How to Make Thought Leadership Content Work for Your Business

Why is thought leadership content so valuable?

Because it can:

But creating thought leadership content that makes an impact isn’t easy, or every company would be considered an authority in its sector.

So, how can you make thought leadership content work for you?

Our Orange County SEO specialists have the answers …

 

Support Points with Original Research and Data

Conducting your own research is one of the most effective ways to help your thought leadership content stand out. This might be as simple as creating a poll on social media or as complicated as surveying industry experts around the world.

Regardless of its scale, original research provides readers with insights they can’t find anywhere else and ensures your content is unique. You offer more value than a competitor regurgitating others’ data, and establish your site or business as a useful resource.

 

Create Gated Thought Leadership Content to Generate Leads

Most of your thought leadership content might appear on your business’s blog or other websites e.g. industry news publications. But you can create longer pieces as gated content to capture leads.

For example, a free 40-page ebook packed with unique, actionable insights can inspire visitors to submit their email address more than the promise of a monthly newsletter.

Newcomers can check your existing content before deciding whether to sign up or not, and you can incentivize them further with a small discount or free trial.

 

Look at Competing Thought Leaders (and Do Better)

One simple step in creating thought leadership content is to explore your competitors’ output. What blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and even books are they publishing? How do they promote it? Do they use special offers to attract interest?

But remember: your content must be unique. So, be inspired by competitors but focus on establishing a distinctive presence.

 

Make Content Relevant to Industry Changes, Product Releases, and Events

Good content is relevant. Not just to your audience, but to industry changes and events.

That’s why it’s important to create a content calendar and schedule pieces to make the biggest impact. For example, if your business is attending an expo in two months, start gathering material for a deep post as soon as you can.

This might document the creation of a product you plan to reveal or explore said product’s expected market impact.

Whatever the topic, the content can generate interest in the product and vice versa. And both can bring curious new visitors to your site.

 

Thought leadership is a fantastic addition to a content marketing strategy and helps drive traffic. But what else can you do to attract more visitors, build authority, and boost engagement?

Our Orange County SEO experts are here to help. Just get in touch for your FREE Relevancy & Quality Score Report now!

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How can Your Business Build Brand Awareness with Content Marketing?

Building brand awareness can be tough for small businesses, but an effective content marketing strategy makes it a little easier.

And in this post, we explore four great options that any company can try.

 

Write Guest Posts

Guest posts can introduce your brand to an existing audience, help your business earn more credibility, and demonstrate thought leadership.

But your guest posts have to be valuable and relevant to the site’s audience to be effective. Apparently, 79 percent of editors feel content written by guests is “too promotional”, and if yours falls into that category, it might not be published at all.

Take the time to find blogs related to your industry, products, or services, and look at the level of social shares their posts achieve. Sites accepting guest posts tend to offer detailed submission requirements and guidelines, so read these carefully before pitching.

 

Launch a Podcast

Podcasts are everywhere. More than half of the United States’ population has listened to at least one, and there are more than 550,000 active shows out there. And people who listen to podcasts are more likely to follow businesses on social media, too, which means you could gain another valuable touchpoint.

So, why not create your own show?

This gives you a chance to become a thought leader and present your business’s human side. Find out if any of your competitors run a podcast and make sure your ideas don’t overlap with theirs. Try to recognize what makes your favorite shows work, too.

Perhaps record a few practice episodes before releasing your first. This lets your host(s) get used to the process, establish a voice, and build a format without feeling under pressure to be entertaining from the start.

 

Take Advantage of Email Marketing and Newsletters

Email marketing is around 40 times more effective at helping companies acquire new customers than Twitter and Facebook.

You can capture visitors’ email addresses by offering gated content on your website, such as an ebook, whitepaper, or maybe even a podcast. The content has to offer real value to prospects, though. They’re pretty unlikely to submit their email address for information or advice they could find somewhere else.

