Why Content Distribution is as Important as Content Creation

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Your content is the foundation of your business. It is with sticky, quality, and strong content that you can show off your brand, as well as build a trusted place in the viewers’ minds who come across your website. But how do they actually know your website exists? Your product can be amazing, your website may be terrific, and you may have worked very hard to create attractive, useful, very detailed and informed content – and you still may not be even visible to most people searching for a product like yours. So then, what was the point of all that hard work?

Being better than your competitors is imperative, but that information needs to reach your potential buyers first. This is where content distribution comes in – to spread the news about the new fish in the market: you. 

Only with a systematic, and well-aimed distribution of your content will you be seen by your target audience and therefore earn the chance of building trust with your product. 

What is content distribution and how does it work

Content which provides value is good content, but content distribution is what transports it to the ones considering it valuable. With content distribution or content marketing, you create targeted content and show it to the selected audience looking for something just like your business. You do not only provide a simple product description, but you also reach your buyers before they reach you, with a proper game plan.

  • You use targeted keywords to write copy and blog posts which help you in your SEO process, to be on top in the search results. 
  • You design an attractive landing page for your website, giving your audience the first sample of the excellent user experience your product is going to provide.
  • You explain complicated information about your product using simple yet engaging infographics, which in turn, demonstrate your own expertise and knowledge about your product.
  • You create newsletters to ensure you are in touch with your trusted customers via updates, discounts, and new content. In the process, you help increase your sales a substantial amount through purchases and referrals.
  • You write compelling content for your emails to reach out to your existing and potential customers. In today’s digital world, we are all constantly up-to-date with our inbox, yet most of our emails merely add to our boredom. An exciting email is about something we are interested in, which makes us take a second look. That’s why a stimulating email marketing campaign is going to put you right on the map.
  • You make appealing and shareable content specifically for social media and campaign your business by means of websites inevitably browsed everyday.
  • You add quality backlinks to your content, from already established and credible websites, assuring the authenticity of your product. This is how you generate confidence in your potential buyers, and once you are successful in doing so, traffic to your own website is a guarantee.

Why is content distribution so important

Even though it comes under marketing, content distribution is nothing like sales pitches and advertisements. In fact, it is way more effective because your buyers gain more insights about your product, and more importantly, your business ethics. This builds trust which is the most enriching way to overtake your market. Besides, according to Demand Metrics, 90% of all organizations already use content in their marketing campaign, taking full advantage of Google and Big data. Competing in this market will essentially require you to construct a well-qualified content distribution scheme.

Building brand awareness

Targeted content distribution builds awareness about your brand to those who never knew it existed. If you do it right, you can significantly increase traffic coming to your page and consistently make it grow.

Building brand authority

With well-directed content distribution, you can prove how different and better you are than your competitors. No matter how good your product actually is, once your brand’s dominance is established in the viewers’ minds, they think of you first while contemplating a product like yours. That is exactly how you get them to come back to you repeatedly, as well as bring their friends along sometimes.

Getting noticed by targeted viewers

You need to understand that regardless of the quality of your content, in reality, your persistent ROI comes from a few exclusive viewers and not everyone in the world. With content distributed on the appropriate route, you can secure a place in the minds of those few. These are the ones who will remember you and recall you at their need, thus building the foundation of your business.

Retaining your existing customers

A customer is not a one-time deal for you, your business’s growth is almost entirely dependent on how many times they come back for more. With  strategically smart content marketing – newsletters, emails, and new relevant issues addressed in your blogs, you can make customers feel special on a regular basis and keep them interested for a long time.

Converting fresh viewers into potential buyers

For the tourists visting your page to become loyal residents, the first tour matters is critical. A carefully calculated content distribution plan is what creates the magic. 

Saving your marketing costs

Paid ads and outbound marketing are not only hard work, they drain your business account, along with adding an extra risk of irritating and chasing away perfectly apt prospects. On the contrary, studies show content marketing gets 3 times the leads per dollar spent, since informative content marketing seems much more relevant to users, building a deep connection with them. This makes it dramatically more successful, not to mention remarkably cutting the cost of your marketing.

Building evangelists

Since content marketing is much less promotional than other methods of advertising and much more focused towards solving the problems people have, it is an efficient way to get people attached to your brand. This eventually gives rise to loyal evangelists, who spread any news related to your business as far as they can. You reach thousands of potential buyers without them ever really looking for you or making much effort to reach them by yourself.

They say, “content is king”. However, it is only true as long as people can see that content. 

Hence to establish your brand you must deploy a judicious, intelligent, and strong content distribution team. Moreover, since content marketing is associated with the concept of free internet, it will be much easier to make your product stand out not only in your area but globally, at a nominal cost. As much as creating compelling content is important, you definitely should invest more in distributing it in the right manner, if you want your business to outshine everyone. In reality, it is content distribution that is the true king.


avatar

Bhawna is Sr. Digital Marketing Executive at One Stop Media by profession and storyteller by nature. A reader at night and analyst during the day, her area of focus are marketing, tech, and startups. You can follow Bhawna on TwitterLinkedIn, and Medium for her invaluable marketing tips and recommendations.

The post Why Content Distribution is as Important as Content Creation appeared first on SiteProNews.

