Writing texts for websites, blogs, and emails – Here’s How To Do It Right

“Writing is easy. You just have to leave out the wrong words. ”That’s what Mark Twain said. I add: Writing good texts is easy. Just leave out the following errors.

Mistake 1: don’t care who will read this later

Maybe it’s just a quirk from school: At some point, most authors’ brains switch to “fill the paper” or we just write for ourselves. Wrong key question: What do I like? The fish must like the bait, not the angler!

Therefore: Give yourself a lot of thought about who you want to address in your text. The safest way to go is to formulate a problem. Example: “Is part of a manageable team that will do content marketing in the future . Looking for input for writing how to create customer-friendly texts. ”This could be the problem definition for this article here. If you don’t have a problem or a specific need of your readers in mind, you write in the air – for everyone and nobody.

Mistake 2: Don’t worry about where the readers are from

Visitors don’t come from nowhere. But if you know where readers can and should come from, you can adjust to these channels. Example SEO: If you are pursuing an SEO strategy , you have to know it. And you have to know how to get a text to be relevant to Google users and to be really relevant.

Depending on the channel, your address is also different:

If the text is aimed at existing customers from your email list, you can skip the clickbait exercises and instead address an aspect that existing customers know and make them sit up and take notice. Something like this: Dear guests, we hope that the pool was heated tonight …

Every channel needs an extra sausage:

A landing page that is to be advertised on Facebook, for example, has to pay more towards the interests of the user and easily, almost playfully, pick them up in the virtual living room. A landing page for Google Ads can easily sell more and also sound like a seller – because here the users expect nothing else and usually want to close the deal immediately and buy something.

Mistake 3: leaving it up to the reader to see the benefits

Attention, irony: It’s best to leave out all headings or keep them in general. Your introduction shouldn’t reveal much about the text either, just say what the reader already knows. Another great idea is a lengthy introduction. Lead deserts. Also: hide important details behind unimportant details or in nested sentences. Then your text will definitely remain unread.

Mistake 4: Long sentences, long words!

The longer a sentence, the more uncomfortable it is usually to read. Many long words in a text are also uncomfortable to read, and the reader’s brain has to do a lot of work. This reduces the customer’s attention and desire to stay on the website. Omitting!

Mistake 5: using complicated, puffy words

Can be used to convey to the reader that you consider yourself to be very important and that you are actually not interested in your understanding. Omitting!

Mistake 6: inflate text!

If you artificially lengthen your text, it is just as tasty for the reader as a glass of beer mixed with water. Please do without it. Text length for SEO is old hat and one-dimensional. A topic needs a text of appropriate length – the user and his needs decide how long it should be. And the rule is: Always as short as possible, as long as necessary.

Mistake 7: digress a lot

A classic beginner’s mistake that also happens to professionals. I tried to write a book three times. I always failed because of details in which I got lost. If you are writing text for a website, the risk is less than with a book project. But even here you can get lost as an author and get bogged down.

Don’t forget the user needs and make sure that the text doesn’t waste visitors’ time. They won’t let that happen and run away. When in doubt, ask yourself: Can the text do without this detail? Without this detail, will the reader understand the core, take in the message, get the benefit?

Mistake 8: Lots of foreign words, lots of unknown words

Unusual words make everything difficult to understand. This mistake is almost as effective as too long and complicated sentences.

Another tip: even the brains of professionals like simple, human, lively language.

Mistake 9: smear the headline

I’ve rarely spent as much time on sentences as I did on headings. The headline is the first and most important sentence of your text, your landing page. Headlines decide whether the user continues reading. Saving time here at the expense of an appealing headline is a serious and popular mistake.

Mistake 10: Promising too much

On the other hand, many titles promise more than the content then delivers. There is nothing better than giving your readers false hopes; assuming you hate your customers.

Mistake 11: cheating your marketing colleagues

Hey, between us: It doesn’t matter what the marketing guys say. Keyword analysis? Goethe didn’t have either! Generate leads? That’s what sales should do. Your text should just sound nice and please yourself.

Joking aside, a copywriter can learn an endless amount from marketers. We authors are so in love with our texts, with our language, with our structure. But all of the data and information about target groups that marketers hoard in their tools, concepts and surveys are pure gold for working on texts. It is a big mistake to dismiss marketing guidelines as annoying or even to ignore them. Unless you only write for yourself.

Mistake 12: building one-way streets and roadblocks

Readers need to know what to do after reading it. A text is a one-way street when the visitor pulls away satisfied but shrugging because you haven’t told him what he can and should do next.

Should he read something else from you? Should he click on this? What do you want from the visitors? The texts must move towards this one goal. Not necessarily through clumsy advertising, but because the text and topic lead to it simply and naturally. Of course, the topic has to be right for this.

So: if you find out about circular saws, you probably want to buy one too. Purchase advice in, links! If you are looking for safety tips for circular saws, you would also like to read a paragraph on hearing protection. And maybe a related article on the subject. And so on.

You learn to write really well when you write and rewrite everything!

Let these mistakes out and your text will be better than most out there. If you then leave out the superfluous and simply bad and wrong words, your style will also get better and better and people will read your texts carefully and happily.

