CarverTC Inbound Marketing Blog

11 Post GDPR Tips to Help Compliance, Conversion Optimization, and Sanity

Posted by Bob Carver on Jun 7, 2018 6:31:36 PM

Well, we're past May 25th and we're still here. Solo wasn't quite what we'd hoped but we survived the GDPR go live date!

Wait. What? GDPR?

While many have been focused on GDPR, it's ramifications, and how to continue time-tested marketing and sales techniques as GDPR compliance requirements go into effect, for many others, especially those outside the European Union, the second sentence of this post sums up their feelings on the subject.

It's not that people were surprised about it. You had to be living in a cave not to hear about GDPR. But, while some guidance, like the use of cookie banners has been straightforward, other guidance has been a little squishy. Like that bit about make sure you collect the right opt-in information from EU residents, no matter where they're accessing your site from.

Barry Levine wrote an interesting article about some of the unintended consequences of GDPR that are already popping up. Some large brands bending over backward to comply to the point of removing key features from their software to avoid potential stiff penalties for violations. Other companies forging a path through the murky recesses of GDPR articles for their own survival. Many are taking a wait and see attitude hoping clear guidance will present itself. After bringing our company and some of our clients into compliance (or mostly compliance), we're sharing 11 post GDPR tips to help compliance, lead generation, and sanity.

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Topics: content marketing, GDPR

5 Tips for Revising Content to Work with a Pillar Page [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 10:41:36 PM

Creating a pillar page is one of the best ways to boost SEO for core services you offer. One of the fastest ways to build a pillar page is to create it from content you already have.

There is one catch, you should revise any content you use so that it aligns with the pillar page. While you're at it, you should refresh the content so that it's current. In this infographic, I share 5 tips for revising content to work with a pillar page

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

How to Measure, Track, and Optimize Pillar Page Performance [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 9:56:25 PM

We've been talking a lot recently about how pillar pages can boost SEO for core services you offer. Brands that have published pillar pages are glad once the content is complete, and they've started promoting the page and the cluster content. That's when you'll see the SEO and lead generation benefit. But to maximize that benefit, you need to track performance.

Like other marketing campaigns, you should measure and track the performance of your pillar page campaigns. Because, like other marketing campaigns, pillar page campaigns are fluid. By tracking and measuring performance, you can adjust your content and promotion maximize SEO and lead generation. 

In this infographic, we show you how to measure, track, and optimize pillar page performance.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

How to Publish, Promote, and Monitor Pillar Page Content to Maximize SEO and Reach

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 9:27:52 PM

Pillar pages are a great way to boost SEO for the services you offer. There are three general phases in a pillar page campaign; planning, content creation, and promotion. You need to do the planning, and your content needs to be great, but promotion is perhaps the most important part of a pillar page campaign.

While just having a pillar page with links pointing to it from your separate content pieces will boost your SEO, you can get much more traffic, and generate more leads, if promote the pillar page and the pillar content correctly.

To get the most traction and best results from your pillar page you need to use a promotion strategy that keeps your topic top of mind with your audience. You should also monitor performance so that you can optimize your pillar content and promotion schedule. In this article, I'll break it all down for you and tell you how to publish, promote, and monitor pillar page content to maximize SEO and reach.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

How to Map Pillar Page Topics to Keywords for the Best SEO Boost

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 9:12:19 PM

Search engines have evolved. Keyword usage alone no longer guarantees you'll rank for the core services you offer. Search engines are now much better at determining user intent from search queries. This change is so disruptive that HubSpot changed its approach to boosting SEO rank to pillar pages. 

Creating clusters of content that link to a comprehensive pillar page on a related core topic signals search engines that you are an authority on that topic. That boosts your SEO rank for that topic. We're so enthusiastic about this we even built a guide on how to do it.

Keywords, however, still have a role to play. When you're choosing the core topic for your pillar page, and when you're selecting subtopics, it's best to select longtail keywords that your domain can rank for. In this article, I'll show you how to map pillar page topics to keywords for the best SEO boost.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

How to Create a Pillar Page from Content You Already Have

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 8:25:58 PM

Pillar pages are a great way to boost SEO rank for the core services you offer. A pillar page provides in-depth coverage of a core topic and is supported by clusters of content.

