22 Noteworthy Content Marketing Guides and Tips

Content marketing is a hot topic. According to Google Trends, searches for “content marketing” have increased 150% in the past two years. 90% of companies now use content marketing, and collectively they will spent $135 million on digital marketing content this year.

7 steps to an optimized content marketing strategy

Image credit: Intergage

Yet marketers still have many questions about content marketing strategy and tactics. How do you create a content marketing strategy? What role does visual content play? How should success be measured? Is there too much content being produced?

Find the answers to those questions and more here in 22 noteworthy content marketing guides. While some of these posts date back the beginning of 2014, all remain relevant and useful.

10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience! by The Marketing Nut
***** 5 STARS

Pam MooreWriting that “You must know who your audience is, who you are and how you can help them solve problems. It’s only after you have this foundational knowledge that you can determine your social strategy and approach for building your social media plan,” frequent best-of honoree Pam Moore offers a free audience analysis worksheet and suggests 10 key questions to ask when developing content plans, starting with questions to identify your audience and key pain points and concluding with the emotional reasons customers buy from you.

How to measure content marketing success by iMedia Connection

Michael EstrinMichael Estrin shares half a dozen insights on effectively measuring content marketing success, such as “business goals still matter” (views and engagement are nice, but is your audience following through by taking a targeted action?) and while numbers matter, so does quality (content “will fail if it doesn’t align with a larger strategy”).

Optimize Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps by Business2Community

Angela HausmanAngela Hausman expounds on an infographic which illustrates “how to optimize content marketing strategy” in seven steps, starting with setting goals and conducting research, and progressing through promoting your content and analyzing results (“Use the KPI’s created earlier to monitor your performance. Keep doing things that work and tweak things that DON’T work or get rid of them”).

what is awesome content and why do you need it? by bowden2bowden blog

Randy BowdenRandy Bowden outlines a four-step process for creating awesome client, from identifying and getting to know your audience (“In order to capture the attention of your readers, you need to know how to capture their attention. In order to know how to capture their attention, you need to get to know them“) to including a call to action in the conclusion of your content.

The 5 biggest myths about content marketing by iMedia Connection

Tom ForanTom Foran debunks “five of the most common myths and (tries) to set the record straight for marketers.” For example, “Myth No. 2: Creating content is the hard part.” Actually, according to Foran, most of the work is in promotion. “Creating the content first and figuring out where it should go later sounds like a surefire way to waste time and resources. Marketers should instead consider starting with a distribution strategy that answers…key questions.”

12 Most Innovative Ways to Create Content That Gets Shared by 12 Most

Rebekah RadiceRebekah Radice offers a dozen tips for “creating compelling content that engages your audience and inspires them to share that content,” from analyzing competitors and knowing your ideal reader (starting with a customer persona) through sharing success stories, sharing newsworthy content, and building an email list.

Surviving “Content Shock” and the Impending Content Marketing Collapse by Copyblogger

Sonia SimoneWhile acknowledging that “there is too much of some types of content,” the brilliant and prolific Sonia Simone makes the case that despite the deluge of online content today, content marketing is far from dead, as “There is no glut of quality content…we are a long way from the day when too much high-quality, Rainmaker-style content is being created…there is not a glut of content that is useful, passionate, individual, and interesting.”

What You Absolutely Need To Know About Content Marketing by The B Squared Media Blog

Brooke BallardBrooke Ballard explains three “must-knows” about content marketing, starting with “Content Marketing Always Starts With A Strategy…everything starts with a ‘why.’ Why are we creating this blog post / eBook / status update? What do we want people to do with this piece of content; what’s the purpose?” Each point also includes several “things to consider,” such as “Can you repurpose old content for use in the future?”

Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template by The Marketing Nut

Pam Moore (again) offers practical, actionable guidance on how to organize and create a content marketing editorial calendar, complete with a downloadable template and all of the elements that should be part of the calendar (from weekly and monthly themes through primary keywords and categories to supporting media and syndication.

Will The Content Marketing Trends Continue? It Depends On Proving Your ROI by Forbes

Benjy BoxerAfter sharing some compelling statistics–“the content marketing industry (has) grown to a $44 billion industry…93% of B2B brands and 90% of B2C brands are now using content marketing to educate consumers about their brands. (Yet) despite the overwhelming interest in content marketing, 55% of B2B content marketers think their campaigns are ineffective”—Benjy Boxer contends that content marketing efforts need to show ROI, and provides an example worksheet.

