Links for things mentioned in the podcast:
1. Buzz Sumo – buzzsumo.com
3. Start Up Lister – startuplister.com
4. Open Link Profiler – openlinkprofiler.org
5. Moz Local – moz.com/local
6. Dribbble – Dribbble.com
7. Sortfolio – Sortfolio.com
8. Bright Local – Best Niche Citation Sites for 41 Business Categories
9. A Hrefs – ahrefs.com
10. Griffin Roer – GriffinRoer.com
11. BacklinkO – BacklinkO.com
12. Moz – Beginner’s Guide to SEO
13. Distilled – Guide to Creating Focused Content
14. Movoto – Buzzfeed for Real Estate
1. Four tools to help you right now for SEO
2. Why pay attention to SEO in 2015?
3. Is the term SEO Dying?
3. What directories should I list myself on?
4. Protips for hardcore SEO.
5. How to leverage all this for digital designers or digital marketers personally?
Other Relevant Links:
1. Is Content Marketing Killing the Internet? timbdesign.com/content-marketing-ruining-internet/
2. What Do Web Designers Really need to Know About SEO? timbdesign.com/web-designers-really-need-know-seo
Transcript (Roughly Transcribed):
Tim: Hey, this is Tim Brown and this is our first ever episode of ‘It is a cold world,’ and our topic today is how to get found on Google for designers and digital marketers. Our guest today is Griffin Roar.
Tim: So just going over the stuff that we are going to talk about today real quick. We are going to start with four tools that will help you right now with us yow. We are going to have a Q & A time with Griffin, who has been working diligently on being a bad-ass at Us Yow for several years now and we are going to talk about why you should pay attention to Us Yow in 2015 is a term Us Yow dying, what about content marketing instead. What are some places every designer digital marketer should consider listing themselves if they want to be found online? Any directories that they can list themselves on or some pro tips for getting some high value backlinks from reputable sources. Any hardcore SEO tactics that we have been a part of and how can any of this be leverage for somebody trying to just market their portfolio or website and some of the best things we read on the topic in the future of SEO.
Tim: I am going to start with one buzzsumo and actually Griffin introduced me to this tool. It could be more seen as a social tool but buzzsumo could be used for searching for ideas for content, visual, social and blog content. Creating a data base of key words, figuring out creative ways to craft titles. What is working right now, that is kind of what buzzsumo is about.
Griffin: Absolutely I think it is a tool I go to early in the content, like ideation process because what you can do, you can do a couple things. You can plug in exact topic or key word that you want to see the most popular post of for a given time frame. Or you can plug-in perhaps a competitors website or a publication in your industry to see for the past six months what have been the most shared content. Again like Tim said that can help you narrow in on ideas and craft titles but also figure out too which social network is going to be the best channel for sharing once you publish your content.
Tim: Absolutely, on Yow SEO this is a plug-in for word perception and word processor content management system. This one is pretty common I know that some people may be very familiar with it already but, if you are not huge in to this yet it helps with getting some structure in order for making your website SEO friendly.
Griffin: Real quick I just want to apologise for the audio here. It is better towards the end but it will also be better on the next podcast, I am just getting use to making sure the audio is good on these things.
Tim: Through the Q & A but one is startuplister.com, I understand that today we are kind of talking to designers and visual marketers they are perhaps free lancing or might be part of a young organization and that is a great service for building some initial citation links to your website.
Griffin: Which can be crucial in the early growings of a new website or a growing website. And then secondly you open like profiler. We are going to talk a lot about back links so this is one tool that provides you a lot of link matrix for no cost. There is kind of a premium option but of all the tools that I have used this is the one that gives you the most information for free.
Tim: Awesome, I definitely check that out and it is helpful. So let us start into our Q & A here. Big question this is going to set the tone for all the other questions here. Why pay attention to SEO in 2015?
