Tag Archive | "inside"

CMWorld Interview: Thinking Inside the (Answer) Box with Courtney Cox

In a digital marketing career that has spanned numerous roles, often with a heavy focus on SEO, Courtney Cox has watched plenty of trends come and go.

But like many of us, she’s convinced that answer boxes (or “featured snippets,” or “position zero,” as you will) hold the key to search success going forward.

Not only do these “best answer” results attain prime visibility on SERPs, but as voice search continues to grow more prominent, they are likely to become the only result for many user queries within a few years.

Recognizing the magnitude of this topic, Cox will dedicate her session at Content Marketing World to Position 0: Optimizing Your Content to Rank in Google’s Answer Boxes. Drawing from her experience at Children’s Health, where she’s tasked with helping modernize the digital experience in an industry that has been — by her own admission — a little behind the curve, she’ll offer up practical advice for claiming this crucial real estate.

As we eagerly await her afternoon session on September 5th in Cleveland, OH, we had a chance to ask Cox about some pertinent matters relating to her specialization. Here’s what she had to say about data-driven conversion rate optimization, strategizing through competitive analysis, speaking the language of coding as marketers, and more.


What does your role as Digital Marketing Manager at Children’s Health entail? What are your main areas of focus and key priorities?

I have a team of strategists and editors that manages the online experience for our patient families. This includes everything from the user experience of Childrens.com, SEO, paid search, and management of our local listings across the web.

We are currently in a major transition period. Our goal is to provide the best online experience of any pediatric healthcare system in the country. Healthcare as an industry is behind the times, and historically, we have been no exception. As the cost of healthcare goes up, our consumers place more scrutiny on the total value of their experience with our system.

We typically think of that experience beginning when patient families walk through our doors; however, the initial patient experience frequently begins online with a search and ends online with a review. It’s our job to use the digital experience to show the value of our clinical services, reduce the anxiety of our patient families, and provide them with the information they need to make the right decisions for their child.

This year, that means implementing rigorous user testing, redesigning nearly every template on Childrens.com, taking advantage of advanced search tactics such as structured data and accelerated mobile pages, and publishing reviews directly on our website.

 

What is one thing that most company websites could be doing better when it comes to driving sales and conversions?

Fair warning – I’m going to try not to get on my soapbox about this one, but it’s hard because I feel so passionately about it.

Digital marketers need to abandon the “gut feeling” approach to conversion rate optimization. In the days of expensive usability labs and split-testing software, businesses with limited budgets could be excused from making data-driven, customer-centered optimizations. Those days are over.

If you want to outperform your competitors, you must start listening to your customers and responding to their behavior. If you’re not using free tools like Google Optimize for split testing or one of the infinite number of inexpensive user testing options available, then I guarantee you are failing your customers in some way in which you’re currently unaware.


Digital marketers need to abandon the “gut feeling” approach to conversion rate optimization. @CourtEWakefield #CMWorld
Click To Tweet


Moving on to your subject of focus at CMWorld: Aside from the obvious placement benefits, why is it so important to aim for ‘Position 0’ on Google search results?

‘Position 0’ results (aka ‘Featured Snippets’, aka ‘Answer Boxes’) are important for a number of reasons. As you mentioned, prominence at the top of the search engine results page positions your website for more engagement and clicks than a lower position, but that’s not all.

Voice platforms like Google Home rely heavily on the position 0 results to give answers to voice queries from their users. For example, if you ask Google Home, “why can’t my kid sleep?” you’ll get an excerpt from Childrens.com that shows in the Google answer box for the same query on Google.

It’s been predicted that by 2020, half of all searches will be done through voice, and most of those searches will be headless (on a screenless device like Amazon Alexa or Google Home). In those cases, position 0 is the only result. You want to own that space.

 

How can competitive analysis improve our efforts to land an Answer Box?

The best thing to start with is to take inventory of the websites populating the answer boxes for queries you want to dominate. Then go look at what they’re doing on their pages. Are they using natural language in their headlines? Do they have structured data? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? Is there a theme across all the sites that you can mimic?

Then, you’ll want to match what they’re doing right and take advantage where they’re failing. In my experience, most websites are not well-optimized for the answer boxes, and they’re ranking through dumb luck. A little effort goes a long way.


In my experience, most websites are not well-optimized for the answer boxes, and they’re ranking through dumb luck. @CourtEWakefield #CMWorld
Click To Tweet


When it comes to working toward Position 0, which optimization techniques pay dividends above and beyond the SEO impact?

Any time that you invest significant effort into providing quality content that answers your visitors’ questions in a well laid out and easy-to-digest format, you’re going to start seeing payoffs beyond rankings. I think most content marketing folks understand that.

To ensure our content is high quality and highly relevant to what our customers need, we’ve been using a new technique that starts with the “People Also Ask” questions on Google. Basically, we type in a query we want to rank for, take inventory of the “People Also Ask” questions that appear for that query, and answer those questions directly in our content with the question itself as an H2 on the page.

Google is giving us a gift; by revealing these questions to us, they give us a deeper look than ever into the aggregation and relation of their search data. We’d be foolish not to utilize this data to create the most relevant content for users and position ourselves as a valuable thought leader.


Any time that you invest significant effort into providing quality content that answers your visitors’ questions, you’re going to start seeing payoffs beyond rankings. @CourtEWakefield #CMWorld
Click To Tweet


What does the emergence of the Answer Box tell us about how search engines are changing to serve the user experience? What do you foresee as the possible next step in that direction?

The demands on our time are greater every day, and folks’ attention spans are ever shorter. We want answers, and we want them now. Answer boxes are just a response to that.

I won’t be surprised if five or 10 years from now, Google has enough functionality and feature sets that the majority of small businesses won’t need their own websites. You’ve already seen less reliance on individual ecommerce sites with the emergence of Amazon and even Etsy. Google could make this possible for service-based businesses like barber shops and coffee shops.

People get kind of anxious about that, especially those in the web development business, but the commoditization of the web has always been a reality. Those of us in digital marketing must adapt or die. And, on the client side, if Google is sending the business, why wouldn’t you want to reduce the cost of doing business by eliminating web hosting fees?

 

How can content marketers work more smoothly and seamlessly with development teams to get things done efficiently? Where do you see the most common snags?

I’m so lucky at Children’s because we have a marketing technology team that sits with us, and they are some of the most talented and easy-to-work with folks I’ve known in my career.

