In the context of search engine optimization (SEO), keywords are words or phrases that are used to describe the content of a webpage.
Keywords help search engines understand the context of the page.
Keywords can be incorporated into a webpage’s structure (HTML) and overall content, and are used by search engines to index and rank web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example, if a web page is about hiking trails in the Rocky Mountains, some of the keywords for that page might include “skiing”, “hiking,” “trails,” “Rocky Mountains,” and “outdoor activities.”
These keywords would be used throughout the page’s content and metadata to give search engines a clear understanding of the topic and context of the page.
It’s important to choose relevant keywords that accurately describe the content of your webpage. Strategic selection and usage of keywords will help search engines understand the context of the page and improve the chances that it will rank highly in search results for those keywords.
In addition, using relevant keywords can help attract qualified traffic to your website, as people searching for those terms are more likely to be interested in the content of your site.
Why are keywords important for SEO?
Keywords are important for SEO because they help search engines understand the content and context of web pages.
When a user searches for a particular keyword or phrase, search engines will use the keywords on web pages to determine how relevant and useful those pages are to the user’s search query.
Incorporating relevant keywords into a webpage’s content, titles, and meta tags can help increase the chances that the page will rank highly in search engine results for those specific keywords.
This is especially important because people are more likely to click on the top search results when they perform a search.
TIP: Most searchers do not scroll far down the page for search results (Remember “page 2 nowhere land” results in the old days?). Make sure your brand is shown top of the page, in the top 1-3 positions is essential.
Using relevant keywords can also help businesses and organizations attract qualified traffic to their websites.
For example, if a company sells outdoor gear, it would be beneficial for them to use keywords related to outdoor activities and equipment in their web content, as this will make it more likely that their website will be found by people searching for those terms.
Overall, using keywords effectively in your website’s content and meta tags can help improve your search engine rankings and drive targeted traffic to your site.
What are head terms?
Head terms, also known as head keywords, are broad and general keywords that are typically used to describe high-level topics or concepts.
These keywords are typically made up of one or two words. They are usually very competitive due to their wide popularity and usage. And, they can be brand mentions as well.
Head terms are often used in the early stages of the customer journey.
For example, when searchers are just starting to research a topic and are looking for general information. If you are a person who is interested in buying a new car might start by searching for head terms like “cars,” “new cars,” or “car buying.”
Head terms are normally very broad and competitive, so it can be difficult for a website to rank highly for these keywords.
Especially if the site is new or has limited authority and trust built with search engines.
However, including head terms in a website’s content and metadata can still be helpful, as they can help search engines understand the general context of the site and may still drive some traffic to the site.
It’s generally more effective to focus on long-tail keywords, which are more specific and less competitive, in order to drive targeted traffic to a website. Long-tail keywords are typically made up of three or more words and are more specific and less competitive than head terms.
These phrases typically have less traffic (search volume), but are easier to convert to new business.
What are long-tail keywords?
Long-tail keywords are specific, highly targeted keywords that are made up of three or more words and are less competitive than head terms or broad keywords. They are often used to describe more specific or niche products or services, and are typically used later in the customer journey when people are looking for more detailed information or are ready to make a purchase.
The “Long Tail” concept first gained notoriety when it was introduced to the masses by Chris Anderson, author of “The Long Tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more.”
For example, instead of using the head term “cars,” someone looking to buy a new car might search for long-tail keywords like “best small cars for city driving” or “affordable electric cars with long range.” These long-tail keywords are more specific and targeted, and are less competitive than broad, head terms like “cars.”
Using long-tail keywords in your website’s content and metadata can help improve your search engine rankings for those specific phrases and drive targeted traffic to your site.
This is because long-tail keywords are more specific and less competitive, so it may be easier for a website to rank highly for them.
In addition, the traffic that is driven to the site by long-tail keywords is often more qualified and more likely to convert, as it is coming from people who are specifically searching for the products or services that the site offers.
What are SEO best practices to use now?
Here are some best practices for using keywords effectively in your SEO strategy (B2B or B2C):
Research relevant keywords: Use keyword research tools (for example, ahrefs, semrush, moz) to identify the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your business and the content of your website. Look for keywords that have a high search volume and are relevant to your products or services.
Use keywords in the right places: Incorporate your keywords into the titles, headlines, and body content of your webpages. Use them naturally and avoid keyword stuffing, which is the practice of overusing keywords in an attempt to manipulate search rankings.
Use variations of your keywords: In addition to using your main keywords, consider using variations of those keywords, such as synonyms or related phrases, to help search engines understand the context of your page.
