I’ve been looking at websites for over 8 years, and have developed quite a keen sense of what constitutes a real or a fake blog.
One thing I’ve noticed is, it is getting harder to tell the difference because it is very easy to fake things like social proof, by simply buying cheap fans and engagement.
And, it is easier to set up a good looking site or blog as well because there are just so many great free templates and great, free website builders.
What is a fake blog?
A fake blog is one that has been set up along with around 200 more fake blogs for the purpose of pumping out low quality content and profiting from it.
One webmaster and several hundred blogs does not lead to high quality editorial standards and fully researched and accurate information. Fake blogs are not the types of places you want to go to in order to research what is the best holistic health diet to follow, or what herbal medicine is available for your toddler.
There is no integrity on these blogs. The owners don’t care if you get the right information, just that you click a link and buy something. Or, if you are a company that you pay to be featured on the site for SEO purposes.
Why should you avoid working with fake blogs?
Its obvious why you wouldn’t want to take health advice from these blogs, but what about guest posting?
With the recent announcement of Rank Brain, a system which Google can use to look at the quality metrics of websites - including time on page. It has become even more important for webmasters not to be associated with these kinds of low quality sites.
If Google takes a look at your backlink profile and can tell that you’ve been associating with these types of blogs then it is a definite indicator that you have been link building against Google’s guidelines. If you are not penalised then at best these links will be discounted and with it your hard earned rankings will drop and no-one wants that.. not even this lady.
So, do not work with fake blogs. They don’t provide any additional benefit further than a link and purely guest posting for links is a risky, risky business.
To help you build up you fakedar let’s go through the subtle signs of a fake blog now.
5 Subtle Signs Of A Spammy Or Fake Blog
If you land on a blog and the template is one that you’ve seen literally everywhere then it is very likely to be a fake blog. Webmasters that create these blogs need to create a lot of them cheaply and quickly.
They won’t put very much effort into the look of the website but instead just buy a free template and upload a ton of low quality content to make it seem like this is a blog that has been around for a while.
Often, the design is one that has a lot of categories set up, so it seems like there is a wide variety of content which makes it feel more aged. But, on closer inspection you’ll notice that one post will be in multiple different categories. You might also notice that the last post was uploaded several months, or even years ago.
Be wary of blogs which use generic templates!
2. Too much social proof everywhere
Have you ever been to a networking event or a party and there’s that one guy that can’t stop going on about how amazing he is and all of the great stuff he has been up to? He’ll be name dropping and talking about all of his latest achievements, you just can’t get a word in. How do you feel listening to that?
It doesn’t feel natural does it. It feels forced, like he’s trying to prove something. It’s the same on a blog. We’ve all heard that social proof is a good way to show you are an expert, and it is. Having social media numbers and shares visible on your blog is a good way to make visitors feel like they are not alone in coming to you for advice.
However, be wary of the unknown blogger who has been featured in every single top publication, who has several thousand homepage shares and displays all of their social media follower counts (which by the way are all huge).
3. Social media icons which redirect to the homepage
Another subtle sign of a fake blog is if the social media profile buttons don’t link anywhere. Very often the site appears on face value to be legit but when you click on the social media icons they redirect back to the homepage.
This shows that the webmaster has set up a generic template, imported content and not even bothered to make sure the links work properly. Make sure you click through and check that the blog does in fact have some kind of a social media presence.
4. No visibility of the owner
I’m pretty proud of Ginger Marketing, and I’m proud to put my name to this company and this blog. Of course, I’m not yet at the level that I want to be, there is always room for improvement and growth and I try to improve with every single client, placement, blog post & interaction. But, what I produce is to the best of my ability in this moment. That should be the case of the types of people you want to associate with for Digital Marketing purposes.
There are many, many nameless blogs out there with owners who are not proud of the work they are doing and so don’t want to be associated with it. If you land on a blog which does not have any description of who runs it then be wary! This could be a fake blog.
5. Traffic but no engagement
It’s gotten quite easy now to fake traffic. Yep, that’s right, it is possible to actually fake traffic now! With sites like Traffic Junkie and others bloggers can game the system and just drive traffic to their site. Looking at pure traffic metrics is no longer an indication of a high quality blog or website.
This is the reason I talk so much about engagement metrics and how important they are. It is vitally important that you work with blogs and websites who have a real audience. Even if this audience is small, it is still an audience and that is what counts.
Growing traffic takes time, especially with so much competition. So, be wary of any site that has managed to build high traffic in a short period of time - especially if no-one engages with their content.
We hope you've enjoyed this post! As usual let us know in the comments below.
Rankbrain helps Google solve a very important problem. How to interpret and understand the intent behind the person making a Google Search. This is a very important distinction to make.
The internet is not a collection of words, it’s a collection of questions and answers.
In order to provide the correct answer, it is important to fully understand the question.
This is what Rankbrain helps Google to do. It does this by using Machine learning in order to process huge amounts of qualitative data (words) into quantitative data (numbers) so that the machine can understand what is being written.
Rankbrain is just one part of Google’s Algorithm
Rankbrain isn’t a new algorithm, it is a new section of the algorithm which is helping Google’s results become more accurate and useful for the user.
The human body is made up of lots of parts which work together, right? Imagine Hummingbird, which is the latest Google Algorithm is the body whilst it is made up of lots of different parts which the make the whole work. Rankbrain is one of those parts.
Rankbrain and Quality Metrics
The bit I am most excited about when it comes to Rankbrain is its link with Quality metrics. Google has always stated that there goal is to improve the quality of the results we get.
They are not in the control of the quality of the content on the websites that they rank. BUT they are in control of what they rank and what they don’t. If quality is key to Google, then it makes sense that they would reward content that is higher quality and more useful for the user.
This is one of the areas Rankbrain helps in.
How does Rankbrain decide what is quality content and what isn’t?
Click through rate is a big factor here.
Google has stated;
'Searching users are often the best judges of relevance, so that if they select a particular search result, it is likely to be relevant, or at least more relevant than the presented alternatives.'
This is the reason click through optimisation is so important. As Larry King speaks about in this article, which by the way is well worth a read. It is incredibly difficult to optimise the click through rates for organic search results. The main reason - there just isn’t enough data for us to go on at a keyword level these days.
Google has done a really good job of taking away a lot of our data. Optimising without data can lead to a lot of going round in circles.
