Content marketing and inbound marketing is kind of, the new SEO. Google, as we’ve heard a million times, loves great content and great content attracts genuine links.
The process is easy, the execution can be a bit of a b@stard to do though.
Identify your target audience
Find out where they hang out online e.g. which Reddit forums and Facebook groups etc
Identify your target audience’s common questions and pain points
Use a tool like SEMRush to ID low competition search terms regarding the questions & pain points
Create useful, in-depth copy/posts that helps your target audience
If resource available, create videos for YouTube based on posts that get most traction
Create short videos suitable for social – with captions
For blog content, see if you can match the topics you’ve found, with specific keywords, ideally with the highest volume.
Check the search engine results pages (SERPs) and identify any keywords which have “weak” or somewhat irrelevant results.
It’s a bit beyond the scope of this post, but look to optimise your blogs for “rich snippets”, by using lists and html tables.
To check for keywords, you’ll need Keyword Tool like SEMRush to do this, or search “free keyword tool”.
Keep each blog post specific to one or two keywords.
You can also promote your blog posts with outreach, although some content marketing gurus, say you’re better off investing all your time in creating content, rather than promoting it.
For Reddit, you can use this great Reddit Keyword Tool, to identify the most common topics of discussion, in a given forum/subReddit.
The backbone of good content, is that, well, it’s actually good – well written, easy to read, full of visual assets if possible.
When it comes to blog posts, make the content scannable with lists, bullet points and images. If you have the resource, infographics are always a good addition to a blog post.
Statistics are also a great way to attract links and citations from other websites. For example, if you work out the average price of a [given product or service] in the UK, it’s relatively likely to attract links. If you sell UK holiday homes or used campervans, you might work out the average price of new camper van, or the cost per holiday of an overseas holiday versus a holiday home.
Help, Help, Help, Sell
Gary V’s book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a bit old now, but the adage of setting up a sale several times, before trying to promote your service or product is still valid, in my opinion.
The “jab” in the book title, is the useful or entertaining content aimed at your target audience
The “right hook” is a blog and/or social media post that aims to sell a product or service.
Would you follow a social account or blog that’s just trying to sell you a service or product?
Would you follow a social account that just shows you all the “behind the scenes” info?
You might follow a brand or company on social media etc, that just promotes itself, if you already know the brand, or if you’re interested in working at the company.
However, unless you’re an established brand, or you create content just for recruitment purposes, then it’s generally best to create blog and social media posts that help, entertain, and/or interest your target audience.
Establish yourself as an authority in your niche, with helpful & insightful content
Drew Griffiths (2022)
It can definitely help to promote discounts and offers on social platforms and blogs, but that’s generally the that’s the “right hook”, whereas the “jab, jab, jab” relates to the helpful, insightful content that should take up about 75% of all your posts.
If you’re in the business to business sector for example, you can gain brand awareness and an online following by providing posts that provide helpful advise on SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing Tools etc. If you’re just trying to directly sell your office chairs, or accounting software in every single blog and social media post, you’re probably not going to get a large, engaged, following.
Don’t Post Links all the Time on Social Media
Social media platforms, from Facebook to LinkedIn, all want to keep users, on their platform. Links will tend to take people onto different websites, and as a result, posting links to your blog etc, will tend to kill your organic reach (the amount of people who see your social media post).
Keto Diet Products Example
If you were running a business selling Keto supplements and foods. You can study the Keto subreddits and Facebook groups, and you’d probably find that there are lots of questions regarding keto desserts.
Jump onto SEMRush, or another SEO Tool and find search terms, and potential headings for blog posts – that have a low level of competition – i.e. it’s relatively easy to rank for.
Create in-depth keto dessert blog content that’s better than what already exists.
Optimise the content for the search terms that you’ve identified on SEMRush.
Reformat the content for social media. Captioned videos tend to do well, as these are the least popular form of content – social media is full of images and text posts, so it’s a bit easier to stand out with a video.
Consider creating a free eBook about keto desserts. Promote the eBook on social media to “warm up” your target audience to your brand* Remarket your products to those that download the eBook.
Create a serious of posts & videos regarding the best keto desserts, the best sweeteners and the best supplements to help with sugar cravings.
