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B2B Social Media Shakeup: 4 Developments That Have Caught Our Eye

B2B Social Media Shakeup

B2B Social Media Shakeup Following scandal, criticism, and calls for more privacy and relevancy, social media giants are working hard to recapture their original allure as safe communities and conversation destinations. And while platforms are ardently focused on heightening the everyday user’s experience, the movements we’ve seen so far in 2019 signals that B2B brands will still have some things to look forward to. This is a teeny sampling of the social media headlines we saw in the first quarter of 2019 alone:

Now just 6 weeks into Q2, important announcements and shifts abound—which of course present opportunities and challenges for B2B marketers. Below we dive into a handful of the latest and greatest changes that have caught our attention.

#1 – Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Alludes to a Potential Platform Overhaul

In April, Twitter Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey sat down with Chris Anderson and Whitney Pennington Rodgers of TED for a roundtable discussion on the state of his company, with much of the discussion centering on Twitter’s conversation health and how to improve it.

As TopRank Marketing’s Senior Content Strategist Nick Nelson reported: “Some of the possible changes hinted by Dorsey are relatively minor and uncontroversial … But the bombshell of the interview came with Dorsey’s allusion to an entirely new structural underpinning for Twitter.” Dorsey said that he believed Twitter is “best as an interest-based network,” suggesting that a shift from following accounts to following topics could be part of Twitter’s future. While only time will tell whether Twitter actually follows through on any of its hopes and dreams for improving conversation health, even a small shift in making it easier for users to find and engage with topics they care about is good news for B2B brands and marketers. “Brands need to be speaking the language of their customers and reaching them in the right context,” Nick wrote. “Fewer trolls and more substantive, expert content organized around topics would make the platform a stronger piece in any B2B digital marketing strategy.” Read: The Impact of Twitter’s Proposed Shakeup on Marketers and Influencers

#2 – LinkedIn Releases New Post Reactions

In mid-April, LinkedIn announced new post reactions were starting to roll out, which would allow users to express themselves beyond the “like.” Within the last week, reactions have gone mainstream. As LinkedIn’s Cissy Chen wrote: “You can use Celebrate to praise an accomplishment or milestone like landing a new job or speaking at an event, or Love to express deep resonance and support, like a conversation about work life balance or the impact of mentorship. Insightful can help you recognize a great point or interesting idea, while Curious lets you show your desire to learn more or react to a thought-provoking topic.” LinkedIn Post Reactions Image Credit: LinkedIn This isn’t an earth shattering development by any means. I’d say it’s a natural evolution of the platform. However, it’s still great news for B2B marketers: An array of reaction options will help you better understand the impact of your posts. Naturally, this kind of qualitative data can guide your messaging strategy on the platform, helping you share content to pique interest and engagement. The interesting thing moving forward will be whether LinkedIn refines the emotional mix. Currently, reaction options don’t allow for expressing anger, disappointment, or sadness. And as all social networks strive to bolster safe, positive spaces for communication and interaction, this could be a slippery slope.

#3 – Facebook Reveals Redesign with Privacy in Mind

Thousands of developers, creators, and entrepreneurs descended on San Jose, CA for Facebook’s 2019 F8 conference, an event dedicated to discussing the future of technology. During his opening keynote, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed a long list of coming changes—including a redesign. But this is no run-of-the-mill refresh, rather one that “puts your communities” at the center. Facebook Stories still appears to have a prominent top spot, but the News Feed—the product of a historic past redesign itself—will be taking a backseat to Facebook Groups and event listings. “There are tens of millions of active groups on Facebook,” Facebook said following the first day of F8. “When people find the right one, it often becomes the most meaningful part of how they use Facebook.” New Facebook Design Image Credit: Facebook Last year, we explored the growing interest in and adoption of Facebook Groups among brands. With increasing engagement as a top priority, Groups are mini-communities that can foster direct communications with prospects and customers, and build brand affinity without hard-sell marketing messages. Today, it appears that is the future of “organic” marketing on Facebook. As our Nick Nelson so eloquently said months ago:

“Some marketers have understandably been reluctant to dive into this functionality over concerns that Facebook will change gears and renew its focus six months from now, but I believe it’s safe to say — based on the social network’s clear commitment to elevating active participation and ‘meaningful communities’ — that groups are going to be a mainstay feature going forward.”

