Marketer’s Guide to Helpful Content Optimization Tools

Marketer's Guide to Helpful Content Optimization Tools – Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Unsplash

Today, with over 152 billion blogs inhabiting the content landscape, it’s almost impossible for a small business to stand out of the crowd.

The best method for leading new audiences to a website that doesn’t require a huge marketing budget is attracting organic traffic. High rankings on Google SERPs (search engine results pages) do not happen overnight and require hard work of improving the search engine optimization of every single piece of content.

The surefire way to win the competition for high SERP rankings is to use the right content optimization tools. These (mostly free) tools help to find the right keywords and take a blog article from the graveyard of forgotten content to the first page of Google search results, leading more traffic to your company’s website.

Google Keyword Planner

After finding a suitable topic for a blog article and before starting to write it, successful content marketers conduct a quick research to find relevant keywords. Google Keyword Planner helps to find subject-related keywords and gives an overview of their monthly search rate and keyword difficulty (how competitive a keyword is).

For blogs that do not yet have a broad readership, the best practice is to find keywords with under 1000 monthly searches and low to medium competition.

If you want to cover a widely popular topic with highly competitive keywords, use long-term keywords that are more specific, but less difficult to rank high for. After finding 1-3 keywords that could potentially lead people to your article, move on to making your article worthy to appear in top ten SERPs.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a freemium tool that helps publishers find the most-shared content on specific topics. It is also highly beneficial when gathering ideas to write a detailed piece on a certain subject.

By typing pre-defined keywords to Buzzsumo, content creators can discover other popular articles on related subjects. By reading the articles, you can learn what angles of a topic interest your potential audience the most. Moreover, these articles serve as a useful resource for new ideas and subjects to include to your own content.

Make sure to read at least three popular articles on the topic you’re about to write about. You’ll get invaluable insight about what triggers the audience to share an article, and learn from the best resources to be in the know when compiling your own piece of content.

Google Search

To rank high in search engine results, your content needs to be helpful and profound, meaning that it has to be the very best resource for learning about a certain topic.

Many content marketers use the skyscraper technique to create high-ranking content. The skyscraper method means gathering information from all the existing articles covering a topic you’re about to write about. The end goal is to make your guide or article even more detailed and helpful than the current top-rankers.

Google Search is the best resource for gathering high-quality information and implementing skyscraper technique, as all your competitor’s high-ranking content is laid out in the open.

Moz On-Page Grader

This content optimization tool enters the game after a new piece of content has been written and published. Moz On-Page Grader evaluates how well a web page is optimized for a specific keyword.

It’s a super easy-to-use tool – all you have to do is to enter a keyword and a link to the webpage, and you’ll get a grade for your page optimization alongside suggestions for improving the SEO.

Don’t accept an on-page ranking of under 95 points (out of 100). Keep fixing the SEO problems and don’t forget to use an SEO plugin for WordPress, add the metadata and insert your primary keyword to article’s headline and image alt tags.

Alright… Now you should be all set and can have a huge cup of coffee while Google does all the ranking for you. Sorry, just kidding.

This was just the beginning. After publishing a well-optimized piece of content, the hard work to get the keywords ranking high on SERPs only begins.

Google Documents

You can significantly increase your search engine rankings by adding link to your new piece of content inside previously published blog posts and vice versa.

By interlinking articles on related topics, you show Google that you have a lot of valuable information on a specific subject that will benefit the readers. For this purpose, the best tool for content optimization is the Google Sheets where you can store information about all your published content, categorized by topics and keywords.

Take an extra step and create a Google Sheet with the names of all your published articles, complemented with the keyword data. This spreadsheet will help you avoid using the exact same keyword phrase in the headlines of multiple articles. You’ll attract a wider audience by targeting slightly modified keywords in every article covering a similar topic.

Moz Keyword Rankings

After publishing the content and checking its optimization score with Moz On-Page Grader, marketers need a tool to keep their eye on the SERP rankings of their web pages. By adding targeted keywords to Moz, you can get weekly reports on the rankings of all your targeted keywords.

Take notice that usually, pages may take up to two weeks to appear in Google’s search results. If a certain keyword starts to appear high on SERPs, you might want to boost its ranking by adding more links to the page inside other content on your website, and improving the article by adding even more relevant and helpful information.

Moz recently released a new Related Topics feature for page optimization that helps to find related keywords and topics that publishers might want to include in their content (or in upcoming articles). By checking the related topics, content marketers can gather new ideas to create complementary content, leading to higher SERP rankings.