What can we optimise for easily?
There is one thing you can do very, very easily. That is LOOK at the search results BEFORE you start optimising for a keyword.
You may have an assumption that a keyword has one intent behind it, only to discover Google (and therefore most people online), have an entirely different opinion.
So, the first thing to do when you discover a longtail keyword that has a good amount of search volume and is relevant to the topic you want to cover - type it into Google!
It’s such a small step, but one that can very easily be missed. And if missed can result in a lot of hard work going down the drain.
Dwell time could be another big factor
This is the amount of time a user spends on your page after clicking through, another great indicator of quality. There is still a lot of controversy around this, some SEO’s think it matters, some don’t. My view is, its an important metric to look at either way.
It immediately places our focus on to quality which is where Google wants us to be. So, whether this is the specific metric they are looking at or not it doesn’t matter. Take the long term view, optimise your content for quality and you safeguard your site now, and in the future.
To give you an idea about what dwell time could mean. A little bit tongue and cheek but this graphic from Hrefs backs up my point. The only risk for optimising for dwell time is overdoing it.
I do see a strong trend in the online community whereby everyone is just trying to outdo each other on length of content.
It’s getting kind of ridiculous.
I love how Digital Marketers love to jump on trains.
One person notices how one metric - in this case, semantic keywords and covering a topic full and then dwell time as well impacts ranks. Then there are some studies, experts look at the theory, decide yes this looks like there is a correlation.
Then they come up with a simple tactic.
Let’s make the content longer.
And then, it becomes THE THING.
So now, blog posts are like manuals.
Beware of following any tactic blindly. Do what is right for your audience and what is right for the topic you are covering.
If the content is good quality then your dwell time is going to be high anyway. Readers will be engaged, reading through what you’ve written, maybe going back, double checking another point.
The thing we want to avoid is extremely low engagement metrics.
If your pages have an average dwell time of 1 minute or less then very likely readers are just skimming your content, realising it’s not relevant or of high quality and leaving.
This is a signal that
Hopefully you have an understanding now on what this additional to the Google Algorithm does. And even more, have come away with some solid ways you can optimise for it. Here is a quick run down of the types of things your content strategy needs to focus on.
The winners will focus on these things >>
Track time on page
Use LSI Keywords to cover a topic fully
Make sure you use Google related search
Write more in depth content (but don’t go crazy if its not needed!)
We hope you enjoyed this post! As usual let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
As the end of the year draws closer you (like me), might find yourself taking stock of your business.
Not necessarily slowing down, but stepping back.
Stepping back and looking at what has and hasn’t been working and thinking about new ways to improve for next year.
If you aren’t stepping back yet, then I really encourage you to do that. Whether you are an Agency owner, consultant or you run your own blog - reflection is really important.
As I step back in my business, one area I’d really love to improve on next year at Ginger Marketing is our customer experience.
How do we bring on clients, work with them and continue to delight them and grow the relationship.
And the same for the micro influencers we work with. How do we engage them, communicate with them and continue to grow that relationship.
To get some inspiration going I visited one of my local nail salons. A place I’ve always found to be run very professionally, with a friendly, laid back (but not too much) atmosphere.
As soon as I walk in the door I feel at ease.
That’s exactly the kind of feeling I’d like everyone to have who deals with Ginger Marketing. It's important to identify; how do you want your customers / readers to feel when dealing with your brand?
What is this Nail Salon's secret sauce? What creates that sense of ease from the beginning of the experience to the end? And what keeps me going back?
Let’s break it down + see what lessons we can learn about customer experience from a living, breathing and successful local business.
First stop, visit the nail salon. Phft, can’t a girl work, learn and get her nails done too?
This is a picture from the outside of the nail salon. What can we say about the outside. Well, one thing is for certain, it looks like a nail salon. As soon as you look at the outside you know exactly what it is.
But why - what specifically indicates this is a nail salon?
It seems very obvious to you, but there are some specific elements that have been brought together to ensure that you know exactly what it is that they do. Let’s break them down now.
1. The Sign
Big bold letters 'Nail' its very clear what they do! 'Dance In Finger', a little less obvious, but its still clear this is pointing at a nail salon.
2. The Branding
Pink & gold, girly and also stands out on the highstreet against the other white, grey and brown buildings.
They not only add a cosy feel from the outside but also make it cosy on the inside as no-one can look in the window.
Again, friendly, and makes the shop front stand out.
3. The Price List
They have the whole price list pasted on the door making it really easy to understand what services they offer and the general cost.
With all of these elements in place I am able to make a clear decision about whether
I can get all of this information by the impression that I’ve formed from the front of their shop. This immediately puts me at ease before I’ve even stepped in their front door because I’m unlikely to find any surprises on the other side.
What happens at the enquiry stage?
Once I’ve stepped through the front door, the first thing I see are attentive and smiley people. I don’t have to go and find someone, or ring a bell, or stand in a queue. Every time I’ve gone there, it’s just immediately a nice friendly person asking you if they can help.
It also feels like the natural next step once you get in.
It’s not pink & friendly on the outside and then once you step through the door it’s all black and white marble.
The branding is consistent.
Mostly white interior with pink flowers on the walls, quotes saying “love” and fairy lights. A girly, flowery vibe, consistent with the outside and what I expected before I walked through the door.
There are lots of visual cues that this is indeed a nail salon.
There are nail varnishes lined up on the wall in a huge range of colours.
There are chairs and a table with manicure equipment laid out on the table and behind.
It’s neat and tidy and clean.
There are also visual cues telling you immediately what you have to do next.
Partly this is down to the fact that I’ve been to nail salons before. And this is an important note. Have your clients used a similar service to yours or read a similar blog before?
If it is a popular service there may already be an established routine and system that they are used too.
We may sometimes wrongly assume that innovation is best. When sometimes, it’s a lot easier for someone to just follow a process they have already been using, but with you instead.
If, for example the nail salon asked me to pay upfront, this would be a step out of my usual routine and I might second guess whether to stay & get the service.
This nail salon follow the same routine, smiley, friendly people, chair at a table with lots of manicure tools on it to sit at. I already know where to go before they tell me.
How can you guide your website visitor or reader? How can you make sure they already know where to go next without you even needing to utter a word?
