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20 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid in 2022

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20 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid in 2022

According to 2021 HubSpot Blog research on social media trends, 77% of social media marketers say social media marketing was somewhat to very effective for their company in 2021.

We often talk about the best strategies to use on social media but do you ever wonder about the top mistakes to avoid? In this article, we cover the top ones categorized by platform.

Instagram

1. Ignoring new features.

Instagram is constantly evolving.

Just this year, the social network has announced several big features it’s either testing or fully rolling out, like the Creators Marketplace, supervision tools for teens, pinned posts, Reels up to 90 seconds – and that’s just to name a few.

What often happens when the platform rolls out new features is that it will prioritize accounts that use them. For instance, when Reels first launched, the algorithm would prioritize accounts that used them – earning them more reach and impressions – than those who posted videos on the feed.

With this in mind, it’s important that businesses stay updated on the latest features coming out and how they will impact the platform’s algorithm.

While a smaller change, like a new button on the Shop tab, may not affect your day-to-day, a new bigger change may warrant a strategy review.

2. Not live streaming.

Live streaming is one of the most powerful tools on Instagram.

In fact, the HubSpot Blog conducted a survey in November 2021 to discover social media marketing trends and found that it offers one of the biggest ROIs compared to other formats.

In fact, marketers surveyed ranked it #2 in the social media trends that brought in the biggest ROI in 2021, behind short-form videos.

In addition, 52% of marketers who invested in it last year say it performed better than expected.

Live streaming is a great way to engage your audience and get real-time feedback that can help you optimize your Instagram strategy.

3. Uploading videos with TikTok watermarks.

When Reels first launched, everyone believed it was in response to TikTok’s success.

This was unofficially confirmed when Instagram announced on its @creators account that it was making changes to its algorithm, specifically which Reels it recommended to users.

According to an article by The Verge, the network spokesperson said users have reported via survey that videos recycled from other platforms can provide a negative user experience. As such, Instagram will start deprioritizing videos that are clearly recycled.

One way to know a video’s recycled? The TikTok watermark. This appears when users upload a video to the short-form video platform, then save it. When it’s shared, the watermark appears.

The lesson here is if you’re going to cross-post on multiple social media platforms, make sure you upload the original content and customize it within the app. This will maintain your content’s quality and ensure it’s not shadow-banned when published.

4. Sharing low-quality content.

The head of Instagram recently said the platform is no longer a photo-sharing app.

While that may be true, visuals are still king and if you’re going to be successful on the platform, you have to produce high-quality content.

Just look at Twitter: Although you can upload images and videos, it is a text-based app. From threads to retweets, the main feed is designed to prioritize written content.

The same is true for Instagram. Visuals are everywhere on the platform and if yours is not up to par, you will struggle to retain your audience’s attention.

5. Forgetting about your bio.

Your Instagram bio is a very small section of your profile but it holds so much power.

For starters, it’s a major point of discoverability. When users search for accounts on the platform, the information on your bio will help them find you. From your username to your business category to your bio description.

Your bio is also a place to convert your users.

Instagram tries to keep users on the platform as long as possible. That’s why today, users can discover a brand and complete a purchase without ever leaving the app.

That’s also why the platform limits when and where you can share external links. One of two places is in your Instagram bio.

With a Linktree, you can include multiple links in your bio and lead your audience to your website, landing page, product page, and more.

6. Having a personal account instead of a business one.

Are you doing Instagram right if you don’t have a business account?

If you’re debating between a personal and a business one, here’s the reason why you should get it: Analytics.

When you have a business account, you have access to a slew of data that you wouldn’t know otherwise. Everything from how your users are finding you to which posts are driving the most traffic.

That insight will be invaluable in building out your Instagram strategy and gaining insights into what resonates with your audience.

7. Buying followers.

If you’re a small business on Instagram and you want to establish some credibility, or perhaps get more post engagement, you might consider buying followers.