The 3 C’s of Successful Content Marketing by iMedia Connection

Nate HolmesNate Holmes outlines the “3C’s” of content marketing execution, starting with create [italix]: “Creating quality content is the heart of content marketing. Relevant, valuable content is what will make your audience stop to think and behave differently…There must be a purpose to content creation; a goal…Understand who your audience is and what they want to know…Offer what no one else can.”

5 Content Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2014 by Web Content Blog

Gazalla GayaFor the most part, these predictions from Gazalla Gaya will hold true for 2015 as well. For each trend here, she also lists several helpful related ideas for content marketing success, among them “Create a definite social media strategy in place to promote your blog posts, whitepapers, case studies and seminars” and “Outline a strategy that works for different devices.”

10 Reasons Visual Content will Dominate 2014 by Advanced Lead Generation Marketing Blog

James SchererJames Scherer outlines 10 reasons to incorporate videos and images into content marketing efforts, including both stats you’ve likely seen before (e.g., “videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%) and a few you may not have (“67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to carry more weight than product information or customer ratings”).

Peak Content: When Does Content Marketing Hit Its Breaking Point? by HubSpot

Drew WilliamsDrew Williams presents the concept of the “engagement ladder,” which helps map marketing content to all phases of the buying decision process, from solution education (such as analyst reports or industry studies) through vendor education and vendor consideration to decision support (e.g., an offer of an assessment or ROI calculator).

31 Content Marketing Ideas that Will Revolutionize Your Business by Marketo Content Marketing Blog

Joe PulizziJoe Pulizzi (who knows just a bit about content marketing) shares a “list of 31 ideas and thoughts, which I believe will make an immediate impact on your content marketing, even if you only execute a few,” such as launching content marketing projects together with partners; keeping your social media influencer list up to date; and setting up editorial calendars for each of your key markets or products.

Content Marketing in 2014: Are You Prepared? by HubSpot

Kieran FlanaganKieran Flanagan writes that content marketing has largely replaced link building as a primary SEO tactic, then explores processes for proving the value of content, scaling content, and promoting content: “When it comes to distribution, marketers need to focus on increasing the size of their available audience (by increasing their blog readership, email lists, and number of social followers), but also increasing the number of distribution channels they have,” coordinating promotion efforts across all of the channels in the web presence optimization (WPO) model.

The 3 Goals For Your Content Marketing by B2B Marketing Insider

Michael BrennerGiven that buyers now complete 60-70% of their purchase process before contacting a vendor sales rep, Michael Brenner believes it’s critical to reach buyers through content marketing, and that all content marketing programs should be based on the same three fundamental goals, starting with reach: “reach measures can be criticized as vanity metrics. But it’s important to be building a healthy audience of the right people and to track those measures over time.”

3 Types of Schema Markup Content Marketers Should Know by Small Business Trends

Ann SmartyObserving that “It’s harder and harder to get above-the-fold Google rankings, especially for the competitive queries,” frequent best-of honoree Ann Smarty delves into how Schema markup works, and three types that content marketers should be aware of: VideoObject schema, Review schema, and Article schema.

7 Ways to Boost SEO Results for Your Video Content Marketing by B2B PR Sense Blog

Oren SmithNoting that “71% of businesses across a variety of industries have increased company funding for online video marketing budgets,” Oren Smith looks at more than half a dozen ways to improve video SEO, such as targeting the right keywords and using supporting images and text: “images, links, and accompanying text all assist search engines with determining page quality. In a ranking sense, a page with nothing but video content on it isn’t attractive.”

5 Ways to Create A Better Content Strategy in 2014 by unbounce

Tommy WalkerWritten a year ago but still timely, Tommy Walker shares his five-step process to make “content more strategic, efficient and powerful,” starting with creating “content for a small group of real people” and progressing through fleshing out a content calendar, complete with examples.

The Future of Content: Upcoming Trends in 2014 by Moz

Stephanie ChangIn another older but still relevant post, Stephanie Chang delves into four key content marketing trends, including “Determining the key metrics to measure content’s success will be more important,” an exploration of the varied metrics available for determining success and which are most valuable.