*It’s difficult to sell products, particularly high value products to people on Facebook, Instagram etc, as they’re not actively searching for something to buy. Best practice is said to be, create an offer e.g. an eBook, Webinar etc that’s directly of interest (and NOT necessarily directly about your product) and advertise it to your target market on social media – Then remarket to those that engage with your advert.
Hope this blog post helps!
I know the irony about in-depth, long format content that I’m touting in this post, but please bear in mind, I’m writing this on my lunch and I’m not trying to sell anything. Well, unless you want to buy an MMA T-shirt.
This is a post to remind me how to add sub-category pages on a specific e-commerce site, but most of the instructions are universal to M1
Go to Catalog – Manage categories
Leave on “All Store Views”
Click into folder you want to put a sub-category
Press “Collapse All” at the top to keep folders tidy
Highlight the Category/Folder you want to add the new sub-category into
Click the “+ Add SubCategory” button (blue)
First Tab – General Information
– is main tab to fill in – URL Key, meta title, page title (name), meta description
– “Include in Navigation Menu” – “NO”
Second Tab – General
Define Filter menu for left of page “Filter Select Mode” – Enable Selected Filters with the drop down menu
Add “price” as a filter
Add anything else relevant
“Display Settings” Tab
Is Anchor – “Yes“
Make a note of ID Number of sub cat.
“Category Products” Tab
Add with product ID or search by name – then tick checkbox on left
Position – uses box on the right. Add in tens – 10, 20, 30, not 1,2,3*
*This makes it easier to add new products in order. If you order everything 1,2,3,4 etc, then you have to change all the order numbers when you add in a new product. Whereas if you order them 10,20,30, then you can add a new product with an order number of 15 and it will sit 2nd.
!Don’t drag the category folders into other folders!
Remember to enable the new Sub-category on the first tab when it’s ready!
Thanks to all the external sheets, this has become tricky.
I’ve been using this technique, because I’m an SEO Executive, developing pages for our Magento site, without any dev help – so I’m using existing pages and robbing bits of code to help me layout images properly.
This is for personal reference – so apologies if it doesn’t work for you (let me know)
Right click – Inspect Element
Click the pointer near the top left of the inspect element window – or hover in the code until the area you want to copy is highlighted.
In the elements window, find the element you want to rob the code for and hover over it with the pointer
Move upwards, until the entire section is highlighted – if you move upwards with the pointer and it selects the element/section above, then you’ve gone too far, so move down one
Right click – Copy – Copy Element
Paste into your own code
Note – unlike me (I’m updating the same site as I’m stealing code from) if you are trying to get the code form another website, you’ll need to get the style sheet.
Right click on the webpage and “View source” – then look for:
<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href
and click the link after “href” – that should take you to the CSS sheet
Semantic search adds context and meaning to search results. For example, if someone is searching for “Lego” – do they want to buy Lego toys, or see a Lego movie or TV show (Ninjago is great). Another example might be “Tesla” – do people want to see the latest self-driving car, or learn more about Tesla the scientist and inventor?
How to Optimise for Semantic Search
Make sure you understand search intent and any confusing searches like Tesla(inventor or car?), Jaguar (car or animal?), etc
Look for structured data opportunities
Optimise internal links – especially if you are using a “Pillar Post” and “Cluster Page” structure
Follow traditional on page SEO best practices with headers, meta titles, alt tags etc
Tools for Semantic Search
SMA Marketing have done a cool YouTube video about Semantic Search and they recommend tools including:
Advanced Custom Fields for WordPress
Google Colab with a SpaCy
Before you publish a post – look at the search results for the keyword(s) you are optimising the post for. Check in incognito in Chrome to remove most of the personalisation of the results.
For any answer boxes or snippets, you can click the “3 dots” to get information about the results:
As well as the snippets, you can click the 3 dots next to any organic result. Here’s another result for “MMA training program pdf” with some additional information:
With this in mind – if you are looking to rank for “MMA training program pdf” then you will want to include the search terms highlighted in the “About this result” box: mma, training, program, pdf and ideally LSI keywords “workout” and “plan”.
It’s also a good idea to scroll down to the bottom of the SERP and check out the “related searches”
Take a look too at any breadcrumb results that pull through below the organic listings. Combining all this information will give you a good idea as to what Google understands by your search query and what people are looking for too.