I ask for a manicure and take a seat
The chair is comfortable but practical. Everything about the service is also practical. The right tool for the right job. And this also places the customer immediately at ease. Everything is taken care of, there is a clear formula, process and path - and there is a tool for each section.
There are a lot of tools.
And this also is a reason for me to come back. I’m sitting there having my nails done thinking, wow, I could never do this at home. I could never have so many tools and be able to complete this at the same speed with the same quality - and this is only costing me 13 euros. I’m definitely coming back.
This is important.
Customers need to feel as if they are getting value for money + that they can not easily replicate the same level of service by themselves, or repeat business will never be won.
Having a new tool for each stage makes it feel like I’m getting really great value for money. It also improves the quality of the finished result.
One other element I’d like to mention is the personalisation. The manicure only offers x 3 variations, other than those variations the system is the same for every customer.
You are able to choose whether to have your nails cut or not, whether they are filed rounded or straight & the colour. This makes it feel like the service is personal, in the elements that are most important - the visual appearance I as a customer want. But, the other elements are fixed.
It’s amazing how much we can learn from the businesses all around us! We don’t always need to be looking at online businesses, and sometimes it’s actually easier to see the elements working together in an offline business.
That easeful feeling that this nail salon creates is down to the consistency. From the beginning to the end as a customer you know what to expect & without fail that is delivered.
This is accomplished with a mix of >
Clear & Consistent Process
The Correct Tools
Small Amount of Personalisation (too much and its overwhelming)
Hope you like this post! As usual let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Have I inspired you to go to a local business & see what you can learn?
An increasing number of brands are recognising the benefit of tapping into organic social networks by partnering with social media personalities & bloggers.
However, one of the most effective approaches for generating high-quality leads has been the use of micro-influencers – people with relatively small but highly targeted followers.
As such, many marketing agencies and consultancies have begun emphasising the importance of engagement metrics versus sheer volume when assessing the value of an influencer.
In fact, marketing research suggests that pushing promotional efforts through finely select influencers is one of the most reliable ways to quickly bring brand awareness to a viral level.
More specifically, here are ten influencer marketing stats that shed light on the benefits and recent growth of micro influencer marketing:
1. Higher Customer Quality Reported by More than Half of Early Implementers
According to an influencer marketing study released by the Tomoson platform, roughly 51% of surveyed marketers reported obtaining better customers that engage and convert at a higher rate. This indicates that influencers have an unmatched ability to facilitate rapid and effective social engineering.
2. Micro Influencers Encourage Purchases and Actions Frequently
Part of the reason smaller, more targeted networks are more efficient marketing channels is because micro-influencers are almost expected to recommend products and ideas to their followers and viewers.
More specifically, roughly 75% of micro-influencers regularly encourage their followers to take action. Such promotional efforts from larger stars seem to be less efficient at producing high engagement levels.
3. About 70% of Brands Engage with Influencers to Promote Content
According to a 2015 report from Schlesinger Associates and Agure, approximately 67% of marketers and brand communicators are using influencer marketing on some level.
Analysts estimate the figure has risen closer to 75% now. However, many of those brands have yet to discover the power of using micro-influencers.
4. Micro-Influencers Don't Have to Pay to Promote Posts and They're Less Expensive to Work With
More than 50% of micro-influencers have never had to pay to promote their content a single time. Platforms and blogs tend to welcome them with open arms because of the high-quality visibility they provide.
This makes smaller influencers easier and more affordable to work with, despite the fact that they bring in better leads when results are extrapolated on a larger scale.
5. Micro-Influencers with a Following Base of 1000-4000 Users Have a High Engagement Rate
A following of a few thousand seems to be the sweet spot, with micro-influencers in this range receiving more than 4.5% engagement from their followers and subscribers.
6. YouTube Micro-Influencers Have the Heaviest Influence on Younger Demographics
A study from Google and Ipsos Connect indicates that YouTube stars are becoming even more influential than conventional celebrities, especially with the younger generation.
Approximately 70% of teens said that they can more closely relate to their favourite YouTube channels than their favourite celebrity.
(Pictured below, Youtube Star & Comedian Miranda Sings)
7. Influencer Marketing Searches Tripled in the Past Two Years
During the past year alone, the number of Google searches for the term “influencer marketing” have tripled, going from about 4,000 annual searches in 2015 to more than 21,000 in 2017.
8. Supply and Demand for Micro-Influencers Increasing Exponentially
Perhaps even more interesting than the search volume is the number of agencies and platforms that have sprung up to accommodate the need to link brands with influencers, rising from only about 200 agencies in 2015 to more than 420 in 2017.
9. More than 80% of Consumer are Highly Likely to Consider Recommendations Made by their Favourite Micro-Influencer
Roughly 82% of consumers are very likely to consider and follow through with a suggestion made by a micro-influencer because they view them as being more “genuine” when compared to endorsements made by celebrities and larger influencers.
10. Almost 10% of UK Marketers Will be Spending More Than £100,000
A survey of 600 marketing and PR firms in the UK revealed that approximately one tenth of respondents will be spending a total of more than £100K on influencer marketing during the next year, and almost 40% will be spending up to £10,000. Such spending habits indicate that these brands have been achieving desirable returns on their investments.
Influencer Marketing Reaching Mainstream Heights
At this point it would be silly for any online business to ignore the power of influencer marketing and the social leverage that micro-influencers provide.
With the demand tripling and the supply doubling in the span of just two years, it's likely that influencer marketing will have a significant impact on internet economics and will probably become as popular as traditional marketing methods within the next 5 years.
As usual, let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Are you surprised by any of these stats? Do you have one of your own to add and share with our readers?
I’ll be honest, when my colleague sent me an email saying that the coschedule title analyser had given my title a low score and I should improve it, I was not impressed.
How can a computer know more than a writer about what is and isn't going to persuade someone to click on a title? I was proud of the title, I liked it.
Her email went onto tell me that I should analyse all of my titles with this machine and improve them for better readability.
I dismissed the advice. I think I spent about 30 minutes checking out the tool and decided what can it know and moved on.
Six months later, AI technology is popping up more and more in content creation. It’s starting to get my attention and I’ll be honest, does make me slightly concerned.
If a machine can write my content, what am I here for?
I still rely on content writing as a form of income.
I imagine a lot of other writers and copywriters are having similar questions and fears. How long will it be before a robot is doing our job.
