Mike Pereira: Welcome back to TopMarketingStrategies Podcast Episode 4. I’m Mike Pereira.
Troy Broussard: And I’m Troy Broussard.
Mike: Coming at you from sunny Orlando, Florida. And today’s topic is fresh content.
Troy: Yeah, and we’re not talking about that kind of fresh, okay? [laughs] We mean recent and relevant, so let’s not go there.
Mike: Leave it to Troy. Always in the gutter.
Troy: [laughs] So fresh content – the question of the day is do we really need it? There’s a lot of debate on this back and forth. Some people say you really don’t need a lot of fresh content; they’ve got such stagnant old sites that still rank well, and others are saying it’s important.
But the fact of the matter is, if we look out to Google to lead the charge on who provides the information and that’s where we want to rank anyway, well, Google has done several freshness updates over the past couple of years. Going back to November of last year – actually now it’s 2013 so that’s not last year – make that November of 2011.
Mike: That’s right.
Troy: Yeah, just changed over to 2013.
Mike: Wow, it’s hard to believe we’re in 2013 already.
Troy: So they introduced a big freshness update at the end of 2011 and made it very clear that targeting fresh content was going to be a priority for Google, and that it was going to give you more favorable rankings. So Mike, how do you respond to the people that say they’ve got stale content and still getting decent rankings and that freshness of content doesn’t really matter?
Mike: I say that’s great! Roll with it! I mean if something’s working for you, go with it, right? That’s the way we usually approach things. But you do have to be careful with how far you roll with it because if you’re not putting out some kind of fresh content and letting everything grow stale, then that’s what’s going to happen. You’re subscribers are going to grow stale. In our perspective, when we’re putting out fresh content, we’re putting out fresh content that actually matters and people want to hear, and keep your subscribers engaged by putting out the fresh content.
If you have absolutely nothing to say, then your subscribers, followers, and readers are eventually not going to want to see what you have to say or they’re probably just going to forget about you, really. Everybody has something to say at some point and capacity.
Troy: Well yeah, what you’re really saying there is let’s not write for Google, let’s write for our users, and I think that’s the real key point. We need to keep our users engaged, and in order to keep those users engaged, we’ve got to provide them with some fresh and unique content that’s coming out. If we’re just leaving our site stale, maybe you’re ranking well with Google on that, but the question is, how engaged is that user and subscriber going to be? How many times are they going to want to come back and see the same stale information from week to week?
Mike: And Troy, the definition of content is very key to this discussion. A lot of people here hear the word content and they think writing. I have to write blog posts. I have to write articles. I have to write, I have to write. That’s something a lot of people are afraid of. But content and content creation, by its very nature, is not just writing. It’s podcasting, like we’re doing right now. It can be transcripts of the podcast. It can be webinars. It can be videos. It can be multichannel. It can be many things. So just creating content, by its very nature, is not just writing, we don’t just mean write. We mean create content in some way, shape or form.
Troy: Yeah, and don’t forget video, because clearly video is one of the most important aspects of that today. YouTube is sitting out there at the number two search engine and will probably surpass Google in the very near future and become the top search engine out there. Everybody is going after YouTube. Well, YouTube is a video. Just because it’s a video doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose that content. You can, as Mike said, transcribe it, host it on your site, drop it into your blog post, use it to create slides from the video and all kinds of other options. So…
Mike: Putting it up on Facebook is also another way of creating content, even just your blurbs that you’re putting on content in Twitter. I’m sorry, I cut you off you there, Troy.
Troy: I think what we’re really coming back to here is we’re kind of answering a question we haven’t raised, and that is a question we get all the time from people: how do I create this content? How do I get this content churning machine out there and creating constant content? I’m in a boring niche, I really don’t have a lot to say, and there’s no way for me to keep creating content. And I never really buy that. There’s just always something going on. We’ve just given you a whole bunch of examples here, using multichannel as a way of creating new content, but there’s other things we can do. News and events are something that you can follow.
Mike: Absolutely. That goes with our last podcast, Curated Content. If you curate content, you’re getting newsworthy events. There’s always something going on out there. You utilize Google Alerts and grab information, and you curate and write from that. That is one way of creating content.
Troy: Another little trick that you can use for getting content out there is just to come up with some random thoughts and quick little blurb-type contents. We’ve done this on TopMarketingStrategies.com if you take a look at our site and go into the Brain Dump category. We just created a fun little category. It’s almost like a little Twitter feed on our own site. What we do is, Mike and I have a little plugin that we use in Firefox, when we come across interesting sites and information out on the web, we just push a little button on the Firefox toolbar that we’ve created, and it pops up a little form and we just fill out a little paragraph or blurb and we throw it up on our site. What it really does is give that user a link out to this content that we found somewhere else.