Write as much as you can and get feedback – as often as possible! For example from an experienced colleague, but also from friends, customers, acquaintances. I’ve never learned as much as in the time when my lecturers and mentors threw texts around my ears and motivated me to keep getting better.

The shortcut to a good (marketing) copywriter

Here is a shortcut to the professional copywriter: Don’t just take care of yourself and your company, but also your readers. Take their point of view. Think about it.

This is how you get website visitors the right answer at the right time

People go to company websites when they have a specific question. But instead of answers, you will find catalogs. That needs to change.

Let’s take a look at the initial situation: Websites with a high level of content often have tree structures. Contents are bundled according to topic, information hierarchies are derived from them and finally the page structure visible to the user is built up. If there is a topic that seems big enough, the tree structure is expanded in width or depth. The companies use the navigation as a table of contents and expect users to use the website like catalogs and to understand what is behind it. True to the motto: The content determines its structure.

But the greater the need for explanation, the more complex the structure becomes. Navigating back and forth between pages or long blocks of content frustrates users and doesn’t provide the right answers efficiently enough. If the expectation of the underlying content is not met quickly, the users jump off. In order to prevent this, many pages refer to related or more in-depth content – but have still not answered the user’s question.

An example to illustrate: Many vehicle manufacturers are experiencing the greatest upheaval in decades with the electrification of their fleets. Users also have completely new questions before they buy a vehicle. Many manufacturers dedicate their own areas and sub-pages to the topic of “electric driving”, but often forget to answer critical questions from potential buyers, such as about the charging infrastructure, directly at the points where they arise – such as on the model pages or even in the configurator .

When classic approaches meet modern demands

The handling of content provided by websites has to change: With traditional structures, companies can neither achieve their users nor their business goals. Increasing complexity and increasing need for explanation in many areas meet increasing demands – with the user’s attention span becoming ever smaller. Websites must therefore be understood as intelligent tools that adapt to the situation and motivation of the user.

The decisive step is to break away from the inner view of the provider and to take the perspective of the user. The methods that companies can use for this include, for example, so-called user stories, which in interaction with personas, i.e. prototypes for target groups, define very specific tasks for website users in order to be able to offer suitable solutions. The “jobs to be done” method works independently of personas: Here so-called job stories are formulated which are dedicated to precise situations, motivations and the associated expectations of users and represent a very empathic approach in terms of customer focus.

The aim is to lead the information architecture back to a real consideration of all content in content modules and consequently to connect, for example, with the mentioned job stories in order to be able to define in which situations users are looking for which answers. The information architecture is then no longer misused as an extended sitemap, but provides the clear, informative basis for the first steps to implement the actual navigation and page structure.

The progressive content approach

With the progressive content approach, companies provide content on their websites that is displayed to the user according to their behavior so that they can achieve their goal. This also means: If the situation and motivation of the user change, ideally the content module must also adapt to it.

This approach assumes that the navigation with as few levels as possible is only used for a rough introduction, but the pages themselves can then react much more efficiently than navigation and the complex structure behind it to the demands of the user. The foundation for this is strongly compressed content that leads to quick understanding and shows much better than tree structures which deeper information is hidden behind them – without piling up mountains of content. From here, users can access further content and stay directly on the page.

A good example of this is Tesla’s US site : navigation focuses on vehicles and energy as another product. Only a single, full-screen module is used for each topic block on the model side, which clearly outlines the topic. Each of these modules has a Learn More button, which can then be used to open the in-depth content. However, the user remains on the model page and can easily change the depth of the content at any time. In this way, the site succeeds in meeting as many user motivations as possible in the shortest possible time.

The progressive content approach can also result in content being offered several times, depending on the context, on different pages. In combination with clear, conversion-driven actions and call-to-actions, user and business goals are combined.

Modern content management systems, which no longer function in templates for fixed page structures, but as interfaces of building blocks for every type of content, facilitate precisely this path for modern websites. Because these systems no longer only think in terms of predefined modules or entire pages, but in terms of content modules that can be adapted to the situations and motivations of the users in their form and depth. A smart CMS can therefore keep important information ready in the system at any time and react to user requests in real time.

A look ahead

The next level of the progressive content approach is not only to think of content in clusters, but to react directly to obvious user needs – that is, not only to deepen the existing content, but to offer decisions and thus solutions. This model can be optimally combined with tracking and analysis data in order to develop pages that can be adapted to requirements in terms of form, content and visual appearance: Personalization takes place in real time via a dynamic page structure – indirectly via user behavior as well as directly via Interactions.

Then the website will finally go from a catalog to a tool that provides users with holistic solutions – and companies have shown that they understand what their users want.

Creating a content seeding campaign: step by step to more backlinks

Content seeding is one way of getting good backlinks. But the conception and creation of such a campaign should not be underestimated. That’s how it works.

In addition to classic advertisements in various media, the awareness of your own web shop can also be increased with content seeding. You can read here what exactly this is and how a successful content seeding campaign is designed and how a seeding product is created.

Content outreach: classic backlink structure vs. Content seeding

Content outreach can be roughly divided into two areas: On the one hand, there is classic link marketing, which includes sponsored posts, advertorials and the like. A certain number of articles containing a link to a commercial website are placed here with a fixed media budget. Although the reader is provided with useful information about products, the primary goal is to draw attention to a company and its shop. This is carried out over a longer period of time, editorial offices and webmasters are contacted and the possibilities of native advertising are explored.

On the other hand, there is so-called content seeding: E-books, statistics and infographics fall into this area. While the classic backlink structure is mainly about pure backlinks , seeding is about the dissemination of a product that offers the user real added value. This can be, for example, a guide to an exciting topic or an online tool that the user can use to find out something interesting. The time required here lies primarily in the creation process. The aim is to ultimately create a product that will spread almost by itself. The name comes from the fact that you sow a seed from which something grows, which bears fruit and spreads.

Planning phase and brainstorming

Once the decision to seed has been made, a topic must first be found. To achieve this, a non-judgmental brainstorming takes place. Ideas are collected here – no matter how absurd they may seem. In a second step they are worked out and refined. Possible questions in this phase can be:

  • What does the topic produce?
  • How can you implement the topic?
  • Are there any well-known organizations, influencers or other possible experts?
  • Who is the target group?
  • Which key points can be associated with it?
  • Is the topic current?
  • Is there already something comparable?

Implementation of the topics

Once a topic has been identified, it is time to implement it. There are various possibilities:

E-book: An e-book is usually included on a separate landing page. It should be noted that this is provided with a clearly recognizable download button and the user immediately recognizes that the e-book is free. A lot of information can be processed in an e-book. From statistics to guides and tables to photos and graphics, everything is possible here that can be displayed in a digital file. The texts can be designed in detail and adapted to the respective target group, which further individualizes the end product. However, the time and budget required should not be underestimated.

Infographic: An infographic provides a quick overview. Mostly it’s about a current topic related to the time of year or seasonal events. Graphics on topics from politics (e.g. regulations on CO2 emissions by companies) can also generate a wide range and attract a lot of interest. Since a mostly manageable amount of data is used here and a target group-specific graphic is created from it, the effort is less compared to the e-book. It becomes problematic if the graphics are limited too much to a seasonal event. Then the seeding period is very short and you have to catch exactly the right time.

Statistics: At first glance, the term statistics may give the impression that it is something boring: Numbers and data that are lined up in an Excel table and processed into three diagrams. It’s not that simple and dry, however. Statistics based on a representative survey don’t have to be boring. It always depends on the implementation. A target group-oriented presentation of the data is just as essential here as with all other seeding formats.

Online tool: An online tool is ideal if the user is to become active himself. Such an interactive tool can cover a wide variety of topics. A meaningful result can be obtained using simple questions or various options. For example, this could be a calorie counter tool that shows how much exercise you have to do to work off a serving of french fries. How the results are achieved must be scientifically founded. An additional e-book that explains everything in more detail is advisable, but not a must.

Find cooperation partners and experts

The influence of expert knowledge is very important, but how do you find the right experts for your own product? And what exactly is an expert anyway? All of the following work well:

  • Organizations, foundations and associations
  • Individuals who have expertise in the relevant field
  • Firms and other manufacturers
  • People who have a suitable job

Several experts can also collaborate. For example, a well-known illustrator who makes drawings for an e-book would also be conceivable. Then there is a non-profit organization that deals with the topic of e-books and a blogger with a large fan base who often posts something suitable. The seeding product is upgraded and shines in a completely different light through technically sound knowledge and well-known people. The user must definitely find out about the experts, which is why they must appear on the landing page. So everyone can see immediately that experts have worked on it and that it is a credible product.

The experts can be involved in various ways. It can be an interview or a story from their life. It is also possible to contribute specialist knowledge by exchanging information sufficiently and then implementing the knowledge. It would also be conceivable that the expert appears as a co-author or author.

You shouldn’t be put off by the apparent popularity and size of your dream partner, especially if the topic is current, exciting and individual. In the worst case, there is no cooperation and you keep looking.

Conclusion

With the right topic and cooperation with experts, the first foundations have been laid. The target group and the added user value must never be lost sight of. The time and budget required should also not be underestimated. The conception of a seeding campaign takes a lot of time, but because the product has to be of high quality in the end, savings should not be made at the wrong end. To create good content, you have to be willing to put in a lot of work. In the end, however, this is always worthwhile when large websites report on their own content and it spreads as a result.

Content Marketing: That is why content alone is not the solution

The ninth CMCX content marketing conference took place in Munich this week parallel to Internet World . The event showed how the industry is becoming more professional.

The CMCX took place for the ninth time this year as a content marketing conference as part of Internet World in Munich – and once again significantly upgraded the Internet fair, which has been characterized by ups and downs in recent years. Around 5,000 experts and interested parties on the subject of content marketing found their way to the Munich exhibition center this year – certainly a success in view of the not small number of competing events in this environment.