Each piece of content in the cluster links back to the pillar page helping build your authority for the topic with search engines. In fact, it's recommended that you publish 8-22 pieces of content on your core topic.

The initial reaction from many marketing teams is, "that's a lot of content!" It is. Especially if you're building it from scratch. An easier way is to create a pillar page from content already have. There are a couple of ways to do that. In this article, I'll walk you through both.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

Creating Killer Pillar Pages: 8 Hacks to Optimize Pillar Page Engagement

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 3:53:41 PM

Pillar pages are a great way to boost SEO rank for core services you offer. It's an approach based on how search engines have evolved from simple keyword matching to determining user intent.

There are a lot of steps that go into making a great pillar page. You have to decide on a topic, create the content or reuse content you have, build the pillar page, and promote it.

Pillar pages, by definition, cover a single topic in-depth through subtopics that make up topic clusters. That means a pillar page is perhaps the ultimate in long-form content. The pillar page should be easy to find on your site. It should be easy for visitors to find subtopics they're most interested in, skim and consume the content overall. You should also put controls in place to make sure people don't get lost on such a long page. In this article, I'm going to give you 8 tips for creating killer pillar pages that are structured to optimize engagement.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

Beyond Boosting SEO: 5 Tips for Generating Leads with Pillar Pages

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 3:28:04 PM

Pillar pages are a great way to boost SEO, but they should also mean more than that to your business. Like all marketing activities, pillar page campaigns should help you achieve business goals. Two very common goals for pillar page campaigns are to generate leads and acquire customers.

Since pillar pages are essentially and ungated content offer, you might ask, how do you generate leads if it's ungated? In this article, I'll show you how to go beyond boosting SEO and give you 5 tips for generating leads with pillar pages.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

4 Tips to Make Long-Form Content Better [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on May 1, 2018 2:53:24 PM

We've been talking a lot about how pillar pages can boost SEO. The whole idea behind a pillar page is that it covers a core topic comprehensively. That turns some people off. They say, "I don't want to put a book on my website because no-one will read it."

We can tell you from experience; our pillar pages get a lot of views (and generate a lot of leads). But the point is valid. A pillar page is the ultimate in long-form content. If your content is too "thick and chewy" people won't read it they'll leave. 

Your content has to be great, and you need to format it so that it's easy to skim and easy to consume. To help you out, we've created an infographic with 4 tips to make you pillar page, or any long-form content better!

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

9 Tools to Help You Make Awesome Pillar Pages [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on Apr 26, 2018 10:30:53 AM

Pillar pages are a great way to boost SEO for the core services your organization provides. To create a great pillar page, you have to identify your existing content that can be leveraged, look at topics that are popular with your target audience, and find the best keywords that map to those topics. Once you've done that, you have to publish, link, and track it all.

All of that is easier if you have the right tools!

In this infographic, we show you 9 tools that help you make awesome pillar pages no matter what marketing software you use. We tell you what they are and how we use them. Check it out!

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

How to Plan and Track Pillar Pages with HubSpot's Content Strategy Tool

Posted by Bob Carver on Apr 26, 2018 6:44:00 AM

We've been talking a lot lately about how pillar pages boost SEO for your brand's core services. HubSpot has been leading the charge on this. A pillar page strategy isn’t just for brands using HubSpot; everyone should use this strategy. We're such firm believers in this we made a pillar page on how to make pillar pages!

You don't need to use HubSpot to create pillar pages; you can use with other tools too. HubSpot did, however, create a new tool called Content Strategy designed to help plan, validate, and track the performance of your pillar pages.

If you use HubSpot now or are curious about how HubSpot can help you create pillar pages to boost SEO, I'll show you how it works in this article. 

Get Started by Adding a Topic Cluster

In the HubSpot interface, Strategy in found in the Content Menu.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

4 Tips for Selecting Pillar Page Topics (and How to Brainstorm Them)

Posted by Bob Carver on Apr 22, 2018 7:02:24 AM

Pillar pages are a great way to boost SEO for the core services you provide. A pillar page is a comprehensive web page that covers a core topic in depth. See our pillar page on pillar pages here. So, if you want to create a pillar page, the natural question is, "What core topic should my pillar page cover?"

As you start thinking about topics for your pillar page, we've found it's helpful to make sure your topic search aligns with your business and marketing goals. After that, there are several strategies to get started finding the topics that might work best for your brand, and for brainstorming core topics, and subtopics. In this article, I'll give you 4 tips for selecting your pillar page topics and how to brainstorm more!