Want to be a Better Content Marketer? Think Like a Journalist by Blue Kite Marketing

Laura ClickAfter showcasing an example from her alma mater’s journalism school, Laura Click writes “companies that are doing brand journalism well aren’t just throwing a blog on their website. They are creating an entirely new destination for readers that looks less like a corporate website and more like a news magazine. This gives companies the opportunity to be the go-to resource in their industry.” She then serves up six practical tips for thinking like a journalist.

Post to Twitter

17 Helpful SEO Tools and Tool Reviews

For nearly as long as there have been people working on search engine optimization, there have been SEO tools. The first tools handled only the most rudimentary tasks, like rank checking or keyword density analysis.

As search engine algorithms, and SEO professionals, have become more sophisticated over time, so have the tools. Today, there are (in many cases free, or low-cost) tools covering nearly every aspect of content design, on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.

Expert SEO tools and SEO tool reviewsWhich SEO tools are most helpful in conducting a site audit? Which tools are best for local SEO? For reporting and metrics? Competitive analysis? Social analytics?

Find out in this compilation of web tools and expert tool reviews from the past year and a half.

Helpful SEO Tools

PageSpeed Insights

This outstanding tool from Google evaluates the speed of both mobile and desktop access for any specified website, returns an overall score, and provides technical recommendations on for decreasing load time and improving site speed.

Site Explorer

A slick free tool that reports, for any full URL: linking domains, inbound links, most linked countries, most linked keywords, page rank of linking domains, and new links within the past 30 days. This one deserves consideration for every SEO’s toolbox.

Online Website Link Checker

One of the best free broken-link checking tools available, the Online Website Link Checker will crawl for and report broken links on up to 500 pages and three levels down on any specified website, optionally across a whole domain or only a specified subdomain.

Expert SEO Tools Reviews and Guides

Free and Useful On-Page Optimization Tools by Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann SmartyOnline tools expert Ann Smarty presents five useful tools for on-page optimization from the SEO Chat free tools beta are, among them the On-Page Optimization Analysis Tool , which analyzes “everything from meta data to keyword use iysis/n content and link accounting. It then breaks this all down for you, so you can get a more thorough look at how well your page has been optimized, and how you can optimize it even more.”

SEO Report: How to Track Blog Performance on Google by Razor Social

Ian Cleary“To find out how likely it is that the blog posts you write will have an ongoing impact, you need to find out how well your blog content is currently doing. You can do this with an SEO report,” writes Ian Cleary; he then steps through the process of creating such a report using a series of tools, like SEMRush to discover what keywords your site ranks for, and Monitor Backlinks, which will “will email you every week with a summary of new and old links that changed in status.”

Free Local SEO Tools that Belong in Your Kit by The Moz Blog

Miriam Ellis provides detailed descriptions of more than a dozen helpful and free tools for local SEO, including the Generate local AdWords and keywords lists tool (much more helpful than Google Keyword Planner when trying to identify keywords with value in a specific geographic area) and the Free Local Analysis Google Places Tool, which, she writes, “Provides more rich data for local SEOs than almost any other free tool I’ve found!…I can also compare them to other local businesses using the tool.”

10 SEO Tools and Plugins You Need in 2014 by Web Content Blog

Gazella GayaThe English isn’t perfect, but the reviews are spot on. Most of the tools Gazalla Gaya reviews here are familiar (such as the outstanding WordPress SEO by Yoast, but a few are off the beaten path, among them HitTail (a fee-based long-tail keyword research tool) and the Virante AuthorRank tool for analyzing the influence of online authors according to Google ranking factors.

How Rich Snippets Work (And Tools to Generate Them) by SEO Chat

Ann Smarty (again) explains what rich snippets are, why they are important (“These little details are what causes your listing to ‘pop’ in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy”), and how to use specialized tools from SEO Chat to create specific types of snippets, such as the Event Rich Snippet Schema Generator to “show (event dates and times for quick reference.”

30 Awesome Free SEO Tools for Small Businesses by Search Decoder Blog

Matthew CapalaMatthew Capala offers links to and brief descriptions of two-and-a-half dozen free tools, from the the AdWords keyword traffic estimator and Übersuggest for keyword research to WidgetBox (a dynamic web widgets generator), Yext] for monitoring local SEO listings, and Visual.ly for creating infographics.

