Archiv für den Monat: Oktober 2022

SEO doesn’t have to be scary: shift from a reactive to proactive strategy

SEO doesn't have to be scary shift from a reactive to proactive strategy

30-second summary:

  • SEO is a reality that all marketers face and many try to steer clear of as they devise an all-encompassing digital marketing strategy that is reactive in nature
  • Begin by familiarizing yourself with Google’s Page Quality Rating Guidelines
  • Create a sound SEO strategy to use every time you start the content creation process, include – researching audience needs, keyword considerations, and internal linking
  • Make sure to clean up and update your existing content so that it doesn’t drag down new, SEO-optimized content

SEO can be vague. It is nuanced. It is always in a state of evolution. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a very real factor that impacts your marketing, whether you plan for it or not.

Many marketers discover the powerful effects of SEO when it’s too late. Their content is already underperforming. It isn’t ranking for the right keywords. It isn’t retaining readers and has a low dwell time.

Fixing the issue of bad SEO wastes time and resources. It’s also completely unavoidable.

The key to utilizing SEO to your advantage is to approach it in a proactive rather than a reactive manner. If you’re in a pattern of noticing the effects of SEO on your online content and trying to make adjustments after the fact, here are some suggestions to help you seize the reins and regain a sense of control over your organic search traffic.

1. Associate yourself with Google’s Page Quality Rating Guidelines

If you want to dominate with your SEO, you need to start by understanding it as much as possible. This is much easier said than done. SEO often feels more like an art form than a science. Algorithms can be difficult to follow. Results can be conflicting. But there are ways to bring some clarity to the chaos.

Google provides a number of pointers for how its search engine works via its Page Quality Rating Guidelines. This is a massive document that used to be privy to Google employees only. Now that it’s public, it enables marketers and SEO experts to better inform their proactive SEO strategies.

There are several key areas of the document that shed light on how Google evaluates your website. For instance, it’s important to understand key concepts, like YMYL pages. These are ‘Your Money or Your Life‘ pages, which contain important information to help readers make critical decisions. Due to their higher degree of importance, Google grades these pages with a more stringent, high-quality standard. That means you need to keep them impeccably informed and up-to-date (more on that further down).

E-A-T is another essential element of Google ranking. The acronym stands for expertise, authority, and trust — a trio of elements that help define how high to rank a web page.

Google’s Page Quality Rating Guidelines may be extensive, comprehensive, and a bit overwhelming. But you don’t need to read it cover to cover every quarter. Instead, familiarize yourself with many of the basic concepts. And, of course, keep it bookmarked for easy reference so that it can continue to inform your SEO strategy in the future.

2. Build each piece of content thoughtfully from the get-go

Everyone and their mother knows about the importance of keywords and linking in SEO. The problem is when you fail to address these critical content components in the planning phase — i.e. before you actually make your content.

Now, this is where things can get tricky. If you focus entirely on things like keywords, it’s easy to over-prioritize SEO at the expense of the reader — and that is always a bad strategy.

Good SEO comes from putting the reader first and the search engines second. That naturally creates content that better satisfies the searcher’s intent. This has the effect of boosting critical SEO criteria, like dwell time …which ends up boosting your SEO in the long run anyway.

Even so, it’s important to factor things like keywords and linking into your initial content creation strategy. A good way to do this while still prioritizing your audience is by using the following steps:

  • Search for important keywords and phrases related to your audience: What is your target demographic searching for? What answers or advice do they need? One easy way to see this is by looking up generic keywords from your audience and checking the “Related searches” section at the bottom of the SERPs. Use this to guide what content you create.
  • Choose additional keywords: Use a keyword planner to add other keywords to your initial topic. Don’t be excessive. Just use a handful of additional terms to help your content stand out in search results.
  • Create complete content: When you go to create the content itself, try to make it as comprehensive as possible. Complete content refers to something that doesn’t just answer an initial inquiry but any follow-up questions, as well.
  • Add internal links: Finally, remember to link to other areas of your site throughout each piece. Consistently linking to important pages can tie your site together and help it perform better.

By planning keywords and links ahead of time, you can ensure that you optimize each piece of content right out of the gate.

3. Cultivate existing content

It’s tempting to dive right into creating fresh, new content that is SEO-friendly. But let’s stop for a minute and think things through.

If your current site is already performing poorly, creating better content is only going to solve part of the problem. Many chronic SEO issues are a site-wide affair. In fact, Google has clarified that thin content (that is, content without much value) doesn’t apply to individual posts. It’s a site-wide problem.

That means if you start the proactive SEO process by creating new content, it’s going to have to overcome the flaws of your past low-quality content before it can really start to lift your site out of the SEO gutter.

Instead, as you study Google’s search engine guidelines and gain a better grasp of how to improve your SEO, start the reformation process by assessing the state of your current content. Conduct a review of the existing content on your site by asking these questions:

As you go along, try to identify YMYL pages. Remember, those are the pages that contain high value for readers — and which consequently tend to be graded on a higher curve. Make a list of these and check in on them from time to time to keep them at peak value.

