Top Pubcon New Orleans Presentations Day 2

Pubcon New Orleans actually began on St. Patrick’s Day down in The Big Easy with Masters Group sessions beginning on Monday. Since not everyone attends the Masters Group sessions, we are calling Tuesday-Day 1, Wednesday-Day 2, and Thursday-Day 3. If you missed any of the events from Wednesday, don’t worry we’re giving you some of the top presentations below! Several topics, including Organic SEO, Paid Search, Local Search and much more were covered Wednesday with tons of great speakers which I won’t even begin to name because there are so many good ones!

Here is a list of the top presentations:

Organic Search:

Social Media Signals and SEO from Eric Enge

Paid Search:

PUBCON 2014: Hacking AdWords – Winning at PPC the Weird Way by Larry Kim, WordStream, Inc. from Internet Marketing Software – WordStream

Local Search:

< Local SEO – It's No Laughing Matter from Greg Gifford

The "Big Easy" Guide to Google-Friendly Link Earning from Casey Markee

Building a Future Proof Plan for Organic Local Search Rankings by Mike Stewart PubCon New Orleans 2014 from SMB SEO

Social Media:

Google Authorship Kidnapping: Why Authorship Photos Disappeared from Search from Mark Traphagen

Expert Spotlight with Michael King:

Personas: Understanding the User Behind the Visit from Michael King

Top Pubcon New Orleans Presentations from Day 1

Pubcon New Orleans kicked off earlier this week with Masters Group sessions beginning on Monday, March 17, 2014. But for most, Pubcon started on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. If you missed Tuesday of this event, don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Several topics, including Organic SEO, Paid Search, Content Marketing and much more were covered Tuesday with tons of great speakers.

Here is a list of the top presentations:

Organic Search:

Algorithm Chaos – PubCon NOLA 2014 by Jake Bohall of Virante from Jake Bohall

Paid Search:

PPC Basics "5 Steps to PPC Success" – Pubcon New Orleans 2014 by Mark Barrera from Mark Barrera

Content Marketing:

Visual Side of Content Marketing from Mat Siltala

Possession (of Content) with Intent to Distribute from Ben Cook

Optimizing Content for Discovery and Conversion from Copyblogger Media

Selling Guns to Gandhi: Getting Content Buy-In – Pubcon New Orleans 2014 from AXZM

7 Quick No-No’s on Mobile Site Design

irritated mobile userWhen it comes to mobile website design, keep it simple. Less is more is a good motto.

Remember your mobile website users are fast-paced. When they are on their phone, they want everything easily accessible and on the fly. They do not have the time or patience to sort though website that is clunky and full of salesy BS trying to sweet talk into their wallet. They want to get right down to the point and get their fast. Make sure you that the first thing they see when they land on your mobile site is the most important information.

Here are 7  quick mobile website design no-no’s:

1. Using Pop-Ups. Pop ups can be a pain in the you know what, and just downright annoying. On mobile devices they are a HUGE problem! The mobile user has to fight to try and get the screen just right in order to be able to close the pop up. Don’t leave them on your mobile website to distract that on-the-go mobile user.

2. Burying Company Contact Info. Make sure your contact info is easily accessible. After all, don’t you actually want the customer to be able to contact you if they are interested in your product and services?!

3. Too Much Text. People using mobile devices are moving. They want to find the information that they need as quick and easy as possible. So don’t make them sift through loads of text and other crap that they DON’T need in order to find what they DO need. Less is more when it comes to mobile website content.

4. Links and Objects Too Close Together. It doesn’t matter who you are, ALL fingers are fatter when navigating on a mobile device! When links and objects are placed too close together it leads to wasted time, effort, and energy for all parties involved.

5. Buttons Too Small. Guess what?! Fat fingers strikes again! Buttons should always be big enough for our fingers. And they should be a safe distance apart so users are not tapping the wrong button. That is so frustrating to be meaning to hit one button but hitting another because it is so close to it. Then you have to spend twice as long navigating you way around because you have to keep backing up. This can lead to mobile users just completely abandoning the effort involved to view your mobile site.

6. Burying the Call-to-Action. As you know, mobile screens are very small, so keep your call to action within the visible screen people see when they land on your mobile site or your conversion rates will suffer. I mean if they can’t see your call to action they certainly probably aren’t going to do what you desire them to do.