After all, they don’t cost much and you can have thousands of followers overnight. But, there’s a catch – otherwise, everyone would be doing it.

Buying followers is like receiving a bad check – you’re promised something of value but in actuality, there’s nothing there.

While you may get a boost in followers, those followers will not help you in the long run. They’re often bot accounts that will not engage, share, or promote your content.

This will also significantly skew your data, making it difficult to know what strategies are actually working. The only way to ensure this is by growing your followers using organic methods.

8. Skipping captions.

If your picture or video is what grabs your user’s attention, your caption can get them to stay.

Many brands overlook the caption, focusing instead on creating great visual assets. However, both play an equal role in engaging the audience.

Your caption can offer more context to your post and drive conversions. So, as you’re prepping upcoming posts, make sure your caption isn’t an afterthought.

TikTok

9. Being too promotional.

TikTok is a place for authenticity.

In fact, a 2021 study by Nielsen revealed that 64% of TikTok users say they can be their true selves on TikTok. In addition, roughly 56% of TikTok users say they can post videos they wouldn’t post elsewhere.

If you go on the platform simply promoting your products and services, you may have a hard time getting any traction.

Focus instead on sharing a lifestyle – specifically the lifestyle of your target audience. Their challenges and pain points can make for relatable, funny content.

The more authentic your content is, the better it will perform on the app.

10. Using viral sounds in ads.

Viral sounds come and go quickly on the app.

The average sound has a shelf life of a week or two – that’s why it’s great to use in your posts. However, it’s not a great strategy for ads.

Why? Well, an ad will likely run for several weeks and by that time, the sound will no longer be popular. In fact, users may be tired of hearing the sound, and using it may hurt your likeability as a brand.

Don’t age your ad by including trends that are sure to die off. Instead, stick with evergreen content that will work any time.

11. Not using filters.

Just as sounds go viral on TikTok, so do filters.

From effects that expand your face to those that take you to space, there’s so much to choose from. For brands, this offers a lot of opportunities to be creative and have fun with your audience.

Of course, with any trend, it’s important to know when to join and when to skip. If something doesn’t align with your values or strategy, don’t participate – as there will be another one around the corner that will be a better bit.

Twitter

12. Ignoring mentions.

Social media is a two-way street. You share, and your audience responds.

Too often, brands focus on sharing and forget to interact with their community. On Twitter, this is especially easy as a text-focused app.

Brands will Tweet away and forget to respond to mentions, which could hold valuable insights into brand perception.

This leads us to our next mistake, in the section below.

13. Retweeting too often.

When a user lands on your Twitter profile, they should have a good idea of what you’re about and know what to expect from your page.

If your page is 90% retweets, it makes it difficult to make that assessment.

Instead, have a healthy mix of tweets, retweets, replies, and threads.

14. Tweeting the same thing.

Imagine stepping into a store and seeing the same item displayed everywhere. Once you realize there’s nothing new to explore, you’ll lose interest and quickly walk out.

Think of your Twitter page like your store: The more variety you have, the more opportunities you have to attract your audience and encourage them to stick around.

While it’s valuable to repurpose high-performing content, the key is spreading it out over a long period so that it seems fresh every time. You should also try to find fresh angles to give a new life to your content.

15. Treating it like other social platforms.

Twitter is one of the few social networks where written content is king.

If you’re active on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, you may be tempted to use that same approach for Twitter.

However, the golden rule on social media is to adjust your content to the platform, not the other way around. This means that you’ll have to make sure you’ll likely have to swift from a video-first approach to a text- and audio-forward one on Twitter.

Facebook

16. Having a low response rate.

When you land on a Facebook Page, one of the first things you’ll see is the page’s message response rate.

It creates an initial impression of the brand and its relationship with its potential customers.

A high response rate suggests that you have great customer service while a low rate signals that you are either not active on the platform or may struggle with customer service.

