Images Count As Much As Words, Maybe More

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Watch Your Marketing Soar by Adding Images or Video

Okay, if you hire writers, they know that websites with images or video have 60 percent more clickthroughs than websites without them. Images bridge the gap between writer and marketer. Writers know the value of media in a post or article.

But, they are not going to offer to add them unless you add some money to their pay. While sticking an image or even a video on your prose assignment seems easy, it requires more work on our part.

  • We have to find a suitable image or video
  • We have to make sure that the license is free use so you do not have a copyright violation
  • We have to secure permission if it is a “not for public use” image or video
  • We have to make sure that it is properly credited

This takes up more of what writers have to sell, their time. In fact, it takes up nearly the same amount of time as it does to create excellent content. So, if there is an addition fee is it worth it?

Is it Worth It?

Absolutely. The value  of video for Internet marketers began when Google started including it in searches back in 2007. Before then, finding a video or image was a complicated task. But, even though, the blended results have been available for almost a decade, most Internet marketers have not been using them One reason for this is the Internet marketing folks do not realize how valuable images and video are in SEO. And, I also believe that writers do know, but do not volunteer it because the additional work, is not worth it to them and asking for what it is worth to them will send clients scurrying. Think about the best articles in your favorite magazine. Those articles are not just text. They include rich images that help excite the reader. That is what you want from  your content too. Online content can use images and video… in fact, online content should use quality photos and outstanding video.

Four Ways to Measure

Here is what four metrics, SEO experts say are proof that images and videos are worthwhile;

  1. Better Search Engine Page Results (SERP)
  2. Higher Click Through Rates (CTR)
  3. Lower Bounce rates
  4. Higher quality back-links

Kwikturn Media, has an infographic that makes it clear that visual content is of super importance to marketers.

  • 90 percent of the information that the brain receives is visual.
  • Your brain can process visual information 60,000 times quicker than the written word. With only 3 to 5 seconds to hook a reader this is important!
  • 40 percent of Internet users respond better to visual information than just ordinary text.
  • 46 percent of those surveyed report that the design of a website is the single most important criterion for determining the credibility of a company.
  • A blog post with an accompanying infographic gets 12 percent more traffic than those without.
  • Posts with video have three times more inbound links than posts only having text.
  • 700 videos are shared on YouTube every minute.
  • In 2012, Pinterest accounted for more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. Pinterest had a 3.6 percent of all referral traffic at that time. Now, Shareaholic reports that as of March, 2914 the number grew to 7.10 percent.
  • Facebook reports that pages with photos bring more interaction that text, videos, and links.
  • Viewers spend 100 percent more time on pages with videos on them.
  • A consumer is 85 percent more likely to buy a product that has a product video than products without them.

Even More Reason to Use Images

And Jeff Bulsa  an Internet marketing expert adds even more reasons. He says that with images and video, marketers get;

  1. 94 percent more page views;
  2. Press releases get 45 percent more viewers;
  3. In local search results, 60 percent more buyers contact businesses;
  4. Regarding e-commerce sites, 67 percent of potential customers say the image quality is very important to their decision-making, and poor quality images send them to other sites.
  5. 67 percent of online store customers say that the quality of an image is more important than product information and 57 percent prefer an image compared to a long description; while;
  6. On Facebook, there is a 37 percent higher engagement rate for photos than text.

Internet marketers need to understand that the numbers for using video, images, and infographics are rising quickly and that if they want to continue at being successful in Internet Marketing they must add these features. And writers, we need to collaborate with designers or learn the proper way to use images and video. But the biggest change is that clients need to understand the role that media plays in the quality of their content.

Resources for Writers:

Amy Lynn Andrews, a freelancer herself wrote this post that contains excellent advice on the legality of using images

Wikimedia Commons: Wikimedia commons is a great source of free media. As are the following;

Photographer: Beth Fortner. License: Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Unported, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

SEO is Not Dead!

SEO Is NOt DeAD

 

SEO Is Alive and Well

Black hat marketing is pretty much finished thanks to the many upgrades to the Google animal farm (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon and more). Many say that with the downfall of black hat marketing practices, SEO is dead. Uh – no, it is evolving. Others say content marketing is the new SEO. They too are mistaken. If content marketing was an atom, SEO would be a particle.  You see, SEO is much more than blackhat tactics, there are white hat practices used by content writers who want their work to be seen ethically, by as many people as possible.Black Hat tactics are SEO practices that violate the search engine’s terms of service (TOS) so that a website has a better ranking in search engine results (SER).

Black Hat tactics are SEO practices that violate the search engine’s terms of service (TOS) so that a website has a better ranking in search engine results (SER). Black hat is a term that came into being from the mid-20th century westerns where the bad guys wore black hats and the good guys wore white ones.