7. Long Confusing Forms. Remember your mobile users are on-the-go and often in a hurry to get the information they need. Only use a form if absolutely necessary, and be sure to ask for as little information as possible. If it isn’t essential, save it for your desktop site. The best forms are probably just name and email address unless it is absolutely necessary to obtain more information from the user. The last thing you want is them to get frustrated having to fill out a long form and just abandon your mobile site. We have all been there and done that.

By using the tips above when doing your mobile website design you should create a better overall user experience for your mobile website users, making them appreciate your brand and efforts. Hopefully you will see great strides in your conversion rates. And don’t forget to have your analytics set up for your mobile site as well! You want to be able to track your efforts!

Quality Over Clickbait: Standing Out on the Web

I’m not usually a big fan of The Onion, but this headline got me:

Study: Online Content Creators Outnumber Consumers 2,000 To 1

qualityAll satire is rooted in at least a little truth, and with every passing year, the more people who get into the content game, the more crowded the field is starting to seem. Brands are told they can’t just make products or offer services anymore—they have to become publishers. In order to do that, they need people to create all that content they’re now expected to publish, whether in house or through outsourcing to marketing or content development agencies.

And those content creators and marketing agencies need to publish their own content, too. In order to do that, they need people to create all that content…

You see where I’m going with this.

So with everyone clamoring to tell their story and be heard above the cacophony the Internet has become, what can you do to stand out, be heard (or read), and reach that all-important audience you’re trying to connect with?

Forget the Trends

Have you noticed how lately, even headlines from authoritative and normally staid news outlets are emulating the Upworthy model? Check out this one from the Washington Post:

Released from the hospital, a rabbi assumes he’s okay. That’s when things take a turn.

And this borderline one from NPR:

Ex-IRS Official Invokes 5th Amendment Again, Then Things Get Hot

While Upworthy’s headlines do generate a phenomenal click-through rate, the company itself has said it’s not their headlines that make their content successful. It’s that people share their content. And why do they share that content? Because they like it. And why do they like it? Because it’s funny, enlightening, educational, insert positive adjective here.

But I think people don’t share Upworthy’s content just because it’s good. I think it’s because the content makes them feel good, and who wouldn’t want to share that?

Focus on creating good, high-quality content that speaks to people. The breathless, hyperbolic headlines may draw people in, but if you’re not backing those headlines up with substantial, meaningful content, you’re wasting your audience’s time, and your own.

Create Something Worth Sharing

OK, so now that you’re not relying on clickbait headlines, and are trying to create content with a little more substance, exactly how do you go about that? How do you know what people will want to read and share?

Well, here’s where metrics come in handy. Whatever tool or tools you’re using to measure social actions and interactions, use that data to see what’s working, and then try to emulate—not duplicate—those efforts.

But there’s a more personal way to go about this, too. Ask yourself what would speak to you. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Practice empathy. What would you want to know/read/learn/share? That’s what you need to create.

But remember there’s a fine line between empathizing and pandering. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope from time to time, and create content that challenges the status quo or makes people think.

That said, there’s also a difference between creating content that is genuinely meant to offer a different perspective and encourage discussion, and creating content meant solely to provoke and divide. Do you want your brand to be known for encouraging critical thinking, intelligent discussion, and positive reactions? Or for instigating conflict?

Remember you only have control over how your brand is represented and perceived while you’re creating your content. Once you release it into the wild, people can share it with any sort of editorial comment they may have. Try to encourage those comments to be positive, and your brand perception will be better for it.

Repurpose Your Content

Your audience will not always be in one place. If you’re trying to cater only to your blog readers, you’re missing out on a big world of potential readers—and customers. While your blog should always act as your home base, it doesn’t have to be your exclusive outlet.

I do not have a green thumb by any means, but you know those plants that when you take a small cutting, it actually promotes their growth? And then you can plant that cutting somewhere else, and it takes root and grows too?

That’s your blog.

Take something from your blog, and plant it somewhere else. YouTube, SlideShare, an e-book, a resource page on your site, a conference presentation, or some combination thereof. Put your ideas in front of more people in more places, and you build not just a broader audience, but a stronger brand.

Repurposing only works when the original content is substantial enough to support it, though. Which takes us back to the beginning. Create something worthwhile first. Make it something people will want to share. Put it in more places in more formats to reach more people. Then do it all over again. And again.

And pretty soon, you won’t have to shout so loudly to be heard over the hyperbole.

