You won’t confuse your visitors or piss off Google Search if you start posting historical newsletters, news items, press releases, product launches, and blog posts—as long as you’re honest. Take advantage of the fact that most modern content management and blogging systems allow you to time-stamp your post with the current time; or, you can choose the year, month, day, hour, and minute yourself. And you should!Read More
What is home? Well, in a practical sense, your online home is your web site; maybe your blog. More philosophically, your home is your business and yourself.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!
You need to spend only 20% of the time you do on your content marketing and marketing SEO than you’re doing — at least for now. Be quick, be messy, be pedestrian, maybe even turn off your Grammatik and your Autocorrect. Churn out five-times the amount of content you’ve been writing then hit publish and walk away for a couple days. Then, feel free to get all anal retentive on your content — but only with the stuff you plan to add to your portfolio. Leave everything else as close to as-is as possible. Please.
America voted Donald J. Trump 45th president of the United States. To many, Trump’s campaign was a mess — but it worked because it spoke directly to so many people right under our nose and in their own language. Away from school marms and hall monitors. For better for worse, the internet reflects the way people search and write and speak when they’re on their own, away from the grammar police and your thesis advisor.
When I was recruited into the elite digital team at Edelman Public Affairs, they made me take a grammar test. It was an HR requirement even though I was brought on board by an EVP. To this day, our reports, our memoranda, even our emails need to reflect exceptional professionalism.
Unfortunately, all this esprit de corps is mostly wasted in your pursuit of search engine optimization (SEO) ranking and in your content marketing campaigns. Trump speaks at a 6th grade level, and should we all. In fact, weren’t we all trained to aim at the 6th or 7th grade Flesch–Kincaid readability?
As I have said many times before, Google is mostly literal. Google is not your book editor or your doctoral advisor, Google is your everyman. Google is mostly populist. Actually Google is whatever and whomever you want Google to be; however, when it comes to money, you’re more likely to get 20,000 nickels than one thousand-dollar bill. Everyman is where it’s at.
When I wrote for AdAge, back in the day, circa 2008-2009, they did the most delightful thing, though I don’t know how SEO-aware or SEO-focused they were about this. They published whatever I wrote for them immediately upon receipt and then, a couple-days, if not a week later, they went back and put it through the full archive, for perpetuity, let’s not embarrass the Advertising Age reputation, editing.
I always knew that my work would enter the world fully-flawed just like me. With the kind of mistakes that everyone, including me, makes all the time, especially during search. The genius of letting a few days go by before the first deep editing is that all the mistakes, all the informality, and the colloquialisms of we the rabble, pre-spit-polishing and detailing.
And then Google gets in there, indexes, and maybe gets lazy, doesn’t come back in a couple-few days later, doesn’t care too much about the diff between initial draft written by a PR and marketing professional. The final article worthy of consideration is restored to a perfection there never was, by a hyper-vigilant school marm cum hall monitor cum editor.
In my previous life, I used to be a professional film photographer. 35mm slides through Nikon bodies and Nikkor glass. The creative process only took up 20% of my time while developing, sleeving, editing, sorting, labeling, logging, packing, mailing, marketing, selling, and waiting took the other 80%. No, I am not missing a piece. Since I was a slide shooter, I rarely spent too much time in Photoshop doing post-production. I only had light, film, glass, and filter. Someone else did their magic in the darkroom or on a Macintosh Quadra 950.
Same with blogging or any other type of creative behavior. When I was shooting, I was giving 100% but it was still only 20% of the work required to deliver a finished product to the client.
I have upwards of 100,000 slides in archival sleeves in my storage area — but only 4,000 have made me any money and only 400 of those slides made my portfolio: 20 sleeves of 20 slides per.
But back in the day, all 100,000 of those images sat in tall steel file cabinets at Corbis (née The Stock Market) and Pacific Stock, filed away and indexed. While only 4,000 made me royalties and only 400 made me money, 100,000 were always in play.
While only 4% of all my work was considered profitable — and that’s high — nobody ever knew which 4%. And though only .4% ever made it into my portfolio, 250x that had potential.
I want you to write at least five times as much content as you are. Blog content, not ephemeral tweets or facebooks.
Populism 2017 — stop trying to appeal to your Headmaster or the Yale Law Journal, the future’s in that other bubble, a bubble where your choice of words and how you write them color your writing as much as does the content.
Each and every telegraphist has his or her own unique style and pattern when transmitting a message, called their “fist,” identifiable to other telegraphers. The same can be said about your and your words and your writing. Allow your content to become as unique in style and pattern as possible. Your flaws will become your own personal style and you will actually begin to attract people who are outside of Phi Beta Kappa and the National Honor Society — were they ever your perfect customers in the first place?
Gerris offers its clients comprehensive Online Conversation Marketing campaigns based on the core fundamentals of effective Marketing Communication techniques. We integrate Online Publicity, Online Grassroots & New Media Marketing, Business Intelligence and Search Engine Services to ensure that our clients’ message, the right message, is being portrayed in every corner of the digital space.
Additionally, we offer our expertise in the areas of profiling, intelligence, forensics and crisis management. Although Gerris offers its clients the ability to cherry pick the services that best suit their needs, we strongly suggest customized, tailored packages of services for most clients, as our experience has proven the power of an integrated, comprehensive approach.