Talking Content Marketing – With Matthew Capala

Matthew Capala is the President of Alphametic, an organic growth accelerator specialized in SEO workshops and consulting with portfolio of worldwide brands including L’Oreal, Hoval, and Quest Diagnostics. As a prolific Internet entrepreneur, Matthew has launched and built ground up several popular websites, including Search Decoder and Sumo Hacks. He is a sought-after International speaker and trainer. His work and ideas have been recognized by Mashable, Chicago Tribune, and The Huffington Post. As Adj. Professor at NYU, Matthew teaches a graduate course on search marketing. Matthew writes regularly on The Next Web, and is the author of three books, including bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.”Talking Content Marketing welcomes the sharing of some SEO knowledge from Matthew Capala.

Matthew is the President of Alphametic, an organic growth accelerator specialised in SEO workshops and consulting. Matthew has launched and built ground up several popular websites, including Search Decoder and Sumo Hacks.

His work and ideas have been recognized by Mashable, Chicago Tribune, and The Huffington Post.

Matthew writes regularly on The Next Web, and is the author of three books, including bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.”

Six questions on SEO, lets jump in.

 

You say that ‘invisibility is a fate much worse than failure’ is this a problem for most companies?

Yes, because in a world where 80% of consumers search for a product or service before purchasing it.

So every business, large or small, need to show up when consumers are actively searching for their products or services.  Yet showing up in Google became the Labors of Hercules far many business owners. Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. Each year there are more changes than a year ago. 

2015 has already been a rollercoaster for businesses and marketers who are trying to keep up with Google, and we can expect much more yet to come! While Google is evolving at light speed, many are lost fighting for survival.

Worst of all, many marketers are still using the obsolete SEO tactics of the past that today may put you in Google’s penalty box pronto. You will not do well in SEO by chasing the algorithm; you need to get in front of it.

 

What is the most important aspect to take on board when it comes to SEO?

By far the most important aspect of SEO has to do with matching your content to the right keywords.

Google processes 40,000 search queries per second. Only a fraction of this traffic is related to what you or your business does, so targeting is the ‘keyword’ when it comes to SEO.

The process of “mining” this info-stream of data of the billions of Google searchers begins when you develop your list of keywords. When developing this list (usually built in a spreadsheet program such as Excel or the Spreadsheet program in Google Docs) it’s important to isolate – from the entire list of terms in the linguistic universe – those “Golden Nugget” keywords that will drive business results.

What are Golden Nugget keywords? Words and phrases, typed into a search engine by users, that deliver desirable visitors to your site.

Golden Nugget Keywords are effective in terms of driving traffic that will result in business, and fewer websites are competing for them. They represent opportunities for you that your competitors may be completely oblivious to. That’s why it’s crucial that you discover them.

Here is a list of 10 free keyword research tools for businesses. 

 

What is the biggest hurdle that companies have when getting started with SEO?

I think most businesses struggle most with content planning and creation.

It’s very hard for companies to think long term, they want instant ROI. So they put most of their marketing dollars into ads, while content marketing is more of a marathon, not a sprint.

For a business to win with smart content marketing, it’s important to invest time and resources to develop a data-driven content strategy, user-centric buyer personas, UX, and built your SEO and keyword research into your editorial process.

Here is the Content Marketing Toolbox we put together for businesses that includes 25 essential content marketing tools to boost online visibility.

 

Is having a ‘hired gun’ approach to do all the content work for you a failed approach ie. someone else doing the social and blogging for you?

It’s important to have your own authentic voice when it comes to content, but there is nothing wrong in outsourcing some of your content creation and social media management.

As long as it’s what you want to say, its ok for someone else to help you write it, publish it, and share it. Social media and content marketing agencies and consultant can help you grow, but they cannot be you.

Be human. Both users and algorithms will smell a phony.

 

Are companies still too short sighted by wanting results ASAP with a campaign mindset rather appreciating than the long game?

Yes, but I think more and more companies realize they need to play a long term game.

A lot of it has to do with accountability, so if the goals are set, timelines established, and there are ROI measurements in place, I think it’s more acceptable for companies to take a long-term approach.

However, not many businesses take the time to develop a content strategy and leverage analytics to track content performance.

 

How would you recommend a company makes a content marketing approach with some SEO knowledge sing sweetly?

Content marketing and SEO often live in separate silos, but they’re really just two sides of the same coin. 

With about 160 million blogs online, and 4 billion hours of video being watched each month on YouTube, there is a huge opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers via the production and distribution of compelling content.

The problem is that most content marketing initiatives underperform because big creative ideas are rarely integrated with a data-driven, performance-based approach.

Great content can go unnoticed without SEO, while SEO-led content can do poorly because it is not compelling. That’s why brands need a holistic approach to content marketing that emphasizes creative and performance equally.

I recommend reading my post on Sparksheet that includes some timeless advice on how to integrate content marketing and SEO.


2nd Edition SEO Like 5 Cover_KindleHuge thanks to Matthew for his time and contributing to the Talking Content Marketing project.

Here are some spaces for more from Matthew:

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