Interview with Dave Rohrer: See Him Speak at @Pubcon NOLA

dave-rohrerDave Rohrer, Sr. SEO Strategist at Covario, will be speaking about content marketing at Pubcon NOLA on Tuesday March 18, 11:30a 12:45p in Salon C. He will also be speaking on the In-House Team Building and Training panel on Tuesday 4:00p 5:00p on Salon A.

Dave started his online career in 1999 as a web developer where he quickly gravitated towards SEO and online marketing. He spent 10 years in-house as an online marketing manager and SEO manager where he gained a deep understanding of how all facets of online marketing work together. In his free time he is helping startups with their SEO and PPC campaigns

You are speaking at Pubcon NOLA about Content Marketing. Can you give us some hints on what you will be discussing?

I am going to cover two Ps of content marketing – process and pivot. I am going to give the audience some ideas on how to best organize themselves to create content and then measure what is working to pivot as they need.

You have been an in-house SEO and worked at an agency so you understand the importance of content marketing in regards to SEO to businesses. What do you think businesses need to understand?

Not everything you do is going to blow up and drive 100s/1000s of links, retweets, likes, or plus ones. You should have an overall strategy with lots of small projects and a few “go big or go home” projects mixed in. This overall strategy should have goals, metrics and be tied to the business itself but be flexible enough to jump on opportunities as they come up.

What are some content marketing mistakes that make you cringe?

There are many, but two that quickly come to mind are:

1. People assume that ‘this’ is going viral

2. ‘This’ should be easy and not cost anything. Even with the best content, plan, and outreach you aren’t guaranteed anything. Your audience may not care, your timing may be off or a competitor will launch something similar just a week prior (had it happen). Nothing is easy and doing diligent research, creating visuals, hiring developers and writers all cost time and money.

What are 3 general recommendations you could make to any business in regards to content marketing?

Just three is all I can give? For any business I think I would ask myself these three questions prior to any new project and then answer them prior to moving forward:

1. What is the goal of this project, how does it fit in with our overall marketing strategy and how are we going to judge its success?

2. What is our budget and resources to put towards it?

3. What is our overall plan for research, production, and promotion?

Do you have a favorite content marketing #fail?

Does Pepsi Clear count? How about New Coke? I don’t know that I have a favorite specific fail that comes to mind. I do however count any project that is being led by someone that has perhaps seen “Field of Dreams” one too many times a #fail

You have to build it right and promote it! It takes hard work and luck for something to go BIG.

If people want to learn more about effective content marketing strategies what resources would you recommend?

I think you can learn quite a bit from just looking at different companies/industries and seeing what is working and failing. What have your competitors tried and what has worked/failed for them? I’d also suggest watching for the type of content people share on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest that you know but more importantly what your target customer shares. You can always create a Private List on Twitter and “follow” people and companies. I also suggest checking out what this guy Matt does and says. Lastly, I suggest giving a read to Todd’s  “The Link Baiting Playbook: Hooks Revisited” which I often use to help brainstorm ideas on how to frame a project.

Do you have any recommendations for Pubcon NOLA attendees?

Put down your phone and/or laptop. Tell your husband/wife/boss that you have to go. Then go to the exhibit hall, go to sessions, go to dinner and events and meet people from the conference. My goal at every conference is to try and meet and then get to know at least one or two new people. I’ve written about this in the past (Pubcon Networking Above and Beyond), and so has Ralf, and the key take away is just this – get out and network and meet people! If you want another example I can give you a recent tweet from Joe Hall where I personally know and have met 8 of the people (Joe included) on that list through conferences over the years.

Fun Possible questions – (conference fodder)

  • Biggest Pet Peeve – Having to repeat myself (sorry Mom, I understand now!)
  • Mac or PC? PC – I tried banning Apple products, but the wife snuck one in (and
  • eventually more)
  • Beach or Snow? I live in Chicago, have you heard about our winter? Beach please!
  • Beer, Wine or Neither? I will look to George Thorogood on this – “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” but please hold the scotch
  • Star Wars or Star Trek? Original Star Wars

Thanks Dave!

We really appreciate your time and fantastic answers. We will see you on March 18th! If you haven’t been able to hear Dave speak yet I highly recommend you go see him at Pubcon! You can find Dave on Twitter @Daver.

7 Reasons It Kills to Have Awesome Content

What Makes a Good Infographic chart by DashburstIn the music world, a one-hit wonder is a group that hits it big with one song that rises quickly in the Top 40, but then that group is never heard from again. Think Pseudo Echo’s “Funkytown,” Calloway’s “I Want to Be Rich” or Billie Meyers’ “Kiss the Rain.” Being a one-hit wonder is great in the moment — you get tons of attention and make a little money — but most singers would rather have a career like the Beatles or Madonna, who produce consistent hits that stand the test of time.

