind is that particular content has: Utility, Entertainment, Inspiration, Emotions and The Role of Surprise. In short, keep 3 things in mind that are listed below: Set Your Purpose: Entertaining, Interesting, and Useful posts tend to perform better. Evoke Strong Emotions: From now start adding emotions to your contents if possible. Surprise them: Don’t forget to amaze your readers with surprise information because there is 90% chance they will share that with other peoples.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site in a short period of time?

There are allot of way that you can use to drive traffic on your website in a short period of time. First thing you must keep in your mind that is very important in terms of organic traffic. What’s and When’s of Content creation, e.g. What type of content you are creating for your audience that will fulfill their needs? And when your audience need content that you are creating for them. If you can answer these two questions in start of content creation process you are good to go, it helps a lot to drive traffic faster. Nowadays, people are using allot of different ways to get traffic quicker, the one that always give me 100% results is “Giveaways”. Giveaways – is a classy way to attract your visitor. Without doubts, it works great for me whenever I use it for my clients.

Zach Bradshaw is the owner of Greensboro SEO Pro, one of the top digital marketing consultants in North Carolina. In addition to helping businesses perform well in local search, he and his team create some of the best content on the internet.

www.GreensboroSEOPro.com

 

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

It’s pretty easy to make mistakes in SEO. The industry is constantly evolving. Unless you do this full time, it can be difficult to keep up with the current trends. The number one mistake I see people making is that they fail to develop a full understanding of SEO. Instead they find some training program or other gimmick that guarantees quick results. They would be much better served to read through definitive guide like those on Moz or Quicksprout first. As search engines improve, more and more of these gimmicks will fall by the wayside. That’s why the best SEOs in the world already implement a holistic marketing approach.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

On the modern web, there are really two fundamental aspects of shareability. The first is accessibility. The second is connection. Accessibility is fairly straightforward. Your content needs to be in the locations your target audience hangs out online. That could be Facebook, Yelp, Pinterest, or YouTube. Format your content key mediums and make sure to use apps like Sumo.me or ShareThis to enable. Connection has more facets to it. You need content that connects with your audience from the title, thumbnail, and first few sentences all the way to end. Quality over quantity always. This could mean all sorts of things depending on your niche.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

If you need traffic today, paid advertising is usually the best way. You put money in, you get traffic out. Many people run to Google Adwords. And there is value there, no mistake. But social media advertising often yields a better return on investment. Facebook and other platforms allow you to target users based on all sorts of parameters making each click more valuable. However, you run the risk of throwing away your money if you don’t understand how your funnel needs to work. It’s important that you send the right messages. After all, all the traffic in the world won’t do you any good if none of them convert into sales.

Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital agency and Preceptist, a content marketing agency.

www.Preceptist.com

 

 

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Building all links on the home page Stopping link building after hitting the first page Not using blogging as a strategy Ignoring content relevance Not using brand anchor text

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

In most cases, I have experienced that the content having educational and detailed oriented approach does extremely well than the others. In general, if your content delivers what your target audience is looking for, then it will definitely get accepted and shared heavily. For example, recently we created a resource on ‘Social Media Updates of 2016’ and so far it has received tremendous shares and response from the peers. Most of the posts I have seen that doesn’t do well have ‘sales’ angle in it be it directly or indirectly.

The readers are looking for valuable tips, strategies, and advice but are not willing to read what you’ve got to sell. If you look at the example above, all we have tried is to create a resource that everyone interested in social media updates can come and read. We aren’t even trying to annoy readers using pop-ups.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

Running paid campaigns is the only way to drive immediate traffic. Some platforms that can be explored are  – Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Outbrain, Taboola, Twitter

Mansi Dhorda is Content Marketing Specialist at E2M, a Digital Marketing agency, and PR Account Manager at PRmention, a Digital PR agency. She is well-versed in all things Content Marketing, PR and Branding.

www.e2mSolutions.com

 

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

The most common SEO mistakes include: Going for link quantity instead of link quality Using poor-quality content Not optimizing the site for mobile users Choosing the wrong keywords Not optimizing title tags and meta descriptions Not using proper anchor texts for internal linking.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

I believe content becomes more shareable when it: Hits the right notes with readers by offering them what they are looking for in the form of long and detailed content. Includes some form of visuals like images, GIFs or videos within the post, which appeals to readers.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

Get your website optimized for SEO. Create valuable content with targeted keywords and publish on your own blog or high-authority platforms. The more you do this, the greater traffic you will attract. Leverage social media to make posts go viral.