So it’s not really curated because we’re not writing a whole big article post or anything else. It’s just a link out to some engaging, interesting content, and what’s cool about it is it gives people the ability to see what we’re looking at in the marketplace and what kind of things we’re surfing the web on and related that we think are useful and engaging information outside of our particular site.
Mike: And it keeps people engaged. Even if they’re not coming into your site and spending 20 minutes reading a blog post or watching a video, just the fact that they’re getting something back from you and hearing from you is still a form of engagement and a way for them to get to know you, especially if you’re sending them random thoughts. And random thoughts don’t always have to be necessarily within your niche. Once, I forget when it was, I remember writing a blog post about barbecuing on a holiday or something and people commented on that blog post and it’s really just people getting to know you. You don’t always want to go off-topic and off-niche, but it’s good to allow people to get inside your personal life a little bit to some extent.
Troy: [laughs] I’m not too sure if I want to go too far into your personal life.
Mike: To some extent. Don’t want to get too far into the personal life.
Troy: [laughs] But the point of it is keep it engaging, keep it entertaining, and think outside the box because there are a lot of ways that you can keep the content flowing onto your site. We have a client that has a screw factory as their company. If you can come up with engaging and current content to write about screws, nuts and bolts, then trust me, there’s a way you can write on anything.
Mike: There is. There’s a way you can write about everything. There always is. And you know what? Another great topic for content on your site is product reviews. As we’re into whatever niche that we’re into, there are always products that we use and utilize, and if we write product reviews about those products, that only adds content to your site. You’re also giving your readers some great information about something that you like and want to share. Hopefully, you’re not just writing product reviews just for the sake of writing them. It should be a good product your readers will appreciate.
Troy: So that brings up a good point, Mike. Let’s talk about what the benefits of having fresh content really are.
Mike: It’s funny. We’re getting towards the end of the segment and now we’re talking about the benefits. That just goes to show that there are a lot of benefits because we’ve just talked about other aspects of it. And there are a lot of benefits, one of them being the long tail keywords that you can pick up from constantly adding fresh content to your site. The more content you add on your site, the more chances you have of Google picking up one of your blog posts, articles, or whatever page you have information on for a long tail keyword search.
I remember reading a document some time ago about 80% of searches done online are unique one-time searches. You can’t do any kind of SEO or link building for that stuff. All you can do is try to raise the authority of your site so you naturally rank for these keywords. That 80% of long tail keywords is what adding a lot of content to your site is going to buy you.
Troy: Yeah, that’s one of the benefits for sure, and there are other things that people miss out on. I think that one of them that we’ve talked about here a little bit is the engagement. If adding fresh content gives your users a reason to come back to the site, multiple exposures to your content and products and services are needed before you’re able to make sales. It’s really rare that somebody’s going to come to your site as cold traffic and, the first time they’re there, go out and spend money with you. That’s just not very common. They typically have to have 4, 5, 6 or maybe 7 different exposures to your site and business before they begin to build that trust and confidence with you.
So if you’re creating fresh content, you’re giving yourself more opportunities for those people to come back, get to know you, understand what it is you offer, and make those sales. Clearly, that engagement factor is another big point that a lot of people miss out when they think “I don’t have anything more to say”.
Mike: Yeah, I agree. And when we’re talking about reader engagement, there are so many channels to that as well, like somebody could be subscribed to your RSS feed. So just the very fact that they’re going to receive an email from wherever they’re subscribed to an RSS, or they’re going to see it on their RSS reader, so that’s going to engage them and want to read your content and come back to your site. Again there are the emails and subscriptions.
Additionally, if you’re syndicating your content to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or anywhere else, your content will be syndicated to these sites, it’s going to keep them engaged. If there’s an active Facebook user, somebody who’s actively watching you on Twitter or anything, they’re going to see your information there and possible engage with you, know that you’re still alive and well, and still putting out fresh content.
So there are a lot of aspects to the engagement besides the fact that I’m putting out content and opening up a lot of comments, there’s engagement on so many different levels. I can keep going on and on. On a podcast, people can engage on the podcast with you. From YouTube channels, they can engage with you there on a YouTube channel. You can have your information put on the transcripts, you can have your video transcribed and placed on your site and have them comment there. There’s just so many facets and benefits to it.
Troy: One of the other things that we haven’t really talked about when adding fresh content is just the clear fact that the more content that you have on your site, the larger your site footprint is within Google. What I mean by site footprint is just the number of pages or posts that you have inside the Google index.