Research a little bit online and your fears will not be squashed! By the looks of it in the media we are all going to be out of a job next week.
But, how much of that is realistic, or just hype?
It’s in the best interest of the AI technology companies & their investors to create a lot of buzz and “positive sentiment” as an AI robot might say. They want companies to feel like if they don’t jump on this technology straight away they will be left behind in the dust - their competitors speeding ahead as they adopt AI into their strategies.
So, I did some research of my own.
Going into the research adamant that a robot was going to take away my job, and worse my only true passion. A writer writes because that’s what they are on this planet to do. Take away the reason to write, what has a writer got left?
However, after completing this research I feel better - and I hope after reading this you might too.
This isn’t going to be a scientific study I’m afraid. I’m a writer, not a scientist.
I’m also obviously bias because I don’t want robots to take away my job, or my passion.
But, I don’t think those things mean I shouldn’t have a voice on this matter. If anything we need more voices on the other end,
For this unscientific study of AI technology & copywriting I focused on a tool, Atomic AI, which is pitched as a tool to help marketers write better. It does this by telling you if you are writing for the right level of audience and scores you accordingly.
I wanted to look at its scoring system, relative to how many shares a piece of content got.
The premise being, if a piece of content scores higher, then it should be shared more. That’s what the tool is helping writers with. To write for their audience better, make a deeper connection in order for them to share or engage with the post, which is what every marketer wants as a result from their content.
For this study, I’m going to look at the same website. Because, as we know the size of an audience has a direct impact on how many shares an article will get.
Yes, so does a million other factors. This is not scientific, remember.
I’m also going to use the blog content of a website I admire and respect for their copywriting.
As with every single blog out there, some content does better than others.
Some content gets a higher level of engagement from the audience.
This is what we are always trying to improve on. To identify what it is that makes our content great + try to replicate that greatness for future posts.
So, let’s see if content that got a lower level of engagement on Kopwritingkourse.com, gets a lower score on Atomicreach.com
The Pages I Chose From The Homepage Of The Blog >
1. https://kopywritingkourse.com/airbnb-listing-description/ - 73 shares
2. https://kopywritingkourse.com/create-advertising-that-sells-david-ogilvy/ - 223 shares
3. https://kopywritingkourse.com/billboard-advertising/ - 116 shares
Now Let’s see what each one gets as score from Atomic.
3. https://kopywritingkourse.com/billboard-advertising/ - 116 shares
Let me explain what these screenshots from Atomic mean.
So, for each piece of content you have to select a readability level. After playing around with it all afternoon I’ve realised that more of the online content, even on the larger blogs try to write for a reliability level “knowledgable”.
Hot Tip: This is actually in itself an important takeaway. Initially I assumed that all of the top blogs in my industry were focusing on writing for an academic audience. It turns out, knowledgeable is the level they are all going for. In a sec I’ll explain what this means!
There are 5 levels in Atomic.
The basis of this tool is that it will tell you if you are writing at a level your audience can understand. So, I select knowledgable for these three pieces of content.
Then, the tool will score the piece based on the setting.
The way it calculates it is basically how advanced are the words you are using.
Original: Located in north Austin, this bulletin targets traffic heading north towards Pflugerville, Round Rock & Georgetown, avoiding traffic on I-35.
"avoiding”, is set as knowledge level specialist, one level above where we are aiming. So I can click the word and choose one more suitable for my audience. Changing these words will increase the scoring of the piece overall.
When I click "avoiding"
I am told it can be switched to shunning, shirking or squashing.
Improved: Located in north Austin, this bulletin targets traffic heading north towards Pflugerville, Round Rock & Georgetown, shunning traffic on I-35.
Clearly this word doesn’t improve the sentence, it just doesn’t feel right. It feels way too dramatic. I SHUN THE TRAFFIC - who shuns traffic??
Anyway, that gives you an idea about what the readability level does and how it applies to the text. I don’t think the tool is particularly great at coming up with accurate synonyms. HOWEVER, it is useful to know at what level you are writing at.
We are always trying to write in an approachable way. To cut the jargon and get straight to the point.
But how do you actually know that this is how you are writing?
I believe this is one way to find out, so just for this reason I suggest you log on for free and check it out. Further than that though, I fail to see how this tool is useful long term.
Good for competitor research, and for checking your writing style, but is this robot going to take my job. NO. At least right now I'm safe.
The second thing this tool does is gauge emotion.
Emotion looks at the language used and gives a score from calm to exciting. The premise being that more emotional language gets shared more often.
To be honest, I don’t know how it works this score out. Previously, tools would categorise the types of words used and then assign either positive or negative to those words and create the score from there.
But that caused issues, because sometimes a seemingly negative word can actually be used in a positive way.
For example the sentence:
The skateboarder executed a toe grab 360 and it was sick.
The words ‘executed’ and ‘sick’ are usually used in a negative way, but in this sentence the statement is positive. The tools would not be able to accurately know this.
With Atomic AI this sentence is scored as ‘exciting’.
Exciting can be either negative or positive.
That's all I really have to say on it at the moment. I don't really understand how this is particularly usful aside from the fact that I'll know if my writing is sending my audience to sleep or not.
Let’s move onto the scores that Atomic gave these three posts and see if the score is reflective in the number of shares it received.
Post 1 > Shares 73 > Atomic Score 74
Post 2 > Shares 223 > Atomic Score 74
Post 3 > Shares 116 > Atomic Score 76
The scoring is pretty similar across all three posts. Post 2 was the post about David Ogilvy, which if you read it, is actually a word for word copy of one of their copywriting adverts. Shouldn’t this be the benchmark for copy, being that it was written by the most famous advertising agency of all time, and a living legend?
In fact, Post 3 got the highest score.
What I’m unclear about on this tool though is why. What happened to those two points, does that really matter? Or is this tool more useful for writers who have a lot of learning to do?
Maybe I put in text that was too high quality.
In summary, after doing this research I am not worried about my writing job (just yet anyway). There is so much hype about these tools. This is just one, there are more on the market.
I don’t want to completely discount all of them. Some might be useful. But what I do want to highlight is the need to go on a try them for yourself before getting so concerned and worried.
So far I’ve been disappointed by what these tools can do, which makes me feel a whole lot better. Hopefully you are too.
I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments. Have you tried any of the new AI tools out? What are your thoughts?
