Never let the perfect get in the way of the good. Blog and post, blog and post. Write all your site content quick and dirty then publish it immediately. If you’re not convinced, don’t worry. The benefit of your friends and fans being your first readers is that you’ll get swift feedback if your premise is confusing or your metaphors are mixed.Read More
Because so many people presumably make so much money “doing SEO,” there’s a lot of confusion as to what Search Engine Optimization is and all the little things that you can do right now, today, to improve your the results on your SERP — search engine results page. OK, let’s start...Read More
We spend so much time fretting about the number and quality of links that are associated with your websites that we often overlook or ignore how important it is that our business and marketing websites be tightly stitch together, from a series of patches into a beautiful quilt; or, maybe more apropos, take all of those music tracks, those songs, back into the studio and turn them from a series of singles into album. Released 50-years-ago on 26 May 1967, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 13-tracks and 12 songs woven into a single musical narrative.Read More
Why do search professionals scatter like roaches when the kitchen light comes on? Why is everyone acting so sneaky all the time? Why do SEO professionals skulk around dark alleyways, offering their search engine services in furtive, hurried whispers? What’s up with that?
Not only is Google a Glutton, but he’s always hungry — and a picky eater, too. In a perfect world, all of Google’s food would be steamy hot, bold with spices and herbs, and nutritionally rich.
If you and I don’t constantly develop ways to provide Google with all the taste-sensations, fresh out of the pan, out of the oven, and then beautifully-plated, then Google’ll definitely reheat leftovers — hell, he’ll fish out the meals ready to eat (MREs).
But, honestly, Google would always prefer to eat healthy. Quality over quantity. Google would love to get enough fiber, enough vitamins and minerals, enough healthy fat and presentation.
The internet webosphere is like greater Washington, DC on a weekday lunchtime: food trucks everywhere! Yes, also restaurants, fast food, fast-casual, brown bags of tuna prepared at home, hot dog and burrito carts, office cantinas, take out places, and by-the-pound buffet joints.
Before the age of the food truck, there were some carts offering haute cuisine, but it wasn’t until the rise of the food truck when the entire power structure lunch at least, was set: dirty water dogs, burgers, buffet salad, or sit down restaurant food.
The barrier to entry was pretty impossible save for a few rich folks doing it for vanity or experienced folks doing it for shareholder value. And the paperwork, licensing, and all the other food-hoops required.
But DC is big, hungry, and wants all the taste-sensations, fresh out of the pan, out of the oven, and then beautifully-plated; and we want our lunch to be delicious, steamy hot, bold with spices and herbs, and nutritionally rich.
Because DC’s already hungry, DC’s only somewhat a snob! The majority of folks who work in DC during the work week is balancing between time, price, proximity, healthiness, preference, and deliciousness. And all you need to do is discover what as many of those things are and cook to order.
You can feed Google. You can even become Google’s favorite type of food, snack, lunch, sandwich, dessert, cheat, breakfast, dinner, late-night bite. But you, like every great cook, every great chef, cannot just make something awesome once.
You don’t need to make the Guinness Book of World Records and then done. SEO is not one-and-done! It’s feeding the newsroom rather than just getting a novel out of you just to have written a novel.
I’m a pretty good cook. In fact, I have made some amazing things perfectly actually once (remember that Bûche de Noël I made that one time with the powdered sugar snow, the branches, the ganache and cake?).
But Google prefers hot fresh donuts over even my Bûche de Noël once it’s a week old.
So, stop sneaking around and stop trying to be way fancier than you’re able to provide every single day.
Google wants your content food as hungrily as it wants the the President’s latest transcript or the top headlines from the New York Times. But only if it’s at least as fresh, nutritional, and as tasty as the other good stuff around it.
I sell web site and branding services for my buddy Mike McDermott of Bash Foo and the vast majority of all your competitors can’t cook at all; and those who can, only cook a couple times a year at the most, give or take a couple years.
While the bar is super-low for 99% of your competitors, the bar is nosebleed-high for the remaining 1% who have all that sorted out. Also, since the webinternetosphere is a global market, mostly, that 1% is still a very large number.
Google doesn’t think so. Google thinks that it really sucks that only 1% of all online content-providers offer more than complete crap. Those 1% (who are generally the same people who are in the 1% in the real world), the best-of-breed in Google Search, are the same people that Google, in it’s love of the little guy and it’s passion for egalitarianism and equal access based on an impossibly-low barrier to entry, fights hard to disempower.
Google wants diversity — your diversity — but Google also knows that the people who search using Google are also impatient, intolerant to junk results, unwilling to suffer ugly, unable to trust a site that is rarely if every updated, unsure about sites that haven’t kept up with technology and design (so many of our websites are the equivalent of shag carpet, orange appliances, avocado green counter tops, old stove, and a tiny ancient fridge with no stainless or granite or backsplash to be seen anywhere!
Come up with a content marketing plan that is the equivalent of my simple peasant meal of eggs, chicken, greens, fish, herbs, and spice, and then run with it. Make it every day. Just make sure it’s fresh, it’s honest, it’s make with the best ingredients possible, and you don’t cut corners. Put too much gravy or cream or béarnaise on your dish and maybe that’s an attempt to hide a bunch of flaws. Gilding the lily is almost always a way to give an often deceptively attractive or improved appearance.
