Optimize each page of digital content according to its purpose.

Web content optimization.Content marketing is a hot topic, and for good reason.

Content is the lifeblood of most websites, blogs, video channels and photo apps.

A constant flow of new and compelling content gets visitors hooked and keeps them engaged.

What is content? Often it’s an article or a post. But it could be a review or a buying guide. It could be a video, a photo essay or a slideshow. Or an ongoing series of photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Or a podcast or a vlog. It could be a multimedia mashup.

Add together all those new pages, posts, videos, photos and podcasts – plus all the tweets and Facebook updates that are created – and you have hundreds of millions of new pieces of content uploaded each day.

Read the full post…

Don’t create a mobile app until you’ve mastered social media.

being antisocial on social media and mobileI work with companies from a variety of different industries, and I also keep an eye on what other companies are up to. In other words, as well as being a writer for the web, I’m also a student of the web.

And here is what I see…

Most companies finally “get it” when it comes to what they should be doing on the web. They pretty much understand what their websites can do for them, and why the web is different from offline media. That isn’t to say they couldn’t improve their websites. 100% of businesses online could improve their websites.

But when you take a look at their social media channels, it’s a whole different story.

Most companies don’t get social media at all.

(Stick with me, we’ll get to the topic of creating mobile apps in a while…)

Read the full post…

If a business isn’t social, it has no business on social media.

Social group of friendsLet’s say you’re not a very social person. Antisocial even.

When you go to a local bar, you don’t talk to anyone. And people rarely talk to you because, well, you give off a vibe that you’re not interested in listening to them.

It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Doesn’t even mean you don’t like people. It just means you’re not social. So people leave you alone.

Now let’s say you do have one friend, and that friend suggests you try a different bar. It seems this second bar is a really, really social place. Your friend thinks it might change things for you.

So you go to the second bar, and you don’t talk to anyone. They get that same vibe of yours and leave you alone.

The point being, in spite of his or her good intentions, your friend should have known that a change in bars wouldn’t make any difference.

Read the full post…

How to write for an audience that likes to snack.

Snacks for your online audienceBack in the early days of the web we followed the lead of traditional media.

Newspaper editors favored long, detailed articles with maybe one or two images.

We did much the same. Except back in the days before broadband, we took it easy on the images. They took too long to download onto the page.

Even with the arrival of broadband we still focused on using a ton of text. Why? Because that’s how we caught Google’s attention. We wrote long articles and posts, included a few keywords and waited for a flood of readers.

Well, things have changed since then.

Read the full post…

The broadcast medium formerly known as social media.

Being social at a partyBefore it became commercial, the web was social.

By the late 1990s it was definitely more commercial than social.

Then, with the fast growth of dedicated social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, it became seriously social again.

The arrival of the smartphone in 2007 made the web even more social. Smartphones are, by definition, social devices. And many of the most popular apps for these devices are hard-core social.

And then…

And then social media became a commercial broadcast channel.

OK, that’s the short version.

Read the full post…

When social media over-promises.

Poor quality web content and social media.This morning I saw a post on Google+ from a web marketing company I follow.

The post had a headline and about five lines of text. It promised me information that could dramatically improve my web marketing efforts. It was well written and compelling.

So I clicked the link and was taken to the article on the website.

The article was a crashing disappointment. Just basic information that pretty much any online copywriter already knows.

It’s not that the article was bad. It might be useful for someone who had just begun studying the craft of online writing. But that’s not what was sold in the Google+ post.

This is happening more and more. Social media updates over-promise, and the website content they link to under-delivers.

I have stopped following a number of companies for this reason. It’s really annoying to be tricked into clicking through to an article or post that proves to offer far less than I was led to expect.

Read the full post…