Phil Singleton Sees Success Through Duct Tape and UpCity Partnership

When a company practices what they preach, they become a success story we can all be proud of. So is the case for Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Phil Singleton’s Kansas City Web Design. Phil started off his business by helping a car detail company take off by developing their website and implementing SEO tactics that he’s now used to help his business thrive.

Phil is a highly valued member of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. Since joining the network, Phil has worked closely with one of our Preferred Network Partners, UpCity, to continue developing the SEO strategy and marketing strategy for his organizations and his clients.

3 Tips for Being Timely with Your SEO and Content Marketing Efforts

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Clock via photopin (license)

When it comes to content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), you have to make sure the content you write is timely. What does it mean to be timely? The dictionary defines “timely” as a meaning done or occurring at a favorable or useful time. These are the things the search engines look for when determining your rankings. Let’s look at an example of an both a timely, and untimely blog post for right now.

Let’s say I’m a small business with an online e-commerce shop selling children’s toys. If I were to write an article about Zhu Zhu Pets, a hot holiday toy back in 2009, you’re not as likely to attract a larger audience. On the other hand, if you were to write an article about the LeapPad Ultra, one of 2013’s hottest holiday gifts, your article is more favorable to both humans and the search engines because of it’s timeliness!

Here are the three keys to keeping your SEO and content marketing timely:

1. Stay Up To Date On Industry News

One of the best ways to figure out what to write your timely content on for your SEO strategy is by staying up to date with what’s going on in your own industry. If you don’t know what’s going on, you’re out of the loop and can’t get involved.

Think for a second. Who are the thought leaders in your industry? Who do you trust to get your industry news? Write down a list then go out and install Feedly (an RSS reader) and follow each and every one of these people. Categorize them to make it easier to find the content you’re looking for.

Next step is to make sure to go follow these people and companies on social media. News is disseminated very quickly on social media so if you have a social media aggregate tool you’re using and can set up alerts for specific hashtags and keywords that are timely, then do it!.

2. Curate Content From Recent Articles

Once you install Feedly and follow all these thought leaders, you’ll start reading articles regarding timely, relevant content in your industry. That’s great because you’ll then be able to curate your own content from these articles.

For example, you’ll read an article that a thought-leader has recently put out on a topic. If you find the article to be great, you can write an article on the same topic but provide a different outlook or opinion on it. Own it. Make it unique and interesting. Add the topic to your article’s page title, meta description, h1 heading, body text, and URL to optimize it properly.

Let’s say the thought leader got something wrong or you disagree with something they said. A great idea is to post a rebuttal article showing why they’re wrong or why you disagree with what they said. You could even ask the thought leader to review your article by commenting on the original one they wrote, and that gets their attention and exposes you to their engaged audience. All good things!

The quicker you do this, the more timely and interesting it will be for your readers.

3. Write New Articles Weekly

You can’t expect to be timely with your SEO and content marketing if you’re not consistently writing. Writing an article next week on a topic that was relevant 6 months ago will do you very little good.

If you’re writing on topics that are relevant in the present and are trending topics in your industry, more people are going to see, read, and share your articles because they’re timely. With Google’s Hummingbird update, it’s more important than ever to be timely because they’re able to look at social media and website backlinks on specific topics and the fresher links coming into your site will benefit you and not your competitors!

Try to write one article a week on a timely topic and be sure to post it on the same day of the week, every week. Then be sure to promote your articles via social media and your monthly newsletter. You can even ask your readers, colleagues, and friends to share your content to spread the word virally.

I hope that you’ve found my tips useful. Be sure to leverage timeliness in your content marketing and SEO strategies next year and beyond.

If you do this, you will attract a broader, more qualified audience than you would when writing an untimely article. Keep in mind that if you write evergreen content, or content that’s always timely, you’ll ensure that people always keep coming back to your site for information because it’s always useful and relevant.

Do you have any experience writing a super-timely articles for your own SEO strategy? Share your knowledge with us!

aaron houghtonAaron Houghton is a co-founder and CEO at BoostSuite.com, the collaborative marketing platform for small businesses. Aaron has over 15 years experience building and selling marketing products to small businesses around the globe.

Social Media Marketers’ Secret Weapon: The Headline

Hello there! It is amazing to know you enjoyed my headline enough to click into this post!

Did you know that only 20% of people that read a headline will actually read the rest of a post?

Now let’s consider a Twitter news feed. The numbers begin to fall even more. As a small business owner, this can become disheartening. You spend so much time crafting a great post only to have 8 out of 10 people read the headline and move on. So what should you do? You should focus more on writing great headlines!

Headlines Are Rarely An Area Of Focus

We are all guilty of ignoring the headline. We get so wrapped up in writing the paragraphs or finding the most eye-catching images that we end up using the first title that comes to mind. The problem with this is that without a good headline, all of the hard work you put into the other aspects of your content will be a waste. After all, isn’t our main goal to get as many views, comments and shares as possible when we create content?

