Do you handle the SEO on your own website? Do you provide SEO services for other websites? Chances are that no matter how many opportunities you see out there you also see them as limited – that’s probably because they *are*! However, if you’re looking for a little more inspiration or need a few ideas to bring fresh content into your SEO strategy, then this great post from Gareth Cartmen at ‘Clever Little Design’ in the UK will help get you started.
Hey SEOs. You know when you’ve had that client for a year, the really niche one who deals in handling data for logistics companies specialising in shipping dog food, but only for Rottweilers? You’re not doing badly, but you’re losing inspiration. How many tangents can you take? How many ‘off the wall’ guest blogs can you come up with? And link-building, well… it’s mind-sapping if anything.
But the great thing about our jobs is that we can always find something new. Something free. Something that picks us up from the SEO floor and says “this will be fun, and it’ll have an impact”. So here’s some inspiration, and some great free(ish) things that will pep up your day. Some free(ish) things that may help you attract links because you can create great things with them.
You may have heard of them already, but if not – I hope that they help you with that particularly niche client.
Do some free research
There’s nothing more PR-worthy than a few stats and figures, and a hastily drawn comment from the CEO (or two). Toluna is a brilliant resource for creating surveys and opinion polls, and it’s free. You can create as many polls as you like, with single choice or multiple answers, and you can also create opinion polls in order to get some good quotes.
In my experience, you have to work hard at integrating with the Toluna community in order to get more votes. It’s just like any other social network, in effect. Work hard at adding some value, and people will follow you and answer your polls. You won’t get huge numbers of responses, but enough for a story. You could also embed the poll on your own site and get even more responses.
Sadly, I’ve also found that by changing your profile picture to a Lolcat with a silly catchphrase increases the volume of responses by 50%.
You live and learn.
Equally, Toluna lets you dig into the data, even on the free model. You can dig into the results by gender or by age, which gives you even more to talk about. Imagine, 60% of men would like a Rottweiller, compared to 20% of women. They said they would prefer a Yorkshire Terrier. Free inspiration.
Do a free infographic
I’ve never been particularly professional with Photoshop, so the world of infographics remained closed to me, unless I opened my wallet. Since I tried infogr.am, though, all that has changed.
Infogr.am lets you create interactive infographics that you can then place on your site through an iframe. They’ve got a range of templates to choose from, and putting your data in is simple. It’s fun to play with, and it’s a great new way of displaying the information you’ve gleaned from your surveys.
I’m sure they’ll soon find a way of monetising their site, but I hope that they’ll create a freemium model that allows people to carry on making free infographics and charts.
You can then take your embed code and offer it to bloggers, along with a well-written article, and offer them exclusivity. If you were having trouble getting authoritative guest blogs published, having an infographic to back up your article is worth its weight in gold. Again, you’re adding value to the internet, you’re adding value to someone else’s site, and you’re enjoying it.
Get the word out
Press releases have been done to death, and the old trick of incorporating anchor text into an article and distributing it as widely as possible is akin to article marketing, and it doesn’t work. PressKing isn’t exactly free – but you can publish your press release on there free of charge, and then buy credits in order to distribute to journalists and bloggers. Selective distribution, as wide as national newspapers and as refined as niche bloggers.
The great thing about PressKing is that you can choose your journalists and bloggers, create distribution lists for each client, and monitor who opens the e-mail. I’ve had phone calls from niche publications asking for further details on the research, and I’ve had success contacting the journalists directly afterwards and following up in a more personal manner.
What’s more, that infographic that you created can be embedded into their articles, giving them even more reason to use it.
Create a mind map
Another great tool with a freemium version is iMindMap, which I only downloaded last week but it has already revived my inspiration on several client campaigns. It took me five minutes to create this:
Imagine what I could have done with an hour.
iMindMap lets you literally “do a braindump” and make it look good. With the extended version you can turn it into full-on presentations, but for my own uses, these brilliant little images help me illustrate guest blogs and blog posts perfectly, adding a little value along the way. It’s a little fussy to use at first, but within a few hours, you’ll be doing something a little more interesting (and fun) than writing another guest blog called “Five ways data handlers can improve the Rottweiler experience.”
And this is how I like to approach SEO. Regardless of the niche, and regardless of how long you’ve been working on that client, it should always be fun – and the more fun you have with it, the more that comes through in your work. Therefore, the more likely you are to earn those links instead of slogging away all day.
Gareth is an SEO specialist, you can contact him at http://www.cleverlittledesign.co.uk to have him work on your own project.