21 Best FREE SEO Tools for On-Page Optimization by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS

Chuck PriceNoting the importance of providing the best user experience to achieve and maintain top search results, Chuck Price reviews more than 20 free tools for onsite optimization, for functions like keyword research, content analysis, technical SEO, schema creation, and image optimization.

Google SEO Tools: 7 Tools to Drive more traffic to your blog by Razor Social

Ian Cleary (again) explains how to use Google’s free tools to help out with SEO efforts; not just the obvious ones (e.g., Webmaster Tools, Keyword Planner) but Google Trends, advanced search commands, and desktop and mobile speed search: “When Google makes available a tool to test out the speed of your website and provides suggestion for improvements you know you should be paying attention to this.  When they provide similar for mobile you know you should pay attention to this also.”

15 Free SEO Tools For Evaluating Your Clients by Brad S. Knutson

Brad KnutsonThe obnoxious full-screen pop-up unfortunately prevents this from getting a five-star rating, but once your past that, you’ll find here an outstanding list from Brad Knutson of free tools for evaluating key aspects of SEO: technical SEO, content and keyword research, local search, inbound links, traffic estimates, and social analytics.

The 100 Best Free SEO Tools & Resources for Every Challenge – Interactive by The Moz Blog

Cyrus ShepardCyrus Shepard presents a huge, categorized list of completely free, free with paid option, and paid with free trial tools covering pretty much every aspect of SEO, from link research, rank checking and site speed testing to keyword research, link building and technical SEO.

A closer look at Google’s Webmaster Tools revamp by Econsultancy

Zoe-Lee SkeltonZoe-Lee Skelton provides a detailed look into GWT’s mid-2013 redesign, explaining the new navigation setup, what’s included under each heading, and new features, such as the ability to block pages: “You’re also able to request the ‘removal of URLs’ from Google’s Index if not already blocked in the robots.txt file. Use this feature if you have pages that you don’t want Google to find.”

3 Free SEO Tools for Auditing and Troubleshooting Onsite Issues by Search Engine Journal

Marc PurtellWriting that ” It’s not uncommon in today’s SEO landscape to wake up and find a sudden drop of organic search traffic and/or keyword rankings…By taking advantage of the intelligence that is available for free, brands with low budgets can recover from SEO issues,” Marc Purtell recommends using Google Webmaster Tools, Screaming Frog, and the BrowSEO Spider Simulator to investigate and help correct ranking loss issues.

3 Must-Have SEO Tools: 17 SEO Experts Weigh In by Powered by Search

Troy FawkesTroy Boileau reports on the results of asking several well-known SEO experts about their favorite tools: among the group, Aaron Wall (who’s produced some pretty awesome tools himself) likes different tools for different purposes, for example, “surface level metrics from Majestic SEO, Ahrefs & Open Site Explorer”; Brian Massey cites Google Analytics and AdWords, plus Visual Website Opimizer; and Heidi Cohen notes the value of WordPress and Flickr.

SEO On A Budget: 10 Free Tools by MediaPost
***** 5 STARS

Marc Purtell (again) lists 10 helpful free or low-cost tools to help with site analysis and optimization efforts, including Rank Checker, several Google tools, and Screaming Frog: “Screaming Frog is a free spider that…can help identify server errors, redirects, URI issues, duplicate meta data and much more.”

Post to Twitter

28 (of the) Best Business Blogging Guides and Tips of 2013

Maintaining a company blog has numerous benefits for businesses of almost all shapes and sizes: blogging is an SEO best practice; it drives more website visitors lead conversions; it draws new visitors, expanding the reach of the company website; and it’s core element of a content marketing and online presence optimization strategy.

Best Business Blogging Guides of 2013So it’s not surprising that 76% of b2b companies and 72% of b2c enterprises now have corporate blogs.

Still—not every company that blogs realizes the medium’s full potential. And blogs require significant effort and resources, so even companies that have effective blogs want to assure they are maximizing results.

How can you attract more sales prospects to your blog? Get visitors to engage with your content? Become recognized as an industry thought leader? Optimize your blog for search? What common mistakes should you avoid? Which tools and plugins should you be using?

Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than two dozen of the best business blogging guides of the past year.

