Talking Content Marketing looks at using keywords effectively, but not necessarily putting all your eggs in the Google basket. Lets chat to Darren DeMatas from Intertwine
Darren helps ecommerce companies compete against the giants of the world. He stands for turning lemons into lemonade and levelling the playing field. This is deeply rooted in his DNA. It’s not where you start, it’s where you end up.
How important is the likes of the Google Keyword Planner tool in our content efforts when we have minimum budget?
Google Keyword Planner is an important first step. Just don’t let it be your only step. Once you get a feel for what your customer could be searching for, you should invest some time in researching forums and social media to understand the actual intent behind the keywords.
Make your content an answer for those questions. If you put your voice into answering specific questions, your content will be more sharable and linkable. The goal of keyword research is to understand your customer, not Google. When you optimize for keywords, your content will be flat and lifeless.
For my article, Why You Can’t Bank On Google’s Keyword Planner, research revealed that people are skeptical about the accuracy behind the data Google provides. People wanted to understand how to use that information for SEO.
You highlight that if ‘Google product advertising is costing you money, you’re doing it wrong’ Do you think many businesses ‘jump in’ to use the tools that are available without understanding how they can work more effectively?
Google AdWords is deceptively difficult. It is super easy to get started and difficult to master. I’ve seen too many businesses waste thousands of dollars on AdWords because they didn’t know what a negative keyword was. They give up on online advertising too early without following best practices.
Another thing I see all the time is poor campaign structure. I’ve seen accounts set up with 1 ad group with hundreds of keywords and 2-3 ads. This leads to a poor user experience when someone clicks on your ad. Ideally, you want this to be as tightly focused as possible. This goes back to really understanding the intent behind the search. It is a mistake to think that the intent behind hundreds of keywords is the same.
Creating content that matters to others has to be planned. How effective is working to a ‘Table Of Contents’ (below) a key factor in being consistent?
I start every piece of content with a promise to the reader. Then I try to figure out the best single keyword for that promise. It is important for me to publish content with an actual business purpose that goes beyond rankings and traffic. In the Semantic Search era of Google, you have to focus on building trust and authority, not just links and rankings.
Your content doesn’t have to matter to everyone in the world, but it should matter to your business goals and your target audience. When you focus on delivering on a promise and a few key points (not keywords) you end up with content that is unique and meaningful.
A lot of people are good with “going with the flow.” If I do that, my content ends up wandering around. So I try to produce a table of contents first.
Your ’10 Commandments Of A Small Business Website‘ which two commandments would you ensure are never deviated from?
You have to build on your own land. A lot of people are quick to grab a free site on Weebly or WordPress.com. They think, “I just need to build a quick site and build up some traffic, then Ill pay for my own domain and hosting.” Then they build traffic and authority only to find out they can’t transfer that to a new site. It is very similar to renting a house, spending a ton of money on renovations then having to move.
The second most important thing is to make sure you are always in control. Too many small businesses rely on their “website guy” to manage their account access (passwords, usernames, etc.) and then get locked out.
With the non-linear path of the customer journey, will the winners be the companies who can move quickly and understand/address their audience?
I think that the biggest advantage small companies have is the ability to move quickly. It all starts and ends with the customer. If you don’t have a precise target audience, you end up talking to no one. Once you develop a persona or ideal customer, the process of meeting their needs is iterative.
You have to dig deeper than your competition. When you start bumping into the same people of different sites across the web, you know you are onto something. Ideally, you want to be helpful to your target audience no matter where they are. If someone comments on your blog, see where else they might have commented too. Respond there.
Research and social media listening is important, but you also have to test your call to actions to see what resonates.
How do you learn? What inspires you to keep your momentum?
I am a big believer in knowledge is power. It sounds cheesy, but education and hard work is how I broke the cycle of poverty that so many struggle to break.
I learn from connecting with people smarter than me and applying those lessons to real life projects. I think that is the most powerful way of learning. It is one thing to read something in a book or a blog post, but it is something completely different to try it out and see what happens for yourself.
Thanks to Darren for being part of the Talking Content Marketing series. To find out more from Darren’s side:
Darren on Twitter: click here
The Intertwine Blog: click here