A Throwback to Some 50 Years of Cybercrime

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

It goes without saying that cyberspace is a dangerous place. Lurking within it are criminals seeking out unfortunate victims in order to steal their money, sensitive data, and sometimes even identity. Malware, pharming, phishing, cryptojacking and spamming are just a few of the weapons in the formidable arsenal of these perpetrators. 

Interestingly, though, cybercrime actually began rather innocently with a few young engineers who had a passion for model railroads about 50 years ago. These guys had altruistic intentions, but they unwittingly provided the foundation for people with more malevolent plans to do harm. So what happened half a century ago? Let’s take a look.

The Birth of Hacking

During the 1960s, the term “hacking” did not even involve computers. It referred to how members of the Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) modified their toy trains to improve performance without having to re-engineer the entire system. 

It all started with Peter Samson and other club members who used to wander around the university halls prodding and poking wires, switches, and telephone junctions, trying to make sense of how things worked. Then one day they discovered the Electronic Accounting Machinery room in Building 26, with its gleaming multi-million dollar IBM mainframe computer.

Access to the computer was severely restricted, but Samson and his group would regularly sneak into the room and program the machine to compute ways for their model railroad switching systems to be more efficient. This is how Samson created the primary objective of what would later become the hacker’s first order of business — access to the computing device.

Samson defined the divide that separated the officially sanctioned users, who merely used the machine to speed up computing tasks, from the hackers who were looking to innovate and push the computer to its limits. As a result, a new breed of hackers was born, taking their talents from the miniature train tracks to the new toy they suddenly had their hands on.

The Virus Rises

Not long after, a programmer at a company called BBN Technologies would invent the next step toward enabling cybercrime. In 1971, Bob Ross created what is considered the first computer virus. The program, called Creeper, would print out a message on the computer screen, copy itself onto another hard drive it found on the network and then erase itself from the original storage device. 

It was totally harmless. Ross merely wanted to prove the theory that a computer program could successfully replicate itself on to other machines, based on a paper published by John Von Newman back in 1949. He succeeded. The term “computer virus”, though, would not be coined until a decade later, in 1986, by a Ph.D. student named Fred Cohen.

The Cybercrime Outburst

The original model train hackers defined hacking as “a project undertaken or a product built not solely to fulfill some constructive goal, but with some wild pleasure taken in mere involvement.” Gaining access to computers was necessary to accomplish this. But it was only a matter of time before the hacker’s motivation for obtaining entry into systems transformed into malicious intent and material gain.

The first computer virus attempted to prove a concept, and it provided the perfect mechanism for attackers to secretly infect computers, propagate itself through systems, and disrupt their operations. Encouraged by these developments, people evolved other methods of assaulting these systems. And very soon phishing, pharming, cyber stalking, computer worms, identity theft and fraud, salami slicing and other such threats emerged. Cybercrime had arrived.

By 2018, securing and protecting computers and networks had become a $116.5 billion industry. It’s expected to grow even more in the coming years, given the importance of computing devices and the Internet in our world today. With the inevitable arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the rapid development in artificial intelligence (AI), protecting and securing computing resources will certainly cause CSOs, IT departments and cybersecurity teams more sleepless nights.

“The road to perdition is paved with good intentions,” so goes the old saying. Peter Samson and Bob Ross certainly had not intended to do any harm with their seminal computer experiments. But they had inadvertently set the Information Age on a course that would see people with less benevolent intentions exploit the possibilities made evident by their discoveries.


avatar

Alexandre Francois is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast who believes that knowledge about innovations and emerging technologies should be easily understandable and available to everyone. Walking the talking, he is also the publishing director of Techslang — a tech awareness resource where cybersecurity and IT is explained in plain English.

The post A Throwback to Some 50 Years of Cybercrime appeared first on SiteProNews.

A Throwback to Some 50 Years of Cybercrime

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

It goes without saying that cyberspace is a dangerous place. Lurking within it are criminals seeking out unfortunate victims in order to steal their money, sensitive data, and sometimes even identity. Malware, pharming, phishing, cryptojacking and spamming are just a few of the weapons in the formidable arsenal of these perpetrators. 

Interestingly, though, cybercrime actually began rather innocently with a few young engineers who had a passion for model railroads about 50 years ago. These guys had altruistic intentions, but they unwittingly provided the foundation for people with more malevolent plans to do harm. So what happened half a century ago? Let’s take a look.

The Birth of Hacking

During the 1960s, the term “hacking” did not even involve computers. It referred to how members of the Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) modified their toy trains to improve performance without having to re-engineer the entire system. 

It all started with Peter Samson and other club members who used to wander around the university halls prodding and poking wires, switches, and telephone junctions, trying to make sense of how things worked. Then one day they discovered the Electronic Accounting Machinery room in Building 26, with its gleaming multi-million dollar IBM mainframe computer.

Access to the computer was severely restricted, but Samson and his group would regularly sneak into the room and program the machine to compute ways for their model railroad switching systems to be more efficient. This is how Samson created the primary objective of what would later become the hacker’s first order of business — access to the computing device.

Samson defined the divide that separated the officially sanctioned users, who merely used the machine to speed up computing tasks, from the hackers who were looking to innovate and push the computer to its limits. As a result, a new breed of hackers was born, taking their talents from the miniature train tracks to the new toy they suddenly had their hands on.