For many B2B brands, Facebook marketing has traditionally focused more on highlighting company culture, news, and events rather than straight content promotion. But with what’s to come, it’s worth exploring whether Facebook should be more (or less) of a focus moving forward. Read: The Question on Many Marketers’ Minds: Should My Brand Start a Facebook Group?

#4 – Instagram Announces That Anyone Will Be Able to Create Stories Filters

Instagram has been gaining prominence within B2B marketing strategies, representing an opportunity to establish a brand’s visual identity—something that can be hard to capture when physical products don’t exist. With the launch of Instagram Stories, B2B interest in the platform reached a new level, allowing for serialized storytelling as well as the implementation of links and calls to action. Of course, augmented reality (AR) filters are a signature feature within the Stories platform—and now any developer or brand can create them through the Spark AR Studio. Facebook's Spark VR “Over the past year, more than 1 billion people have used AR experiences powered by Facebook’s Spark AR platform, with hundreds of millions using AR each month across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram,” Facebook reported. “They’re expanding the language of expression, transforming the way we shop, and adding meaning to real-world objects in fun and interesting ways.” Under the right circumstances, creating a custom filter could be an opportunity to foster awareness or engagement at a major B2B industry event, encourage advocacy among employees or help with recruiting efforts, or promote the release of a new asset or product. In addition, this could be a great influencer activation tool. If Instagram is going to be a core focus of your B2B marketing efforts going forward, this new development for Stories is at least worth reading up on. Read: What You Need to Know About Instagram Stories for B2B Marketing

Keeping Up with the Changing Social Media Landscape

For a steady stream of social media and digital marketing news, tune into the TopRank Marketing Blog every Friday for our weekly news roundup, featuring video commentary from Senior Content Marketing Manager Joshua Nite and Associate Director of Search & Analytics Tiffani Allen. What social media news item has got your attention? Tell us in the comments section below. *Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post B2B Social Media Shakeup: 4 Developments That Have Caught Our Eye appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

SEO Mistake #1 - Choosing Target Keywords Based on Volume vs. Relevance

How Keywords Affect Content Marketers: Great content isn't great unless people see it. But when content marketers overemphasize high-volume keywords, they miss out on meaningful engagement.

It’s tempting to plug into your keyword research tool of choice and select keywords with the highest search volume as your focuses for new content. But if the content you’re creating doesn’t match the search intent for that high-volume keyword, it’s unlikely to perform to your expectations.

The Fix: Google it! All jokes aside, evaluating the first ten search results for your target keywords can help you understand what searchers are trying to find, and what supporting content you should provide to truly be the best answer for that query.

While you’re analyzing those top results, pay attention to key factors that will shape your content creation and promotion strategy:

  1. What type of information is NOT included in top content, but is topically related? This can help you inform how you differentiate your content.
  2. What’s the content demand for that keyword? For example, are mostly top of funnel blog posts ranking, or are you seeing mostly product or service pages?
  3. How many backlinks and referring domains are pointing to the top search results? This can help you understand how competitive the first page of results is, and whether or not ongoing link building should be part of your content promotion strategy.
  4. How long is the top-ranking content for that keyword? This will help you determine ideal content length for your own post.

SEO Mistake #2 - Targeting the Same Keyword with Multiple Pages or Posts

How Same-Topic Targeting Affects Content Marketers: Pressure to create comprehensive content on a topic can actually result in dilution within search.

The conventional wisdom that more is better doesn’t apply universally — especially when it comes to SEO-driven content. Creating multiple pieces of content that target the exact same keyword is a surefire way to stand in your own way of success. There’s enough competition out there for B2B marketers without having to compete with your own content.

For example, a B2B technology company that wants to rank for B2B software consulting should optimize their service page for that term based on what is currently being served in search results. But, if they also create a series of blogs or resources that are targeting that specific term, search engine bots will be confused about which page is the best answer for that query. This could result in none of the content appearing in the top 10 results, in favor of competing sites with a more clear ‘answer’ to that query.