But I know not everyone has that luxury. I think the thing that has helped me most in my career is that I’ve also been a developer. While not every content marketer can go out there and learn a coding language, they should really try to learn as much about that world as they can. It helps when you’re requesting the implementation of structured data or Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) that you understand the complexities or at least how much work it will take.

In my experience, developers really appreciate it when you consult with them about a request. “Have you heard about AMP? What do you think about it? I think it could really improve mobile traffic – does it have any downsides from your perspective?” That consultation goes a long way for buy in down the road.


While not every content marketer can go out there and learn a coding language, they should really try to learn as much about that world as they can. @CourtEWakefield #CMWorld
Click To Tweet


Which speaker presentations are you looking forward to most at Content Marketing World 2018?

You mean besides Tina Fey?

I’m a real tech geek, so the “How to Use Artificial Intelligence to Build and Optimize Content” and “Let’s Chat: How Messaging Apps, Chatbots, and Voice Assistants Will Impact Your Business in the Next 3-5 Years” have really piqued my interest. These are the things I hope we can get ahead of the game on to become healthcare digital marketing leaders.

Unpack More Answers

We thank Courtney for her great answers, which were extremely enlightening even if they didn’t come in a box.

For more expert insights on all of your most pressing questions, dive into the Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing below!


Email Newsletter
Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |
CMWorld Interview: Thinking Inside the (Answer) Box with Courtney Cox | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post CMWorld Interview: Thinking Inside the (Answer) Box with Courtney Cox appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Inside the new Google Search Console at SMX East

Attend the AMA With Google Search session at SMX East to learn more about the new improvements to the Google Search Console.

The post Inside the new Google Search Console at SMX East appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Search In Pics: GoogleBot Band, Inside Out Post-It Art & Hangouts Pillow

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. Google Hangouts Pillow Selfie: Source: Google+ Google Inside Out Post-It Art…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

What Goes on Inside a Solar Panel?




style="display:inline-block;width:250px;height:250px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-7815236958543991"
data-ad-slot="8717335615">

A solar panel is a device which converts light into electricity. They are erected on roofs or buildings which face the sun. Many scientists call these solar panels photovoltaic’s, which means in simple terms “light electricity”. To understand what goes on inside a solar panel you have to understand what they are made of.

A solar panel is made of a collection of solar cells which generate electricity directly from visible light which relies on the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect is the name given to describe what happens when light is shone onto a certain type of material which absorbs photons but releases electrons. When these free electrons are captured, you get an electric current which can be used as electricity. The famous physicist Einstein actually won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for work explaining the photoelectric effect.

Solar cells are based on semiconductor physics. Semiconductors are a class of materials such as silicon, carbon and germanium which can conduct electricity making them a good medium for the control of electrical current. Crystalline silicon is mainly used in solar cells and the material just happens to be one of the most common elements on earth. An individual solar cell is designed with a positive and negative layer to create an electric field just like in a battery. Sunlight is made of photons, so as photons are absorbed into the cell, their energy causes electrons to become free which then move towards the bottom of the cell and exit on the connecting wire. This flow of electrons is what we call electricity. The combination of these solar cells and photovoltaics panels create electricity which you can harness to use throughout your home.

The actual amount of electricity which is generated by these cells will depend on the amount of light falling onto them. This of course is determined by the weather and the time of day. Because of which storing the energy will be necessary. Solar panels will need to be positioned so that they catch sun light as much as possible. They will need to be south facing to benefit from full direct sunlight; but you can still harness the energy from the sun with panels facing south east or south west. Also direct sunlight is not a necessity as UV light which can penetrate through clouds will still generate electricity but not as much as a cloudless day.

Latest solar news

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

A Complete Guide to Crawling Inside Your Customer’s Head With Empathy Maps

two men sitting on a bench outside a diner, a woman leans against a wall next to them

Jack Ungulate is a strange bird.

When he drinks beer, he licks his index and middle finger, swipes the bottle opening, and then pauses, with the bottle raised to his mouth, before turning it upside down.

Each time, every time.

He also has a routine with his steel-toe boots. The left one must go on first, then the right. But he takes them off in reverse.

And then there’s his ritual when buying large ticket items like a car: he sends his wife to the lot while he sits in the garage, waiting for her to call.

When people talk to him about saving for his children’s college fund, he quickly cuts them off to inform them there is no fund because he’d prefer to cultivate a sense of ownership by encouraging them to pay their own way through school.

He enjoys the scowls that appear on their faces.

As he methodically replaces a defective steam gauge on a heating system, he thinks about his father and why they never talk. Then he contemplates how he’s going to break it to his own son that he won’t be able to make it to his kayak competition that evening because he has to cover a co-worker’s night shift.

The overtime, however, will go towards their trip to Cancun in April. That should ease the sting.

Clearly, Jack is not so much strange as he is just complex. Like most humans. And all of your customers.

How well do you know your customers?

Where product development should start

We all need to know our customers in order to create products they’ll actually buy. This is why the minimum viable audience idea is so powerful.

It doesn’t start with the product. It starts with the customer.

That means the media you create — the daily podcast, weekly Hangouts, the monthly downloads — all contribute to attracting an audience. As that audience grows, you learn their needs, wants, hopes, and fears.

That information allows you to build a worldview of your customer. And when you confirm that worldview in your media, it allows you to sell products they actually want to buy.

Think of the Theodore Roosevelt quote:

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Empathy is your goal.

What is empathy?

Empathy consists of two parts:

  1. The intellectual identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
  2. The vicarious experiencing of those feelings, thoughts, or attitudes.

Keep in mind, while they are close cousins, empathy is not sympathy.

Jesse Prinz, Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York, Graduate Center, writes, “… sympathy is a third-person emotional response, whereas empathy involves putting oneself in another person’s shoes.”

Sympathy is a toddler who offers his blanket to another toddler crying. Sympathy is a nurse flying to Haiti at her own expense to aid earthquake victims. Sympathy, as the dictionary puts it, “is sorrow or pity for another’s misfortune or suffering.”

Empathy, on the other hand, is knowing how it feels to be obsessive (like Jack in the opening story). It is knowing how it feels to worry about salespeople taking advantage of you. And it is knowing how it feels to have to tell your son — yet again — you have to miss a very important baseball game because of work.

Here’s a personal example.

pain

I’ve lost two fathers in my lifetime: my stepfather through a climbing accident and my biological father through a failed battle with lung cancer.

Therefore, when I bump into people who’ve lost their father — whether family, friends, or strangers — I can identify with their pain.

The word “empathy” is only about 100 years old. However, our notions of empathy were previously associated with “sympathy.”