By now, you should have a clear overview of the basic content optimization tools that help to identify the right keywords, create optimized content, and boost its rankings even after the publication.

Remember that Google doesn’t praise web pages only for clever SEO. To rank high, you need to create content that’s detailed, relevant, and answers the queries of the people searching for the particular keywords used in your blog articles.

Here’s the Golden Rule: create content that’s both meaningful and SEO-optimized, and you’ll soon see your web pages appear in the top ten of Google’s search results.

Karola KarlsonKarola Karlson is the Content Marketing Manager in Scoro, the business management platform for agile companies. Her passion for superior writing combined with strategic thinking make her focus all her energy on becoming a successful digital marketer and creative writer. For more on Karola, find her on Medium and connect to her on Twitter @KarolaKarlson

 

5 WordPress Plugins you Don’t Use that Boost user Engagement and Monetization

5 WordPress plugins you don't use that boost user engagement - and Monetization - Duct Tape Marketing

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Running a blog or online publication is no easy feat. Especially when you are looking to monetize and boost engagement at the same time. Users engage in pages that are built to suit their needs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they steer away from the ads that appear overly promotional and fail to blend into the context of the rest of the site.

Thankfully however, intrusive ads are not the most common way to boost monetization. In fact, WordPress offers plenty of monetization plugins that enhance the user experience and help to achieve engagement at the same time. Read on to discover some of my favorites:

1. TrenDemon

As we mentioned before, your users come to your site in order to achieve something. Whether its knowledge, a sense of belonging, or entertainment–your site can help provide much of it through insightful content. But remember, content that appeals to one person, does not necessarily appeal to someone else.

That’s why there’s TrenDemon. TrendDemon delivers personalized content recommendations– ensuring your users discover the most valuable material every time they visit your site. Their advanced algorithm detects the most beneficial user journey for each user segment.  As a result, the tool boosts conversions by around 380%. Of course, not only is this plugin great for conversions, but because it guides the user along his or her most ideal path, it’s likely to increase both your engagement and monetization as well.

As an added bonus, you can also choose to monetize on their unique Media Exchange Network, specifically geared for online publishers.

2. Comments Reloaded

Every decent blogger knows the importance of responding to your user’s comments. It goes without saying that if a user takes the time out of his or her day to share insights and cultivate conversation surrounding your content, that it’s both respectful and beneficial for your community to respond. By doing so, you keep the conversation flowing and help to better educate your users. Just as important, you acknowledge your user’s efforts and encourage them to continue to engage in your content.

But what happens when your overworked content/community manager misses a comment? What if they respond too late? The results of this small faux pas can be detrimental to building a robust community full of flourishing conversation. That’s where Comments Reloaded comes in. Comments Reloaded automatically notifies you via email everytime someone comments on your post. This way, you can respond to each and every comment in a timely manner for a better real-time conversation.

3. TinyPass

TinyPass is a simple, yet powerful tool specifically created for content monetization. Whether you choose to charge for particular articles, a section of content, or even an ebook–TinyPass sets up an easy to use pay wall that is simple and unobtrusive. In addition, you are able to take control, setting the price as low as just two cents, making it easier than ever to monetize.

4. Viglink

The goal of all content should be to provide useful and meaningful advice. Often times, in order to do that, we link to products, services, and other articles that help the reader accomplish a specific task. Since these links naturally serve the purpose of the article, they enrich the content and make it more valuable to the end user.

However, as we know, someone else is gaining something from these links other than just the reader. When you link a product, often times, that product is getting a free advertisement or at the very least, an SEO benefit by being mentioned in your article.

Viglink helps you benefit from those mentions. The plugin recognizes specific words in your content and helps suggest various links that would work for specific keywords. The links you add are then easily monetized as the brands that are mentioned within the content bid to be featured. As a result, you instantly benefit by being able to link to the most useful products and services while also monetizing in one easy step.

5. Easy Tweet Embed

Just as it sounds, Easy Tweet Embed helps your users easily tweet a quote from anywhere within your content. Since often times the most valuable part of your content isn’t necessarily the title, Easy Tweet Embed makes tweeting meaningful content instantaneous. Your user simply clicks on a relevant sentence and the quote will automatically be featured in their Twitter feed.

Of course, part of engaging in content is discussing and sharing. It goes without saying that Twitter provides a great open platform for sharing and discussing ideas. That’s why Easy Tweet Embed is so useful for promoting deeper audience engagement. By using it, your users will be able to have a deeper interaction and connection to your content and promote it to their friends.