Best Business Blogging Guides and Tips

7 Steps To Make Your Blog A Marketing Machine by Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenTo make your blog a marketing machine rather than a me-me-me (or me-too) blog, Heidi Cohen advises focusing on your audience’s hot buttons, outlining a series of ongoing columns, branding your blog, and incorporating clear calls to action, among other tactics.

9 Ways To Get More Prospects To Discover Your B2B Blog by Business2Community

Douglas BurdettDouglas Burdett recommends “nine tactics (that) will get your blog discovered by more readers,” from looking for and capitalizing on trends in your blog analytics and publishing original data to being controversial by “taking a stand and backing it up with data.”

An Almost Effortless Way to “Get Your Name Out There” by The Un-Self-Help Blog

Stephan WiednerStephan Wiedner shares six reasons to write guest posts for other blogs, among them: “It builds relationships. If you write for someone else’s blog and their readers like what you share, they will be grateful, potentially ask you to write again, and who knows, maybe scratch your back in other ways some time in the future.” And despite some recent, widely misinterpreted comments by Google’s Matt Cutts, guest blogging is not dead.

30+ powerful adjectives and verbs for eye-catching headlines by Econsultancy

Chris LakeQuoting advertising legend David Ogilvy that “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar,” Chris Lake offers guidance on choosing compelling blog post topics then grabbing attention by using key adjectives and verbs in the headline. Based on research over millions of page impressions, these adjectives include “best,” “brilliant,” “kickass,” “mindblowing” and “ultimate” among others.

5 Ways to Create a Deliciously Irresistible Blog Post Title by SteamFeed

Rebekah RadiceRebekah Radice explains why post titles are so important, the four objectives a post title should achieve, and a handful of tips to help craft compelling titles, such as keeping them concise: “It has been found that titles with eight words or less perform best.”

6 Ways To Go From Anonymous Hermit To Thought Leader by Fast Company

Wendy MarxContending that “Becoming a thought leader in your industry doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily the smartest kid on the block. It does mean that you’re the most receptive and understanding of your customers’ needs,” the brilliant Wendy Marx offers half a dozen tips for making the transition, including writing for trade publications and speaking at industry events.

How to Optimize Your Blog Content for Social Media by Maximize Social Business

Kristi HinesKristi Hines shares a handful of helpful tips for optimizing blog posts for social sharing, from adding social sharing buttons (a task done easily with tools like AddThis or ShareThis]) to including a social call to action (“let readers know that you want them to share your posts by adding a call to action at the end such as ‘If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends'”).

33 Experts Share Their Secrets For Improving Reader Engagement by Blogging Wizard

Adam ConnellAdam Connell compiles advice from nearly three dozen seasoned bloggers on increasing reader engagement, including tips from Seth Godin (“The only thing I do to increase reader engagement is to write things worth sharing”), frequent Webbiquity best-of contributor Neil Patel, Dino Dogan, Anita Campbell, Ted Rubin, Lisa Buben, Joel Comm and more.

7 company blogs that build community by Ragan.com

Emma SiemaskoEmma Siemasko looks at “seven company blogs that do it right, along with some practical tips for getting the same success with your blog,” among them 37Signals: “Signal vs. Noise, 37 Signals’ blog, does a lot more than promote the company…The blog provides thoughtful, inquisitive, and truth-seeking articles about working from home, whether an iPhone camera is enough of a camera, and more.”

How to Generate More Leads With Your Blog: 5 Tips by Social Media Examiner

Kristi Hines (again) supplies a handful of helpful tips for generating leads via a blog, like placing opt-in forms around your blog content with “calls to action such as free trials, free consultations or a simple mailing list opt-in form.”

How to Contribute to a Blog and be Seen by Geekless Tech

Steve HughesNoting that contributing to other blogs “helps with reach, and exposes you to an audience you just don’t have with your own blog,” Steven Hughes shares a handful of tips for constructively contributing such as following directions: “Some sites will spell out exactly what they’re looking for and what you need to do to be considered,” and creating solid, original content.

20 ideas for content that people love to share on social media by Firebrand Ideas Ignition

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas provides 20 tips to help bloggers create a steady stream of fresh content, including creating lists, republishing infographics, curating content (kind of like this post), reporting news, analyzing research results, and reviewing tools or applications.

