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seo pr strategy

I’ve been reflecting on how strange it is that I’ve seemed to attract more media coverage ever since I put a deposit down on a pre-construction unit in the Playgorund condos project at Garrison Point in west downtown Toronto.

The other day I got quoted in a CBC news article, “Major construction on Fort York pedestrian bridge gets underway“, after being approached by a reporter while walking home.

This is after I spoke about the first-time home buyer experience in a podcast and was mentioned in social posts previously.

It wasn’t my intension to bring more attention to myself necessarily, I was just doing my own thing.

It’s got me wondering if some part of success is just buying expensive things and being recognized for it. 😛

Oddly enough, it feels like somewhere along the way I managed to stumble into my own seo PR strategy.

The cool thing is it basically gives me more links to share without having to take the time to make my own original content.

I can essentially just curate the content other people have created about me.

And this all got me thinking about how one builds a personal brand over the course of a career.

Some thoughts on SEO PR Strategy

Maybe I think about things differently than other people, but for me, I think of myself as both a person and a business. It’s as if I’m a commodity but I’m desperately trying to make myself stand out among all the other people doing cool stuff on the internet, or just in life in general.

Trying to work out your own seo pr strategy is probably most similar to trying to build a personal brand.

I always struggle balancing my time with client work and then my own projects. In some ways the client work is the service side of my business/persona. While at the same time my own personal projects are like the creative endeavours of my own self-expression. I know I’m most happiest (or at least feel fulfilled) when I’ve got things on-the-go for both those two sides of the same coin.

However, when I spend too much time dedicated to client work, that’s when I start to feel like I’m falling out of touch with my own brand and my professional identity.

Every time that happens I have to re-focus and I find asking myself these questions help me get back on track:

  • Why am I doing what I’m doing?
  • What do I define as valuable, what do my clients define as valuable?
  • How do I become an expert?
  • What can I do to build local renown?

Some thoughts on Earned Media as an SEO PR Strategy

The cool thing about having other people create content, where you are the topic of that content, is that it helps with your own link building. From a business perspective there are 3 types of media: paid media, owned media and earned media.

Let me give quick definitions of each.

Paid media is messaging that you pay to have broadcasted. This would include the likes of advertising.

Owned media is messaging that you create and own yourself. You know, writing your own blog posts, making your own podcasts or videos etc.

Earned media is when other organizations create messaging about you. It’s the most difficult media to acquire for a business because it requires that the things you do to be inherently newsworthy enough that other people want to talk about it. It’s because of this fact that it’s the most valuable media. Some examples who be a TV appearance or presenting a keynote speech at an event. The fact that you’re being invited to take part in a conversation positions you as a thought leader.

Which is probably something we all know we want to do over the course of our careers.

If you have any of your own thoughts or ideas about link building, personal branding, earned media etc. feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message on my contact page.

In case you were wondering what media I was actually covered in, I’ll embed some of the stuff below.

CBC News Quote:

cbc news quote john cerpnjak

Social Posts:

IN OUR FIRST OFFICIAL INSTALMENT, OUR “ROCK STAR OF THE WEEK” IS: JOHN CERPNJAK As seen in the picture above John is working his way towards one of his goals right across the street! He put a deposit down on a 800k condo! The building is in it’s early stages and is expected to finish in 2020, while the first 5% down payment is due in just 2 weeks! With a Quote from university that has shaped his perspective on life to this day, John lives life on his terms by being busy with work! His goals are to have his work’s reputation to proceed him, to get to a place where he no longer needs to apply for jobs or ask people for work, but rather that those opportunities come his way… to have more opportunities than he can even handle! From the team here at Rock star, we hope that all the best befalls you, and that like you said, opportunities don’t hide from you. Life is an ever long struggle, and there will always be a pathway that you haven’t been down. We can tell you ourselves that failure is nothing new to us, it is the biggest learning opportunity that you can come into. We hope you take your mistakes, and ultimately turn them into something which can push you closer to your goal. WITHOUT A DOUBT YOU’LL GET THERE! If you’re interested in being featured on our page, and sharing your story and goals to help others understand that living life on your terms is something we can all achieve, send your submissions to SUBMISSIONS@ROCKSTARINNERCIRCLE.COM

A post shared by Rock Star Real Estate (@rockstarinnercircle) on

Podcast Guest Appearance:

I recently had a client ask me if we should switch to a different WordPress SEO plugin. They had come across a comment on social media where someone through the recommendation of Perry Belcher had switched from using the Yoast plugin to SEOProcessor. For those of you who don’t know, Perry Belcher is actually kind of a ‘somebody’ in the digital marketing industry, so it makes sense my client would be bringing this concern to me.