Producing great engagement and monetization strategies is a necessary part of building a successful blog or online publication. Though it’s important to consider an advanced methodology to do most of the work, having tools to help you get in the right direction is not only smart, but extremely worthwhile. Do you have any more plugins to add? Comment below and let us know.

Nadav ShovalNadav Shoval is the CEO & Co-Founder of Spot.IM, an on-site community that brings the power back to the publisher. Prior to Spot.IM, Nadav has developed and founded 4 technology startups. Spot.IM is his fifth venture. Nadav is a technology erudite and a sports addict.

The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation

The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Pexels

You are a small business owner. As such, you are constantly in search for new opportunities because you want to grow your business.

Now, let us say that you found a potential customer and they are now asking you to send your company’s presentation. Many times this is one of the first things your future customer will ask for and many times this is the first thing they will see from you. Thus, this presentation is critical for your business. How do you create it then? How do you create this PowerPoint deck that is most of the times exported to a PDF file first and then send? In this article I will share 3 tools that can help you make your slides look visually better and what’s more, I will also show you a very easy way how you can turn your slide deck into content that you can later use to market yourself and your company for free.

The first tool that you definitely want to know about is related to colors. Many times, before you start creating your company’s presentation, you just have a website. More interestingly, not all of us are graphic designers and are in the design business. So how can you know then what colors you can use for your slides in order to achieve a great and visually appealing result? The answer turns out to be quite simple – you can just grab your logo or create a screenshot of your website and then upload it to Pictaculous.The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape Marketing

Pictaculous is a very simple and free web service that you can upload a random photo to and based on the colors in that photo, the site generates a color palette. Once you have the palette, no more you have to wonder what colors you have to use for your presentation deck – you just copy the color’s code and use it in PowerPoint, thus guaranteeing that your slideshow will look professionally designed and visually appealing.

The second tool I believe can be of great help to you comes into play when you want to say why someone should choose your company or what makes you different. On those slides you are probably going to name a few things that you can either just put as bullet points or as some form of text. That, however, is not visually appealing and engaging and that’s why I want to give you a hint here – use icons. Yes, not photos, not high quality imagery, but icons. Where can you find such for free, you may be asking? The answer is – on many places. However, the one I would recommend you use is called Flaticon. Now, why Flaticon and not another repository for icons? The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape MarketingSimple! You already used Pictaculous and now you know what colors you can use for your slides. What Flaticon allows you to do is to color your icon before downloading it – something that not that many of the other similar websites do.

With the help of this tool you can now design your company’s presentation and mark some of the key points, features of your product or just advantages over the competition in a very visual way. Before you jump and start downloading though, there is an additional note that I have to make – the copyright of those icons. Yes, I said they are free, but if you are using them without paying the subscription service the site offers, then you have to do one additional step – give attribution. How do you do that? The answer is that Flaticon made it quite simple for you and I leave you to check how you do it by yourself. I promise, when you click here, you will be amazed at how much it takes to give the appropriate attribution. And one last thing, even though you can customize and use those incredible icons for free by giving attribution, my recommendation to you, especially for your company’s presentation purposes, are to invest a few dollars and purchase for example a one-time monthly plan in order to download the icons you liked. As of the moment of writing this article, a monthly plan costs less than 10$ and for less than 10$ you are attribution free for one of the most important documents for your company.

The third tool I want to quickly introduce you to is for everyone who creates his slideshow in PowerPoint and once The Top 3 Tools to Create Your Marketing Presentation - Duct Tape Marketingready not only sends it to various potential customers, but also tries to figure out how to market the business even more. Welcome to the free PowerPoint add-in SocialShare. What this tool can allow you to do are two major things:

  1. Create a gallery of photos on Facebook that are actually… your slides
  2. Create a whole video from your slides that you can share in your Facebook profile

Once you create any of those or both of them, you can either save both the photos and the video locally and then redistribute them on other social media platforms thus achieving a completely free social media campaign for your business with almost zero effort. However, do not forget the critical part of the equation here – those slides, your company presentation. A presentation that is visually attractive and worthy of sharing. Not one that is only full of bullet points.

Three tools – a tool that can generate the proper colors, a tool that gives you incredible icons and a tool that can help you reach and engage even better with future potential customers. All of these tools are free to help you create a stunning slideshow. Once you create a slideshow; send it to any potential customer in order to familiarize and make him want to start working with you. I seriously believe that if you spend 30 minutes after reading this article “playing” with the above mentioned you might end up creating or redesigning your current company deck to a new level – a level that you as a small business owner should be striving to!

Good luck!