Marketing emails and newsletters should be tailored to subscribers, with content that’s relevant to their interests or buying history. Personalize subject lines to include recipient names, as this can take open rates from 15 percent to more than 18 percent.

 

Share Content Across Social Media (Even if it’s Not Your Own)

Every piece of content your business generates should be shared across all of your social channels, not just Facebook. Encourage followers to comment with their opinions, suggest ideas for future content, and share posts with friends who might find them interesting.

Interact with followers who comment and show that you value their insights. And don’t be afraid to share content from high-authority blogs or sites, as long as it’s not written by a competitor.

 

An effective content marketing strategy will help build brand awareness and bring your business to a wider audience. Follow these tips to start making an impact.

Want help from a professional digital marketing team? Our Orange County Marketing experts can help you increase your company’s visibility and engagement with a tailored strategy. Get in touch for your free marketing analysis today.

 

 

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Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses – The Right Way to Reach Your Audience

A well-planned content marketing strategy is a crucial asset for any small business, though it’s not easy. You might find yourself sweating at the prospect of having to write blog posts three times a week or putting together a comprehensive whitepaper. but the truth is, all the hard work can really pay off.

Just ask those small businesses posting blogs on a regular basis and earning 126 percent more lead growth than those that don’t have a blog.

So, to help you get more out of your content marketing, we’ve put together the following tips.

 

Know Who You’re Writing For

One of the most important steps in building a good content marketing strategy is understanding your audience. If you try to write for everyone, the results could be vague and, most likely, interesting to no one.

But when you focus your aim and write for a specific segment, you can inject more truth and power into your content.

Think about your current customer base, your competition, and the pain points your business addresses. This helps clarify your ideal reader and the action you want them to take.

 

A Content Calendar is Key to Success

It might be tempting to create content as and when the mood takes you. Especially when your small business is operated by a skeleton crew with little spare time to flex their creative muscles.

But implementing a content calendar establishes a tighter focus and boosts relevance. For example, generating ideas for Christmas-themed content weeks in advance gives you the time to think carefully about the sort of answers your audience will be looking to solve in the run up to the season.

Planning themes and topics early reduces time wasted scrabbling for ideas on the day a blog post is due, too.

 

Use Long-form Content to Achieve Better Results

Research shows long-form content brings stronger results, with articles of more than 2000 words performing well for around 56 percent of creators.

That’s not to say you should never publish short posts, such as news updates, insights into forthcoming products, or simple articles offering a quick read.

Just make sure to publish long-form content that demonstrates thought leadership and gives readers something they can sink their teeth into regularly.

 

Experiment with Visual Content

Images help users process information and grasp the core topics or themes of a piece of content before they even start reading. Posts including images generate 650 percent higher engagement and earn three times as many links as text-only ones.

Try publishing infographics and videos on a regular basis, but spend time and money getting them to a professional standard first. When using images in your content, use original photos or graphics as often as you can. Only rely on stock visuals when you have no other option.

These content marketing tips can help small businesses build more effective campaigns and reach the right people. But it can be difficult to implement a strict plan when you have a company to run and a team to manage.

Want to work with a professional Orange County SEO agency committed to achieve real results instead? Just get in touch for a free marketing analysis now.

 

 

 

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Social Media Marketing in Orange County

How to Get Social Media Marketing Right for Your Business

Social media marketing is a must for every business. Big or small. New or established.

Why?

So, we know social media marketing has big potential to get your brand and products in front of a huge audience.

But how can you get it right?

 

Know Who Your Audience is and What they Care About

When you know your target audience, their interests, their values, and their buying habits, you can narrow your marketing’s focus.

For example, let’s say you want to target millennials. You’re in luck: more than 90 percent of them use social media, compared to just 48 percent of baby boomers.

That means you have a high chance of reaching your ideal customer base through effective social media marketing. You need to:

  • Gather information on your existing customers (age, location, spending habits, purchase preferences)
  • Look at your competitors’ social media marketing: what techniques do they use to reach your shared audience?
  • Survey customers to discover which social networks they use, which days and times they tend to browse, etc.
  • Create buyer personas for different demographics within your audience

The more you know about your ideal customers, the more effective your marketing should be.

 

Focus on Engagement, Not Just Selling

It’s tempting to promote your products or services on social media shamelessly. But this is likely to bore and frustrate your followers.

Work on engaging your audience through relevant, valuable content. Use images, videos, concise text, and more to keep your posts diverse.

Another key element of engagement is interacting with followers, responding to comments on posts, and more. Be transparent and accessible. Build relationships with the potential to translate into conversions down the line.

 

A/B Testing is Your Friend

A/B testing (or split testing) is a simple but effective way to determine the best ads and content for your social media marketing campaign.

Create two versions of ads or posts, incorporating different images, language, video lengths, GIFs, and more. Run them both at the same time, split between your audience equally, for a fixed period.

Analytics will reveal which version secures the highest engagement. You may or may not keep it as is, or build a new variation implementing the strongest features of the most successful one.

 

Stay Consistent

Establish a voice and stick to it.

That’s not to say you can’t evolve over time and embrace a slightly different tone. But it does mean it’s best to stay consistent across posts and social networks.

So, if you use punchy language and humorous GIFs on Twitter, don’t be painfully dry on Facebook.

This can disorient your audience, and suggest your team behind the scenes is unprofessional or disorganized. Consistency helps your brand develop a recognizable personality, build trust, and ensure followers know what to expect during interactions.

 

Social media marketing isn’t easy, but it’s worth putting time into developing a sound strategy that suits your business goals, audience, and budget.

Focus on building brand awareness, gaining trust, and establishing a consistent voice to maximize your campaign’s performance. Want help from a seasoned Orange County SEO team? We’ve got a free marketing analysis with your name on it!

 

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How to use Featured Snippets

How can You Use Featured Snippets in Your SEO Campaign?

 

We’ve all seen featured snippets by now, even if you don’t know them by name.

They’ve quickly become a common fixture on SERPs (search engine results page), helping users to find fast answers from an authority source just by clicking on one of the snippets at the top of the page.

Each featured snippet includes a link to the site, unlike answer boxes, which makes them a valuable addition to your SEO campaign. But how can you make the most of them?

 

Focus on Answering Questions

Featured snippets commonly answer questions, such as ‘what is a backlink?’ or ‘how do you bake a cake step by step?’.

How to use Featured Snippets
How you can Use Featured Snippets

Dedicate a full page to a question, with images, videos, strong keywords, and an in-depth answer that offers real value to searchers. Focus on giving the reader all the information they need in a well-structured format, incorporating keyword-rich header tags (H2, H3).

 

Embrace Lists

Lists are another type of featured snippet. They may appear in response to searches for ‘where should I stay in San Francisco?’ or ‘the best CRM tools’ (see below).

Featured Snippets List
Embrace Lists in Featured Snippets

A glance at the list gives users a fast answer, but still leaves enough missing to encourage a click through to the site. Lists’ accessibility can help to boost user engagement and aid scannability.

You may not be able to work lists into every piece of content you create, but try to include them when constructing pages dedicated to answering questions.

 

Build Authority to Gain Google’s Recognition

Google draws on authority sites for featured snippets, to ensure maximum value and expertise. So, if you want to increase your site’s chances of being picked, you need to build authority.

How can you do this?

  • Pay attention to your title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt tags
  • Make sure all content is high-quality and formatted in an engaging way
  • Work on achieving backlinks from other authority sites, to build your own credibility
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices

Building authority takes time and patience, but it’ll pay off when Google starts to notice you.

 

Add High-quality Pictures and Videos to Boost Value

Pictures and videos can increase your content’s value. Visual media has the power to convey meaning and present examples to users, answering questions in a more engaging way than text alone. Humans are more likely to remember visuals than words, and content with visuals tends to earn 94 percent more views than text-only content.

These are especially valuable for how-to pieces or resolving complex issues. One good way to increase videos’ impact is to create a transcript, so Google gains a clearer insight into its content.

Take advantage of these ideas to help your site rank for featured snippets. If you manage this, you’ll gain valuable real estate on SERPs and secure more traffic.

Want to learn more about increasing your visibility and ranking? Get in touch with our Orange County SEO experts now, and we’ll give you a FREE pro-marketing analysis.

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Essential SEO Trends for 2020 Every Business Has to Know

Essential SEO Trends for 2020 Every Business Has to Know

SEO trends come. SEO trends go.

Staying on top of the latest ones can help you strategize, make well-informed decisions, and adjust your work processes to accommodate industry changes. But what are the most important SEO trends worth your attention in 2020?

 

The Ongoing Rise of Featured Snippets

Featured snippets have become a regular fixture on SERPs (search engine results pages), and that’s set to become par for the course.

Featured snippets are a summarized version of answers to users’ search queries, pulled from multiple pieces of content. They also typically appear at the top of a page, taking prime position ahead of the highest-ranking organic results.

Businesses can take advantage of featured snippets by structuring content to include questions and answers.

 

Voice Search Dictates Content and Keywords

Our smartphones keep us connected to a world of information at all times. But, even better, we can use voice search to find immediate answers to questions without typing a single word.

This convenience is driving the proliferation of voice search so much it accounts for 20 percent of searches performed within the Google App.

As with featured snippets, your business can increase the chances of ranking higher by structuring content in a way that answers clear questions. Long-tail keywords are a key part of optimizing for voice search, too.

 

Mobile Optimization Continues to Influence Rankings

Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, giving ranking priority to websites optimized for mobile rather than just desktop. There’s no excuse for any business to inflict its desktop site on mobile users, especially if it’s already designed poorly.

In 2020, more companies and organizations must embrace mobile optimization to compete. Aim to keep the user experience as smooth, fluid, and convenient as possible.

 

Videos are a Must for Engagement

One of the biggest SEO trends for 2020 is the inclusion of video. Obviously, YouTube is a marketing behemoth now, but video has become increasingly vital on social networks too. With videos, companies can convey messages and communicate with their target audience in less time than with text-based content.

Videos also lend themselves to social sharing and can utilize other elements (music, sound effects, language, facial expressions) to inspire an emotional response. It can be much harder to move people with words alone.

92 percent of marketers using video claim it’s a key element of their marketing strategy, an increase of 17 percent on 2018’s figure. Implementing video into your marketing campaign demands careful planning, investment in the proper equipment, and (potentially) a professional production crew.

However, there’s real potential to generate leads and achieve good ROI if you can get your video marketing right.

These SEO trends are set to make a big impact on the industry in 2020. That’s why it’s worth paying attention to each, and watching out for others emerging over the next 12 months.

Otherwise, you run the risk of falling behind — and losing customers to your more SEO-savvy competitors.

 

Want help from an Orange County SEO team of experts to help you grow your business in 2020? Just get in touch today for a FREE marketing analysis!

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4 Top Mobile Optimization Tips

4 Top Mobile Optimization Tips

Searches performed on mobile devices have been overtaking those from desktops for a few years now, but some businesses still haven’t optimized their websites for smartphones.

Does your enterprise fall into this camp? If so, a site that just doesn’t work on mobiles could chase visitors away to competitors and cost you customers.

So, what can you to do optimize your site for mobile devices?

 

#1. Keep your Load Times Brief

Load times are a key part of your visitors’ browsing experience. Pages overloaded with images, videos and text will take longer to display on smartphones.

Compress images to keep them at a more manageable size, and reduce the number of videos or GIFs that display on your mobile site.

Bounce rates for pages loading in one to three seconds is 32 percent. This jumps by 90 percent for one to five seconds, so take load times seriously.