Use long-tail keywords: In addition to using head terms or broad keywords, consider using long-tail keywords, which are more specific and less competitive, to drive targeted traffic to your site.
Use keywords in meta tags: Include your main keywords in the meta tags of your webpages, including the title tag and meta description. These tags help search engines understand the context of your page and can influence how it is displayed in search results.
Use keyword-rich URLs: Use keywords in the URLs of your webpages to give search engines additional context about the content of the page.
Update your content regularly: Keep your website’s content up to date and fresh by adding new pages and updating existing pages with fresh, keyword-rich content. This can help improve your search engine rankings and keep your site relevant to users.
TIP: Make sure to organize your content thematically, and answer questions that searchers have about your niche, product and markets.
Want to know more? Stay on top of the latest changes in search by subscribing to our ‘Chaos Insiders’ only list.
The creation of the Internet was accompanied by the development of innovative marketing and advertising strategies.
Scholars have attributed this new trend in marketing and advertisement to the need for businesses to improve consumer awareness, business image, and pass the corporate message.
One marketing and advertisement strategy that developed, in the recent past, is content marketing.
According to Rebecca Lieb, a marketing expert, content marketing is the creation and distribution of organization-related content in a bid to retain existing market share, attract new customers, and improve an organization’s image.
For this reason, content developed in should be target-oriented and attractive enough to pull customers to a company.
Content marketing is currently an important part of many businesses. This is because it has far-reaching effects on business operations.
This article seeks to discuss why content marketing matters in the contemporary economy.
As such, it explains how content marketing impacts brand building, traffic, and SEO.
However, proper application of content marketing businesses can be used to build an authoritative brand. This is because content marketing creates a unique perspective of a product or service in the consumer’s mind.
When businesses write content about a product or service, they often include the best attributes in the description.
Customers often gain necessary information, such as product specifications, how to use the product, and the merits of the products, from business content.
Therefore, consistent provision (create a content marketing calendar) of important details in your business content will improve the level of brand recognition, credibility, and loyalty.
In addition, if a product or service description aligns with a customer’s tastes and preferences, customers would trust that specific brand.
Therefore, it is imperative that businesses maintain high levels of honesty, consistency, and integrity, in their content marketing strategies, to ensure the development of an authoritative brand.
Ross Crooks, a contributor to the Forbes magazine, was of the opinion that brand building in content marketing entails more than cute descriptions.
Instead, the author believes that content for the brand building should incorporate camaraderie as well as accountability that would inspire companies to develop a product to match their content.
2. Web Traffic Increase And Visitor Consistency
Besides assisting in the development of strong brands, content marketing also contributes towards increased website traffic.
People usually prefer to learn about company profile, product, or service through content.
This is because content provides in-depth information about different aspects of a company.
This is usually achieved without incurring any expenses or costs – other than the work done for ongoing organic SEO campaigns.
However, for search engines to have your website as part of the primary search results, you should have high-quality content that is deemed relevant by the majority of the internet users. They provide a favor to you by “voting” for your website and pages with a link back to you.
Generating quality content and linking it back to your business or brand is often accompanied by positive repercussions.
The positive results often come in the form of increased traffic, increase in sales (assuming a good conversion funnel) or an improvement in revenues.
However, you should note that the content must be of high quality and possess the right keywords or phrases. High quality is considered to be expert in nature, authoritative and trustworthy (See the E-A-T model)
Today, low-quality content, which is rich in keywords no longer attracts customers and is often bypassed by customers and search engines.
There was a BIG uproar when announcements came from Google in the past, and filters and penalties were applied to some big blog networks. High visibility press announcements and comments from the Big G scares a lot of folks in the community. The truth is — when done right — outreach marketing and guest posting is a winning combination.
It is surprising to see that so many believe that when Google indexes web content (Caffeine indexer) it stores ranking information at the same time.
However, the Google search engine builds rankings instantly during the serving of organic results. And, it typically happens in milliseconds…impressive!
We know that consistently garnering top rankings in organic results can drive more quality traffic and lift a brand’s trust.
The question remains…
Is there a close to sure-fire way to affect how Google (and search engines in general) displays your web pages and properties at the top or on the first page of search results?
There is no easy answer… but subjects like crawling, indexation, topical alignment, semantic-lexical-logical words/phrases, relevancy, on-page and off-page tactics, authority and trust building are all important in this discussion. Clearly a lot to cover in ONE article.
However, this post is not a detailed or deeply instructive guide on how to impact all search ranking factors (there are 200 we know of).
Start With Optimizing The Crawl
Rather, we’ll discuss essential keys to success that begin with managing the search engine “crawl budget”. Or, as Google calls it internally: “host load”. It’s all about the number of URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl.