Griffin: It is already a massive growing channel and it has been for a long time so the volume in terms of searches and the conversion potential of these searches grows year in and year out., So I recently saw a search engine watch study that highlighted that brand that engaged the SEO in 2014 saw a 20% increase in natural traffic.
Tim: So you can see there…what that illustrates to me is that the websites that are paying attention to this stuff, keeping up with it and really integrating SEO with our other marketing efforts are seeing a huge lift in traffic. You know and then just zooming out from that I think you know search is where people are asking questions; where they are engaging with content ultimately making buying decisions.
Griffin: I would say too that it does not exist in isolation search is just one of the touch points that a potential customer might interact with your brand or with your website.
Griffin: Within my first… see you might tweet something out and check out an article. Perhaps you are advertising and they see a better ad, you know sometime later and then perhaps they want to find that article again so they turn to search and start plugging key words into there and if they cannot find you then you eventually lost out. As a follower you know that at the least you are a customer. Search is just becoming more and more integrated with that overall online marketing process. Discovering and ultimately interacting and perhaps even hiring companies.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely I am just thinking about the story of my own strategy of getting seen basically. Twitter for me, source of traffic to y website was such a huge thing and because of that I have tried to put out more articles because I like that interaction. I like that human contact whether it be by social network or what have you. But I have just seen that as I push on these concepts related SEO that basically you and I have kind of discussed and that we implement for our client. As I have implemented those tactics for myself the amount of traffic going up on Google has been like very significantly, over time you can see it. Even though I still push really hard on twitter that has sustained my traffic now. It is so much bigger than twitter I do not know which one I actually put more work into. But sometimes it seems like the long term investment of SEO is so much more legitimate than social because some of those interactions on social feel a little forced or I am pushing stuff out.
Griffin: You are probably fleeting, you promote something on twitter and you will see an initial spike in traffic and it comes across peoples news feed, as people share it. But what organic traffic through search engines may give you is consistency. That traffic will build overtime to that particular post, to a point where maybe now that gets five hundred visits a month and you have not even promoted it on social in six months. So just getting in the head of a facebook or twitter user and they see an article they will probably most likely check it out, maybe book mark it but they are probably jumping right back on twitter or facebook to continue to see what everybody is up to. So they are not at a point necessarily where they are ready to sit down and commit and read something or interact with something you have created. Whereas somebody is searching you know 8:50 or whatever you know, they are actively looking for the content that you have produced.
Tim: Absolutely, so we have kind of demonstrated a little bit of the value of that for anyone on the fence about does SEO….is it important? You know, what have you. Is the term SEO dying though? What about content marketing you are just hearing that more and more as kind of the buzz word for how people are describing this type of work and you know maybe it is a little bit more indicative of the focus on that content rather than some of the other factors of search engine optimization.
Griffin: I think this is probably one of the biggest clichés in SEO is that every time there is any type of change or shift in the landscape, you just get these articles pumped out on every single industry blog claiming or questioning is SEO dying? And it is a horse that has been beaten to death and my opinion is that it is not dying it is changing; it is ever changing. My definition of SEO is that SEO describes the signals that correspond with being visible in search results. So when those signals change the definition of SEO changes. Kind of you alluded to it earlier but back when search engines were first introduced and algorithms where very simple, they had to rely on simple signals to deliver relevant results. For that reason things like technical optimization using exact matched key words was enough to not only get ranked but probably to rank well. But that has certainly changed as back links and now use ability and a much more involved algorithm that can understand the human language is come into play. These signals have gotten a lot more complex and harder to fake so you cannot just go into your website with yow test yow plug-in and fill out your medi-description and expect okay now I am going to get ranked with that key word. It is a lot more complex so this term content marketing which has been around for a long time but it has grown in popularity recently as a way to describe what is needed today to generate organic search traffic. Which as we touched on is well researched thought out content coupled with a plan to earn promotion in back links. Some people say well content marketing is replacing SEO, SEO is dying but I do not think that is true content marketing is just a description of important tactics that you need to implement in your strategy.