The Worst Type Of Headline

In order to be successful as a content marketer, you must build trust with your audience. The best marketers create so much trust that people turn to them any time they need information. You know the best way to lose trust? Click-bait headlines. An example of a click-bait headline is: You Won’t Believe What Happened Next! The problem with these types of headlines is they do not tell a reader anything, and their sole purpose is to get as many clicks as possible. What ends up happening most times is readers click into the article excited to see what it is about, only to realize it was a giant waste of their time. Rule of thumb: don’t waste people’s time. Ever.

Great Headlines Boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search engines are the librarians of the internet. When you enter in keywords into Google, it scans the internet for information containing these keywords. Headlines help search engines quickly understand what a piece of content is generally about.

When you create headlines, you want to make sure you include powerful keywords that will help search engines find your content. Be as specific as possible when it comes to optimizing for SEO. If your target market is small businesses, then including “small business” in your headline makes it easier for search engines to show your content to small business minded searchers.

A strategy I have found effective is defining a keyword or phrase I want to include in my headline and then building the rest of my headline around it.

Spend At Least 30% Of Your Time On The Headline

Writing great headlines takes time. If you really want to take your content to the next level, you need to be willing to spend time on headlines. Spending about 30% of your time on the headline will help prevent your great content from going unnoticed.

5 Easy Ways To Come Up With Great Headlines

  1. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write every headline that comes to mind: Even if the headline seem ridiculous, write it down! You can always come up with a better variation once you see your entire list.
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Study the headlines top media outlets or bloggers are using
  4. Brainstorm with co-workers: Create a Google Doc and share it with everyone you work with so they can suggest both content topics and headlines
  5. Don’t overthink it: Great headlines are specific, unique and have a sense of urgency. Stick to these three criteria, and you will be well on your way!

headlineFinal Thoughts

The average attention span online has now dropped to just eight seconds, one-second shorter than the average attention span of a goldfish. Embarrassing, I know. Eight seconds certainly isn’t enough time to read your entire post, but it is the perfect amount of time to read a headline. What are some of the creative ways you come up with engaging headlines? Let me know in the comments below!

xavier davisXavier Davis is the Social Media Superhero at eClincher, a single platform which allows businesses to efficiently manage and track social media and website activities with insightful, actionable, and meaningful real-time reports. Companies can view, plan, manage and analyze social media activity and online advertising campaigns and, crucially, understand the impact of that activity on the business website. When Xavier takes off the cape, he can be found watching basketball, playing Xbox or enjoying the outdoors.

Super-Charge Your Content Marketing Strategy With Keyword Research

Like many of you, I am also a small business owner. In my case, I spend every day and even most weekends trying to generate new business for my clients. With time being my most valuable asset, I have to be wise about the limited time I can spend on content marketing for my own business. So believe me, I know your struggle.

When it comes to blogging, guest blogging, or any type of SEO or content marketing plan for my own business, I have to think very carefully about what to write and where to post it. In fact, every word in this blog post you are reading now, including the text and the title, all have a very specific purpose. The goal is not only to reach you, my ideal customer, it’s also engineered to create SEO value for my business, as well as build authority for my personal brand, – while at the same time, giving you the most valuable advice I have to offer. Let me explain how I do it.

keywords make content kingOne of my biggest competitive advantages over other providers of content marketing services is my keyword research methodology. I spend a little bit of time to determine how prospective clients search for content; then I create content around that topic.

If that strategy sounds familiar, it should. My inbound marketing strategy is all about building content around my ideal customers. In other words, I am practicing what Duct Tape Marketing preaches. I am just applying it in a hyper-focused way for SEO.

I have been reverse engineering websites from consumer search behavior for ten years, which is why I instantly fell in love with Duct Tape Marketing and eventually became a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant.

My biggest and best content marketing tactic is based on a free tool. I use Google’s Keyword Planner, and I use it every day. In this case, I used it to find out what and how people are searching for content marketing services.

I compiled the data and created a topic and title around the search data, and then found the best possible home from my existing content distribution channel. I define a content distribution channel as all of the websites, people, and social media channels in person’s network.

I only spent five minutes pulling up the data below. Check out the keywords in the following screenshot, and then re-read this post and to see how I have strategically and naturally used wording that matches the way people are searching for this content right now. By spending an extra 5 minutes on strategy, I’ve made this blog post 500 times more valuable by engineering the content around search behavior.

Note: you do not need to stuff a post with keywords, just try to include some of the most searched, most competitive phrases with higher suggested bid amounts. For example, I could not find a way to use the phrase “b2b content marketing” because I could not find a creative, natural way to include it in this post. Oops, well, maybe I did. You get the point:

seo

This is the way a professional content marketing agency does it (or should do it) and now you can too. I just gave you a way to vastly improve the SEO value and inbound marketing potential of every new blog post you or your team writes.

philipsingletonPhil Singleton is a search engine optimization and small business marketing consultant based in Kansas City. Phil is also a Duct Tape Marketing™ Certified Consultant and is currently writing a book with four other Duct Tape Marketing Consultants called: The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation. To get more tips and advice on how to get more sales out of your website and online marketing efforts, follow Phil’s Google+ Page or visit: The Kansas City Marketing Agency™.