There’s a common misconception that SEO is a “one and done” task — that you clean up and optimize a site, and once that’s done, you can focus your efforts elsewhere. There’s so much more to the day-to-day work of an SEO, though, and in today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand walks us through those ongoing parts of the job.
Google Authorship is not working. Yesterday, Google confirmed it would no longer index authorship data. For those of you who were unaware of Google Authorship, you saved yourself a lot of time and energy but may have missed out on search engine optimization benefits while it was active. Those of you who tried to follow Google’s cues are probably experiencing a serious case of WTF?! In either case, you have to ask yourself what’s next? Here’s a short synopsis of the Google Authorship ‘phenomenon’.
So, if Google Authorship is not working, it appears that the ‘next big thing’ in search engine optimization is to understand schema and deploy it on your sites and use it with every post. I’ll continue to share what I learn here. If you’d like to chat about it, please comment below or connect with me in social media. I am the only Todd Lohenry in the world so I am easy to find!
As the 3rd most popular social network site in the United States, having an active Pinterest strategy should be a priority for your small business. If you aren’t quite sure how exactly Pinterest can work for you, here are 10 great ways to use Pinterest for your small business, courtesy of Karen Leeland.
The primary way I use Pinterest is to find and share great visual content. I can use it to find the right image or infographic for my post but having created a post that has rich visual content, I also want to use Pinterest to share that content from my blog so that it drives people to my website. Make sense? Questions? Feedback?
Looking ahead to 2014!? Is it too early to think about that already? Not if you’re a content marketer! I mean think about it — most of your competition will spend the month of December partying like the Grasshopper in the classic fable. It’s time to think now about being more intentional with your search engine marketing and social media and decide if you’ll be an Ant or a Grasshopper…
Looking ahead to 2014 I think the content marketing world will fall into two categories; those who are dominating search through effective use of Google Plus and those who are scratching their heads. In which category would you like to be? Don’t get me wrong! All of the basics still apply but now is a great time to review what you’re currently doing and thinking about adding Google Plus to the mix. Here are some thoughts I have on the subject:
Here’s the link to the Traphagan article — and sorry, it was Search Engine Land. By the way, I may turn this into a series depending on the feedback I receive so let me know what you think in the comments!
Want to get found on Google? As an adjunct professor for Search Engine Marketing and Social Media instructor at Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College and a personal digital coach in the same space, I spend a lot of time helping people get found in Google’s ‘Zero Moment of Truth‘ — the ‘space’ where people are googling their options before making a buying decision. I’ve been thinking about the importance of stepping up in Google+ for quite some time and Rand Fishkin’s post on Friday really got me thinking. Here’s a collection of thoughts on the topic…
Your inbox is a mess — admit it. You are constantly bombarded with irrelevant emails throughout your extremely busy day. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
A couple of days ago, Craig Badings of the Thought Leadership blog asked me to complete the following sentence: “Thought Leadership is _______”. My response? Fundamental. As in “thought leadership is fundamental”. Craig asked me if he could post my definition on his site with attribution and frankly I don’t know if it’s because he thought my response was stupid or brilliant or somewhere in between. Let me explain however, what I meant…
At a time in history when almost 90% of people searchGoogle before making a buying decision you need to show up in search in a good way. To me a thought leader is someone who uses the incredible good, fast and cheap tools we have at our disposal to get found when people are looking for what they do, or, in what Google calls the Zero Moment of Truth. They use blogging and social media to attract and retain fans who either buy into their ideas or by their products.
It was Leonardo da Vinci who said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. I maintain that if you aspire to thought leadership there are only two activities you must master: finding and sharing good information. When I teach my college classes, I call this deepening your expertise and documenting your expertise. Any person who aspires to thought leadership has probably done Malcolm Gladwell‘s 10,000 hours of work to gain their expertise but if you want to be a thought leader you must continue to nourish that expertise and stay current on the things that are important in your field of study. That’s what I called deepening your expertise. The second part, documenting your expertise, simply means to use the publishing tools available on the Internet to provide social proof of your work. If you’re a great thinker who aspire to thought leadership that’s all you need to know — hence my statement that thought leadership is fundamental.
I have developed a simple workflow that I call a ‘Me’cosystem which anyone can use to establish a thought leadership position over time. All of the tools are best of breed, free or freemium, and completely cross platform down to the smart phone level. There are nine different activities in which the thought leader must engage and I outline them here:
I’ll be going into more detail in each of these stages later on in the series. Organized efficiently from the beginning to the end of the process, it looks more like this:
And again, I’ll be going into more detail in subsequent posts. All I think you really need to know at this point is that the process really does work and that it’s simple enough and cost-effective enough that even someone who does TED talks can use my system. :-)
Next week I’ll start with the analysis phase in the flowchart. Questions? Feedback?