Prinz tells us that Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, said this about sympathy:

Whatever is the passion which arises from any object in the person principally concerned, an analogous emotion springs up, at the thought of his situation, in the breast of every attentive spectator.

In other words, Prinz adds, “Empathy requires a kind of emotional mimicry … Empathy is a kind of vicarious emotion: it’s feeling what one takes another person to be feeling.”

To state it another way, this time quoting copywriter Aaron Orendorff, it’s about entering the conversation that is already going on in a person’s heart.

The advertisers who translate these feelings into content and advertisements will advertise effectively … without seeming to actually advertise anything at all.

When advertisers empathize effectively

You’ve seen empathy in advertising. They are the commercials that make you smile or cry. They are the ads that pull your heartstrings.

In his article “Empathy Sells,” Grant Tudor (strategic planner at Ogilvy & Mather), shares two recent commercials to prove this point.

Take this one from Procter & Gamble.

It’s an ode to mothers and the relentless, instinctual, and sacrificial hard work they put in for their children. Procter & Gamble says, “Mothers, we understand you.”

Watch this video by Google, this time, for dads:

It’s all about a father recording his emotional connection — the pride and joy and humility fatherhood generates — with his daughter through technology.

By the way, these two short ads have something in common. Did you notice it? If not, here it is: indirect selling.

In the case of Procter & Gamble, the end of the commercial shows a quick sequence of product logos. With Google, the product is part of the narrative.

Naturally you have to ask, does this approach work? Yes, it does.

According to an extensive 2007 case study analysis by the World Advertising Research Center, emotional ads outsell informational ones by 19 percent.

The only problem is that you, as a business owner, don’t have the time or ability to experience your customers’ thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. So, you must learn how to experience these qualities another way: research.

Introducing the empathy map

Empathy maps emerged out of the web design user experience world in its attempt to empathize with users. As Dr. James Patell of Stanford d.school told CNN:

One of the founding tenets of the d.school (the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford) is human-centered design. Rather than beginning with shiny new technology, we start by trying to establish deep, personal empathy with our users to determine their needs and wants. We must fill in two blanks: Our users need a better way to ___ BECAUSE ___. The because portion is a big deal.

Burn this into your memory: “Our users need a better way to ____ BECAUSE ____.”

David Gray, author of The Connected Company and Gamestorming, is the man behind the empathy map. He told me in an email, “The Empathy Map was developed as part of the consulting approach we took at XPLANE, the company I founded. As I recall, it was developed in the context of some work we did with Caterpillar.”

Empathy maps vary in shapes and sizes, but there are basic elements common to each one:

  • Four quadrants broken into “Thinking,” “Seeing,” “Doing,” and “Feeling.”
  • Covered in sticky notes

Some versions have two additional boxes at the bottom of the quadrants: “Pains” and “Gains.” A drawing of a human head at the center of the empathy map reminds us we are talking about a real, live person.

empathy-map

To get started, download and print a large version of the empathy map above here.

Empathy map session basics

Identify who should help you build an empathy map. Here are some key people to invite:

  • You
  • Stakeholders
  • Customer support leads
  • Vendors
  • Product developers
  • Salespeople
  • Copywriters

And here are items (if you have them) to bring to the session:

  • Large empathy map
  • A mix of colored sticky notes
  • Dry erase marketers
  • White board
  • Personas
  • Worldview descriptions
  • Data from user interviews
  • Testimonials
  • Insights from your web analytics (related to customer actions)
  • Social media mentions
  • Your marketing story

If it helps, at the bottom of the empathy map, draw two boxes: “Pains” and “Gains.”

In the “Pains box,” you can put your customers’ challenges and obstacles. Ask, “What keeps my customer up at night?”

In the “Gains” box, include the goals your customers hope to accomplish. Ask, “What motivates my customer to get up in the morning?” and “What are her hopes and dreams?”

Make sense?

Do this during your session

When everyone is ready, you, as the moderator, should ask questions like:

  • How do they think about their fears and hopes?
  • What do they hear when other people use your product?
  • What do they see when they use your product? What is the environment?
  • What do they say or feel when using your product, whether in private or public?
  • What are their pain points when using your product?
  • Is this a positive or a painful experience for them?
  • What does a typical day look like in their world?
  • Do they hear positive feedback about your company from external sources?
  • What do they hope to gain from using your product?
  • Has your customer repeated quotes or defining words?

Encourage your empathy map group to jot down needs and insights that emerge as you work through this exercise, then paste those notes in the proper boxes on the large empathy map.

The process takes a bit of role playing. Don’t be afraid.

Summarize the session

At the end of the session, encourage team members to share their thoughts about the exercise and the customer. Do they have a new hypothesis? Have they identified obvious needs and new behaviors? What insights have they gained?

Once you are finished, summarize your conclusions. Organize these thoughts, feelings, actions, and sayings into a summary about what you’ve learned.

In the meantime, hang the empathy map and all the notes in an area of your office where people pass or congregate. Invite people to add ideas to the map. If you work remotely, create a shared document and send out reminders regularly to encourage people to add ideas.

By the way, if you don’t have personas or worldview descriptions for your customers, don’t worry. You can still perform this exercise without those. In fact, it may help inform those other descriptors.

What we need is more research

You may think such detailed work is overwhelming. You need personas, worldviews, and now empathy maps. Really? That’s enough to make your head spin.

Trust me, this is not research overkill.

Some work may overlap, but none of it will go to waste. In fact, research will help you define and redefine your customer over time. And you can never know too much about your customer.

You need to perform more research. That’s how you crawl into your customer’s head.

cowbell

Your turn …

Or course, there is more than one way to research your customers, and an empathy map is just one of many.

What other methods have you used? Let’s continue the discussion on Google+.

In some cases, you can develop empathy for your customers by inserting yourself in their lives for several days, weeks, or months. Or you could simply be your ideal customer.

Some of the best marketing comes from products created by people who are their ideal prospect.

For example, at Copyblogger, just about everybody who works here is an ideal customer. In fact, many of us were consumers of the content and products before we joined the team.

More importantly, the engine for all of our products revolves around trying to solve issues we run up against. This is Brian Clark’s story, starting back when he practiced law in the 90s and continuing now with the Rainmaker Platform.

We try to solve the very issues you’re dealing with because we empathize. We’ve been there, and are there, every day.

That’s why we put together our New Rainmaker course — a two-week free training opportunity that will teach you how to create the kind of media that your customers will love. Learn more here.

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Ryan Vaarsi.

