2 Easy Pieces: How to Make Simple, Attractive Content for Your Keyword

 

Do you ever find yourself struggling for inspiration?

Ever just need a quick boost to get you over the content-creation hump? This is definitely the blog post for you!

Today, let’s identify a keyword, and create two new pieces of content for that keyword using easy online tools. I want to show how simple it is to come up with a good idea and execute it in a very short amount of time, even if you’re not the world’s greatest designer.

So which keyword should I choose?

Grand Rapids Marketing Keywords

I feel that I’m lagging behind in keywords featuring “grand rapids.” That city is a large employment hub on my side of Michigan, so it would be a great keyword to rank highly for in my field.

Keyword “grand rapids” it is then, with particular attention to “grand rapids marketing.”

What content can I create that’s simple, eye-catching, interesting, and fun with these two online tools?

Canva

Canva is a simple online click-and-drag graphic design tool that can help create beautiful images, even if you’re not the best graphic designer. Simply choose your layout, drag the design elements you want to use, and you’ve got a slick image.

For this experiment, I searched the keyword “grand rapids,” and chose the first result which happened to be the city of Grand Rapids’ official website, ExperienceGR.com. From this site, I’ve chosen to highlight some of the attractions that Grand Rapids has to offer, and show them off in a visual collage that could easily serve as marketing collateral.

Grand Rapids Michigan

Piktochart

This is a great site to make cute, easy infographics. Staying with the theme, I’ve chosen to visualize the fun facts section of ExperienceGR.com.

Fun Facts about Grand Rapids Michigan

See how easy that was? I could spend a day just making that infographic myself in Photoshop. But why waste time when I can use an online template and get two pieces of content finished and published in time for lunch.

 

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Where to Eat in Grand Rapids During Art Prize

Whether you’re a Grand Rapids local, or visiting the city specifically for Art Prize, don’t get stuck in the crowds while you’re hangry (that’s hungry and angry, which is no fun at all).

I’ve put together this checklist of restaurants and dishes you have to try while you’re in Grand Rapids for Art Prize. These recommendations were compiled using reviews from Yelp and an interactive map of the event.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Let’s start it off with a bang! If you’re visiting the Grand Rapids Public Museum to see their collection of entries (including a full outdoor display!), then you don’t want to miss an extraordinary experience at The Chop House. Upscale dining in a classic atmosphere (and you’ll probably need a reservation).

Diners recommend:

  • Try the Cheddar Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Stay warm with a bowl of Lobster Bisque
  • Finish with a good old fashioned steak

25 Ottowa

HopCat Grand Rapids

There are seven pieces on display at this indoor venue, which has been recently upgraded to provide a beautiful Arena District experience. While you’re near, definitely check out HopCat, a popular brewery and pub.

Diners recommend:

  • Sample one of their many craft beers
  • A thick, juicy Bar Zee Burger with all the fixings (and jalapenos!)
  • Don’t forget the Crack Fries, which are better than you’ve heard

Women’s City Club

Continue your cultural trek at the historic Grand Rapids Women’s City Club. This gorgeous two-story villa serves as a reminder of classic 19th century architecture of the area. For an eclectic day out, why not mix it up a bit and go for some spicy sweet Thai cuisine?

Diners recommend:

  • Slightly sweet Pad Ped flavored with coconut milk
  • Deliciously spicy Curry Pad Thai
  • Thai Iced Tea if you’ve got a sweet tooth

Frederik Meijer Gardens

Clique Coffee Bar in Grand RapidsIt wouldn’t be a proper trip to Grand Rapids unless you visited this gorgeous garden and sculpture park. When you’re done taking in the sights, just roll on down the street to Clique Coffee Bar to warm up.

Diners recommend:

  • Great coffee, lattes, and espressos
  • Silky, smooth cappuccino
  • Big, locally baked cookies to finish off your day!

Where to Eat in Grand Rapids During Art Prize

Have a recommendation to add to the list? Leave a comment below!

Personal Brand Keywords

How To Boost Your Personal Brand Keywords

So, I’ve had a little bit of success.