The primary goal of a good SEO Copywriter should be to captivate and influence a targeted human audience and attract search engine rankings with content that informs and answers common queries in a unique and engaging manner.
In other words, the content has to do more than just read well – it has to be tailored around specific topics and phrases to rank highly for popular search terms and keywords.
Therefore, excellent copy consists of content that is both written well and developed with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind.
Let's look at seven actionable copywriting techniques you can use to push your content to the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs)
1. Start with a Show-Stealing Title
When you're initially coming up with the topic and outline of the content, the very first step will be formulating an eye-catching, click-provoking title.
Fortunately, if the title is good enough to persuade people to click on it, Google's algorithms will recognise this positive organic traffic trend as an indicator that your page is a useful resource deserving of higher rankings.
Here's a step-by-step example illustrating the typical SEO-oriented title creation process:
1. Think of a basic way to describe your topic.
Methods for Improving a Blog Post Title
Check point 6 and make sure you include your longtail keyword research at this stage. Look for keywords which have less competition but describe the topic you want to cover in detail.
2. The above “title” is actually more of an extremely bland and vague description, so the next step is to spice it up using buzzwords/keywords, adjectives, lists, mystery/curiosity, benefits/advantages, and other persuasive tactics.
Except in this step you'll come up with a couple of variations like:
5 Title Tweaking Techniques that Promote Higher CTR
Multi-Tiered Guide on Creating Blog Titles Like a Pro
3. Now list your prospective titles using a headline analyser (CoSchedule's is the most popular) and refine from there. These tools are very straightforward and highly insightful ways to make a good title great.
Virtually all successful SEO Copywriters use a similar process to the three steps mentioned above.
2. Keep it Simple, But Not Short and Sweet
To develop content that can accommodate the average attention span and patience of an online reader, you'll want to stick to certain formatting guidelines.
Sentences and paragraphs should be straightforward and uncomplicated.
However, the content itself should be full of useful, entertaining, and engaging information. Furthermore, the outline should be as comprehensive as possible.
By keeping the attention of readers with succinct and effective messages, yet delivering a piece that covers every aspect of a topic, you'll position the page as a go-to resource that will attract inbound links and high rankings.
Knowing that, here are a few steps you can take to make sure you're implementing this technique:
1. Pretend like you're having a conversation and use a relaxed vocabulary. There's no need to be extra fancy – just convey your point without adding extra fluff.
2. Once you're ready to write in a conversational tone, next you'll want to create an all-inclusive outline that covers every possible facet of the main topic. This is sometimes referred to as the skyscraper technique – outdoing the most comprehensive pre-existing resource.
Many brands have begun simplifying their content while aiming to provide more informative value within fewer words. Writing in this style makes your content easier to scan and digest.
3. Using Google's Autocomplete Suggestions to Fill a Demand
One of the best ways to propel a page straight to a #1 ranking is to find a common search query that hasn't yet been answered definitively by an authoritative source.
Questions and how to phrases are the best kinds of phrases to look for because there are a lot of them that have only been discussed on forums or user-maintained question/answer sites like Quora.
Luckily, it's easy to find these terms just by typing an incomplete phrase into Google and waiting for the Autocomplete suggestions to pop up.
1. Visit the home page of Google.com. Start typing a query related to your niche and pay attention to the suggestions that appear as you type each letter. If the suggestions feature isn't enabled, see Google's page on activating auto complete.
2. Another option is to use a Google suggest keyword scraper tool like the one at keywordtool.io in order to build large lists of suggested search terms.
The best part about this technique is that many marketers neglect to use it to their advantage, so it's a largely untapped source of SEO topics.
4. Compile Massive Lists to Become a Popular Resource
If you've ever seen the top 30 or top 100 lists on blogs, you know that they rank particularly well on Google.
This is because the most exhaustive resources tend to be linked to within blog posts and on social media based solely on their usefulness.
Here are a few steps you can take to build better lists than the competition:
1. Use a content map or brainstorming session to write down a predefined number of topics or tips.
2. Once you have your list, search for similar lists online and double check to make sure you're covering everything that they include as well.
3. Once you have a solid list, try to condense the most important facts and sound advice on each point while keeping each one short and easy to read.
For example, we put together a list of the top places to find guest posts and included in our guide; How Do I Find Blogs Which Accept Guest Posts
5. Use Longtail Keywords
Tapping into a new set of keywords that haven't been targeted by other marketers puts your brand in a unique position to thrive in its own lane, with less competition.
Here are some steps you can take to achieve this:
Many brands have boosted their popularity by inventing new buzzwords that didn't previously exist, so that's another idea worth considering.
6. Utilise Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
If your brand isn't yet taking advantage of LSI, it's time to get started as doing so will help you rank for obscure terms that you might be completely overlooking.
1. Study this guide on LSI.
2. Implement, rinse, and repeat.
LSI is now common practice among leading SEO agencies after becoming a hot topic following the Panda and Penguin updates that placed an emphasis on content quality.
We hope you've picked up some new techniques! Let us know in the comments below. Do you have something to add?
We get approached on the regular by bloggers interested in working on paid opportunities with companies. Considering that’s what we do it’s not really a huge surprise! And, I am more than happy to get these emails and approaches.
I love meeting new bloggers, especially bloggers who really put their heart and soul into what they do. And I am always looking to make new connections.
However, I have noticed that many bloggers don’t really know the best way to present themselves and their talents in these emails.
It’s probably quite confusing to know how to present yourself, there isn’t really much advice out there for this kind of approach.
And, it’s difficult to the get into the mind of a Marketing Manager or a PR person or an SEO manager etc etc.
Bloggers need to get their name out there and pitch to a wide number of different people so, how to know the right approach for the right person?
Well, I’m going to make it super simple for you. Because, you might think that you need to present yourself entirely differently for each group of people, but actually that is not the case and not the most important factor in your outreach email.
The most important factor is how you position yourself in your outreach email.
Do you come across as hard working, passionate & reliable?
Do you come across as someone who just wants to make a quick buck.
To highlight exactly what I’m talking about, this is the type of outreach email you should avoid!
I am (name) and I run (name of blog)
I have (x number of traffic) and high DA of (DA) and I write about (one top level topic). I’m reaching out because I’d love to work with you on any sponsored content opportunities you have coming up.
Look forward to connecting with you!