About the author

Demian Farnworth

Demian Farnworth is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

The post A Complete Guide to Crawling Inside Your Customer’s Head With Empathy Maps appeared first on Copyblogger.

Related Stories

Copyblogger

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Want a Viral Hit? Here Is an Inside Look at Our Ideation Process

Posted by KelseyLibert

This post was co-authored by Kristin Tynski, VP Creative at Frac.tl and Kelsey Libert, Director of Promotions.

The importance of the idea

When it comes to creating viral content, if you don’t have an exceptional idea, you are dead in the water. Even if you’re able to execute production at a very high level and promote your content with the best of them, if the idea doesn’t check all the boxes of viral content, you’re toast. So, given you understand what a viral idea might look like, how do you bridge the gap between theory and actually coming up with one of these truly viral ideas? What follows is the process we use here at Fractl to come up with ideas that we feel confident will find viral success.

Defining parameters

We approach our ideation task as we would a riddle. Think of it this way: You are given a set of known parameters, and you must find an answer that elegantly satisfies all of those parameters. The difference here is that there’s more than just one correct answer. In fact, there are usually many answers that’ll fit. So what are your primary defining parameters? In nearly all cases the primary parameters I follow include:

  1. The idea must play well with the brand/product/service topic area. It must also fit the constraints of the client. Decide beforehand if your ideas can be broadly related to a niche or topic area, or if they must be more constrained.
  2. The idea must contain an emotionally compelling hook as described in my last post. More specifically, it must evoke feelings of surprise and interest, which are generally essential to a successful viral idea.
  3. The idea must contain something original or new, and it’s even better if it’s newsworthy. From a content promotion and syndication perspective, having an idea that presents new information will make it much more likely to be picked up by mainstream blogs and news sites.
  4. The related concepts should have some proof of past viral engagement. Can you point to some other piece of content and use it as a basis for predicting the success of your own content?

Be sure to keep these questions in mind as you begin your brainstorming; you will use them to keep your ideation on track.

Step 1: The research dump

It just so happens I have some ideation to do for one of Fractl’s clients, Rehabs.com, so I’m going to use it as an example to bring you through my research techniques and ideation process. The vertical/topic area we’re going after this time is “eating disorders.” From talking with this client, I know they are willing to stretch the topic area to a certain extent, so my ideation will keep this in mind, and I might go a bit broader in terms of how closely the content I come up with relates exactly to eating disorders.

Generally, the best way to begin ideation for any viral content marketing project is to first spend the time to gather all you can about the topic area and collect what sorts of things are currently buzzworthy or have been in the past. Begin by understanding your topic area in a general way, and then use that topic area as a basis for your ideation. I usually make a list of possible ideas by finding as many popular news stories and blog posts around my general topic area as I can.

I copy down this research in the first tab of my ideation document.

I go to the places online that allow for both content curation and the ability to organize that content by what has already been popular. The places I usually use are as follows:

  1. Reddit: Try doing a simple search for about 3 to 5 keywords related to your topical area. In this case I would try eating disorders, body image, bulimia, and anorexia. For each keyword, I would organize the Reddit results by “top” and set the date range to “all-time,” giving me a curated list of content that’s ranked from most engaging to least. I then look through each list and pull out the stories that seem like they might be at least marginally interesting. Additionally, when I do these searches, I take note of the subreddits that pop up, often you will find niche communities related to your topic, go to each of these subreddits, and organize by top-all-time, to find the stories that have been most popular within these sub-niches as well. For example, searching “body image” on reddit showed me a subreddit called r/bodyacceptance, which I never knew existed, but seems quite active. Many of their top stories are a great place to start for viral content ideas.
  2. Google: Try searching for (Viral + Keyword) and look for other instances of viral campaigns that have been successful. Add as many of these as you can find to your list.
  3. Trendhunter: Trendhunter does a good job of picking up on trending concepts and ideas that can be searched by keywords. Try searching for your keywords and then list the interesting URLs in your brainstorming dump list.
  4. BuzzFeed: BuzzFeed does a good job with conceptualizing viral ideas. They also have an effective search tool to find these posts. Put these in your list, too.
  5. Latest research: Try searching Google Scholar or Pubmed Search. You can segment your search by date, so try to use content from the past year for fresher stories.
  6. Latest news: Google News, organized by date, can yield a good overview of what newspapers and online news sites are covering most around your topic area.
  7. Datasets: Listing all possible datasets out there would take a long time, but I usually check out this Quora post to see if there is anything that jumps out to me as being applicable to the topic area I’m looking at. Also, https://explore.data.gov/ is a great place to do a few keyword searches to see if anything pops up as well. Reddit also has an active dataset subreddit that is worth looking at. You can also try a search at ZanRan.com, which can sometimes give some good results as well.

Still stuck?

Here are a few other places you can go if you are still having trouble filling out your research dump:

Step 2: extracting themes

Once you have done a considerable amount of research and feel you’ve found the bulk of the most talked about stories related to your topic, you’re ready to begin an overview analysis of the specific common sub-topics that seem to have a unique potential for further investigation. Go through each of the examples you have listed in your research dump and try to boil them down and label them under general subtopics. You will likely start to see several subtopics that seem to be the most talked about. These should be the subtopics you ideate around. For our example with Rehabs.com, the common subtopics I found were:

  • Men and eating disorders
  • The role of mass media in body image
  • The role of marketing and advertising in body image
  • Eating disorders as represented in Internet culture
  • Real life stories of the afflicted
  • Body image and happiness
  • Eating disorder and body image memes

Step 3: ideating laterally on extracted themes

Using the extracted themes, the next step is the actual ideation phase, where we look to explore the different content ideas that will fit within each of these subtopic areas that we have identified as buzzworthy candidates. While doing ideation, I pay particularly close attention to ideas that fit my predefined set of parameters that were clearly defined before starting the ideation process.

As I mentioned in my last post, strong emotional reactions of interest and surprise are absolutely essential in creating a viral effect. In order to activate these emotions, your goal should be to come up with an idea that presents something unexpected, counterintuitive, or completely novel.

Coming up with ideas of this sort requires what is known as “lateral thinking.” This type of creative thinking happens when we are able to connect seemingly disparate ideas in new ways. It also happens when we realize how innovations in one area could also be applied to another area. Fortunately, there are several ways to prime your brain to think in this sort of way. I’m going to switch gears and move on from the Rehabs.com example in order to illustrate these brainstorming methods. I’ve found it can be effective to “warm up” your brain by thinking creatively on other topics first, before moving on to your actual ideation task.

