Tonight’s guest on #seochat is @lorenbaker discussing Creating Authority Through Content. @lorenbaker is the Vice President of Services at Blue Glass Interactive — http://www.blueglass.com . He is a co-founded Search & Social, prior to Blueglass, and created Search Engine Journal in 2003. @lorenbaker has been featured [everywhere] on CNN, NPR, PCWorld, BusinessWeek, ZDNet, PRWeek, TechCrunch, Mashable, & AdAge. He is also a regular speaker at SMX, Pubcon, and other conference series.
What are the main components of creating authoritative content?
The key is, learning to control and focus that content towards an end goal or trackable KPI. Content lives everywhere. Its on our sites. In our inboxes. On Facebook. Here on #seochat. Content is a beast who never sleeps. For SEO purposes, that trackable API is usually the ability for content to attract links and cultivate more content. Good sharable content essentially gives the siteowner the ability to crowdsource your linking and buzz. Content is usually special to someone. original targeted content is going to gain eyeballs.
By empowering bloggers, Facebook fans, followers, Tumblrs with something embeddable, sharable and resourceful. Shareable content empowers the blogger and lets the client crowdsource their linking amongst their industry.
For example, take infographics. It’s cool to create an infoGraphic and then promote socially on Reddit, or Digg. And maybe it pops and gets links .. gets traffic and buzz. Content lives FOREVER. IG’s can be shared and embedded on blogs. Bloggers love content. Blog readers love content. 100 bloggers can embed the same Infographic and write about it in 100 different ways + link to your site in 100 ways. That’s crowdsourcing your links and buzz amongst interested and targeted publishers.
But content does not live in a 24 hour window of social promotion. And all of that leads to a natural and diverse link flow. Because links alone dont win the race. Tweets / Sahres / Likes/ Reblogs make the difference in Search. The key is content must be Quality / Original / and Shareable. Quality comes from brainstorming and is something that gifted talented people are great at #seochat.
@garyjmag: Love this idea of creating content for a specific author on popular blog & letting them do the seeding for you http://ow.ly/61hv7
@mentormarketing: I find a key to shareable content is tweetable language in a headline.
What works best in creating authoritative content in ecommerce?
eCommerce is such a broad term. most eCommerce sites have horribe product content. But the key is understanding not only the product, but the target market. Who is the customer? There is a nice trend in forming community pages on eCommerce sites to shape and contain the content that is shareable. Overstock (or is it O.co?) does a good job with their community. It’s kind of basic, but it gives them a chance to publish things out of the norm http://bit.ly/oYiT05 and connect with their readers and generate UGC.
@mentormarketing: their SEO efforts inspire Google penalties.
@lorenbaker: Penalites come from trying a shortcut to build links to places that don’t attract links.
@mentormarketing: Product content is expected to be boring , the addon content needs to educate. Examples J&R’s blog and B&H’s Insights blog.
@ashbuckles: I think the reblog format, by nature, isn’t standard. That’s what adds to the uniqueness.
I started in Online Marketing 11 years ago. Back then, before Google, we used to build links to build traffic. By connecting with webmasters and asking for links or introducing them to some cool content on a client’s site. We could obtain links or featured content on influential and highly relevant sites. Traffic would come. We would measure KPIs. That was before PageRank and the link economics came into play. PageRank and link buying killed the focus on good quality content. It was much easier to sidestep with payola. Essentially, you need to produce something that will attract links or people WANT to link to.
So, in a nutshell, I think that eCommerce sites need to look into more community or publishing routes. We actually had someone create jewelry once that was targeted to bloggers. Their target community loved it and blogged about it and linked to it.
@garyjmag: Bloggers are great link prospects for ecommerce, not just for reviews, but giveaways, exclusives, unique product use cases…
@ashbuckles: I love the idea of getting ecommerce sites to generate unique, interesting, quality content around their products.
@lorenbaker: @ashbuckles or remember the Diamond Encrusted iPad that Mervis Diamond had on their site for $1,000,000? I don’t think they ever made it. But EVERYONE wriote about it!Look at these results : http://bit.ly/oB2Tho They never actually made it. Just photoshopped it. Beautiful links from Gizmodo, CNet, Engadget , CNN … all to an eCommerce landing page. I totally forgot about it too until tonight. I even wrote a post about it on SEJ! http://bit.ly/ru78an .