If you look into the future of the relatively young discipline, it became clear that content marketing will soon no longer be done only by people, but will also have a lot to do with bots, avatars and holograms. Michael Schmidtke, Director Digital Communications at Bosch, explained that the group, which among other things stands for household appliances, is already experimenting with bots in the context of IoT applications. But Schmidtke warned against too much optimism and pointed out that in the future the bot platforms will only be as good as the insights with which we feed them. “There is still a long way to go before the chatbot can be taken seriously, but I believe that bots can play a more important role in marketing and customer communication in the future.”

There is no silver bullet for success in content marketing

Overall, the moderators and speakers made it clear that content marketing is by no means just a thing for B2C applications. But the difference lies in the form of consumption: While social channels play a central role in end customer applications, B2B communication is more based on specialist articles and white papers – social media is only in demand as a catalyst there. At the same time, it also shows that measurability and comparability are often a challenge that only some of the companies have so far been able to meet.

In general, content marketing depends on addressing target groups – several of the speakers emphasized that there are no patent remedies for this. René Kühn, organizer of the CMCX, emphasized in the final panel a focus on ROI and efficiency issues: “You need the right content, but also the question of how it can be used in particular to generate a profit for the company.” Even if and precisely because the amount of content is available, strategic considerations are increasingly important. The problem of data silos arises again and again, especially in the area of ​​tension between owned and earned media.

Content marketing is becoming more number-driven

Svenja Teichmann (Crowdmedia) advises “to do things first and just try things out”, without losing sight of the proof of concept. Especially in the corporate environment, you have to prove faster and faster that such a content commitment is beneficial. “Testing, measuring and optimizing, that’s what matters.” But content marketing is also in the crossfire of criticism: for clickbait content and for corporate content that is either simply wrong or at least of insufficient quality. It is about producing better and more relevant content that “doesn’t ruin the topic”. Everyone can ask themselves whether their personal content marketing on channels like Twitter or Instagram is relevant, whether it is really important, for example,

There is no doubt: the discipline of content marketing is in a state of upheaval, at least it is questioning itself at this conference. René Kühn sums it up like this: “It’s about creativity and processes, but also about the use of appropriate technology. Content marketing is becoming increasingly individual and personal, which means that companies are increasingly thinking in terms of content and only secondarily thinking about the channel through which it is sent. “

Search engine marketing: With these 6 SEO / SEA tips you can increase the conversion rate

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA) are more than just juggling keywords. Companies use these tricks to increase the efficiency of their search engine marketing.

In 2019, SEO and SEA optimization should be an integral part of any online marketing strategy. With clever search engine optimization, i.e. search engine optimization, and conscious search engine advertising, the setting of meaningful advertisements in search networks, companies can use their website in a targeted manner for result-oriented marketing. But not all strategies are the same – there are various tricks to improve existing processes. The following six methods help companies to use their search engine marketing even more to attract customers.

SEA – the placement of meaningful ads in search engines

1. Traffic qualification

The so-called traffic qualification separates the wheat from the chaff before the user even visits the website. With niche keywords you not only redirect users who are generally interested in a keyword to your own page, but also those who have already made a specific decision to buy an item or a service. For example, instead of using the keyword “ vacuum cleaner ” , a cleaning equipment supplier could choose the keyword “vacuum cleaner for allergy sufferers”. Even brand names or type designations can be used to guide traffic in the best possible way.

First of all, there is less traffic on the website itself. However, the wastage drops immensely, since only really interested users are specifically addressed. Thus, a provider achieves maximum visibility in the actually relevant target group. The result: The conversion rate , i.e. the proportion of customers who actually buy something in the end, increases. A nice side effect: the more efficient niche strategy reduces campaign costs.

2. Granular account structure

In order to achieve the best possible results, it is advisable to set up the smallest possible ad structure that is optimally tailored to your own products and the associated intentions. Because certain search queries may appear similar at first glance, but they may be motivated by completely different projects: When a user searches for “vacuum cleaner test”, he does so with a completely different intention than when he searches for “vacuum cleaner price comparison”. If, however, both search queries lead to the same ad text, at least one of the two is not 100 percent suitable – and that should be the goal in order to guide the searcher to your own website in the second step. Especially with keywords with a large search scope, it is therefore worthwhile to set up small-scale ad structures.

3. Performant SEA landing pages

A landing page is usually the first point of contact where users come into contact with the website or even with the company itself. Accordingly, a lot of importance should be attached to it: If it is not convincing, the potential customer may leave it immediately. The landing page is basically just the extended advertisement. That is why it has to take up their content one-to-one – otherwise it is simply irrelevant for the user who is interested in a certain topic. For this reason, it doesn’t always make sense, for example, to simply link to a company’s homepage in a search engine ad. Rather, the click on the relevant link should lead the interested party directly to the right place, where he can find out more about the corresponding offer and in the best case, thanks to a cleverly set call-to-action (CTA), he can proceed directly to the action, i.e. to the purchase. Conversely, this is the only way to increase the conversion rate.

In addition to a clear and uniform design (keyword corporate identity) and the content, the performance, i.e. the loading speed of the website, also plays a decisive role. If this is too slow, the company loses the user it has just referred within a few seconds.