1. Connecting Random Ideas

You can begin your warmup with nearly any topic area. I prefer a seemingly mundane topic for warmup, so that when I switch back to my actual ideation task, it feels easier. So, lets start with something seemingly boring, how about lighting equipment. For this exercise in lateral thinking, we’ll select either three random objects around the room or three random words from a dictionary. For this example, let’s go with a soda bottle, which is currently sitting next to me on my desk. Our goal now is to try to come up with ideas that connect a soda bottle with our general topical area of lighting equipment in a way that makes sense and is unexpected, counterintuitive, or novel.

Let’s start with the soda bottle. How does it relate to lighting? At first you might not think it does, but keep thinking and start asking questions. Could a bottle be somehow used as a light? Hmm … the answer is yes! After a quick Google search, we find this gem. It turns out that water bottles are being used effectively in the third world as makeshift skylights, and it works incredibly well! Now we can extrapolate on this idea. Keep asking questions. What are the implications of this innovation? What does this mean for populations that prior to this innovation had no lighting? The article says it might actually save lives by reducing the fire risk associated with these populations being forced to use candles. Could we create a piece of content that attempts to quantify the benefits of this innovation in some way?

Keep going by taking another tack; ask more questions. For instance, are there other types of lighting implements that utilize trash like empty soda bottles? Let’s find out! Yep, there sure are. But this isn’t an original idea, so how can we make it original? Keep asking questions. How were these created? How could we add value here? What if we created content that showed how to do these types of projects yourself? Make sure to write down your ideas, but keep going until you have exhausted all the ideas associated with your original item (the water bottle).

The truth is that your mind is inherently extremely creative—all you need to do is give it the fuel, and it will begin working on its own. Give your brain two things to connect, and it will start figuring out how it might be done.

2. Provocation technique

This lateral thinking technique relies on opening your mind to new possibilities by abandoning your assumptions and asking, “What if?” Your goal here should be to think widely and in an exaggerated way that steps outside of what is logically possible. By doing this, you can create a bridge to unexpected connections and extremely innovative ideas. This can be done in 5 primary ways:

Escape: Negate what you have taken for granted about the topic.

Reversal: Reverse something you have taken for granted about the topic.

Exaggeration: Is there a numerical or quantitative element you can play with to arrive at new ideas?

Distortion: Try to distort one piece of something you take for granted about the topic.

Wishful thinking: Suggest a fantasy you know isn’t possible that relates to your topic.

As you go through these exercises, remember to keep asking yourself questions. You can use the following checklist as you go:

  • What would the consequences be?

  • What would the benefits be?

  • What special circumstances would make it a sensible solution?

  • What principles are needed to support it and make it work?

  • How would it work moment-to-moment?

  • What would happen if a sequence of events was changed?

Let’s try this technique with our example of lighting:

Escape: We take for granted the permanence of indoor lighting. What if it wasn’t permanent? What if the U.S. was subjected to the rolling blackouts seen in many developing countries? What would the impact be? Could we create a piece of content that would explore this scenario? Can we extrapolate on current research about the importance of consistent electricity to make it more accessible to audiences that expect it as a given? Asking questions from our checklist might send us down paths to even more new areas of possibility. For example, could we create a piece of content that looked at the implications of what would happen if all the lights suddenly went out? What would be the benefits of this happening? The consequences? If all the lights in the world went out simultaneously, what exactly would happen?

Reversal: Another assumption we take for granted about lighting is that for most of us, the cost of lighting is pretty static. Let’s try reversing that. What if it was free or what if it was 10 times as expensive? This would lead us to questions about how the cost of lighting effects our habits. Perhaps we could create an interesting piece of content that tried to answer these hypothetical questions.

Exaggeration: Is there a numerical value associated with the topic that you take for granted that could be adjusted up or down? For example, we take for granted the speed of light. What would happen if we changed this number? Alternatively, we take for granted the brightness of our sun, so what would happen if our sun suddenly got brighter or dimmer? What if the number associated with lighting elements themselves changed. For instance, what if light bulbs lasted forever? What if they only lasted a day? Then go back and ask yourself questions from the checklist again and see if anything compelling floats up.

Distortion: Let’s try to adjust something we take for granted about lighting. How about the idea that lighting is almost always in the form of lamps or ceiling lighting. What are some other ways we could light a room in an unexpected or innovative way. What if our lighting came in another form; what might that look like?

Wishful Thinking: Try to ask yourself questions like, “Wouldn’t it be nice/cool/interesting if…” and list as many of these statements as you can with regards to your topic area. For example, wouldn’t it be awesome if there were lights that did more than just light a room? What if lights could be projectors? What if they could display information around a room? What if they could be used as cameras? What if they could be used to improve our health or beam us knowledge? Don’t be afraid to be outlandish—it might lead to an amazing idea.

To be sure, these examples are just some of the many techniques that can be used to help you think laterally. I love beginning my ideation sessions by doing a few exercises like the ones I’ve mentioned above, even if it’s on a subject that’s different from the one I’ll be doing ideation for. It opens my mind and gets me thinking of the possibilities that might exist when I let go of my preconceptions. In my experience, this type of creative thinking is most conducive to coming up with potentially viral ideas. This is because these types of ideas aren’t generated in a typical, logical way but are instead created by using unexpected ways of thinking that deviate from the norm.

I would recommend the work of Edward de Bono if you are looking for more ways to improve your lateral thinking skills. Another great way to switch your brain into lateral thinking mode is to simply do some riddles. Try these before you begin your brainstorming session.

Step 4: vetting ideas against a rubric

I usually try to do 2 to 3 ideas for each subtopic/theme area before moving on to ideation vetting. When vetting, I typically like to get feedback from at least 4 people (other than myself) who are familiar with the client, who know the parameters the content needs to meet, and who have a good understanding of the contributing factors of viral content. I ask them to assign a score to each idea based on the following factors:

  1. The idea’s adherence to set parameters
  2. The idea’s originality
  3. The idea’s newsworthiness
  4. The idea’s emotional impact (more specifically, does it create surprise and interest)

Step 5: choosing the idea

This is the easiest part—simply take your culled list and let the client choose! If it’s left up to you, any of the top 2 to 3 ideas should be perfect candidates. Perhaps decide based on factors unrelated to its potential for success. Consider cost, timelines, ease of execution, and whether or not the content is evergreen.

Check out the second and third tabs of my Rehabs.com ideation to see this part in action.

