Category Archives: Content

Is Content Marketing Still Worth the Effort?

Sometimes, the indirect approach offers the best results. As the tide of online research swelled in the last decade, content marketing rose to meet it. Nowadays, many people won’t even buy shampoo without performing considerable research on the most popular products. Take that hunger for information for these simple commodities, then consider just how even deeper that desire can be for large purchases. Bathroom remodels, roof replacements, landscaping projects, and other crucial investments rely on weeks (even months) of research.

While some skip to shopping directly, most consumers begin their consideration process via local guides and industry experts, through the medium of content marketing. Today, we’ll dig into the concept and what it means for your business. More importantly, we’ll show how to establish your own initial strategy for long-term growth.  

A Content Marketing Blog Post About Consumer Air Filtration

Content Marketing Offers Direct Insight Into Your Industry or a Related Consumer Problem.

A Short Intro to Content Marketing

We’ve all had more than our fair share of salesmen. In fact, it’s safe to say that the majority of us would be willing to go a lifetime without another telemarketing call. But every once in a while, you come across a professional that is so exceptionally skilled at their job, you’ll actually call them for advice on business or home-related challenges. These are the seasoned experts we all aspire to imitate, even if we aren’t working to sell the latest Honda or insurance bundle.

Content marketing is your chance to become an established authority within your company’s industry. That’s no easy task, especially when thousands of companies flock to Google Search with their latest content. If you can cut through all the poorly crafted blogs, videos, and guides however, your business will forge wonderful new growth opportunities!

Kicking Off Your Content Marketing Strategy

Just remember, the goal of content marketing isn’t to sell but to inform. In some ways, this form of marketing demands greater skill than with advertising, because professionals must generate valuable content for their target market. It doesn’t require the same level of graphic design or coding experience as developing a new website, but informative content does require skilled writing and industrial expertise. There may also be crucial technical skills involved.

Content Marketing Through a YouTube How-To Guide

How-To Videos Offer Fast Answers for Your Clients. Share Them on Your Website and Social Media.

Before you charge into the realm of blogging, video, and how-to’s, ask yourself (and your marketing team) a few key questions.

  • Do we have the talent to support a content marketing campaign?
  • What sort of metrics for success should we rely on?
  • How much time, money, and effort are we willing to invest?
  • What is our underlying purpose behind content marketing?
  • Which channels should we focus on creating content for?

You may not have the answers for these questions just yet. Below, we’ll explain how you can make these crucial decisions and craft the foundation for your content marketing initiative.

Creating Metrics

Establishing Metrics for Success

Before your company can enjoy content marketing success, you first need to define what a successful campaign looks like. While there are dozens of potential metrics available, finding the right ones may be surprisingly challenging. What does your team expect to get out of your time, money, and effort?

Potential Metrics for Content Marketing

  • More Direct Leads (Calls, Emails, etc.)
  • Stronger Brand Development
  • Better Rankings in Local Search
  • Email/Newsletter Subscriptions
  • Additional Business From Existing Customers

If you want additional ideas for potential metrics, check out SEMrush’s article on the subject! For companies just starting out, content marketing offers great tools for customer retention and search engine optimization (SEO). However, it shouldn’t be used as a primary sales funnel unless your new business specializes in digital services. Instead, focus on crafting better website traffic and conversion rates.


Determining Your Planned Investment

Next, you’ll need to establish just how much time you’re willing to put into developing content on a regular basis. Unlike advertising, you can’t expect the same material to stay relevant for years at a time. Company blogs, for instance, require monthly posts at minimum. Again, start by answering a few key questions for your industry.

Crucial Investment Questions

  • How often do my competitors produce new content?
  • Can I do better than other local businesses?
  • How many channels will I need to keep up?
  • What’s the cost (in labor hours)?
  • Will I need to hire a professional?

As our seasoned content writers at Nolen Walker will tell you, developing worthwhile content takes time. You’ll need to conduct research about hot topics in your industry, specifically those that matter most to your clients. Add in keyword research, writing time, formatting, editing, and publishing, and you’ll understand why too many businesses cut their content marketing efforts short!


