Content Marketing Q&A
So, do you recommend to create educative content on your blog or on specific pages?
Well, a lot of times you can actually, so you want them to be housed on the main website. You want them to have a home. Things that are just on your blog, don't really have a home, right? They don't have a place to get to from that main menu. So you generally want these things to be searchable. That's not to say that often times these blogs and things that you purchase, whenever you publish a new page, you can actually give it a home on your website, and you can serve it to your blog. Does that make sense? Your blog basically serves up all new content, whereas you gave it a direct link and a permanent home on this spot. So it does both. I expect it to hit your blog, if you write something about new venues, I hope it hits your blog, it needs to.
I have a question from Danny, who says, for example, for five tips every new bride should know, or newborn safety tips,
I love that. her question is, can s...
he use content from a magazine if she is crediting them, so how much can you be sort of curating other content that's out there and putting it on your own site?
I would very much advise against that. There's a fine line between what's called curating of content and plagiarism. So, yeah, don't go there. And the other thing is, it doesn't benefit you from an SEO standpoint. The reason why is, if you pull content from some other place, if it's been up there for 24 hours or more, what's the likelihood that Google or all the other search engines have already crawled it? Raise your hands if you think that it's already been crawled and searched and looked. The engine has already found that content. That's bad news when you take that content and you publish it on your own page. Because then the search engine itself dings you. Ooh, bad practice, you just plagiarized someone else's stuff, your ranking is gonna drop. So, these are things that are very legitimate, and any time you publish non-organic content, the SEO benefit is minimal, meaning that if you're not creating the content yourself, if it's not new content, if you're taking somebody else's stuff, the benefit is either minimal to damaging, depending on what it is that you exactly did. So avoid it, don't take other things, that's why I say look to the Lin and Jirsa site as an example of what to do, go take it and make it your own. Adapt it, put it in your own voice, make it your own, write your pages. Cool?
Alright cool, and Chris chimed in and said, "Google penalizes duplicate content." So there you go, you got it.
Yes! Look at that.
How long should blog posts be, is there sort of an ideal length, or is does it really kinda depend on your genre, or I know people don't like to read on the internet sometimes, they just wanna look at pictures, but...
This is a great question, I'm gonna answer this from the standpoint of, I used to be the editor in chief for SLR Lounge, so our writers would come in and write stuff, usually 500 words, 800 words, is great. You don't need to go and write page long essays and in fact, what I would say is, the more you write, it better be so damn good that people are gonna keep on reading. Because beyond a certain point, Google's not looking at the keywords 10 pages down in an article, they're looking, what's closer to the top. Is that making sense? So they're gonna look at, that's actually one of the search factors, is what are the closest things to the top of the page? Those are the more relevant things. You're better off with to the point articles, easily digestible, because even though we are, we're gonna cover this in the next segment, even though we're writing, with keywording and content, kinda this categorization and SEO in mind, we're not writing for the search engine. We're writing for the end user. We're writing for the consumer who's gonna come and read it. It needs to be good content, it needs to be valuable. It needs to serve all those things, and in fact, if it's not, if Google feels like you wrote this for Google, bam, knock you down, it's that good. It's that good at detecting how you're writing. And if you say things like, we're gonna talk about keyword stuffing, like, I really love being a wedding photographer in Los Angeles. Being a wedding photographer in Los Angeles means the world to me. That is a keyword stuffed sentence. It has absolutely no value to the person reading it, and Google knows it. So, keep it shorter, keep them targeted, the easiest way to write beautiful content is list format content that follows a popular keyword term. Newborn safety is your keyword term. Five tips on newborn safety. As I'm saying this, do you hear Gizmodo, and all these other sites popping up in your head? Buzzfeed, and every single other site that uses these frameworks? This is where it comes from, okay? You just take it and adapt it to what you do. Boudoir. What do I wear for a boudoir shoot? What to wear... My boudoir shoot, what to wear, 10 ideas. And you have 10 simple ideas that guide them through. This way, Haldis, you don't need to be the best writer in the world, you just need to come up with interesting ideas. And two or three lines here or there to explain them. You don't need to write an essay for any of these things. Got it?
Follow up question from Kate Garen, If your blog posts are too short, and people aren't staying on your site very long, is that bad, are you considering how long people should be staying on your site?
I believe that's one of the tracking metrics, that Google would use, or a search engine would use is how long do people stay on the site. The key there is it's an important thing to understand, but the problem there is that the content itself is not valuable enough to stay. So you're pulling somebody in somehow, you got them there, but for some reason whatever they're seeing is not enough to keep them there. Which would lead me back to what keywords are you targeting, are you getting the right people on the page in the first place? Because if it's somebody that's interested in what you do, they should be willing to look around a little bit. It's like walking into a store and browsing. Imagine this. Let's go back to Louis Vuitton. We're standing in Louis Vuitton, and I wanna get people in the door. So I put ice cream on a cone, I'm like, "I got free ice cream for anybody who wants free ice cream, just come on in!" You could probably get a lot of people to walk into Louis Vuitton with some free ice cream on your cone, right? And you just hand out free ice cream. Free ice cream, one for you, one for you, Sharon you want some, what's your favorite flavor?
Ooh, I love salted caramel. You got some salted caramel, but then after you've had that salted caramel Sharon, are you gonna stick around and buy a bag?
You're good, you got your salted caramel, you're out. (audience laughing) And that's the problem that we have, when people are coming into a site and frequently bouncing, is that we're either engaging the wrong audience, or the content is not valid to that audience. So pick one or the other, and then adapt it.
Question from MPD Photo Guy, who's wondering about how you find out, how you track how algorithms are changing when it comes to SEO, so he's mentioning that some of the bigger ones have announced that some of the algorithms don't work anymore, and so how do you keep up with that?
Okay, I'm gonna channel Chris right now. SEO Moz. SEO Moz is kind of the foremost authority on search engine ranking, everything search engine, they have a blog that you guys can follow. Keeping up to date on it is a good thing, don't drive yourself crazy with it. Don't let SEO drive yourself nuts, this is where your main thing, if you're too focused on that main SEO keyword term, you can drive yourself nuts, because one day you're at first, one day you're third. One day you're second, one day you're sixth. And it'll keep bouncing around, don't worry about it. Worry about your niches. Those are honestly the gold mines. Because those are things where somebody's considering something specific in your area, and it's a direct lead to you. That's your bread and butter, your niches should be your bread and butter. And then the organic ranking of the overall site will come a time. And we have more factors, the next segment is gonna talk about all the other factors and how to build that authority. Which sucks, because it used to be called page rank, and Google deleted that. There's no more page rank. So now we're just stuck saying authority. Because nobody knows. That make sense? It's a non-stop game. I wanna break this down in the simplest way possible. Don't think about what do you do for a search engine. Okay, if you go that route, all of you are gonna drive yourselves crazy. Think about this. Let me use my search engine to dictate what keywords, what category to be using. Then from there, just put out great content. From there, just put out good articles, good education. Okay? We're gonna teach you some back lane stuff, we're gonna teach you, but that is the big piece of it. Because if you're putting out good stuff, that people like and people read, that's the end goal of a search engine, right? The algorithm constantly changes because they're trying to figure out what is the most relevant thing to be serving up? So don't think about what do I need to do to please them, think about what is the most relevant thing you could serve up to your target market. Just use some good practices along the way, and it'll automatically rank.