While this is a seemingly small part of your profile, it can leave a big impression.

17. Removing negative comments.

Negative comments are a part of every brand’s social presence.

There’s bound to be an unsatisfied customer or a frustrated follower somewhere and sometimes, they land right in your comments.

In an effort to protect your brand’s image, you may want to delete the comment altogether. However, having a solid response to your disgruntled follower may actually work in your favor.

Responding to negative comments shows your audience that you don’t shy away from difficult conversations. It can also appease other customers who may have similar concerns.

18. Not having a custom photo cover.

Everything on your Facebook Page can help or hurt your brand and as we know, the devil is in the details.

A custom photo cover is a great way to stand out from your competitors, who may use their logos or stock photos – or worse, nothing at all.

Instead, opt for something that says something about your brand, and speaks to your values or your culture. Using an image that has emotional appeal will likely have a much better impact than a simple stock photo that tells us about your product or service.

19. Neglecting your community.

Facebook is one of the best places to build community. From Facebook Groups to live streams, there are many ways to interact with your audience.

After all, that’s how you build brand loyalists. It’s not from sharing promotional content, it’s from consistent and genuine interactions.

Once you start seeing your Facebook Page as a community-building tool, you will start seeing results.

20. Ignoring your competitors.

One of the handiest tools on Facebook is the ability to learn about your competitors in your analytics dashboard.

Using inputs from data you’ve already shared, Facebook can compile a list of suggested competitors and tell you how you’re performing against them

This can then serve as a benchmark to determine how well you’re doing and what to strive for.

Knowing what not to do can be just as important as knowing what you should do. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s a pretty good place to start and keep you on the right track.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Feb. 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Introducing Variation Generator for Web Experimentation

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Introducing Variation Generator for Web Experimentation

If you attended Opticon ’23, you saw first-hand how Optimizely has been investing in AI. Optimizely introduced Opal, an AI assistant designed to accelerate the entire marketing lifecycle. Opal is ever-present across Optimizely One, providing generative AI, smart insights, and recommendations to transform how our customers create, test and personalize digital experiences.

Now, our latest AI capability is here: Variation Generator. Available for all Web Experimentation customers, Variation Generator helps experiment authors expedite the ideation and creation of test variations.

What does it do?

Variation Generator leverages generative artificial intelligence to create a list of phrasing suggestions based on a site’s text elements like headlines, product descriptions, or call-to-action (CTA) wording, ultimately making it easier and faster for experimenters to plan multiple variations for their tests, which can be quite time-consuming.

Who is it for?

Based on our research, around 30% of experiments include text changes. So, experiment authors like optimization managers or digital marketers are spending a lot of time ideating/brainstorming multiple versions of the original copy to decide which should be tested. Variation Generator empowers users to add more variations in an experiment, which we strongly suggest after our Experimentation Benchmark research found that experiments with more variations (4+) tend to see higher win rates and return higher uplifts on the metrics tracked.

Cool…but generative AI is popping up everywhere, why does it matter here?

  1. Directly embedded into our UI: No separate tools or tabs to click out to…No typing out a prompt to a chatbot…just click the text element you want suggestions for, and click “generate.” All interaction stays within our Visual Editor.
  2. Reduce time and effort in variation ideation: Shorten the time it takes to come up with new experiment variations, allowing experiment authors to get more time back into their day.
  3. Optimize each variation in an experiment: Variation Generator provides unbiased and creative alternatives to experiment authors so they can make sure that each variation is different enough to avoid duplicative messaging, yet effective enough captures visitors’ attention.
  4. Increase a test’s chances of winning: Our Benchmark research shows that experiments with 4+ variations are ~90% more likely to win than experiments with just 2 variations. Variation Generator helps experiment authors create more variations, leading to higher lifts.
  5. Fine-tune brand positioning: Improve existing headlines, product descriptions, CTA buttons, and more, ensuring a consistent and impactful brand message across digital properties.