There are a lot of great external blog editors in the world, but you may not be aware of the one that I consider the best; Microsoft Word for Windows. Microsoft Word for Windows you say? How is Microsoft Word considered an external blog editor? What most people don’t realize is that anything that you can write in Microsoft Word can be sent to your blog in less than three clicks. That means you can use all the features of Microsoft Word to create stunningly beautiful blog posts that are spelling and grammar checked. It also means that if you already know how to use Microsoft Word you already know how to blog!
Some of my favorite Microsoft Word blogging features…
Anything can do in Word can be easily uploaded to my blog. Let me show you how here:
PS Sorry my Mac using friends; Microsoft does not include this feature in Microsoft Word for Mac…
This year has been a difficult year for knowledge workers and content marketers what with the shuttering of Google Reader and the removal of RSS feeds from Twitter and other similar moves on the part of major technology companies. Major players like Google and Twitter are engaging in shaping strategies to force us to use their products in ways they want us to, not which are best for us…
Thank goodness then for people like Amit Agarwal who generously share their brilliant thoughts with us and enable us to circumvent the powerful forces in technology who are looking to dis-empower us!
Let me back up for a moment and talk again briefly about the topic of thought leadership. To me, the Internet provides an opportunity to offer social proof of one’s expertise in any given area. In applying ‘Einstein’s Razor’ of “things must be made as simple as possible but no simpler” to the problem of social proof of thought leadership, I say that thought leadership on the Internet boils down to two basic activities; finding and sharing good information. You need to feed your expertise before you can feed your followers. RSS is a critical part of this process and Google, Twitter and others have been making it difficult to use RSS so that you have to go to their site in order to read content. First Google killed Google Reader and then they removed RSS feeds from Google Alerts.
Where does Amit fit into the picture? Watch this video in which Amit shares a way to get RSS feeds from Twitter again, ironically via Google scripting:
The great news is that I can now track Twitter topics, lists, and users via feedly, my RSS reader again! Thank you, Amit, for the valuable work you do…
Michael Moon – author of the book Firebrands – hypothesized prophetically and correctly 15 years ago when he stated that we had moved beyond the information age to the age of trusted relationships. I always found this curious because we had just entered the era of the personal internet – surely THIS was the information age! What was Moon thinking?
Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003, according to Schmidt. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says.
Let me repeat that: we create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.
“The real issue is user-generated content,” Schmidt said. He noted that pictures, instant messages, and tweets all add to this.
So apparently Moon really nailed it when he said that we would need to rely on trust networks in order to manage all the information we need to do our jobs; networks of trusted sites, searches and sources that would wade through all these exabytes with surgical precision and deliver the goods we need to do nourish our expertise.
Recently, author Nilofer Merchant added a new aspect to the ‘trust network’ discussion in her book 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era [affiliate link] when she pointed out that another aspect of work in the #socialera – work is now freed from jobs:
“This means that human resources change when most of the people who create value are neither hired nor paid by you. And competition has changed so that any company can achieve the benefits of scale through a network of resources”.
Merchant, Nilofer (2012-09-12). 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era (Kindle Locations 665-676). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.
As Schmidt says the real issue is user-generated content. People all over the internet are posting, pinning and tweeting up a storm! We can leverage all this activity for our own thought leadership if we simply track the sites, searches and sources that publish in our brand space and then leverage that content to provide social proof of our own thought leadership…
I’ll try to explain it better here:
Here’s a growing list of tools that help me track the sites, searches and sources I need to nourish my thinking:
[listly id=”6P9″ layout=”full”]
This list will have a permanent home on the site here. Questions? Feedback? Specifically, do you have a cool tool that I missed?
No, I don’t use all of them [my list is here and the ones that I have automated are in color in the image below] — but I know they work with ifttt.com and I believe that automation is a big part of any efficient social media work flow. When you use a tool like ifttt.com, their engineers will keep track of all the connections for you and will even alert you via email if one of your recipes break! This product is so good, that I hope they offer an opportunity to pay for it soon…
As always, I recommend that you use exactly as many tools as you need and not a single one more…
Not familiar with ifttt.com? Watch this cute girl talk it up:
David Seah has some great thoughts on this thing called ‘imposter syndrome’ that Tanya Geisler discussed in her TED talk last fall…
Lauren Bacon has a really great article on Imposter Syndrome, the tendency for some people to not acknowledge recognition for their accomplishments because they feel it isn’t deserved for one reason or another. I suffer from this myself every time someone calls me an “expert”; I instantly demure, saying that I only write about what I experience, and that my knowledge and skills are not all-encompassing enough, blah blah. I hate disappointing people, and I rationalize my behavior by telling myself it’s prudent not to raise the hopes of others, since that would leave them open to the dangerous repercussions that might come from following whatever so-called advice I had. It also has prevented me from really pushing the various productivity forms I’ve made, because I’m not 100% sure that they will work for everyone. In fact, I’m sure they won’t work for everyone. People tell me I’m being silly, but I still haven’t resolved the WHY and HOW of it.
