Internet Marketing January 5th, 2016
Hello and Happy Tuesday!
This week in internet marketing, we’ve gathered some of the best stories and articles from the web. We’re looking at Google’s release of its Search Quality Raters Guidelines, as well as tips for finding compelling content for your company blog, and how Big Data can help you retain customers. We’re also looking at the growth of “Related Questions” in search engines, and content marketing tips from a top-rated blog that’s celebrating its 12th anniversary.
Google is letting SEO professionals and the public-at-large peek behind the curtain with its recent release of its 160-page Search Quality Raters Guidelines. It clearly outlines Google’s criteria for evaluating content: The sites that are most helpful for users rate highest in the search, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. This article includes a detailed breakdown of the Google document, including a look at specific search rater criteria. Or for a convenient and concise summary, scroll to the end of the article for the main takeaways.
A recent Hubspot report found that companies with blogs have 68% more leads than those without blogs, which is all well and good, but the real trick is finding a constant stream of interesting and compelling content for your company blog. Avoid filling the blog with company updates, and use it instead as an opportunity to be a helpful resource for your customers and to give them insight into your line of work. Find creative ways to identify the problems your customers face and then provide them with solutions to those problems. Your blog is a great way to represent your brand as being reliable, interesting and helpful.
Marketers are always looking for new ways to win back customers who have been loyal in the past but look like they are about to take their business elsewhere. The best approach is to be proactive and keep that customer happy rather than waiting until they have one foot out the door and trying to pull them back in. Thanks to Big Data, there are ways to identify the life cycle of a customer, to be able to pinpoint when they are new, mid-life, happy with your service/product, and to know when they are showing signs of becoming a flight risk. Identify how far along your customer is in their journey, and market to them accordingly.
You may have noticed in the last few months that your Google searches now include an expandable box with the title “Related Questions”. So, for example if you do a search for information on a cell phone you’re considering purchasing, the related questions will be similar to what other people have searched on the subject, and will include expandable answers, snippets and links. This new feature still has some kinks–the questions are automatically generated and are therefore sometimes out of context or not entirely relevant. Consider Googling your brand and industry to see what turns up in the side box, and check out this article for more info on how it works.
This top ranked marketing blog offers an inside look at how their content strategy helps their community of readers find success in their own business. After 12 years of publishing this blog, they’ve compiled a list of helpful tips. Firstly, don’t try to be everything to everyone, stick to what your business does best and bring focus and expertise to your blog. They also advice tracking your success, noting what worked well and tapping into that in different ways. Listen to your audience, empathize with your readers, and create opportunities to allow your readers to also become contributors to the blog.