Increase a test’s chances of winning

This outcome is important enough to highlight a second time. Mentioned earlier, we know from our Experimentation Benchmark research that tests with more variations (4+) are more likely to produce a winning (statistically significant) result versus a traditional A/B test that pits a baseline (original version) against a single variation. Variation Generator can help experiment authors get into the habit of testing more variations and producing more winning results.

Future enhancements

Optimizely is committed to continuous innovation and improvement. Potential enhancements for Variation Generator include generating suggestions for other content types like images, icons, HTML, and CSS, as well as giving users more control over output fine-tuning, such as adjusting length, tone, and other fields.

At the end of the day…

Optimizely’s Variation Generator is a simple yet powerful feature that empowers experiment authors to create more effective and winning experiments. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, this feature saves time, optimizes variations, and fine-tunes brand positioning, ultimately leading to better results, stronger brand presence, and an effortless workflow.

Want more info? If you’re an existing customer, ask your account manager about Variation Generator, and if you’re a future customer, contact us to learn more.

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Tips and Tricks for Digital PR

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Tips and Tricks for Digital PR

In the bustling digital landscape of the 21st century, public relations (PR) stands as a beacon of brand visibility, trust-building, and reputation management. As businesses navigate the complexities of online competition, the synergy between search engine optimization (SEO) and PR has become increasingly evident. This article delves into digital PR, exploring how strategic integration with SEO practices can elevate brand visibility, drive organic traffic, and amplify PR success.

The SEO & Digital PR Power Couple

In today’s digital landscape, success hinges on a strong online presence. Two crucial aspects of achieving this are SEO and Digital PR. While they may have functioned as separate strategies in the past, they’re now recognized as a powerful team.

SEO focuses on optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results, driving organic traffic. PR, on the other hand, builds brand awareness and cultivates positive press mentions.

However, creating compelling content that resonates with audiences and search engines can be challenging for many PR professionals. A recent Institute for Public Relations study found that nearly three-quarters (70%) of PR practitioners struggle with content creation. This is where the magic of SEO and digital PR working together comes in.

Combining these forces creates a synergy that delivers impressive results. Effective SEO techniques in PR campaigns can amplify brand messaging and ensure it reaches the right audience through search engines.

Conversely, strong PR efforts can generate backlinks to your website, a significant factor influencing SEO ranking. This teamwork propels brands to industry leadership by establishing online authority and positive brand sentiment.

Optimizing Your PR Efforts for SEO

PR and SEO go hand-in-hand in today’s digital marketing landscape. By aligning your PR activities with SEO best practices, you can significantly boost your online presence and reach a wider audience. Here’s how:

Keyword Research

Just like any successful marketing campaign, PR needs a strong foundation. Keyword research is crucial for understanding the language your target audience uses online. According to Google, more than half of consumers (53%) consult online resources before purchasing a product or service.

This includes potential students researching educational options. For instance, terms like “best online degrees for 2024” can be valuable keywords for online schools to target in their PR efforts to reach potential students actively searching for programs.

By identifying relevant keywords with high search volume, PR professionals can craft messaging that resonates with their audience and increases the discoverability of their content in search results.

Content is King (and Queen)

Compelling and newsworthy content is the cornerstone of any successful PR campaign. But for SEO, it’s not just about capturing attention.

High-quality content, such as press releases, blog posts, and infographics, should also be optimized for search engines. This includes using relevant keywords strategically throughout your content and adhering to on-page SEO best practices. By creating content that is both informative and search-engine friendly, you attract not only readers but also valuable backlinks and organic traffic.

Building Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites pointing back to yours. Search engines consider backlinks a sign of trustworthiness and authority.

Strategic PR campaigns can help you secure these valuable backlinks by pitching newsworthy content to relevant websites, building relationships with journalists and influencers, and leveraging social media to promote your content. However, focusing on earning backlinks from reputable sources is crucial, as spammy tactics can hurt your SEO efforts.