What I am reminded of is that there’s an underlying moral imperative that exists for me: while I didn’t want to inadvertently lead people astray with my pedantic mumblings, to not stand up for what I’m saying does not help people either. I want to see people overcome their own self-imposed barriers and achieve the kind of happiness they can share with the world. In that context, I owe it to myself as part of this community of happiness-seekers to powerfully broadcast the signal.
What I don’t like about the “expert” label is that I think it implies “superiority”. It also promises “superlative excellence”, which creates expectation, and expectation is the fertile minefield where disappointment lurks. As I hate disappointing people, I tend to avoid setting high expectations for my forms, which in turn diminishes their appeal because it looks like I don’t believe in them. However, I think I can reframe “expert” as a label not for myself, but for others who are looking for something. It’s part of being a beacon or a repeater of certain positive memes. That is a responsibility that I should be willing to take, as uncomfortable as it makes me feel, because it’s good for me and for my imagined tribe, whoever they may be. This feels a little half-baked to me still, but it’s a start.
I pretty much grabbed all of David’s article in this quote, but I added him to feedly so I can track him in the future. If I’m reading correctly, then David and I agree on this; that not telling your story is just as bad as narcissism in some ways.
When it comes to social media, I believe that there is what Aristotle called a ‘golden mean’ – he defined it as a virtuous path between two vices. I think the golden mean in social media is to share what Nilofer Merchant calls your ‘onlyness’ [which she defines as “that thing that only YOU can bring to a situation. As you see yourself, others can see you and the value you bring”] with transparency and humility while avoiding the pitfall of narcissism.
Jesus himself said ‘you are the light of the world’…
So, use social media to ‘let your light so shine before men’, but, don’t go overboard. The great Indian teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj once said, “Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between the two my life flows.” So it is with social media as a tool for communicating thought leadership – to be effective you must find the middle way; a way I call a ‘me’cosystem — a system for finding and sharing the things you need to deepen AND document your expertise so that you get found when people are looking for you and what you do…
In summary, don’t hide your light under a bushel but don’t blind everyone with your brilliance! If you need help with the thoughts, tools and tactics for transformational thought leadership, I offer personal digital coaching. Use the contact widget in the sidebar…
I am anti-war but pro-soldier: I don’t care how you feel about our government or the wars it wages; I do care however, about the good people who answered their nation’s call and took up arms to support our freedom. Recently I read this on the Huffington Post:
There are about 22 veteran suicides each day, a rate higher than previous estimates, based on a report released by the Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this year. Many veterans who take their own lives are over 50, but the hundreds of thousands of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan also struggle to adjust to civilian life while dealing with the mental and physical effects of war on top of a weak job market. Adam Legg, a 30-year-old Naval veteran, found that he couldn’t even get a job at McDonalds after returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009, according to ABC News. “When you feel like you can’t take care of your family, feed them, shelter them, it’s a very, very dark place. A feeling of uselessness that maybe they would be better off if you’re not around,” Legg told ABC. Some troops don’t make it home before taking their own lives. Military suicides reached a record high of 349 in 2012, and former Defense SecretaryLeon Panetta has described the situation as an epidemic.
My brother-in-law Jim is a vet who is also a practicing psychotherapist on the front lines; he serves returning vets 40×50 year in and year out. If you’re not Jim, you can connect to vets and those who serve them using this website; TEAM RWB…
Me? I’m blessed to know a vet and I thank God for him, his family and the sacrifices they have all made in the close to a couple decades I’ve known him. His name is Tim O’Neil and you’re a fool if you don’t connect with him on LinkedIn and snap him up before someone else does! For Tim and all the other vets out there, here’s a collection of LinkedIn resources to get started. I also pledge $1,000 worth of consulting services [more if needed] to help him land the job of his dreams. What will YOU do to help a vet? Comment below…
A dynamic page of resources for those looking to take advantage of LinkedIn…
A dynamic page of resources for those looking to take advantage of LinkedIn…
When I tell my clients and students they need to ‘cogitate’ before planning and inbound marketing strategy, this is what I mean. Of course the folks at Moz put it much more eloquently:
The phrase “look before you leap” has never been more true! Before you start investing in tactics, it’s important to do your market research. Many businesses are tempted to dive into the details before answering the bigger questions, like who their customers are, how those customers make purchase decisions, where their potential users are on the web, and how customers may choose between similar companies and offerings.
In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses why building out a research-based roadmap before you start you building your tactics (like SEO, content, and social campaigns) will help boost your chance of success. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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