7 Hacks to Improve the Credibility, Reach and Stickiness of Your Content

7 hacks to improve

First of all I want to thank Chris for allowing me to post on TripleSEO – it’s a real honour. I’ve been a long-time fan and read his posts as one would a bible.

With so much content around it’s more important than ever to make sure your content stands out.

Improving the credibility of your content can help it go further and make it more memorable.

Here are a few simple hacks that shouldn’t take too long to implement and give your next content piece that little extra ‘umph’.

Use Canva

Canva.com is a great site where you can (for free) upload your image and spruce it up using many pre-made styles.

With a little experimentation you can create a great blog post cover image or create fancy section separators.
This makes your post stand out immediately and shows the extra time that went into creating it. I borrowed this one from Brian Dean.

The Lazy Quotes Method

The lazy option here is to take someone’s quote form their own website and stick inside of your content with a link to the author, their name and the quote itself.

Like the first point, it shows care to add extra detail, a bonus here is that if the author of the quote is popular on social media – he/she may share your content if you ask nicely (or if they actively listen for their mentions).
Don’t overdo it though – too many quotes and you’re basically curating content and Google may not give you any brownie points if most of your content is borrowed.

The Slightly Less Lazy Quotes Method

A slightly less lazy way is to do a bit of research and ask 2-3 experts in the field for short quotes exclusively for the article. This increases the chances of getting their attention post-launch. More importantly it adds credibility to your new piece of content.

Research & Statistics

Many articles don’t include any credible sources of information, only someone’s thoughts or collated snippets of information.

When you include some real statistics and data, something magical happens in the brain of the reader – they trust the whole article a whole lot more.

Don’t Give the hard sell

For many of you this point may sound obvious, but trust me, there are still those out there that try to sneak their sales agenda into every piece of content their brand publishes.

If you use “salesy language” it instantly lowers your reputation and trust and the chances of social shares and links diminish with every mention of ‘buy my stuff’.

Keep the language informative and focus on value to the reader, not on the features of your offering.

Don’t go text heavy

Use a lot of:
– bullet point lists
– short snippets of text
– punchy, straight to the point sentences

See how quick this was to digest? Avoid the ‘walls of text’, when content is broken down into easy to read chunks there are higher chances of someone even attempting to read it all.

Tell a story

Some writers are great at this and relate their content to their personal life, John Doherty is quite good at this, I find it really hard.

Whether it’s an infographic or an article, a natural flow and a storyline make consuming it better and increase chances of it spreading via social shares. I think it’s because English isn’t my first language. 

I’ve actually learned everything I know about SEO myself from the Internet, only then having a chance to work in an agency environment after a few years of grinding on my own.

I hope you find these tips helpful and employ some in the future content you or your agency outputs.
If you have any additional ideas in how to make the content more credible, please tweet at me or leave a comment.

How to Build an Online Business you can Sell

This is a guest post from Thomas Smale, the co-founder of the specialist website brokers FE International and serves as a great follow up to Lewis Ogden’s article on building an online business that can last.

Many online marketers that I speak to don’t seem to realise just how valuable their skills are or how they should be putting their skills to good use to make a great income online.

As a broker who specialises in helping to sell online businesses I wanted to offer some advice on how you could go about building a website that you could eventually sell. Having completed over 200 website sales, I’m in a good position to know what will sell easily and how a seller can improve the overall value and saleability of their website.

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Invest time in Strategy and Planning

The success of your website stems from your initial planning and leg work. The websites that I have been able to sell for up to 7 figures are always built on a solid foundation as they have taken their time to understand the target market, built out customer personas, implemented a considered content strategy and have developed a strong monetisation method.

That’s not to say there aren’t people who have managed to fall into a niche with their eyes wide shut and make a success of it, but these are very rare situations. Continue reading

How To Build An Online Business That Will Last

It’s quite rare for me to publish a guest post on my blog.

I got chatting to Lewis Ogden a couple of months back after he published an epic post for Matthew Woodward on his methods for finding new money making niches. It was a really solid post and I recommend you take a few minutes to read it some time soon.

So I decided to invite Lewis to share his thoughts on building an online business.

Over to you Lewis…

If you paid any attention to Google and SEO over the last 6 months of 2013, you would have witnessed a tidal wave of angry people, complaining about how Google screwed their business. Whilst sad that these people have lost a lot, and in some cases everything, they really should have been asking themselves these 3 questions;

  1. Does my business/website rely solely on Google?
  2. Do I deserve to rank #1 for this keyword?
  3. Is my website built for the user or search engines?

By answering these 3 questions honestly, you can quickly determine if you have a website that will stand the test of time, or will succumb to an Algorithm update 6 months or even 2 years from now.

Here are ten guidelines to follow to ensure any business you start in 2014 is one for the future.

1) User Experience over SEO

user experienceThere is more and more emphasis being placed on user engagement in the ranking factors.

Bounce rate, time on site, CTR all play a part in your overall SERP position and how Google see’s your site. Gone are the days of micro niche sites, 5 pages of crappy content plastered with affiliate links.

Today is the day for awesome content, engaging video and captivating images. Your site structure should make navigation a breeze for the user, it should not look like a maze of “silo links” designed to control link juice.

Your site speed is even more critical now than it ever was, you have less than a second to capture your readers eye, anymore than that and they are gone, never to return again. If your site loads like in the blink of an eye, you bounce rate will drop…simple.

Your content is the foundation of your business, not how may backlinks you have.

If your content is built for the reader, is helpful and provides what they are looking for, they will tell others.

If however, your content looks like a robot wrote it with, keywords bolded and italicized all over the place, you have no business. You have a game of cat and mouse…and guess who the cat is?

Continue reading

What I’ve Learned Auditing and Removing Unnatural Links

link-cleanup

The past year has meant I have spent a lot of time doing something I’ve never had to do before, and something only a small number of SEO’s specialised in before April 2012. Over the past year I have worked with at least one site per month that has received a link penalty of a manual or algorithmic nature.

When should you clean up?

If you’ve received an unnatural link warning or you have seen a significant decrease in rankings around the time of a penguin update then you need to take action as soon as possible.

google link warning message

If however your site is ranking fine but you are sat on a site with a number of shady links in your link profile then it all depends upon your niche and your risk profile. In these situations I would rather build some more high quality links than start a major link cleanup exercise.

Get as much Link Data as you can

The mistake too many people make is just relying on one or two soruces of data for their Link Audits. Personally I will try to obtain as much data as possible from ahrefs, Majestic, OSE, Google Webmaster Tools and any reports the client might have from past SEO agencies. Continue reading