SEO – use search terms as a guide to buying

4. Automated SEO business intelligence solutions

Ever newer and more complex SEO tools on the market can generate deeper and more granular insights. The amount of data can easily overwhelm, which is why a consistent link between different data sources in consolidated reports is necessary.

Automated business intelligence solutions that offer holistic 360-degree deep dives are ideal for this. The SEO strategy can then build on the knowledge gained from this. The approach is long-term: Since such automated solutions continue to link new data, the SEO strategy can be continuously adapted and modified according to the latest findings. Another advantage is an increase in efficiency with simultaneously increasing quality.

5. Data-driven SEO understanding and immediate monitoring

Immediate and continuous monitoring is essential for a sustainably successful SEO strategy. Further measures can only be planned in perspective if the SEO analyst constantly keeps an eye on how conversions are currently being generated. In addition to successful conversions, the bounce rate as a ranking and sales factor also plays a major role – who leaves the page and why is just as important as information about who is there and for what reasons.

In addition, direct monitoring can be used to respond specifically and directly to specific developments. They can have different causes: For example, the Google algorithm could change, a new competitor could have entered the market or certain products could have gained or lost their reputation. If the company is informed of the effects of these processes, it can adapt the content of its website accordingly.

6. Data-based target group understanding

In order to be able to properly address certain target groups, a company needs to know as much about them as possible. The difficulty in the Internet age is not to collect data. The challenge is rather the linking of the large amount of data obtained in order to ultimately draw valuable conclusions. Nowadays customers expect to be addressed personally and individually by every company – nobody wants to be “one of many” and receive faceless mass communication. Adapting the content is therefore of crucial importance in marketing. But in order to deliver personalized SEO experiences, companies must first have a very thorough understanding of their target groups and their search behavior. Collected data serve as the basis for being visible to this specific group of people.

Using a data-supported target group understanding, it is possible, for example, to create landing pages in a more targeted manner. A simple example: If customers in one region of Germany are more interested in vacuum cleaners with a bag, but in the other are more interested in those without, the landing pages of the respective region should take these peculiarities into account.

The insights gained can ultimately also be used to identify particularly profitable target groups. In contrast to a one-size-fits-all solution, data-supported “SEO experiences” can significantly increase the RoI (return on investment), i.e. the profit in relation to the capital employed.

Paid media as an instrument in times of crisis

Critical headlines, raging social media followers and skeptical inquiries from customers: crises often pose challenges for companies when it comes to communication. Because organic channels often reach their limits here, the recipe for success is paid media. Here, however, it is important to master the correct keyboard.

News apps, search engines or social media – digital news controls society and determines discussions. Crises are no exception. On the contrary: dialogue and the exchange of individual experiences on digital channels are not infrequently the origin of a crisis. Organizations and brands that sit out criticism and refuse to respond usually make things worse. Basically, of course, companies should systematically prepare for crises. From crisis manuals to training courses so that the processes are in place for an emergency. However, it is also a fact that many companies do not yet have paid media as an instrument in the orchestra of crisis communication.

Master the keyboard of the various paid media channels

Whether a sudden crisis or a creeping process: good crisis preparation is essential for online and offline media. If you go deeper into the digital sphere of communication, nowadays there is no way around paid media as part of holistic crisis communication. Paid media is mainly used where organic channels (owned media) reach their limits – in social media, in search engines or on publisher sites. The variety of formats of paid placements gives brands and companies not only reach, but above all a very specific hearing for their topics: Target group-specific targeting of messages using various criteria such as geography, time of day, keywords,

Companies should take the following five building blocks to heart when it comes to digital crisis communication:

1. Keep an eye on the crisis through social media monitoring

The early detection of crises is the be-all and end-all. Only those who constantly keep an eye on their own stakeholders, brands and issues know what is being talked about. Early support for criticism or difficult situations prevents a crisis from growing out. A concept and the right tools for crisis monitoring are essential.

2. Approach paid media planning strategically

Anyone who builds on the strengths of paid media in crisis situations should not lose any time. Both channel selection and crisis budgets (and here “more” media budget does not necessarily mean “less” crisis – it depends on the targeted use of the media budget) should be coordinated and approved before the crisis breaks out and grows. A solid kit of crisis communication includes all the key contacts for paid media and social media accounts, clear guidelines for the design of communication media, clearly defined access rights and practicable processes and responsibilities in community management. This is the only way to react immediately to crises.

3. Take into account the paid media activities of day-to-day business

Paid media channels are used frequently, regularly and often permanently in day-to-day business. But what if a crisis occurs? Promoting new diesel vehicles during the diesel crisis is more than inappropriate. It is therefore not only important to easily activate paid media measures, but also to quickly switch off or pause advertising measures that cast a bad light on the brand in connection with the crisis.

4. Hit the right note and find the right words

Regardless of whether crises take place locally, regionally or globally: With the help of the right (paid media) measures, worse can be averted. An example: Using Google Adwords and / or social media, your own message can be directed to the target audience quickly and in a targeted manner. All relevant search terms or characteristics or interests of the target group can be determined so that one can react directly to most search queries about the crisis. In this way, the viewpoint of one’s own organization on the crisis can be conveyed, where otherwise only drivers of the crisis – for example in the form of blog posts or media reports – can be found.