Cook simply, show your work, make it basic, use good ingredients, plate it lovingly, deliver it quickly (you all need faster sites), and you’ll become Google’s favorite — at least when it comes to the particular fare you’re offering, within your niche.
Now, your turn. It’s essential to think of Google as hungry and in need of what you — or anybody — have to contribute (Google’s like Wikipedia that way, but unlike Wikipedia, you’re allowed — encouraged – to create your own page!)
So, that box you gladly checked when you finished your website three years ago isn’t a completed task. How dare you! It was just the very first version of a constantly expanding, growing, changing, and living collection of documents.
OK, after all of this talk about food, I’m ready to eat — ready, set, Publish!
Search will never be the same as it was as recently as a few years ago. Google is severely penalizing sites that are buying links or are invested in private blog networks. Sites that have dominated search in the recent past are being penalized or de-indexed, going from the first page to page twenty or being removed completely, stripping many eCommerce sites of millions of dollars in revenue.
Site Optimization: This includes copy rewriting, internal linking, keyword research, Google Analytics/ and Google/Bing Webmaster Tools integration, integration of Sitemaps, structured data, title and description rewriting and organization, image ALT tag development, site submission, and content recommendation development strategies, etc.
Social Media Strategy for Social Signals: A site needs to be organic (never static), as Google tends to spend most of its attention on site that are constantly changing and updating. In addition to editorial “blog” content, it’s always worth developing content on the maddafella.com domain in addition to producing content only for social media. Using platforms like Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites, are essential. Actually, Madda Fella is really underutilizing their YouTube site. Instead of only producing one very expensive
Authentic, Organic, Inbound Linking: Content marketing is an essential part of developing a strong organic search reputation online. It must be unassailable, and completely white hat instead of being fully invested in tricking Google. That doesn’t work anymore – and will work less and less well into the future.
What does Google want? Google wants to know that you, the site owners and employees, and your community, your prospects, current, and past customers, are engaged in the success of the store. This is in response to people’s time, talent, and treasure being spent more on automated systems, advertising, link-buying, and savvy inbound marketing programs than on doing what brick and mortar businesses have been doing for generations: community-engagement.
Bloggers: while they may no longer be the only kings of the kingdom, bloggers have a lot of bang for the buck because not only do they have a lot of SEO mojo associated with their blogs, they tend to be shameless self-promoters and minor deities themselves. As a result, if you’re able to woo them with your message or pitch, they’ll spend an inordinate amount of their own sweat equity promoting their own content across their own social media platforms and profiles such as their own Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and even sites like Reddit and digg and whatnot — including cross-posting onto LinkedIn, Medium, and other aggregator sites like Business2Community, Google News, and Yahoo! Do it! It’s worth it!
Facebookers: Everyone in the entire world is on Facebook. If you can find the right Page or Group, you could be as good as gold. And, if you’re willing to give it a go, you can become the go-to guy. You can become your very own influencer.
Tweeters: Twitter’s hard but worth it, if you can make the right connection. Don’t waste your time on small fry. It might even be worth it to search and discover the right hash tags, or even really spend your time and maybe a little money wooing one of the top Twitter influencers. They’re out there but they’re Unicorns. I, myself, have over 50,000 followers but nobody really listens to me in a real way (though I do have my secret weapons).
LinkedInners: Apparently LinkedIn is a thing. You’re on your own.
Pinners: Ask someone else, though I really think becoming an expert in Pinterest would benefit you immensely, especially if you produce beautiful things.
Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Twitter, Google+: You’ve probably got these sorted out already; though I seriously doubt that you are actually doing anything with Google+, though you should be.
Pinterest: If you offer products, you need to share your products on Pinterest, just make sure link everything back from each product page of your website. Pinterest allows you to pin links and then choose photos that’re featured on that page. If you’re just uploading product pictures to Pinterest, you’re doing it wrong.
Guest Blogging: I hesitate to recommend this because there are so many d-bags doing this wrong. Be nice, be generous, be useful, be helpful, and make sure you tailor-fit your post to their site and their needs. Don’t lead with links, lead with valuable content.
Collaborative Blogging: I used to just have ChrisAbraham.com (RIP) and then started MarketingConversation (RIP), a collaborative conversation marketing blog. Then JD Lasica invited me to contribute to SociaMedia.biz, Mike Moran invited me to write for Biznology, Bob Fine invited me to write for The Social Media Monthly, and I’ve written for AdAge, Rosetta Stone, Huffington Post, and some other spots. Stop trying to be such a one-man-band: many hands make light work.
Editorial Writing: A lot of my friends have serious success when it comes to writing for Fast Company, Inc, Business Insider, Huffington Post, AdAge, and all that — if you have the juice to command it. If you’re not already a known entity, you had better start off writing in earnest for your own blog or on sites such as Medium and LinkedIn.
Article Cross-Posting: One of the best things you can do, after you start producing content (for brand promotion, not SEO) is to do a little strategic cross posting. I think you should start with Medium and Linkedin.
Message Boards and Forums: Only do this if you’re already someone who loves and uses message boards. Forums take a long, persistent ride — a commitment to becoming part of a longer-term conversation, to become a member of the community. PS: this is the year of the message board!
You need to start now. You need to shift the money you’re wasting on SEO and advertising and spend it on setting up your other world, your social media doppelgänger, your social media shadow.