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

6 Benefits of Implementing Pillar Pages (Besides Boosting SEO)

Posted by Bob Carver on Apr 21, 2018 7:29:41 AM

We've been helping clients move to pillar pages to boost SEO rank for the core services they offer and problems they solve. Better SEO is one of the biggest reasons people are interested in pillar pages, in fact, it's such a big shift, we've  created a pillar page on how to do it. But as we've helped more clients do this, we've seen many other benefits of planning and executing this strategy.

In this article, I'll explain the benefits of implementing a pillar page content strategy regarding SEO and other benefits to your content marketing efforts.

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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

2 Common Types of Pillar Pages and How they Boost SEO

Posted by Bob Carver on Apr 18, 2018 1:17:21 PM

There's more an more talk about pillar pages these days, especially sign HubSpot is sun-setting it's keyword tool in a fundamental change in their approach to optimizing SEO.

A lot of people are asking, "What exactly are pillar pages?" In this article, I'll answer that question by examining two common types of pillar pages and how each works to improve SEO rank. I'll also tell you what topics clusters are and how they work with pillar pages. I'll also tell you what topics clusters are and how they work with pillar pages. 

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Topics: content marketing, keywords and seo, Pillar Pages

HubSpot has Changed its Approach to SEO, So Should You

Posted by Bob Carver on Apr 18, 2018 1:17:06 PM
The idea of pillar content has been around for a while, but it started gaining more conversation in May of 2017 when HubSpot started releasing content about Topic Clusters and pillar pages. HubSpot was rocking the SEO world based on their research of how to improve SEO rank for specific topics.
 
The assertion they made was a seismic shift away from keywords to a new model of grouping related topics (topic clusters) and linking to all of the topics from a single page (pillar pages) to help brands improve SEO rank for the products and services they offer.
 
Now the evidence is in; Jay Baer recently published an article confirming that,
“For the first time in 3 years, search is responsible for more website traffic than social.”
SEO is now more important than ever, and pillar pages are the way to rank!

The benefits of this strategy aren’t limited to HubSpot users. All brands should be using pillar pages to boost SEO. We believe it's so critical SEO success that we built a pillar page on how to create pillar pages!

In this article I'll describe what pillar pages are, and tell you why your organization should be using them to rank in organic search for the core services you offer.
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Topics: content marketing, seo, Pillar Pages

12 Lessons Learned from a Digital Marketing Disaster Recovery

Posted by Bob Carver on Mar 26, 2018 12:24:19 PM

This article was supposed to be about the challenges of community management. I opened my laptop to work on that article, and found that the hard drive it was on had disappeared.  From that moment, and for three weeks in one form or another, I was in recovery mode. This article is not disaster recovery 101. I’m not going to talk about backup solutions, recovery strategies or any of that. Suffice it to say, you should have a good, cloud based backup in place. It should be tested periodically, and you should have plans in place to facilitate recovery if data is lost. We had all of those things. What we discovered, however, were gaps in our understanding, and problems with our processes. These issues caused a simple hard drive failure to be costlier and more time consuming than we ever imagined. It forced us to move project deadlines and put some project components at risk. In this article I’m going to walk you through the unexpected problems, the challenges of recovery, and the impact. Finally, I’ll let you know what we’ve done to change our processes, and better prepare for the next recovery.

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Topics: disaster recovery, marketing, content marketing

4 Ways Content Reviewers Can Improve Content Quality [Infographic]

Posted by Bob Carver on Feb 27, 2018 3:51:34 PM

I've been thinking about an article that Pam Moore recently published where she talked about how the amount of content being published is creating a sort of content white noise. To cut through it, content marketers need create high-quality, and extremely relevant content. I agree. In fact, I agree so much that I wrote an article  where I showed how we use a simple checklist to ensure that content quality is high, focused on the right audience, and the right stage of the buyer's journey.

Both the article on the checklist have been well received, but as I've discussed it with my team, I feel it's important to emphasize one area of our content process that some brands either don't do or don't do well; the content review process.

For many, content review just a spelling and grammar check, along with some rewording for clarity. To be clear, that's copy editing, and it comes after content reviews. Content review is where experts who know the subject matter, potentially peers of the content author, review the content to ensure it's high quality and to add value to it.

