Posts By: Curator
Writing Headlines that Serve SEO, Social Media, and Website Visitors All Together – Whiteboard Friday
Posted by randfish
Have your headlines been doing some heavy lifting? If you’ve been using one headline to serve multiple audiences, you’re missing out on some key optimization opportunities. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand gives you a process for writing headlines for SEO, for social media, and for your website visitors — each custom-tailored to its audience and optimized to meet different goals.
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Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about writing headlines. One of the big problems that headlines have is that they need to serve multiple audiences. So it’s not just ranking and search engines. Even if it was, the issue is that we need to do well on social media. We need to serve our website visitors well in order to rank in the search engines. So this gets very challenging.
I’ve tried to illustrate this with a Venn diagram here. So you can see, basically…
In the SEO world of headline writing, what I’m trying to do is rank well, earn high click-through rate, because I want a lot of those visitors to the search results to choose my result, not somebody else’s. I want low pogo-sticking. I don’t want anyone clicking the back button and choosing someone else’s result because I didn’t fulfill their needs. I need to earn links, and I’ve got to have engagement.
On the social media side, it’s pretty different actually. I’m trying to earn amplification, which can often mean the headline tells as much of the story as possible. Even if you don’t read the piece, you amplify it, you retweet it, and you re-share it. I’m looking for clicks, and I’m looking for comments and engagement on the post. I’m not necessarily too worried about that back button and the selection of another item. In fact, time on site might not even be a concern at all.
For website visitors, both of these are channels that drive traffic. But for the site itself, I’m trying to drive right visitors, the ones who are going to be loyal, who are going to come back, hopefully who are going to convert. I want to not confuse anyone. I want to deliver on my promise so that I don’t create a bad brand reputation and detract from people wanting to click on me in the future. For those of you have visited a site like Forbes or maybe even a BuzzFeed and you have an association of, “Oh, man, this is going to be that clickbait stuff. I don’t want to click on their stuff. I’m going to choose somebody else in the results instead of this brand that I remember having a bad experience with.”
There are some notable direct conflicts in here.
- Keywords for SEO can be really boring on social media sites. When you try and keyword stuff especially or be keyword-heavy, your social performance tends to go terribly.
- Creating mystery on social, so essentially not saying what the piece is truly about, but just creating an inkling of what it might be about harms the clarity that you need for search in order to rank well and in order to drive those clicks from a search engine. It also hurts your ability generally to do keyword targeting.
- The need for engagement and brand reputation that you’ve got for your website visitors is really going to hurt you if you’re trying to develop those clickbait-style pieces that do so well on social.
- In search, ranking for low-relevance keywords is going to drive very unhappy visitors, people who don’t care that just because you happen to rank for this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should, because you didn’t serve the visitor intent with the actual content.
Getting to resolution
So how do we resolve this? Well, it’s not actually a terribly hard process. In 2017 and beyond, what’s nice is that search engines and social and visitors all have enough shared stuff that, most of the time, we can get to a good, happy resolution.
Step one: Determine who your primary audience is, your primary goals, and some prioritization of those channels.
You might say, “Hey, this piece is really targeted at search. If it does well on social, that’s fine, but this is going to be our primary traffic driver.” Or you might say, “This is really for internal website visitors who are browsing around our site. If it happens to drive some traffic from search or social, well that’s fine, but that’s not our intent.”
Step two: For non-conflict elements, optimize for the most demanding channel.
For those non-conflicting elements, so this could be the page title that you use for SEO, it doesn’t always have to perfectly match the headline. If it’s a not-even-close match, that’s a real problem, but an imperfect match can still be okay.
So what’s nice in social is you have things like Twitter cards and the Facebook markup, graph markup. That Open Graph markup means that you can have slightly different content there than what you might be using for your snippet, your meta description in search engines. So you can separate those out or choose to keep those distinct, and that can help you as well.
Step three: Author the straightforward headline first.
I’m going to ask you author the most straightforward version of the headline first.
Step four: Now write the social-friendly/click-likely version without other considerations.
Is to write the opposite of that, the most social-friendly or click-likely/click-worthy version. It doesn’t necessarily have to worry about keywords. It doesn’t have to worry about accuracy or telling the whole story without any of these other considerations.
Step five: Merge 3 & 4, and add in critical keywords.
We’re going to take three and four and just merge them into something that will work for both, that compromises in the right way, compromises based on your primary audience, your primary goals, and then add in the critical keywords that you’re going to need.
I’ve tried to illustrate this a bit with an example. Nest, which Google bought them years ago and then they became part of the Alphabet Corporation that Google evolved into. So Nest is separately owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Nest came out with this new alarm system. In fact, the day we’re filming this Whiteboard Friday, they came out with a new alarm system. So they’re no longer just a provider of thermostats inside of houses. They now have something else.
Step one: So if I’m a tech news site and I’m writing about this, I know that I’m trying to target gadget and news readers. My primary channel is going to be social first, but secondarily search engines. The goal that I’m trying to reach, that’s engagement followed by visits and then hopefully some newsletter sign-ups to my tech site.
Step two: My title and headline in this case probably need to match very closely. So the social callouts, the social cards and the Open Graph, that can be unique from the meta description if need be or from the search snippet if need be.
Step three: I’m going to do step three, author the straightforward headline. That for me is going to be “Nest Has a New Alarm System, Video Doorbell, and Outdoor Camera.” A little boring, probably not going to tremendously well on social, but it probably would do decently well in search.
Step four: My social click-likely version is going to be something more like “Nest is No Longer Just a Thermostat. Their New Security System Will Blow You Away.” That’s not the best headline in the universe, but I’m not a great headline writer. However, you get the idea. This is the click-likely social version, the one that you see the headline and you go, “Ooh, they have a new security system. I wonder what’s involved in that.” You create some mystery. You don’t know that it includes a video doorbell, an outdoor camera, and an alarm. You just hear, “They’ve got a new security system. Well, I better look at it.”
Step five: Then I can try and compromise and say, “Hey, I know that I need to have video doorbell, camera, alarm, and Nest.” Those are my keywords. Those are the important ones. That’s what people are going to be searching for around this announcement, so I’ve got to have them in there. I want to have them close to the front. So “Nest’s New Alarm, Video Doorbell and Camera Are About to Be on Every Home’s Must-Have List.” All right, resolved in there.
So this process of writing headlines to serve these multiple different, sometimes competing priorities is totally possible with nearly everything you’re going to do in SEO and social and for your website visitors. This resolution process is something hopefully you can leverage to get better results.
All right, everyone, we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.
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[It’s impossible to blog about Section 230 without reminding you that it remains highly imperiled.]
Goren runs a law firm, Small Justice. DuPont, a defendant in a case Goren brought, posted two negative reviews about Goren to Ripoff Report. Goren sued DuPont, who no-showed, resulting in default judgment. The state court awarded DuPont’s copyright in the two reviews to Goren. Goren then asserted the copyright against Ripoff Report. We have been covering this case for years (since 2013!). My blog post on Goren’s initial complaint. Venkat’s post on the initial district court ruling. My post on a subsequent district court ruling.
On appeal, the First Circuit sides completely with Ripoff Report. Barring an ill-advised appeal to the Supreme Court, this case should be over.
Section 230. Section 230 wipes out Goren’s defamation, intentional interference and (parts of) unfair competition claims based on DuPont’s negative reviews. Goren argued that Ripoff Report partially developed DuPont’s posts (using tired arguments like Ripoff Report had copyright interests in the reviews, an argument that first failed in the Blumenthal v. Drudge case 20 years ago). The court disagrees because “Xcentric did not alter the content of the information DuPont posted.” Furthermore, Ripoff Report’s efforts to get DuPont’s content indexed in the search engine did not “specifically encourage” DuPont’s content (cites to Kimzey v. Yelp, Ascentive v. Opinion Corp. and Ayyadurai v. Techdirt). Curiously, while the First Circuit discusses its powerful UCS v. Lycos opinion from 2007, there’s no mention of its even more powerful Section 230 ruling in the Doe v. Backpage case from last year.
Copyright. Ripoff Report claims that DuPont granted it an irrevocable nonexclusive license, so Goren never had the right to terminate the license or claim Ripoff Report was infringing. Goren argued that DuPont received no consideration for the license. The court says that Ripoff Report performed its end of the bargain by publishing DuPont’s reviews, mooting any consideration concerns. Goren also argued that Ripoff Report’s contract was void for public policy because it implicitly promised never to remove posts that were defamatory. The court says that argument is irrelevant to the DuPont-Ripoff Report copyright license.
Unfair Competition. Part of the unfair competition claim, predicated on Ripoff Report’s Corporate Advocacy Program and pay-to-play arbitration program, wasn’t preempted by Section 230. It still fails because Goren couldn’t show how Ripoff Report’s allegedly unfair programs motivated DuPont’s submission.
Attorneys’ Fees. The appeals court upholds the district court’s award of attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to copyright’s fee-shifting statute (17 USC 505) to the tune of over $120,000. That’s a lot of money….er, close to the cost of a law degree. In a sense, Goren will have paid for his legal education twice.
This litigation raised numerous interesting issues that the appellate ruling didn’t address, including whether the state court had the legal power to award copyright ownership to Goren in the first place (I think no), whether Ripoff Report had acquired more than just a nonexclusive license to its users’ posts, the problems that Ripoff Report created for itself by not having a proper call-to-action on its user agreement (it got bailed out by a layered notice), and much more. I’d say that perhaps those issues will be resolved in other cases, but I’m hoping no future case like this ever emerges!