Conclusions

Great viral content ideas come from a combination of creativity and hard work. By cultivating a mindset that lends itself toward the ability to think laterally, and by following a process of investigation, brainstorming, and careful vetting, you can greatly increase your chances of a viral hit.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Inside In-depth Articles: Dissecting Google’s Latest Feature

Posted by Dr-Pete

Last week, Google launched its latest feature, the “In-depth articles” block. Like News results or local packs, in-depth articles are a rich SERP element that sits in the left-hand column but doesn’t count as a standard, organic result. Here’s an example, from a search for “rainforest“:

We originally spotted in-depth articles in testing as early as July, and as of August 6th the feature officially went live for English queries on Google.com. Over the weekend, I re-tuned our MozCast 10K engine (which tracks a set of 10,000 queries and their features) to take a deeper look at in-depth articles. This post covers what we know so far.

Variations on a theme

All in-depth article blocks we’re currently tracking have three results – I’ve seen no exception to this rule yet, although that could change as Google collects more data and adapts. There are a few minor variations to how in-depth articles appear. Here’s a complete snippet, which includes an image thumbnail, title, description, publisher icon, publisher, and author (from a search for “presidential candidates“):

Some in-depth article listings don’t have authorship (from a search for “wedding pictures“):

Finally, some listings don’t have publisher icons or names (from a search for “jobs“):

So far, every in-depth article result I’ve seen in the wild has had an image, title, description, and either a publisher name or domain name. Image thumbnails seem to be taken directly from the articles and cropped.

In testing, we saw some in-depth article blocks in the middle of search results, but every example I’ve seen since launch has appeared at the end of the results page – after organic results, but before the bottom ad block. That’s only based on anecdotal evidence, as we’re not currently tracking the position, and Google is likely to mix things up as they move forward and test new variations.

One oddity – in-depth article blocks seem to appear on pages with nine organic results, suggesting that the in-depth block itself may be treated as result #10. It’s getting harder and harder to tell the true count of rankings, but it looks like natural result #10 is getting pushed to page 2, and the block is simply inserted.

Some basic statistics

Across the 10,000 queries that MozCast tracks, 352 displayed in-depth articles the morning of August 12th, which equates to roughly 3.5% of queries. By volume (using Google’s “global” volume metric), these queries accounted for 6.9% of total volume for our 10K data set, suggesting that the search terms tended to be higher-than-average volume.

Google has suggested that in-depth articles will typically trigger for “broad” topics, but that’s a bit vague, so let’s take a look at a few examples from different ends of the spectrum. First off, here are ten high-volume searches (as measured by Google’s “global volume” metric) that triggered in-depth articles on 8/12:

While these cover the range from a popular novel to a trendy mall store, it does seem like searcher intent is fairly vague in these queries. Someone searching for “led” could be shopping for light bulbs or trying to figure out when Robert Plant is playing near them. The in-depth results for “jobs” contained one article about Steve Jobs:

There’s been some speculation that “broad” might refer to “head” queries (often, single-word searches). Here’s the distribution of the 352 queries by number of words (the number in parentheses is the percentage for the entire 10K data set):

  • 1-word = 37.5% (21.1%)
  • 2-word = 50.3% (45.6%)
  • 3-word = 9.1% (24.4%)
  • 4-word = 2.6% (7.0%)
  • 5+-word = 0.6% (2.0%)

It’s important to note that the keyword set we use does not contain very long-tail queries and is generally skewed toward shorter phrases. The average word count of all 352 queries is 1.80. For reference, the average word count for our entire 10K data set is 2.24 – so, Google does seem to be leaning a bit toward shorter queries. For reference, here are the five longest queries that showed in-depth articles in our data set:

Our 10K engine tracks a wide variety of queries (by volume, competitiveness, length, industry, etc.), but they do tend a bit toward commercial keywords. We don’t have exact data on brand vs. non-brand queries or commercial vs. informational, but it does appear that in-depth queries are appearing across a wide range of intent.

The news connection

Clearly, it’s hard not to see a news and big media connection in these in-depth articles. Are in-depth articles a replacement for news results? No (at least not for now) – many of the results we tracked had both in-depth articles and a news box. For example, a search for the popular novel “50 Shades of Grey” showed standard news results:

…as well as in-depth articles (note, that there’s no overlap between the articles):

Are posts with news results more likely to show in-depth articles? It certainly looks that way. Across our entire 10K data set, 16.8% of queries contained a news result block on August 12th. For that same time period, 55.7% of queries with in-depth articles contained news results. There’s almost definitely some algorithmic connection between these two entities.

The big winners (so far)

So, given the news connection, do the major news sources have an advantage? At least for now, it seems that way. The 352 searches with in-depth articles on August 12th contained 1,056 articles, which were housed on 123 unique root domains. The top 10 root domains accounted for almost 57% of the total allotment of in-depth articles. Here are the top 10, in order:

  1. nytimes.com (20.4%)
  2. wsj.com (6.1%)
  3. newyorker.com (4.5%)
  4. guardian.co.uk (4.3%)
  5. wired.com (4.1%)
  6. vanityfair.com (3.9%)
  7. businessweek.com (3.8%)
  8. nymag.com (3.3%)
  9. theatlantic.com (3.3%)
  10. thedailybeast.com (3.2%)

Within our data set, the New York Times alone accounted for one-fifth of the articles listed in in-depth article blocks. Most of the heavy hitters were generally considered news sites – other big brands like Yahoo.com and MSN.com had isolated articles, but Google didn’t seem to show them any particular favoritism.

To be fair, some smaller news sites and niche sites did show up in the list. Here’s an in-depth article listing from the West Virginia Gazette, for example (from a search for “routers“):

Here’s an example of a niche publication, Yoga Journal, getting listed (from a search for “knee pain“):

Clearly, big publications have an early-mover advantage right now, but what’s unclear is whether that advantage is baked into the in-depth article algorithm or is just a consequence of other authority and content factors. So, that leads us to the million-dollar question: what does it take to break into the in-depth box?

Getting in on the action

While big news organizations have an advantage, there’s no compelling evidence that in-depth articles are a private club. In fact, Google has already posted a support document with advice on getting listed in in-depth articles. I’ll give you a quick-and-dirty summary:

  • Use Schema.org article markup
  • Set up authorship markup
  • Set up a Google+ account, including your logo
  • Properly handle paginated articles
  • Use “first click free” for paywall content

Ana Hoffman wrote a good post that goes into more detail on these in-depth article support factors. Of course, these aren’t sufficient conditions to get listed – domain authority, content quality, and traditional ranking factors undoubtedly are also at play here. The good news is that Google is telling us that you do have a chance at getting in, and there are ways to help the process.

