Why your content needs data and where to get it
In May, Ruth Burr Reedy got deep into data for DFWSEM. But she was talking about your internal data. How to make it sit up, beg, roll over…basically how to learn all the fascinating things people do when they visit your site.
For June, Tyler Hakes was on hand to discuss how to use data to get people to your site in the first place.
First things first
DFWSEM sponsor Advice Local was on hand, and President Jeff Rudluff gave an overview of the upcoming speakers, but the biggest treat was news about State of Search. Not only are tickets selling faster than usual, not only have speakers been selected, but by virtue of growth, State of Search will be taking over the entirety of Gilly’s, even the largest room that’s seen acts as diverse as Blondie, Willie Nelson, and Faith No More.
Yeah. It’s kind of a big deal.
Additionally, if you’d been there, you would also have received a secret discount code available only to attendees to save you even more off the already low price of admission to State of Search. Advice Local had a treat to offer, too – 10 free tickets to Rocks Digital at the end of the month. There was also a hint of something secret and swanky happening for DFWSEM in November, now that State of Search has moved to October, but that has yet to be announced.
Then Tyler Hakes took the podium, shamelessly flaunting his beard, and got to work breaking down where to find, as the cliché says, news you can use.
But first, a quick SEO primer for those who need a refresher:
- Links are good
- Good links are even better
- Links that generate traffic are the best
— DFWSEM (@dfwsem) June 15, 2017
Here’s the bad news, y’all, and we all know this song: Getting links is hard. You can go black hat, and be shady, and see how long you can escape Google’s all-seeing eye. You can go gray hat, which is marginally less shady, but you might hate yourself in the morning – and again, there is the looming danger of a Google penalty.
As for white hat SEO? Well, that’s hard, too. You can write the world’s most beautiful blog post and get a handful of hits. Rework existing content into something better and more efficient, and hear nothing but crickets. So what’s an SEO to do? Well, if Content is King, it needs an army of facts to rule.
Get your data on
People love data. They love it. They share it because it makes them look informed, because it’s genuinely useful, because answering questions for people is awesome. But getting data? That can be tricky. Not every business has the wherewithal to spend money on research or hire a statistician to work with the data they might be lucky enough to have on hand.
So go get some! Where? Check it out:
• Data.gov: Available to the public, this is information free to all Americans as it is paid for with our tax dollars.
• Google Scholar: Top-notch researchers at world-famous institutions publish academic papers every day.
• Facebook ad data: Look at your dashboard. See that approximate number of folks who’ll see your ad? Data!
There you are, sitting on a goldmine of data. You can even take data from different sources and combine it. Now you need to do something clever with it. And that means defining your goal.
— Stephanie Studer (@Editrix_Steph) June 15, 2017
No one piece of content can do everything. So decide what you want each particular piece to do. Looking to drive traffic? You want something easily shareable, so an infographic might be the way to go. Hoping to build links? That can be a larger piece, like a bigger chart or graph that’s difficult to compress into bite-sized chunks. Want to lure organic traffic? That might call for something evergreen and long-form. If capturing sales or leads is your goal…you did put a contact form on there, didn’t you?
The data for great content is out there for little or no cost. And once you determine what you want to accomplish with it, you can tailor its use to your goals. Just imagine if you had some insight on how best to use design and styling to increase the effectiveness of your content.
You’re in luck, friend. On July 12, DFWSEM features Duotribe’s Mike Esordi. Design might not actually be Mike’s middle name, but it is in his DNA. That’s why we asked him to come show you how to create million-dollar site style on a $100 budget. Sounds like the sort of thing you might want to check out.
Stephanie Studer is a writer, editor, cook, and massive nerd who calls Dallas home. A social and content marketer, she’s deeply in love with all that language can do. She blogs at storytellingforsuccess.wordpress.com, tweets at @Editrix_Steph, and posts entirely too many pictures of dishes she’s made on Instagram. Don’t ask her about ukuleles or comic books unless you have nothing to do for the next several hours.