Unfortunately, the majority of the bloggers who have approached me place themselves into category 2 and send the above kind of outreach email.
So, if you are a blogger reading this and your outreach email does look like this, don't worry you are not alone on this.
Around 95% of the emails I get are like this.
I’m not saying that those bloggers do just want to make a quick buck but that’s what I feel from this kind of approach. In a second I will give you a view of my thoughts as I read the above email to help you understand what a marketing person or PR agent might think whilst reading this email.
But before that, I just want to ask for your support - lets go heart to heart, because I want you to understand why I'm writing this post & why I am so passionate about working with up and coming bloggers.
This is important, because I don't want you to feel as if I am writing this to tell you off, or looking down on you in anyway.
Reasons why I choose to work with up and coming bloggers
Running a blog & gathering a loyal audience is not easy, making a business out of it is even harder. I personally know that, being someone who has failed at it many, many times !! I have a lot of respect for a single individual who has managed to form any kind of community because it takes hard work, dedication and a lot of soul journeying.
I also love writing.
There is something very powerful about written words.
It gives more opportunity for the reader to reflect, unlike video or podcasting which tends to be more passive, words connect in a way that sound can't.
Number one, I just respect and admire what you do.
As a Marketer I've always seen HUGE merit in working with grass roots communities. Small but loyal audiences are very powerful. I've always believed that, and I have always chosen to support those bloggers. Planetd is one example, now one of the most popular travel blogs of all time.
I was the first person to work with them on a campaign, to continue to support them on their travels. What's more, they remembered that, they thanked me for believing in them at that time, that really touched me.
Because really, it was the other way around. I was shocked by their gratitude.
Because, the audience they already had at that time was so much more valuable than they could have imagined. We tend to lean towards bigger is better. But actually, no, that's not true. It's about quality and connection. That's what is lacking online.
Number two, small communities still have this connection and therefore huge value.
So, here is the truth
Everytime you send an outreach email which doesn't fully represent your true passion and goals, your ambition and your tenacity, you undercut yourself and all of the other bloggers out there trying to make it happen as well.
Up until now companies have not seen the true value of what small bloggers offer, but that is starting to change.
It would change a lot more quickly if bloggers communicated in a way which truly represented their value. I can see why you might send an email like the one above, there are so many people to connect with, you just want to monetize your blog and make a bit of money out of something you've worked so hard for.
But, as with all businesses, short term thinking rarely gets very far.
So, if you have ambition to become a full time blogger then please hear these words. Take a moment to reflect on them and look at how you communicate your talents.
Let’s break it down line by line and I will tell you what I am thinking when I read this, hopefully this will give you an idea into the psychology of a Marketing person reading this kind of outreach email.
Hello (name) - no comments, can’t go wrong with this!
I am (name) and I run (name of blog)
My comment - okay, but this doesn’t tell me much. I’m wondering, why do you run this blog, what started it, what is your why?
I have (x number of traffic) and high DA of (DA) and I write about (one top level topic).
My comment - thanks for including your traffic figures that’s helpful but what about your engagement? What about your audience? Who actually reads your blog? Because I’m trying to think of the right opportunities but I have no idea, if I don’t know whether your readers are high net worth professional men with families who like golf & tennis or millennial women in their late 20’s who like yoga, meditation, health + fitness. I also don't know what traffic means. Does it mean pageviews or unique visits? And, the fact you haven't given me any detail here also also makes me think you don't know you audience which means that you are unlikely to have a highly engaged one.
Thanks for telling me your DA it does give me a rough indication of where you blog sits but what about previous campaigns or content you’ve done before? Has it gone well? Are you new to this kind of engagement or are you a blogger who has worked with hundreds of other companies?
Thanks for including your top level topic, yes that helps me to define roughly what niche your blog sits in but what about breaking it down. So you are a beauty blogger, does that mean you like natural products or cheap products or you mostly focus on promoting skin products or maybe make-up. I need to know specifically what you write about so I can tie in the right companies.
I’m reaching out because I’d love to work with you on any sponsored content opportunities you have coming up.
My comment - Maybe I’m wrong but as soon as I read this I just assume all you care about is the money. This just makes me think that you don’t actually care about which products or services you promote to your audience which makes me think that you probably don’t have a particularly high engagement or a loyal following because readers just see straight through that.
I want to know WHO you want to work with and WHO you enjoy promoting so I can find the RIGHT opportunities for your audience.
I feel like honesty is the best policy here. There are a lot of complaints about SEO companies, PR Agents not treating bloggers correctly and currently the relationships are tense.
It would be really, really helpful if bloggers stopped outreaching in the above way.
In a second I’ll give some tips about how you can approach in the right why but first; why is this so important?
The reason a blogger should not approach a Marketing Manager, PR person, SEO manager in this way...
1. The Marketing Manager will come away from reading the outreach email thinking this blogger only cares about making some money now and is not interested in a long term relationship which in the end would be more fruitful for both parties.
2. The Marketing Manager can't send over the right opportunities either, because there is limited information.
3. The Marketing Manager is inclined to think this blogger doesn't know their audience very well, and doesn't have a clear purpose, so assumes the blog is low quality.
Those are the truth bombs.
Let’s move on to some tips about how you can approach companies in the future.
Who do you prefer to work with long term?
The person who emails you and immediately asks for something. Or the person who just reaches out to say hello and establishes a connection?
So, that’s the first thing to tackle.
Remove any mention of paid + sponsored opportunities from your email. If you feel you need to, state that you are open to paid collaborations. But, there is no need to ask "do you have any campaigns for me" right in this instance.
Think of this email as an introduction. You are just reaching out to someone to say hello, get on their radar and make sure they know exactly what it is you write about so if future opportunities come up they can get in touch.
What to include in your outreach email?
Here is a breakdown of items to include in your outreach email:
We are always looking for new bloggers to connect with. So, if you are an up and coming blogger then please get in touch with us via our Enquire form.
Use it as practice for your new type of outreach email if you like, please include the details from the list above!
You can also sign up to our platform; Guest Bloggers Wanted for free and apply for new opportunities there.
I’d love to know if you have experience introducing yourself to other companies. What has worked and not worked for you? Tell us in the comments and let’s grow together!
You want to deliver a micro influencer campaign for your client because you know it’s going to spark real conversations which will turn into traffic and sales. But you have know idea how to go about finding, identifying and building a relationship with a micro influencer.