Bot crawling is the first step in a series of complex tasks to get your pages seen on the first page of Google.
You must ensure that all your designated web properties are crawlable and that servers, pages and discoverable assets contain no unwanted search engine blocks. And, your information should be made available in text format which is what search engines still use.
You must also host your pages on a fast and scalable server infrastructure. A low crawl rate may indicate a low-quality site and will not get the “love” you need.
Essentially, you must allow the search engine bots (robots, spiders, crawlers) to access your designated content. The bot software should easily access, crawl and subsequently store (index) your information in their databases. Crawling typically occurs faster / deeper on high PageRank URLs, but other signals affect it as well.
The information you want search engines and users to find will be pulled and ranked instantly from these collected data sets.
Here are important considerations in this debate:
Does A Website Size Matter For Crawling?
If you have a website and assets that are low in count, you must still ensure crawlers can easily access these, but you will not need to focus on crawl budgets in the same way larger sites must. It’s all about balancing crawler frequency, crawler scope and server performance.
What Is A Robots.txt File For Controlling Spiders?
This is a text file, case sensitive: ‘robots.txt’ – that is stored at the root of your domain name location. You can access it by entering www.domain-name.com/robots.txt. You can block unwanted URLs, directories and file types. It can really help with duplicate content URL control and aids in strategically thinking about how bots (and users) can access your information.
Should I Use The noindex Meta Tag?
This is a meta robots tag that is placed inside your page(s). It’s great for conditional restriction of crawling or indexation, whereas robots.txt is typically easier to manage for URL patterns. If you are blocking a page with robots and then apply noindex to the same page it will not see it. However, a noindex tag applied on verified pages (for index exclusion) is a viable strategy for most webmasters. Search results will not show a “Cached” link when used appropriately. While a robots.txt exclusion may still show pages in the search index, a “noindex” will not. (…just wait until the bot has visited the page, and it will be gone. Or, you can remove it inside GSC (below), which is faster).
Can I Use Google Search Console (GSC) for Crawl Diagnostics?
Make sure to have Google Search Console (Google Webmasters) configured for your website. It’s like having a (free) 24x7x365 web doctor listening and watching your entire “body” at regular intervals. The tool provides many key data metrics to help you.
Pages must render properly
You must make sure pages don’t send negative signals to the rest of the site (error pages, on-site duplicate content, hacked pages, etc.). Redirection with a 301 header status can solve many of these problems. You can see these ‘problem pages’ inside GSC.
For example, if you have a large amount of “page not found” – you might leave them alone, but more often you can a) create an actual 404 page and provide logical navigation and content to help the user, and/or b) 301 redirect to the relevant pages or previous URLs (if you are doing a web migration for example) that were working before.
NOTE: Review data in Google analytics to see if these are (look at a wide range in the date history) heavily trafficked pages. Make sure to also look at conversion metrics.
Another tip to control ‘page dups and orphaned pages’ is to verify and provide the actual number of pages for bot management. Begin by using the ‘site:’ command in Google. Numbers are not exact, but it returns how many pages are seen in the index at that time. Compare those pages to your actual pages in your CMS or e-commerce system (actual pages, not product filters) and within the Google Search Console tool. It’s important to consider issues with faceted navigation and parameterized URLs (session ID’s) as well.
Check the “Links to Your Site” section under “Search Traffic” inside GSC.
Can I use Server Logs To Optimize My Website?
Download daily, weekly and monthly logs and scan them using desktop log analysis tools to get more details than analytics can provide.
There are massive amounts of significant data to help you optimize what you may have missed before.
You’ll access all the URLs that the various bots crawl on your site. Sort and filter by non 200 and 301 header codes to start and fix obvious page errors and redirect issues. Many advanced SEOs will use server logs, and you should too.
Do Redirect Chains Affect Crawling?
These pesky redirect chains are not visible to users, but can be a nuisance over time, and especially on large websites. Search engines must deal with them.
If you are going through a web migration, moving to SSL, or digging into historical data, or upgrading your URL structure (including use of trailing slashes or not) – it’ll be something you’ll want to address. You want short and concise 301 redirects.
What Are Common Filetypes That Google Can Index?
While the list below is usable for crawling, try to stay within recommended guidelines: Create & submit content that is text-based. (reference)
While Google enjoys major market penetration globally, all search engines crawl pure text based assets. You can use rich media, but make sure to add specific meta information via text as much as possible.
For example, you may have a relevant and educational YouTube video. Since Google cannot crawl the video, ensure that all meta data is provided in text format.
If you are embedding a video on your blog, provide rich text around it – within the body of your page content, including a link to it on YouTube.