Deciding on the Best Channels

Blogging isn’t the only venue for connecting with your target marketing, though it’s usually the simplest. Some businesses focus on video development, social media posts, or even infographics. Start by figuring out what your market’s demographic responds to best. Here’s a couple of helpful trends.

Content Marketing Channels & Their Best Uses

  • YouTube: Tutorials and Reviews
  • Facebook & Instagram: How-To Guides, Idea Lists
  • Twitter: Infographics, Industry Tips
  • Company Blogs: How-To Guides, Infographics
  • Industry Online Publications: Infographics, Case Studies
  • eBooks: Case Studies, Infographics
  • Email: Seasonal Guides

If your industry traditionally relies on extremely visual media for advertising, there’s a good chance your content marketing needs to follow suit. Interior designers, for instance, utilize professional photography in both their blogs and their seasonal idea lists. Videos also make it easy to display your wares without heavily emphasizing sales.

Should your business rest in a more financial or health-driven industry, you may wish to focus on a fact-rich format. Infographics offer a great tool for delivering a high volume of information without overloading your audience, as do case studies. Try finding a popular (and free) industry publication to share your content!


Assigning Your Marketing Talent

One of the most obvious questions to address in content marketing: Does your company have the required talent to continually produce content for your strategy? If not, you may wish to stick with simpler channels until you do. Social media marketing and blogging offer easy ways to release content without requiring too much technical expertise.

Alternatively, you may decide to take on new talent or hire outside of your business. Plenty of companies offer professional video production and digital services. Just make sure to find one with great references and reviews.

Need a Content Marketing Expert?

At Nolen Walker, our seasoned crew of graphic designers, social media gurus, SEO specialists, and content writers make it easy to grow your business and strengthen your brand. Whether you’re looking for content marketing strategy or fresh website development, we have cost-effective solutions for whatever industry you compete in. Our clients dominate their local search results, earn premium traffic, develop higher quality leads, and enjoy long-term growth.

Want to learn more about content marketing or another online marketing channel? Talk with one of our seasoned experts at Nolen Walker! Call (866) 356-8198 today for your free one-on-one consultation.

Does Word Count Matter in SEO?

Because SEO is a reactive industry its “principles” are based largely on confirmation bias and groupthink. Sure, Google gives us some guidelines to follow and occasionally releases a public statement but for the most part, SEO is a guessing game. Somewhere along the line the phrase content is king became part of every digital marketer’s rallying cry. The problem is not in the statement itself but rather in how it is perceived and subsequently applied to digital marketing. Many in the industry equate content with word count. Let’s perform a search for what day is it and analyze where sites rank relative to word count.

What Day is it Search Query

Now we’ll use the Bulk Word Counter from SEO Review Tools to measure the precise word counts of each first page result.

Bulk Word Counter Screenshot

Source: SEO Review Tools

No conclusions can be drawn from a single search query but this one at least demonstrates a challenge to the conventional wisdoms of the content is king legion. Out of 9 first page results, the top result is 7th in word count and 6th in corrected word count. The corrected count is merely an estimate of words on the page that aren’t filler. Like Kennedy prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, SEO experts have failed to acknowledge cases like these because no one else is talking about them and bringing them up in meetings. But what you’re about to learn is that we’re not refuting the importance of content for rankings.

Content is Dynamic

When most people think of content they think about words. But why? Searching for the most contextual definition of content revealed that it is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as the principle substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music) offered by a website. Some might point to the inclusion of written matter within the list of examples to validate their pre-existing bias but the reality is that the need for multiple examples is proof against that ideology. Illustrations and music can be considered content as well, and that is mostly the point. Consider these few notes:

  1. 1.) The “written word” may refer to everything from a single word to millions of them
  2. 2.) If illustrations and music are considered content, video is presumably content as well

Content Definition

Source: Merriam-Webster

User Intent Matters

Since SEO as an industry is for profit, salesmanship is inherently present within its marketplace. When you then consider the fact that SEO is a form of marketing it is subject to the same talking points as those used by snake oil salesman and used car dealers. But when SEO is not being used as a marketing chip it can actually lead us to tangible measurements that define trends without an agenda. Users searching for what day is it for example don’t care about word count. What do they care about? They care about what day it is. What the date is. And if it has any significance. Yes, it’s that simple.