Boris_HristovBoris Hristov is the Founder and CEO of Presentation Design and Training Agency 356labs. He has delivered sessions in 20+ countries and has not just once been rated as the top speaker of the event. Boris has numerous years of experience as a trainer and has trained companies like Microsoft and HP in topics like presentation skills and presentation design. The fastest way you can reach him is on Twitter where he writes under @BorisHristov.

5 Tools That Will Make You A Better Writer

 

5tools

I love writing. To me, there is nothing more cathartic or soothing than turning off the rest of the world and putting my thoughts to paper. This passion has made it easy for me to create content for Duct Tape Marketing. I don’t see it as a chore; I see it as an opportunity to relax. And once the blog post is written, I can look back upon it and smile with a sense of accomplishment.

But I do understand that many business owners don’t feel the same way about writing, or marketing in general. For some of you, writing content is a bore at best, an ultimate source of anxiety at worst. I get it, the first few times I wrote something, I was nervous to share it with the world. Putting your content out on the Internet can make you feel vulnerable, particularly when the stereotype of Internet commenters is that they are demeaning and combative.

The truth is, the community on the Internet isn’t nearly what you think it is. In my experience, you all have been supportive and even empowering. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to put your best foot forward when producing content.

That’s why I’ve collected these five handy tools that will help you become a better writer of great content. Of course, nothing replaces practice, but these tools will make it easier to recognize your writing style, polish your finished product, and even help you focus.

Grammarly

The English language is one of the most complex languages in the world. There are thousands of rules to remember, most of which people ignore on a daily basis in conversation. It’s easy enough to forget obscure grammar rules from back in high school, let alone specific writing conventions you may just be learning. Grammarly will make your writing better by helping you catch all of the errors you don’t even know you’re making.

Grammarly is extremely effective at catching small errors like correctly spelled, but misused words that spell check doesn’t, and even identifies advanced grammar errors. Grammarly also analyzes your writing patterns and helps you improve through the identification of things like use of passive voice and overused words.

You can download Grammarly for your browser and even download it for your word processing program. Of course, you can also upgrade to the paid version and get even more advanced insights to your writing style.

Scrivener

If you’re just creating one or two pieces of content a month, Scrivener may not be for you, but it is without a doubt my favorite word processing program. Scrivener allows you to collect research, notes and your writing all in one file.

Do you like to use physical notes to collect your thoughts before writing? Scrivener allows you to outline your project with notecards and outlines. For instance, I used it to create digital notecards for each tool I was considering in this post and arranged them to turn them into a full outline. By the time I sit down to write, the words flow quickly from my keyboard.

Again, this isn’t for everyone, but if you’re serious about writing you may want to give it a try. 

Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was well known for his short, easy to read sentences. It made his works surprisingly easy to read despite the thematic complexity. The appropriately named Hemingway tool analyzes your writing and helps identify ways to shorten your sentences and make it easier to read.

It is important to make your web content as easy to read as possible. Breaking up your text into sections with sub headlines is a great way to make your content skimmable, but the body of your text will keep them. If your readers lose your train of thought because your sentences are too complex, they won’t stick around for you to make your point.

Grammarly will help you polish your writing and make it better. Hemingway will make it easier to read.

WordRake

WordRake is a PC tool that connects with your Word and Outlook that will improve the clarity of your writing. WordRake “rakes” through your content, showing you numerous ways to improve and allows you to accept or decline the suggested changes quickly. With WordRake, editing takes less time, and drafts polishing your drafts and emails is much easier.

Unfortunately, WordRake isn’t available for Mac users, but for PC users, it is a must.

Focus 

I don’t know about you, but when I’m writing, I like to tune out the rest of the world. When you can just focus on the task at hand, it makes it much easier to complete it. That’s why I use Focus while I write.

Focus allows you to temporarily block time-wasting websites while you work. We all get writer’s block or are forced to take a moment to think about what we’re going to say next. At least for me, it’s pretty easy to take a break, go to Facebook, then suddenly lose some time looking at pictures of my friends’ pets. With Focus, you can prevent this, so the time you spend thinking about your content is spent thinking about your content.

If writing the draft takes less time to complete, you’ll have more time to edit and redraft. You spend less time making the content and more time making the content better.

This goes beyond writing content too. You can use it to block websites as you reach an important deadline or as you approach a new project. Focus is a great all-around tool for the easily distracted entrepreneur, as many of us tend to be.

What tools do you use to write? Do you have any secret weapons that help you create better content? Let me know in the comments below.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443.jpgAlex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC