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6 Content Curation Tips for Delivering Maximum Value to Your Audience

Do you curate content from other sites on your own blog? If so, you're probably doing it one of two ways. Either you're just posting excerpts (not the whole thing!) of other people's articles and including a link back to the original source (this is actually called content aggregation). Or you're posting excerpts of other people's articles and adding your own commentary to provide additional insights and context to the article (true content curation). The first method offers some value to your audience in the sense that you're doing a lot of the heavy lifting on their behalf thus giving them a quick resource for keeping up to date with relevant content. In exchange they rely on you to point them in the right direction for content on a particular topic(s). See Alltop.com as an example. The second method offers even more … [Read more...]

SEO Basics for SEO-challenged health professionals – Part 1

I asked a doctor friend what she thought SEO meant. She quickly responded, “I’m a physician, not a financial advisor.”  (I think she got it confused with ROI!). If you're in the health profession and have recently started 'doing' content marketing, then SEO might be a new term that you've come across as well. SEO means search engine optimization and the idea is to make sure that when someone searches for “sore throat doctor” (or whatever key words that describe what you do) on Google or Bing, your website appears at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Image Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda SEO may seem too technical to health professionals and can easily get written off. But the important thing to remember is that search engines reward content that is clear and user-friendly and optimization is about making your … [Read more...]

How to Find the Best Keywords for Your Content Marketing Strategy

Do you find yourself struggling to figure out what keywords to use on your website content or blog? Identifying and using targeted key words helps to create synergy between all your content marketing efforts. It's a great SEO strategy that helps to strengthen your marketing around the keywords you want to rank highly for in search. It also helps to generate coveted back-links to your website or blog. Read full article here. **Article and image from Tech Nick Consulting … [Read more...]

Not Blogging? 5 Reasons Why You’re Missing Out

The numerous strategic benefits of business blogging are HUGE, and quite frankly I'd have a tough time trying to scratch that surface in this article. But supposing for one moment that you're one who knows the benefits of blogging, but hasn't got around to doing it. Let me tell you what you're missing. Content Marketing: Content marketing is the use of content to attract and retain customers. It's a trend that's hard to ignore these days, especially since it has relegated the  'hard sell' approaches of yester-year to a very tough and endangered marketing space. Brands that have something interesting to say - something that educates and brings value to the consumer - are saying it through dynamic and versatile content i.e. business blogs, video, slide-share and social-media. Not only do these platforms provide a subtle marketing … [Read more...]

Keeping Non-Profit Websites Beautiful: Updated Content Management Systems

Guest post by Thomas Swanson Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I’m not sure how to tweak this old saw to make it express the importance of replacing outmoded Content Management Systems for Non-Profits with Web 2.0 solutions…but the analogy is there. To use another slightly cheesy metaphor: if your non-profit is still fiddling around with graphics and updates on a static HTML or ‘brochure-style’ site, you may be polishing the brass on the Titanic. That ship has sailed. The economic downturn and the slow crawl to recovery has been a galvanizing and sometimes frightening time for most of the Non-Profits that I’ve talked to in the past few years. Private contributions tend to decrease as personal incomes take a hit, government funding gets cut, and endowments get soaked as the … [Read more...]

Social Media or SEO: Where’s The Biggest Bang for Your Buck?

It's an interesting conversation - one that's not about to go away anytime soon. For instance, I came across a great article on Problogger.net written by guest blogger Gary Arndt in which he argues that social media yields a better return on investment than SEO. No doubt a controversial allegation. The purpose of SEO is to drive traffic to your website, while the purpose of social media is to engage people and get them excited about your brand. Is it an "Either-Or" issue? I think the important question to ask yourself is, "What is the outcome that I am looking for?" In my opinion, traffic is only a means to an end. The end is to convert visitors into subscribers or paying clients. In other words, the end is the bottom line.  Having a million visitors whose conversion rate is zero is entirely a waste of time and effort. Also, consider … [Read more...]

5 New Rules For Sizing Up the Competition

Sometimes it's easy to identify your key competitors. You can Google them using relevant key words, find them on business directory listings or at your local Chamber of Commerce. But once you know who they are, you want to know what they're doing and whether it's working! Here are 5 new rules for sizing up your competition: Use Google Alerts: Google alerts are email updates of the latest, relevant, Google news based on your choice of key words. You may enter search terms that describe your industry or your competition. Then whenever there is new information, you will receive an email that helps you keep close tabs on your area of interest. Check out their social media presence: Are your competitors on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Are they using these networks to engage prospects, generate interest in their brand and even encourage … [Read more...]

Google’s Place Search Overhaul: Small Business Is the Big Winner

Guest post by Thomas Doane - Content Manager & SEO Consultant at SmallBox Web Design Last week, Google revamped the way that they "organize the world's information," giving 'place' a new centrality in how they rank websites.  What that means, in SEO speak, is that they've merged place results with organic search results. This has a number of important implications, but the long-story-short is that this is good news for small local businesses. Most searches used to look like this: At the top of the page, the website with the highest organic ranking would appear.  Then, further down the first page, 'Places' would appear. Appearing at the top of the place list could be important, but without a tagline describing your business in your place-listing, your business had no chance to win traffic by distinguishing itself. The website … [Read more...]

How A Home-based Business Turned Global

I interviewed Jay Suri co-founder of Creative Cranes, a successful Indian-based web development company located in the city of Chandigarh. The company was launched in 2007 and began with the same challenges that affect all small businesses around the world. But Creative Cranes illustrates an inspiring story of remarkable growth that transcended its original vision and geographical territory! Patricia: Jay, yours is such a compelling  story and truly every small business- owner's dream.  Tell us the story behind Creative Cranes. Jay: Creative Cranes started as a two-man show in 2007 –  'RD' and I had a simple passion to create beautiful things on the web. We wanted to focus on elegant websites for small to medium sized companies. But before that - even while we were in college – we kept noticing how all kinds of businesses could do so … [Read more...]