Let’s not kid ourselves here, SEO plugins are generally nothing more than a graphical user interface to input some targeted keywords that will be placed in the <title> and <meta> tags of a HTML document’s <head> section. Sure, an SEO plugin can also scan over your text inside paragraph and heading tags to provide recommendations around keyword density and overall readability of the content. But an SEO plugin on its own is not going to drastically improve your website’s ranking.

Understanding how and why websites rank the way they do in search engines is fundamentally so much more than just activating a WordPress plugin and inputing keywords.

The nature of the internet is human-centered

It’s every search engine’s mandate to serve users with high-quality, relevant information to ensure a good user experience. (Google literally says so in their Webmaster Guidelines.)

And that is exactly what you and every other website creator should be doing too.

Sure, search engines run on artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithmic codes, but what is all this stuff trying to do? It’s trying to replicate human thought, human communication and human connection.

Some people may not be aware of this but the nature of the internet is human-centered. Meaning that everything you do online should be for the betterment of humans.

When creating content, creators should be creating for humans rather than creating for search engines. If your ultimate goal in content creation is to rank higher, you’ll fail in the long run. Your goal should be to create the most valuable content for humans as you possibly can. There’s a simple logical reason for this. Search algorithms are being updated all the time to better serve humans. White hat and black hat SEO practises have been around since the beginning of WEB 2.0 but it’s the black hat practises that are becoming obsolete over time. The majority of the white hat SEO practices from 10+ years ago are still the tried and true practises of today. Essentially, white hat SEO hasn’t changed much, certainly not like black hat has changed. White hat SEO practises are human-centered.

The purpose of a SEO plugin

An SEO plugin is a tool to help you rank better in search engines. It’s not the solution for ranking better. The solution to ranking better is layered and complex but I’m going to layout some key points you should know.

In order to really get SEO you’ll need to study up on concepts like search intent, information architecture, content hubs/silos, backlinks etc. All these concepts will inform aspects of your keyword research and ultimately your content marketing strategy. Once you start executing your strategy a SEO plugin will help you keep track of the keywords you’ve already targeted, it will help you generate and submit sitemaps to search engines and it will help monitor both your internal and external links, or broken links.

How to actually rank well in search engines

Let’s say you’ve had a website for a few years, you’ve been publishing quality content on a weekly basis and maybe you even rank in the top spot for a few targeted keywords. How do you improve from here?

  • Get your business listed on Google My Business and it’s equivalent for the other search engines.
  • Set up schema markup and structured data for your website with schema.org
  • Expand your online presence and reach by guest posting and creating high quality content for other websites that are related to yours. This should help grow your online followers and increase your authority.
  • If you’re not doing it already, use more rich media (videos, audio, infographics, slides/galleries etc.)
  • Make sure all your website’s content is mobile responsive as search engines provide different results for mobile search versus desktop search. Make your website as mobile-friendly as possible.
  • Implement Google’s AMP
  • Make your website support HTTPS/SSL, basically, purchase and install an SSL certificate from your web hosting provider.
  • And make sure your website remains fast to load. Although, page load speed is dependant on so many different things, from how your website is developed to what web server configuration you’re using.

Notice anything about that list? None of the tasks listed above can be executed using an SEO plugin. Or at least, most of the SEO plugin developers haven’t implemented all these things as features into their software plugins yet. Meaning that you as a website owner will have to set SEO project goals and manage their execution yourself.

If you’re interested in learning more about basic seo tips you can check out my other post.

If you’re into creating websites or interested in having one, you surely must have come across the term SEO (search engine optimization). By definition SEO is optimizing your website content so that it achieves better search results in various search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. I’m going to share with you some basic seo tips you can start using today to improve the search ranking of your website.

Once you understand how a search result is displayed by a search engine and what are the potential factors involved, it gets relatively simple to build a website that serves both human users and search engines.

Understanding how the search engine works

Before I get into explaining how SEO works, it’s important for you to understand how the results in a search engine are displayed.