Some of the things that the Google algorithm changes  penalized and punished sites for by lowering their SER rankings include;

  • Keyword stuffing;
  • Link manipulation;
  • Automated search requests to Google;
  • Creating new pages, or domains, and subdomains with duplicate content;
  • Pages that phish, place viruses and malware on visitor’s computers;
  • Scraping – automated copying of other sites.

Sites and pages that practice these and other black hat practices are downgraded by Bing and Google. You know how you sometimes see  something like “about 653,000 results?” Using black hat techniques and being found out will earn a spot in the bottom 1,000 results. You know no one is going to click through that many pages. Why bother with a site at all?

Of course, great content is a great beginning to a high-ranking search result. And some believe that based on just great content alone, a site’s SER will improve. It could, but a writer who knows what they are doing can help great content be recognized by search engines and their bots. Writer’s activities include researching keywords, and creating good-looking, unique and relevant HTML tags and mark-up.

On a blog, Barry Feldman of The Content Marketing Institute said;

“most online marketing professionals will recognize that both content marketing and SEO are star players in an enterprise-focused marketing strategy. If your team has a void in one area or the other (or both), you need to fill it — end of story. SEO experts need not fear the extinction of their craft. Their roles will remain vital to brand marketing because they know better than anyone that effective and ethical SEO can’t happen without content to be optimized.”

Social media is the third leg of the stool we call improving traffic, the other two are Content and SEO.

Site owners should analyze metrics and share the results with contract for hire writers. When you and your writer see the page views, social media sharing, and time on site or even better on a page, they find out what works well and what should be forgotten for the future.

So, although SEO has changed, it is far from dead. And it is not a zombie form of its old self. It is an evolution that by design of the search engines, is improving Internet user’s experience.

What are your thoughts about the rumor that SEO is dead? Use the comment form below to share your thoughts.

If you have a question about this article or need some help in getting your website and blog to have better SER. Please contact me, I can help.

What Exactly Makes Your Content Quality Content?

aliciaGuest Post by Alicia Rades

 

 As an Internet marketer, you hear this concept everywhere: You need quality content.

Okay, that’s great.

qualityBut, uh, what exactly constitutes “quality content?”

I mean, you could spend heaps of time writing articles, filming videos, and recording podcasts. But when you have nothing to show for it in traffic or returns, having someone tell you, “Well, be sure it’s quality content,” doesn’t do you any good.

If you’re not sure where to get that “quality” aspect everyone is talking about, keep reading.

What is Quality Content?

Quality content is a mix of a whole bunch of different things. Think of it as a recipe; you could have one small thing missing, and it will still be okay. But if you leave out one of the bigger ingredients, you’ll completely miss the mark.

Here are just a few things that can go into the “quality content” formula:

  • Proper semantics
  • Reputable statistics and resources
  • Easy-to-understand examples
  • Visually appealing formatting
  • An eye-catching headline
  • An entertaining and relatable voice

But those don’t even scratch the surface if you’re missing the most important ingredient.

Here’s the Main Ingredient

If you want to create quality content, then you have one goal you’re striving for:

Make your readers care.

So let’s say you write a piece that’s packed with information and completely grammar-free. On the surface, that could be a high-quality article.

But that doesn’t matter a bit.

What really matters is how your audience reacts to that article. Quality isn’t all about whether your content is well-written and presented in a pleasing way. While that certainly helps, the main ingredient to quality content is the value your readers put on your content.

Even Google says that a principle of quality content is to “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”

How Do You Reach that Goal?

If you want your content to matter to your audience, then you have to listen to their problems.

For instance, you could write a great article about debt management and place it on a financial website. But what if the readers are more interested in building up their investment portfolio? They won’t put very much value on that article.

The way you make readers care is to develop a valuable idea that will resonate with them. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What do they want to know?
  • What problem are they looking to solve?
  • How can I solve that problem for them?
  • What types of worldviews do they hold that can influence their reaction?

Once you have an idea about a topic that they’ll love, then put into place a great voice, proper grammar, valuable resources, etc. and you have a quality piece of content.

But what if you don’t have the time or the talent to do that yourself? It’s worth it to consider hiring a freelance writer who can develop that quality content for you. The good news is that freelancers are likely to cost you less than hiring an in-house writer.

While the standards for quality content may change from one day to the next, focusing on your audience is a tactic that will never die. Have you been going about creating quality content all wrong? Tell us what you think the main ingredient to “quality content” is in the comment section.

 

aliciaAlicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a freelance blogger for hire who specializes in blogging, career, and lifestyle topics among other subjects. When she’s not writing for clients, you can find her managing the blog at FreelancerFAQs.com. Get to know more about her and her services at aliciaradeswriter.com, where you can download her free Which Freelance Blogger Should I Hire? worksheet.