Category Archives: PR
Whether you are writing headlines or copy for your website, blog posts, or news releases, keyword research can help you write better. You will know what words your audience cares about, how they search for things and how they group keywords together. Some of the benefits of optimizing keywords:
- Increases website traffic
- Improves visibility in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo
- Raises your odds your audience finds it valuable to share via their social networks
- Generates ideas for future content creation and curation
Keyword research is the foundation of a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and a key component of your content marketing strategy.
Here are 10 helpful keyword research tools worth exploring:
This headline analyzer scores your overall headline quality and helps you determine the right amount of words for your headlines. It also make sure you have a balance of emotional and power words to ensure your headlines are readable and compelling. Make sure you read: How To Write The Best Headlines That Will Increase Traffic.
2. SerpStat.com This website is so to the point, it doesn’t have a name. It is a free keyword suggestions tool, providing you with search suggestions based on popular keywords in Google searches and the different forms used by people looking for things. It collects and aggregates search suggestions and gives you a free report.
3. WordTracker This tool reveals the best keywords related to your search term. It shows you how much traffic keywords get and what words you may want to focus on. The one drawback is that it is geared for you to sign up for their paid version with their “continue your research” button after you get the quick analysis.
4. SEMrush This website provides you with analytics once you enter in your website, geared toward the digital marketer. You get information about your competitors and individual keywords that are performing well for them. You even get insight into keyword difficulty and backlink information.
5. SpyFu This website great for an overview of keywords. It provides you with number of monthly searches, ranking difficulty and profitable related keywords. You can enter in a name of a competitor and it provides you with an overview of what keywords, links are working well for them, what their pay per click ads look like and much more.
6. UberSuggest This tool provides you with helpful keyword suggestions where you can learn about specific topics. It gives you suggestions such as if you add a word that starts with an “a” to your set of keywords. It gives a word for every word of the alphabet to help you with long tail keywords. Make sure you read The Beginners Guide to SEO: Keyword Research.
7. Google’s Keyword Planner This website is the traditional one that most people use. Recently, Google has required you to sign up for a Google AdWords account before you can use it. It is a tool that provides you with keyword idea and traffic estimates.
8. Bing Keyword Research Tool If I mentioned Google, the # 1 search engine tool, it would be wrong if I didn’t mention the second most popular search engine: Bing. Here is a list of the most popular search engines.
9. SEO Chat This tool shows you how keywords look side by side in sites like Google, Bing, YouTube and Amazon. It is great for brainstorming topics and content and showing how users may search differently on YouTube for entertainment purposes vs. Amazon for buying purposes.
10. KeywordTool.io This website allows you to search keywords in Google, Bing, YouTube and the App Store. It generates more than 750 suggestions for every keyword. It is one of the only tools that allows you to search the App Store, according to InternetMarketingNinjas.com.
Recycling existing content into a SlideShare is a great way to get more mileage from content you have already spent the time and effort to create. It is a wonderful medium for presenting information visually.
By the end of 2013, SlideShare averaged 60 million unique visitors a month…215 million page views” and was “among the top 120 most-visited websites in the world, according to its website. SlideShare is the perfect vehicle for extending the life of your content. Adapting existing content into a Slideshare allows you the perfect opportunity to present your information in an exciting, humorous or unexpected light. It provides a platform from which you can inform and educate your viewers about the subject matter.
Consider the following 5 tips as you repurpose your content into a SlideShare.
1. Tell a story
Your content may have been great as a blog post, an article or white paper, but to gain traction on SlideShare it needs to fit the medium. That means using less text than would typically be found in an article and more visuals to engage the viewer. Make sure your presentation frames the problem and conveys to the viewer why they should care about your particular topic (the “why”), outlines the solution and how it will improve the life of the viewer (the “how”), and ends with a strong call to action (the “what”) to encourage and provoke the viewer to respond.
As you begin to adapt your content, it may be helpful to work on paper first before moving to the design of slides. Tease out the theme and key points and think of each slide as a billboard, containing just enough text to get your point across while remaining easily digestible to the viewer.