Tim: One facet, one big facet at this point.
Griffin: And there is still other things like technical optimization, on page optimization, citation building. Things that have been around and maybe been a little bit more popular and common in the SEO vernacular for some time. That maybe the impact of those activities is gone down but is still there, it is still a part of what SEO is.
Tim: So there is definitely other factors at play here besides the content marketing piece. So one of them being links. Links are something where, yes you need that but people will refer to it as link juice to the DA key signal, to Google, to say this content is good.
Griffin: The key take away is that Google uses your back link profile to judge your authority on a particular topic. So if you have no links, that to them would signal that wow that nobody else finds you relevant or authoritative so why should we? So back links are very important for that reason. You know along with back links, usability is a big role in search engine making so obviously a traffic coming from a relevant back link is probably going to send some pretty good signals to Google about usability of your website. Especially if they engage with the content, there is a benefit there.
Tim: Usability let us talk really quick about that. How can Google see if something is useable? What factors are at play there?
Griffin: Certain visitor behaviour matrix. Things like your bounce rate and time on page, things like that can all…Google can see that and they can understand okay our people spending enough time on this page.
Tim: People are getting out of there right away because the thing is botched.
Griffin: A common term that gets thrown around is pogo sticking. You go to search and you click on the first result, not what you want so you go back, you click on the second, not what you want, third okay third is good. That is the content that I needed, Google measures that. So if people are pogo sticking out of your content to someone else’s even if they are ranking below you can expect that there is probably going to be a shift in those results at sometime and you are eventually going to get surpassed. Based on the pure fact that people are just bouncing away from your content and going straight to one of your competitors or just another website out there. So usability is key in ranking well, you got to keep people on your site.
Tim: Yeah, and that is one of the reasons I think that you talk about these deep resources, when you provide those for people and they really actually sit on the page and read through a significant chunk of it. It is all useful information in there and they really are taking it in, that is a very good sign to Google; that you have provided something of value. We are talking about links there, what are some places that every designer or digital marketer should consider listing themselves if they want to be found online? And what directories are important to be a part of or SEO factors?
Griffin: There is a number of ways to build links; we have mostly been talking about naturally earning links. Either through just earning great content that people like and then you find you are a product of that, people have found you and link to you. Or there is the outreach component as you said earlier where you asked to get out into a certain resource and you did.
Tim: Which seems to be key, honestly; because it is very hard to earn just natural ones.
Griffin: Well yeah, if you do not ask, you do not get. So those are a bit more organic a bit more natural. But, complimentary to that there is ways to more manually generate links for yourself, that is through citation building. So essentially listing your website or business profile on a directory based site that kind of gives business or designers, whoever who are the ability to create your presence on your site. Just in the broad scheme of things, things like Yelp and Google plus and City search those are just general online directories. So if you have a business physical address certainly cover those things. I will throw out another tool there, that makes this stuff really easy Maz Local, if you have a single location you can cover yourself on the top ten directories and data aggregators for $85 a year.
Tim: You do have to confirm your physical address, by Google to sync with Maz Local.
Griffin: You have to do a couple of manual things but that is one tool that greatly expedites the process of getting listed on those big ones. But, there is also niche directories, ones that apply to particular industries and professions. There is a number of these…they might not think of them as directories necessarily as being a designer you just think of it, okay here is another place I can market my portfolio. But a lot of them allow you to add a link to your website. In that sense they are kind of serving like a directory and these are easy kind of lower hanging ways to generating some quality back links simply back to your website.
Tim: Now you have a link in here for bright local in its top citation sites? How would somebody search for this maybe so that they can find it?
