Use the Content Marketing Ripple Effect to Your Advantage

Have you ever tossed a pebble into the water and watched the ripples expand in widening circles that spread across the surface?

That same concept is applicable to content marketing when you put in motion an integrated strategy that the support of social media and search engine marketing.

Consider the effort involved in launching a new product or service. To promote the launch, you create a variety of useful, relevant content. This may include white papers, press releases, blog posts, data sheets, webinars, videos, infographics, and more.

How you distribute that content and the ripple effect it creates will largely determine the success of your efforts. The plan for content might look something like this:

  • First, develop targeted content to support the marketing initiative.
  • Next, post content on your website and promote it through email marketing, directory listings, display advertisements, and social media.
  • Then, keyword-heavy links in your promotion channels drive your audience to your content and to your website where they can learn more about your product and you can capture visitor conversions.

That launch sequence is akin to throwing the stone in the water—it’s your initial splash.

If your content is strong, directed to your target audience, and relevant to them, the ripple effect can occur.

Here’s how it works:

When an audience interacts with your content or clicks on a keyword link, they are being directed to your website. Or when your audience likes your post on a social media, leaves a comment, or shares it with their own followers, they are helping to amplify your content and expand its reach.

An increasing number of inbound links from directories, advertisements, and social media to your content increases relevant traffic to the web pages devoted to the product or service you are launching and promoting.

While no one knows exactly how social signals such as views, likes, shares, and retweets directly influence search engine rankings, we do know social signals broaden your brand exposure, drive traffic, and increase incoming links. This activity creates a downstream positive impact on the factors that major search engines do consider, including relevant traffic, backlinks, and page popularity.

For example:

  • When your audience likes your post, re-tweets your tweet, leaves a comment, and shares your content with their own social connections, these social signals raise the profile of your content (and your company) and expand its reach.
  • As your content appears in more places and more links are generated to your website, your search engine rankings for specific pages can improve. This is true when content and links are on directories and media sites, such as GlobalSpec, as well as when the content and links appear on social media channels.

There is an additional advantage to posting links to your content on social media: While almost everyone uses search engines in their mission to find products and services, engineers are more likely to trust recommendations from people they know than they are the results of search engine keyword queries. If you’ve ever had a friend or colleague share a social media post with you and say “I love this product” or “You have to check this out,” chances are you will.

One caveat: providing a stream of strong, relevant content to your audience is not a one-and-done deal. It is an integrated and ongoing strategy of content creation, social media sharing, and searching engine marketing. You must continually provide fresh content for search engines and your audience, and not just make a single splash when you have a big announcement or launch.

That means engaging in the hard work of content marketing day after day, week after week. There are no shortcuts. But the benefits of the ripple effect are worth the effort.

Content Marketing SEM Social Media

Why You Shouldn’t Be Concerned About Upcoming Google Algorithm Changes

You may have heard Google is updating their algorithm for how it ranks results when buyers search the web for products and services. The changes will roll out in May 2021. Will your rankings suffer?

Many industrial marketers are worried, but if search engine optimization (SEO) has been part of your marketing practice, we don’t think the change should negatively impact your rankings, even though some media outlets are raising warning flags.

Who Will This Update Target?

We believe this algorithm update will be geared more toward media websites and other sites monetized by banner ads that try to squeeze maximum dollars out of their traffic by increasing page views and ad clicks. We don’t expect most industrial, ecommerce, and other B2B websites that focus on creating a frictionless user experience leading to a purchase will be as impacted.

Factors to Consider:

Page Experience

The algorithm change will take into account a new factor Google calls Page Experience. It includes all aspects of how users interact with a web page and how positive or painful the experience is for them.

The major factors considered are mobile friendliness, loading speed, interactivity response, call-to-action, and visual stability of page elements. Mobile friendliness and page speed have been part of the Google’s page-ranking algorithm for several years. These two factors are important, and they will impact your rankings.

To help ensure that you maintain your rankings, or potentially improve them, take steps to optimize your site for mobile and speed.

Speed

First, use Google tools to run a page speed report.

You can run this report for any page on your website. It will give the page a score and offer suggestions on how to increase speed. Major factors influencing speed are:

  • Image size and format
  • Flash elements that slow down loading
  • Excess or unused code

Look for opportunities to compress images and optimize code. While working on images, be sure to use the Alt-text tag to describe the image using keywords. Remove Flash elements that bog down page loading time.

Interactivity of a page is its response to clicks, which is related to page speed. One element Google mentions regarding interactivity is the call to action (CTA). The CTA should be short, specific, and clear about the action needed. Ideally include a benefit.

Mobile-friendly

More than half of all web searches globally are now performed using a mobile device. The mobile friendliness of your website can definitely impact your search engine rankings.

Google also offers a mobile friendly test.

If you don’t have a responsive web site design that renders pages quickly and cleanly on mobile phones and tablets, you may need to invest resources to make that happen. With so many searches being performed on mobile devices, having a responsive website is a requirement.

Remember: Great Content is Still the Most Important Factor

Some marketers might get so caught up in the metrics and technical issues of SEO that the most important element—great content—gets pushed to second place.

As Google has written on its own blog, “Great page experience doesn’t override having great page content.”

Fresh, relevant content that answers the question posed by an engineer’s search query will always play a critical role in determining page rankings. Your content should be simple, it should answer a need, and it should be unique to your business.

