August 11, 2014

Top takeaways from a growth hacking conference

Rand-Fishkin
Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, speaking at the Weapons of Mass Distribution conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Make sure your content is unique, relevant and looks great

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaToday, it seems, just about all startups — and even more mature companies — want to wield the growth hacking buzzsaw. Growth hacking was the theme that drew several hundred marketers, entrepreneurs and business strategists to the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco on Thursday for the fancifully named Weapons of Mass Distribution conference put on by 500 Startups.

And while growth hacking may be hot hot hot right now — even marketing consultant Sean Ellis, who coined the term, was on hand — the impressive lineup of speakers made it clear that to succeed, a new enterprise can’t spin flax into gold. You’ve got to have some kick-ass idea to begin with, and you have to have a product team that knows how to execute. And then, yes, by all means, call in the growth hackers and marketers to run the numbers, size up your analytics, get feedback from customers, and create a virtuous product development loop that fast-tracks your company on to its inevitable trajectory of fame, riches and a guest spot on Jason Calacanis’s “This Week in Startups” podcast.

I captured some of the magic on stage and in the room in this Flickr photo set. (Ah, Flickr, you were on that fast track once!) Continue reading

January 8, 2014

Why content marketing will ultimately triumph over link building

bigstock-Vintage-magnifying-glass-comp
BigStockPhoto image by Andrey Armyagov

Two radically different paths to getting discovered in Google search

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamLike Reese’s, link builders and content marketers need to combine forces because they’re two great tastes that taste great together. Link builders tend to be more left brain — technical, logical, analytical, and objective — while content marketers tend to be more right-brain — creative, artistic, intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective.

Without the content marketers and copywriters, there’s no there there. Without copy, there’s no text, and without text, Google is blind. Without well-written, high quality, descriptive and easily understandable copy, link builders tend to compensate by doing keyword research and writing clunky but functional hooks that used to work well enough luring the bots, spiders, and indexing agents. Continue reading

December 17, 2013

When journalists trade newsrooms for business storytelling

5 scribes
From left, Michael Copeland, Ben Worthen, Dan Lyons, Harrison Weber & Brian Caulfield

More companies are hiring scribes to ramp up ‘content plays’

Target audience: Journalists, brand managers, SEO specialists, PR and marketing pros, business executives, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers.

JD LasicaAfunny thing is happening to a lot of journalists I know: They’re bailing on Big-J journalism.

But while many are leaving the profession of journalism, they’re taking their craft with them. Faced with the Incredible Shrinking Business Models of the old media economy, journalists have begun taking their storytelling skills to the business world, particularly tech.

Companies are snapping up journalists left and right. Today every company is a media company — and who better to tell these companies’ stories than journalists trained in the art of storytelling? Continue reading

December 4, 2013

SEO? Start by adding value to your website

books

Quenching Google’s informational thirst will pay off for your business

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamImet my buddy Adam Viener for breakfast the other morning at the Silver Diner in Reston, Va. This is something we do seasonally. Adam is an AdWords guru, par excellence, by profession; however, he also stays on top of organic search religiously just as part of creating content sublime enough to compel all the folks who click through from sponsored search, contextual ads, and display ads.

I asked him what he thought of Hummingbird, Google’s latest search algorithm, and he said: “Aside from just making sure you have all of the share and +1 buttons sorted out on your sites and committing to Google Authorship, the only thing that’s left is simple: creating content that gives value to Google.” Continue reading

November 26, 2013

Google: Are authors replacing inbound links as the key to success in search?

authors
Image by Les Chatfield on Flickr (CC BY)

Create a content strategy by enlisting top influencers to write for your sites

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamIt’s a great time to be passionate about social media, the Internet, online community, and the Google suite of products and services.

Google is about to reward you big-time just as Google pulls the rug out from under the feet of traditional SEO link strategies. Good for you, bad for many online businesses. Be sure to monetize while you can. 

In my analogy, Google’s Hummingbird algorithm will require each website owner to find one or more social media passion players and woo, hire, pay, or partner with them in order to get back on top of Google organic search. If you want your home page to rise to the top of Google Organic Search, I believe you’re going to have to bring some legit Google authors on board and publicly be associated with them. Continue reading

November 12, 2013

Google Hummingbird tries to remove the masks

masked-character
Image by Frank Kovalchek on Flickr

This is the second of a two-part series on Google Hummingbird. Also see:
Google demands your papers with Hummingbird

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamIam back in the dating pool and have really enjoyed hearing everyone’s war stories. They’re, of course, first-world-problems; and, most of them feel like they’re torn directly from romcoms and sitcoms: “he was a decade older than his photo” and “he looked nothing like his photo” or “he was nothing like the way he described himself,” and “I really felt like I was bait-and-switched” and even, “if he thought he could lure me here under false pretenses and then make it all good on charm and personality, it didn’t work: he was charmless and lacked personality.”

Google feels the same way.

But because Google was built by an army of earnest, hopeful, and lonely nerds, it has taken over five years for Google to get a clue. Continue reading