I suspect Google will be experimenting with and expanding in-depth articles over the next few months, so all of this data is preliminary and subject to change. If you’re a news site or have reputable, long-form content, I’d strongly consider at least putting the signals above into place. If anyone manages to break into an in-depth box, we’d love to hear your story.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Inside YouMoz: How To Guest Blog for Moz

Posted by KeriMorgret

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at YouMoz? Here’s an explanation of what we’re looking for, how to put together a good post, and some frequently asked questions.

I’ve had the privilege of being at the helm of the YouMoz editorial team for almost two years now, and have been amazed and awed by the content that you all have shared. On an average weekday, we get 5-10 submissions, and we publish about 10% of our submissions. I wanted to share more about who we are, what makes for a good YouMoz post, and how to get in that top 10%.

Who Reviews Posts?

  • Miriam Ellis is a Moz Associate specializing in copywriting and Local SEO. She provides the initial review of your post.
  • Melissa Fach is a Moz Associate with extensive editorial experience in the industry. She is one of the people who will closely review your post and provide you with feedback.
  • Keri Morgret (that’s me!) I’m a Moz employee on the community team. I also will closely review posts and give you feedback, as well as do a final check of your post before publishing it on the YouMoz blog.
  • Erica McGillivray, Jen Lopez, Ashley Tate, and Trevor Klein also help with the review process as needed.

What is the Review Process?

  1. All posts are reviewed for obvious spam and if the post has already been published. In these cases, we decline the submission and leave a note for the author.
  2. Miriam makes an initial review of the post and leaves internal notes for the team. The post status changes from “Pending Review By Editor” to “Pending – Reviewed By Editor”. This doesn’t mean it’s going to get published, but please know that only about half of the submissions even make it this far. To check the post status, go to Manage Posts (visible when looking at the Moz Blog), click the Posts tab, and then look for the status and any notes from the editor.
  3. Melissa or I do an in-depth review of the post, with other people from Moz giving additional opinion or reviewing posts as needed. We’ll make a decision to decline the post, return the post to the author for edits, or to publish the post. We will either leave a note in the editor comments field of the post, or (usually) email the author at the email address on their profile with our decision.

    Don’t panic if your post was returned to you! Many of the posts on the YouMoz blog (and even those that have been promoted to the main blog) have gone through the revision process. This means we think your post has potential, and there are some things that could be improved to make it a great post for YouMoz.

  4. When a post is approved for publishing, I do one final check for spelling, grammar, valid links, image attribution, and several other details. We try to notify the author of publication at least several hours to a few days before we publish. It is beneficial for the author to be able to respond to any comments by our readers, and to promote their post (Roger will also share the post on Twitter).

What Content is a Good Fit for YouMoz?

Actionable, detailed content with references tends to do the best on YouMoz, and case studies or examples are particularly popular. Think about the readers of this post, and try to make it so this is something that the reader could take to their boss and say, “Let’s give this a try. Here’s a post where this person tried it, they got good results, and they explain how to implement it.” This post is from a security company, but a wide variety of people could follow their tutorial using Google Analytics to develop an FAQ strategy. This post used screenshots of GA to explain step-by-step what they did complete with an example to cut and paste, and provided information about how it impacted their company.

We want to publish original content that has not been published elsewhere. By original, we mean both “don’t submit an exact copy of a post that is already online” and “don’t take the outline of a post and change word order enough to pass Copyscape”. YouMoz readers are looking for new information that they haven’t already read on another site.

Include enough details so others can replicate your actions or your processes. Try to anticipate the questions someone might ask or alternative explanations and address that in your post. Here are two examples:

  • If you’re discussing a tactic that increased your traffic, include additional information that might be relevant. For example, if you’ve been revising content about pumpkin carving and state the increase in traffic is due to the authorship you implemented, yet the traffic comparison is the month of October (the end of October is Halloween in the US and when people carve pumpkins) to the month of September, readers are likely to comment that it was increased search queries that led to the traffic rise, not the inclusion of authorship. Instead, in this case you could compare October this year to the previous October, and compare pages with authorship implemented to pages without authorship implemented.
  • If you’re examining a search engine result page, include information about which search engine you were using (google.com? google.co.uk?), your location, if you were logged out (generally, it’s best to use an incognito window in a browser to help minimize personalization based on your search history and cookies), what query you ran, if you modified any parameters in the URL, if other people saw the same results, and any other relevant information.

Back up the “what to do” statements with information about “how to do”. References are often key to a good YouMoz post. You don’t need to explain how to do every single step, but give enough context and a brief explanation, then link to where there is authoritative information. A good example is this post about spring cleaning your website. If this same post with no links had been submitted, it would not have been approved. Instead, the post did well and was promoted to the main blog.

I want to write a case study, but am not able to share sales figures or visitor data. What can I do?

Find out what data you can share. Perhaps you can’t share the exact number of visits the site received or the raw dollar figure of the sales, but you can share that traffic increased by 10% compared to the previous year, or that the time on site increased. This post about opening up content on their website doesn’t have exact visitor information, but does include enough information to show that their experiment had a positive impact.

If you don’t have any data you can share as an example, consider sharing something that you’ve built to help you learn something or be more efficient. This post breaks down how the author reviewed job descriptions to build a list of topics to learn more about, and how he prioritized that list.

Google just announced that they are doing XYZ, and I’d like to write about it for YouMoz!

We usually don’t cover general industry news on YouMoz. There are a number of other blogs that are quite good at covering the latest announcements from the search engines, including Search Engine Land and Search Engine Roundtable. What works for YouMoz is a post talking about what Google is doing, and how it impacts the business, what you can do to take advantage of or mitigate the latest development, or other actionable information. An example is determining how the shutdown of Google Reader might impact your bottom line, example spreadsheets, and how to explain this to your C-level executives.

How many words should I write?

We don’t have a minimum or maximum word count. Generally posts run from 1000-3000 words, but we have published posts that were fewer than 500 words and posts that were over 10,000 words.

What about links?

Relevant links are encouraged in posts. The previously mentioned post about spring cleaning your website had a considerable number of links to resources. You can link to your own site or a client’s site in your post, if it is relevant and on-topic. In this post about lessons from a 100k pageview post, the author links to content from his company’s blog. The YouMoz is all about how that post got over 100,000 pageviews, and is a very appropriate example.

Unfortunately, we often see posts that start out “My coworkers at our Springfield SEO agency were having coffee the other day” with a link to the SEO services page of their agency and a post that has no inherit need for that link. If your post only links to your own properties, that’s going to be viewed by many users as a bit too promotional for your own site. There is a Blog Bio section of your profile where you can have a link back to your company in your bio that will show at the bottom of the post (it’s not displaying at the moment, but it will be fixed shortly).