How to Make Your WordPress Blog to Stand Out by Themefuse

Karol KrolKarol Król presents five ideas to make your blog stand out from the crowd, from picking a new publication schedule (“you won’t know which posting frequency is the best for your blog until you try at least a couple of them”) to launching a contest (“Create a genuine task, or ask a genuine question…Then gather the entries and pick the winner”).

Best Tips for Beginning Bloggers

7 Content Writing Secrets Every Blogger Should Know by Basic Blog Tips

Glen AndrewsGlen Andrews details basic but helpful strategies for writing compelling blog posts, from crafting an attention-grabbing headline and opening through “giving it a rest”–“Before you publish that post – give it a rest. Why? Because, no matter how good we think our post is today, tomorrow never lies…Our posts will be more powerful and professional if we ‘let it rest’ and review it tomorrow with fresh eyes.”

5 Steps To A Successful Blog – A First-Time Blogger’s Business Plan by Viral Mom

Bernard ZarifovicBernard Zarifovic diagrams a first-time blogger’s business plan, starting with selecting a topic or niche and writing the first set of posts and progressing through social sharing, social engagement, and guest blogging.

7 reasons why a blog is vital to your social media strategy by Memeburn

Megan BersteinWhile most of the points here will be familiar to experienced bloggers, Megan Bernstein offers some interesting insights for corporate blog strategy, such as understanding the competitive landscape: “Your competitors in the online space are not always the same as those in ‘real life’.”

Top 10 Strategies to Successful B2B Blogging by TopTenWholesale.com

Naomi Ruth GanhinhinNaomi Ruth Ganhinhin offers 10 tips for blogging success, from setting clear objectives (“A clear set of objectives makes it easier to organize the type of content you publish. It also dictates the tone you are going to use and determine the right people to write your blog posts”) to including calls to action.

Best Guides to Blogging Mistakes and Pitfalls to Avoid

Are You Making These 20 Mistakes on Your Blog? by jeffbullas.com

Jeff Bullas (again) steps through 20 “common  mistakes that a lot of ‘newbie’ and other bloggers slip into,” such as not providing additional reading sources with each post, writing posts that are too long or too short (he recommends aiming for 500-800 words), and not using post categories to help readers find posts of interest.

Still Using Google Images for Your Blog Posts? Stop It! by She Owns It

Shelley WebbWriting that she has “seen too many people served with unexpected ‘bills’ and/or lawsuits for using images that held copyrights,” guest author Shelley Webb explains what types of actions and sources can get bloggers into trouble, and lists alternative / free image sources like Stock.XCHNG.

Blogging: 34 Things You’re Doing Wrong by Social Media Today

Yvonne LyonsYvonne Lyons reveals “34 things that could be keeping your posts from getting traction and making the jump from good to remarkable,” such as errors / lack of editing, choosing a topic that’s been “done to death,” and having no links within the post to your own site—and how to fix each problem.

Why Your Company Blog is Striking Out by Marketo Blog

K'Lee BanksGuest blogger K’Lee Banks offers advice on what to do “if you are spending time writing posts, but no one is listening,” for example: use interesting images (not just stock photos), always include social sharing buttons; and “Invite other professionals in your industry to guest post and connect with their readers.”

Best Blog SEO Guides and Tips

How To Move Your Blog Post Up In Search Results by V3 Integrated Marketing

Ian ClearyGuest author Ian Cleary outlines a half-dozen tactics to improve a blog’s search rankings, including the strategic use of internal and external links: “You don’t want to include a ton of internal links, as that looks spammy. Instead, make sure you’re directing your readers to the resources that they need (internal or external).”

How to Optimize Your Business Blog [Checklist] by Unbounce
***** 5 STARS

Lindsey KirchoffIn this highly bookmark-worthy post, Lindsey Kirchoff lays out a simple four-quadrant checklist for optimizing all aspects of a business blog: structure (e.g., navigation, search, categories); SEO (attributes like keyword use, internal links and Google authorship); CTAs; and social elements.

15 SEO Experts Give Their Best Tips For Blogging by Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen (again) shares blog SEO trips from experts like Kipp Bodnar and Jeffery L. Cohen (“The single biggest factor in SEO success for bloggers comes down to consistent publishing. Those who publish regularly receive more search traffic”), Eric Enge, Ron Jones, Rebecca Lieb and Charlie White.

