Strategy

1000 666 Rebecca Moss

How E-A-T impacts your link building efforts

For the past two years there has been an acronym that kept SEOs around the world on their toes; SEO and Digital PR agencies are no exception: E-A-T. It has been around since 2014 but it only was towards the end of 2018 that it became more obvious that those three aspects have a direct impact on a websites’ rankings in Google Search. It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. But what does that mean?

Book with words "From the real experts". Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

Expertise

If we take this whole discussion offline: Would you trust the medical advice your neighbour gives, or would you rather ask somebody with a medical degree? If you have a question on your tax return, would you ask your taxi driver for advice or rather see an accountant? Would you let your roommate take photos of your products or would you rather hire an experienced and skilled photographer? Well, the same applies online. If your business or your website is about a topic that can directly impact somebody’s life (e.g. financial trading, medical or legal advice), contribute to public opinion (journalism for example) or provide a service that requires knowledge, you should inform your readers and clients why you are qualified to do so. It builds trust and shows that you know what you are talking about.

How to show expertise on your website

A clear About Us page and author profiles are the first and foremost thing to do. Tell readers who you are, why you offer the service you offer and what qualifies you to write the things you write. If you have a legal website, tell them where you got your law degree. If you have a medical website, tell them where your authors got their knowledge from and what scientific evidence they can provide. If it is financial trading, list the experience your authors have in trading, financial markets and technical analysis.

Ideally, there is more than an author bio for each person publishing for your business. Social media profiles, activity in specialised forums, an own expert blog or publications (e.g. books, whitepapers), are just a few of those things that can increase credibility. It goes without saying that the information must be correct! If you are lying about education and experience, you will never be able to be trusted as an expert.

Equally beneficial are case studies of previous work where you state what you have done, why you have done it in that particular way and why it was successful.

Expertise in your link building campaigns

The same applies to link building campaigns. Add the information as to who created the content asset, where the information comes from and how you came to your conclusion/the statement you make. If your campaign contains quotes or information from an expert in the field, it can also increase your reach. A true expert usually has quite some following on social media or own platforms. Your campaign could reach that audience too.

Apart from that, it is much more likely to get a link if a respected expert stands behind a campaign.

"Product Review" in scrabble letters.Photo by Shotkit from Pexels.

Photo by Shotkit from Pexels

Authoritativeness

Authority refers directly to reputation and is built over time. If your website is the go-to resource for a certain topic, you are the authority in the field. It is almost impossible to measure authority. However, there are some clear indications. The most important one are links to your websites. All link metrics, DR in Moz, DA in Ahrefs or TF in Majestic refer directly to backlinks coming from authoritative websites.

If you want to get an understanding of your authority, mentions and branding are equally important. How do others talk about your brand? In which context are you mentioned? Who mentions you? Those references do not have to be from another authority in the field, but also your customers or business partners can contribute to your reputation. Positive customer reviews on external resources (e.g. Trustpilot) help building authority.

How to show authoritativeness on your website

Authority is mostly measured externally through links and mentions on third party sites. What you can do is replicate what is being said about your brand on your own website. The positive reviews you get on websites like Trustpilot or Google Reviews can be mentioned on your website with a link to the original source. If you have worked with other reputable companies or brands, you can mention them on a partners page.

Authoritativeness in your link building campaigns

Authority is directly related to link building. If your website has backlinks from other reputable sites in your niche and if your brand is mentioned in a positive way on external websites, it increases authoritativeness. Building authority, just as link building, takes time. It does not come overnight.

What you should not do is try to manipulate it by building PBNs or buying links. At JBH, we strongly advise against these tactics. It might seem as if they can speed up the process, but sooner or later you might lose all credibility. If you are being caught for paid links, also the organic links will lose their impact and you can never become an authority in the field. The same is true for selling links on your website. It might bring you some short-term cash but will hurt your reputation in the long-term.

Two pairs of hands holding each other. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Trustworthiness

Let us perform the same test as for expertise and take the question offline: Would you buy a property that you cannot find on a map because the address is incorrect? Do you buy from a shop on the high street that shows different prices in the shop window than the prices on the shelf? The same is true for your website. If visitors do not trust you, they are not going to buy from you either. If Google does not perceive your website as being trust-worthy, it will not rank your website in search.