2. Focus on design and be sure to maintain a consistent visual style throughout
Presentations should be well-designed to gain any sort of traction on SlideShare. Having a captivating title and visually appealing cover slide is of paramount importance if you hope to get featured on the SlideShare homepage. This is so important, in fact, that SlideShare ranks these two tips at the top of its list of guidelines to increase your chances of being featured. Be original. Aim for a title and cover that convey your content but also engage and surprise the viewer.
Remember to keep your colors, type, and placement of images and text consistent throughout the deck. Looking for color inspiration? Check out Colour Lovers for palette ideas.
While it is important to keep a consistent visual style throughout the presentation, it is equally important to complement this style with some well-placed and unexpected surprises throughout. Use a variety of visual tricks to keep your viewers clicking through such as:
- Vary between light and dark slides
- Hide part of a slide and promise a reveal later on in the deck
- Use scale to emphasize a point. Think large text versus small text
3. Think outside the box when it comes to imagery and type
Instead of copying and pasting images you find on the web, there are a few options for sourcing images that are tailored to your presentation. Search for visuals on any number of sites offering beautiful, high-resolution, and free images. Unsplash, picjumbo and flickr creative commons are a few places to look for free images. Or you can also buy images on a stock photo site such as istock or shutterstock. And, if you are feeling ultra-creative, take your own photographs. Many smartphones are equipped with cameras that can produce pictures with an adequate resolution for a slide. Look for images that not only reinforce the information you are trying to convey, but stir an emotion in the viewer.
Play with fonts. Instead of working with the standard fonts installed your computer, check out all the interesting and free fonts available on sites such as fontsquirrel and dafont. Playing with type on your slides allows you to further tailor the mood of your presentation, but don’t go crazy. Stick to two or three different fonts that are readable and well-designed.
SlideShare recognizes commonly used fonts, but if you decide to infuse your slides with a less common set of fonts make sure to upload your slides as a pdf.
4. Keep it short, but not too short
While the majority of presentations on SlideShare fall under 50 slides a piece, you shouldn’t necessarily be concerned about staying under this threshold. If it takes more than 100 slides to communicate your idea, but your slides are well-designed and visually captivating, the viewer won’t mind flipping through.
Limit the number of words on your slides, but make sure the presentation flows and makes sense without your voice. You won’t be there to walk viewers through the content, so the story and supporting information must be complete.
5. Include links and increase your reach
SlideShare allows users uploading content to embed links in presentations and infographics. Don’t forget to include hyperlinks to push traffic back to the original content you are repurposing, your company’s website, or social media sites (think Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.) It is also a good idea to include links to other pieces of content that support the information you have presented, thereby increasing your credibility on the subject matter.
What tips would you add to this list?
These days it seems like we don’t have enough time in the day to do everything we need to do. How often have you heard: There are not enough hours in the day! I have no time to work out. I don’t have enough time for social media. Whatever the excuse is, we all have a lot on our plate.
So the question is: how does one find more time in the day?
Here are 10 time management tips that you may be overlooking:
1. Ask smart questions about your email inbox.
Let’s face the facts. We live in our email inbox—whether it is your work or personal email. Are we asking ourselves the right questions when it comes to our email? Can this email wait until later? Does this email need my attention right away? Can I direct that person to someone else? Am I really ever going to ever respond to this email? Is this email just an FYI, is there action required or is it for my files? The key is to be aggressive when it comes to your email inbox. Will you really need this email 6 months or a year from now? No? Delete. You may want to read 4 steps to inbox zero.
2. Keep your emails short and sweet.
Don’t send one-word emails but get to the point fast. As they say in the journalism world: don’t bury the lead. For example, change the email subject line when an email changes topics. You may want to read 6 CEO productivity tips to steal for yourself where it talks about that you should think about your emails like you do with your tweets (limit them to 140 characters or less.
3. Take advantage of web tools.
Like it or not, organizations and users are going to the cloud. Think Adobe’s acceleration its shift to the cloud. Learn how to take advantage of web tools like Adobe’s Creative Cloud and free tools like Pixlr Editor. File sharing tools are also making it easier for collaboration. You may want to read 22 file-sharing tools for easy collaboration.