Before we get into the detail of how you can find micro influencers let’s identify what exactly we mean by micro influencer. Because, this is a relatively new term.
A few years ago marketeers talked about influencers and bloggers.
Influencers were those people who had amassed a celebrity like following of millions of fans. They could be a youtube star, Instagrammer or blogger. Usually they’d have a presence across multiple platforms.
Working with an influencer is likely to cost anywhere from $50,000 and up for a campaign. But for that, if you work with the right one your brand is likely to take off.
Gary Vee for example just did a collaboration with K-Swiss. They sold out in a matter of days. And created a lot of exposure for the brand.
Then marketeers talked about bloggers. Of course split down into different levels, but mostly split by the domain authority of their website.
Influencers were about brand awareness and driving direct traffic and sales. Bloggers were about building links and organic traffic.
That has shifted.
Because now Marketers are recognising the huge opportunity that some small blogs represent. And that is small but very engaged and loyal following of readers. So, there are now two categories we talk about.
What Is A Micro Influencer?
A micro influencer is someone who has a highly engaged audience. They are everyday people with an authentic following of 3000 people or more.
What To Look For In A Micro Influencer
When looking to engage a micro influencer there are two main areas you must focus on.
Just because one person writes about beauty doesn’t make them a great fit for your brand. For instance, say you are promoting a natural skincare product like Bull Dog.
You don’t want to work with an influencer who doesn’t care about using natural / organic products. So, it is very important to really look into who you want to work with and why. Make sure you understand what they are about further than a top level scan of their site.
It is also vital to understand how engaged their audience is. They cannot be categorized as a micro influencer if they don’t have anyone listening to what they have to say.
Remember, we are talking micro here, so it doesn’t need to be a landslide of engagement. But a blog which doesn’t have any comments or social shares should raise alarm bells.
The best micro influencers also engage with their audience in the comments. They take the time to offer additional value and get to know their audience. This is where the real value comes from working with a micro influencer.
How To Find Micro Influencers To Spark Real Life Conversation
So, now that you are all clued up on what a micro influencer is, how do you find them! Since there are different ways you can work with them to promote your clients products or services its going to change depending on your campaign.
Some influencers have a bigger presence on one platform over another. Let’s go through some different techniques now!
How To Find Micro Influencers On Instagram
Instagram is a great place to go and it is very easy to tell who has engagement and who doesn’t on this platform. Search for influencers by using hashtags relating to your product or service. Make sure you build your list on engagement levels instead of just pure follower count.
Or, use a marketplace like Starngage which connects brands with influencers.
Use an outreach or a relationship management tool
Another way you can find micro influencers is through an outreach or relationship management tool. There are a few different ways you can do this. And these work best if your campaign revolves around producing guest post content on the influencers website. Let’s go through a couple of those tools now.
This is every content marketers central tool! Enter a keyword and discover the most popular content on that topic. For the basic tool Buzzsumo is $79 per month which gets you an unlimited number of searches. The paid plan is needed if you are looking for micro influencers because rarely will they appear on the first few results you get when you trial the tool for free.
I used Pitchbox for several months and found it a fantastic tool for outreach. The great things about Pitchbox is it can integrate your email management which can get to be a bit of a nightmare when trying to connect with hundreds of influencers.
What I didn’t like so much was their prospecting, I found that I was doing a lot of manual work and creating lists which the platform told me it could do. So, I moved on.
3. Ninja Outreach
I moved on to Ninja Outreach. This is a tool which is focused more on the prospecting than it is on the emailing.
This tool will help you discover micro influencers and build lists of potential contacts to reach out to an engage with. You can also conduct your communication through the platform as well.
For a different way to go about prospecting Marketplaces like tribe are really intuitive and easy to use. You don’t have to mine a ton of data.
The influencers are already inside the platform and willing to work with you! Pricing is already set and everyone is clear on expectations. I find it a lot easier to go about prospecting in this way.
5. Guest Bloggers Wanted
This platform is one that we at Ginger Marketing built! It helps companies hook up with micro influencers from the UK specifically for the purpose of creating epic blog content.
It is still a small community but that is actually beneficial in many respects as there is not a ton of contacts to go through and sort through.
I love using Guest Bloggers Wanted for our our content marketing campaigns at Ginger Marketing. A marketplace is definitely the type of tool I personally like to work with.
As usual let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Today's guest post is about a very important topic, longtail keyword research and I'm excited to introduce Sameer Panjwani the CEO of Mondovo.com to take you through what is the foundation knowledge you need to execute SEO now and in to the future!
Mondovo.com is an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats and research your competitors'.
A man of many talents, Sameer is currently on a mission hunt to help 1 million businesses grow organically through his products and services.
Without further ado, let's get in to it!
Long tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases you can use to draw traffic to your site.
Using keywords is a highly useful marketing and SEO tactic, but long tail keywords are even more valuable because they drive better and targeted traffic.
Using a free keyword research tool can help you find the right long tail keywords and save money.
Using Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords seem counter-intuitive because they are very specific and seem not to optimize well. However, if a user searches Google for ‘shoes,’ the results will vary greatly in design, quality, size, brand and other innumerable variables.
However, if someone searches for ‘brown suede knee-high boot,’ the results are tailored specifically to that user’s needs.
These types of users have buying power because they already know what they want. By searching for narrower terms, they expect specialized results, and they more than likely already plan to purchase an item when they find it.
Not only that but for smaller companies, it’s harder to increase traffic by generic search terms alone. There’s too much competition.
Long tail keywords are an integral part of any marketing and advertising strategy. It may take more work, but in the long run, the results speak for themselves.
Managing long tail keywords requires establishing better lines of communication between a business and the market actively shopping for their products. If you understand what people want about your product or service, you can optimize these keyword phrases to your benefit.
Benefits of Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords draw less traffic, but the traffic is more focused, committed, and desirous of the product or service.
Long tail keyword searches comprise roughly seventy percent of page views. It seems like generic search terms generate more traffic, but that’s only the case for a select few who already have a large percentage of the market voice.
Just ten to fifteen percent of searches involve single keywords, so the likelihood of a user finding your site amongst all of this noise is low.
Optimizing for long tail keywords is cheaper than single keywords because there’s less competition.
Advertisers or marketing teams working within a budget find that running paid campaigns on long tail keywords pay less per click because there are fewer bids on these keywords.