 

#2. Consider Button and Link Placement Carefully

Browsing on mobile devices allows for less precision than on a computer. You don’t have your mouse or a cursor: you have to tap with your finger.

That means your buttons and links have to be placed carefully. Keep them large and easy to spot. Don’t cluster them together either, as visitors could keep clicking on the wrong ones by accident. This is crucial when adding CTAs.

 

#3. Streamline Content

Mobile browsing is best when it’s fast and intuitive.

Keep the amount of content displayed on your mobile site to a minimum. Don’t bombard visitors with endless blocks of text. This reduces the amount of scrolling required and cultivates a more streamlined browsing experience..

Provide prospective and existing customers with all the information they need, but in a digestible way. Keep it punchy and direct.

The faster visitors can find the answers they’re looking for, the more satisfied they’re likely to be.

 

#4. Embrace White Space

Lots of white space is good for your mobile website. It ensures space around buttons and links, for extra accuracy when taking actions. Even better, it makes images and videos stand out when scrolling.

Keeping your mobile site streamlined and simple is vital, but preventing it looking barren can be a delicate balancing act. Reducing unnecessary content and clutter contributes to faster load times too, which has its own benefits (as we discussed earlier).

Nett Solutions’ Orange County digital marketing experts can optimize your mobile site to give customers a smoother, better browsing experience. How? Just get in touch to find out!

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SEO Trends for 2019 You Have to Know

SEO Trends for 2019 You Have to Know

Each new year brings fresh SEO trends every business should embrace to stay on top of their marketing game.

2019 is on the doorstep, and we’re excited to see what it has in store for the wonderful world of SEO — so we’ve decided to explore the biggest trends you have to know about!

Faster Load Times

No one likes staring at a half-loaded page, waiting for content to appear. It’s infuriating, especially when you need answers in a hurry.

Keeping load times as short as possible is important — and this will only become even truer in 2019, as more of us depend on mobile searches. There’s still some way to go, though: the average mobile page-load time is 15.3 seconds.

The more time your pages take to load, the more likely visitors are to click away. Speed is now a ranking signal for mobile searches, so businesses have to focus on this to keep Google on side.

Longer, Deeper Content

Long-form content will be in vogue during 2019. You’ll need to give visitors content offering value, with useful or eye-opening information to take away from it.

Long-form content helps to keep readers on your site for more time too, opening up additional opportunities to hook them. Use content to build relationships with potential and existing customers, and try to make your headlines as irresistible as possible.

Going Social

Social media will still be a vital channel between customers and brands in 2019. Chatting on Facebook and Twitter is much faster and more convenient than calling a helpline.

People can access direct support while they communicate with friends on their social networks, without having to use a different channel. It’s also easy for your business to target prospects sharing interests and activities with your existing customers through advertising.

It’s essential to stay active on social media too: show your followers you care enough to respond quickly and share content they’re likely to enjoy.

Voice Search Matters

Voice search has made finding the information you want faster and easier than ever. You don’t need to type anymore — you just speak and Google does the rest!

In 2019, this will keep becoming more popular, and you’ll have to keep that in mind when coming up with keywords. Long-tail terms are helpful, as is an overall conversational tone that reflects the way in which people speak.

Adding FAQs to your site is a big help when targeting voice searchers too, so try to match the exact phrases people are likely to use.

At Nett Solutions, our Orange County digital marketing experts are here to help you in 2019! We’ll create an effective SEO campaign tailored to your business and audience, so what are you waiting for? Just get in touch now!

 

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5-Essential-Image-Tips-to-Benefit-Your-SEO-Campaign

5 Essential Image Tips to Benefit Your SEO Campaign

Never underestimate the power of visual content.

Put yourself in potential customers’ shoes: if you landed on a website looking for a specific product or service, would you be impressed if there were no images? Would you feel this was a dynamic brand that cared about engaging buyers?

It’s unlikely one page after another consisting of blocks of text would win you over. Images are essential to convey information that complements your copy: you need to show off your products / services, introduce your team (even if just a few members) and, ultimately, make your website exciting to look at.