Don’t leave SEO to chance

SEO is a powerful tool that can make or break your online content. It’s not the kind of thing that you want to leave to chance. It’s also hard to overcome by reacting to poor SEO after the fact.

Instead, take control of your SEO by using the suggestions above. Start by familiarizing yourself with Google’s guidelines. Then create a sound strategy to guide each new piece of content. Finally, review your existing site (especially any YMYL pages) to make sure you’re offering value with both past and future content.

If you can stay proactive with your SEO, you can turn it into a key element of your marketing strategy.

John Rampton is a top marketing leader and founder of Calendar. Find John on Twitter @johnrampton.

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The post SEO doesn’t have to be scary: shift from a reactive to proactive strategy appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Fred & Felia Rebranding

When their dog Jeannie fell ill Beate and Tobi dove deep into the topic of pet food an how it can help improve a dog’s health – when done right. At the beginning that meant a lot of home cooked meals for Jeannie. There was just nothing in the market that met their criteria for […]


10 Creative Horror Movies to Inspire Your B2B Marketing

10 creative horror movies to inspire your B2B marketing skeleton typing image

10 creative horror movies to inspire your B2B marketing skeleton typing imageWe’ve been saying for years that B2B marketing should be emotional, exciting, entertaining and engaging — in short, creative. Great marketing not only wins those industry awards, it gets better results.

We’ve proven as much with the work our agency puts out. But it’s nice to get some third-party vindication. LinkedIn’s B2B Institute just published a report called “Cashing in on Creativity.” They analyzed over 1500 B2B ads and found two huge takeaways:

  1. Only 5% of ads have highly creative messaging
  2. This top 5% can drive a 10-20x bigger market share growth

In other words, we don’t have to measure creativity in moonbeams and rainbows. We can measure in dollars and cents.

To help kickstart your creativity, I’m combining two of my obsessions: Great marketing and great horror movies. Here are 10 of my favorites and how they can inspire your next awesome campaign.

#1: Anna and the Apocalypse – Go multimedia and think WAY outside the box

How many zombie movies have we all seen come and go over the years? Hundreds. But how many Scottish Christmas MUSICAL zombie movies have you seen?

I’ve only seen one. And I show it to anyone who will watch. Anna and the Apocalypse has a shape you might recognize, but gives the old tropes a fresh infusion of color, music and heart. There’s nothing else like it on earth.

How can your marketing use multimedia assets in unexpected ways? How can you get more interactive, more experiential, more emotional?

#2: The Endless – Get weird (with a purpose)

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, the team behind The Endless, Synchronic, Resolution, are experts at making wildly bizarre movies that are firmly grounded in human emotion. The Endless is a movie about time loops, doomsday cults, and elder gods… but it’s really about choosing to move on or getting stuck in the past. It’s about the allure of sameness and repetition, but how you can only grow if you reject them and embrace the new.

For marketers, as we embrace our creativity, we have to keep empathy and humanity front and center. Your weirdest flights of fancy can work as long as they have that firm foundation. Without it, you may be able to attract attention, but you won’t be able to hold it. The underlying purpose is what makes your work resonate and stick with your audience.

#3: Freddy Vs. Jason – Bring audiences together with influencers

For years, the Nightmare on Elm Street (Freddy) and Friday the 13th (Jason) franchises were the Apple vs. PC of horror fandom. Either you were into Freddy’s wild dreamscapes and smart quips (and were correct), or you dug Jason’s mute, masked ultra-violence.

Then along came Freddy Vs. Jason, which put the two villains head-to-head with a fresh group of teenagers to menace. Fans of both franchises found plenty to like, and many were inspired to check out the other camps‘ filmography.

Influencer marketing can bring audiences together in the same way. Your brand advocates can find new folks to follow, and people who already follow your influencers can get a taste of what your brand’s all about. Check out our latest influencer marketing report to see how it works.

#4: 28 Days Later – Turn conventional wisdom upside-down

In 1968, George Romero created the modern zombie movie with Night of the Living Dead. For over 30 years, virtually all zombies followed his template: They were shambling hordes, terrifying because of their numbers, slow but unstoppable.

Then came 28 Days Later. In this film, the zombies are FAST. Faster than healthy folks. They’re not dimwitted shambling undead — they’re sprinting after you, ravenous with hunger. Writer Alex Garland took one of the most universal truths about zombies and inverted it, creating an entire new subgenre.

This year’s Creative B2B Cannes Lions featured examples of inverting conventional wisdom. B2B shouldn’t be emotional? Here’s an ad to make you sniffle and call your mom. Hyper-personalization is too creepy for B2B? How about we write songs calling out our target customers BY NAME?

#5: Halloween (2018) – Only take what you need from the past

When David Gordon Green signed on for the latest Halloween sequel (the 9th in the series, not counting two reboot movies), he was faced with a daunting mess of convoluted continuity. The franchise started as a simple slasher movie, but everything from possessed masks to witches‘ curses had been grafted onto the mythology over the years.