Affiliate links are not allowed.

Do I need to have a degree in writing to write for YouMoz? What if English is not my first language?

You don’t need to have perfect spelling and grammar to have a post published on YouMoz, nor does English need to be your native language. However, we are not a college writing lab. We will give you feedback about what could make your post work better for our readers, and we will check for spelling and obvious grammar mistakes, but we are not able to go through a post line-by-line and help you rewrite it.

Give yourself plenty of time to research the post (including finding the examples, references, and images), write the post, have others review what you’ve written, then come back and look at your writing anew after you’ve had a break from it. Take in the feedback other people have given, and do one last review in a word processor for spelling and grammar mistakes. This post about Author Rank needed only two typos fixed out of 2600+ words, and needed very little work from the editors. The author later revealed that four coworkers had reviewed his post and given feedback. The post has 166 thumbs up, only one thumb down, and from the first comment had requests to promote it to the main blog.

Be aware that people from all over the world read YouMoz, and may not understand references that are regional in nature or specific figures of speech. It can be helpful to avoid some idioms, and add additional information for context.

Technical Details

Finding Images

Images are great to have in a post! If you’re not making screenshots of your own material (info on that below), please be sure that you have the right to use the images you are submitting. Here’s one post on finding photos for your blog post, including using stock photos, Creative Commons pictures, and commissioning your own photos. Including a note at the end of your post about your image sources would be really helpful! We will erase before publishing, but this saves us from having to email you asking about the image source.

Adding Images

Here are some tips that will help your image look good in the post, and minimize the amount of back-and-forth needed with the editorial staff.

Our biggest request is that you resize your browser or your spreadsheet before taking screenshots. Often a computer screen is set at 1200 pixels wide, and the site (or application) adjusts to fill that whole space. When you take a screenshot and that width and then need to reduce it to the 730 pixels wide for the blog, the image can be hard to read.

If you adjust column headings to remove extra horizontal space (wrapping the text can help), or adjust the width of your browser before taking a screenshot, it can make a big difference. The two images below are before and after examples of removing extra space in a spreadsheet. Both are the exact same width, but one is much more readable.

You don’t need Photoshop or fancy image editing tools. I’m on a PC, and use a combination of Paint and Irfanview (free) to resize images, automatically crop extra white space, and with the RIOT plugin you can “save for web” and have a reasonable file size for your image.

To insert an image in your post, you’ll first need it hosted somewhere (your own site, or a free hosting site like imgur.com (if your post is published, we’ll automatically copy your images to our CDN). In the post, click the Insert Image icon, then paste in your image URL. Your image will now appear in the post.

Formatting your post

Using headings is a great way to help organize your post! If you’re using our editor to compost your post, headings can be found when you click the paragraph icon. Text alignment is adjusted when you click the icon shown below.

If you’re accustomed to our old editor and resistant to change, you might give this editor a try. We have no relation to and do not support it, but it may be a more familiar interface for you. You can paste the source code from that editor into the source code view of our editor (click the </> button in the toolbar for that view).

Spelling and grammar checking

After you’ve finished your post and had it reviewed by some trusted people, do one last check for spelling and grammar. One method that works well to catch many mistakes is to paste your post as plain text into Word, then select the language as your local language, and make sure that “do not check spelling or grammar” is unchecked. I’ve often found that Word decides that part of the text is a different language, or that you somehow don’t want it to check all of your document. Here’s a handy page on setting your language in Word that will help you find this semi-hidden setting.

FAQs

How does a post get promoted to the main blog?

This is the most common question! There is no exact formula, but instead we look for how the community has felt about the post. Some indicators of this are the number of thumbs, the number and type of comments, reaction on social media, and post analytics. If you wrote an awesome post that got on Hacker News but didn’t get a ton of thumbs or comments on the post itself (because it was discussed on HN and those users didn’t sign up here just to thumb), we’re going to notice that and take it into consideration.

Did you know that we have post analytics that are available on every post? Take a look!

We generally promote posts within a week or two of them going up on YouMoz. We’re considering looking back a couple of months and evaluating posts that were slower to catch on with the audience but did well and were not time-sensitive. Please give us your feedback about this in the comments! 

Why do some posts go straight to the main blog?

The technical infrastructure we have is responsible for some “YouMoz” posts going straight to the main blog. For our regular main blog authors, we have special permissions for them to be able to post directly to the main blog. For authors doing just a single post on the main blog, having them submit to YouMoz and promote it right away is the easiest technical way to do things.

Why is the review period so long?

We strive to be TAGFEE in our reviews, and give quality feedback to all legitimate posts, even the ones we decline. Sometimes it takes a while to read through the post and get into the author’s head and understand where they are coming from, what they are trying to say, and compose an email back to the author explaining how their post could be improved.

The editing team has a wide variety of knowledge, but we sometimes need to send a technical post off to another Moz employee or associate for them to review. We don’t want to publish a post that has incorrect information that could do harm to a site, for example.

Various things can interfere with author communication. The email address in the profile might be sales@somecompany.com and the email doesn’t get passed along to the author, or the email goes into a spam bucket. Sometimes we have posts that are 90% there and just need a couple of small tweaks, and we never hear back from the author for whatever reason.

Sometimes we’ll be short an employee because of a vacation, we’ll launch a new product, migrate domains, or need to email every single Moz user and answer their questions. Sometimes, it all happens in the same week. The awesome thing about this team is that we’re cross-trained and can pitch in to help each other. At times, it means we’ll have a bunch of people tackle YouMoz and the review period is nice and short, and at other times it means that we need to devote our energies to other tasks and the YouMoz queue grows again.

We Want You to Write for YouMoz!

Are you ready to write a post? We hope you can take what you’ve learned here and decide to Submit a YouMoz Post!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

Inside the SES New York 2013 Expo Hall: Networking, Pinball & Swag

Several big name exhibitors once again flocked to SES New York. Companies like Bing, BrightEdge, Conductor, iCrossing, Internet Marketing Ninjas and many more showcased how their tool or services could help attendees be better at their jobs.
Search Engine Watch – Latest

Posted in IM NewsComments Off

The Boston Globe: An inside look at launching a paid content site

Get an inside look at how The Boston Globe is launching a new subscription-based website to complement its free site with the idea of getting a testing and optimization program in place from day one.
Marketingsherpa Blog

Posted in IM NewsComments Off


Advert