Trustworthiness is a very subjective measure and if you are unsure about it, just ask yourself: would you trust your website if you looked at it for the first time?

How to show trustworthiness on your website

As with any human interaction, trust is built as the result of a multitude of things and is destroyed quickly. The most important aspect is truthfulness. Be transparent about who you are and what you do. All information provided on your website must be true. If they catch you with a lie, you will never be trusted.

This refers mostly to your About Us page and the contact information. Provide true information and as much about yourself and your business as you can. Any address or contact information should be correct and if a customer contacts you, make sure you reply. Nothing could hurt your trustworthiness more than a disconnected telephone line or bad customer service.

In the same way that customer reviews can help with authority, user-generated content can help building trust. Make sure you monitor any comments left on your website and respond in due time.

Other important aspects of trust building are brand consistency, professional layout/design and of course proper grammar and language use. Readers will not trust your website if your content is a bad machine translation with obvious spelling mistakes.

We spoke about case studies to show expertise. Part of transparency is to also mention the failures and the things that did not work. Nobody is getting things right all the time. If your success seems to be too perfect, you might also lose trust.

Not to forget are commercial links, pop ups and ads. Use them wisely and only where appropriate. Would you trust a website that is cluttered with ads that distract from the content?

Trustworthiness in your link building campaigns

This aspect can be summarized in a very simple way: If people don’t trust you, they won’t link to you. Simple as that!

It becomes especially important for data-led campaigns for link building. Place a methodology and sources below the content or the infographic where you state clearly where your data came from and how you came to the conclusion you made. If you ran a survey to collect the data, provide the details about where, when, who and how. List the steps you went through when you analysed the data. If you took statistics from third party websites, ensure that those are trustworthy and list every single source you used.

When you contact journalists and distribute your content, mention who you are and how you can be contacted.

E-A-T for link building

If we look at all those recommendations once again, it becomes obvious that those should be part of a good editorial standard. Unfortunately, bad practices on the internet have caused for those to be forgotten over time and many publishers need to be reminded again. If you get your E-A-T right and remember it in everything you do for your business online, it will not only improve your organic rankings. It will also facilitate any link building campaign. The moment you are a trusted expert that is perceived as an authority, others will happily refer to your website with a backlink.

increase click through rate on social media
904 667 Perri Robinson

10 Tips to Increase Link Click-Throughs on Social Media

Social media is the perfect vehicle to leverage and positively impact website traffic, that is, when social platforms are used correctly.

The golden rule in marketing is getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Although many of us comms pros usually live by this notion, we also sometimes forget that while the core message remains the same, how it’s communicated needs to be tweaked depending on the channel it’s distributed on. Sure a one size fits all approach makes our life easier when it comes to content creation, but the same can’t be said when it comes to improving results.

Radio content doesn’t work for TV. TV content doesn’t work for social media. Social content doesn’t work for print. You need to create content for social media in order to see ROI from social posts and stop trying to fit the content you already have on channels they’ve not been created for.

“At Meltwater, we’re seeing an increase in clients adopting social-first content strategies in order to drive website traffic. A social-first content strategy considers social media during the ideation and brainstorm phase of planning content, rather than as an afterthought to amplify content reach. This has proved to be a successful method for those wanting to increase link click-throughs on social media”

With this in mind, here are 10 tips to remember when sharing content on social media. Follow them and increase link click-throughs in no time!

 

1.Follow your audience

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to create and share web content across all social channels. You’re not going to increase link click-throughs via social media if you’re audience aren’t present on the channel. Use a social listening tool to understand where your audience hangs out as this will aid channel prioritisation and focus. You can do this by analysing social conversations about your brand per channel.

 

Follow your audience

 

Social listening insights will stop you from leaning towards a channel you want to be present on and more towards the channel you should be present on.

“Conduct social listening of conversations developing around your industry/ competitors too. You may find a difference in social network usage, suggesting where your brand’s audience may be to heading to next! Untapped social media channels offer a chance to reach new audiences and increase click-throughs from unique website visitors.”