If Google search results pages display video results for a query, you may be showing up next…once you have optimized it.
How To Find Filetypes In Google?
Do you wish to find certain filetypes in search? When you search in Google using advanced search operators – and with the filetype: search operator, you can filter by filetypes. Alternatively, you can find terms within them. Its basic construct looks like this – filetype:doc [term].
Here’s an example of finding Powerpoint files with a specific term: affordable health care act filetype:ppt (copy)
List of Filetypes:
Adobe Flash (.swf)
Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf)
Adobe PostScript (.ps)
Autodesk Design Web Format (.dwf)
Google Earth (.kml, .kmz)
GPS eXchange Format (.gpx)
Hancom Hanword (.hwp)
HTML (.htm, .html, other file extensions)
Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
OpenOffice presentation (.odp)
OpenOffice spreadsheet (.ods)
OpenOffice text (.odt)
Rich Text Format (.rtf)
Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg)
Text (.txt, .text, other file extensions), including source code in common programming languages:
As technology improves, customers have higher expectations for business websites.
For instance, 52 percent of consumers say a high-performing website is their most critical expectation when visiting an e-commerce site.
Forty-eight percent of users won’t wait for more than five seconds for a site to load and 33 percent will leave to buy from a competitor if a site takes too long.
Customers also expect more from mobile sites, with only 35 percent willing to wait longer for a mobile site to load compared to a desktop, compared to 44 percent of respondents willing to wait in 2014.
Staying competitive in today’s market means keeping up with your customers’ expectations of your website.
Here are three key areas where it’s crucial to make sure your website meets customer expectations in order to keep your customers happy.
#1 – User Experience
Your visitors’ user experience helps form their first impression of your website and your brand, which can play a crucial role in determining whether or not they decide to become a customer.
SEO is the idea of optimizing your site to help rank for targeted keywords (long or short) in a purposeful manner to help attract leads of buyers and sellers. We call this organic, natural or algorithmic search.
You of course have options to buy your real estate keyword clicks, say on Google Adwords or Yahoo Gemini. Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads both have great targeting and lead generation opportunities.
But, once you rank using SEO for your local real estate terms, that listing if FREE in search results – forever.
For example, a prospect visits Google or Bing, enters a word or phrase (i.e. Real Estate Listings Beverly Hills), and clicks on one of the results that show.
(Ed. Note: In the picture above, you see realtor.com and zillow.com as highly authoritative sources. They are known brands to search engines as well as users. But, this doesn’t mean that you cannot position yourself in your region for highly valuable search terms, as you’ll see.)
With a simple search, the site they clicked has gained a new lead (assuming they contacted you, via phone, search or form submission). You want to be that site and SEO coupled with lead conversion optimization is how it is done.
When you rank for keywords for your area, you are the site that will show up when the prospective client types it into search engines.
This is the foundation you are laying down for the site.
If the keywords being targeted are not valuable, the work you put in will be wasted.
So, what should a real estate agent look for when it comes to keywords?
You are going for local key strings.
Let’s stick to the example of Los Angeles for this part of the guide.
A few examples of keywords you might target would be the following.
Here we use Los Angeles (LA) as an example, but you can replace the location with [City], or [Your Town]. That includes using specialized, local terms like [South Bay] (Just south of LAX region)
Best Homes in Los Angeles
Best Homes In LA
New Homes For Sale In LA
Best Real Estate Agent In Los Angeles
Top Real Estate Agent In LA
Real Estate For Sale In The South Bay
These are just a few examples.
You can create an endless list if you’d like. Ubersuggest is an excellent tool if you are finding a hard time coming up with potential options. It will pop out hundreds for you to work with.
However, anyone can do this. You need to make sure those keywords are being searched up as well.
This is where you will use a keyword research tool & planner (Read the Google’s Keyword Planner example for local cities). Start entering in these keywords you have come up with. You will then look at how many “monthly searches” these keywords are getting.
Do NOT go for the highest trafficked numbers found in the Google Keyword Planner Tool! That is a mistake. Instead, look for the competition level column and see how the local identifiers coupled with the competitive metrics stack up instead. Look at Low to Medium numbers.
Look to create a list of 20-30 real estate related keywords with variations of length, location and types of searches to start.
Unique and Custom Content Is Important
SEO is more than keyword research, despite what the first segment of this guide states.
You are not aiming to outwit the reader with real estate SEO, but instead, educate and woo them with current, fresh information while you create triggers to engage them.
For example, you can create a popup or message that says: “sign up to get my daily real estate alerts for your area with price comparisons, selling history, information for families, and much more”.
This is done by presenting quality content they will wish to read.
