Category Archives: content

How do you create great content for your website, blog, social media, and other marketing channels? Click on the links below for our advice on creating and managing content.

Check out the complete guide to content marketing.

Make some videos to spice up your marketing! Use these free tools.

Starting a blog? Check out these tips for business blogging.

Or scroll down for more blog posts on content marketing for small businesses.

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Learning SEO

I recently got a question about how to learn SEO, and thought that is a great topic for a weekly round-up! Here are some of my favorite blogs and resources.

Moz (previously SEOmoz) is where I go to most often when I need an answer. They have great explanatory guides on anything from title tags to canonicalization. Their blog also has in-depth articles on a range of SEO topics, including this recent one on redirects and their effect on your website.

And if you’re new to SEO, their beginners’ guide might be a good place to start.

The KISSmetrics blog is another great source of SEO and analytics advice. The blog posts are usually easy to understand for us non-tech people, and have a lot of advice you can try out. I like this recent post about being penalized by Google, or just go to the SEO category and start reading.

Another old go-to for SEO news and advice is Search Engine Land. To start, check out the links on this page, or go here directly and dive in.

And don’t forget Google Analytics help pages.

Is there any favorite resource you turn to for SEO advice?

To see more of what we read, follow us on Twitter!

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Marketing Tips for the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is the American Independence Day. If you’re marketing to customers in the U.S., don’t miss this opportunity of doing a special promotion or marketing message. I’ve put together some ideas from other bloggers.

This blog post has a ton of ideas on marketing for the Fourth of July, including special tips for bakeries, consignment stores, cafes, salons, spas and health clubs, tattoo parlors, florists, restaurants, or retail stores of any kind.

And here are some more tips just for restaurants.

This blog post has more ideas: all about offline marketing.

If you’ve noticed, all the posts I’ve linked to are heavy on the offline marketing. What can you do on social media? Watch out: I’ll do a post just about that tomorrow.

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Marketing Tips for Small and Local Businesses

Since last week was Small Business Week in the U.S., we’ve been tweeting about marketing for small businesses all week. Here are a few of the links that are useful all year-round.

On Small Business Trends, 5 reasons why signs work for your small business.

But if you’re thinking you only need signs, think again: Search Engine Journal explains why offline businesses need online marketing.

According to the BIA/Kelsey  report, 97% of consumers use online media before making local purchases.  Google Research  showed that 9 out of 10 internet searches resulted in a follow up action, such as calling or visiting the business. Mobile searches triggered an additional action or conversion 73% of the time; and 28% of mobile searches resulted in a store visit or purchase.

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Monday Marketing Mash-up: All You Need to Know for Business Blogging

I recently realized I’ve written a lot about blogging. Here are a few of my posts that might be useful to readers of this blog.

Why You Should Blog

This post compares blogging to other social media channels and tells you whether it’s right for you. Here’s what I think is most important:

Blog posts last better than most other social media posts: your older posts will continue to get you visits long after your tweets and Facebook posts have faded into oblivion.

Starting Your Blog

If you’re just starting out, this post explains six tips that I’ve found useful, including being regular and frequent, using relevant keywords, and improving usability on your blog.

Finding Blog Topics

Continue reading Monday Marketing Mash-up: All You Need to Know for Business Blogging

How to Pick Your Target Customer Segment

Over on Search Engine People, I explain how to pick a target customer segment that’s right for you. I answer questions like:

  • How do you start with a basic customer profile?
  • How should your target customer segment affect your marketing?
  • How do you learn enough about your audience to target your marketing better?

This post was inspired by several questions at recent workshops I’ve conducted, and I know this is a common challenge that all businesses have to deal with.

Read the post here, and tell me how you like it!

6 Free Tools for Creating Product and Promotional Videos

Are videos part of your content marketing? If not, they should be. Be it a quick product demo, a walk through your facility or office, a testimonial from a happy customer,  a training video for some complex feature of your product or an introduction of your team — videos are a great medium for all of this.

But getting professional videos done is so difficult and costly that most of us shy away from it. We recently created a bunch of videos of our product and team, and in the process, discovered that it’s not as difficult as it seems.

There are a number of easy and mostly free tools that you can use to create different kinds of videos quickly. Don’t expect the production quality to be really great, but this will serve the purpose for the most part.

Take a look at the videos we created here, and below is the list of tools we used.

1. Powtoon

Powtoon - Create professional looking animated videos and presentations

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Google AdWords Keyword Planner Just Launched

Yesterday Google officially launched its new tool, AdWords Keyword Planner, to help create better AdWords campaigns. Keyword Planner will replace our favorite Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator.

You should learn to use this tool even if you never used Keyword Tool or Traffic Estimator and do not plan to use Google ads. Understanding search terms is important because that tells you what words your potential customers use to describe yours and similar businesses so that you can tweak your marketing and sales content accordingly.

Adwords Keyword Planner

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Tracking Website Metrics on Google Analytics, Part 2: Sources, Referrals, Search Terms, and Campaigns

Last week, we looked at basic site traffic and engagement metrics on Google Analytics, such as visits, page views, time on site, bounce rate, etc. We also looked at how to look at the performance of individual pages on your site.

This week, let’s take a look at a few other metrics that you should be looking at regularly. (Haven’t set up Google Analytics yet? Here’s how.)

Sources

From where are people coming to your site? The Sources report answers this question. Click on Traffic Sources on the sidebar to see your options.

