Blogging

Using Your Search Results Analytics to Create Content

One of the most difficult challenges for bloggers and marketers is creating content that is relevant and interesting to their audience. While the general rule is to write what you know about, it’s good to know how to appeal to your audience.

Something that has proved to be very helpful for me, particularly on my YouTube channel is to review my analytics and see how people ended up on my channel or blog.

In this case, the portion of analytics I’m most interested in are the search engine results. The search results may be a bit buried, but once you locate them, I’d recommend checking them at least once a week. This way, you’ll know what people are searching for and whether or not you’re providing it in your content. Below, I’ll show you with my own analytics from WordPress and YouTube.

One example shows search results that aren’t necessarily relevant and the other is a perfect example of how you can use search results analytics to create your most popular content!

WordPress Analytics

Below are some of the analytics from my WordPress blog. You can access your WordPress analytics by clicking on Dashboard -> Site Stats -> Search Engine Terms (click on the Summaries link). Once at your site stats, you can adjust the time frame you want to examine. I’d recommend going out at least 30 days, depending on how often you post to get the best idea of what people are searching for.

In the below results for my WordPress site, you’ll see one of the most common search phrases over the past 365 days is related to moral turpitude clause. I did write an article on moral turpitude clauses in November of 2011, back when I was writing contracts on a regular basis. I also happen to know there isn’t, or least wasn’t, a lot of information to be found online about moral turpitude clauses.

 

Seach Results 1

Looking at my analytics, the most obvious thing for me to write about is moral turpitude, and I could probably get a decent amount of traffic for it. However, my interests and current profession have lead me away from contract writing, so it’s not necessarily relevant to me. But reviewing search engine results will give me a great idea of what’s most popular on my site.

YouTube Analytics

Another source I check often is my YouTube channel search results. You can access your YouTube analytics by logging into your YouTube account, then clicking on the gear on the top right -> Analytics -> Top Traffic Sources -> View Referrals from YouTube -> Traffic Source -> YouTube Source. 

Again, make sure you adjust the period to view different time frames based on what’s most relevant for the quantity of videos you upload. If you’ve recently uploaded several videos, it might be best to extend your results back to the previous quarter.

In the below results for my YouTube channel, you’ll notice several results for zero value in Excel.

Seach Results 2

This is a perfect example of using search results as ideas for creating content. This was a result that showed up and I did not have a video for. I had several other Excel tutorial videos, but none covered hiding zero values. So I created a tutorial video showing how to hide zero values in Excel and it’s been one of my top viewed videos!

Conclusion

It’s always a smart idea to see what search terms and referrers bring people to your sites. Use this technology to work in your favor to create content they’re searching for, but not finding already on your site, or to learn what topics you should expand upon to bring more results to your page.

Here’s a video on an additional source for blog content:

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Using Google Search Auto Fill to Find Content to Write About [with VIDEO]

Lately, I’ve  been working on several tutorial videos for my YouTube channel, and while I feel like my videos are helpful, to be most helpful, I need to know what people want to learn. One way I’ve done this is by looking at search terms used to get to my blog or YouTube channel, but most of those are related to content I’ve already produced.

So how do I find out what people want to learn? It’s actually quite simple.

If you use Google at all, you know that it tries to anticipate what you’re going to search for based on previous and popular searches. So if you want to know what people are searching for, start typing and see what comes up in the search box.

For example, if I want to know what people want to learn in Photoshop, all I have to do is type “Photoshop how do I” and see what results pop up, as shown below. So if I want to write or create a Photoshop tutorial, these are great starting points. Other terms to use are “how do you” and “how to” to help guide the search terms.

 

If I want to find out what others want to learn in Adobe Photoshop, I can just type "Photoshop how do I" and let Google do the work for me.

If I want to find out what others want to learn in Adobe Photoshop, I can just type “Photoshop how do I” and let Google do the work for me.

For more ideas, press enter to bring up the full search results and when you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find additional search result suggestions to pull ideas from. Google helps you curate new content based on your topics of interest.

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Even if you know your audience well, it’s difficult to anticipate all of the topics they’re looking for, so this is a great, easy resource and using this method will help you grow and expand your audience.

Ocean Marketing: A Public Relations Nightmare and How to Avoid it

If I’ve learned anything in my career, it’s the importance of getting things in writing as well as being courteous to your customers—the lifeblood of any business. Getting things in writing not only serves as a helpful reminder of what needs to be done, it can also help trace the cause and lead-up to both successes and failures to help you succeed in the future.

Email chains serve as a timeline between multiple parties and since everything is in writing, there’s no confusion about what details were spelled out, unlike remembering chicken scratch notes from a meeting. Have you ever been in a long meeting and left remembering only a few vital points and some humorous commentary that didn’t have anything to do with the main topic? This is a time when getting things in writing can help you succeed.

Now, imagine that same meeting with a written agenda with room for note taking then receiving a summary of what was discussed with a plan of action laid out? This way of thinking follows the basic presentation training of “I’m going to tell you what I’m going to talk about, I’m going to talk about it, then I’m going to tell you what I talked about.” Three chances to get the information in your head.