What do content reviewers do and how do they add value? In this article I'll explain 4 ways content reviewers can help your content stand out and rise above the white noise.

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Topics: content marketing process, content marketing, Inbound Marketing

9 Steps to Jumpstart Your Lead Generation in 2018

Posted by Bob Carver on Dec 1, 2017 7:53:58 AM

I'm a believer in inbound marketing because when executed properly it will generate leads, acquire customers, and turn up customer engagement. Beyond that, it's a methodology you can tailor, to some extent, to fit your size. You don't need to spin up a new marketing arm of your company to get started.

But, it's that whole getting started part that so many companies have a problem with. They don't know where to start, how to start, and get stuck in any number of spots. They worry if they're targeting the right audience, promoting on the right social networks, or doing SEO correctly. All valid concerns that can lead to inaction.

If you're looking to start doing inbound marketing or to jumpstart your lead generation, there are nine key steps you should follow. It's the same process we following when we start working with new clients, or when we launch a new campaign. We call it an Inbound Growth Plan. In this article I'll lay out all of the steps, tell you what you can learn, and how to use those insights to jumpstart your lead generation.

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Topics: keyword audit, content marketing, seo, Inbound Marketing, lead generation

How Website Design can Assist Content Marketing [Video]

Posted by Bob Carver on Aug 2, 2017 7:14:20 PM

Your website is a critical component in your inbound marketing strategy. It's where visitors come to consumer blog and web content, and where they will find your landing pages, calls-to-action, and content offers. You want them to click on those calls to action and download those content offers so that you can capture their email, and build a relationship that turns prospects into leads, and leads into customers. When you create or update your website, there are lots of decisions to be made. Should the site have more pages or fewer? Should it be an interactive experience for anyone who visits? How much menu navigation should there be versus on page navigation? Beyond the look and feel, there are four key design choices you can make to aid your inbound marketing - by helping people find you, explaining how you can help them, and helping turn those visitors into leads and customers. We've made a video to show how website design can assist content marketing. For more information, read our article where we lay out the design steps in detail. 

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Topics: content marketing, website design

7 Tips that Make Maintaining Evergreen Content Easier

Posted by Bob Carver on Jun 13, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Evergreen content is defined differently by many different content experts. Wordstream even wrote a blog post about what evergreen content is where they covered many different definitions. The one we like the best is this one, "continues to be relevant long past its publication."

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Topics: content marketing, Inbound Marketing

4 Keyword Selection Tips to Improve SEO [SlideShare]

Posted by Bob Carver on Jan 24, 2017 6:52:54 AM

We recently published an article where we explained why we devote so much time in our campaigns to finding the right keywords. The article lays out the importance of selecting the right keywords, how keywords are used by search engines, and how selecting the right keywords can help drive search traffic to your site. Simply put, the difficulty, and opportunity, with keywords is to find some that are relevant in your industry and describe the products and services you offer, while differentiating your content to search engines. If you do this right, you improve SEO for your content, and your website, and get much more traffic. That article has been so well received we decided to make a companion SlideShare to explain the key points. Enjoy.

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Topics: content marketing, keywords and seo

4 Keyword Selection Tips to Improve SEO

Posted by Bob Carver on Nov 21, 2016 1:28:38 PM

One of the first things we do when we’re launching a campaign is to search for keywords. Many content and digital marketers don’t give this activity the time and energy it truly deserves. How hard can it be? You pick keywords that are popular in your industry, and that describe the products and services you offer. But that’s only half of the equation. The easy half. The problem is, all your competitors are doing the same thing. Which means the keywords you select may be the same ones your competitors are using. The result? Your content gets thrown into SEO indexing algorithms with nothing to make it stand out.  When competing against larger, more established brands with a larger online presence, your ranking for those keywords might put you several pages deep in search results. The difficulty, and opportunity, with keywords is to find some that are relevant in your industry and describe the products and services you offer, while differentiating your content to search engines. With some effort, your brand can rank for those keywords and get found at the top of search engine results pages. In this article, I’ll lay out four keyword selection tips to improve SEO in your digital marketing. By doing so you’ll improve your overall SEO, help your content and brand be found online more easily, and drive more traffic to your pages.   

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Topics: content marketing, keywords and seo

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