@ashbuckles: That’s some serious link equity that could be brought with an image, landing page and message to continue interest. If nothing else, they could have a graphic on that diamond landing page discussing their “diamond ipad” story.
@lorenbaker: Yup. I think they moved the iPad to another page. Not cool (but I don’t want to out anyone). And goes to show that good, targeted and timely content is extremely USEFUL. The keyword being #timely.
Just the other day I was going thru a client’s analytics and saw a huge jump in traffic, like double the traffic for one section of their site and I realized we did social promo for them a year earler. It was amazing that the content was so seasonal, after a year it was resurrected in Google results.
@ashbuckles: I love finding those nuggets. It’s a great opportunity to update content or create a new promo on the previous one.
@mentormarketing: What is the best order of operations for Content, Authority and Trust?
@lorenbaker: Brainstorm / Outline / Storyboard / Flowchart / Design / Compliance / Publish / Promote / Share
@RavenCourts: Do you always storyboard? Only step that is not familiar to me (or is that just for infographics?)
@lorenbaker: Usualy for infogrpahics, but you can always illustrate the scanability of a blogpost. Visual hooks work in written content as much as they can an infogrpahic.
@ashbuckles: I think of Perez Hilton and Dooce and wonder what makes them stand out as an authority over all others?
@lorenbaker: HA! look at @perezhilton. He draws dumb stuff on celebs and people LOVE it. First to market! @perezhilton drawing a big phallic symbol on a celebrities head has made him a superstar #winning. But he was the first to do it and kept a stellar and independent voice/tone and did not change.
@ashbuckles: First to market is huge but it’s not everyting. Is consistency or momentum for of a factor for @perezhilton ?
@lorenbaker: Both. Consistency is HUGE. I think that guy still gets up at 5 am to draw penises.
@ashbuckles: Good point. I think most people make some noise, get some attention and then change to monetize. Authenticity is big.
@lorenbaker: Yeah, it is. I was really let down when I checked out USDebtCLock the other day http://bit.ly/bUCCK3 . It’s such a great idea and INCREDIBLE backlinks, but looks at the Auto & Mortgage page add ons http://bit.ly/bUCCK3 . Thing is, people need to monetize. interactive content is NOT CHEAP. Now, with Google making changes and webmasters being forced to adhere to quality guidelines … CONTENT is BACK!!
@jeffnorris: Alexa ranking? Good, bad,meh?
@lorenbaker: Alexa ranking can be good for selling ads
What are the best sites to develop your personal/brand authority?
That depends on the industry. SEJ is a great example of a site for devving a personal brand. Just ask @alanbleiweiss But blogs are just the beginning. In social media, your personal brand is as powerful as your time and scalability. Go to wear your audience is. Nurture your UGC (User Generated Content) and audience.
@AlanBleiweiss: Its true! SEJ was my personal brand launching pad.
@lorenbaker: @AlanBleiweiss IS A BRAND (not just a personal one).
@AlanBleiweiss: True. started as a personal brand, evolved through SEJ, Twitter, conferences & superior service.
@ashbuckles: Personal brand development seems easier today with skepticism on brand development. Not impossible though.
@lorenbaker: I’ve seen strong personal brands built in comments as much as in blogposts. Just ask @seo_theory. I’ve met a lot of people through blog comments. You need to be on Twitter, FB, in forums, at conferences … supporting your brand. but guest blogging is awesome. Most of the authors on Search Engine Journal came from our commenters asking to write. Or me asking them
@AlanBleiweiss: Thats another very good point. blog comments were a big tactical aspect of my brand building. Blog comments that reinforce a stance in an intelligent way really help. Brand building requires dedication driven by intent – willingness to invest the time. Blog commenting as part of the mix is a legit tactic worth the time.
@lorenbaker: That’s a good point Alan. Rants can bring a lot of interest to a site or thread, but sometimes the wrong kind #RantsRule.
@LoriRedfield: I have repurposed emails to clients into blog content.
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