Another great reason for emailing information is it enables you to search for it at a later time in the event you need to obtain information or follow-up. I’ve made a point of including order or model numbers in emails so if I want to trace the lead-up to an order or follow-up on a particular order, all I have to do is search for the order number.

There are times, however, when getting things in writing can be negative. As with anything digital, it is important to understand how easily information, photos, videos or even sound clips can be spread. While the intent may not always be malicious, it can quickly turn that way, especially if emotions get involved.

Take for example, the recent case of Paul Chrisoforo from Ocean Marketing. If you haven’t heard of him yet, he is a public relations professional who forgot his manners and how easy it is to forward an email. What started out as a simple inquiry from a customer regarding the delivery date of a pre-ordered a video game controller, quickly turned into a career train wreck for Paul. Instead of just giving the customer a straight answer, he was vague, got irritated with the customer, then completely insulted and spoke inappropriately to the customer.

In his tirade of insulting the customer, he, in return, let the customer know just how important he was, how many powerful people he knew, and how many gaming expos his company would be attending. When he mentioned PAX, the Penny Arcade Expo, the customer decided that it was time to inform Mike Krahulik, creator of popular comic and blog Penny Arcade, as well as head of the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX).

When Mike read the disastrous email chain, he let Paul know he wouldn’t be getting a booth at the expo. Rather than calm down or even look into who this Mr. Krahulik was, Paul continued the insults, power trip and name dropping. By that point, Mike decided he’d had enough of the drama, and informed Paul that he would be featured on his blog Penny Arcade the next day. Paul was still excited for the feature and PR until he realized who he was dealing with. Now he’s begging for the publicity to stop and has written an apology to both the customer and to Mike, but at this point, he’s completely damaged his reputation as a PR professional.

Although this put Paul and his company in a very negative light, I would say that this could actually help his career, similarly to the way the E. coli scare at Jack-In-The-Box helped their sales.  At the time, no one wanted to eat there, but shortly thereafter, it was regarded as one of the safest places to eat because the restaurant chain was taking extra precautions to ensure no one else got sick from their food.

Could this be the same case with Mr. Christoforo? Could he really be a brilliant enough PR professional to swing his career into a successful one or has he ruined his career in public relations forever?

I’m sure there are times when it might feel good to really let a customer know what you think, but in the long run, it’s not good for anyone. And worse, as Paul Christoforo so clearly demonstrated, giving a customer that kind of ammunition can be extremely damaging, not just for the person who sent it, but for the reputation of the company as well. Even if you aren’t intending to be insulting or short with someone, because it is in writing and not spoken, it can sometimes come off that way.

So keep your customers happy and your reputation safe with a few tips:

  • Write every correspondence with the knowledge that it only takes one click to forward your message. If you wouldn’t want someone else reading it, you probably shouldn’t write it.
  • If the person you’re communicating seems unclear about what you have written or seems to be getting frustrated, call the person or allow them to “please call” you so you can ensure you are on the same page. If you want to keep that record in writing, it is perfectly acceptable to write a follow-up email “per our conversation” to reiterate your points.
  • Always be courteous and polite, opting to close the email with “thank you” or “best regards” rather than “thanks…” or just your email signature. Make them feel special.
  • If you’re not sure how your email will be taken, have someone else read it. Don’t read it to them because they need to read it as your customer would—without your tone of voice.

The customer may not always be right, but no one likes to be told they are wrong and if someone is paying for a product or service, they want the respect they deserve from that company. Treat them well and you will prosper. Treat them poorly and you will damage your and your company’s reputations.

Penny Arcade Blog Post: http://penny-arcade.com/resources/just-wow1.html

The multiple blog dilemma

In creating this blog, I reached a dilemma: is it better to focus on one blog or maintain multiple blogs to focus on different topics?

I googled my question and while I was hoping I would find the golden answer,  instead found compelling arguments for both sides.

Do I want to be a “jack of all trades, master of none” or should I narrow my focus to somewhat related topics so I can tie in everything I write?  Well, previously, I had multiple blogs, nine actually.  The quantity of posts varied greatly.  One didn’t even have any posts yet because it was merely an idea I wanted to follow over the summer, but I wasn’t ready to start yet until I got further into the topic.

Would it be easier to have just one blog?  Yes, definitely it would.  But are my topics that closely related that I can clump them all together into one blog?  Not really.  Some, I definitely could, but I think it would be confusing to mix my design portfolio with my fitness blog or my TV show synopsis blog with my gardening blog.

Do I want to mix my personal writing with my professional writing?  Do I want to separate my personal and professional identities?  Being a creative person interested in writing, are my personal and professional identities all that different?

I think the primary question I need to focus on is: what is my ultimate goal in having a blog?  The answer is pretty simple: I want a place where I can showcase my writing and my design.  Magazines have incredibly varied topics, so why can’t my blog?

The answer is clear.  What I so recently thought was so confusing has been clarified.  Looks like I will be a one blog woman.  Stay tuned.