for economy means eliminating words that don’t add anything to the meaning of a
piece of writing. It is quite eye opening to see just how many words you can
remove without affecting the purpose of your blog, article, or eBook. In most
cases, editing for economy actually improves a piece of writing overall, by
letting readers get to the point easier.
content writers and the businesses that employ them, every word counts. While
economy in other forms of writing means getting the most meaning out of the
least amount of words, for us it literally relates to cost, as the name
implies. Content writing usually comes down to numbers of words or pages, so
eliminating “deadwood” in our writing is definitely an economically beneficial
process. A few easy-to-use techniques can help content writers get the most out
of their writing.
speakers’ tendency to double up on phrases in order to sound more professional
or intellectual actually has an interesting source in history. Back in the
eleventh century, when the ancient French overtook Britain, the
languages of the two nations blended to create a substantial part of the
English we speak today. At the time, the new blended language became the
language of choice for the upper class, and writers attempted to use doublets
of English and French words to sound more educated.
doublets were phrases that included both an English and French word of the same
meaning, so people of either nationality could understand important documents.
Some such instances of doubling that are still very popular today include null
and void, law and order, and cease and desist. Because it is commonplace now,
it is hard to realize that these phrases are three words saying one thing. To
get to the point, try one of the words or a synonym that captures the meaning
of the phrase. For example, null and void simply means invalid.
with the specific examples of French-English doubling, another issue is simple
redundancy. Often times, we use more words than necessary to express an idea.
“Absolutely essential”, “whether or not”, and “social visit” are all examples
or redundancy. In the given examples, “essential”, “whether”, and “visit”
express the idea just fine without accompaniment.
Choose Specific Words Over Abstract Words
common thing writers do is pair their specific words with general or abstract
ones, or pair a specific word with its vaguer category. Examples of this
month of June (month is general, June is specific)
position (upright is specific, position is general)
the year of 1973 (year is general, 1973 is specific)
shirt was black in color (black is specific, color is general)
of this type of unnecessary plugging are easy to eliminate to improve economy.
Use Vertical Lists to Minimize Repetition
we need to cut repeating words or phrases to increase economy. Imagine a blog
detailing the benefits of an item called the High-Tech Glass Cleaning Machine:
“Our High-Tech Glass Cleaning Machine is
the number one machine of its kind on the market. The High-Tech Glass Cleaning
Machine cleans glass up to 10 square feet in less than one minute. If you’re
looking for an eco-friendly glass cleaning social, try our High-Tech Glass
you can use prepositions some of the time, but as most writers know, using “it”
repeatedly just doesn’t sound good. What can you do? Try a vertical list. The
above example would look like this:
“Benefits of the High-Tech Glass Cleaning
one machine of its kind on the market
glass up to 10 square feet in less than one minute
vertical list saves all of the important meaning and cuts the word count in
half. Another time to use vertical list is in an instruction-type list where
the instructions use the same verb repeatedly. An example would be:
“To complete the scavenger hunt, first
find the blue ribbon. Then, find the red car. After that, find the broken
only is the verb “find” reused in each sentence, but the order indicators of
“first, then, after” add to the word count as well. Using a vertical list, the
instructions look like this:
“To complete the scavenger hunt, find:
Why Longer Is Sometimes Better
goal of economic editing is not to eliminate as many words as possible, but
simply to reduce useless words. Some situations exist where more words actually
benefit a piece of writing overall.
ok to repeat keywords. Unless it obviously distracts from the writing,
repeating key words does not reduce economy. It is important for writing to be
clear first, and economical second. Removing key words or phrases and replacing
them with shorter but weaker synonyms or pronouns can damage clarity.
cut the actor. Shortening a sentence by using passive voice and removing the
subject does not help your economy. If anything, it will add more words as you
try to explain an unclear sentence or add another sentence to introduce the
actor. A longer sentence is better than guessing who or what we’re talking
for economy can be a tricky task for the uninitiated. Many more techniques
exist to help cut down on wordiness, but at the end of the day, a professional
writing and editing team will always be able to get the most out of the content
marketing is all about delivering entertaining and educational content to as
many of your audience members as possible. There are so many ways to get
engaging content out there that small businesses will never stop needing new content.
A small business can get endlessly creative with different media and
distribution methods, but it all comes down to one thing: written content. We
can even argue that every type of content marketing media requires written
content in some way. Pictures are worth a thousand words, sure, but they
usually have captions.
Benefits of Written Content
might argue that in our highly digitized world, reading is going out of style.
However, quite the opposite is true – we’re reading more than ever. You might
not see anyone pick up a newspaper or magazine that often, but that’s because
we do all our reading online, whenever and wherever we want, and as much as we
want. The internet is full of written content. We spend our days reading
online, even if it’s just article headlines or comments on
a YouTube video. At the rate people consume online content, you need to
constantly refresh it to keep audiences happy.
content offers unique benefits to marketers and consumers alike, including:
Easy to produce, therefore always fresh
Draws audiences through SEO, making it easier for consumers to find what they need
Easy to access and skim, so audiences can quickly find what they’re looking for
Non-intrusive, i.e., a blog will never start loudly playing in the middle of a quiet office
top medium for written content is blogs. And no, those aren’t going out of
style either. In fact, HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 survey
found that 55% of marketers consider blog content their top priority, more than
any other medium. They also found in previous years that companies that publish
over 16 blog posts a month increased their traffic 3.5 times over companies that
published blogs 0-4 times a month. Blogs are pure written content, and their
frequency is directly proportional to their ROI. If you’re trying to get
creative with written content distribution, as this blog is recommending, first
make sure your blogging
strategy is solid and that you’re making the power of
blogging work for you.
