Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Rescuing Content, Building Clusters

Want more info on primary science programs, Game-Based Learning, or Word Study?
This line was on a site as the primary navigation to some pages. I rescued it from the dust bin and am recycling it here so that those pages get some link love.

And I'd like to revisit my complaint from the previous article about Google's poor word choice so taht we are all talking  about Content Pillars.

Terrible terrible word choice. Could I do better? Sure, why aren't we thinking about: Content Clusters!?! it sounds so so so much better.

And what's with the "pillar" metaphor? What are these pillars holding up?  I think a cluster, pulled together from different sites and pages, is far more magical and multidimensional.

Remember, content can be belong to different clusters at the same time.  (pillars makes it sound like this is impossible).

A red sedan convertible hybrid could be part of a set of clusters about cars, sedans, convertables, and hybrid or electric.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Content Pillars

Google seems to have the entire SEO industry talking about Content Pillars.  I'd like to complain about the word choice.  Why aren't we thinking about:

  • Content Clusters
  • Content Segments
  • Topic
  • Subjects
And what's with the "pillar" metaphor? I think the idea is that there is a single collection of source material such as a book, study, or white paper which can be used to provide bite-size pieces of content for social media and to fill up a number of webpages, perhaps each taking a section from the book, study, or white paper. 

There’s a big difference between a blog with uninspiring poor content and one that’s ripe with interesting and intriguing relevant information.  Good content is designed to appeal to an audience and answer their questions and respond to their interests. Poor content has no editorial success in culling together a coherent framework of info

Curious About the Mountain of Traffic

Sometimes, I look at my blog statistics that are built into Wordpress.

Today, for the last 20 days, I see this Wordpress reporting of HITs:


Naturally, I am curious about that mountain of traffic this past few days but since the WP data is so flakey, I jump to Google analytics for that blog and look at the last 30 days:


hmmm, no sign of any traffic event in the last few days.​

Looking back at the WP data, I notice that while visits had the mountain, the visitors did not. So there was maybe one person who returned to the blog over and over and read the entire blog a few times creating lots of visits but not lots of visitors.

Except, GA shows no corresponding increase in either page views or sessions that supports this idea.

So:
- I go back to WP stats are flakey, they are counting some sort of bot activity that GA does not
- WP stats are flakey, what the heck is a "hit" anyway and why when I look closely, are they reporting last 20 days?

Friday, March 02, 2018

SEO Agency Update to Marketing

The GURU: JL 2/28/2018 visited us fresh from pubcon. Here's the update.... 

AMP - accelerated mobile pages - BIG DEAL Costly in terms of maintenance Image work amp dot ig - <?> 

Structured snippets - Increased emphasis on schema.org Typically events Tickets News Location Reviews Breadcrumbs Questions by us. 

Impact of Voice search. Relevant? Secure pages - Oct https rollout was moved out to April from October. Good to have both in search console, Get both verified. Compare. I’ll check on https for blogger. Rewarded across the board. 

New search console - Fully rolled out in January. Old features not all there, ie fetch and render. Now has a YonY data and we still need to archive after 15 or 18 months. Has great features on what to fix. But now it requires fixes. Page speed tool removed and now integrated into lighthouse thing. Testmysite with Google will be page speed measure. Lighthouse: good for 1st look at what’s wrong with a website. Visual and quick. 

Question of what Google is really measuring. Is it first render? Full paint? What’s the right measure? Pay attention but more towards problems 

PPC - microPPC - Frequency that a person sees it. If you are trying to save budget, limit to a few a day. Set up an audience to improve quality. Example, layer in “female” and “mother” . There’s also interest categories. Bing serves ads in the timeframe of the user. <weird> Low time on site audience - block them. Block spam bots. Rev.com will do closed captioning for $1/minute and translations and transcripts. 

Chat bots - Huge capabilities. Mobilemonkey is an example only on Facebook (will it go cross platform with paid version?).. This is the future. Awesome. Home advisor. 1800 flowers. Like a progressive web app. John is 100% on board with it. Mitsuku per Brett. Super user friendly. Zootopia marketing was around it. “Skills” - like Alexa skills. Looks futuristic. Skills are like apps. Roger. Tie Alexa into sdk of student planner. 

2017 Big SEO Initiatives 
Mobile friendly - still a big deal. What is the real measure? A technical check (the mobile friendly label no longer works) with the Google checker. 
Https Speed Schema and answer box - Get the answer box results. There are now tools for monitoring. What are they? SEO traffic spikes usually links back getting an answer box. Lots of sniping to beat each other for key searches. 
Organic search is down….on mobile, the ads just win. But the search volume seems solid. “Homeschool” broad match - is it down by 6% - Why not ask Google reps? $1.5M paid search in Google. Netplus. Give credit to JL and the agency for our spend. Get direct access to google team for questions 
Segments & filters to distinguish between brand traffic and real search Can’t do it in console Can do it in GA Filters are for forward. Will segments or channels work going backwards? 2013: Dropped details in GA with https. Keep marketing your brand. And buy your name.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Where are the battles being fought?

A Better Title (and I think this deserves to go viral):

Where are the battles for iaudiences being fought in 2018?

Remember, you saw it here first. "IAUDIENCES".  Not a typo. Read it as "EYE audiences." It's an update to the tired talk of eyeballs which always seemed ghoulish.  Iaudiences is far more streamlined. Feel free to use it but do give credit to blorum.info).

For almost 15 years, I've been leading a consumer online marketing war in which we battle for market share. Over the years, I have had success by being nimble and lucky about fighting on the right fields at the right time.

When I started, the online fights had been about positions in directories and banner placements and optimization.  I however immediately focused on search engine position primarily natural search but also PPC. The trends were in my favor and I rode this for a decade benefiting from the tailwinds and fighting the right battles right up until 2015. Then the tailwinds of search growth seemed to have stopped.

We were big with the rise of email running both long term branding emails and timely newsletters. Very efficient until we felt that we had to switch to advanced nurture campaigns through the use of marketing automation systems where the complexity of the campaigns made, at least to the manager, the writing and effectiveness somewhat opaque versus the simplicity and transparency of old world stats (ie 470K on the last, 32K now at the 45th monthly email and still getting a 15% open rate!)

I also fought social media battles. We were early in working with mom bloggers and we even developed our own system for converting our mom fans into mom bloggers through our own training courses of blackbeltblogger.com and then the blogwritingcourse.com.  We were big on mom forums working both with our own and independent forums.

When new social media started getting big, we were a little slow.We were wildly successful with our forum and we wanted that to be the one and forever social media. That would have been nice.  Having wasted some time on MySpace, channels and vlogs, we were consistently late and clumbsy to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin,Pinterest, and Snapchat worlds. Just as we got good with Facebook and were driving huge engagement and traffic (VSC), we invested with Facebook to grow our tens of thousands to two hundred but they tweeked the algorithm so we started seeing views plummet to the current dismal ~1%. Sigh.  We did however ride the Yahoo groups popularity and made good use of it for many years after everyone else seemed to have forgotten it.

On the school side, we were OK with Edmodo and Symbaloo when they were young and easy to work with but haven't had much success once they got to the big time.

Our usage of Youtube has been minor.
Our success with Podcasts insignificant.
Our ebooks on Amazon and iTunes insignificant.
The entire app movement came and went and with the exception of one app that we built as a web-client substitute, we have not been a player.

We remain very SERP and SEO oriented.
Lets look closely at how this is playing out with secular homeschool.