The Virus Rises

Not long after, a programmer at a company called BBN Technologies would invent the next step toward enabling cybercrime. In 1971, Bob Ross created what is considered the first computer virus. The program, called Creeper, would print out a message on the computer screen, copy itself onto another hard drive it found on the network and then erase itself from the original storage device. 

It was totally harmless. Ross merely wanted to prove the theory that a computer program could successfully replicate itself on to other machines, based on a paper published by John Von Newman back in 1949. He succeeded. The term “computer virus”, though, would not be coined until a decade later, in 1986, by a Ph.D. student named Fred Cohen.

The Cybercrime Outburst

The original model train hackers defined hacking as “a project undertaken or a product built not solely to fulfill some constructive goal, but with some wild pleasure taken in mere involvement.” Gaining access to computers was necessary to accomplish this. But it was only a matter of time before the hacker’s motivation for obtaining entry into systems transformed into malicious intent and material gain.

The first computer virus attempted to prove a concept, and it provided the perfect mechanism for attackers to secretly infect computers, propagate itself through systems, and disrupt their operations. Encouraged by these developments, people evolved other methods of assaulting these systems. And very soon phishing, pharming, cyber stalking, computer worms, identity theft and fraud, salami slicing and other such threats emerged. Cybercrime had arrived.

By 2018, securing and protecting computers and networks had become a $116.5 billion industry. It’s expected to grow even more in the coming years, given the importance of computing devices and the Internet in our world today. With the inevitable arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the rapid development in artificial intelligence (AI), protecting and securing computing resources will certainly cause CSOs, IT departments and cybersecurity teams more sleepless nights.

“The road to perdition is paved with good intentions,” so goes the old saying. Peter Samson and Bob Ross certainly had not intended to do any harm with their seminal computer experiments. But they had inadvertently set the Information Age on a course that would see people with less benevolent intentions exploit the possibilities made evident by their discoveries.


avatar

Alexandre Francois is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast who believes that knowledge about innovations and emerging technologies should be easily understandable and available to everyone. Walking the talking, he is also the publishing director of Techslang — a tech awareness resource where cybersecurity and IT is explained in plain English.

The post A Throwback to Some 50 Years of Cybercrime appeared first on SiteProNews.

A Throwback to Some 50 Years of Cybercrime

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

It goes without saying that cyberspace is a dangerous place. Lurking within it are criminals seeking out unfortunate victims in order to steal their money, sensitive data, and sometimes even identity. Malware, pharming, phishing, cryptojacking and spamming are just a few of the weapons in the formidable arsenal of these perpetrators. 

Interestingly, though, cybercrime actually began rather innocently with a few young engineers who had a passion for model railroads about 50 years ago. These guys had altruistic intentions, but they unwittingly provided the foundation for people with more malevolent plans to do harm. So what happened half a century ago? Let’s take a look.

The Birth of Hacking

During the 1960s, the term “hacking” did not even involve computers. It referred to how members of the Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) modified their toy trains to improve performance without having to re-engineer the entire system. 

It all started with Peter Samson and other club members who used to wander around the university halls prodding and poking wires, switches, and telephone junctions, trying to make sense of how things worked. Then one day they discovered the Electronic Accounting Machinery room in Building 26, with its gleaming multi-million dollar IBM mainframe computer.

Access to the computer was severely restricted, but Samson and his group would regularly sneak into the room and program the machine to compute ways for their model railroad switching systems to be more efficient. This is how Samson created the primary objective of what would later become the hacker’s first order of business — access to the computing device.

Samson defined the divide that separated the officially sanctioned users, who merely used the machine to speed up computing tasks, from the hackers who were looking to innovate and push the computer to its limits. As a result, a new breed of hackers was born, taking their talents from the miniature train tracks to the new toy they suddenly had their hands on.

The Virus Rises

Not long after, a programmer at a company called BBN Technologies would invent the next step toward enabling cybercrime. In 1971, Bob Ross created what is considered the first computer virus. The program, called Creeper, would print out a message on the computer screen, copy itself onto another hard drive it found on the network and then erase itself from the original storage device. 

It was totally harmless. Ross merely wanted to prove the theory that a computer program could successfully replicate itself on to other machines, based on a paper published by John Von Newman back in 1949. He succeeded. The term “computer virus”, though, would not be coined until a decade later, in 1986, by a Ph.D. student named Fred Cohen.

The Cybercrime Outburst

The original model train hackers defined hacking as “a project undertaken or a product built not solely to fulfill some constructive goal, but with some wild pleasure taken in mere involvement.” Gaining access to computers was necessary to accomplish this. But it was only a matter of time before the hacker’s motivation for obtaining entry into systems transformed into malicious intent and material gain.

The first computer virus attempted to prove a concept, and it provided the perfect mechanism for attackers to secretly infect computers, propagate itself through systems, and disrupt their operations. Encouraged by these developments, people evolved other methods of assaulting these systems. And very soon phishing, pharming, cyber stalking, computer worms, identity theft and fraud, salami slicing and other such threats emerged. Cybercrime had arrived.