Best Business Blogging Tools, WordPress Tips and Plugins

4 Useful Creative Commons Browser Plugins by Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann SmartyOnline tools maven Ann Smarty reviews four browser plugins to help find free (creative commons) images for use in blog posts, including CC Search, a search plugin that provides “quick access to about 10 Creative Commons search engines (including flickr, spinxpress, wikimedia, fotopedia, etc). It’s a good search plugin when you need more options that just Flickr.”

How to Make WordPress Sites Load 72.7% Faster by CopyBlogger

Jerod MorrisIn an attempt to “cut the crap and turn down the hype” regarding how to create a faster WordPress site, Jerod Morris recommends staring by examining and optimizing the “core” of every WordPress site, which includes “hosting, theme, and plugins,” then offers a series of speed optimization tips. Not all are simple, but most bloggers should at least be able to find some helpful site speed-related takeaways here.

7 Emerging and Free WordPress Plugins of Fall 2013 by SteamFeed

Jesse AaronJesse Aaron reviews seven newer WordPress plugins, including WooSidebars (for creating custom sidebars by page), All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets (self-explanatory) and his favorite: the WordPress Calls to Action Plugin, which makes it “insanely easy” to do things like “create an effective call to action button, direct the call to action to a landing page, and direct the landing page to a conversion form.”

Easily Move Your WordPress Website to a New Host by Masterful Marketing

Debra MurphyThis is an instance where “easily” may be in the eyes of the reader, but nonetheless Debra Murphy does an exemplary job here of detailing the non-trivial process of moving an existing blog to a new web host as simple and understandable as possible.

Post to Twitter

Five Expert Guides to SEO Keyword Research

Though Google’s move to keyword (not provided) has changed analytics and eliminating the Keyword Planner tool has impacted SEO practices, keywords still matter.

Expert SEO Keyword Research GuidesIndeed, as the volume of online verbiage explodes—91% of b2b marketers have embraced content marketing; the web now contains at least 1.65 billion pages; Internet users collectively created and shared nearly four zettabytes of information in 2013, and the volume continues to grow—identifying and properly using the optimal keywords for your audience is arguably more vital than ever.

Fortunately, tools and methods for keyword discovery and analysis have advanced as well. How can you maximize the value of Google’s “dumbed down” Keyword Planner tool? What other tools and resources are most valuable for keyword research? How can you use keyword research results more strategically?

Find those answers and more here in a handful of the best expert SEO keyword research guides of the past year.

Keyword Research 101: How to Discover New Keywords for Your Business by HubSpot

Samantha WinchellGoogle’s decisions to hide referring keywords from organic search and to replace its Keyword Research tool with the dumbed-down Keyword Planner have made keyword research more challenging. But Samantha Winchell here recommends 10 helpful alternative paths to finding the best keyword phrases for optimization, from the keywords associated with your most popular blog posts to online industry forums.

Google Keyword Planner: The Ultimate Guide by Razor Social
***** 5 STARS

Ian ClearyConfused by Google’s new “lite” keyword research tool? Ian Cleary helpfully explains how Google’s new Keyword Planner tool works, how to access it, the differences between the new tool and more-robust-but-now-discontinued Keyword Research tool, and the three options for performing keyword research with the new tool.

The Hidden Guide To Keyword Research by Reporb SEO Business Courses

This detailed and excellent primer on keyword research steps through why keyword research is vital, how to identify the most promising keywords for your site, how to use the Google Keyword Research tool (now defunct, so see Ian’s article above on how to use the Keyword Planner tool instead), and the pros and cons of 10 alternative keyword research tools.

Multi-level Google Suggest Keyword Research: Featured Tool of the Month by SEO Chat

Ann SmartyThe brilliant and prolific Ann Smarty shows how to use the Google Suggest keyword research tool, expanding each phrase to the second and third levels to produce a huge list of actual organic keyword phrases, not skewed toward commercial searches.

12 Tips for Keyword Selection to Guide Your Content Marketing SEO by Content Marketing Institute

Mike MurrayMike Murray lists a dozen questions to ask when conducting keyword research in support of content marketing efforts, from “Have I mined keyword research resources?” (beyond Google and other obvious tools) to “How will this keyword phrase choice fit into future content?” (strategically planning ahead for future content, not just immediate projects).

Post to Twitter