4. Pick web browsers that don’t slow your system down.
Internet Explorer has features that slow your browser experience down so users are switching to Mozilla’s Firefox or Google Chrome that are faster and include useful features like bookmark syncing. Chrome has recently passed Internet Explorer to become the world’s most popular web browser. The key is to get the most of your web browser space with extensions like Hootsuite’s Hootlet and minimizing bookmark icons. You may want to read 6 ways to maximize your browser real estate.
5. Lose the clutter in your work or home office.
Do you have a lot of clutter in your work or home office? Clutter can drain you. It can frustrate you. It can make it difficult for you to accomplish things. You should think about how you cause clutter and how your office or home design creates clutter. Working in the right workspace can help you get more done with less effort.
6. Discover how you are spending your time.
How do you spend your time every day? You may want to fill out your own Wheel of Productivity. Then, give it a hard look. Are you spending enough time to the colors that matter most to you? Another good way to find out how you are spending time is to fill out your calendar with tasks you accomplished that hour or half hour. Then, look over the past month. What did you accomplish? When did you accomplish the most—the morning or the evening? If you don’t know already, it may tell if you are morning person or evening person. You may want to read how your body clock affects your life.
7. Get your calendar under control.
Don’t fill up your calendar with standing meetings. These meetings may be good if you are not doing anything else but evaluate whether certain meetings have taken their course and need to be restructured or canceled altogether. Another way to reduce time is by bundling meetings by location. If you are traveling back and forth from a certain location, reduce the travel time by booking all your meetings in that location in one day. As Stephen Covey said, “the key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” Are you investing in your time the right way?
8. Run meetings more effectively.
You have probably been in those meetings are a waste of time. Do they start on time? It is common across corporate America for meetings to be a waste of time, not fun, and to start late. So how does a meeting run more effectively? Have the person who organized the meeting discuss the goals of the meeting. Make sure that he or she gives “homework” assignments either before or after the meeting so people know what to expect for the meeting or what to do for before the next meeting. Another time is to book the meeting for the length you need. Most meetings will go the full 30 minutes or hour if that time is booked for that. As Parkinson’s Law states: “work will fill the time available for its completion.”
9. Manage your energy not your time.
The key to managing your energy is to take breaks every 90 minutes. It helps you better work with your body’s natural rhythms. It is simple concept: spend energy more wisely and you will have more of it. The key is to be conscious of the ways you are building rest and renewal into your day. You may want to read 6 ways to use less energy to get more done.
10. Get a good night’s sleep.
Are you getting enough sleep? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. How much sleep you need depends on you and as we get older. Adults generally need seven to eight hours but according to a national health interview survey, nearly 30 percent of adults report getting less than six hours of sleep. To make sure you get sleep you need, try to go to bed the same time every night, avoid large meals before bed, and avoid caffeine and alcohol right before bed. You also need to get good, deep sleep. You want to ready about an iPhone app that promises no more sleepless nights.
In the end, managing your time well is taking the time to ensure you prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency.
What productivity tips would you add to this list?
We all want our tweets to get noticed, read and retweeted—whether they are your personal tweets or you are tweeting on behalf of a brand.
The purpose of this blog post is to give you some information about what research says about the best time to tweet and show you some tools so you can tailor your tweeting times to your followers’ habits.
Time of Day
According to the Twitter vs. Time infographic produced by the marketing company Lemon.ly referencing Twitter and Sysomos data, the most traffic on Twitter occurs between 9 to 11 a.m. ET and 1 to 3 p.m. ET. According to Hubspot Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella’s research, the best time to tweet is 5 p.m. ET. The takeaway: Spread your tweets out throughout the day with an emphasis toward later in the day.
Pulling data from Dan Zarrella, the Science of Social Timing infographic created by KISSMetrics, shows that the breakdown of tweets in U.S. 48% of tweets are from the East Coast, 33% of tweets are from the Central time zone and 14% are from the West Coast. It is important to remember that nearly 80% of the general U.S. population is located in the Central and Eastern time zones. The takeaway: Think East Coast time.