By 2018, securing and protecting computers and networks had become a $116.5 billion industry. It’s expected to grow even more in the coming years, given the importance of computing devices and the Internet in our world today. With the inevitable arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the rapid development in artificial intelligence (AI), protecting and securing computing resources will certainly cause CSOs, IT departments and cybersecurity teams more sleepless nights.

“The road to perdition is paved with good intentions,” so goes the old saying. Peter Samson and Bob Ross certainly had not intended to do any harm with their seminal computer experiments. But they had inadvertently set the Information Age on a course that would see people with less benevolent intentions exploit the possibilities made evident by their discoveries.


avatar

Alexandre Francois is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast who believes that knowledge about innovations and emerging technologies should be easily understandable and available to everyone. Walking the talking, he is also the publishing director of Techslang — a tech awareness resource where cybersecurity and IT is explained in plain English.

The post A Throwback to Some 50 Years of Cybercrime appeared first on SiteProNews.

Where paywall content stands with SEO: A focus on user experience

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Publishers are increasingly adopting the paywalled content approach as a monetization strategy. If there’s anything, paywalled content has helped publishers generate more revenue online. But user experience may have suffered as a result.

Paying for content may sound arcane on the Internet, but it’s not a new thing. Newspapers thrived on subscription plans. And high subscription numbers are how publishers justify their ad rates. But with the way the internet has democratized access to knowledge, hardly does anyone pay for content anymore. But that is changing.

Adopting the content subscription strategy is on the rise. And it is being endorsed by decision-makers at major media outlets. However, both from an SEO perspective and a user experience angle, paywalls may create concerns.

How do paywalls work and are they sustainable?

“Can publishers sustain their paywalls?”, this is the question to ask. It’s understandable that introducing sudden changes to a platform may cause user apathy. But is that the case with publishers who use paywalls? Or rather, should content marketers begin to adopt this approach?

Interestingly enough, some major publishers report seeing their ad revenues improve once they added a subscription service. Why this is the case is still not clear.

Let’s breakdown the different types of paywall strategies and how they function

  • Freemium: This approach is popular with media outlets with a fairly sizable audience. Here free content is separated from premium content, allowing the free content to be available to everyone while premium content such as in-depth analysis is reserved for subscribers.
  • Metered paywall: Metered paywall is the most adopted approach and is the type used by major outlets such as Medium and The Times. Users are allowed to access a limited amount of content in a given month until they are required to become subscribers to continue to enjoy more content.
  • Hard paywall: The hard paywall blocks the entire website’s content for non-subscribers. Typically, readers will only get to see the headline and nothing beyond the infamous “read more” link. Users can still use the search feature of the website but cannot access any of its content or comments unless they become subscribers.

example of paywall free content on BetterHelp Advice blog

Source: Betterhelp.com

Over at Betterhelp, where I oversee content creation we’ve only tried the “Freemium” approach and will continue to split-test between free content and putting back paywalls. So far, from professional experience, putting content behind paywalls has not helped our users, who rely heavily on our advice blog. While our experiment with a paywall is yet to be concluded, we can draw from other media outlets to see what works.

Why publishers adopt paywalls

Example of paywall content on WSJ

Source: The Wall Street Journal

If you’re on the homepage of The Wall Street Journal website, you’re immediately prompted to register to start reading an article. Of course, to register means to pay to gain access to the content. On a website like WSJ.com, it’s easy to justify paying to read an article. They employ professional journalists who must keep producing high-quality content round the clock to meet the standard the newspaper is known for. Readers that enjoy it will not budge at the idea of paying to keep their subscription to The Journal. However, to understand why mainstream publications put their content behind paywalls, we need to look at how their business model works.

Revenue driven decisions

It’s obvious, monetization is the chief factor in why publishers adopt paywalls.

In print, established outlets like The New York Times, WSJ, and The Post rely on advertisers and subscribers to keep their business running. On the internet, however, advertisement is not a sustainable revenue model for large publishers as users are trained to seek fast bloggy content that is difficult to monetize. Further crippled by the wave of Adblockers, digital advertising generates less than the revenue that similar ads will generate in print. With this, publishers are willing to throw UX under the bus for revenue.

Should content marketers also put up paywalls?

Defiance and reports of success after implementing paywalls may tempt marketers to adopt the approach. As in our case, we had to shelve the idea after a brief experiment with the freemium approach.

AdWeek on content paywall

Source: Twitter

Most publications have reported success after adopting the paywall program. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, has over 1,550,000 paying registered online subscribers that have opted to pay to read their content. In 2018, The New York Times also reported hitting 3,000,000 registered subscribers, with digital contributing the most to its revenue source.

Results may not be typical

Now, you need to understand that The Time and WSJ’s approach involves a lot of testing and engineering. WSJ, for instance, scores readers based on an average of 60 data points to judge their readers. This pool of data is then used to determine when the paywall is introduced. Data helps WSJ to determine whether to nudge a reader into subscribing, offer them a “Freemium”, or even put up a “Hard Paywall”.

For content marketers, especially those whose existence relies on educating their audience through content as we do at Betterhelp, putting valuable content behind a paywall may be risky. Paywalled content could become a hindrance in the decision maker’s ability to consider your brand for opportunities. Decision-makers may even think your brand is not serious when content that is meant to educate your customers is put behind a paywall.

How does paywall affect SEO and UX?