Griffin: Look at brightlocal.com they have got a resource on there. I think the title of the guide is called A thousand Plus Niche Citation Sites, or based on business category so whenever I am looking at an opportunity or a client wants to build their directory based links. This is one of the resources I use, because you can go by insurance, construction, automotive but there is also a marketing category. What it does is it gives you a list of high quality directories based on their domain authority which is just kind of a store that Maz has developed for basically judging quality and things like that. And it tells you if it is free or paid…
Tim: You can knock out the top three, top seven or whatever I want to do on marketing if I am going to …
Griffin: These are niched so you are not necessarily going to find them through Maz Local that is not going to cover you there. So these are more manual ways to build links back to your site. I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast start up lister so if you kind of fall into that category of being a start up, meaning you recently gone out on your own or recently started an agency or marketing company of some kind you might consider marketing start up lister. It is a real cost effective way to knock out forty or more directories to younger emerging companies. That is another one again it is all automated, once they take over…You know it is a question of time, do you want to spend the hours it is going to take to build forty plus citations? Or do you want to just pay these guys a nominal fee just to take care of it? I would look at definitely checking out those resources for there is some pretty effective ways to check.
Tim: Awesome, so evolving from there, let us talk about…You have had articles on some pretty cool websites, maybe like… talk to me about a couple of the places that you have been guest posting.
Griffin: 20:29 metrix.com, SEM rush, advance webranking.com is a few that recently.
Tim: Nice, especially those types of things can be pretty high value back links because they are very reputable sources. I want you to talk to me a little bit about how to get those kinds of links. Maybe it is not your guest posting, maybe a little bit about that but also other ways to get that high value back links. So how to get those high quality back links that are not directory based?
Griffin: Guest posting I will start there. It is just like one of those things, getting back links in and of themselves are just multiple benefits. You know obviously you are getting your name out there and you can target some reputable blogs, maybe blogs that you read and offer content up and try and write for their website. Typically these types of websites that do accept guest post are going to have guidelines and every one that I have run across allow you to link back to your website. You have to be careful, you cannot just stuff the article full of links back to your site, they won’t let you do that but definitely in the author bio and perhaps even in the content, the copy itself if it is relevant. Awesome way to get highly relevant authoritative back links pointing back to your site but also another way to build your own personal brand and say, hey I have written here and I have written there and kind of elevate your status a bit. Some that seems a bit daunting, the process of doing guest posts like you read these people and people that you keep up with and follow.
Tim: Now mind you we are talking to the cream of the crop right here. Somebody that has taken the time to listen to this they really really care about how their rocking digital marketing.
Griffin: So if you fall into that category then there is no excuse for not guest posting. It is usually a really simple process too, a lot of blogs will provide you with the editors email address or there is a contact form specific for guest posting. Usually what you do is you at minimum got to provide some ideas, so I am going to write an article on the top ten ways for free lance designers to build links to their website. If they like the idea and the description you have given, they will send you their posting guidelines and you got to write an article that kind of meets their word count, media that has to be a part of it and things like that. Obviously it is a time intensive process you have to sit down and write a valuable article that they are going to see as worthy enough of getting on their blog. But the results are fantastic and it is totally worth it
Tim: Now, do you have to have a significant chunk of that thing done before you talk to them?
Griffin: I usually have it almost entirely done because…
Tim: That is a lot of work especially when you do not know for sure what is going to get..
Griffin: Worst case scenario is that it goes on your website and it is still good content. But, what it allows you to do if it is already near completion, it does not have to be totally done but you can start shopping it around. And it is much more attractive to an editor of a blog to say that I have fifteen hundred words already written on this topic and I can send it to you now, if you want to take it.
Tim: You know I would be all about that if …
Griffin: A lot of these blogs, they have got content quotas. They have to get out three to five posts per day. So they are excited by the fact whenever somebody can come in there and say hey I have got something for you that is high quality and you want to make sure it meets your guidelines but, you can get it right into the queue now. And that makes their job easier and then these things start to snow ball so if you get on one or two then you can kind of create some credibility by saying hey I have done this before I have been featured at this website and this other one as well and here is an article that is ready to go.