Getting a person to come in from Google is the easy part. But, you want to convert them as well. A visitor is useless until it leads to a conversion.
This doesn’t mean they will pick up the phone and call you directly at that time – you must engage them, capture their email and look at options like retargeting.
Video on retargeting pixels:
Therefore, you want to create custom content, which seems to weave in keywords without being abrupt or reckless. This is the sign of a well-oiled SEO campaign. You will gain far more traction doing this than someone who blindly copy/pastes content in the hopes no one will notice.
15-20 years ago you would have used radio, tv and the now outdated Yellow Pages. Leverage content creation and promotional strategies instead, and learn about content marketing (definition) today.
Google and other search engines notice changes and updates on your pages. Their bots are meticulous about this – unless you have blocked them from accessing your online assets. And yes, that includes media like video, books, news and more.
Use SEO Plugins For Your Real Estate Web Site
If you are using WordPress for Local SEO, you should be looking to download Yoast as soon as you can. This is one of the better “free” SEO plugins on the market right now. It will tell you when the content being posted is 100% SEO friendly or not.
This is vital because you might miss out on details along the way.
NOTE: Do not follow it as ‘gospel’ – but leverage the tool as a guide, and it will help your search engine optimization work.
It will provide you with hints as to what you can do to optimize the content before publishing it.
Follow the lead and watch as your real estate website comes to life.
Do Not “Keyword Stuff”
This guide has to repeatedly state this because keyword stuffing is a major sin in the world of SEO.
You will have all of these great keywords, and it will become enticing to add them as many times as you can into the content. However, this does not work.
Here’s a quick video on doing better keyword research for financial markets, the real estate industry and related businesses:
The bots will know when you are keyword stuffing. There used to be a certain percentage (keyword density %) regarding keywords, but that’s not an advisable strategy any longer. Instead, sprinkle keywords naturally throughout the copy and use related terms and links within the copy to help the reader.
Real estate websites have to be on top of this and make sure the keywords are positioned well, and that the text reads well.
It is of particular importance in this niche because the client has to make a major decision and will read through every word, especially details around the home properties.
It’s obvious if you are doing it (to users and search engines), and you will eventually drop in rankings and potentially permanently filtered.
Keyword stuffing is unacceptable.
On Page SEO Matters
On page SEO (vs. “off-page SEO” – links) is all about what you are doing on the site itself.
That includes the copy (text) and also the internal (HTML) code that the search engines will capture and store in their databases.
You want to make sure all of the tweaks are made to improve the site and make it easier to rank. You want it to be full of custom content, rich in keyword quality, easy to use and have the appropriate meta tags in place.
Real estate agents will be smart to interlink (link out to other pages on your site, and also externally) as much as possible.
This gives the site a better look in the eyes of search engines and provides a “trusted” resource that will invite repeat visitors.
You should also be seeking to change the URLs and have them as clean as possible (no unnecessary letters or numbers).
You want to add meta descriptions to entice the user to click on your result in search engines. Don’t worry about stuffing keywords here. Think about the user’s needs first. This is the first thing a person sees when the site pops up on Google. It is the little blurb under the link.
Build Backlinks And Remove Dead Links
Backlinks are vital, and Google was built on this premise: get a trusted link or vote from another source with a relevant context.
Realtor.com shows millions of backlinks, but you don’t need that for your local area.
You want to show Google this is a well-connected site that is appreciated in the real estate niche.
Ever seen agents who have joined up with a big firm and automatically start ranking? You will see this often when you are doing your homework on how to make things work online. Bigger firms have acquired trust and authority online, and they have a lot of links, and many of them are high quality too.
Those agents are not ranking because of a magic potion.
They are ranking because of quality backlinks from the web and back to their agency or firm’s website pages.
The organization places pictures, content and build their own link from their trusted site site and providing “SEO juice” to help the new agents.
It is a simple process and one that works.
You will have to do the same without the aid of a big agency’s site. You will use it through other means such as asking for them and visiting forums, related sites, and blogs. That includes guest blogging as well (which is not dead by the way!)
You want to build as many backlinks as you can in a natural way.
Please do not spam as that is unacceptable and will make you seem unprofessional and Google will not help you either.
You want to approach site owners and ask for guest spots on their site. You might even find people who are willing to take a monthly payment in some cases, but tread carefully. Google doesn’t like paid links.
And remember – local links and citations (references) are hugely valuable to your brand, and you’ll rank for search terms when applied correctly.
Social Media For Real Estate Agents
Search engines have come to expect the best to be seen with data consistency and proper connections to their social media accounts.
You want to have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram to name a few.