 

2. Create platform specific web content

Although we’re seeing social networks mimic their rival’s technologies (like Instagram rolling out Snap’s Stories), each social network is still fundamentally different from one another. The unique characteristics must be respected when sharing web content on social media if you have any chance of driving web traffic.

The image below from AddThis offers a high-level overview of the differences between social network content and tone of voice.

 

Social sites explained donut infographic

 

Let’s take Twitter vs Instagram as an example.

Twitter defines itself as “what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.” It’s a platform for real-time commentary, sparking global conversations. Instagram, on the other hand, defines itself as “a simple, fun & creative way to capture, edit & share photos, videos & messages with friends & family”.

One channel relies on imagery and the other relies on text.

If you’re aiming to increase click-throughs on Twitter, consider the ‘chatter factor’. Will your content spark debate? How can you take the conversation from Twitter onto your web page? For example, prompting people to continue the conversation in the comment section of your webpage works nicely.

When creating content for Insta, consider the ‘shopability factor’. Is the photo attractive enough to not just generate likes, but get people to click on your microsite and explore?

Due to the real-time nature of Twitter, it’s best to post timely content. Newsjacking, moment marketing, company announcements, customer service campaigns and crisis control responses are forms of content that work well for Twitter and will most likely increase link click-throughs compared to other forms of content. On the contrary, evergreen content, that always remains relevant, works better on Facebook.

 

3. Play on emotions

If you want somebody to explore your post beyond the caption your need to spark audience emotion. The best way to do this is through storytelling. This can be tricky with limited characters, so get creative and look at what others are doing in your industry. Most companies find evoking the below emotions significantly impact engagement and increase link click-through.

  • Humour
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Surprised
  • Angry

 

4. Use subtitles for video

85 % of Facebook video is watched without sound, yet in a recent Facebook study, 76% of rated video adverts required sound to be understood. When creating video content to be distributed on social media, ensure the narrative can be followed through imagery, without sound. Add subtitles to increase link click-throughs and post engagement. Check out Facebook’s handy closed-captioning tool which allows you to upload your own captions or generate captions automatically.


5. A/B test

When creating content for social media, professionals are in a unique position to arm themselves with more informed engagement insights. For example, they’re able to understand when people click a link, the pages they explore next or when they drop off their site. Social listening to conversations developing around competitors can also give you an insight scoop into the strengths and weaknesses of their strategies. Such insights should be used to A/B test content with optimisation in mind.

The majority of social networks offer native analytics for business accounts within the app, but if you’re interested in more advanced insights, such as trending themes, consider investing in a third party social media analytics tool to help increase link click-throughs.

 

6. Size matters

Don’t forget that image sizing differs by channel. Nothing will detract your audience from clicking a link to your site than an accompanying image that has been cut off as this signifies content that has been poorly put together. You can find the 2018 guide to social media image dimensions here. If you think the content will resonate on other social networks (keeping in mind their unique characteristics) you can easily adjust content sizing using free tools like Canva.

 

Keep mobile in mind

7. Keep mobile in mind

It’s also important to optimise content for mobile users, especially since 80% of social media usage is consumed via mobile. Increase link click-throughs by considering the user experience of engaging with content via a smaller screen vertically, but also the behavioural differences of mobile vs desktop users.

 

8. Rethink the call to action

No comms message is complete without a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are crucial when trying to increase link click-throughs.

“Every piece of content, regardless of what channel it’s distributed on, should have a goal it wants the audience to complete. However, CTAs should be adapted depending on the channel and its characteristics.”

If the aim of the campaign is to double marketing database subscribers, you may want to push this through a timely competition for Twitter. On the contrary, since Facebook supports evergreen content quite nicely, its better database sign-ups through whitepaper downloads for this particular channel.

 

9. Watch your timings

We often have clients ask “When is the best time to post on social media?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as Sunday at 6 pm (despite what people may think).

 

“The best time to post on social media and increase link click-throughs depends on the time your audience is online on a given social network. This means the best time to post on differs by channel and communities.”

 

Work out when the best time to post on social media is by looking at what times and days you get the most engagement on social media currently.

For Twitter, go into ‘Twitter Analytics’ and sort by ‘Top Tweets’, you can then look at your top tweets. Analyse which time and day get the most engagement.

