Creating Blockbuster Content for Brands and Beyond: SMX East 2014 Presentation

I presented on how to create blockbuster content for brands at SMX East in New York last week. Below is my deck from that presentation. I was primarily focused with teaching attendees on how to create content with a purpose in mind. The content that you create should have a purpose in mind. You should measure that content’s success by whether or not the content delivers on that purpose.

Tweets about my preso:

Google Alerts: The Easiest Linkbuilding You’re Neglecting


As many of us in the SEO world can attest these days, linkbuilding isn’t about getting you listed in directories; it’s about getting people to talk about your brand. In many cases, this means moving from a linkbuilding strategy to more of a content marketing strategy. (A lot of people throw around that phrase and continue doing the same BS. Don’t be fooled.) Thinking more in terms of a content strategy though doesn’t mean that you can’t grab some great low-hanging fruit on a weekly basis. Cue Google Alerts.

Why Google Alerts are Awesome

Google Alerts are awesome because they are easy and send you relevant links on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. One of the hardest things about getting people to add a link to your website is that you don’t ask people while the listing is fresh in their mind. The longer you wait, the less it seems like your brand actually read the article and the more it feels like you are simply linkbuilding. Google Alerts keep your linkbuilding outreach fresh and relevant. Also, it makes it incredibly easy. Your efforts are served up on a silver platter.

How to Set Up Your Alerts

There are a few ways to set up your Google Alerts. You can set them up to look for outside terms that might be relative but that isn’t going to give you the most likely opportunities. I like to set up my alerts to only notify me when it comes to branded terms. This makes it seem most likely that your brand found the article when Googling themselves and loved it so much that they had to reach out.

All that you need to do is go to Google Alerts and set things up. For your search, I recommend putting in your brand name in quotes to make sure that all of the mentions that you look for are incredibly relevant e.g. “Lido Beach Resort”. If you are dealing with a brand that has multiple locations, simply use your SEO brain to add a location tag onto your brand name e.g. “Hyatt Regency” + Tulsa. This will make sure that your results are not flooded by a national mention when you really only care about what is happening locally or regionally.

As far as frequency goes, you’ll end up very annoyed if you go with a daily update. Moreover, you won’t want to do outreach on a daily basis. What I suggest is setting up for weekly notifications. I also like to cast my net as large as possible for each of my clients when it comes to search. Therefore, these are the options that I go with in order:

  • Search Query: “Branded Name” + Location(optional)
  • Result Type: Everything
  • Language: English
  • Region: Any Region OR United States
  • How Often: Once a Week
  • How Many: All Results

Do Your Outreach

Set up a time period every week that you look through your Google Alerts. From there, email authors of articles directly. As the content is fresh in their minds, it’ll be refreshing to hear that you read it and cared enough to reach out. As always, don’t use a completely templated email. Mention a key element that proves that you at least skimmed the article.

Next, simply ask for your link, providing a valid justification for it. Side note, these links are a great time to look for internal links as they might be mentioning something specific that you do or service that you’re providing.

The end game here is relevant links on sites that mentioned you recently. It’s hard to argue against that. While search engines have gotten better at figuring out when you’re mentioned without a link, it will continue to be in your best interest to get the link. In my experience, this method has about a 20% close rate when done properly, far better than blind outreach.

As always, there are a lot of little tricks that you can use to make this method even better. I just wanted to give you the basics and wish all of my readers happy hunting.

Tim Welsh on Google+

SEOcial: Social Media and SEO Work Best Together

First of all, if you are hiring any sort of digital media expert these days without rounded experience, proceed with caution. Everyone needs experience but that’s what internships are for. When you decide that you want to optimize your digital presence, you need to seek out TRUE professionals and true professionals understand that no one digital outlet truly lives on its own (See article about Clueless Marketers). If you’re trying to look for an exception, your head is in the wrong place already.

Link Through Social Media

Search Engine Optimization and Social Media are two outlets that have consistently been moving closer and closer to each other.The most basic of these reasons is linking. Ethan Lyon  of SEER Interactive has written multiple articles on how to build links with Twitter. (Twitter Backlink Article 2) Links can also be posted on a variety of other websites and I don’t know if you’ve noticed recently but YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and the rest of the gamut all have TREMENDOUS Domain Authority. I have mentioned the idea of social link integration before and it is only becoming more and more essential.

Drive Traffic to Dot Com

Besides the linking capability, social media drives traffic to your site, not only from YOUR page but, from pages that you link to on social media. If you aren’t utilizing other brands in your marketing efforts on Social Media, you should. After that, use the partnerships that you’ve made to direct traffic to your site. It’s free and, if you cultivate the relationship with their SM team, they will lend credence to your link by commenting, liking or retweeting. If you need a lesson in relationship marketing, check out Doug Ridley‘s Relationship Marketing Blog.

Optimize User Experience

The bottom line is that users are driven to social media and your dot com presence you experience you in different ways. Social Media allows you to better tailor what you need to post on your site. If it doesn’t pertain to the keywords that you are working for on SEO but could still be relevant to your target audience, direct them to your social media outlets. Tease social media with technical information then, direct them to your internal pages.

The bottomline is that SEO and Social Media cannot stand apart from each other and be truly optimized. They work perfectly hand-in-hand, as should your social and SEO teams…if they aren’t one in the same. Let’s take SEOcial to the next level