The Fix: Determine which of your pages or posts is the best answer for that particular query by analyzing ranking and analytics data. Which post or page sees the greatest amount of engaged organic traffic for your target keyword, and most closely matches the associated search intent?

Once you’ve determined your target page, it’s time to evaluate the remaining content targeting that keyword. Look for opportunities to:

  1. Remove or prune low-value or outdated content. Is there a blog post full of stats from 2009 that’s hindering your priority page’s chances of ranking? It might be time to consider removing that post and implementing the proper redirects.
  2. Optimize existing content for related, but different, keyword targets. For example, if you have a priority post for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and another post that more closely relates to ‘Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, consider optimizing that post for the latter and implementing internal links back to your priority cookies post.
  3. Combine closely related content. For example, if you have several blog posts around your targeted keyword(s), consider combining those posts into a longer, more robust piece of content.

SEO Mistake #3 - Ignoring Internal Link Structure

How Internal Linking Affects Content Marketers: Links are like electricity on the web, lighting up content for people and search engines alike.

Content is discovered by links. Your site’s internal linking structure tells bots (and users) which pages are most important, and which pages are most relevant to specific keywords. If you link to several pages from the same anchor text, for example, there will be some confusion about which page is truly ‘about’ that topic. Other times, you could have pages or posts on your site that are orphaned, with no internal links directing users or bots their way. This can confuse your site users, search engine bots, and even your own team. Confusion is not a ranking factor!

The Fix: Make sure you develop and continue to update your site’s keyword map. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists your page’s URL and associated target keyword(s). This keyword map will help you determine what anchor text should be used to link to your target pages.

Next, conduct a site audit to determine:

  1. If there are orphaned pages that need internal links
  2. If you are linking to multiple pages with the same keyword-rich anchor text
  3. Where there are opportunities to create additional supporting content
  4. Where you might have opportunities to reduce and prune existing supporting content

Next, you’re going to want to crawl your site to find any orphaned pages. Then, map those into your overall keyword strategy and implement internal links.

SEO Mistake #4 - Ignoring Data from Other Digital Tactics

How Marketing Data Affects Content Marketers: Inspiration often drives ideation for many content marketers, but data drives optimization for ideal content performance. Marketing performance data can provide both.

Any data you can collect about how your audience engages with your content has the potential to be an SEO gold mine. For example, analyzing the keywords from your paid search campaigns can give you insight into which keywords are your best converters, and what content best suits searchers for those terms. Social posts that get the greatest amount of engagement can tell you which topics your audience is most interested in. Ignoring data from your other marketing and sales channels means missing out on an opportunity to better engage your prospects.

The Fix: Meet with different teams or departments to find out what kind of content performs best on their channels. Look at the data each platform or channel provides and compare that with your site analytics data for a full picture. And, be sure to share your channel performance data with the rest of your marketing team. The more information available related to content and marketing performance, the better equipped you are to optimize.

SEO Mistake #5 - Giving Up

How Persistence Affects Content Marketers: Content performance in search is a long game and persistence is essential for success.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes a lack of results can feel demoralizing, but giving up is simply not an option. You wouldn’t stop building your house just because the nearest lumber yard ran out of wood, right? You’d find another lumber yard and keep plugging along.

The Fix: Take a step back. Re-evaluate the search landscape, your competitor’s organic presence, and your site’s overall health. Being able to remove yourself from the frustration can help you find opportunities you may have missed and additional whitespace to tackle.

Next, seek out advice from other SEOs. Ask questions on social media, in specific groups or forums, or send a question to your favorite SEO blog. If budget permits, enlist the help of a consultant or SEO agency that can help you break through your roadblocks.

Finally, we have two big SEO bummers that are tougher to fix, but absolutely necessary to address.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Migrating Your Site with No SEO Plan

How Migrating Without a Plan Affects Content Marketers: A bad migration can effectively undo your hard work, reducing content visibility and creating more user friction.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of SEOs cringing around the globe. A botched site migration can wreak havoc on your organic positioning and torpedo your results. It can take months, even years to recuperate organic visibility to pre-migration levels.

The Fix: Always, always consult your in-house SEO team or SEO agency when you’re considering a website migration. Before you move forward, it’s imperative you have a plan for technical, on-page, and off-page factors.

If you’ve already migrated your site and have experienced a loss of organic traffic and rankings, start with a site audit. Check for the basics, like whether or not your site is being indexed, first. Then start to evaluate technical factors like broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Recovering from a site migration is a challenge for even the best of SEOs, and sometimes those big challenges call for a little teamwork.

Bonus SEO Mistake: Not Optimizing for Mobile

How Not Optimizing for Mobile Affects Content Marketers: Even the greatest content can’t stand up to a bad mobile experience. Users will bounce, reducing engagement and sending negative signals to search engines.

Mobile accounts for about half of web traffic worldwide. Knowing this, in March 2018 Google started migrating sites to mobile-first indexing. Providing a seamless mobile experience is no longer optional, especially when you’re living in the wild world of search.

Sites that didn’t properly prepare for this can and will likely see some declines in organic search traffic and rankings as a result. And, as more sites follow mobile best practices, more users will notice and become frustrated by poor mobile experiences. This leads to declines in other pivotal ranking factors like on-page engagement. In short, if not properly addressed, a poor mobile experience can wreak havoc on your search visibility.

The Fix: The first thing to do is to conduct a mobile audit on your site. Understanding your site’s mobile performance is step one toward making improvements. Look for things like:

  1. Mobile site speed. A couple great tools for this are Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom. These tools can tell you where to look for issues like slow-loading code, images that aren’t optimized, and other technical issues.
  2. Mobile experience. Visit your site on your phone. Ask someone who doesn’t use your site regularly to do the same. Record your experience, take notes on where you get stuck and why. Click on everything. Turn your phone into horizontal mode. Try to think of every single way a user could browse your site. And, don’t forget to try a site search on mobile.
  3. Look at mobile analytics. This will tell you key metrics like mobile bounce rate, mobile time on page and pages per session.

These steps will help you build a hypothesis to test against. Is your mobile bounce rate crazy high? Does your site take a long time to load? Is your time on page way out of line with desktop traffic? Then, use A/B testing to root out the discrepancy. Use these same metrics to test if the fix is working. Then, repeat with another element.

So, What Does This All Mean for You?

Ultimately, following SEO best practices as a content marketer can reduce performance-related headaches and set you up for long-term success.

For example, when Innovatech Labs decided it was time to make major changes to their website, they worked with our team at TopRank Marketing to implement a safe website transition strategy, minimizing their risk of reduced content visibility on Google. This assessment involved avoiding many of the big risks mentioned above, including linking, use of data and keyword research which allowed us to act quickly post-migration to combat organic traffic declines. The result? Double- and triple-digit increases in organic traffic (and increased conversions, too!).

A best-answer content strategy focused on creating content with the most relevance to their audience was the ticket to better marketing performance for a martech SaaS company. Working with the team at TopRank Marketing, long-tail and hyper-relevant keywords were researched for a comprehensive content strategy to help the brand content become the best answer for those queries. The “best answer” approach and topics were applied across organic and paid efforts. As a result, the volume of both paid and organic MQLs increased, leading to better content performance and spontaneous proclamations of love from the client’s sales team.

Fixing these big SEO mistakes aren’t only for short-term wins. Our longtime partner Antea Group USA has achieved amazing triple-digit growth over three years by avoiding these big mistakes and implementing an ongoing commitment to SEO-driven, best answer content.

As I mentioned earlier, even the most experienced content marketers can make these common SEO mistakes. But, with the right SEO strategy driven by diligent execution and monitoring of results, you can get back on track. The key is to be intentional about your site’s architecture, as well as the content you create, and to never, ever give up.

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe your team doesn’t have the resources to take on this battle alone? Check out our SEO services, tweet us your thoughts @toprank, or drop me a line in the comments. We are here to help!

The post 5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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