For Facebook, go into ‘Insights’ of your page, to look at what days you get the most reach and likes.

On Instagram, if you have a business profile, you can look at Instagram’s analytics feature.

You can also choose the best time to post on social media through Meltwater’s social engagement tool.  ViralPost is a feature within Meltwater Engage that looks at your most active & influential followers on social media, and when they are engaging the most. It then recommends the best time to post based on this.

 

10. Follow an integrated approach

Rolling out a social-first content strategy doesn’t mean creating content for social media only. Marketing campaigns that produce high website traffic tend to be created with integration across all marcomm channels in mind. Customer experiences should be seamless, no matter where the message is viewed. With so many people multi-screening, the chances of your audience coming across the message on different channels (not just social media) is high. An integrated approach ensures consistency and maximum message impact.

 

Should your content marketing strategy include blogging every day?
1024 682 Jane Hunt

Why we don’t blog every day [and you don’t need to either]

It’s a common misconception that if you have a blog, you should post every day. While regular blogs posts should be part of your content marketing strategy, daily blogs could do more harm than good.

 

You will destroy your social proof

Social proof is borrowing a third parties influence to build your own brand awareness and create trust with new and existing customers.

On your blog, this is the evidence left by previous readers (such as comments and shares) that sway your new visitor into reading your posts. They convince your readers that your post is interesting, worth the time it takes to read, and popular.

Without social proof, getting people to consume your content can be difficult.

If you post every day, that post is only at the top of your blog for one day. This means you will get less exposure versus posting once or twice a week. People are more likely to interact with the latest post on your blog, if you give a post longer at the top, you give it a chance to build engagement and social proof.

Readers also don’t have time to check your content every day as well as comment on and share it. If your posting every day they are probably skipping some of your content and only commenting on a few pieces.

 

You will lose subscribers

I’m pressed for time, you’re pressed for time and so are your readers. No one has time to read daily content from the multiple subscription emails they get.

You may have 3 or 4 unopened emails from one subscription in your inbox. Chances are when you do get the time to catch up and read them, you are only going to read the most recent one, and the rest will go straight in your trash.

If you bombard your subscribers with content, you will irritate them. As a result, they will either unsubscribe or just delete your emails without opening them.

 

You will be creating weak content

Good content takes time to create. If you’re focusing on churning out daily content rather than focusing on creating content that your audience wants to see, your blog is going to fail.

Weak or thin content that is not well researched or providing value to readers even gets penalised by Google. Google wants to give the best answers possible for its search queries so if you’re not offering a solution that can’t be found anywhere else thank your content will rank poorly.

 

 

What you should do instead…..

Now you know why daily posting should not be part of your content marketing strategy but what should you do instead?

 

Blogger conducting audience research for their blog

 

Create a content schedule

Plan your posts wisely. Excellent content starts before you sit down and write it.

Take a look at the upcoming month and plan content that is relevant to your industry events, any new data that is being released or important national holidays. This is more likely to grab your readers attention as it will be relevant to them at that moment in time.

If you are only creating 1/2/3 blog posts a week, you can spend more time on ideation and research. By developing your ideas more thoroughly, you can create in-depth content that is of more value to your readers.

It is much better to become known for your great insights (even if they aren’t posted frequently) than to be recognised for posting loads of boring, generic content.

 

Quality over quantity

Your blog is all about serving your customers needs. Think about the types of people you are trying to talk to through your blog; conduct research into the type of questions they might want answering and what information they will find interesting.

Don’t just create posts for the sake of it – think through your ideas and asses whether they are really something your audience would want to read. You will probably have to sift through a lot of garbage ideas to find some gold ones.

High-quality content will keep your audience engaged. They will begin checking back to your blog for answers when they have a question because they know that you have a lot of knowledge of your industry.

If you post content every day, it will become dull, and your audience will be able to tell that you are just adding filler posts. Chances are even if you reduce the number of posts you’re creating you will still spend the same time on blog content, but without the pressure to continually develop ideas and post content every day, you will be creating stronger more pleasing content that your audience will want to interact with.

 

Promote your content

Once you’ve written your post and you’re happy with it – proofread it, checked all the images and links and published it on your site- now is the time to promote, promote, promote!