And, make sure those accounts are active and fresh with content, listings, giveaways, contests and more. But, don’t just flood these with information. Watch for where your audience ‘lives’, and engage on those platforms. Be different.
They should be connecting to your main site at all times and you must provide a healthy, professional look and feel throughout.
This will help users find you, and Google will take note also. Building likes on Facebook is useful, but not as good as presenting quality content that people will share, and eventually comment on. (Plus, running Facebook ads for folks who already like your page is incredibly powerful. Try it!)
The more these platforms are growing, the more it has become necessary for you to connect to them as a real estate agent.
Understand Competiton In Your Marketplace
What is the competition doing that you are not?
SEO is not just about doing your own thing; it is about learning from the rest of the field and making yourself stand out.
You don’t have to copy them, but being aware of what they are going for makes it easier to lay out your plans as well. As you enter search terms yourself, look for the results, click on them, see what paid ads show up as well.
Anything you are not doing?
The competition is an excellent way to close the gap as much as you can.
Maintain Data and User Engagement Consistency
Regardless of what type of SEO campaign you are running, consistency is the name of the game.
You have to post fresh content (listings, blog posts, videos etc) on a regular basis and work hard on SEO as often as possible.
This is the only way you will take all of the major leads and get a fresh stream of new clients.
Remember, 90% of people in the real estate market start off with that simple search. You will see a noticeable increase once you keep at the SEO game.
REMINDER: Spamming Search Is Off Limits
Please do not spam.
It bears repeating: stop spamming.
You are only hurting yourself by spamming.
The site won’t do well in the search engines and you will look unprofessional, and possible become de-listed.
If there was one niche where spamming is off limits, this is the one without a doubt. Stick to your guns and do the right stuff to see results and work with a top Real Estate SEO Company.
This is what real estate SEO is all about, and this guide should give you the leveraged needed to push forward.
Finally, think about leveraging YouTube Videos and maximizing their results in search engines.
Many times these videos can be easier to rank in your SEO results than your websites.
Editor’s Note: This post was written for real estate agents – and if you are seeking advice, training or consulting on Real Estate SEO and marketing, submit a quick request here. We are real estate SEO experts.
If you are considering video as a strategy to drive more traffic and leads to your business, you are making a smart move. You should test it for your market.
But, while the content strategy is just as important in video as with other media channels, you must make the video look good to ensuring higher user engagement.
You probably know this, but let me remind you: the edit is the most powerful tool in video making.
“There are many factors that go in to creating the perfect marketing video. Having an intelligent script, skillful camera and audio work, and seasoned producing and directing are crucial aspects to making a marketing video successful. But perhaps the most important piece, the place where all of this comes together to form a coherent story is during the editing process. “ – Skillman Video Group
Straight cuts, fast cuts and smash cuts are a few of the easiest to use.
Straight Cuts: These are an editor’s bread and butter. Essentially, they are used to change the angle of a shot or to move between shots. They keep the story moving forward and keep interest in the scene.
Fast Cuts: These change how the audience perceives the energy of the scene. You see this style of editing in montages and high-energy videos when you don’t have more than a second to see the frame before moving on to the next one.
Slow Cuts: These are the direct opposite of the fast cut. Where fast cuts get your heart rate going and you are taking in a lot of information, slow cuts build the tension in a scene. Think of scenes in horror movies when you know the monster is in the house and the camera stays on the main character as the monster comes up behind him or her.
Older movies tend to have fewer cuts with more emphasis placed on each cut. Today, cuts tend to happen more quickly and move the story along in a specific way. When you decide to cut influences how a scene plays out.
For instance, long takes with few cuts let tension build and enable viewers to take in all parts of the frame.
Alternatively, a lot of quick cuts lead viewers to see what the director wants them to.
The length of the final project also has to do with how many edits there are.
Short videos and ads aren’t conducive to a slow cut, and an interview would be jarring and difficult to follow if there were a lot of fast cuts.
Commercials, especially for fun products like food and drinks, use quick cuts to give off a lot of energy in a short period of time.
Videos that are only 15 seconds long also have to cram as much information as possible into that segment as possible.
When determining your online marketing strategy for brand visibility, traffic and (sales) conversions, you have a number of pathways you can choose to pursue.
From owned media, to earned media, to paid media, each strategy comes with its own set of benefits depending on the message you are looking to deliver, and what’s most important to your business now.
Each kind of online marketing strategy has a unique set of characteristics.
But before you decide which is right for you and the campaign you are developing, you’ll need to completely understand what each consists of, how each works, and what kind of results you can expect from each marketing strategy.