Optimizing Media Coverage

Every media placement you secure, whether an article, interview, or social media mention, presents an opportunity to enhance your SEO. Encourage journalists and influencers to include relevant keywords and links to your website in their coverage.

Promoting these media placements on your social media channels can amplify their reach and drive more organic traffic to your website.

Advanced SEO Techniques for PR Success

Today’s audiences crave engaging content; SEO is crucial to seeing your message. Incorporating advanced SEO tactics into your PR strategy can amplify your reach and achieve tremendous success.

Leveraging Multimedia

We’re living in the age of visual storytelling. Eye-catching images, infographics, and videos aren’t just trends; they’re powerful tools for grabbing attention and boosting SEO.

A Demand Metric report highlights the power of video marketing for conversions. 93% of marketers agree that video is just as practical, or even more effective, at driving conversions compared to other content formats.

These elements enhance user experience and provide opportunities for keyword optimization. Descriptive alt tags and strategic file names can help search engines understand your content and improve your ranking for relevant searches.

Data-Driven PR

Gone are the days of guesswork in PR. You can achieve laser focus and maximum impact by integrating SEO data with your PR strategy. Tools like keyword research can help you identify topics and language your target audience is actively searching for.

Analyzing website traffic and other SEO metrics allows you to tailor your content for optimal performance. This data-driven approach ensures you craft content that resonates with your audience and achieves your PR goals.

Collaboration is Key: Aligning SEO & PR Teams

Many companies have separate SEO and PR teams, but these teams should work together closely for maximum impact. By collaborating, SEO and PR can achieve more than they could. Here’s why:

  • More robust results: When SEO and PR share information, like keyword research and content plans, they can create campaigns strategically placed in search engines and reach the right audience through media coverage.
  • Unified Voice: Consistent team communication ensures a consistent message across all channels, from website content to press releases. This builds trust and credibility with your target audience.
  • Measurable Success: Working together allows SEO and PR to track the combined impact of their efforts. This data can refine future campaigns and demonstrate the overall value they bring to the organization.

In short, by breaking down silos and working as one unit, SEO and PR can create a powerful force for achieving your company’s goals.

The Future of SEO & Digital PR

The digital world is constantly changing, and how we approach SEO and digital PR also needs to evolve. Here’s a look at some of the biggest trends we can expect to see:

AI-powered everything

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to become a game-changer in SEO and digital PR. AI can help create high-quality content tailored to specific audiences, analyze vast data to identify trends and opportunities and personalize outreach efforts for journalists and influencers.

Voice search is king

With the rise of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, voice search optimization is becoming increasingly important. This means websites must be optimized for natural language queries and focus on long-tail keywords that people might use when speaking.

Focus on user experience

Search engines are becoming more competent at understanding what users are looking for and giving more weight to websites offering a positive UX. This means creating sites that are easy to navigate, load quickly, and provide valuable and relevant information.

Building trust and authority

Search engines also emphasize Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) when ranking websites. This means businesses must establish themselves as thought leaders by creating high-quality content and building relationships with other reputable websites.

By staying ahead of these trends, businesses can ensure their websites are visible, and their brands are well-represented in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Beyond the Buzz: Building Lasting Success with SEO-Fueled PR

In the dynamic realm of digital PR, mastering the art of SEO integration is paramount for sustained success. By optimizing PR efforts through strategic keyword research, compelling content creation, and targeted link-building strategies, brands can amplify their visibility, drive organic traffic, and forge lasting connections with their audience.

As we march towards the future, the synergy between SEO and PR will continue to be a guiding light, illuminating the path towards digital supremacy.

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3 Contextual Link-Building Strategies That Actually Work

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3 Contextual Link-Building Strategies That Actually Work

 

Quality content can get your web pages ranking higher in Google search results. But contextual links can help, too.