Day of the Week
According to Dan Zarrella’s How to Get More Clicks on Twitter, you are more likely to get clicks on your Twitter links toward the end of the week and weekends. From my personal experience, I have been successful with Sunday evenings. In terms of followers clicking on your Twitter links, followers are more likely to do so on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The takeaway: Don’t forget about the weekends.
Optimizing you or your brand’s daily tweeting habits is important in making sure you reach your followers. I found 13 tools that can help you figure out and maximize the timing of your tweets.
1. WhenToTweet. This tool will help you figure out when most of your followers are online.
2. TweetWhen. This free tool shows you the best times to tweet based on your past 1,000 tweets.
3. Tweriod. This free tool looks at you and your Twitter followers’ tweets to provide times on when you should tweet.
4. TweetStats. This free tool will show you detailed analysis of your best tweeting time.
5. Timely. This free tool analyzes your past 199 tweets and figures out the best time slots for you to tweet.
6. Tweue. This free tool is basically a Twitter queue that will evenly space up to 10 tweet from 15 minutes to eight hours apart.
7. TweetReports. This free tool gathers the stats from your top 25 influential followers and analyzes the times where keywords are talked about the most, and when you may want to participate in these conversations.
8. Lookacross. This paid tool (30-day free trial) to find the best time to reach people.
9. 14Blocks. A paid tool ($5-$49/month) that analyzes your followers’ activities to find out the best times to tweet each day of the week.
10. Socialflow. A paid tool ($1 for first month) publishes your content when it will resonate the most with your Twitter followers.
11. Hootsuite. A free web-based social media dashboard that allows you to queue up and post updates in a timely fashion.
12. Buffer. This free app allows you to add articles, photos and videos to it anytime of the day and then it automatically shares them throughout the day
13. TweetDeck. This free tool allows you to schedule tweets and can help you manage your social media platforms.
Conclusion: Success Lies in Frequency Not Timing
In the end, success on Twitter does not rely on when you tweet but how frequently you tweet. Not too much but not too little. If you post at least 5 times a day, spaced throughout the day, you will mostly likely achieve the maximum impact of your tweets.
Social media is a game changer for public relations. It is bringing new challenges and opportunities to the profession and to savvy pros. I have outlined seven ways that social media is changing PR.
- Two-way conversation. PR pros can no longer blast out information about their brand or client and expect to succeed. Consumers and journalists have come to expect that they won’t be “spammed” and will be answered quickly and in a personal manner. Timely, two-way communication is the “new normal.” Listening, engagement and thought leadership are now three areas that PR pros manage.
- Digital communication. PR pros need to know the latest digital tools, including social media monitoring tools, Twitter, Google Analytics. They need to understand blogging and the tools that come with that. We need to understand the nuance of communication for different online communities. (ie. between communicating on Twitter and/or Facebook.)
- Research. The social networks offer a wealth of information to PR pros on target markets, customer service, and media they want to pitch. They can now create new opportunities that may not have been available before without social media.
- Journalism is changing. Traditional media is no longer the “go to” source for information. The news can “break” from anywhere and the general public has become citizen journalists. For example, look at the U.S. Airways crash into the Hudson River or Michael Jackson’s death. The consumer no longer relies on big news organizations to be on the scene for news. Companies are, in essence, becoming media companies and their PR pros are becoming publishers. Be sure to read How is Social Media NOT Journalism?
- Faster and more visible communications. In our 24/7 customer-centric world, social media has increased the potential for complaints and the visibility of this negative outcry. Since we live in a social network, crises happen faster, and response time must be as well. It is important for PR pros to develop their organization or client online presence BEFORE a crisis happens. Because technology is always changing, the crisis plan needs to become a “living” document that helps give an immediate and well-informed response to the latest information.
- Analytics. PR pros need to understand and use math everyday. Social media can better help track the return on investment, including direct costs of staff time spent using the tools, and measurement of the traffic it drives to a company’s website.
- Organizational hierarchy change. Internal and external communications have been democratized thanks to social media taking out the extra layers such as a direct line to the CEO if you are an internal or external stakeholder.
What would you add to this list? How do you think social media has changed PR?
This post originally appeared on the blog Spin Sucks.