When you have such content, and then optimize your site to create a seamless and frictionless user experience, from headline to copy to CTA to Shopping Cart and Sale, you could see your rankings move closer to the top.

SEM SEO

Why Content Matters in Search and Social Marketing

There’s no doubt you’ve been hearing a lot about content marketing this year. Along with search and social marketing, these three topics have been dominating B2B marketing conversations and are at the top of everyone’s minds.

A recent conversation between MarketingSherpa and author Rob Garner of Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing discusses the importance of content and the overlap between search, social and content marketing. This overlap, according to Garner, builds a connected brand. By providing content to your customers online you are also satisfying the search engines and getting in front of new customers – all in one step.

Especially helpful are the top 5 tips for marketers. While a few may serve as more of a reminder, they’re all relevant and great to keep in mind as we lay out plans for 2013.

Being present. Keeping content fresh – your customers want more than just an updated profile. Frequent activity (status updates, blog posts, “shares” and “likes”, etc.) keep customers interested in and aware of your brand.
“Recency is the new relevancy”. Not only is this true in social marketing where our audience only sees most updated content first, but the same goes for search. Simply put, new content = higher visibility.
Understand natural language. In addition to knowing the language of your audience, Garner suggests having tools for keyword and language processing. Tap into the value of online conversations your customers and prospects are having.
Big, high quality content wins. Successful results from search and social marketing are correlated to the quantity and quality of the content you are putting out there. This includes everything from articles to comments to memes.
Personality matters. Content that is unique in your space and personal to your brand will resonate with your audience and will get noticed by networks and search engines.

For even more on content marketing, check out our new whitepaper Content Marketing for Industrial Marketers. Learn how content marketing will help you build your brand, drive engagement and establish yourself as a thought leader in your space.

Content Marketing Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing, General SEM SEO Social Media

Learn The Facts Behind Third-Party Traffic Estimation

When planning marketing programs, industrial marketers want to know what the statistics are behind a proposed online marketing program.

However, to comprehend what these statistics really mean, a marketer must understand a few key components about how these statistics are derived.

We all know the basics of Web statistics: number of visits, unique visitors, and page views. This specific data helps us to understand the size of the target audience we can reach by advertising on a particular Web site.

An additional piece of information that is really key – yet seldom understood – is what it means when a Web publisher refers to data from third-party Web traffic estimators.

Learn the important facts behind third-party traffic estimation - Read the full white paper, “The Marketer’s Dilemma: Estimating Traffic on Web Sites for Online Advertising Purposes“.

Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing, General SEM

Search friendly URL’s can only help ranking

A lot of work goes into putting a web-site together: content creation, page design, and site architecture are all important elements. One element that may seem obvious but is often overlooked is the URL for each page. In his article URL Best Practices and Guidelines Reminder, Jody Nimetz of Enquiro Search Solutions Inc. offers a list of best practices to consider when creating and or revising the URL's for your site. Jody Nimtez is an on-line marketing specialist who offers tips and advice on his blog Marketing Jive.

SEM SEO Usability Web Sites – Design & Usability

Listen to “GlobalSpec: Firing Up the Vertical Search Market”

Check out this interview video spotlight entitled, "GlobalSpec: Firing Up the Vertical Search Market".  Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Angela Hribar was recently interviewed by Adotas.com, an online news publication focused on the Internet advertising and media industry for members of the advertising community

In it, Hribar discusses GlobalSpec, our philosophy and what differentiates us from other online advertising solutions for the industrial marketplace.   Topics include company history, our audience, vertical search, competition, and the imprint that GlobalSpec has made.  Yes I’m biased, but this is worth watching if you want to learn more about what sets GlobalSpec apart from other online options. 

She encourages listeners to include vertical search as part of their marketing plan, saying, "If you’re not getting some experience with vertical search through GlobalSpec, you’re putting yourselves and your customers at a disadvantage, now and well into the future.  I’m not saying that GlobalSpec should be 100% of your media buy, but it should be the essential foundation of the media mix for anyone who’s in this space."

Industrial Marketing and Sales SEM

Round-up of the Top B2B Search Engines

Search Engine Land features a post on the top B2B search engines. While Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have the lion’s share of the search traffic and dollars, vertical search engines continue to grow. General search engines are often the starting point of a search and lead to vertical sites. From the searcher’s view point, the vertical niche sites provide more relevant results and easier access to comprehensive content in a one-stop-search experience. 

 

For the B2B advertiser, vertical search engines offer much more than a general search engine. Vertical search engines provide a higher quality lead as a result of their targeted audience.  In GlobalSpec’s case we provide more than a click – we provide contact information of the searcher to the advertiser. 

 

GlobalSpec is called out in the Search Engine Land article. Click here to read the full article.

SEM

Search Engine Friendly Web Sites

With engineers and other technical professionals
regularly using the Web to search for components and suppliers, you
need a Web site that shows up well on search engines. In an ideal
world, optimizing your Web site for search engines is a task that
begins in the planning stages of building your site.

That sounds fine, but who has the luxury of working
in the ideal world? Your company already has a Web site, but you don’t
have the budget or time in 2007 to tear down your entire site and start
from scratch. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your existing
site more search engine friendly.

SEM Web Sites – Design & Usability