Tim: I am always thinking about what the title will be while I am creating the content. Because it needs to be eminently sharable and it needs to be serving that niche, one thing that I always been doing if a couple things are performing well on my site I am looking at how I can leverage those.
Griffin: We are both kind of leaning on some stand-by of blog, article entitling which is like how to and fill in the rest. Or like five ways…
Tim: What are their main sites? Like how to’s, list posts, those do really well on social but sometimes you are competing with a lot of people. Guides is just kind of a how to.
Griffin: The beginners guide, the ultimate guide, the complete guide you can always hear those. Best of, a lot of them are product or service review. That is another great way to get links and mentions is to do…just review the tools that you use regularly and write a blog post about it and put it on your website. That has been really effective for me for generating back link because then that creates an outreach activity. You can say hey I use your tool everyday and I did a review about it and I thought you guys might want to hear about it. And if it is overall positive they are going to be appreciative they will probably share it on their social channels. They might even include it as some kind of testimonial on their website, like see what our customer is saying, you can get a link.
Tim: If they are sharing a tool that you use, their audience is probably fairly similar to yours as well so if I am using an adobe product and I tweeted out something about an article reviewing one of their things positively. If I had a positive experience, then if they re-tweeted it then maybe adobe would not do that but various products, those people that follow adobe are probably in my industry and related to me, other people that could give me a…
Griffin: Another good one too and this is a really good for generating traffic from search engines is to do like this versus that post. So if you are talking about illustrator versus sketch, that is kind of the newer one that all the designers are using. Doing that and doing a comparison of the two both in price and how it is utilized and the options you got, that can be really effective too at generating traffic but probably also generating links.
Tim: This kind of actually strikes at a key question that I do not have outlined here but, we are almost talking about a secondary audience and your niche. So people in your industry kind of as the audience for your blog so that is always kind of a key question is like am I suppose to be serving? How do I serve those real customers to my business? So if I am a designer, like a person who needs design or web design or what have you. Or if I am a content marketer how do I find people that need my services? If I am just a general marketer then how do I target those people versus… I almost feel like it is just easier to get people in your industry to share your stuff because it is like something related to the sketch and illustrator, then my audience of designers find it and that is a good solid people and I know how to talk to them. But sometimes really getting at the people that need my services though little bit harder to find at the moment that they really need me what kind of content they are looking for.
Griffin: Just what you are talking about is that your blog, your content marketing needs to appeal to different personas. So you need to define those personas, obviously you want to be targeting people in your industry as one of those personas because you want to increase your creditability. There is probably a greater chance that you are going to get shared and get links from that audience rather than trying to target your customers which might just cover…If you do web design and you really do it for a wide variety of businesses, that might be difficult to create content that kind of serves every single customer need in every industry. So certainly creating one of your personas should be almost yourself. Like what would I want to watch or interact with or share. The other one should be what do my customer need to see? These types or articles might have a different tone, might have a different level of complexity. Maybe a little bit more simplistic according to what your audience might …
Tim: How much selling should be in these things? This is more on the content strategy piece but how much selling should I do in a post?
Griffin: If we are talking about blogging, I think next to none. The only selling that you should do is trying to sell them on signing up for your email news letter. Or something like that so that they can keep up with your content. So an example might be, so you write a post on how to hire a free lance word press designer. Obviously that is pertaining to another word press free lance designer, that pertains to your potential customer and that is something that your potential customer might be searching. So that is probably going to perform and serve a different function on your website than what we have been talking about earlier; five ways to use illustrator blah, blah, blah, blah., blah. That is going to be for somebody in your kind of peer group. My suggestion would be to: (1) create different personas to kind of drive your content ideation; you should have content that serves your audience and that is going to be a diverse audience one of your peers, one of your potential customers probably. And then also consider creating content at different stages in the conversion funnel. With blogging this is mostly educational topics. Tutorials, resources, things that the next step for somebody reading your article they are going to be okay hire this guy there maybe just problem aware or just becoming solution aware to what they are looking for. So hitting them with a sales pitch right there is probably not going to be a good….