Does Word Count… Count?

How would we know? Google makes the rules and they’re invisible. The only thing we can do as analysts is to test the information we have. The best way to do this is by conducting research experiments. As an SEO firm who has noticed discrepancies between the claims of our competitors and the tangible results on our screens, we decided to test a long held hypothesis that word count doesn’t always translate to results. This singular case demonstrates word count doesn’t mean everything but it does not refute the importance of content. Most importantly, it raises questions that others can then pursue answers to.

Will Google Rank This Page?

This page is 741 words long. Will Google rank it? If you’ve arrived at this page there’s a decent chance that it has ranked for one or more keywords. There’s also a chance that you’ve reached this blog post indirectly. Perhaps you’ve entered from a different web page on this site (most likely the homepage) and then clicked on this post in the blog section. Regardless of who you are and how you got here we would like to thank you for reading this through its duration. We decided not to make this post thousands of words because we know that your attention span simply isn’t that long. And why would it be when there’s lots else to do on the internet then sift through 40 pages about SEO theories?. Still, Google rewarding word count for the sake of it seems unlikely.

Common Digital Marketing Problems For Small Businesses

Employees Perform Digital Marketing Tasks on PC

Every small business needs digital marketing in 2018, at least in some form. The degree to which the discipline is pursued depends on a variety of factors. Similarly, the execution of campaigns that are appropriately resourced, depends largely on the individual or company handling the marketing aspect of your business. Sometimes marketing is outsourced to large firms while other times it is handled in-house by on-staff marketing specialists.

Add Positions represents the former in that set of marketing examples. As a company that deals with businesses throughout all types of industries, we are a group that is “outsourced” to. While this is literally true, our philosophy helps us feel more like a member of our clients’ teams, than someone who is only preparing for a short-term working relationship. We view our client-company relationships as partnerships. Not every outsourced (or in-house for that matter) marketing campaign will foster the same level of comfort.

What are Common Marketing Problems for Small Businesses?

The title of this post is not a teaser, or a doorway to attempt a sale. Instead, we deliver exactly what we promised through the title’s implication. Because of our experience working with small businesses, we have real-life examples of individuals and groups, that have struggled to find their footing in the murky marketing waters that approach 2019 and beyond. When small business owners come to us, the majority of them have faced one or more of these problems:

Bad Experiences With Marketing Agencies

It’s almost universal. Because of the demand for SEO and marketing services, most small businesses can name at least one poor experience with an agency. Because the demand is so great, the supply has appropriately matched its level of necessity. The problem is that not everyone providing these services are qualified to do so. So what usually goes wrong? See below:

  • Cost: The fees required by the service are hidden, deceptive, or inflated
  • Progress: No incremental improvements are made over weeks, months, and sometimes years
  • Reporting: The agency fails to report success or failures, and therefore avoids accountability
  • Salesmanship: The agency “worked” the client into believing delusions of grandeur about SEO

Those who’ve had a single bad experience are usually among the more lucky ones. Most clients we deal with have had several discouraging incidents involving marketing firms. Much of it comes down to misrepresentation in the sales process, rooted in greed from the marketer. They trick the consumer into believing they’re paying for something that is mostly a sham.

Bad Experiences With In-House Marketers

Higher-end small businesses can sometimes afford to hire an in-house marketing specialist, though it’s somewhat rare to have those resources available. In fact, businesses will often make this addition as they transition from a small to midsize business. Oftentimes their rise through the ranks was assisted by an outsourced marketing company, and they use the increased revenue to keep their future efforts in-house. Here’s what usually happens as a result:

  • Contrition: The business regrets hiring the individual and wishes they went back to the firm
  • Disorganization: The transition ends up disrupting the campaigns’ trajectory
  • Payroll: The in-house marketer ends up costing 2 to 3 x as much as the previous firm
  • Regression: The new marketer eliminates processes that were successful, depleting lead generation

This will not be true in every case of course. Some companies can absolutely afford to hire top notch in-house marketing experts. But for small businesses that have seen recent growth, the resources are still too limited to ensure an excellent prospect. Sometimes great workers emerge and that will always be ideal. But by and large, sticking with the firm that got you to where you are today is a more logical choice.