#2: Social Media
media platforms are a great way to distribute written content. While Facebook
is an obvious choice, even image-based platforms like Instagram are in need of
written content. As mentioned before, pictures need captions, and Instagram
captions are short blurbs explaining products, services, or just the company’s
link to whatever the image is highlighting. Many images in company stories are
just pictures of words, like inspirational quotes. Twitter is another great
outlet for written content; despite its word count limitations, a great content
marketing strategy is writing up around 20 blurbs to post over the course of a
not so obvious options for getting content in front of new audiences are Medium
and LinkedIn. Medium is a platform where readers can subscribe to different
content producers and comment on their articles, essentially having all their
favorite bloggers in one place. It features everything from interviews with
celebrities to your everyday how-to articles. Medium might be a great place to
begin a presence for your company.
is a more professional environment, but also offers great avenues for
displaying high-quality written content. LinkedIn has a homepage feed where
people can see what their connections like and share, as well as a blog
feature. Maintaining an active LinkedIn page for your company and updating it
regularly with trends in the professional world and musings on the state of
your industry can gain your company a lot of traffic.
visual mode of content marketing, businesses might pass up infographics in
their written content orders. But there’s no such thing as infographics with
only pictures! Captions, statistics, headings, and facts are all written
content that make infographics stand out. Audiences that don’t care for
long-form written content might search for an infographic to more easily digest
the tidbits you’re trying to explain.
#4 & #5: Videos and Podcasts
reason we’re lumping these two together is because of how they benefit from
written content. Obviously, the final product is not text. However, videos and
podcasts don’t appear out of thin air! They need scripts, talking points, and
thorough research. Even videos that only have background music as audio likely
have frames with written information in them. If you’re planning on increasing
your custom video marketing, like 64% of B2B marketers did last
year, invest in some quality content writing to prepare your video. Likewise,
prepare speakers in a company podcast with a script to start with and bounce
ideas off before actually getting behind the mike.
# 6: Guest Posts
written content on another site might seem counterproductive, but it’s actually
a great way to distribute your content. Not only are you introducing yourself
to a new audience, but you’re also expanding the umbrella of your
thought-leadership by branching out into a slightly different, but still
related, territory. Guest posts are usually blogs, but they serve a whole other
purpose than a blog on your own site.
are a fun way to bring even more value to your customers. If your company is
the best at something, why not teach others about it? If your products are
kitchen tools, you could offer a multi-part course about how to use the tools
for creating incredible new dishes. If your company is a rehabilitation center,
you could offer courses on meditation or building healthy habits. A course
shouldn’t give away your selling point for free, but instead build upon it and
offer a related benefit that simply helps your audience maximize their
involvement with what you’re selling. Courses could require original reading
material or even quizzes – all just another way to reach customers with written
can spice up your typical written content by featuring interviews. Interviews
help potential customers feel as though they know your company better. You can
publish interviews with customers, not only focusing on how they feel about
your products and services but also on general, fun information about
themselves. This will help future customers identify better with your brand.
You can also interview employees so your audience can feel a genuine connection
with your company. Interviews add a level of authenticity and that “real
people” feel that brands spend their entire existence trying to develop.
this point, you’re probably ready to start developing your content plan ASAP, just to
fit in all these neat mediums for written content. Written content is more
valuable than ever in the age of SEO and inbound marketing. Make sure you stay
on top of it and stay fresh with consistent, quality written content.
At the end
of 2018, Google announced they now use Mobile
First Indexing (MFI) for more than half of their search results
worldwide. The changes have been in the works since 2016 due to significant
increases in the amount of users searching Google from mobile devices. Since
Google is by and large the most popular search engine, with over 60%
more searches than the second place search engine, ensuring your
site adheres to MFI standards is vital to getting your audience to see your
coveted position on the first search engine results page (SERP) now has one
more stipulation, but how do you know your site is suited for MFI?
Understanding what MFI is and just how significant mobile searches are becoming
are the first steps towards optimizing your site for Google’s latest rule.
What Is Mobile First Indexing?
Google uses bots to crawl the desktop version of webpages and decide their SERP
ranking. Now, MFI uses a smartphone Googlebot to crawl websites that simulates
the way users access the search engine from their mobile devices. A
desktop-friendly site is not much use to a mobile user, especially if that site
is missing content for mobile viewers, or if a mobile version doesn’t exist at
all. As Google is always working to improve the experience of its users, it is
moving towards penalizing websites that don’t cater to mobile viewers.
First Indexing does exactly what is in its name: it favors sites with mobile
versions or responsive designs over desktop-only sites. A site with a mobile
version means that the site developer created two different sites, one for
desktop viewers and a smaller, lighter, and possibly slightly different one for
mobile viewers, and the appropriate site opens based on what type of device a
user visits from. Responsive design renders code automatically to suit the
device that loads it; there is only one website, and it adjusts itself. Either
of these types of sites are favorable to MFI.
business owner or site manager, you might wonder why MFI should affect you. Your
number one goal is most likely getting leads to visit your site, so any part of
Google’s ever-changing algorithm for search results is your concern. You may
not realize how many of your users are driven to your site from a mobile
device, and how many of them are turned away because your site doesn’t put
Mobile Search Rates
thinking mobile searches don’t apply to your business’s audience, think again. Between
50% and 60% of all Google searches now occur on mobile devices. You can always
track your own website’s traffic analytics using tools like Google Analytics to
see how many users are coming to your site from a mobile device, but chances
are your traffic reflects those percentages as well. Whether your business
caters to individual shoppers or B2B, your target audience members are likely
often on the go and enjoy the ease of access mobile searching provides.
a multitude of statistics available on mobile
marketing data that can give you a good estimate of how common
mobile searches are for your demographic. One interesting study from Hitwise
found the percentages of mobile searches per industry. The number one sector
for mobile searches is the food and beverage industry at 72%, followed by
health and sports both at 68%. All of the percentages for common industries
like lifestyle and retail are at least over 50%. If your business falls into
one of these common categories of online markets, it could be upsetting to
imagine how much business you might be losing if your site does not meet the
requirements for MFI.