Using a free keyword research tool also saves you money over the expensive subscription-based products.
Long tail keywords also improve search engine ranks because the market isn’t over-saturated with them and there are fewer pages that show as a result of the search.
Businesses that use long tail keywords inevitably display near the top of the results because they’re one of the only websites optimized for that keyword phrase.
How to Find Long Tail Keywords
Getting past the same keywords everyone else uses is tricky. There are a lot of tools on the market to analyze keywords and optimize websites, but when everyone is using the same tools, it’s hard to generate unique suggestions.
Here are some ways to circumvent popular tools and find long tail keywords the competition isn’t using.
Scrolling to the bottom of the search results on Google displays related searches. If someone searches for ‘delicious coffee,’ longer phrases Google suggests might include ‘iced coffee drink recipes’ or ‘coffee recipes with pictures.’
Using close variations of the original keyword yields better results because they’re not as popular as head or body keywords. On rare occasions, may even get lucky enough to find a related term that’s not a direct variation of the original. These are keyword gold.
Brainstorm ideas by checking out industry forums or question and answer boards. These online communities host hundreds, if not thousands of people asking questions related to specific industries and products.
If someone is asking a question in a forum, they’re also asking that question on Google. When Google didn’t have what they were looking for, they found a forum that might help.
These are gaps in Google’s search results of which marketers and advertisers can take advantage.
Google Trends shows high-volume keywords before Google Keyword Planner finds them. Google Keyword Planner suggestions are optimized, but the problem is everyone is using them.
Google Trends is a little-known tool, and the Google Suggest feature quickly checks a keyword’s popularity over time, providing valuable insight into which long tail keywords perform most consistently.
Keywords, tools to analyze keywords, and sites that rank using the same keywords as everyone else saturate the market. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for how to find and use long tail keywords.
Research is a critical piece of a long tail keyword strategy because it identifies gaps in the market where success is more likely.
By using a free keyword research tool, you can stay ahead of the curve by understanding and appropriately using long tail keywords to increase site traffic and conversions, rank higher on search engines, save money, and steer clear of the competition.
As usual please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Do you have a strategy for optimising your content around longtail keywords? Do you have a specific tool you use for your keyword research?
You haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last 5 years, so you know what influencers are. PHEW! But now this new term "Micro Influencer" has come along and you're scratching your head.
What is a micro influencer?!!
Is it a legit way to market products or just some new fad.
No-one wants to use a faddy, headline grabbing strategy which doesn’t get results. That’s a sure way to get the boot.
As always the first place to go when analysing such matters… GOOGLE TRENDS! There is no better way to get a feel for the market than Google’s bright, shiny graphs (which also make great screen grabs to show clients, by the way).
Blue: Influencer Marketing
Red: Micro Influencer
Blue: Micro Influencer
Influencer Marketing has been growing in popularity for the last 5 years and it is going through-the-roof right now. Micro influencer is a new term which has only just started to rise in popularity in the last year. It is still very, very new!
The concepts which these terms represent have been around for a lot longer of course, there is just a new name for it. Product and service endorsement has been a technique used by marketing professionals for hundreds of years.
Recently this technique has had a revival in response to the growing distrust from consumers at being “advertised to”.
Influencers & micro influencers recommend products and services to their audience which leads to trust and sales.
So, What Is The Definition Of A Micro Influencer?
A micro influencer is an online personality with a small but highly engaged audience. It is so new that the industry hasn’t exactly defined “small” or “engaged” yet. As a rough guide, they should have over 3000 social media follows and several thousand pageviews a month to their blog (if they are a blogger).
What is more important is the level of engagement + trust they have with their audience. A micro influencer is probably on a first name basis with many people in their audience, they will have regular readers who they speak to in the comment section of their blog. Many have even met up with their readers in person at blogger events.
Why Are Micro Influencers Important For Brands?
Let me ask you a question. Why do we even bother marketing products and services? Why do we need to generate ad copy and graphics and come up with campaign plans etc etc?
We do it because we must generate trust.
Trust is the most important asset a company has and everything we do as a Content Marketeer is about building more of it with potential customers.
As Jones and Leonard states in this study,
“It is fundamental for both the firm (in B2C exchanges) and for the individual (in C2C exchanges), to know how to generate trust and understand perceived risk so as to achieve satisfactory sales relations in an online context (Constantinides, 2004; Jones and Leonard, 2007; Chen et al., 2008)”
Trust is so, so important, especially in an online context when clients often don't get to meet you.
Working with micro influencers is like working with something who can recommend and ad their stamp of approval to your product or service.
Micro influencers can spread word of mouth recommendation because they are actively engaged with their community and know some of them personally and face to face. But, they have a slightly wider reaching audience so they can also spread the recommendation further than 1-2-1.
So, stop looking at smaller bloggers as just a low quality link building opportunity. NO! You are completely missing the point. They are very, very valuable people who have a small but high engaged following which can transform the success of your campaign IF you approach it in the right way.
How Can Micro Influencers Fit Into Your Client's Marketing Strategy?
When it comes to selling something to clients the first thing they want to know is ROI. You must be able to prove and show some measured effect you have created from your campaign. As such I recommend you fit micro influencers into your marketing strategy via Guest Posting.
It is the simplest way to ensure you will always have some solid traffic growth to show your clients. At the same time you are also executing your micro influencer campaign & growing trust.
Your guest posts build back high quality links to your clients which grows organic traffic.
Your guest posts also start word of mouth conversation & improve positive sentiment which grows trust.
Measuring trust is a little bit harder to prove to a client than showing them an organic traffic chart going in the right direction.
Top Micro Influencer Platforms:
The easiest way to find micro influencers is through a platform or by working with an Agency. Ginger Marketing can help you with your micro influencer campaign if you are targeting a UK audience, so get in touch via our Enquire form and lets chat!
If you want to DIY your campaign but just need the connections there are several platforms you can use.
Guest Bloggers Wanted is a micro influencer marketing platform which is UK focused. If you want to make a big impact on a small budget then check it out and post up your projects for free.
Tribe is an influencer marketing platform which connects bloggers and brands together. If you are focused on a USA audience and have a larger budget then check out this platform!
We hope you've learnt what a micro influencer is and encouraged you to add working with them to your strategy. As usual let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Written by Cheryl Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing