WriterAccess Webinar Archive

Secret New Tools

Monday, August 30, 2010 – 1:00 PM ET

To get ahead the competition these days in the content marketing world, you need to expand your resources, tools and methodology for the madness. Join host Byron White and SpyFu's President Mike Roberts for a presentation of new releases that might just change the content marketing world as you know it.

Imagine instant access to thousands of writers that are one click away from creating the content you need to win the war of words on the web. Imagine reports and methodology at your fingertips that tell you how much, how often and how frequently you need to publish content to capture market share and mind share. This is top secret stuff, for your eyes only. So let's hope your competition does not show up to his invitation only Webinar.

Slidedeck Download

The slidedeck from this webinar is available for download.

Video Transcription

Byron: Welcome everyone, Byron White here from ideaLaunch. I am happy to be joined today with Mike Roberts from SpyFu, that's who is going to be joining me today for a fantastic webinar, our annual. I think we are actually up to our 14th monthly contact marking webinar ideaLaunch.

I am really happy to showcase a few new secrets and innovations that we are advertising in the content marketing world and Mike is here with some super, super new secret releases and some other information about some up-coming stuff that is trending and will truly change the world regarding all kinds of stuff including SEO what SpyFu can do in terms of competitive intelligence to improve your business.

So, without further ado, I am going to chime right in. I am going to talk to you about a few general upgrades, the all important planning process. I am going to tell you a few secrets about writers and finding them and also a new release that we have at ideaLaunch on a product we are very excited about called Writer Access and how people are using it.

I am going to talk about our all important methodology for tracking online measurement and then everyone is going to get a link to my 101 Content Marketing Tip book that you can download for free saving you $9.99 that I charge on Amazon and other place online.

So without further ado, let's dive right in and I'm going to take about 15 minutes to plow through some slide to show you some innovations that we see with the initial planning process and how critical it is in the end for tracking ROI. Just literally in the last two or three months we have really changed allot about what we do and how we go about what we do in this stage. So, I am going to kind of put on some new developments.

The key for us is actually planning. We no longer sell content assets by themselves. They are really packaged now with content services and for a variety of reasons. We found that just selling content by itself in a vacuum -- even if we did a little bit of optimization and SEO for those individuals for their articles -- really wasn't delivering the ROI that our clients were demanding.

Instead, we really needed to research what was going on. Mike is going to talk about that a little bit today, in terms of content audits -- this phase is critical -- looking at content the competition has on their websites, documenting it all, putting together profiles and style guides and really doing a complete thorough analysis of what's happening in the marketplace.

I would contend that before you even write your first article, if you are launching a content marketing campaign, you've really got to figure out what's going on in the marketplace. You'll see in a second, you need to answer three big questions:

  1. How much content do I need?
  2. How good does it need to be?
  3. How frequently do I need to publish it?

in order for me to get the ROI that I demand?

Next, we have some tools that -- like those on SpyFu -- quickly evaluate the overall market share that you have, particularly in the search engines. This slide is of a screen grab. Green is good and blue is bad. It compares a clients ROI to that of three of his competitors. You will see that they have an uphill battle when they compare themselves with these three competitors. We already begin to see that very, very quickly -- if we compare how many top 100 listing we get for our client versus how many his competitors get -- that we know we have an uphill battle.

So, we know that we have allot of work to do and probably allot of content that needs to be created and SEO and allot of internal link building strategy that needs to be created if the goal is to top these competitors.

But I think you need to look beyond just organic and SEO when you evaluate your site against the competition. Remember, content marketing is a broad subject area that gets into -- certainly content creation and content optimization, -- but also content testing: AB testing, multi-variant testing and web testing. So, you need to be thinking outside the box here. You need to be thinking about your communication with your customers and your ability to listen to their wants and needs.

So, this is a nice check-list that you can use to do a quick and easy scoring of your site versus a competitor and this is really helpful for clients. I can bang something like this out using our tools and technologies in 15 or 20 minutes as we are evaluating a prospective customer. You need to be able to do the same thing yourself to see what you are up against.

Next we will be researching the keyword silos. It turns out that there is a distinction between keyword silos and the topics that you want to talk about. What we are trying to do is identify silos and groups of keywords within those silos to see how a client is currently performing. So, what we do is quickly develop by hand -- and Mike is going to show you some shorter, faster ways to do this, -- but we will go in and look at a silo that we will call, for example, accessories or planning, and we go grab 100 or 500 or however many keywords we decide are necessary for that silo.

Then, will look at things like the search volume, maximum search volume or the average search volume per keyword phrase that we have selected; we will look at the overall pay-per-click price -- again, that is the pay-per-click cost of the relative keywords, the maximum cost or the average cost. So, the idea is that we will look at some data to kind of get an idea of how much potential revenue there is.

Mike has some super great stuff that he is going to show you in determining that average cost value or opportunity cost per keyword, but we are also looking at the current market share for that particular keyword phrase. We are also looking the listing position of that keyword phrase. In accessories, for example, we love this distinction within a group of keywords: of 100 keywords in a silo, what percentage of keywords are in position 1-10; which keywords in are positions 11-50 what keywords are in positions 51-100 and what positions are greater than 100.

This position chart on the right really gives us a fast and clear indication for delivering ROI and results quickly. If we could grab those keywords that are in positions, say 11-50, and build allot of content using those keyword phrases, would could probably move those into the top ten and capture market share very quickly.

So anyway, research and keyword silo development becomes very critical.

Here is another blowout. I just wanted to show you how we do this. This is another keyword silo. What we are showing here -- again -- is the percentage of keywords within a silo that are in those variable positions. Golden keywords we assign to every keyword silo we create for clients (I know I am going really fast. You can hear a recording of this presentation later on), but what we try to do is to scatter those golden keywords -- the keywords that clients care about the most -- we try to scatter those in the client's different keyword silos.

That helps us with scoring: we can add weighted priorities. It also helps to identify how hard it is going to be to get success and how much content we are going to need to within a keyword silo to get those golden keywords.

This is really interesting chart. What we are trying to do here is make you understand that you need to come at silos from different vantage points. The first thing you need to understand is categories. Categories are typically driven by writers. We know that, for example, we need to write about wedding traditions on a wedding website, or wedding etiquette, and we know that there are going to be sub-categories that the writer really wants to write about.

But, what we are able to do is pepper in our keyword silos that will very often double up in different categories. So, we are going to be able to score SEO for different keyword silos in a number of different categories. We are kind of inter-mixing the keyword silos within different categories, but the categories are always remaining for the focal point for writers for what their roles and responsibilities are.

So, lets talk quickly about hints for creating great content. I think there are literally 5,000 or 6,000 writers that have come through our portfolio in the last 11 years. We look at them; we analyze them; grade them; we scale them we have data bases that keep track of who's hot and who's not; we divide them up into different niche industries that they are experts in; and we call on them as we need to for assignments.

So, what do you look for in a writer? So, you have all this data, you have all this socio, so what do you look for in a writer -- because at the end of the day, content is the key?

I think that from us, and from other people, some ways to do screening of writing proficiency, analysis of a writer's skills, strengths and weaknesses. These are some interesting ideas that you can think about in regard to the people that you interview and the people you hire to create content for you.

The question is, do they have any of these characteristics. If they don't, then I would run for the hills.

With writers, the big void in the industry right now -- in my opinion, -- is understanding how to listen to your customers wants and needs. We know we can go to your search box and look at the frequently searched upon terms which would give an indication perhaps of what people are searching for.

By the way, that's probably the best research tool you have right now on your website. When I see websites without search boxes, I think there is a golden missed opportunity to harvest information -- great information -- that can literally drive your SEO strategy, so take a look at that.

But certainly, listening in on the social media sphere, looking at analytics, looking at keyword popularity, there are allot of ways to research a website's needs, but that really the key: do great writers understand how to do that and are you giving them the information and facts.

I think that someday there will be a measurement for whether a story is passed around and how how it is passed around and how often that story is passed around. If you look at the history of the world, it is all about story telling and passing stories on. But, if you are cluttered with information that is designed to fill you up -- like SEO copy, -- clearly, those articles and that content is not going to get passed around.

But, if you find yourself excited about the content that you are reading, forwarding it to other people, telling people about something that you read, forwarding an email on or taking some action based upon the content you read, then you know that you have probably created something that is powerful. That is the secret -- I think -- to what will become super, high-end content, of marketing skill and of success.

It is creating great content that keeps readers coming back for more and I would argue that number five is that great writers are now available at your fingertips in a new marketplace we created called Writer Access.

So, we spent allot of time over the years -- and I'm only going to go over this for about 45 seconds, -- but we wanted to create a marketplace where anyone could go to make a small deposit of $50 -- that goes in an escrow account that is 100% refundable -- and to launch a project that would be easy for a writer to pick-up with the instructions and the information on that project that would allow them to execute it efficiently, effectively and timely.

You can determine the time in which you want the writer to write it. The net of it is, you push it out and writers pick it up magically in a matter of minutes or hours, they will pickup your assignment and run with it.

What you really want to do is use Writer Access as a filter to find what we call your ''Love List'' of writers that you really like their work. It is up to you to learn to enter projects properly. You can also enter project with keywords in them that our technology will score against Our technology also checks for copy-scape, which is really cool, so you won't have any duplicate content issues for any of the content you are creating.

So, we are preflighting the content that goes to you and if you are not happy with the content for any reason, you can reject it and not pay for it. Your dollars stay in the escrow and you can put the job out there again and when you find someone that you love, you can add them to your Love List and that becomes really important for you to build a portfolio.

We are very excited about writer access. We think that Writer Access can make the web and the world a better place with great content. It's a great marketplace. We actually publicly announcing what the rate split is. Writers are paid 70% of the amount that you pay for an article, but you can decide a bonus amount that you want the writer to get paid above that minimum and 100% of that bonus goes to the writer.

Writers can actually end up making 75%, 85% whatever the percentage is based upon your bonus value, so we are very excited about this model. We think it can scale big and really allow you to access great writers.

I want to talk real quickly -- and I know I am talking super fast here -- about tracking ROI. The first way we track ROI is by looking at monthly listing positions impacted by content. We can go in and ask, ''how much content did we publish and what was the overall improved listing position and the total listing positions gained for any of the keywords we were focusing on with any content we created, the keywords in that silo?''

Next can look at listing positions from a more granular point of view. We can look at keyword listing positions by keyword silo. So, maybe for our wedding client we have 28 different keyword silos. We can look at each of those silos, see how much content we created for that particular silo and the individual positions that were gained.

The next thing we can look at is improved traffic impacted by the content. Again, we are tracking the published content and the lift in traffic brought in to Word Vision through Google Analytics. We are actually bringing Google Analytics data into Word Vision so you can see it right in Word Vision.

We are also tracking increased traffic by keyword silos just like I showed you before. You are also able to track repeat visitation for any content that you publish by looking at return visitors for particular periods of time that you can correlate directly into the content assets you publish. You can also look at tracking increased time on site for any newly publish content on a per page basis. For example, when we build tip and advice centers, you can look at not only new visitors, but the time on site and any actions that they took from that content.

We can -- of course -- look at increased conversion rates using Google Optimizer. We are actually one of the few certified partners ( I am actually flying out to San Francisco to meet with Google about some new break-through stuff that they are developing for GWL).

You are also able to publish any leads that you developed from any content that you published that are downloads. So, you are building stuff much like we have on ideaLaunch were you can download a content asset. You can actually bring that data right into sales force and see exactly what they downloaded and then track their sales cycle by the interactivity of the content.

You can also track the sales from people that were interacting with your content and look at actual deals that are won or deals that are closed based upon people that have interacted with your content.

Number seven is just an overall SEO plan. When we are creating an SEO, an overall marketing plan for a client, there is an SEO plan that has allot of data behind it; there is also an editorial -- or ''contact plan,'' as we call it; -- there is an information architecture plan that is part of it; but for the purposes of our alignment measurement -- or performance measurement, -- (which I am going to talk about right now), you can see that you really need a concrete plan that contains the keyword silos and strategies for internal link building and things like pay-per-click and search performance.

This all needs to be rolled up somehow into an SEO plan that the clients can understand, that we can all understand, to drive strategy.

So, I'm going to have a great debate with Mike in the future -- on this webinar call -- as to whether keyword silos need to be hand crafted and hand sculpted or whether keyword silos can be automatically generated through algorithmic understanding. I would say there is a balance. I think there is an art an science to creating content in general, I would argue that. Mike is on the science side. Perhaps my background would be more on the artistic side of coming up with engaging and cool content that people care about, but you need both. No question about it.

I think the silo has become very interesting. With the silos, you kind of need to cheat a little bit to be honest. You have to cheat in a keyword silo and here is why: you need keywords in your silo that you know you can get some success with, that you know you can move and lift conversions with. We looked at a chart a few slides ago with keywords I would be very comfortable with creating content and offering all a lie.

If a keyword silo was developed with a balance of some of the keywords in these variable position ladders -- if you will -- in the search engine. If I have some hope, if I have some ability to lift and move conversion, it is going to A) make my performance look better and B) it is going to help find momentum that you can build on rather than trying to tackle a silo where you have absolutely no top 100 position listings.

So, you need to think about that as you are carving out your silo strategy.

The other super, key thing that we have thought really hard about here at Idea Lodge is -- probably because we deal with so many different writers and so many different clients and so many different needs and styles and proficiency levels of writers... it is a chopped-up mess, -- but what you need to do is to make is simple. When you come up with your category maps, you need to pull your keywords in, the primary and secondary keywords, in your silos, into those topics, to allow writers to score against those keywords.

Scoring is my number 10 on here. I have a couple of bonuses I threw in here as well, but number 10 is score content for SEO strength and make it easy. You can go to our pole in Word Vision that allows you to score this stuff very quickly and easily. It saves the scoring dates and it even uses copy-scape to go out and find out when the content was published on your website. You can also go to PageStrengthTool.com and quickly score a webpage for SEO strength and that's a free tool -- that we built at ideaLaunch.

Scoring the SEO strength by keyword silo is really the key thing you want to be doing.

Finally, number 11, you have to time-stamp the content that you publish. You have to know when you published it because only then can you show the ROI impact. And number 12, we will pause on this later because it is kind of heavy duty, but we feel like we are close here at ideaLaunch to figuring out how much and how good and how often content should be published.

These are some formulas that people can take a look at later that are just kind of sketches that we use to make these decisions and judgments. In our model, what we are faced with is, for example, clients that have 12,000 assets that we are deploying throughout the course of the year. So, we need to know how much content we are going to put in each silo to support the goals of improving listing positions and increase traffic.

These are some formulas that you can take a look at and think about. I'm not going to spend a great deal of time on it right now, but the net of it is, there is some good stuff to consider as you develop this out.