5. Bring communication back to the (new) normality after the crisis

Crises pass, because the media agenda changes from day to day. The point in time at which the criticism levels off can be identified through constant crisis monitoring. The scope of the use of paid media should be based on the strength of the crisis – and expire with the crisis. Otherwise there is a risk of keeping crisis topics alive via paid media channels that would otherwise have long since been replaced by other topics.

The bottom line is that paid media channels can be used excellently to react quickly and flexibly to criticism in times of crisis, because messages can be directed to the right target group in a controlled manner. Organizations that prepare concepts for strategic crisis communication can no longer avoid using paid media. But only those who master the keyboard of the various paid media channels and invest in strategic planning can effectively protect their own organization and set the tone in the next crisis.

47 blog content ideas when you don’t have ideas

Head empty? Anyone who wants to deliver exciting articles every day will feel it at some point: this vacuum between the ears. The idea for the next post just stays away. Fortunately, there are these 47 content ideas that will help you get started very quickly.

Having ideas is the key to good content, be it for a company website, blog , web magazine or social media presence. But creativity is something that doesn’t bubble all the time, but comes in bursts. What if there are no new ideas? Then there are a few strategies you can use to get a post off your sleeve quickly.

Makeawebsitehub.com has collected 47 ideas for content emergency and poured them into a large infographic with the beautiful title ” 47 Blog and Content Ideas For When You Get A Mental Block “. These include obvious maneuvers like creating listicles, warming up old posts, or polling for readers. But also refreshing ideas like designing an individual 404 error page. They all have one thing in common: They help against acute lack of ideas and at least provide initial impetus.

Some of the most beautiful ideas from the collection, as we find:

  • 4. Do an interview with an authority in your field. (Great idea. Then you don’t have to write anything yourself and can doze off a bit during the interview.)
  • 12. Post someone else’s infographic. (Wonderful idea. That’s done.)
  • 23. Publish an e-book and promote it on your blog. (Great idea. “Book” sounds much more valuable than just “blog article”. And you can still earn something with the purchase price.)
  • 33. Make a “bucket list” of things to do before you die. (Best idea. Basically just an ordinary list of recommendations, but it sounds much more dramatic that way.)

47 great ideas for content

12 influencer types and how they affect us

How does influencer marketing really work and how can companies use this knowledge? Studies shed light on the psychological background of influencer marketing and show how different types of influencers affect their followers.

What psychological impact do influencers have on their followers? And why are so many people fascinated by these internet personalities? A study published in 2018 by the PR agency OSK in cooperation with the market research institute Concept M gets to the bottom of the psychological foundations of influencer marketing.

As part of the study, 40 media users and 15 influencers were questioned in psychological interviews. The respondents represent a cross-section of all age groups up to 95-year-old users. The interview did not follow any ready-made questionnaires, but was based on the principles of morphological research. The attitudes and opinions of the respondents are important so that not only individual answers arise, but entire thoughts and chains of arguments.

Requirements for the influencer boom

Testimonials have always been essential in advertising. There is hardly a product that has been and is being presented without a person. But do influencers differ from famous advertising faces like actor George Clooney for Nespresso or football star Thomas Müller for Müller-Milch? Why are we so receptive to influencer marketing?

The OSK study sees the causes in current social developments. Traditional ways of life are no longer the measure of all things, technical progress has taken a breathtaking pace and globalization is not only opening up countless new opportunities for young people.

The success of influencer marketing is based on four basic needs of today’s internet users:

  1. Orientation : The complexity of the modern world brings not only numerous possibilities, but also great uncertainty. This increases the desire for easy orientation and clarity.
  2. Affiliation : The possibilities for individual development have never been as great as they are today. But with all the individualism, a sense of community and the desire to belong increase.
  3. Break from perfectionism: Increasing pressure to perform and self-optimization only allow failure in order to grow. As a result, the charm of the authentic and imperfect experiences an upturn – even if this authenticity is only pretended.
  4. Search for identity : Digitization has not only accelerated life, it has also led to a lot of things being only experienced virtually. This creates a feeling of alienation for many people, which can lead to an almost religious search for identity.

Exactly these needs are served by influencers – supported by the constant availability of online content. In contrast to high-gloss celebrities, they look authentic, even if they stage their appearance perfectly. Your posts appear between those of friends and acquaintances. They also interact to a great extent with their followers. That makes them tangible and creates a feeling of closeness. As a projection surface for your own wishes, they make it possible to experience them, provide orientation as opinion leaders and convey a feeling of belonging as a mouthpiece for their respective niche.

Six influencer types by number of followers

Many classic influencer categorizations focus on the key figure that shows their success most quickly at first glance: the number of their followers. Although this reflects the current status of the maximum possible reach of a post by this influencer, it does not say anything about the reputation of its target group, growth or the rate of interaction. Here are the most common terms for influencers based on number of followers and reach:

1. Mega influencers, super influencers or hero influencers
These influencers have a reach of millions and offer the highest level of attention in social networks. They are the stars of the scene and can also charge appropriate sums. For example Bibi or Lisa and Lena.