When someone searches a particular word in Google, the search engine is required to search this word across the World Wide Web through different websites all over the world.

This is called a keyword.

The most relevant websites would be displayed on the first page of Google. Now, the ranking of the websites is based on sophisticated algorithms run by “spiders” that crawl the web to index new webpages that are being published all the time. There are also “bots” that scan and read a webpage’s content (all the text, images, videos, links etc.) that determine the order in which webpages and websites are ranked.

Apparently, Google has over 200 ranking factors and they don’t release what they are specifically so no one can artificially manipulate the search engine to get their website to outrank everyone else. That would be unfair.

However, below are the most common parameters a search engine would use to gauge the relevance of a keyword to a website.

  • The highest number of clicks: High numbers of clicks means that number of users have visited the page. The search engine would feel that this website would be most relevant to the keyword used by the user.
  • Keyword Relevance: If the bots scan and find the keyword used many times in your post they would communicate to the search engine that the site will be related to the search criteria and would display the website on the first page.
  • Time spent on the website: Google will determine the time users spend on the website. More time spent on the website means that users are reading the content on the page. This makes the search engine decide that the website is more relevant and thus the website will have a higher ranking in the search result.
  • On-Page: On page SEO deals with the changes made on the website and in the contents itself. For instance, changing or adding a keyword to the title of the post to attract more traffic on your page. Some of the changes one can make within a short amount time which will help yield great results are the following:
    • Web page content: It is crucial that the website has relevant and high-quality content. Users should have a good experience once they visit your website. Especially while navigating through the different web pages.
    • Design: Keep your design minimalistic and one without a heavy amount of code. Ensure that your website is mobile friendly.
    • Upload time: Make sure your website loads within 1-2 seconds. On an average, a user will wait 5 seconds for a website to load. If the site is buggy or the web host has connectivity issues you would surely lose potential traffic. Google factors the loading time of a website while displaying the search results. Hence you should ensure that your website is quick to load.
    • Plugins: Plugins are a great way to optimize your website. Use a cache plugin to clear any unwanted cache. SEO plugin is a great way to edit your Meta title and Meta description and having the keyword used. Note that Meta title is a title that appears on the search result for a user after they search for the keyword. While Meta description helps to give a brief overview to the user what the website is about.
    • Optimize posts: Websites which have posts with around 800-1200 words tend to do better. However, not all topics and post can be that long. The minimum word count for a post is about 300 words. A good practise is to write 2-3 long posts and then have links to related posts with few words. Essentially, you’re making the long post the “parent” and the shorter posts that link to it the “child”. This will not only help you rank better on the topics related to the long posts but on other topics as well.
    • Bullet Points: Keep your content concise and develop a habit of making bullet points. This will help your post grab the attention of the scrollers who do not read the entire posts.
    • Use images and videos: For a post of 1200 words, at least use 4-5 images. They help in getting the attention of users. Post a video at the beginning of the post. If a viewer watches a 10mins video on your web page, this will help your search ranking drastically.

The above-mentioned basic seo tips do not directly affect your SEO ranking on Google. However will help you get more users and more traffic to your website, which plays an important role in optimizing your website to rank higher.

Here’s a short video that helps explain how search engines’ page rank algorithms work.

Basic SEO tips and keyword optimization every website owner needs to know about

Here are a few ways you can include the keyword in various different aspects of your website. These are the basic seo tips I share with my clients. It’s also what I focus on in my work to make the biggest impact on my clients’ websites.

  • Meta title:As mentioned already, using an SEO plugin to edit your web page title which displays in the search results.
  • URL extensions: Google has a way to identify which web page is regarding what topic through the permalink in the website URL. Edit the URL and include the keyword.
  • Hyperlinks: Use links within your website to navigate through different posts. In this way, you link the keyword to another related post.
  • Image alternative text or “alt text”: Image text helps Google identifying what the image is about. Rename the embedded image to a related keyword.

Off page SEO: This basically deals with back links which are nothing more than links which are directing users back to your website. The common strategies to obtain good back links are as follows.