Optimizing for MFI
says if you constructed your site using a responsive web design, you have
nothing to worry about. Responsive designs, as previously mentioned,
automatically render the appropriate content for the appropriate devices, which
means they’re all set for MFI.
sites, Google lists a few common problems that usually prevent sites from being
Structured data. Many desktop sites put effort into structuring their data but don’t do the same for mobile. If you want to be MFI ready, make sure your site uses the same structured data for mobile and desktop, because MFI will only use your site’s mobile data in search results. Structured data is simply markups in your website’s code that lets Google know what type of content you have and where that content should go on SERPs.
Alt text for images. Ensuring your site’s code
includes alt-text is a super simple way to get it MFI ready. Search
engines need alt-text, a description of an image, to understand the
context of any pictures on your site. With alt-text, you’re telling Google
what you have pictures of, so when users search for those pictures, Google
can find your site for them. You can simply go through your code and find
any image tags (<img src=“…”>) and add an alt field (<img src=“…”
Missing quality content. One great mistake site managers
make is filling their desktop sites with lots of high quality, diverse
content… and completely leaving it out of their mobile sites. If Google is
ranking your site based on MFI, then it’s going to judge your mobile
content when ranking your site in its results. If there’s nothing worth
ranking there, then your ranking will drop. It is always a good idea to
have as much high quality, original content
as you can on mobile and desktop sites.
Times are changing on Google (aren’t they always?), and you need to keep
your business’s website front and center on search engine results pages. Ensure
your site is MFI compatible and loaded with impressive content so you don’t
miss out on any customer traffic.
As a small business owner or B2B professional focused on the outreach of
your company or brand, you probably hear “content marketing” and “inbound
marketing” a lot. They are seemingly synonymous terms, and you might even
consider their differences unimportant. However, if you really are concerned
with the growth of your brand, it’s important to recognize the functions of
inbound and content marketing as separate entities so you can make sure you’re
getting the most out of each. Their end goals are the same: to attract
customers by creating value, not by being intrusive. But what does each
represent, and what’s so important about the distinction between them?
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a theory of marketing that tries to draw customers
in instead of seeking them out. In other words, instead of the classic
billboard advertisement or TV commercial, that catches people in places and
under circumstances that they do not have a say in, inbound marketing lets
customers come to the company on their own time, while trying to gain
something. People don’t really respond well to being interrupted or bombarded
these days. They do, however, respond very well to being able to make decisions
on their own terms, and to having their problems solved. Enter inbound
Inbound marketing is comprised of several important aspects, all of which
should make up your inbound marketing approach. These aspects or tools include
search engine optimization (SEO), interactive tools, marketing automations, and
much more. And, you guessed it, content marketing is one of those tools. Some
say it’s the most important aspect of inbound marketing of all.
Attract. Use leads to get the right people to your website.
Engage. Interact with customers once they’ve decided to visit.
Delight. Create lasting relationships by delivering the right information to the right person.
What Is Content Marketing?
The keyword in content marketing is “value.” People go online to learn,
to find answers to problems, to relieve stress, and for many other reasons,
most centering around benefitting themselves. Content marketing is a practical
marketing technique that utilizes the consistent creation and distribution of
informative, up-to-date information. Why? So people who are looking for answers
can find them in the right places and from the right sources, and ultimately
build connections with those sources.
Content marketing allows brands and companies to establish themselves as
resources for their particular audiences, therefore creating a connection in
their minds between that subject matter and the company. As the relationships
progress, people will turn to those companies that they connect with for their
purchasing needs time and time again simply because they gained something
valuable from them in the past.
Content marketing has the same stages as inbound marketing in general,
albeit with a different scope. While inbound marketing attempts to attract,
engage, and delight audiences with a combined variety of tools, content
marketing uses content to achieve each stage, in the form of blog posts,
videos, email campaigns, and more. Sometimes, a single piece of content can
achieve each stage in one sitting, like a blog post that attracts audiences
with answers to their question, engages them with a CTA, and delights them by
leading them to an actionable page to carry out their needs.
Is There Really a Difference?
Though they do share common goals and stages, content marketing is
clearly a subset
of inbound marketing. Content marketing is one piece, perhaps the
most important, of an overall inbound plan to provide valuable quality content
to the specific audience you want to reach. For a complete inbound marketing
plan, it is important to address other tools that add to the natural, holistic methods
that customers respond to best. Check out the other inbound tools that will
complement your content marketing plan.
Writing all kinds of blogs on whatever topics pique your interest that
day is all fine and good, but getting a little technical with your search
engine optimization techniques is the best way to improve your inbound
marketing results. You want to focus on people finding you, but not just
anyone, only people who are going to convert. If your blog is full of travel
tips, but you’re a parts manufacturer, chances are the majority of people who
visit your site aren’t going to be interested in sticking around.
You can get technical with your SEO by focusing on keywords optimization,
meta data, alt text for pictures, headings, and most importantly, actually
addressing your audiences’ needs in your content.
Marketing automation is another one that, like content marketing, gets
misconstrued as synonymous with its parent field, inbound marketing. While
inbound marketing sure feels “automatic” once leads start coming to you while
you sleep, marketing automation is literally the use of automated software.
Different inbound marketing tasks that marketing teams can automate include
automatically sending personalized emails to the right people at the right
times, based on the stage they’re at in the inbound process, scheduling blogs
and automatically publishing them around a set calendar, and optimizing SEO
with automatic tools that do it for you. Marketing automation is a very
valuable sphere of inbound marketing that will nicely complement your content
Nowadays, audiences aren’t satisfied with static content. They want to
get entwined with what they’re being told, ask questions, and try things out
themselves. Using interactive tools is vital to inbound marketing because it
builds upon the precedent of the theory – providing value to customers and
letting them make decisions for themselves. Interactive tools are usually
incredible software in the form of plugins for your site, that allow customers
to fill their carts by clicking the items they want in an online catalog, take
quizzes to match themselves with your products, talk to experts about their
questions and concerns, and much more.
Inbound marketing is really an umbrella that encompasses content
marketing and all the other aspects that bolster content effectiveness. Once
you have a solid content marketing plan,
try some of the other aspects of inbound marketing to really get the most out
of your content.
Blogging might feel like the bane of your business’s existence. You keep
up with a regular blog schedule, write on riveting topics week after week, craft
high-quality content, and then…crickets. What’s stopping people from reading
your blog? It could be a number of things – many of which might have nothing to
do with your writing and everything to do with technical details. Use this
simple troubleshooting guide to get to the bottom of your clogged blog.
Search engine optimization (SEO) could be the reason no one is seeing
your blog. It’s not that your readers are ignoring your content – it’s that
they can’t see it to begin with. SEO best practices change
regularly according to new search engine algorithms, but many basics stay the
same. SEO depends on keywords, meta titles, images, alt image tags, headlines,
subheads, white space, and many other elements search engines use to rank your
site. Here’s how it works:
You optimize your website for search engines. Your
goal should be to create blog content your target audience will want to read,
because this is what will get you positive attention from search engines. Focus
on relevancy, quality, and personalization.
Google and other search engines send out “crawlers” to
review your site. Crawlers are automated scripts that collect data from
websites to give to the search engine. It visits URLs and basically judges them
based on their page elements.
You receive a rank. The search engine will then use
the data from its crawlers to rank your website. It will use algorithms to rank
your site based on key performance indicators and page elements. Your rank will
decide how far up or down your page appears during search queries.
If you aren’t optimizing your blog posts for SEO purposes, your content
could be virtually invisible to your target audience. You must do your research
and tailor your content for a better position on the search engine page rank
(SERP), or else outsource a professional SEO company to do so for you. Online SEO checkers exist to
help you identify and avoid pitfalls in the future. Shaping up your blog for
perfect SEO can make a world of difference in your number of views.
Wrong Keywords (or
Keywords are essential for SEO purposes. Your blog content should
contain keywords that are relevant and trending in your industry. If you are a
lawyer, for example, your blog could focus on keywords such as, “personal
injury,” “car accident,” and “fault laws.” Inserting these keywords at an ideal
density can improve your SERP position and get more visibility for your blog
posts. Use a free resource such as the Google Keyword
Planner to get the correct keywords for your audience.
You could go wrong with keywords in many different ways. You may not be
using relevant keywords for your target audience, or you might not have
realized you needed keywords at all. You could also be guilty of keyword
stuffing – something Google has
condemned in the past. Keyword stuffing refers to filling your
content with keywords solely for SEO purposes, rather than for the benefit of
the reader. Search engine crawlers can pick up on the difference and will
penalize websites that load content with too many keywords.
Content That Misses
Where did you come up with your blog topic? Did it just come to you, or
was it steeped in consumer data and research? It’s important to write about
topics your audience will find intriguing. Relevancy is everything when it
comes to getting views for your blog. Search for trending topics to write about
in your industry through Google News. Sign up for alerts to be the first to
know about new developments. Join a subscriber’s list for news from a
high-authority site in your niche, and then craft pieces into your own blogs.
Create a target persona, then gather data about what that consumer
searches for online. Use keyword planners and editorial
calendars to stay on top of your blog strategy. See what your
competitors are posting. Look for posts on other websites that got a lot of
views and comments. Then, craft your own version, with a unique take on the
topic. Hone in on relevancy, and see if that helps boost your readership.
There is such a thing as a blog post that’s too short, although you can
never really go too long. Blog posts that are 200 words or less simply might
not be doing the trick for your audience. It might not give enough relevant or
valuable information or have enough room for SEO elements. Although the number
changes with algorithm updates, statistics show that the
ideal length for a blog post is around 1,000 words. The minimum should be 300,
but around 1,000 tends to rank best with search engines. Put quality over
quantity, however; make sure every word you write serves a purpose.
You can’t expect to gain a loyal readership if you only post
sporadically. Readers want to be able to rely on you for consistent, relevant
news and information. They will subscribe to blogs that give them a steady
stream of useful or entertaining information. They are less likely to subscribe
if they glance at your blog and see you haven’t posted in the last year.
Consistent posting is one
of the keys to a successful business blog.
If you can’t keep up with a content schedule, consider using an
automated system and writing your posts ahead of time. You could also outsource your blog posts to experts
who understand SEO best practices and the secrets to great blogging.
Outsourcing your blog could free up time and resources at your company, while
still delivering ROI. You can give your readers the exceptional, consistent
blog they deserve without taking time away from your team.
What is such a significant investment as a blog for if not to boost
business? If your business blog simply isn’t getting the ROI you expected, you
could be going wrong in a few different places. Content Equals Money can help
get your blog back on track.
Think about the last time you needed a definition. The webpage you came
across while searching for the definition is an example of evergreen content.
Evergreen content takes its name from plants that retain their green leaves
year-round. Like the plant, evergreen content stays relevant 24/7/365. It
doesn’t turn brown or wither with time. It is content your readers will find
useful today, tomorrow, and five years from now.
Evergreen content is as useful for your company as it is for your
readers. Since it doesn’t become dated or irrelevant, it retains its return on
investment (ROI) potential for your brand. You only have to invest resources
into creating it once (plus a few touch ups), yet it will continue giving you
ROI for years to come. Honing your evergreen content skills can help your brand
become a go-to source of information in your niche, ultimately boosting
What Does Evergreen
Content Look Like?
Evergreen content is the cornerstone of your website. It is the webpage
that describes the very basics of what you do or sell. It is the article that
defines basic terms in your industry, answers frequently asked questions, or
provides tips that won’t expire. It is content your readers could use years
from now to answer their questions, without you having to rewrite the article.
Common examples of evergreen content include:
Original research and white papers
“How to” articles or videos
Common concepts in your industry
History of a topic or product
While most concepts in the search engine
optimization (SEO) world focus on what is happening now,
evergreen content stays relevant no matter how much time passes. Your brand can
achieve the same SEO benefits without having to constantly crank out new
content or spend time on updates. Evergreen content has the power to produce
lasting positive outcomes for your business, with minimal effort.
Why Is Evergreen
Content Still Important?
It may sound redundant, but the very concept of evergreen content is
evergreen. As long as there are businesses and buyers, the need for solid basic
content will exist. Readers will always search for tips, tricks, definitions,
and general information on your industry. This means you will always have the
opportunity to have your evergreen content seen by your target audience…if you
know how to make SEO work in your favor.
Evergreen content can work wonders for your website’s SEO and page ranking. It can
provide a wealth of opportunity to achieve keyword densities, add images and
infographics, and get user engagement stats to boost SEO. Making evergreen
content work for your SEO strategy takes ensuring the piece you’re writing is
actually evergreen and equipping it with all the right tools and features for
positive page ranking.
How to Write
Content is only evergreen if it withstands the test of time. If six
months from now, your content will not add value to a reader because it
contains dated information, the content is not evergreen. This doesn’t diminish
the content’s usefulness for your company, per se; it simply means the content
cannot be part of your evergreen strategy. Evergreen content must also achieve
SEO results. Otherwise, it won’t be helpful for your brand. Follow these tips
for crafting evergreen content that fulfills all the requirements:
Stay away from the news. Evergreen content generally
is not news-related. Instead, they are in-depth pieces that dive into your
industry, providing universally enduring information that will stay relevant
for months or years down the road.
Don’t use clickbait or keyword
stuffing. Evergreen content should be of the highest quality
and relevance to your target audience. Do not use clickbait headlines or stuff
your content with keywords. This will hurt your SEO rating, not help it.
Make quality a priority. Evergreen content should be
some of the highest quality writing on your website. It should be poignant,
information-filled, factual, and have links to reputable sources. Evergreen
content may take you longer to write, but it is worth the effort.
Make it SEO friendly. Use SEO
best practices for evergreen content such as adding title tags,
backlinks, and image texts that include your keywords. Make your content easily
readable, with plenty of white space, bullets, and subheadings.
Check your efforts. If you aren’t sure whether your
evergreen content is doing your website any favors, check your website’s SEO to see how
your articles are holding up. Use the results to tweak your content or other
website features for better page rank.
Evergreen content can establish you as a thought leader, get click-throughs,
and encourage reader engagement long after it’s published. It can drive
immediate spikes in traffic to your website, as well as bolster your long-term
authority on the subject. Evergreen content can be an invaluable type of
digital marketing for your brand.
Even evergreen content can benefit from a little maintenance now and
then. Although evergreen content should never need a total overhaul or rewrite,
it may better serve your purposes with a few touch ups as the weeks and months
go by. One of the perks of content that’s evergreen is you can tweak it just a
little, post it again months or years after the original post, and get renewed
views and interactions. When the time has come, check your evergreen posts and
update the following:
Links. Check all your links to make sure they are
still connected to active pages. If you get a 404 Error Not Found message, or
if your link is to a post that’s more than a few years old, update the link to
Keywords. Although your main keyword topic should be
evergreen, you can sprinkle in a few new keywords to your existing piece to
improve SEO ranking.
Product specs. If your FAQ or product review pages
reference an item you no longer sell, update the model to something you do
sell, if possible. If you frequently change your inventory, product-related
posts may not be evergreen.
Statistics. Go back and refresh the statistics in your
evergreen post, updating them to the most recent year data is available. This
will keep your content fresh and relevant, without needing to rewrite the
Evergreen content is a gift that keeps on giving. Knowing what counts as
evergreen content in your industry, how to write it, and how to update existing
evergreen content on your site can keep your brand relevant for years to come.
Even if you don’t think you have a green thumb, use the tips in this article to
give evergreen content a try. The returns can be immense if you do it
If you’re looking for the perfect way to organically spread your brand and gain more exposure in your niche, consider guest blogging. Guest blogging puts your content on well-respected websites in your community. It helps to position you as a thought leader and can gain new leads without coming off like sales-speak or spam. A guest blog can provide content of real value to readers, along with the benefit a website that already has significant readership. If you aren’t guest blogging, you could be missing out on an incredible opportunity.
Why Become a Guest
Think about the top five brands in your industry (that aren’t
competitors). If you’re a digital marketer, for example, they could be HubSpot,
Neil Patel, Smart Insights, Digital Marketing Institute, and Forbes. Then,
imagine your content on these sites, free of charge. Your content would get in
front of thousands of readers who look up to these brands, trust them, and turn
to them for advice and information. It could put your company on the map,
without the expense of advertisements.
Today’s consumers are not impressed with traditional advertisements.
Their buying decisions do not center on which brand’s content they’ve seen most
often or who has the loudest commercials. In fact, the modern consumer has had
enough of intrusive,
interruptive, and irritating ads. The discord is so strong that
major companies like Google and Facebook have started penalizing businesses
that engage in annoying ad practices. How do you advertise your brand without
advertisements? Strategies like guest posting.
Becoming a guest blogger can increase brand awareness organically.
Rather than shouting for attention with loud, flashy ads, show your target
audience you are a brand that knows what it’s talking about and has something
of actual value to offer. Guest blogging on reputable websites establishes you
as a name that matters in your industry, and a contender with the best of them.
You can get your message across without turning customers off.
Benefits of the Guest Blog
Don’t underestimate the good guest blogging can do for your brand. It
should not be an optional addition to your content marketing strategy, but a
centerpiece. Crafting original guest posts specifically for other websites
shows your dedication to your product, service, or industry. It can be just
what your company needs to break through the noise and stand out from the
crowd. Guest blogging can lead to a variety of business benefits, such as:
Guest blogging can spread brand awareness, increase exposure, place a
company on a high-authority website, and result in greater social media shares.
It’s an excellent tool for building a larger following and boosting business. To
become a successful guest blogger, however, you need a few tips and tricks.
How to Guest Blog
Like a Pro
The first step in becoming a coveted guest blogger is finding the
perfect host site. Start by thinking of brands you admire in your industry.
Make sure they are not your competitors, but brands that complement what you do
or offer insights into your industry. Then, visit their websites and search for
an application to become a guest blogger. Not all websites welcome guest
bloggers, so you will need to do some
research to find matches. Some of the most popular host sites
for digital marketers include:
Social Media Examiner
Creative Marketing Institute
Shout Me Loud
These sites welcome guest bloggers, as long as the content complies with
the rules and requirements. Make sure the site you choose is one that makes
sense for your company and your goals. Most host sites will have mandatory
topics, word counts, formatting, and other rules, such as not including any
promotional-type language in your piece. Follow the rules exactly if you want
the host to consider publishing your content. It should not matter if your
company is still relatively unknown. If you write good, gripping content, the
host will most likely consider posting your work.
The trick to a great guest blog is not to self-promote, but instead to
let the information do the talking for you. Guest blogging is not a platform
for shameless advertisements. For it to work in your company’s favor, it has to
be the opposite. It has to be a place where your brand can shine as a resource
for readers, not a place to showcase your latest products or services. Save the
advertisements for your PPC
Remember, the goals of guest blogging are to build domain authority and
establish yourself as a provider of high-quality, useful content. If you can
achieve these goals, then by extension you can grow your brand and positively
impact your bottom line. If you are hoping to see returns on investment from a
guest blog that reads like an ad, however, you will be sorely disappointed.
Readers are expecting a certain type of content from a guest blogger. Don’t
You’ve found your ideal host, gotten your pitch approved, and submitted
a masterpiece that checks all the boxes. You’ve done well, but your job isn’t
over. It’s time to engage with your audience by fielding comments and posting helpful,
friendly answers. Keep an eye on your guest blog, and try to respond
to comments within 48 hours.
The comment section gives you more leeway to self-promote, but it should
still read as helpful rather than salesy. Aim for meaningful, value-driven
engagements with your readers. If someone comments on your post, and that
person has a website that would be a great host for a future post, reach out
and establish your interest.
Finally, type a thank-you letter to your host site. This is a polite and
unexpected way to let the host know you appreciated the opportunity, and that
you would be open to guest blogging against in the future. Most guest bloggers
don’t bother sending thank yous, so you’ll stand out from the crowd. It will
show that you are appreciative and open to becoming a regular guest blogger.
Then, sit back and enjoy the returns!
the age of DIY – and plumbing and HVAC are no exceptions. Armed with Google and
YouTube videos, home and business owners all too often try to fix things
themselves. This means plumbing and HVAC companies must now work even harder to
establish their value to customers, and to remain relevant in the industry.
of plumbing and HVAC are savvy. They want to know what’s wrong with their
systems, how to fix the problem, and how much it will cost. They want a company
that’s up to date on all the latest techniques and technologies for fast,
effective, and affordable repairs. Attracting leads and converting them takes a
killer content strategy, with attention-grabbing blog posts customers can’t
ignore. If your blog has been clogged, use this post to loosen things up again
– and get the sales funnel flowing.
first step in any successful marketing campaign is identifying the correct
audience. A winning blog is all about relevancy. Leads won’t read what they
don’t find relevant, necessary, or interesting. The only way to know what
topics will intrigue your readers is to know to whom you are writing. Defining
your audience is the first step toward creating a map for your marketing
about who needs your service, as well as who already uses you for plumbing and
HVAC. Your content should be geared toward new lead generation, but you shouldn’t
forget your existing customers. Part of your marketing goal should be to retain
loyal, repeat customers. Create a persona of the customers already using your
services. Who is it? What is his or her age, job, income, and interests? What
does he or she need from a plumbing/HVAC service provider?
create a marketing persona of the person you would like to attract. It could be
more of your existing customers, or it may be slightly different. Think of the
ideal customer. In your industry, this can be a wide variety of people, since
everyone needs plumbing and HVAC. Your target audience should be local, since
you do not want to book calls that are too far away. From there, it’s up to you
who would make the best long-term customers.
forget about referral partners when creating your personas. Referral partners
can quickly grow business and spread your company through word of mouth.
Include other professionals in your target audience, such as electricians,
roofers, landscapers, general contractors, interior designers, property
managers, real estate agents, and appliance repairers. Attracting a
professional audience base could be beneficial to everyone involved.
Strategy Based on Data
you know who your content should be talking to, map out a smart strategy on an editorial calendar to organize your future content. An
editorial calendar tool can help you generate blog ideas, create categories for
different parts of your marketing, and plan your strategy in advance. This will
give you clear-cut stepping stones toward a greater campaign goal. Creating an
editorial calendar can feel daunting, but it isn’t when you have the right
tools and a solid template.
of the first steps toward mapping out an effective content strategy is
identifying and recording your industry keywords. Keywords are the lifeblood of
search engine optimization (SEO), and one of the only ways to attract the right
audience – or any audience at all. If your current blog or website isn’t
getting a lot of action, it could be a lack of proper keyword planning.
a tool such as Google Keyword Planner to easily search for today’s
most-searched key terms in your industry. Come with a few words relevant to
plumbing and HVAC, enter them into the planner, and start writing down words
and phrases to use in the future. The Keyword Planner uses real data from real
searchers, so you can rest assured you are building a keyword-based content
strategy that will attract the right audience.