Google tried to rein in on paywalled content practice by forcing publishers to follow their “first-click-free” policy. Basically, readers coming from a Google search result must be allowed to get the first premium content for free, or you lose your rankings. Of course, this rule gave room for misuse by some users and placed publishers in a tight spot, forcing many to ignore the controversial policy at the risk of losing their search rankings. In 2017, Google dropped the first click free policy and allowed publishers to decide how their content is seen.

Poor user experience is the bane of paywalls

It’s important to note that the way search engine crawlers interact with content is not the same way humans interact with content. This means publishers must carefully consider user experience in making content strategy decisions. Should an article that is crucial to the free content you’re allowed to read from search be put behind a paywall? How does that affect the experience? Ultimately, user experience is critical to SEO performance.

Side doors may mitigate poor UX

Studying the pattern of the largest online newspapers that have prioritized subscription services, it’s noticeable that they understand the negative impact of this approach on UX. For instance, there is hardly any publisher that has employed the “Hard Paywall” approach without leaving room for numerous “side doors” for non-subscribers to still access their content.

The downside of poor user experience for an online brand is so significant, it goes beyond the website alone. It can as much as hurt the brand itself. This is where the impact could be felt in search rankings. Google predominantly favors higher organic click-through rates (CTRs) in ranking search results. And once users have been trained to ignore a brand’s links in the search result pages, it’s only a matter of time before Google starts dropping the website for others with higher CTRs.

Whether publishers are aware of the several “side doors” non-subscribers are actively taking advantage of, or perhaps are they intentionally leaving room for content leaks is not clear. The upside to this “loophole” is near parity with what Google expects from publishers versus what they get.

How do content creators factor in their users’ experience while still accounting for revenue generated from their content? The key is this – when deciding which content to put behind a paywall, think about its primary purpose first.

Marie Miguel has been a contributor and a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Some of her write-ups can be found on BetterHelp.com.

The post Where paywall content stands with SEO: A focus on user experience appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Where paywall content stands with SEO: A focus on user experience

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Publishers are increasingly adopting the paywalled content approach as a monetization strategy. If there’s anything, paywalled content has helped publishers generate more revenue online. But user experience may have suffered as a result.

Paying for content may sound arcane on the Internet, but it’s not a new thing. Newspapers thrived on subscription plans. And high subscription numbers are how publishers justify their ad rates. But with the way the internet has democratized access to knowledge, hardly does anyone pay for content anymore. But that is changing.

Adopting the content subscription strategy is on the rise. And it is being endorsed by decision-makers at major media outlets. However, both from an SEO perspective and a user experience angle, paywalls may create concerns.

How do paywalls work and are they sustainable?

“Can publishers sustain their paywalls?”, this is the question to ask. It’s understandable that introducing sudden changes to a platform may cause user apathy. But is that the case with publishers who use paywalls? Or rather, should content marketers begin to adopt this approach?

Interestingly enough, some major publishers report seeing their ad revenues improve once they added a subscription service. Why this is the case is still not clear.

Let’s breakdown the different types of paywall strategies and how they function

  • Freemium: This approach is popular with media outlets with a fairly sizable audience. Here free content is separated from premium content, allowing the free content to be available to everyone while premium content such as in-depth analysis is reserved for subscribers.
  • Metered paywall: Metered paywall is the most adopted approach and is the type used by major outlets such as Medium and The Times. Users are allowed to access a limited amount of content in a given month until they are required to become subscribers to continue to enjoy more content.
  • Hard paywall: The hard paywall blocks the entire website’s content for non-subscribers. Typically, readers will only get to see the headline and nothing beyond the infamous “read more” link. Users can still use the search feature of the website but cannot access any of its content or comments unless they become subscribers.

example of paywall free content on BetterHelp Advice blog

Source: Betterhelp.com

Over at Betterhelp, where I oversee content creation we’ve only tried the “Freemium” approach and will continue to split-test between free content and putting back paywalls. So far, from professional experience, putting content behind paywalls has not helped our users, who rely heavily on our advice blog. While our experiment with a paywall is yet to be concluded, we can draw from other media outlets to see what works.

Why publishers adopt paywalls

Example of paywall content on WSJ

Source: The Wall Street Journal

If you’re on the homepage of The Wall Street Journal website, you’re immediately prompted to register to start reading an article. Of course, to register means to pay to gain access to the content. On a website like WSJ.com, it’s easy to justify paying to read an article. They employ professional journalists who must keep producing high-quality content round the clock to meet the standard the newspaper is known for. Readers that enjoy it will not budge at the idea of paying to keep their subscription to The Journal. However, to understand why mainstream publications put their content behind paywalls, we need to look at how their business model works.

Revenue driven decisions

It’s obvious, monetization is the chief factor in why publishers adopt paywalls.

In print, established outlets like The New York Times, WSJ, and The Post rely on advertisers and subscribers to keep their business running. On the internet, however, advertisement is not a sustainable revenue model for large publishers as users are trained to seek fast bloggy content that is difficult to monetize. Further crippled by the wave of Adblockers, digital advertising generates less than the revenue that similar ads will generate in print. With this, publishers are willing to throw UX under the bus for revenue.

Should content marketers also put up paywalls?