So it is for content marketing. It’s easy to become a one-hit wonder with a fluke infographic or video that goes viral. But it’s much more rewarding to offer consistently impressive content that remains relevant a week, a month or even a year from now. Among the many arguments for high-quality content, the most convincing is the many long-term benefits of using this strategy. Investing in content can pay off in a plethora of ways, not the least of which is more sales. In fact, 90 percent of consumers say that custom content is useful to them.

Here’s a look at seven reasons why it’s worth offering awesome content and how that strategy can work for you.

1. Increase Your Search Engine Presence

It stands to reason that the more content you put out there, the greater your online presence. And the greater your online presence, the more chance there is that someone will come across your site on Google. When you’re publishing lots of high-quality content, that’s a lot of information for Google to crawl. Make sure you are optimizing it correctly, which will help you show up in results more often. On average, a site with a blog boosts indexed pages and indexed links by a whopping 434 percent.

Some high-quality content you may want to consider publishing:

  • Blog posts
  • Studies
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • White papers
  • Podcasts

 2. Offer Link Bait

It only makes sense: The cooler the content you publish, the more people will want to link to it. Link bait is essentially anything that is so compelling, so unique and so interesting that it draws people in, and prompts them to link to it from their own sites. There are many forms of link bait. “How Tos” and “Ultimate Guides” are two approaches that tend to get a lot of link backs. Infographics are also a rich source for link bait.

3. Build Trust with Your Potential Customers

Advertising is a proven way to raise awareness of your business. But if you want to really connect with consumers and teach them what your company is all about, content marketing is the best approach. Seven in 10 consumers say they would rather learn about a company by reading articles than through an advertisement. Your content should convey not only your mission statement, but the essence of what’s important to you and your business.

For instance, CJ Pony Parts is in the business of selling Mustang parts to collectors. But its owners are also car enthusiasts who care about Mustangs, as reflected in their recent infographic The Reveal of the 2015 Mustang, which demonstrates the company’s giddy excitement about the new reveal.

 Mustang infographic

4. Grow Your Newsletter

Part of creating great content is training people to look to your company as a source for great information. When you consistently offer new information, unique perspectives and invaluable advice, you’ll have people clamoring to get your newsletter so that they never miss a post. As a business, this is valuable because you have a greater chance to reach out with them through newsletter posts, and thus also a better chance to close a sale.

5. Drive More Social Shares

Loose Threads infographicWhen you post something that is out of the ordinary or has popular appeal, you will get more shares on social media. People like to show others the things that make them laugh or make them think. When your content engages them, they will want to know what others think about it, too.

One smart way to do this is to piggyback on a topic that many people are interested in, such as a pop culture event. For instance, rehab center Clarity Way had great success with an infographic about “Breaking Bad,” the popular AMC drama. The Loose Ends that Could Unravel Walter White went viral in 2013, getting tons of traffic from Facebook and StumbleUpon shares. Plus, a pop-culture-focused topic like this is just fun to produce.

6. Increase Your Social Following

Not only will you earn more social shares with top-notch content, you’ll also build up an audience of loyal followers who want to hear from you. Think about your own social media accounts. You follow people who have interesting things to say and who share information that you want to pass on to others.

By sharing blog posts, studies and infographics, things your followers can’t find elsewhere, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in the field. And experts tend to have a huge social media presence. Just look at Moz. The search engine optimization site has established itself as one of the top-shelf experts in the field by publishing engaging and informative stories, and that’s reflected in its social media. Moz has 287,000 Twitter followers and almost 146,000 Facebook fans.

7. Close More Sales

Ultimately, closing sales is what your business is aiming for, and you can achieve that goal by employing smart content marketing strategies. This approach helps turn visitors into customers, especially when you employ sales-driven content, such as:

  • Product pages
  • Product content blogs
  • Product awareness surveys
  • Sales training presentations
  • Product digest emails

The Smart Approach to Marketing

There are many benefits to offering high-quality content to your customers. In addition to establishing your company as a thought leader in your field, it can also pay off with greater sales, increased social media reach and a boom in newsletter subscribers. Just make sure that the content you’re producing is actually high quality. Pumping out oodles of low-quality blog posts and mediocre infographics is not going to have nearly as great an impact as smart, well-researched content.