Christoph Trappe (aka The Authentic Storyteller™) is a career storyteller who has worked as a journalist, a nonprofit executive, and a content marketing strategist and consultant. He is a global keynote speaker, frequent blogger and author. His digital initiatives have been recognized globally. He is currently helping hospitals across the United States share their authentic stories. He is a globally-recognized content marketing expert who frequently speaks at marketing conferences about social media, blogging and results-oriented storytelling strategies.

www.authenticstorytelling.net

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Too many still focus on short-term tactics. This works today and is the latest trick. Instead focus on creating content that has long-term relevance and interest. Sharing authentic stories that solve problems is one way to do this.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

First you have to hit the best audience. Once that happens content has the chance to be shared. Usually, I found that inspirational and highly educational content gets shared the most. Be sure that your content – even the personal stories – does solve a problem for your readers or at least inspires.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

I would like to say relevant content but that’s more of a longer term strategy when you first get started. To drive traffic immediate, paid promotions do work great.

Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She started Express Writers at the age of 19 after teaching herself online writing and quickly accumulating more clients than she could handle, and today, her content agency has over 50 team members and thousands of worldwide clients. Julia hosts The Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is the bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing. Follow her on Twitter.

www.expresswriters.com

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Many people think there is a “trick” to SEO, and that they can achieve rankings overnight with a fast or quick overnight investment. That could not be more anti-Google in 2017. Sometimes, it takes a year to see results happen in the rankings. It is more true than ever today that great content = great SEO results, but the entire process of creating SEO-friendly content that ranks well on Google requires more time, effort, a focus on the human reader, and a capability of creating the best content out there, than ever before.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

A lot of work goes into “shareable” content behind the scenes. A great headline is 50% of that battle, and can easily involve 3 different people (editor, writer, content marketer) + multiple hours, just to finesse the right one. Without a great headline, great content won’t do well: but without great content, a headline is empty as well – so the content backing up the headline must be exceptional, too, to make high share-ability happen.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

Start creating content today, and make weekly publication goals. Involve others. Hire experts to help you create the best. Don’t wait for perfection, and don’t try to do it all yourself. Great content will result in awesome traffic, but if you don’t bucket that traffic, remember that you’ll lose them – so have lots of free incentive content created so you can grab emails and encourage people to become subscribers.

Pam Didner is a marketing consultant, author and speaker, whose international book, “Global Content Marketing”, is the first to offer an accessible, comprehensive process to scale content across regions. During her tenure at Intel, she led enterprise product launches and worldwide marketing campaigns as a global integrated marketing strategist. She has been a repeat speaker, and workshop presenter at several highly regarded events around the world.

www.PamDidner.com

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Don’t focus on the literal meaning of some of the tips and tricks to the exclusion of good marketing practices. For example: most search algorithms rank long-form original content high, but don’t let that manipulate you into a boring 1000-word blog post. You still want to make the content engaging by incorporating images, GIF or quotes. You can intersperse bullet points to illustrate or summarize some content too. Making it easy for your audience to read is the key, it’s not enough to get a high ranking by focusing solely on SEO criteria. Do what you think is right! Quality matters.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

A lot of research and papers have attempted to answer that question, but in reality, there’s no one perfect answer. I can point out some elements which could encourage sharing: match context with the proper emotion, share genuine and real answers to problems, entertain with the right dose of humor, share something unique… Most importantly, it’s important to understand that “more shareable” doesn’t equate to higher ROI or more business opportunities. My most shareable content tends to be something fun, but it doesn’t help on conversions in and of itself.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

Ok, here is the ugly truth: there is no sure thing that will drive traffic to your website immediately. There are very few runaway overnight successes. If it’s overnight success, it usually doesn’t last. Make sure to have a strategy about your outreach, then execute to your plan and optimize, optimize and optimize. Traffic comes over a period of time with consistent work and with consistent presence – digital and otherwise. You need to hustle!