Defiance and reports of success after implementing paywalls may tempt marketers to adopt the approach. As in our case, we had to shelve the idea after a brief experiment with the freemium approach.

AdWeek on content paywall

Source: Twitter

Most publications have reported success after adopting the paywall program. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, has over 1,550,000 paying registered online subscribers that have opted to pay to read their content. In 2018, The New York Times also reported hitting 3,000,000 registered subscribers, with digital contributing the most to its revenue source.

Results may not be typical

Now, you need to understand that The Time and WSJ’s approach involves a lot of testing and engineering. WSJ, for instance, scores readers based on an average of 60 data points to judge their readers. This pool of data is then used to determine when the paywall is introduced. Data helps WSJ to determine whether to nudge a reader into subscribing, offer them a “Freemium”, or even put up a “Hard Paywall”.

For content marketers, especially those whose existence relies on educating their audience through content as we do at Betterhelp, putting valuable content behind a paywall may be risky. Paywalled content could become a hindrance in the decision maker’s ability to consider your brand for opportunities. Decision-makers may even think your brand is not serious when content that is meant to educate your customers is put behind a paywall.

How does paywall affect SEO and UX?

Google tried to rein in on paywalled content practice by forcing publishers to follow their “first-click-free” policy. Basically, readers coming from a Google search result must be allowed to get the first premium content for free, or you lose your rankings. Of course, this rule gave room for misuse by some users and placed publishers in a tight spot, forcing many to ignore the controversial policy at the risk of losing their search rankings. In 2017, Google dropped the first click free policy and allowed publishers to decide how their content is seen.

Poor user experience is the bane of paywalls

It’s important to note that the way search engine crawlers interact with content is not the same way humans interact with content. This means publishers must carefully consider user experience in making content strategy decisions. Should an article that is crucial to the free content you’re allowed to read from search be put behind a paywall? How does that affect the experience? Ultimately, user experience is critical to SEO performance.

Side doors may mitigate poor UX

Studying the pattern of the largest online newspapers that have prioritized subscription services, it’s noticeable that they understand the negative impact of this approach on UX. For instance, there is hardly any publisher that has employed the “Hard Paywall” approach without leaving room for numerous “side doors” for non-subscribers to still access their content.

The downside of poor user experience for an online brand is so significant, it goes beyond the website alone. It can as much as hurt the brand itself. This is where the impact could be felt in search rankings. Google predominantly favors higher organic click-through rates (CTRs) in ranking search results. And once users have been trained to ignore a brand’s links in the search result pages, it’s only a matter of time before Google starts dropping the website for others with higher CTRs.

Whether publishers are aware of the several “side doors” non-subscribers are actively taking advantage of, or perhaps are they intentionally leaving room for content leaks is not clear. The upside to this “loophole” is near parity with what Google expects from publishers versus what they get.

How do content creators factor in their users’ experience while still accounting for revenue generated from their content? The key is this – when deciding which content to put behind a paywall, think about its primary purpose first.

Marie Miguel has been a contributor and a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Some of her write-ups can be found on BetterHelp.com.

The post Where paywall content stands with SEO: A focus on user experience appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Where paywall content stands with SEO: A focus on user experience

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Publishers are increasingly adopting the paywalled content approach as a monetization strategy. If there’s anything, paywalled content has helped publishers generate more revenue online. But user experience may have suffered as a result.

Paying for content may sound arcane on the Internet, but it’s not a new thing. Newspapers thrived on subscription plans. And high subscription numbers are how publishers justify their ad rates. But with the way the internet has democratized access to knowledge, hardly does anyone pay for content anymore. But that is changing.

Adopting the content subscription strategy is on the rise. And it is being endorsed by decision-makers at major media outlets. However, both from an SEO perspective and a user experience angle, paywalls may create concerns.

How do paywalls work and are they sustainable?

“Can publishers sustain their paywalls?”, this is the question to ask. It’s understandable that introducing sudden changes to a platform may cause user apathy. But is that the case with publishers who use paywalls? Or rather, should content marketers begin to adopt this approach?

Interestingly enough, some major publishers report seeing their ad revenues improve once they added a subscription service. Why this is the case is still not clear.

Let’s breakdown the different types of paywall strategies and how they function

  • Freemium: This approach is popular with media outlets with a fairly sizable audience. Here free content is separated from premium content, allowing the free content to be available to everyone while premium content such as in-depth analysis is reserved for subscribers.
  • Metered paywall: Metered paywall is the most adopted approach and is the type used by major outlets such as Medium and The Times. Users are allowed to access a limited amount of content in a given month until they are required to become subscribers to continue to enjoy more content.
  • Hard paywall: The hard paywall blocks the entire website’s content for non-subscribers. Typically, readers will only get to see the headline and nothing beyond the infamous “read more” link. Users can still use the search feature of the website but cannot access any of its content or comments unless they become subscribers.

example of paywall free content on BetterHelp Advice blog

Source: Betterhelp.com

Over at Betterhelp, where I oversee content creation we’ve only tried the “Freemium” approach and will continue to split-test between free content and putting back paywalls. So far, from professional experience, putting content behind paywalls has not helped our users, who rely heavily on our advice blog. While our experiment with a paywall is yet to be concluded, we can draw from other media outlets to see what works.