Relevant Blog Topics
you know your keywords and have mapped out a skeleton content strategy, fill it
in with stellar blog ideas. Start brainstorming what your
target persona wants to read. Use your keywords as jumping-off points for blog
ideas. For example, “water heater” is a popular search term in the plumbing
industry. You could start with some evergreen content, or blog posts that will
stay relevant for a long time. These could include “What Is a Water Heater?” or
“How to Buy the Perfect Water Heater.”
start thinking of more current-event topics, such as “Hottest Water Heaters on
the Market in 2019,” or “The Latest in Hot Water Heater Technology.” Posts on
current events can drum up business actively searching for the latest
information on plumbing or HVAC. If you have the resources, assign a team to
stay on top of blog topic generation. Putting more than one creative mind
together can help you create more poignant blog ideas. You could also consider outsourcing your content creation, for professional SEO, blog posts,
and other website content.
identified your audience, created a content calendar, and filled it with
exceptional ideas. Now, it’s time to get writing. Again, decide whether you need
an in-house team that can stay on top of new content creation daily, or whether
you want to outsource this to professionals. Keep up with a regular posting
strategy. Research shows posting three blogs per week at a
minimum is ideal for lead generation, as long as the content is consistently
high quality. If you don’t think your team can keep up with the demands of
consistent content, outsource the task.
measure your success using website data. Use key performance indicators (KPIs)
such as click-through rate, bounce rate, average session time, conversion rate,
and profitability to see how your content is measuring up. If your customers
aren’t lingering long enough on your blog, or failing to make it to the finish
line, your content could be the problem. Content Equals Money is a trusted
content provider for plumbing and HVAC companies around the country. Contact us to discuss your need for
consistent, creative, high-quality content that converts.
As of 2019, the world of Facebook advertising as we know it has ended. Last
Zuckerberg announced the Facebook algorithm would be undergoing
significant changes. His goal for the platform is to “bring people closer
together.” In essence, the new algorithm encourages personal connections by
filtering out ads and sponsored content from businesses. That’s right – your content.
You don’t have to panic, however, even if Facebook is one of the key
ingredients in your marketing campaign. You can use the new algorithm to your
advantage with the right knowledge, tools, and best practices. It is still possible
to make branded content visible to target consumers on Facebook if you know how
to outsmart the system.
Press Play on Video Content
The new Facebook algorithm prioritizes meaningful interactions. You can
find a breakdown of what Facebook now prioritizes in a Google
doc posed to Matt Navarra’s Twitter. Navarra is a social media consultant
who published the slides from a Facebook webinar. In essence, Facebook will use
signals to determine what content to make the most visible. These signals
include comments, likes, shares, shares via messenger, and engagement.
One of the best ways to stir up better user engagement on Facebook is
with video content. Video ranks high
in terms of shareability as part of a marketing campaign.
One survey found video content to be 600% more effective as a marketing tool
than direct mail and print combined. Online video traffic today accounts for
about 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. Videos under two minutes long
receive the best user engagement.
Increase your video content on Facebook to cinch more comments and
shares, and to tick the boxes on Facebook’s requirement for meaningful
interactions. Views and likes are no longer enough to keep your branded content
front and center. You need better user engagement to stay in the game, and
video is the way forward. Concentrate on your video marketing this year to keep
up with the new Facebook algorithm.
Crank Up the Comment Section
[Part of Facebook’s new modus operandi is rewarding certain interactions more than others. While previously the Facebook algorithm considered things like views and likes, it now prioritizes more involved forms of content engagement – including comments. The comment sections on your branded content should be a space that welcomes opinions, tags, emojies, and other interactions. The more commentary your content receives, the easier it will be for Facebook to recognize it as something that promotes meaningful engagements.
How does a company foster comments? Contests and giveaways are a good
idea, and always generate more comments and tags than other types of branded
content on social medial. Host a small giveaway, in which you will randomly
select a winner from the comment section. Ask people to like your page, leave a
comment, and tag at least two friends to qualify for the competition. Other ideas
for encouraging comments are asking questions at the ends of posts, or posting
a hot topic that is sure to get some lively debate in the comment section.
Make It Share-Worthy
Shareability is also a main concern of Facebook’s new algorithm. Social
shares and shares on messenger will increase a content’s score, meaning
Facebook has determined it to be relevant to users. This will increase the odds
of the content appearing in the feed. The first step in getting shares is to
get people talking. Post content that is relevant, interesting, and that sparks
in-depth conversations. Ask questions, post something unique, and post
something that will resonate with thousands of people. Again, video content is
shared more often than standard posts.
The more people share your content, the more comments and interactions
it will receive. This will lead to a higher score on Facebook’s algorithm, and
greater visibility for your branded content. The key is to keep a laser-focus
on your customers. Only publish content they will want to read. Create posts
that will add some kind of value to your readers’ lives. If the content is only
serving you, odds are it will get lost in the Facebook vortex. Your content
must serve your customers first and foremost to receive the engagement you need
to stay visible.
Let Go of Clickbait
What sparked the Facebook revolution was thousands of social media users
complaining about their feeds getting overloaded with advertisements and clickbait
articles. Consumers today are not impressed with blatant advertising that
interferes with their social time. Facebook has been
penalizing content that takes the form of ads since 2017. It especially
demotes ads that are disruptive or that have shocking or malicious content. In
other words, it expanded its efforts to block low-quality advertisements.