Owned Media (“Customers”)
When you are in control of the website, blog, social media page, or other online platform you’re hoping to use to deliver your marketing message, this would be considered “Owned Media.” It’s your corporate content.
“Owned media is defined as communication channels that are within one’s control, such as websites, blogs, or email;” – Wikipedia
With owned media, you are able to provide and updated the exact message and content you want, whenever you want, free of charge. (other than your time)
Because you have full control over your social media accounts, website and blog, you can put whatever information you want into any of the pages and profiles.
This gives you complete control over your marketing strategy, allowing you to manipulate exactly what is said, what is shared, and when it is posted.
An example of owned media would be sharing content (even sales copy) on your Facebook page, without paying to promote the ad any further than to the followers you already have.
Owned media is best for targeting return or loyal customers, or displaying a new product, a promotion, or new information to customers you have already done business with.
If your marketing campaign is targeted to getting more return purchases, using owned media could be the best strategy.
And, when you combine this strategy with SEO (search engine optimization), you have the added advantage of driving new eyeballs to your pages with keywords and links.
The biggest drawback with only using your owned media is that it can be slower to market, and it is more challenging to reach a new audience.
This kind of marketing strategy will usually be preferred to reach your followers, loyal customers, and fans, unless you choose to also implement some paid media or earned media strategies.
Paid Media (“Strangers”)
“Paid Media” is your traditional sense of marketing and advertising, where you pay to promote the posts on your own social media pages — or you pay for advertising space on partner sites (display) or in search (Google Adwords, for example).
“Paid media refers to publicity gained through advertising” – Wikipedia
Your paid media is placed with the goal of directing potential customers and purchasers to your website pages (landing pages) and products.
Other forms of paid media include paying “influencers” of your target market to share your links, products, or website.
These influencers may be celebrities, social media personalities, or other companies that already have a following comprised of the people you want to visit your website and purchase your products or services.
Because you are paying for the advertising space or the shout out to your company or product, you almost always will have control about what is said, or at least get to approve the message before it is sent out.
For paid media outlets, you may even develop ads for the other individual to use or post, or you will send exactly what you want to be posted to the company or individual you are paying.
Paid media online is not much different than paid advertising in magazines or newspapers, it is just done in a digital marketplace now.
Paid media is usually relatively easy to secure.
Your biggest challenge with paid media will be finding the right fit, with the right audience, and the right way to display your products, services and brand to get the best results.
Taking the example of the Facebook ad you shared to your own Facebook page in the owned media section, that same ad can become a form of paid media if you pay to boost or otherwise promote the post further.
When you pay for a Facebook ad to be promoted, it will appear as sponsored content to individuals who don’t already follow you.
Once that ad starts appearing on other people’s pages who are not already associated with your social media account, it becomes a paid media form.
Earned Media (“Fans”)
Where paid media and owned media are relatively easy to secure and control, earned media is the exact opposite.
“Earned media (or free media) refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising” – Wikipedia (ref)
With “Earned Media” you and your company will have no say in what is talked about, shared, or promoted. This is UGC (User Generated Content) at its best.
Instead, you rely on your fans, followers, and customers to promote your business. They essentially can become brand advocates – and that you don’t pay them for.
There are a few forms of earned media, and each has its own benefits, but it is usually the most difficult to secure. It is however, the most beneficial to your business success.
Retweets, mentions, shares, voluntary testimonials and other social media interactions that you do not pay for are all forms of earned media.
When other marketers mention you by name or keyword on their page(s), and with links back to you, you’ll earn better SEO rankings and traffic over time.
Earned media is free, but the only way to get it is to become a company and business worth talking about.
A good way to view earned media is as digital “word of mouth” or recommendations throughout the web for your products and services.
In many cases, a word of mouth recommendation is more believable and taken more seriously than advertisements on paid media or owned media.
This is because the individual recommending your company does not have any incentive to do so.
People will share if you provide excellence.
They are simply sharing a good experience or recommending your products because they have found so much success, they want others to find the same level of happiness.
Because the number of online shops, experts, and services is constantly increasing and becoming more and more available to a wide variety of people, people are more protective of where they choose to buy from and who they trust to deliver a service worth their money.
Establish a great reputation.
In order to use earned media in your online marketing strategy, you already need to have a good following in place and you need to develop great content that is easy to share and appeals to a wide variety of individuals.
Because you have little control over what goes viral, these kinds of campaigns can be extremely difficult to be successful in.
If we again return to the example of the Facebook ad, earned media comes when Facebook users comment, share, or like the ad, regardless of if they saw the paid media form or the owned media form.
If you have a strong network of followers, paid media might not be necessary because shares and likes can attract friends and followers of your loyal customer base.