In the fifth grade, Robert Rose’s teacher sent him home with a note that said ‘Robert likes to tell stories.’ Well, as it turns out, she was right. As the Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory, the exclusive education and consulting group of The Content Marketing Institute, Robert develops content and customer experience strategies for large enterprises such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle, McCormick Spices, Capital One, and UPS.

www.contentadvisory.net

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

The most common one I find is to get so wrapped up in making your content search engine optimized that it becomes something that isn’t optimized for humans. The other one is that businesses frequently make the mistake of trying to rank for the keywords that fit their view of the world, rather than what their customers are actually looking for.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

More shareable content is that which delivers more shared value. It’s that simple. If I think my friends, or family would enjoy or benefit from this piece of content – that’s when I share it. So what does that mean? It means that content that truly delivers value; a laugh, inspiration, education or utility is going to get shared ALOT more than content that is only about us.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

Well the simple answer is to buy it. But the better answer is to not ask how to drive traffic to the site – but how to continually improve the quality of the traffic coming to our site. Traffic is easy to generate. But it’s valuable traffic that we really want. And, to deliver valuable traffic – we must be fulfilling the questions and promises that our audiences are looking to be fulfilled. So, create amazing stuff, and promote the heck out of it.

Allen Gannett is the CEO and founder of TrackMaven, the marketing analytics platform used by hundreds of the world’s best brands. Allen also serves as a General Partner at Acceleprise Ventures, where he invests in early-stage SaaS companies. Previously he was CEO of Splash Networks. Obsessed with Pumpkin Pie and Corgis, Allen lives in Washington, D.C., and once was a very pitiful runner-up on Wheel of Fortune.

www.TrackMaven.com

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Keyword stuffing is my number one SEO faux pas. If you still think search algorithms are primitive enough to be fooled by keyword repetition, you are doing your brand a disservice. Instead, prioritize relevance and topic comprehension in your content. The results will be two-fold: you’ll attract your target audience and optimize for search.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

When you’re talking about content that is more shareable in the long run — meaning content that drives consistent brand awareness and traffic to your site — you’re talking about value. Value comes from providing entertainment, education, or a memorable experience. Did the reader find that piece of content so valuable — whether from getting the right information, user experience, or something else — that they want to share it with others? That’s what makes content shareable.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

After you’ve identified your target audience, find out where they spend their time online. Is it on particular social networks, websites, or hashtag feeds? What are the trending topics that resonate within these communities? Create content tailored for those channels, both for your brand’s presence and through content placements. This can be done both organically and through targeted ads. Above all, relevance and differentiation are key to help your brand stand out.

Bill is a content marketing consultant and freelance writer.

www.BillWidmer.com

 

 

 

What are the most common SEO mistakes?

Not targeting the right keywords, or not targeting keywords at all. Also, thinking that simply relying on on-page SEO will get you to rank. Unless there is virtually no competition for a keyword, you also need backlinks with about 30% exact match anchor text.

Why is certain content more “shareable” than others?

A lot of it lies in the headlines. A lot of it lies in the topic. Certain topics are more shareable than others. This is hard to answer, honestly. I wish I knew the answer! All I can say is I’ve found that the more a topic aligns with what my audience wants to see, the more shares it gets. But much more than that lies in the promotion.

How can I drive digital traffic to my site immediately?

Immediately? You can buy traffic. You can share on social media multiple times. You can reach out to influencers to try and get them to share. I’d say the best way is to send an article to your email list.

mike@marccx.com
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.
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