I’ll share that with you later in the post, but for now I want to impart a few pieces of common wisdom for ways to get your personal brand keywords up where you want them in the search results.

These tips have all been acquired through personal experience and lots of study and research on the topic. You can trust me!

Write Awesome Content

An important way to rank for your personal brand keywords is to make sure that there is excellent text content on your site featuring these keywords. Think about what your reader is interested in, and write to your audience. If you have great content with keywords that are in context, search engines will be able to find your content more easily to determine if it’s worthy of ranking.

Don’t go overboard, however. Stuffing keywords where they don’t belong can have a negative impact on your rankings.

Earn Authoritative Backlinks

According to lots of studies and analysis by sites with people who are way more experienced than I am, the most important keyword rankings are determined by the amount and quality of websites that link back to your site.

The importance of the backlink factor in determining keyword rankings is undisputed, but what does matter is who’s linking back and how they’re doing it.

  • Dofollow or nofollow – when someone links back to your site, if they’ve included the rel=”nofollow” tag in the link, it means Google will not follow the link from their site to your site. These links aren’t necessarily as important as links without this tag, but they can still be valuable if they send quality traffic to your site.
  • Alt text matters – The words that are used in the visible link from the site are important. If you have a relationship with the person who published the link, try to make sure that they’re linking what you want them to, whether that’s a personal brand keyword or your name.
  • Spam sucks – The word to remember here is “authoritative.” You don’t want a bunch of crappy spam sites to link to you because that can negatively impact your rankings.

There are a few ways to go about acquiring backlinks, but the best idea is to identify where you want your site to show up. What makes the most sense for your personal brand keywords? Local blogs or news sites? Business listings in your market? You can even find queries from writers looking for input on sites like Helpareporter.com.

Once you’ve identified your targets, find the right point of contact for the site (whether that’s a journalist, blogger, or webmaster), politely introduce yourself and make the ask. You might have to get creative with your pitch, but always be friendly, transparent, and above all, helpful. You want to provide them with an additional resource for their readers or users.

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The third most important factor that will boost your search engine rankings is what I call internet magic. It’s a cocktail of important website things including page load time, title text, alt-image tags, and a whole lot more. That is to say, there are so many factors and proprietary measurements in play depending on the search engine; any number of things could affect where your site falls in the SERPs. The best thing you can do is follow best practices provided by SEO industry leaders such as MOZ.com.

Profit!

Once you put the work in, and if you’ve chosen appropriate keywords and correctly estimated their difficulty, you should start seeing results. It may take a few weeks or even months, but you’ll get there.

Fortunately for me, it only took two days to start seeing movement.

Updated keyword rankings for Anna Daugherty

I’m happy that the “anna daugherty” keywords saw so much movement, but I’m honestly surprised by how quickly “inbound marketing kalamazoo,” “email marketing kalamazoo” rose in the ranks!

I can almost certainly attribute this rapid movement to a great backlink placement in this excellent article about unprofessional speech on Inc.com.

Keyword backlink to Anna Daugherty

Following the ideas I listed above, I contacted this journalist, gave him my helpful quote for his article and a backlink, and blammo. Authoritative link on a big publication with no cost and very little time involved.

I encourage you to reach out to sites that you think make sense for your business or personal brand. With thoughtfulness, time, and effort, you could see results.

And it never hurts to try.

What do you say. Can’t live without my Digital Marketing skills for your business? Email me at ajdaughe@gmail.com and let’s talk.

Anna Daugherty inbound marketing

Brand Me: Why I’m My Most Important Product

I bought this domain name on a whim.

It’s too bad that annadaugherty.com was already taken, but whoever is camping out that domain name I wish you lots of luck and success.

So how am I going to use this site? Easy. To sell my personal brand.

Branding Yourself is Difficult.

Throughout the course of my career in email marketing and inbound marketing, I’ve come to learn a few things. But the most important thing I’ve learned is to be my own personal product, and to become my own best advocate.

When you craft yourself into a product, you completely understand your strengths and weaknesses, and it becomes much easier to sell yourself.