Tim: You touched on if somebody is in a particular industry you might not have a bunch of content related to that industry. But, if you do have a case study for a particular industry maybe it is good to highlight if I am involved in the medical site talking about some of the issues related to that and how to do that effectively. So I could potentially get some of that awareness on Google for somebody who has issues or trying to work through things with their medical site.
Griffin: So what you are talking about is exactly what you should do is nudge your site visitors into the next stage of the conversion funnel. If we are talking about the blog and we write a blog related to health care, you do not want to then say hire me as your web designer for your health care project. You want to say check out my case study that I did for a health care company and then in that case study maybe there is an opportunity there to say would you like to chat with me about your organizations project?
Tim: So at that point it is a little bit further in the funnel, you may actually do a little selling at the end of the blog post?
Griffin: Absolutely so at that point you get them from the blog, to a case study, maybe the next step after that is get them to your services page and then the services page is your opportunity to sell your process, your approach, your experience…
Tim: And what is more expected because it is not like just an article it is a real pitch and that is appropriate at that point, right?
Tim: Can you talk about any hardcore SEO tactics that you have been a part of that has produced real results. We are talking scholarship program and getting edu back links, government listings these are kind of the holy grail of SEO back links.
Griffin: You got time on your hands and you want to go 33:59 on this SEO thing, Ii think where you should start is doing some back link auditing particularly of websites that you consider to be in your sphere or perhaps your competition and see who is linking to them and that can create a tonne of opportunities for you to generate links yourself so …
Tim: How do I do that?
Griffin: So the two I mentioned at the beginning open link profiler check that out, there is paid ones like 34:34 that are going to provide you a lot more complexity in the data. But, if you are looking for maybe free tools you are on a budget this is not the primary business open link profiler is a good substitute.
Tim: SEO is not your primary business right?
Griffin: Yeah, if you are investing in design tools, over SEO tools. A great place to start again you know, see who is linking to other websites in your sphere and decide for yourself okay, is this an opportunity for me to reach out to that linking source and get a back link of my own? So why is this ‘a little hard core’ well because it is more time intensive it involves filtering through hundreds maybe even thousands of back links and judging their quality and relevance to your website and then narrowing down that list, carving it down to get some actionable items out of that. One example is that I found a competitor of mine was generating back links from our city government, there website.
Tim: How are they doing that in this case?
Griffin: Simply by being a participating business in a free community program.
Tim: So look for those opportunities because if a competitor is doing this already you already saw that as a way to kind of oh look….
Griffin: There would of been any other way for me to find that opportunity? Because I am not on our cities government website and I am not again 36:14 exactly, I do not check the updates on like parking regulations but, what I found through a back link got it. And honestly sifting through hundreds and hundreds of back link was that they had a government link.
Tim: So you determined a competitor in your field or somebody related. So I am a digital marketer, I am a designer, I see this person is actually kind of similar to me and or if I am an individual maybe looking at agencies or design shops or whatever in my area. And then okay I put them through this tool, what is it open link profiler?
Tim: Open link profiler and then it tells me hey this is…tells how the high value or how they are getting these high value back links.
Griffin: It won’t tell you how, it will tell you where they are, it gives you where you are getting them from.
Tim: And then you can look at those pages and maybe potentially it is like a community program like this, reach out to that community program see if you can. In this case it was…
Griffin: It was emailing one person and giving them the link to my website and I was also added to that…
Tim: Talk a little bit more about the specific thing that it was just so that people can maybe look for similar type things.
Griffin: You know it was a community program of businesses offering discounts to pet owners. So I do not know…
Tim: Is it on a .gov website?