Continue reading Tracking Website Metrics on Google Analytics, Part 2: Sources, Referrals, Search Terms, and Campaigns

Weekly Reading: Trackbacks and Data Hub Activity on Google Analytics

We have been talking a lot about Google Analytics lately. Do you know of the new Google Analytics reports that show trackbacks and links from social media more explicitly? You should, so read this week’s links for details.

But first, how do you get to these reports? On your Google Analytics sidebar on the left, go to Traffic Sources, and then Social. You’ll see the links for Data Hub Activity and Trackbacks.

Here’s a screenshot of our Trackbacks report. It shows us who linked to our site recently.

Google Analytics Trackbacks for Markitty

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Tracking Website Metrics on Google Analytics, Part 1: Visits, Page Views, Time, Bounce Rate, Pages

If you have a website for your business, you must track visitors to your website and what they are doing. There are a number of tools available for tracking this, and the most popular and one of the most useful is Google Analytics. (Here’s how to set up Google Analytics if you haven’t yet.)

In these two posts, I’ll explain some important metrics you should be looking at in your Google Analytics data (or any other website tracking tool you are using).

The first thing to do, after you have logged into your Google Analytics account and selected the website you want to view data for, is to adjust the date range to your liking. The date range you select at the top applies to all the graphs and tables inside Google Analytics. I usually set it to current month or current week. You can change this any time you want, so feel free to try out different options. Click on compare to get all data for the previous period as well.

Set Date Range in Google Analytics

Now let’s get started.

Visits: Total Visits, Unique Visitors, Page Views, Pages per Visit, Time per Visit, Bounce Rate

Continue reading Tracking Website Metrics on Google Analytics, Part 1: Visits, Page Views, Time, Bounce Rate, Pages

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: All About Websites

The nuts and bolts of your websiteToday, we’re going to talk about your website and SEO and all that fun stuff (that makes you want to pull your hair out if you — like me — aren’t much of a techie). This is going to be rough, so fasten your seatbelts!

First: improve your website. This article has 16 tips you can start with. Is 16 too many? Here are the five things you absolutely should have in your website.

Second: are you using meta tags correctly? Do you have good descriptive tags for your content, that will help users understand what your site is about (and hopefully, push you higher up search results as well)?

If you blog, claim your authorship on Google. I don’t hang out much on Google Plus, but this is one reason why you should absolutely be using it if you’re a blogger.

If you need to move your domain, here’s how to go about it. As you know, we moved a month ago from BetterMarketing.in to Markitty.com. In this post on Search Engine People, I explain every step of how we did it with minimal impact to our site or search results.

And lastly, if you’re also using WordPress, avoid these five mistakes.

Why Interviews Are a Great Form of Content

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know we regularly interview successful marketers and entrepreneurs. Over on the Spin Sucks blog, I write about why I like interview-style blog posts.

I’m a big fan of everyone I’ve interviewed, and I wouldn’t have dared to approach Rand Fishkin or Anita Campbell to say “Hey, you’re so cool! Can I talk to you?” But – while it’s more or less the same thing – it seems more acceptable to ask if I can interview them for my blog and then ask them what makes them so cool. I’m amazed at the wonderful people I’ve been able to “meet” because of this.

Do read the post and tell me what you think.

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Let’s Say Goodbye to Google Reader

A sprained ankle, and then food poisoning. The last three weeks have not been good to me. And then I resurface this morning, only to be hit by the news that Google Reader is dying.

Yeah, yeah, it’s been on life support for a while, but still. It’s much too soon, Google. I’m not ready to say goodbye.

Mourning Google Reader

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The Content Marketing Pro: Interview with Ann Handley of Marketing Profs

Ann Handley, Marketing ProfsAnn Handley is the Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs, one of the most popular sites for marketing advice (and responsible for some of my marketing education!). She has been cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers. She is also the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules.

Ann talks to us about marketing and content. My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us about how you got involved with Marketing Profs.

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Presentation: Defining Your Marketing Strategy

On Saturday, Nilesh and I conducted the first of a three-part marketing workshop with Pune Open Coffee Club. The first session was on defining your marketing strategy.

If you missed the session, here’s the presentation.

Want to work on the exercises in the presentation? Get the template here.

Quick Readability Check of Your Web Pages

We talk about content a lot here on this blog. And content’s important, believe me. But no amount of great content is going to do it for you unless that content is displayed well — that is, you have good design.

I’m not talking about awesome, impressive design. Just a clean and modern setting for your awesome, impressive content. Enough to make it easy for users to read and navigate.

In my latest blog post at Search Engine People, I’ve outlined a checklist of 7 items you should look for to make sure your web content is readable. (The post says “blog posts,” but this applies to any web page with a lot of text.)

All of these tips are pretty elementary, but many websites and blogs still make these mistakes. Make sure you’re not one of them!

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Sales and SEO

Little girl with make-up and rollers
This is about how fake I feel if I try to sell

Vijay Anand, the founder of the Startup Center and a well-known name in the Indian startup space, answers the question, “What will it take to build 1.000 Startups in a year?”

Tech columnist Farhad Manjoo writes about Facebook’s Graph Search (which Nilesh wrote about here).

You’ll immediately notice Facebook search’s amazing user interface and flexibility. You’ll also spot one glaring problem: The search results aren’t that good.

After just a few queries, I started asking the engine for more and more complicated things, just to see if it could keep up… It didn’t have any trouble.

I can’t wait to try it myself, though apparently Facebook is rolling it out “very slowly.”

Are you making these 9 mistakes on LinkedIn?

Continue reading Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Sales and SEO