You can then click the different tabs/headings and get some cool insights
Remember to scroll right down to the bottom, as you’ll find some additional insights about important terms and their relevance
The Google NLP API is pretty interesting. You can also copy and paste your existing page copy into it, and see what Google categories different terms as, and how “salient” or important/relevant it thinks each term is. For some reason, it thinks “band” is an organisation in the above screenshot. You can look to improve the interpretations by adding relevant contextual copy around the term on the page, by using schema and internal links.
Speed Up Data Studio Reports (Significantly) – Extract Data
To speed up your reports – you can “Extract Data” and cache it.
It can help to have 2 copies of the report up – so you can see which metrics and dimensions you need to select when adding the data to extract and cache (also a good idea to test the extract data method on a copy of the report in case you faff anything up)
Go to “Add Data” in the top menu-bar
Click on “Extract Data”
Choose the data you need – eg Google Analytics
Add the dimensions and metrics you need for the report
On the Right hand side – click to turn “Auto Update” on
Click “Save and Extract”
Sometimes you have to faff around a bit with the dimensions – Google Analytics doesn’t seem to like caching a dimension, but still goes super-quick if you cache the metrics only.
Edit in Bulk
If you want to edit all of the charts or tables on the page, in “Edit” mode, right click – go to “Select” and then choose “Tables on page” or whatever type of chart, scorecard or table you’ve selected.
This works instead of CTRL clicking or SHIFT clicking – but you can only change charts or visualisations of the same type at the same time. You can change the style, add a comparison date range etc.
Brand Colour Theme in Data Studio
Click on “Them and Layout” at the top of the screen and then, near the bottom right click “Extract Theme from Image” – you can then upload your logo and choose a theme with your brand colours.
If your shite at presentation like me, this is helpful.
Copy & Paste Styles
In Data Studio – If you want to copy a style from a chart or table, right click it, then choose “copy”
Click another chart/table and the right click – Paste Special – Paste Style Only
Add Chart Filters to an Entire Report
If you want to add a filter to all the data in a report, then it can be a pain going through the charts individually.
Right click on a blank part of the page –
Click “Current Page Settings”
On the right hand side – click “Create a Filter”
Choose or create a filter to apply to all the page
To add a filter to multiple pages
Right click on a blank part of the page
click “Report Settings”
click “Add a filter” in the right side-menu
Add Elements to All Pages of a Report in Data Studio
If you want to add a header and date range selector, for example, to all the pages in the report – add the elements to a page, then right click on the element – and choose “Make report-level”
Quickly Align Elements in Data Studio
Click and drag to select all the elements
Right click – choose “align” – “middle” to get everything inline horizontally
To get an equal space between all the elements, so they’re spaced evenly:
– click and drag to select the elements
– right click – select “Distribute”
– “horizontally” to space evenly across the page, or “vertically” to distribute evenly in a vertical manner.
You can also tidy up individual tables to align the columns vertically – right click and select “”Fit to data”
There are a few ways to blend data, here’s my fave:
Go to “Resources” in the main menu at the top
Click “manage blended data” option
Click “Add a Data View”
Choose a Data Source e.g. Search Console
Then “Add a Table” and include another data Source for blending – e.g. GA or click “blend data” on an existing table or chart – and select another data source
Choose a common “key” to both data sources e.g. “Date”
Choose the metrics you want from each Data Source – I wanted to get daily revenue into my search console reports:
Using the blended data above, I can now add Revenue from Google Analytics to my search console reports. I have to remember however, that the revenue is simply attributed to each day and not any queries
**Update to the screenshot –
add a table filter to get organic only revenue from GA.
To be able to filter Revenue to organic only – you need to add a “Dimension” to the table on the right – click the “+” next to “Add dimension” in the GA data and then “Default Channel Grouping” – you can then create a filter in the report:
Blending Search Console Data in Data Studio
Another common reason to blend data – is to get average position data from Search Console “Site Impression reports, added to “URL Impression” data:
URL impression vs site impression
the main difference between Data Studio Search Console URL Impression Vs Site Impression data – is that Site Impression contains the Average Position metric and URL Impression contains the Landing Page metric. So when you’re blending the data from both sources, make sure you have “Landing Page” as a metric and “Average Position”.