This can take from days to weeks to do depending on your Digital PR and outreach skills. From using your social media base to contacting media publications, there are so many ways you can promote your content.

If you were creating content every day this would be impossible to do – there just wouldn’t be enough time. Not to mention the content would likely be too weak for any significant publications or influencers to want to share it.

Its a lot of hard work to promote content but the endgame makes it worth it. It should be one of the main focuses of your content marketing strategy; it allows you to reach new audiences and build your influence in your industry while at the same time build backlinks to boost your SEO.

 

Coming up with ideas for your content marketing strategy is not easy, check out these five helpful tools that can help you stay at the top of your game.

Using AI platforms to improve your content marketing strategy
1000 714 Jane Hunt

How AI platforms are improving content marketing strategies

In a world where almost every business is investing in content marketing, the internet has become flooded with content (and most of it, not very good).

To be able to keep your audience’s attention you must be creating high-quality content – and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help you do just that.

AI has come a long way since the question of intelligent machines was first asked back in the 1950’s. It’s all around us now; Amazon uses it to recommend us products, Apple uses it to listen to and answer questions with Siri, even delivery services use it to work out the best routes for their drivers.

2 people using AI voice recognition with a virtual assistant.

Some marketers are worried AI may eventually take their jobs, but content and artificial intelligence are a match made in marketing heaven. AI can be used by marketers to automate any manual and repetitive task, saving your time so you can think up some great ideas for more creative content.

 

Auditing content

If there is one thing AI is undoubtedly better at than people, it is analysing data. Using AI to examine your old content, you can create a strategy for future content that will resonate with your audience and improve your SEO.

Content inventories and audits are an essential part of your content marketing strategy as they can have a substantial effect on SEO. It’s likely when you started your content marketing you were not entirely sure of what you were doing. You may have just put out large quantities of content with little detail and few insights in the hopes that the sheer amount would bring traffic to your site. Content like this can have a negative impact on your SEO as Google’s Panda algorithm penalises sites that have weak and thin content.

Even if all of your content is broad with in-depth insights, the older content on your site is probably out of date, with information that is no longer relevant and has an old date stamp. These things are probably causing high bounce rates on these pieces of content which, again, affects SEO.

You can use AI platforms to quickly audit your content, see what performs well, as well as what is outdated and needs a refresh. You can then use these insights for creating future content and removing old content from your site.

 

Spying on competitors

There are many tools out there that let you monitor your competitor’s digital footprint. Rather than spending hours manually scrolling through your competitor’s social media and website, a machine can do this for you in minutes.

Content marketer using AI to conduct competitor analysis

You can use insights gained from these tools to create a more effective marketing strategy – Analyse what is working well for your competitors and why. Then use these insights to develop content that will perform well for the same reasons.

You can also use these insights to see gaps in your competitors content marketing and fill these gaps in your own strategy. This gives you the opportunity to capture their audience by providing them with the information they can’t get from your competitor.

 

Personalising content

AI tools are now examining trends to tell you what type of content your audience wants to see. They can do this, not just in a broad way but recommend personalised content for each member of your audience.

Once your audience has consumed that content, AI can then recommend the next piece of content to them. These recommendations are based on their behaviour, demographics, interactions with your website and other detailed data it has accumulated about them.

Customers are increasingly demanding personalised engagement – 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized. The personalisation makes them feel special and also provides them with better content and recommendations. Marketing can often feel disconnected with so many different channels, but AI helps you integrate these channels together and create more customer-focused content.

 

Measuring the results

Even if you are exceptionally good at analysing your marketing metrics, manual analysis is not scalable. AI can simplify analytics of your content and merge data from multiple sources saving you vast amounts of time you would otherwise spend accumulating and analysing data.

The primary purpose of content marketing analytics is to understand your audience, how they behave, what they like, and what they think of your products. AI allows you access to these insights without you manually having to take the time to find them yourselves. AI can then also make recommendations about what content you should post in future from analysis of the data and these recommendations come without any bias from a human, meaning you should see better results.

 

Even the best AI in the won’t help you much if you don’t have a strategy in place for how to use it. To find out everything you need to know about content marketing read our definitive guide.