However, paid media will allow you to test ads, keywords and landing pages quicker, so keep that option open.
When developing your online marketing strategy to drive traffic and create further visibility for your brand, all three types of models should work together to achieve your marketing goals. And, what those goals are will influence what media you should target.
You can use paid media to drive behaviors via your sponsored assets (ads, videos, content) which eventually will turn into sponsored knowledge.
Benefits come from all three areas.
Each kind of media channel in the POEM (paid, owned, earned media) model has benefits specific to it and can drive different results. You have to take action, and test this for your own business.
“Paid media creates ‘brand awareness’ and allows you to gather valuable marketing data quickly, owned media builds and supports the ‘brand experience’, while earned media boosts the ‘brand conversation’.”
It is difficult to say which is the most important because each will give you a different outcome. But there is no doubt that the trifecta model works, and all should be applied and tested. The power of “converged media” (the delta that emerges when you lay each ‘circle’ to form a Venn-diagram) working for you is ideal.
You must also consider the “time vs budget” conversation. What does this mean in your business right now. Do you have more time than money? If so, you may start in the Owned media area first.
To determine which pathway is right for you, you’ll need to assess where your company currently is, where you would like it to go, and what means you would need to take to get there.
On the one hand, having more images and even infographics can be quite attractive to human viewers. They are perfect for supporting and reinforcing text and they also serve those people who prefer to skim.
However, any content that you put into an image won’t be crawled by Google (make sure to add relevant keyword text in the image alt attribute, so it will help drive SEO benefits. And, you’ll get found in image search!)
You also don’t want to put in too many images because that can affect the speed at which the page loads, and we’ll talk more about that later.
You want the navigational bar to be easy to find, clear, and located in a consistent place, because readers should never be confused about where they are or how to get to where they want to go. Here’s an article on how to use breadcrumbs for SEO and your navigation.
Clarity takes priority over flashiness in all elements of web design.
You need to pick headlines for your content appropriately. This also goes for subheads. They are important for both SEO and readership.
The goal of a headline is to describe what is to come in the following content in a condensed, enticing phrase.
A headline that is too long will take too long to read and spill onto multiple lines. If it’s too short, the headline won’t be descriptive.
A useful tip: don’t put your keywords into your headlines and subheads too often.
That will make Google’s algorithm suspicious that your content is not organic and genuine. If you think ahead, you can make your headlines into tweets for when you announce your content on social media.
Remember that headlines and subheads are what your viewers will see first and are the thing they are most likely to remember, so spend some extra time crafting them and think long-term.
Adding lists with bullets to your content is a great way to summarize repetitive or similar ideas without needing to create an image or relying on long, loose sentence structure.
There is no rule of thumb for when to add a list, but if you have, for example, a set of pros and a set of cons for an item, then that is a good candidate for creating some lists.
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There is a happy medium when it comes to the length of a list.
It shouldn’t be so long that it seems tiresome, but if you have less than three entries the list seems superfluous.
It’s also not a good idea for list items to spill too far onto a second line, because that can be distracting and take away from the list’s appearance.
Lists are a perfect way to break up walls of text, which are anathema to engagement.
Social media is a very important part of sharing your content.
First of all, social media is a means for people to find your content.
You share everything you post via social media channels, because then you have people who can stumble across you in more places than just Google.
Make sure to add ‘social share buttons’ on your essential pages and make it easy for users to share your content in social networks.
More importantly, when your readers share your work across their own social networks, you gain many more potential followers and loyal readers. This effect is called propagation, and it is very powerful.
The more a piece of content propagates, the more readers you get with no investment of your own: your readers are actually spreading the content for you.
In addition, social media engagement is a positive sign for Google, and it will get you a higher ranking as long as the propagation is organic. In other words, don’t try to buy likes or shares.
It’s more important than every before to think about mobile users. They now constitute more than half of all Internet users worldwide. The recent Pew Internet Mobile Report shows usage, behaviors and that people’s technical sophistication is growing.
Today nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them – PEWINTERNET.ORG
That means if you are not ready to serve them, you will miss out on a large number of potential readers.
Set your content up for mobility by choosing pictures that will resize themselves, making sure your fonts do not become blurry on small screens, checking for the column width so that it doesn’t cause lines to break up on mobile, and so on. Your developers can install plugins (if WordPress), or utilize CSS and mobile detection to serve the right content and navigation.
There are a lot of little details that can affect how content displays on a mobile device. You need to carry out tests to ensure that things work properly and all of the content displays as intended for mobile users.
Not only are you including them in your readership, but mobile platforms are perfect for social media engagement, so it interacts well with your social networking and outreach.