2. Star influencers or celebrity influencers
This is what influencers are called who have a huge fan community outside of social media simply because of their prominence. They include athletes, film and pop stars such as Toni Kroos, Helene Fischer and Matthias Schweighöfer. For a cooperation you have to offer them a lot due to the celebrity status.

3. Macro influencers or everyday influencers
They still offer a high reach (from around 50,000 followers on Instagram) and are considered role models in their scene. They set the trends and are therefore often imitated by other colleagues.

4. Micro influencers or niche influencers
They are experts on certain topics, for example bloggers or Youtubers with special interest channels. They are considered very credible in their field and have a loyal following. Many are only active on one channel.

5. Nano-Influencer
This is what influencers are called with a limited range but with intense influence. They enjoy a high level of authority and credibility within certain social groups and stand out for their great commitment.

6. Rising influencer In
contrast to the others, the term does not describe a state, but rather a potential for development. These influencers are considered the upcoming talents. They still have a manageable range, but they are showing high growth rates. A cooperation could be worthwhile with a view to the future.

6 influencer types by appearance

The OSK study also identifies various influencers according to the type of their appearance and the need to convey information. They differ in their content, in the way they are perceived by their fans, in the way they bind their target group and, as a result, in their usability for marketing by companies. With the help of this classification, suitable influencers can be targeted.

The six categories of influencers are therefore:

1. Style inspirers
They celebrate lifestyle in the areas of beauty, cars, fashion, food and travel. They enable the user to daydream, but at the same time remain approachable through their interaction. These influencers are well suited for emotional brand charging.

2. Coaches
These mentors take the user by the hand, offer orientation and concrete advice. The subject area can range from do-it-yourself to life hacks and life counseling to every hobby and niche interest.

3. Experts
Although they often only serve a small niche as micro-influencers, they are a great authority in this. Due to their great competence, they offer the followers valuable orientation.

4. Explainers
They provide information on everyday, political and scientific topics and offer their followers a sounding board for their own opinion. They draw their credibility from their convictions.

5. Self-
promoters and entertainers These “break clowns” among the influencers offer a short break from everyday life. They create entertainment with ingenuity and lots of character. They are suitable for product placement and humorous forms of advertising.

6. Missionaries
They are role models through certain ideals from everyday life, politics or lifestyle that they follow. Thanks to them, the followers feel they are part of special truths.

Plan influencer marketing successfully

For influencer campaigns to be successful, companies must first define the campaign goal. Are you interested in increasing your reach, improving your image, presenting a new product or something else?

Once the goal has been set, it is important to find out which psychological need can be served. For example, style inspirers are suitable when it comes to strengthening the brand image, because they inspire dreams and represent the longings of their fans, which are then transferred to a (buyable) brand. Missionaries can also serve this marketing goal, as they can promote the positive perception of a brand by building a sense of belonging. On the other hand, influencers from the fields of coaches, experts and explainer are suitable for presenting specific products.

Choosing the right influencer is not just about their number of followers and reach, but about what needs they serve, what bond they build with their fans and how they communicate.

What actually is duplicate content?

Duplicate content on websites can result in the corresponding content being given a lower ranking by Google. This is how you recognize and avoid unintentional duplicate content.

How is duplicate content created?

Duplicate content is used when large blocks of content are repeated or almost repeated on the same or different domains. Duplicate content can exist internally and externally.

Internal duplicate content can occur for the following reasons, for example:

  • A page on your own website can be reached via several URLs: http: // domain .de, http://www.domain.de, http://domain.de/
  • There is a print-optimized version of one or more pages
  • In addition to a regular website, a shortened page aimed at mobile devices is also generated

The following reasons, for example, can lead to duplicate content on multiple domains:

  • In the context of content cooperations, other sites publish your content lawfully
  • Other sites are using your content illegally
  • You use the same content for the different country versions of your website
  • With a domain move

Loss of ranking or penalty due to duplicate content

Google has no problem with duplicate content on one or more domains if they are identified. Google wants to avoid that multiple search results lead to the same content. If they are not recognized, they otherwise lead to a negative user experience for search engine users.

If Google considers the duplicate content to be a deception, it can happen that the corresponding website is removed from the search results. “Such unfair behavior can lead to a negative user experience, as visitors are shown basically the same content in a series of search results,” says Google. It is therefore important to find duplicate content and make it visible or avoid it.

However, duplicate content that does not result in a penalty by Google can also damage the website, for example because indexing problems occur. It should be clear to Google at all times which page contains the most relevant content or the original content for a search query.

Find duplicate content

There are different ways to find duplicate content. You can search for concise sentences or text excerpts directly in Google search. You enter this in quotation marks in the search mask. If you get multiple hits, there is duplicate content.