The reality is we know that larger authority sites do well within Google. Google wants to send its searchers off to quality sites. One of the ways that they measure a site’s quality is the authority of the site and how much that expert has to say on a given topic. So, as you continue to provide fresh and quality timely information, you’re building up that footprint, authority and expertise within that niche in Google’s eyes, as well as your readers’.
I think that just about covers it, doesn’t it Mike?
Mike: That generally is it. I think that another aspect is that it brings the spiders to your website. You’re constantly contacting Google when you’re putting fresh content out there and they’re coming in and spidering your site and seeing that your site is alive, well and fresh. It shows Google that you’re still a very relevant site out there because you’re doing something. Other than that, I think we’ve covered all the key points to it, yeah.
Troy: Yeah, I think when it comes to being an authority, look at it this way. If you want to be an authority in your niche and you don’t have anything to say, how does that ring true, right? [laughs] If you don’t have anything to say, write or publish, then how can you be an authority in your site? I think that’s such a common thing that people don’t quite get. If you want to show your expertise in your niche and you’re writing one article a month, it just sounds like you don’t have anything to say. You don’t have any value to contribute. I think from a user perspective as well as Google, you’re not going to be very likely to dominate that niche or looked at as a leader in that niche.
Mike: And if you’re the type of person who just can’t come up with anything to say, outsource it. Find someone to write or create content for you. Of course, that’s going to cost you money, and you’re probably not going to get the same expert detail on the subject matter that you could provide, but what you could do from that perspective is outsource the work, which will create the thoughts, ideas and 80 to 90 percent of it for you, and you could refine it from there.
Troy: Yeah, there are a couple of approaches there. One of them is when you put this content on your site, it doesn’t all have to be top authority content. You can have the authority content that you create, which is your branding and expertise content, but you can outsource some of the curated content like we talked about last week. You can outsource the content for news and events and other things going on so that you’re continuing to provide fresh and unique content to your site, but not create a huge burden for yourself at the same time of having to create all these pillar posts all the time.
Don’t confuse the two. Don’t confuse the fact of having fresh content to mean that you have to create these massive pillar content posts all the time, because it can be a wide mix. By using the multichannel aspects we’ve talked about and mixing it up with lots of different formats, you’re able to get that content out there in almost a machine format where you’re just spinning out content left and right, but providing a lot of value at the same time.
Mike: Exactly, and that’s key. You may have only one pillar post or something epic a month or every couple of months, but keeping the information out there and keeping people engaged is key. And you need to be careful not to just to just put out content just for the sake of putting out content. You want to put out relevant content and keep people engaged.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a very good point, and I think we’ll wrap it up on that. We do not just want to create content for the sake of creating content. You have to provide value and have something useful to say. The cycle that is going to work in your niche is something you need to evaluate. Not everybody needs to be putting out content every day. Maybe it’s once a week or a couple of times a week in your niche. You need to look at that and see what works within your competition, business environment, and for you personally as well. But the one thing that’s clear is you don’t want to let your site go stale and become bland and uninspiring.
Pick the Brain
Troy: Today’s pick the brain question comes in from Darren in Kansas. He said he just got slammed with the Panda on his site, so he gave up, creating a new site, and he’s curious about how he should pick the domain name. Some people say to use personal branding in the domain. Others say to keep it general. Mike, what are your thoughts?
Mike: That’s a tough one without really knowing what his niche is. In most respects, I say go with what your market tells you. If you’re trying to create an exact match domain for a specific product or service that you’re trying to sell, that’s probably the more prudent way of going. Then again, if you’re offering services, branding yourself, and you are the actual product per se, then selecting your name for a domain would probably be the prudent answer. Really, you could just do both and get them both aged and going. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, but which one you go with depends on which way you’re trying to market it.
Troy: Yeah, and I actually like to say that there’s a third option. Option 1 is using your own name in the website domain name and branding yourself, and most people see it as being two options: either that or going in the opposite direction and using a generic name and not branding your own self. But what Mike and I have always done is the middle ground. We’ve done option three. [laughs] It’s our philosophy. If someone tells us there are two options, we make a third one just to spite them.
But we go the middle route and what we do is use a generic name but use strong personal branding on that domain within the website itself. So for example, TopMarketingStrategies.com is a very generic name, and if Mike and I decide to just go golfing for the rest of our lives and put it up for sale, we could do that and somebody else could come in and take it over without any problems. It’s very easy for us to sell that domain because it’s not MikeAndTroy.com, it’s TopMarketingStrategies.com. But if you go to the site and follow our marketing and content, you’ll see that we strongly brand Mike and Troy throughout everything. So we are strongly branding ourselves on the site, but we’re doing it on a generic domain name. And honestly, to me, that’s the best of both worlds. It really depends on what your goals and objectives are and that’s the way I would look at it, Darren.