Griffin: Yeah, it was on a .gov website and I do not think it is important necessarily what it was. Because I would of never sought that out. How would you of searched for free pet related programs, for participating businesses. That would of just been a difficult find unless maybe you are already plugged into that community. I found it simply…I never thought of it, never would of thought to look there and it would of taken a lot longer to go through all of the city governments programs to figure out okay which ones are free for participating businesses and give you a link. So the auditing, you know that is time intensive too, introduced that opportunity and others. We had another competitor that they had earned dozens and dozens of edu back links.
Tim: .gov and edu, just have to emphasize this one more time are really valuable back links.
Griffin: They can be. Again Google looks at your back link profile to judge your authority so links from government and educational websites or educational institution websites look very good on you. Therefore finding ways in your kind of industry to generate those types of links can be really valuable. They were doing it by running an annual scholarship contest. It was based on designers or content marketers or something online marketing related. Submitting essays and the chosen winner would get a modest scholarship to be used in furthering their education. What we did, we copied them.
Tim: Yeah, copy what is working.
Griffin: Exactly, I think all great art is stolen or something like that…
Tim: Exactly, and if it is working for these guys it is a valuable thing so.
Griffin: And then obviously you run a scholarship contest or something like that…
Tim: And that is good PR too.
Griffin: Yeah, you are giving back to perhaps younger and people that are trying to find their way into the industry as well it looks good on you there is a social component a PR component to that too. I will emphasize though that these are pretty time intensive and they take time to find these opportunities but I think a lot of times some of the simplest fixes can produce huge results for you. In one that I found really effective in improving immediately your websites ability to drive quality traffic from search engines that have high conversion potential is to really just go through your websites existing pages. Particularly like your services page the ones that you are trying to sell on and say is this how a potential customer would describe me. So what I mean by that is you are a web designer, you might say on your web site I am a web designer and I offer web design. Which is true but you could potentially find a much more qualified search market by saying I am a free lance web designer offering word press web design services. So throwing in some of those qualifying words (1) been you know I am a free lance web designer who does word press web design as a service. You know those free lance word press service adding that to your description is going to improve your ability to target specific searches and generate projects that are relevant to what you do. So that in and of itself I mean that is really easy to do and that can immediately expose you to more key word opportunities and traffic as a result.
Tim: What are some of the best things that you have read on the topic of SEO and can you share how to find them? We will share links to these in the show notes.
Griffin: We talked a lot about back link building, link building and one of the best sites out there for that topic is backlinko.com run by a guy by the name of Bryan Dean. He has got some awesome creative tactics both ranging from the organic natural side of link building over to the more manual side. It is guides and case studies so that is one resource for sure if you are interested in link building, want to explore that a little bit further. If you are completely new to SEO, I think everybody’s starting point should be the beginners guide to SEO found on maz.com. That is not only probably one of the most sought after resources on the website but I know it is one of the most linked to resources on the website. So taking a queue from them too guides doing really well and generating links. If you have been turned down by a content strategy discussion distilled has some awesome content on that topic. Particularly their guide to creating focused content what I like is it takes you all the way from research into planning, into creating an editorial calendar and ultimately a promotion plan for that content.
Tim: So that is at distilled.net/content-guide
Griffin: So check that one out, for the folks listening maybe considering themselves more marketing hackers and…
Tim: I would like to think that there will be some listening that are like that.
Griffin: Absolutely and there is some effectiveness to taking that approach but I think you should check out movodos. Their blog they did a case study on themselves and for those that do not know I had not really heard about them because I am a renter I do not own real estate. But they are a real estate blog and they have gone from essentially zero visibility to eighteen million visits per month in two years. They kind of take the buzz feed approach to content marketing which is highly engaging titles. I won’t say that their content particularly relevant to me it generally takes a humorous slant like say a lot of their articles do…Like fifteen stereo types you will find in Austin, Texas. So of course the people in Austin, Texas whether or not it is marketed to them they are going to interact with it really well and they are going to want to share that. So they take that approach where they test titles, day in day out. They test copy and imagery and their promotional channel so yeah check that out it is…if you just search movoto. The actual title of the post I think it is called buzz feed for real estate. So they kind of own up to the fact that they have taken a lot of queues from their success in that viral content marketing space.