As a marketer, your brand is your business. In the bleep-bloop world of the internet, your name is your potential employer or customer’s first interaction with your personal brand. If the search rankings for your name return some rather unfavorable results, who knows what crazy assumptions your customers can have regarding your product.

Even if the search rankings aren’t full of mugshots, it’s still a great idea to claim your rightful spot at the top of the SERPs.

That’s why I’ve started this blog. My goal is to bring awareness to the Anna Daugherty brand, and to show myself off as an awesome inbound marketing specialist who can deliver results.

So Where Do I Begin?

The short answer is that I start at the bottom.

I’ve chosen 9 keywords that I would like to target for my own personal brand. In this blog post on choosing personal brand keywords, I discuss how to choose keywords for yourself based on your personal strengths and goals.

So how does my site rank for these keywords?

Search Engine Results for annadaugherty.net Ouch.

As you can see, my site currently doesn’t rank in the top 10 for any of my chosen keywords. Fortunately for me, the keywords I’ve chosen have a lot of leeway.

Keyword Difficulty for annadaugherty.net

According to this keyword difficulty tool, there should be little difficulty ranking organically in the search results for these keywords because, except for one, they don’t appear to be highly competitive.

With a little time, effort, and perhaps a bit of charm, I’m sure that I will start to see my website climb in the SERPs for my chosen keywords.

What’s My Competition?

I’ve decided that my top three personal branding keywords are “anna daugherty,” “inbound marketing kalamazoo,” and “email marketing kalamazoo.” These keywords most accurately reflect my current brand, strengths, and location.

My goal is for any recruiter or potential employer who searches these terms to come across my blog and think, “Gee, this lady knows her business.”

So let’s see what’s already out there.

Keyword: “anna daugherty”
Keyword ranking for anna daugherty Oh hey, that’s me!

Not a bad start. LinkedIn is an excellent way to show off my skills and accomplishments.

I would like annadaugherty.net to rank #1 for the keyword “anna daugherty,” but I will also accept a top 3 ranking if it means my LinkedIn profile is also there.

Keyword: “inbound marketing kalamazoo”

Inbound Marketing Kalamazoo

Right away I see a lot of potential for making connections with the HUG Kalamazoo inbound marketing group. They host meet-ups where I can network with other locals in my field.

I also see a profile for one of the managers of the HUG Kalamazoo inbound marketing group, Dan Moyle. This is a great opportunity to reach out to him to see if he has any tips or ideas to share about the Kalamazoo inbound marketing scene. If he has a blog, we might also have valuable content to share with each other.

Because there are several repeated results, gaining organic ranking for this keyword should be a snap.

Keyword: “email marketing kalamazoo”

Email Marketing Kalamazoo Hmm. This might be more difficult.

The rankings for “email marketing kalamazoo” return several marketing agencies. These usually have more authority, whether that’s from awards they’ve won or backlinks from their clients.

I see this as an opportunity to network, as well. Who better to market my personal brand to than a Kalamazoo agency that needs talented email marketers?

So How Will I Get There?

I know that the way to earn my place in the top of the organic results for my keywords is to focus on three things: content, outreach, and advocacy.

Content will be the easy part. I’ve got a lot to say about myself and my career path.

Outreach will also be pretty easy. I know my audience, and I understand the principles of respectful blogger and media relations, as well as how to use social media to leverage exposure for my content.

Advocacy might be the most difficult part of this entire experiment. One of the best ways to earn rankings is to secure authoritative backlinks from sites that believe in your content and want to share it with their readers. And right now, my site isn’t looking so hot in the authority department.

Domain authority for annadaugherty.net Double ouch.

Convincing high-authority blogs that my content is worthwhile will be where both my content and outreach come in handy. Add a little bit of charm into the mix, and I’m hoping that others will buy into my personal brand and start linking to me.

Once that happens, I should start to see my domain authority score climb, which in turn will affect my organic search rankings, depending on which content is linked.

Stay Tuned.

This blog post is just the first of many that will explore my personal brand. Stick around and follow me as I attempt to climb Mount Search Engine to earn my place at the top of the SERPs.

Are you looking for a Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids area email marketing or inbound marketing specialist to take your business to the next level? Email me at ajdaughe@gmail.com