Mike: I agree. And if anybody wants to make any ridiculous eight-figure offers on TopMarketingStrategies, let us know.
Troy: [laughs] We’re always accepting bids.
Random Thought From Mike
Mike: My random thought today is learning from others doesn’t always mean stealing from others. What I mean by that is we’ve seen this countless times where people go out and purchase a course or follow somebody and the way they do things, instead of learning their strategies, they actually think that by copying exactly what they’re doing is actually the same as learning from them. What you want to do when you’re following somebody successful or following a course is apply the same strategies and take the same steps that they took, but apply that to something that makes sense to you, within your niche, or within whatever product or website you’re marketing.
Troy: It really comes down to being authentic. The bottom line is, how can you teach something that you don’t practice and go out there and represent yourself as something else. You can learn from the strategies, but you have to authentically apply those and have your own expertise, experience and take.
Mike: Exactly. You’re not being genuine at that point, and people see right through that. They can see through interactions with you that you’re just not being genuine and yourself is really what it comes down to.
A perfect example would be if I created a website on reviewing contact lenses and I used to work at a contact lens store for 15 years and know all about contact lenses inside and out. I’m just making this up by the way. But now I created all these product reviews and blog posts because I inherently know all this stuff and now somebody comes along and does the exact same thing; they don’t have the same knowledge as I do and people are going to see that. So they’re not going to be as successful by copying what I’m doing anyway. In the end, you just want to copy the strategies and learn from what a successful person does. You don’t want to copy everything they do.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. In the end, you have to bring your own genuine experience and authenticity to whatever site, product or service that you create. People don’t want to just see you being somebody else. They want to see you for your experience and value that you can bring.
Mike: It’s like being a cover band.
Troy: [laughs] A bad 80s cover band.
Mike: That’s right.
Random Thought From Troy
Troy: My random thought of the day is on positioning statements. What do I mean by that? I think a lot of people talk about your USP or Unique Selling Proposition, and that’s great to clearly define what you’re selling and what makes you unique in the marketplace. It’s very important. It’s Marketing 101. But the next step is defining statements that you use in your blog, marketing, podcasts and webinars that support your USP and help reinforce that.
Let me give you an example. One of the things Mike and I train people on, as SEO and content services providers, is that SEO is not something you try for 30 days. It doesn’t work. [laughs] If you want to do that, you might as well send us a check and say here’s a donation, because it’s not going to work. Nothing works in 30 days like that.
Mike: And when people come to us with that, we tell them “we don’t want to help you,” because you’re really just coming in with a poor mindset – somewhat off-topic.
Troy: That’s perfect. The reality is, we are putting out a certain vibe, and that is if you’re going to approach SEO, you have to have the right mindset and think long term strategy and not short term tactics.
So we have various positioning statements that we use that we’re constantly reinforcing about not trying it out, about not giving it 90 days, about using long term strategy instead of tactics. Those are all purposely defined and used positioning statements. They will resonate with the right people and repel the wrong people. That’s exactly what you want to do in your marketing. Many people are trying to appeal to everybody, and that is the wrong approach. You want to push the people away outside of your circle that don’t have that same mindset and approach of your ideal client.
Starting with the USP is great, but take it one step further and define some positive and negative positioning statements; positioning statements that attract people, as well as positioning statements that repel the wrong type of people.
Mike: What’s interesting about that, Troy, is that so many times throughout our business and services together, we have actually pushed away clients that were not worth the trouble; I mean $5,000 a month clients that we sent away. And our business actually got better and made more money because of us moving them away. So don’t be afraid to fire the wrong clients is what I’m really trying to say.
Troy: Yeah, Timothy Farris talks about that in the 4-hour Work Week as one of the great resonating points for me in that book and is probably one of the small threads in the book, but it really stood out with us because at the time, we were taking on a lot of services stuff and had just gone through that. And learning how to fire the wrong clients is just as important as how to attract the right clients.
Troy: Well that brings this week’s episode of Mike and Troy’s TopMarketingStrategies Podcast to a close. Thanks for joining us and make sure, if you’ve enjoyed the content, to check out TopMarketingStrategies.com The Insider’s Club. You’ll find it on the How We Can Help You menu on the website. This is Mike and Troy signing out.