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.

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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.

Some Things to Know Before Starting an Online Marketing Campaign

 

 

Madame_Couvreur_-_TasmaTwo of the most used acronyms for Internet marketing are

  • SER (search engine rankings) and
  • LSR (local search results).

They may sound similar, but they are quite different. Imagine you own a local dry cleaning shop. If SER is your primary concern you want to be the number one search result on all the search engines. Why? it is expensive and hard work to reach that level, and how many customers in San Diego is your shop expecting to bring their suits to Groton, Connecticut?  When maximizing SER on a total basis, many of your readers are too far from your business to use you. On the other hand, LSR has a laser-like targeting focus on the audience you want to reach.

Local Search: Driving Customers to You

Your concern should be achieving the number one spot in your local search results – Dry Cleaners in Groton, CT. This is a much easier goal, and with a bit of planning for your Internet marketing strategy and a little help with your copywriting from a freelancer you can make it there in record time.

Warning!! To stay on top. you must work consistently on your social media, your blog, and your website. For example, you need a website, a blog, and social media such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. This takes time and takes you away from running your business.

Where Does Good Content Come From?

As the business owner, you should be the source for content ideas – after all you know your customers better than anyone and you know your products best too. But, having a great idea for content is much different than making that idea into a blog post or article for your website. This is where a professional freelance writer comes into the marketing picture – to take your idea and make it an engaging, SEO rich prose that gets your customers and potential customers to stay on your site and read the content and see the ads for your business on the page. You know your business, and professional freelance content writers know theirs.

Anything Else?

Yes, tons of things really. But, when just starting it is important to know what works and what doesn’t. Some companies have the resources to run A/B campaigns where they use different content in one market to see which gets the best response. I think a more accurate measurement is using metrics such as Google Analytics (GA). GA tells you where visitors come from, how long they stayed, what if any activities they did and much more. GA is free but does have a premium version that give you more data and ways to analyze it. I think that for many businesses, the free version is just fine to start with.

If you need help, contact me.

For Blog Comments:

 

Open for Business

As a freelance writer, I belong to a number of forums and follow several blogs. As part of my year-end clean up, I took a look at those blogs and forums and realized that nearly all of them were populated by writers like myself. The best thing about them is they form a superb virtual support system, the negative is they do nothing to help clients and potential clients. Writers are more than welcome to visit and comment on this blog – heck, a little promoting of yourself is even welcome.

Every Friday this blog will post, if you can’t wait, visit my website which will be up and running on January 5, 2015. It will be published there on Mondays.

The only purpose for this blog is to help clients and potential clients learn about the freelancing business and how it helps them with their Internet marketing.

For instance, one area I think freelance writers must educate clients about is Local Search Engine results  Too many times I have spoken to small local businesses who want to hit number one on Google search results. They fail to realize that it is far better for their business to rank #1 on local search engine results. It is far easier, far less costly, and brings in business. Let’s face it, an auto shop in Niagara Falls, NY gains no business from hitting number one in the country under Auto Shops. It is uncertain that the high national ranking will bring them customers from California, South Dakota or Boston.

Hitting the first page in search results for Auto Shops, in Niagara Falls, NY is more targeted, and a well-designed site brings new customers.

There will be lots more posts on local search, targeted marketing, social media and more. Guest posts by highly qualified Internet marketers will be here from time to time as will links, like this, to outside resources.

Happy New Year!