  • Social Media: Use all platforms of social media to promote your website. Create a page on Facebook or group on Google+ linking back to your web page. This method helps especially if you have a new website and social media is a great way to divert traffic initially.
  • Q & A Forums: Browse through Q & A forums like Quora related to your topic and try answering some of the questions there. Ensure you link your website to the answers. The clicks you get through this method are not significant, but by constantly giving quality answers would help build a reputation in the community.
  • Comment on popular blogs: Comment on at least two popular blogs who have more influence related to your topic and link back to related blog posts or pages on your own site.

Keyword research and content strategies

Understanding how search engines work and how to rank for them is only just the beginning. The next step after these basic seo tips would be figuring out what content you’d need to create for your website. In order to come up with your own content strategy for your website you’ll need to do some keyword research. There are plenty of online tools available for keyword research. Some are free, like Google Keyword Planner, and some cost money.

In a future blog post I’ll write a guide for how I conduct keyword research for my clients and how I implement these basic SEO tips in order to get results for my clients and make money as a digital marketing consultant.

So if you haven’t already, I encourage you to join my mailing list so you get notified when I publish future post.

multimediaIt’s been said that every entrepreneur is a digital entrepreneur.

And in a sense all entrepreneurs are using digital technologies to build, launch, and grow their businesses.

But it would be wrong to think all entrepreneurs are doing everything digitally.

Although, amazingly, it is now possible to do that.

And it can create compelling career and lifestyle options for you in the process.

But what exactly is a digital entrepreneur and how do you become one?

Well in a word: interdisciplinary skills.

I know, that’s two words.

But anyone with multimedia skills, which are interdisciplinary in nature, can become a digital entrepreneur.

Digital entrepreneurs are business owners who focused exclusively on digital commerce.

And digital commerce is selling products and services that are marketed, delivered, and supported completely online.

Examples of digital commerce products include ebooks, online education, membership sites, downloadable software or files, web hosting and web site management, and software as a service (“SaaS”).

Anyone with multimedia skills like web/app design, photography, videography and writing can build a business for themselves.

 

What does every multimedia expert and digital entrepreneur need to succeed?

It stands to reason a good website is a prerequisite for success.

There are five elements of the modern marketing website that all multimedia specialists need to be thinking about and implementing in a smart way.

Really, all entrepreneurs need a website that incorporates these five elements.

  1. Email (registration, not just opt-in)
  2. Adaptive content and responsive design
  3. The access experience
  4. Online courses as lead magnets
  5. Testing … of everything

Technical skills in multimedia is what you’ll need to implement those 5 elements for yourself. And an interdisciplinary approach will help you execute the work.

A podcast I listen to from the people over at CopyBlogger discus these five elements in the second episode. Here’s a quick link incase you want to listen: The 5 Elements of the Modern Marketing Website

How many people does it take to build an effective website?

You know, I frequently find myself having this conversation with potential clients often.

It honestly doesn’t take that much to develop an effective online marketing solution.

I’m living proof you can do it as one person.

In the multimedia field there are three primary areas of expertise involved with creating an effective website:

  • art/design
  • technical
  • marketing

Sadly many schools offering web design programs don’t offer a comprehensive curriculum which adequately addresses all these areas.  Most schools focus primarily on the design aspect (layouts, colors, etc.)  By necessity they do delve into the technical side, but tend not to spend significant time teaching students about search engine optimization and the more technical aspects of developing a website.  And many schools tend to spend even less time teaching basic marketing principals.

This was a major struggle for me when I first graduated from McMaster University and Humber College and entered my career. I felt like my technical skills were well-rounded but I knew I didn’t know how to apply them in a way that someone would offer me a job for money.

It wasn’t until I met these 2 brothers who co-owned their own business and who were super smart marketers, that I started to understand how to take my understand of web design (and a bunch of other multimedia practices) and really create a web site so that it functioned as a primary marketing vehicle for business.

That’s really why I started writing and journaling the experiences I’ve had working for myself.

If I can play any part in sharing even a small nugget of knowledge or information that could help another young person find their way into a multimedia and digital entrepreneurial career path… I’ve won!

So listen, I’ve got a lot of ideas about what I’d like to write about but I’d still like to hear what you think. You can either write to me on my contact page or leave a comment at the end of this post. I’ll share case studies of my work, the strategies I use to find clients and process & techniques I use to make my various multimedia and digital marketing work.

And if you’re feeling really awesome you can join my email newsletter. (Maybe I’ll even show you how I make graphical HTML email templates).