Why publishers adopt paywalls

Example of paywall content on WSJ

Source: The Wall Street Journal

If you’re on the homepage of The Wall Street Journal website, you’re immediately prompted to register to start reading an article. Of course, to register means to pay to gain access to the content. On a website like WSJ.com, it’s easy to justify paying to read an article. They employ professional journalists who must keep producing high-quality content round the clock to meet the standard the newspaper is known for. Readers that enjoy it will not budge at the idea of paying to keep their subscription to The Journal. However, to understand why mainstream publications put their content behind paywalls, we need to look at how their business model works.

Revenue driven decisions

It’s obvious, monetization is the chief factor in why publishers adopt paywalls.

In print, established outlets like The New York Times, WSJ, and The Post rely on advertisers and subscribers to keep their business running. On the internet, however, advertisement is not a sustainable revenue model for large publishers as users are trained to seek fast bloggy content that is difficult to monetize. Further crippled by the wave of Adblockers, digital advertising generates less than the revenue that similar ads will generate in print. With this, publishers are willing to throw UX under the bus for revenue.

Should content marketers also put up paywalls?

Defiance and reports of success after implementing paywalls may tempt marketers to adopt the approach. As in our case, we had to shelve the idea after a brief experiment with the freemium approach.

AdWeek on content paywall

Source: Twitter

Most publications have reported success after adopting the paywall program. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, has over 1,550,000 paying registered online subscribers that have opted to pay to read their content. In 2018, The New York Times also reported hitting 3,000,000 registered subscribers, with digital contributing the most to its revenue source.

Results may not be typical

Now, you need to understand that The Time and WSJ’s approach involves a lot of testing and engineering. WSJ, for instance, scores readers based on an average of 60 data points to judge their readers. This pool of data is then used to determine when the paywall is introduced. Data helps WSJ to determine whether to nudge a reader into subscribing, offer them a “Freemium”, or even put up a “Hard Paywall”.

For content marketers, especially those whose existence relies on educating their audience through content as we do at Betterhelp, putting valuable content behind a paywall may be risky. Paywalled content could become a hindrance in the decision maker’s ability to consider your brand for opportunities. Decision-makers may even think your brand is not serious when content that is meant to educate your customers is put behind a paywall.

How does paywall affect SEO and UX?

Google tried to rein in on paywalled content practice by forcing publishers to follow their “first-click-free” policy. Basically, readers coming from a Google search result must be allowed to get the first premium content for free, or you lose your rankings. Of course, this rule gave room for misuse by some users and placed publishers in a tight spot, forcing many to ignore the controversial policy at the risk of losing their search rankings. In 2017, Google dropped the first click free policy and allowed publishers to decide how their content is seen.

Poor user experience is the bane of paywalls

It’s important to note that the way search engine crawlers interact with content is not the same way humans interact with content. This means publishers must carefully consider user experience in making content strategy decisions. Should an article that is crucial to the free content you’re allowed to read from search be put behind a paywall? How does that affect the experience? Ultimately, user experience is critical to SEO performance.

Side doors may mitigate poor UX

Studying the pattern of the largest online newspapers that have prioritized subscription services, it’s noticeable that they understand the negative impact of this approach on UX. For instance, there is hardly any publisher that has employed the “Hard Paywall” approach without leaving room for numerous “side doors” for non-subscribers to still access their content.

The downside of poor user experience for an online brand is so significant, it goes beyond the website alone. It can as much as hurt the brand itself. This is where the impact could be felt in search rankings. Google predominantly favors higher organic click-through rates (CTRs) in ranking search results. And once users have been trained to ignore a brand’s links in the search result pages, it’s only a matter of time before Google starts dropping the website for others with higher CTRs.

Whether publishers are aware of the several “side doors” non-subscribers are actively taking advantage of, or perhaps are they intentionally leaving room for content leaks is not clear. The upside to this “loophole” is near parity with what Google expects from publishers versus what they get.

How do content creators factor in their users’ experience while still accounting for revenue generated from their content? The key is this – when deciding which content to put behind a paywall, think about its primary purpose first.

Marie Miguel has been a contributor and a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Some of her write-ups can be found on BetterHelp.com.

The post Where paywall content stands with SEO: A focus on user experience appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

6 SEO Trends to Boost Your ROI and Your Visibility

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

SEO is a living beast. It grows, it changes, and, sometimes it’s moody. So it’s only natural that we analyze SEO trends every once in a while.

But here’s the thing: not all trends are created equal, much like not all your SEO work will prove of value. When I say value I’m talking about profit. Cold, hard cash. After all, you’re running a business, so why would you invest in something that doesn’t boost your bottom line?

If you’re still not convinced that SEO can do that for you, bear with me for a second. Read the statistics below before you move on to another article.

Why should you invest in SEO?

If your business has an online component, then SEO should definitely be at the top of your marketing priorities. Search engines drive up to 300% more traffic than social media. 

Yes, you read that right. 300%!

Obviously, if you plan to make money online, you need traffic. 300% more traffic sounds like a good start.

If you think the percentage is too high, consider this: 93% of online experiences begin with a search. 

And there’s more: this is not just meaningless traffic. You have a 14.6% chance of closing a lead that comes through SEO compared to a 1.7% chance of closing an outbound lead. 