Google says the inclusion of relevant, high-quality links signals the content that includes them may be quality content, too.

So, how can you earn contextual links to give your content an edge over the competition? Adopt one, two, or all three of the strategies detailed in this article.

But first, let’s understand what contextual links are.

What are contextual links?

A contextual link appears in the body of a web page’s content. A hyperlink is added to a relevant word or phrase. They:

  • Link to other pages on the site.
  • Cite the source of a claim or statistic.
  • Indicate other relevant pages.
  • Provide readers with more in-depth information on the topic.
  • Guide readers to a product or service.

In this screenshot of an article with the header, Challenges of Productivity Tracking in Remote Workplaces, three phrases are hyperlinked — measure productivity, Microsoft, and research by Gartner.

Each contextual link serves a purpose:

  • “Measure productivity” goes to a Slack article about how to measure employee productivity.
  • “Microsoft” directs the reader to the original research for the cited statistic.
  • “Research by Gartner” links to the native source for the research cited in that paragraph.

With a contextual link-building strategy, you not only boost your content in the eyes of Google but also encourage other sites to use your valuable content to provide their readers with additional information or context.

Now, let me show you three strategies to grow your contextual links and improve your content’s rankings.

1. Help sites fix their broken links

Broken link building involves contacting a website, pointing out a broken external link on a page, and suggesting your content as its replacement.

Broken links could result from a 404 error, a blank page, or a redirect to an irrelevant page — any alteration that ruins the original link’s purpose.

Since broken links negatively affect the visitor experience, removing them is in the site’s best interest. Your replacement offer gives them a quick solution to their problem. Plus, people are more willing to help you after you’ve helped them.

To find broken links, use a tool like Free Backlink Checker extension. I also like to inspect links manually since most tools only pick up 404 errors. Rely solely on them, and you will miss relevant broken-link opportunities.

Ahrefs also has tools for finding broken links. Its free broken link checker is helpful, but the paid version is more robust.

Paid subscribers can go to Site Explorer, go to the Outgoing Links report, and click on “Broken Links” from the dropdown menu.

The report identifies the total number of broken links (3,136 in the example below), the referring pages (the URL for the content including the broken link), the anchor (the words hyperlinked in the content), and the link (the URL that no longer directs to a viable page).

The report identifies the total number of broken links (3,136 in the example below), the referring pages, the anchor, and the link.

Ahrefs subscribers can also compile a Best by Links report under the Pages option in the Site Explorer tool.

In this example, the report lists pages with 404 page-not-found errors for TheMuse.com. It has 6,230 pages with broken external links. Each page URL listed is accompanied by the number of referring domains and a number of links to the page.

The report lists pages with 404 page-not-found errors for TheMuse.com. It has 6,230 pages with broken external links.

This research can identify the topics with the biggest potential to become the fixes for a broken link. You can create content to address them or identify content you already published. Just make sure the content closely matches the intent of the anchor text’s original link.

For example, the same research report, which is now a broken link, is cited in articles from Oyster and TINYpulse. On Oyster, the anchor text reads, “44% of companies did not allow remote work.” On TINYpulse, the anchor text says, “only 33% are very satisfied with the level of trust in their organization.”

On Oyster, the anchor text reads, “44% of companies did not allow remote work.”
On TINYpulse, the anchor text says, “only 33% are very satisfied with the level of trust in their organization.”

For a single article link to replace the broken link on Oyster and TINYpulse, the content would need to cite both a statistic about remote work and another stat about trust in organizations.

2. Guest posting

Like the broken-link replacement strategy, guest posting benefits both your and the recipient’s sites. You reach out to sites and offer to write content about a topic relevant to their audience that relates to your content subjects and includes a link to your site. This technique works well because you typically control where and how to add your link to make it as relevant as possible.

You can take multiple approaches to win guest-posting opportunities. No matter which tactics you use, track the sites and verify the site’s quality using Ahrefs, another tool, or a direct visit to the site.