Images can make a big difference to your SEO campaign, and in this post, we look at 5 essential tips you need to know.

 

Be Original

Stock images definitely have their place. Quality stock pictures can fill a gap and still add a professional touch to your site, but use them sparingly.

Users will recognize stock images when they appear on countless sites, and if they see them on yours, they may feel it makes you a little less credible. Use original pictures as much as you can to be authentic, and ensure they’re of a high quality.

Slick, polished images help you stand out in search results and make your site unique.

 

Don’t Overload your Site

Too much visual content can affect your site’s performance, causing pages to load slower than they should.

JPEG images are typically best for maintaining decent load times, and cope well with compression, allowing images to load faster without too much of a drop in quality. PNG images are of a higher quality but too many can strain your load times.

Consider using PNG files for your most crucial images and JPEGs for the rest.

 

Keep your Captions Specific

Captions are a useful addition to your images. This is a brief line or two of text that explains the picture’s purpose, allowing readers to understand what they’re seeing straight away.

Captions can help search engines identify how relevant your images are to users.

 

Apply Descriptive Names to Images

Like captions, descriptive file names with quality keywords let search engines know the image’s content. It has to put the picture in context and boost your chances of being discovered by a user.

If a prospect runs an image search, a descriptive title can get your website put on clear display, hopefully driving more traffic your way.

 

Keep Background Images Minimal

Images in your page backgrounds and / or borders may add satisfying decoration to your site, but they only add extra data that has to be loaded.

If you find your site is taking longer to load, non-essential images like these could be to blame. You have to balance images that add obvious visual appeal with those that don’t.

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How-Do-Online-Reviews-Impact-Your-SEO-Campaign?

How Do Online Reviews Impact Your SEO Campaign?

Your reputation matters. If you keep letting your customers down, they’re pretty unlikely to keep buying from you — and they might even let other people know just how unreliable you are too.

And they have plenty of ways to do that, including online review sites and social media. But how do online reviews affect your SEO campaign?

Let’s take a closer look …

 

The Impact on Conversion Rates

Sharing your experience of a company’s service takes just a minute or two, but can influence other customers’ decisions for years to come. Businesses actually lose $75 billion a year to bad customer service, and negative reviews can pile up easily.

Still, not every customer will give you a bad review — unless you’re doing something seriously wrong! Good reviews help to build trust in consumers and increase the likelihood of netting conversions.

A recommendation on a reputable review site could give a prospect the information they need to go through with a purchase, especially when they’re close to that part of their journey.

 

Extra Fresh Content

Both good and bad reviews generate fresh content for your brand. Search engines will have more content to read and index related to your site, helping refine its understanding of your company.

If customers talk about your products or services explicitly, they’re actually helping to connect these to your brand name too. Reviewers can help your SEO campaign a little by doing this, without even realizing!

Adding customer reviews to your site means a regular influx of new content, while people leaving links in off-site reviews is another key benefit.

 

Taking the Time to Talk

Always respond to online reviews, even if only to say ‘thank you’. Engaging with customers’ feedback and addressing any concerns they raise shows you actually value their opinion.

People want to see that you discuss issues buyers bring up and don’t shy away from claiming responsibility for mistakes. Your response to a bad review can win favor with prospects, demonstrating your brand’s commitment to your customers.

They could still click through to your site and go ahead with a purchase based on your intelligent comments.

Make sure you encourage reviews too, across your website and social media. The more mentions of your business that are generated, the better your visibility will be.

 

Don’t Forget About Google My Business Reviews

Google My Business listings give customers contact details and a star-based rating for your brand, according to people’s reviews.

This will appear on Google Maps and result pages, helping your organic rankings along with reviews elsewhere.

Nett Solutions’ Orange County digital marketing experts are here to help boost your online presence with a bespoke SEO campaign — want to know more? Get in touch!

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