Now that you know what SEO can do for your bottom line, let’s take a look at what you can do to make wonderful things happen.

6 SEO trends to leverage for extra profit

1. It’s not about you, it’s about them

By them I mean your readers and potential customers.

The key to profitable SEO is user intent. Before you write an article or a landing page, before you even start keyword research, think about your users and what they need.

Go back to the basics for a little while.

You started your business in order to fill a need or a want, a gap in the market. What is that need? How would people search for it? And, more importantly, what would they expect to find once they click on your article or web page in SERPs?

For instance, my company sells SEO content writing services mainly to SMEs. I could use this precise term as a keyword.

But if I want to get even more granular and respond to an actual need, I would use variations like ‘affordable SEO writing services’ or ‘SEO writers for hire’. 

Next up, I should make sure that the articles or pages behind those keywords match the user intent. I could write about how to find the best SEO writers for hire (as a blog post) or why my company offers the best affordable SEO writing services (as a sales page).

The key here is to stick to the point and to the user intent. Deliver on what you promise.

2. Map keywords to your business goals

Start by learning from my mistakes: when I first launched Idunn, I also launched into a blogging frenzy. I wanted to show that we’re good at what we do and that we know our stuff.

And while I did achieve that, I didn’t achieve any sales.

You see, I was blogging about copywriting and SEO writing tips and tricks. How to write the perfect blog post. How to avoid being boring in your copy.

I did get traffic. Because people were searching for these in-depth guides. But not the kind of people that would turn into customers. I was soon flooded with resumes and potential hires.

Other writers were the people looking for what I was delivering, not business owners.

It took me a few good months to realize the error of my ways. When I did realize it, I switched gears and started blogging about how to find the best copywriters and the best digital marketing agencies.

This is what brought in leads that were very close to converting.

Bottom line: it’s nice to help people learn stuff. It’s great, actually! But remember that you are running a business, not a charity.

Make sure that the keywords you choose have ROI potential. Connect user intent with your business goals and you will be on your merry way to higher revenue.

3. Put quality above everything else

Again, this is about putting readers and potential buyers first. You don’t want to be too sales-y in your blog posts. And you don’t want to make false claims in your sales pages.

Make sure that everything you write brings value to the table. Do your research. Yes, even on topics that you know very well. Add credible sources to your claims.

Quality is what establishes you as a thought leader in your field and what helps you stand out from the crowd. If you don’t have the time or money to invest in quality content, you’re better off with CPC ads. 

Think about this: there are over two million blog posts published worldwide EVERY DAY. Poor content gets churned out easily. Hire good SEO copywriters or don’t hire at all. The days of the $5 articles are long gone.

Finally, make your content easy to read. Photos, bullet points, short phrases and paragraphs, subtitles – all these help the reader easily skim through the text to find the very piece of information they are interested in.

4. Use LSI keywords in your SEO content

Context is everything. You want to let crawlers and bots know in which context to place your content.

For example, a blog post about windows could be referring to replacement windows or to the operating system developed by Microsoft.

Sure, a human reader can easily tell the difference. But before you get there, you have to pass the bot “inspection”.

LSI keywords like “Microsoft”, “Bill Gates”, “operating system”, “Excel”, “software” and so on will let bots know that you are talking about a tech product.

On the other hand, LSI keywords like “wood”, “window treatments”, “vinyl” will show them that you are a contractor.

Briefly put, LSI keywords place your text in the right context. They are not synonyms with your main keyword, but they belong to the same “family”. Since they are often seen together, bots can easily recognize what belongs where.

You can read my in-depth guide for leveraging LSI keywords here. 

5. Make sure you are mobile-friendly

If your website doesn’t look as pretty on mobile as it does on a computer, you are non-existent, no matter how great your SEO content.

40% of people search ONLY on a mobile device. Furthermore, almost 60% of all search now come from a mobile device.

Thinking that your content is good enough for users to put up with bad UI? Don’t even finish that thought!

It’s not just that they aren’t willing to do that. It’s also about the mobile-first indexing Google strategy. This means that the mobile version of your website is now your ‘online business card’ and the first thing users see. Better (or worse) yet, it means that if your website isn’t responsive, you won’t even be listed in search results from mobile queries, no matter how much you deserve to be there.

6. Check your page load time

Conversions drop by 12% for every extra second of load time. Even more, Google penalizes websites that load slowly right after users do so.

Test your loading time here. If things don’t look well, talk to your web developer immediately.

Pro tip: JavaScript is the usual culprit for low speeds.

Key takeaway

The number one reason for underperforming SEO content is the lack of need for it. If you don’t map your content to user intent AND to your business goals, you’re wasting time.

No matter how on-point your keyword research is or how pretty your photos are, you won’t see any lead converting from content that doesn’t answer real needs or that isn’t well-written.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. If you can only afford to publish one high-quality post per month, it’s still better than four poor ones.

If you need help with high-performing SEO content, we’re just a click away. My team at Idunn and I helped dozens of companies get excellent ROI from their SEO efforts and pad their bottom line.


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Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the CEO of Idunn, a digital marketing agency that helps clients all over the world with copywriting, social media marketing and marketing strategy. Follow her blog here: http://idunn.pro/blog.

The post 6 SEO Trends to Boost Your ROI and Your Visibility appeared first on SiteProNews.