In order not to display a lot of the same content, Google hides most of the duplicate search results and displays the following note: “To ensure that you only get the most relevant results, some entries that are very similar to the 2 hits displayed have been left out. If necessary, you can repeat the search taking into account the results you skipped. “

screenshot-2016-10-28-um

If you carry out the search again, including the duplicate content, you can check whether it is duplicate content on your own or another domain. There are also numerous free tools, so-called duplicate content checkers, with which you can track down duplicate content. It should be noted here that these tools also sometimes find very small text excerpts, such as teasers et cetera, which usually do not cause any problems.

There are also free tools to identify duplicate content on your own site, for example Siteliner . The tool outputs a comprehensive report that can be used to check the duplicate content.

screenshot-2016-10-28-umscreenshot-2016-10-28-um

Dealing with duplicate content

There are various ways of informing Google what the original content or the preferred content is, or of avoiding duplicate content from the outset:

Domain redirection in the .htaccess

With the following entry in the .htaccess file, the domain without www can be redirected to the domain with www or vice versa:


RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^beispiel.de
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://beispiel.de$1 [R=301,L]

or


RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.beispiel.de
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://beispiel.de$1 [R=301,L]

Permanent 301 redirect via .htaccess

If you want to redirect an old, no longer existing domain or file to a new one, a server-side redirect with 301 redirect via .htaccess makes sense. The user and the link force are thus transferred to the new target.

This setting is made in the .htaccess file in the root directory:


RedirectPermanent / https://domain-neu.de

noindex reference in the META tags

Another possibility to prevent duplicate content is a noindex comment in the META tags for the URLs that do not contain the most relevant content. This prevents these pages from being indexed.

Canonical URL

Canonical tags can be used to tell Google which version of the same content is relevant. Google writes: “Mark the canonical page and all associated variants with a link element rel =“ canonical ”. Add a <link> element with the rel = “canonical“ attribute to the <head> section of these pages: <link rel = “canonical“ href = “https://blog.example.com/dresses/green-dresses -are-awesome “/>“. It is important that you specify absolute instead of relative paths for the link element rel = “canonical”.

You can find more ways in which you can use canonical URLs on the Google support page .

Avoid re-using content

Avoid using large blocks of text twice as much as possible. This is of course not always possible, but where possible you should create individual content. If another site operator is using your content lawfully, he should ensure that the relevant content is provided with a canonical tag that refers to the original.

Conclusion

The SEO experts disagree on exactly how dangerous duplicate content can be for the ranking – especially if it is only about smaller snippets and teasers. After all, this can hardly be avoided entirely. What is certain, however, is that the constantly changing search engine algorithm prefers unique content and wants to keep the search results heterogeneous. So it can’t hurt to keep an eye on it and avoid unnecessary duplication.

SEO Study: What to Look For in Google Rankings in 2019

A current study provides clues as to how you can achieve good rankings on Google in 2019 .

The initiators of the SEO study pulled 120,000 random keywords from the Google Keyword Planner. Half of these keywords had at least 1,000 searches per month. The top 10 SERP results were read out for these keywords and additionally enriched with data from Ahrefs, Google API and our own crawlers. This resulted in a data set from around 1.1 million SERP results.

We have summarized the results and findings:

  • The top position is most likely the most relevant result. If there is a clear result, for example a brand, Google will show it, even if it violates all other ranking factors and SEO rules.
  • For less obvious results (such as branded keyword searches), Featured Snippets do the work. 50 to 65 percent of all places in first place are dominated by a featured snippet.
  • Logically, this is the area in which the largest SEO competition takes place. Google is heading for faster responses and fewer clicks in the SERP.
  • This is why much of the actual SEO competition takes place in 2nd and 3rd place these days.
  • Backlinks – measured by the number of domains referring to a URL – are still the most strongly correlated factor for SEO success.
  • Some of the popular link authority metrics such as Ahrefs Rank or Domain Rating have proven to be less correlative in the study than the initiators expected.
  • Keywords are important. Both the number of keywords in the content and the keyword density. Keywords in the URL turned out to be reasonably relevant. Keywords in meta-information, h1and title-element showed significantly stronger correlations.
  • While longer content correlates with higher ranks, it doesn’t make sense to assume that length is the factor. Rather, a longer article provides room for more keywords that can be inserted with density without raising suspicion of spam.
  • It’s better to optimize for the parent topic (the highest volume keyword that ranks the best for) than the actual keyword that it covers. All high-ranking results dominated the overarching topic of the keyword for which they were rated.
  • HTTPS is mandatory to get a (good) rank. Is nothing new, Google has already made it clear.
  • Some of the SEO hearsay tips turned out to be totally invalid. For example the rumor that Google treats high-volume keywords differently or that it prefers content with embedded YouTube videos over other video platforms.
  • Some established beliefs may be the result of poor data analysis in previous studies. For example, the assumption that the length of the URL is a strong ranking factor.
  • All results on the first page show a high average value (over 90 percent) for Google’s Lighthouse Audits (SEO), but no correlation was found between higher values ​​and the top positions.
  • Page speed seems to help, but not as much as expected. Websites should be fast, but for a number of other reasons.
  • More research is needed: some search results on page two mimick the metrics of the top results on page one. Apparently, there is a fine line between what Google sees as “completely correct” and “looks for spam”.