Even among the many cases we’ve blogged, this case stands out as particularly noteworthy because it exposes an ugly interface between copyright and reputation management. Goren didn’t want copyright ownership to “promote the progress of science.” Like the doctors in Medical Justice’s decrepit program to pre-acquire the copyrights to unwritten reviews of their patients, the real goal of copyright ownership was to suppress the content. To me, this turns copyright law on its head, by making our society dumber, not smarter. Jessica Silbey and I are co-authoring a paper on how and why copyright has emerged as a reputation management tool of choice, and the paper prominently features this case as an example. The fact that the appeals court reached a satisfying outcome is nice. However, the fact it took four years of litigation to reach this result, when most defendants would have given up long ago, is symptomatic of copyright law’s overreach. We need to build industrial-grade doctrines in copyright law to prevent its misuse as a reputation management tool.
Case citation: Small Justice LLC v. Xcentric Ventures LLC, 2017 WL 4534395 (1st Cir. Oct. 11, 2017)
Source: Eric Goldman Legal
Vendasta’s Website Creation team is looking for a Web Creation Coordinator to add to the growing team. This person is responsible for monitoring the website order pipeline and coordinating the website creation process from start to finish. The role involves cross-functional work with web designers, vendors, client-facing communication, and a high level of team communication.
- Monitor Website Creation orders from Vendasta’s marketplace.
- Own the website creation pipeline and ensure that orders are processed smoothly, quickly, and with good execution.
- Delegate tasks to various teams to achieve website publication within the outlined time periods.
- Communicate with Partners, Clients and Vendors.
- Build templated websites on WordPress.
- Independent decision maker. Can take calculated risks and deal with ambiguity.
- Takes initiative to improve and try new things.
- Ability to work independently with minimal supervision within a strong team environment.
- Comfortable with rapid change and few regulations.
- Positive attitude.
- Experience in web design, usability and content optimization.
- Proficiency with WordPress.
- Experience with Adobe creative suite (Photoshop, InDesign).
Vendasta is a software company that believes in local, and is driving local economies. Located downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, we build a online platform that helps B2B companies sell digital solutions to local businesses. Through our partners around the world, we’re helping more than 650,000 local businesses thrive and succeed—and we love what we do.
When it comes to reputation attacks, perception always trumps intentions.
Each week, Erin Jones and I take a look at the most interesting reputation management stories, answer your questions, and share valuable ORM tactics. In this week’s episode:
- Was the latest Dove ad taken out of context or a massive fail regardless?
- Mark Zuckerberg VR tour of Puerto Rico backfires.
- Was Cam Newton’s apology sincere?
- ESPN suspends Jemele Hill over NFL tweets.
If you have a question you would like us to tackle, please leave a comment below or on my Facebook Page.
Transcript (forgive us for any typos):
The post #34 – Dove, Facebook, Cam Newton, and Jemele Hill all learn perception trumps intention appeared first on Andy Beal .
Source: Andy Beal
4 tips to extend your in-person customer service online
In 2017, your customers aren’t calling or emailing your small business with their customer service concerns.
They’re tweeting at your business on Twitter, posting on your Facebook wall, and direct messaging you on Instagram.
Currently, 90% of customers reach out to brands like yours on social media and consider it the first place they’d turn to if they had a problem or complaint.
How you handle customer service on your business’ social media pages can be the difference between a repeat customer and a lost one — here’s how to be as customer-savvy online as you are in-store:
Just like you’d engage a customer who approached you at your business, you need to do the same thing when you’re engaged online.
No matter how minor or major a customer’s message may seem, taking the time to respond will make your customer adore your business even more.
Spending time replying can also increase your bottom line — customers are 3x more likely to recommend your business after a positive social media customer service interaction.
Time is of the essence! When a customer reaches out to your business on social media, 60% of them expect a reply within an hour or less.
Make sure you’re monitoring your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for any questions, complaints, or concerns. Responding in a timely fashion is a great way to impress your customers and show them you care.
Always follow the golden rule of responding to people on social media — tweet others how you’d like to be tweeted.
Treat the tweets, comments, and messages that your business receives how you would treat those problems in-person. Don’t be afraid to be empathetic, use humor, and show emotion. Your personable response will go a long way for the customer.
Know When to Make the Conversation Private
When customers have concerns they want your business to know about, they have a lot of options on social media of how to get that message to you.
Sometimes, customers will publicly tweet at your business, write on your Facebook wall, or comment on an Instagram photo. It’s important to know when to respond publicly to your customers’ concerns and when to take things to a private message.
If an issue is sensitive, don’t be afraid to ask for the customer’s contact information, for them to private message you, or for them to send your business an email or give you a call.
Taking the time to make your online customer service as exceptional online as it is in-person will impress your customers and keep them coming back to your business!
Source: Main Street Hub