What did Green do? He made a direct sequel to the first movie, ignoring installments 2-8. The result was a lean, fresh take on a familiar property that made it seem new again.

Marketers should follow Michael Meyers on this one (but not on the whole ‘stabbing people‘ thing, please). Don’t cling to what you’ve always done, just because you’ve always done it. Don’t let tradition or sunk costs tie you to junk that isn’t working. Keep what you need and ditch what you don’t.

[bctt tweet=““Don’t cling to what you’ve always done, just because you’ve always done it. Don’t let tradition or sunk costs tie you to junk that isn’t working. Keep what you need and ditch what you don’t.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites“ username=“toprank“]

#6: Colossal – Trust your audience

Stop me if you’ve heard this age-old story: A young woman discovers that when she drunkenly staggered through a park in New Hampshire, a 50-foot tall monster emerged in South Korea and mimicked all of her actions, laying waste to a coastal village. And it proceeds from there about as you’d expect.

What’s striking about Colossal is that every part of it makes perfect sense, even though it doesn’t make any special effort to orient the audience or explain everything away. There are no mountains of exposition. The filmmaker trusts that you’ll understand and accept his flights of fancy in the service of a truly human-centered story.

Do you trust your audience to connect the dots? More importantly, do you trust them to share your values and vision? Recent research found that marketers regularly underestimate their audiences‘ capacity for empathy and desire to help others. It may be your target audience needs less hand-holding than you’re giving them.

#7: Cabin in the Woods – Challenge your biggest fans

Cabin in the Woods is half horror movie, half commentary on horror movies and fans of the genre. It gleefully breaks down tired tropes like the Final Girl, the teens punished for being promiscuous, and Japanese horror’s obsession with creepy kids.

At the same time, though, it challenges fans to examine what they like about the genre. It examines why horror is appealing, what we’re watching for, and even how the fandom can turn toxic.

Creative marketers are starting to challenge their fans, too. Gillette braved a firestorm of controversy with its We Believe ad. Nike asked football fans to examine their own prejudices by partnering with Colin Kaepernick. There’s always risk in taking a bold stance and asking your fans to get introspective — but it’s a risk worth taking.

#8: The Boat – Do more with less

What do you need to make the minimum viable horror movie? If you’re the team behind The Boat, all you need is a single actor and one location to keep your audience on the edge of their seats. The entirety of the movie takes place on a small sailboat, with the boat’s captain fighting for survival against the elements (and a potentially supernatural menace). It’s minimalist filmmaking at its best.

As marketers are being asked to do more with less, take The Boat as inspiration to see how much you can streamline your efforts without affecting your results. What are the truly essential elements for capturing and keeping attention?

#9: Psycho – Change it up to keep the audience engaged

If you haven’t seen Psycho in a while, I guarantee it’s a different movie than you remember. If you haven’t seen it at all — stop reading and go watch. I’ll wait.

The remarkable thing about Psycho is that the first 45 minutes is a straightforward noir thriller — it’s about a woman who steals money from her employer and goes on the lam. The first kill is at the 46-minute mark, marking a genre switch from heist to horror. It’s an amazing rug-pull that filmmakers can’t stop paying homage to, from Hereditary to From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.

If you’re starting to feel bored and boring with your creative, it’s time to change it up! Give that next eBook a fun theme that lends itself to vibrant visuals. Add eye-catching infographics to your next social-first campaign. If your audience has gotten used to (and tired of) your brand voice, you may need to get a little Psycho.

#10: Gremlins 2 – Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself

The sequel to Joe Dante’s classic monster movie is a remarkable reversal in tone. The heartfelt moments and terrifying creatures from the first movie are played for laughs. Even though the original actors return, playing the same characters, the entire movie is a parody of the first one.

Who would do this to Joe Dante’s legacy?

Joe Dante, of course! He saw that as fun as it was to scare the pants off his audience in the first installment, he could have even more fun lovingly making fun of it. The result is a sequel like no other, weird and wonderful and an absolute blast.

If you can find ways to poke fun at your brand without undermining it, you can show a whole new side to your audience. Self-deprecating humor can be endearing and unexpected, breathing life into the most staid of brands.

There’s nothing scary about being creative

B2B brands used to be afraid of letting their creative flags fly. Now, they should be afraid of keeping things buttoned down and boring. Bold and creative work is not just for winning industry awards anymore; it’s the best way to reach an audience that is just as desperate for entertainment as they are in B2C.

Need help elevating your B2B marketing? Check out our video interview with Ann Handley.

The post 10 Creative Horror Movies to Inspire Your B2B Marketing appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


New Office – Agentur

New Office ist eine mehrfach ausgezeichnete Branding- und Designagentur aus Frankfurt am Main. Mit 15 Jahren Erfahrung in den Bereichen Brand Strategy, Corporate Design und Digital Design gestaltet das Team aus Designern, Beratern und Entwicklern unverwechselbare visuelle Identitäten für Marken, Unternehmen und Projekte aus ganz Deutschland. Und begleitet sie auf dem Weg in die Zukunft. […]