Specific Digital Marketing Problems for Small Businesses

Common Digital Marketing Problems for Small Businesses Chart

Content Quality

Let’s face it, content is NOT king. This myth has been perpetuated by SEO’s for years, but generally misleads small businesses. Don’t misunderstand us however, the quality of web content is still important to online success, but it’s not the end all be all. Many small business websites copy and paste content from another source. This is a horrible idea. The duplicate content makes your site less valuable, and while it may not cause penalty, the original content writer could take legal action. A content’s quality is judged by the following:

  • Engagement: Does it capture the reader’s attention and discourage bounces?
  • Grammar: Is it written by someone with a strong grasp of the language?
  • Relevance: Does it relate to the overarching subject of your website?
  • Uniqueness: Is it original or can it be found elsewhere on the web?

Small business owners may not write their own content simply because it takes up too much time … time they don’t have. Solutions range from outsourcing content to freelancers, to hiring in-house writers. One pseudo-solution to avoid at all costs is content scraping, which is the practice of copying similar subject matter from another domain and publishing it on your own page. This is bad for everyone involved, from the user, to the original writer of the content, and ultimately your own site and brand. Instead, choose from the other two options, and invest in content marketing.

Domain Age

Businesses who’ve never had a website before are often frustrated by the amount of time it takes to establish organic visibility. Because of Google’s trust metrics that involve the age of a domain, there’s not much of a chance to rank on page 1 prior to the 6 month mark. For those looking to rank in the top 5 for competitive keywords, it’s going to take 1 year at minimum. What does domain age signal to Google about your website?

  • Crawlability: Your site can be properly crawled and indexed by Google crawlerbots
  • Data: A large enough sample size exists to form a quantitative analysis of your domain
  • Reliability: Visitors of your site can count on a positive user experience
  • Trust: You’re not some scam artists trying to trick consumers

The age of a domain is something you probably have no control over. If your business had the foresight to purchase your company’s namesake .com years ago, then by all means, enjoy the fruits of your projection. But most new businesses didn’t know what their company name would be last year, or several years prior. You can only work with what you have, and there’s ways to supplement leads while the optimization process takes place.

Domain Authority

Even with a sufficiently aged domain and excellent on page optimization, a website may not rank well for competitive keywords. The site might be stuck on page 2 of Google results while competitors with similar sites are ranking toward the top of page 1. So what’s the difference? Domain Authority. DA is a metric from MOZ that estimates Google’s trust in a particular domain and has proven to be a strong predictor of search ranking. Factors influencing DA include:

  • Links to Domain: The number of external domains linking back to your own domain
  • Links to Page: The number of external domains linking back to a specific page of your site
  • Spam Score: The perceived spam-level of inbound links to your domain
  • Transference: The DA score of the linking domain, which when higher, makes a greater impact

Quality matters just as much as quantity, if not more. MOZ knows that Google prefers websites with high quality link profiles that indicate votes of confidence from other well known and trusted domains. Google has determined that the greatest indicator of online trust, aside from domain age, is the aforementioned votes of confidence from other sites. The concept allows the web to police itself in some ways. When you are associated with respected entities, consumers are more likely to trust you, and usually for good reason. Google has attempted to instill this idea within its search ranking algorithm.

Local Optimization

There’s so many things that can go wrong with local SEO, if you don’t know what you’re doing. From Google My Business listings, to Google Maps locations, a local business MUST invest resources within this sphere of influence. Too often, GMB profiles are left unclaimed, and Maps listings inaccurate. Furthermore, websites themselves fail to properly associate with the GMB and Maps listings for a uniform representation of their company to Google and its users. Aspects of local SEO include:

  • Google Maps
  • Google My Business
  • NAP Citations
  • Website Contact Information

Other directories outside of GMB, like Yelp and BBB, matter too. But nothing comes close to the importance of Google My Business. Since most users perform local searches via smartphone, Maps listings come up based on how well or poorly they are optimized. This includes how appropriately they associate with your website’s contact information, as well as other factors like domain authority and website design. Even if you’re a small business looking to do the bare minimum for SEO work, you still must attend to local SEO, no matter what.