The latest algorithm change filters out ads with even less tolerance. If
you want to stay relevant on Facebook, you have to let go of clickbait article
titles or advertisements. This means captions such as, “You’ll be SHOCKED at
what this product can do for you,” and similar phrasing that is meant solely to
capture clicks. Instead, your advertisements should take the form of
interesting, relevant, and valuable content for your readers. Do not withhold
information, sensationalize headlines, or create content that may come across
Track Your Score
Facebook does have a few tools to help business owners keep up with the
new algorithm. The Ad Relevance
Score tool can estimate how your latest post is resonating
with your audience. You will receive a rating between 1 and 10, with 1 being
the least relevant and 10 the most relevant. You can receive daily estimated
results that can track your content’s reach and give you data on clicks, lead
generation, page engagement, comments, video views, offer claims, and more.
Your ad relevance score can help you gauge what works and what doesn’t
for your target audience. You can then tweak your next post or marketing
campaign to better suit your audience’s needs. Facebook Insights can also give
you information about the visibility of your content, under “Posts.” If you
wish to compare your Facebook posts over time, use a tool such as Brandwatch Analytics to measure
how your page has performed over time. Tracking your performance and progress
is important to tailor your future strategy and stay on top.
In content marketing, the
tone of any copy – from a tweet to a long form – is as important as any aspect
of a brand’s image. It needs to be consistent across all written content, which
can be difficult when many disconnected writers are handling the copy for a
single company. The task usually falls to editors to right these discrepancies.
“Please revise for tone” or
“Edit for style”, however, can be some of the most confusing assignments for
the uninitiated editor or writer. This is likely because they require an editor
to assume the role of a writer, and vice versa. Adding to the ambiguity are vague
client requests asking for a more conversational, friendly, educational, or
authoritative tone. Describing writing in such a way can seem subjective, and
therefore impossible to truly achieve.
Know the Brand to Know the Tone
A writer or editor needs to
understand clients and brands they work for well enough to know what tone
revision requests imply. In that regard, there are no short cuts; read other
content on their sites and in other media and get an idea for how they want to
Reaching that level of
familiarity takes time, though, so what can you do right away to turn an
informal piece into one of authority, or a strict, factual work into a friendly
one? Start with the following checklists for the two most common general tones
and styles in content writing.
Revising for a Conversational Tone
generally be a synonym for friendly or informal. A request for a conversational
revision usually means the client has a certain laid back, approachable, or
easy going brand image that the last writer missed. And it happens; the age of personable
social media is relatively new, so many writers still automatically assume all
clients want serious, professional content.
If you find yourself
struggling with a conversational overhaul, consider these simple starting
Second person. It’s in the name:
conversational. Talk to the readers, directly. Change a simple statement of
fact to a sentence that includes the reader somehow. “We have 100% organic
cotton clothing” is better as “You and your friends will love our 100% organic
Direct questions. A conversational piece is
meant to make readers forget they’re reading and feel like they’re talking to
you. Change a simple statement to a question to make readers feel involved,
like turning “Our newest product is the lemon blueberry scone” into “Have you
tried the new lemon blueberry scone?”
Colloquialisms. English has so many
colloquialisms, or informal phrases, that it’s actually much harder to write
without them than to include them. Just fit in phrases that come to mind as you’re
reading the edit. This article is littered with them!
Extra information. Now, I am not advocating
filler. However, in conversational writing, there is a place for additional,
reader-focused information that would otherwise be absent in professional
writing. Imagine you are editing a pharmaceutical ad that wants to sound more
conversational. Instead of only including facts like “This new drug provides
24-hour relief from allergy symptoms…”, add something to it that brings the
reader into the story, like “…so you can enjoy family camping trips once
again”. That sentence would have no place in a formal piece of writing, but it
effectively creates a conversational tone in less than 10 words.
Revising for an Authoritative Tone
Authoritative writing goes
hand in hand with educational, professional, or even technical writing. A
client who wants an edit for authoritative tone most likely deals with serious
or high-risk businesses, like law or the medical field. There are many resources
available on how
to write with authority.
Editing for an authoritative tone follows the same rules as writing for one,
with more emphasis on whittling away unnecessary parts.
Complete clarity. Some people associate long,
unpronounceable words with highly formal writing, when in fact the opposite is
true. Authoritative writing has absolutely no ambiguity – vocabulary is clear,
and no words are left to interpretation. If you have to look up a definition or
have a flashback to your SATs or GREs while editing, get rid of the word. There
is always a clearer, simpler substitute.
Firm language. Going with the theme of
clarity, another thing to check for is a lack of firm language. Words like
should, could, maybe, and may have no place in a truly authoritative piece. As
an editor, replace them with more decisive language, like must, need, is, or
the appropriate verb. Of course, make sure it makes sense and don’t just do a
Find and Replace.
Short sentences. A good rule for any type of
writing, but especially so with authoritative writing, is one idea per
sentence, and one point per paragraph. If a sentence has more than one comma,
chances are you can break it into two sentences. This increases the
professionalism of your tone and eliminates rambling.
No contractions. Contractions seriously
detract from the professionalism of a piece of writing, because they represent
the way we speak. Write out the words, except for in cases where the formality
may be too over the top. Also, edit “his/her” and “and/or” to “his or her”, and
usually just an “or” will suffice.
Consider All the Pieces
I can’t emphasize enough
how past content from the business or brand are the most important resources to
study while editing for tone or conducting a rewrite. However, this list is a
great start to quickly checking off what can be a confusing or frustrating
Because the seemingly
subjective nature of tone edits, an editor may not dedicate meaningful time to
the task. But it is extremely important. Marketing specialists and brand
managers should take a look at all the content surrounding their businesses and
make sure the tone matches across the board. If not, try out some of the above
tips and you may notice a difference.