Tim: Nice, what does the future of SEO look like? And is content marketing going to reach the saturation point?
Griffin: You know I think with… to address maybe the second question is content marketing going to give reach a saturation point. A lot of people in the space limit the fact that buzz feed and you could probably put movoto’s site in this category are more taking that approach, that kind of link 46:09 approach. More going for page views to support their advertising and things like that rather than maybe focusing more on the depth and quality of the content itself. So essentially there is more content being created in a single day now than was created throughout the entire period of human history or something like that. There is a crazy stats on that so…
Tim: It is kind of crazy, not everyone can read all this stuff.
Griffin: Not at all, so how are these sites going to fair and more keep popping up. It is more about volume and split testing your titles to what is going to generate more pages, more page reviews. Is that approach going to continue to thrive, I do not think it is going to go away. I myself I do not read buzz feed I steer more now towards medium.com which I think is taking a different approach to content marketing where it is all long form articles. For the most part are the ones that make it to their main feed are extremely high quality from that leaders in various industries. I would say a lot of it skews digital, digital marketing topics like that but it is across the board. But I think that approach is ultimately going to win out because as you just pointed out people do not have time to consume these millions and billions of articles that come out and really are just attracting people based on titling rather than really providing good resource, whatever the goal is improve their skill sets to whatever it might be. So will it reach a saturation point I do not know if there is a ceiling for that stuff but I do think that some of these other stuff. But I do think that some of these other 48:19 and approaches to content marketing are going to start to emerge in a more depth of content rather than attractiveness of the title.
Tim: Then it comes down to trusted sources, like you just mentioned medium. You trust them to feed you good stuff.
Griffin: Yeah, absolutely and you go on their website and just as far as usability goes it is extremely clean. It is not crowded with ads the focus is on the content itself and it is kind of the viralness, whatever you want to call it. Of that is secondary to actually providing quality in-depth content. I like that and perhaps it is because I am in this industry where you just get pounded with content all day long from every single source. Beyond that, the kind of saturation of content marketing, I think that as far as search results go they are going to continue to get more personalized based on demographics, interest browser history and many other factors. So to me that only increase the importance of creating focused content for your content strategy and really discovering okay how can I target my particular audience. Being weary of that so I would encourage everyone to stay away from general posts. Your example earlier how do you get engagement on social media? If you do a Google search on that I guarantee you, you see millions of results already. So what is a spin on that that I can place that is going to be more targeted and ultimately generate me more traffic. So playing in a smaller pond it will ultimately generate more traffic rather than trying to be all things to all people.
Tim: So the more niche you can go would you say the more niche you can go?
Griffin: Yeah, to a point I think absolutely the more that you can go I think the more you are going to be heard.
Tim: The more niche with the demand, make sure it is a niche that actually people care about. What is a way of measuring niche with demand?
Griffin: For a particular topic?
Griffin: Well I think buzumo we mentioned that at the beginning, that is a great way to measure social demand for a particular topic. If you plug in a topic and you see the max, the topic articles of the past years generated twenty-five shares maybe that is not a topic that is going to really engage anybody but that one in and of itself is a great way to measure demand. You can use like key word research tools like maybe Google’s keyword planner to see how many searches are there per month for this particular keyword. That is just going to give you a snap shot.
Tim: Which one is that?
Griffin: Google keyword planner, I would say be weary because you know you might pug in your topic and say okay only fifty people search this a month is this really worth it. But if you take into account all the variations people might search that particular string of texts the demand might be thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of people searching for that topic. It gets a little bit under represented by the individual key words.
Tim: So where can they find us? For myself you can find me at timbdesign.comand you can follow me at timbdesignmpls on twitter.
Griffin: Find me on best place probably twitter my handle is griffinroer so check me out there and contect with me on Linkedin or wherever else I would be happy to chat with anybody.