On Page SEO

Though SEO has expanded beyond the website page itself, its on page aspect remains vital. Simple processes like properly naming image files and entering their Alt Text are important tasks that many small businesses are unaware of. The same is true for the usage of keywords within headers, title tags, and meta descriptions. To rank well on Google, your site must meet certain baseline requirements in regards to on page SEO. Some of the concepts most often missed are:

  • Header Tags: Using keywords in H1’s and H2’s, without stuffing them
  • Image Optimization: Renaming image files in lowercase and entering Alt Text and descriptions
  • Meta Descriptions: A well written description that focuses on the first 110-130 characters
  • Title Tags: Publishing a clean, descriptive and keyword friendly SEO title

On page optimization is as old as the discipline of SEO itself, but it remains one of the most influential determinants of a website’s rank position. There’s more to consider in 2019 and beyond, but the baseline is still a requirement for a secure foundation. Skipping steps is not something any small business can afford to do. Because of this, investing in other areas but neglecting on page SEO is a mistake that can be costly in both the long and short terms.

Website Templates

Buying a template website might seem like a great idea in the moment. It looks attractive, it’s relatively cheap, and it requires only a 1-click WordPress install. While the basics are certainly covered, templates leave a great deal to be desired from an SEO perspective. So what’s the issue? Check out some of the ways that template websites hinder search engine optimization:

  • Coding: The code is scraped and plugin-heavy, making it harder for Google to crawl
  • Design: Templates are often mobile-accessible, but not mobile-optimized, which hurts mobile SEO
  • Redundancy: The template is used by many other websites and companies, making yours less unique, and therefore less valuable to Google and its searchers
  • Schema: The HTML contains no microdata known as, which helps Google ID your content

So what’s the solution you ask? It’s custom website design. When code is designed specifically for your company website, it will be unique to Google and far more likely to succeed on search engines. After All, google prefers customized websites with clean code, mobile optimization, and microdata. While you might have to shell out a little bit more for a unique website, its ROI will end up making up for the initial expense, and then some.

So What, Now What?

So you’ve read through common marketing problems for small businesses, but what actions can you take to move forward and to prevent your own company from stumbling? The answer is digital marketing services from Add Positions. As a full service agency, we handle every aspect of your marketing campaign. Everything from a custom website to on page optimization is included in our service. We perform blogger outreach to help scale domain authority ethically and safely. To review, some of the services included in Add Positions basic package include:

  • Blogger Outreach
  • Custom Web Design
  • On Page SEO
  • Microdata

Our team looks forward to working with clients throughout all industries. We work with everyone from bridal shop owners to magicians, and everything in between. There’s no company we won’t work with, as long as you’re willing to invest in your own marketing, and take the steps necessary to reach your fullest potential. Our years of experience marketing on behalf of businesses has provided us with unique insights that we can impart on you and your business!

Call  To Contact Add Positions Today!

Reasons Why Keywords Are Important to SEO

SEO is incredibly important if you want to gain clients and raise awareness. One of the best ways to do this is to think about what keywords are being used. While it might not seem like a big deal SEO keywords can provide a lot of good for your business. The importance of SEO keywords should be talked about more and we are here to give you a low down on why they are so important

The Importance of SEO Keywords

The Importance of SEO Keywords #1 Reason

One of the most important aspects of SEO keywords is their ability to help your ranking in search engines. By researching what keywords are used most frequently within your industry, you can pinpoint what your audience is searching for and cater to them.

Attract Traffic

The importance of SEO keywords doesn’t just stop at clients and customers. It can also help attract more traffic to your website. By writing content that your targeted audience is interested in, you are providing more awareness to potential clients.

Know the Trends

When you use keywords for SEO marketing, you can also research what keywords are searched the most, keeping you informed on what is trending for potential clients who might need your service.

Being Informed On What Does and Doesn’t Work

Knowing what keywords are more impactful to your content will not only gain new customers and views, but it will also not waste your time on keywords that won’t lead to any new business.

If you need SEO Services for your business or company, call the team at Nolen Walker at to gain a wider audience and improve your ranking on the internet.