First, you can use Ahrefs (or a similar tool) to examine your competitors’ backlinks and identify any links that come from guest posts. The anchor or surrounding text might hint at its status with phrases such as “contributed by,” “guest post by,” or the name of the brand or author. You also can check links manually to see if they’re contributed content.

In this example from Collegiate Parent, the headline reads “EFC Too High? Tips for Successful Aid Appeals” and includes a byline for “Billie Jo Weis.” At this point, you don’t know if it is a contributed article.

The headline reads “EFC Too High? Tips for Successful Aid Appeals” and includes a byline for “Billie Jo Weis.”

But scroll down to the end, and you can see the author’s bio. It confirms the article is a guest post because her bio says she is a client services advisor for My College Planning Team, not the publisher (Collegiate Parent).

The bio confirms the article is a guest post because it says she is a client services advisor for My College Planning Team, not the publisher (Collegiate Parent)

You can also use Google search operators to identify sites open to guest contributions. You’ll want to do several searches using variations of your target keywords and topic accompanied by phrases, such as “guest post,” “contributed by,” “guest post by,” and “guest posting guidelines.”

The example in the screenshot below works for a brand targeting college prep topics. The search is “’college prep’ ‘guest post by’ -site.pinterest.com.” The results reveal four articles from four sites that use the words “college prep” and “guest post by.” You can add those sites to your outreach tracker.

The example screenshot shows the search for "college prep" and "guest post by" -site.pinterest.com. The results reveal four articles from four sites that use the words

Finally, you can list sites relevant to your niche that didn’t appear in the earlier searches.

TIP: Not all sites that accept guest articles say so on their website.

3. Niche edits

A niche edit, sometimes referred to as a link insert, is a technique that adds a link to existing content. The key to success is finding relevant articles on high-quality sites and pitching your content as a valuable addition to those articles.

You can use a similar process to the Google guest post search. Input a broad keyword for your targeted keyword, then tell it you don’t want the targeted keyword in the title. If the entire article is about your targeted keyword, your chances of getting the publisher to include a link to a similar article are low.

Here’s an example from one of our client’s that sought to make niche edits for the keyword “soft skills.”

The Google search included these phrases:

  • “Organizational development” soft skills -intitle:”soft skills”
  • “Organizational development” soft skills employee training -intitle:”soft skills”
  • Soft skills employee training  -intitle:”soft skills” organizations

It led to an added link for “soft skills” in this article — “Employee Development,” which includes the header, “What are the benefits of employee development for an organization?”

Article from Big Think, which includes the header, “What are the benefits of employee development for an organization?” The article shows the "soft skills" link.

You can do several searches, modifying your search operators each time to see what sites and content appears. Think of multiple angles to broaden the potential sites that publish content with your targeted or a related keyword.

After you’ve crafted a list of high-quality prospects, it’s time for outreach.

Niche edits might be the hardest of the three strategies to achieve because they’re not as clear of a win-win situation as the other two (repairing broken links and publishing new content).

Your email pitch can make or break your niche-edit campaign. It must convince the publisher that your content provides so much value that they will want to take an extra step with content they’ve already completed.

 Here are some tips to craft a link-earning email pitch:

  • Start by mentioning something about them. It could be something you like about their website or the article you’re targeting. You want them to know you’ve explored their site and read the article. But don’t overdo it. A simple compliment or sentence about how you found the article helpful should suffice.
  • Introduce your content and mention how it can help their audience. Be concise and convincing, but don’t oversell it.
  • Go one step further and point to a section or sentence where you think your content might be a good fit. This will help them see where your content can add value and link to it.

Get linking

Though contextual link building may seem challenging to execute, it can bring great rewards. Follow these tips and strategies, and your valuable content will get more attention from external sites and eventually Google rankings where it deserves to be.

All tools mentioned in this article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please tag CMI on social.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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