- Choosing the right content management system (CMS) to support your content and marketing goals is a big undertaking.
- A good CMS should be here to support your SEO objectives.
- The selection includes looking at factors such as budget, the purpose of your website, and the technological capabilities of who will be using the CMS.
- The biggest challenges with CMS often relate to a lack of flexibility to deal with dynamic changes in markets and consumer demand. This is an area where AI needs to help.
Your CMS enables your team to create and edit content, set up workflows and collaborate with one another, and publish content directly to your website. Choosing the right content management system (CMS) to support your marketing goals is a critical decision. Having to migrate your site to another CMS later if you’re unhappy with your choice is a major undertaking with serious SEO considerations, so you want to choose the best fit right out of the gate.
Of the top million sites on the web, 47% use WordPress. Another 43% use unnamed “other” CMS solutions including Joomla!, Squarespace, Blogger, Wix, and more. WordPress can be a good CMS choice for SEO, but it is not without its challenges. Enterprise brands, in particular, may need a more powerful, customizable CMS to suit their needs without introducing all of the vulnerabilities and integration foibles of a WP setup with third-party plugins.
What are we looking for in an SEO-friendly CMS?
On-page SEO is still a top organic ranking factor. The ability to optimize specific elements of the page—page title, URL, meta description, headings, and image alt text—is key. You also want to ensure that code is as clean as possible.
What else should you be looking for in a CMS to support your search optimization strategy?
1. WYSIWYG – “What You See Is What Get”
Make sure your CMS is manageable for all users. While many marketers know coding basics, you don’t want to present obstacles for creative team members in your CMS. You can read more about “What You See Is What Get” and more on the mechanics of CMS selection here.
2. Loading speed
Given Google’s emphasis on page speed and the fact that every single second of delay can cost you a seven percent reduction in conversions, you can’t afford to get this one wrong. A quick-loading CMS is a foundation on which your other page speed optimizations can be more successful.
3. Workflows and collaboration
How intuitive is your content workflow? If you’re having to track revisions and control permissions in other software, you’re wasting valuable time.
4. Mobile optimization
Today, over 40% of online transactions occur on mobile and 87% of internet users are on mobile phones. Google recognizes the importance of mobile to user experience, so much that the search engine implemented mobile-first indexing as of July 1, 2019.
5. Purpose-built features
These will vary on your type of business and unique needs. If you’re selling online, for example, you’ll want an ecommerce CMS with the ability to add hundreds or thousands of products, define the attributes shoppers use to search your inventory, and edit product groups en masse.
Your CMS should include standard features to support crawlability and indexing including canonical tags, meta robots control, automatic RSS generation, and security features.
7. Content optimization
Built-in content optimization capabilities enable your team to meet searcher demand in real-time with SEO recommendations based on search data.
How can you future proof your CMS with AI?
As I mentioned above, you really don’t want to have to migrate your site if your CMS can’t keep pace with your business growth and the evolving search landscape. There are other options if your CMS meets your needs today but doesn’t have the capabilities to serve you in the years to come.
Dynamic content is the future of SEO. Human marketers simply don’t have the bandwidth to collect and analyze the massive amount of consumer data being generated across hundreds of touchpoints. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a game-changer in so many facets of marketing, and content management is no exception.
1. Bridge the customer experience and optimization gaps
AI is transforming the CMS market by helping marketers to bridge the customer experience and optimization gaps where traditional CMS options come up short. For example, AI drives real-time SEO research and insights which can then be used to make smart content optimization recommendations or even implement optimizations that personalize the reader’s experience.
2. Expand image and voice search opportunities
Inside a CMS, AI can enable automatic image tagging and Natural Language Processing (NLP) or even Generation to accelerate the process of content creation. AI can analyze text for linking and CTA opportunities, and optimize for voice control and voice search platforms.
3. Free up more time for productive campaign management
All of this intelligent automation enables marketers and SEOs to hand off the manual, labor-intensive aspects of their strategy and free up time for more creative campaign management tasks.
In the future, we may even see intelligent CMS solutions able to interface with other AI systems and devices. AI may be able to personalize not only the content but efficiently deal with thousands of landing pages that need to be optimized quickly and frequently.
Building SEO into your content creation
Optimizing for search today means not only optimizing for the customer experience but for the myriad search result types a well-optimized piece of content can trigger. Local/MapPack results, zero-click search, answer boxes, video carousels, featured snippets, and more help searchers make better decisions and give brands opportunities to get in front of more relevant queries.
Choosing the right CMS, or if you need a CMS, is far from the only consideration in your SEO strategy, but it should be a well-thought decision based on your company’s unique needs and goals for your marketing program. A good CMS gives authors the power to optimize new content ‘out of the gate’ as it is produced.
With your CMS and all tools, choose solutions that are built to scale. Focus on search-friendly content types that enable you to target different search intents and types, and help you stand out in competitive SERPs—for example, video thumbnails are now appearing in 26% of search results.
The role of AI and automation
AI is now beginning to play an important role in the development of content and with integration in CMS systems. Sometimes there are areas where CMS systems can be large and not sufficiently flexible to deal with dynamic changes of markets, consumer demand, and competitive movement. This can make it hard for you to make changes quickly, and when things break the amount of time and resources needed to fix them is huge. AI-powered automation can now help relieve some of this burden and help marketers seize on immediate opportunities and act on them in as near to real-time as possible.
There is no one size fits all CMS. However, if you are challenged by slow and cumbersome changes then focusing on how AI is used may help when evaluating how, if, and what is the best CMS option for your brand.
Jim Yu is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading enterprise SEO and content performance platform.
How Gael Breton Escaped Client SEO & Built a Full-Time Income Through Affiliate Marketing
Who Gael Breton and why should you listen to him? Well, first Gael is a tremendously talented affiliate marketer who specializes in building “authority” websites. Gael got his start in the SEO agency world and transitioned into owning his own properties. In this discussion, you’ll learn: How Gael started and grew his first SEO agency …
Defining value stream management for SEO agencies business owners
- Value stream management is the practice that helps businesses to determine the value of the software development process.
- By managing value streams, you can improve the flow of value to your SEO agency and monitor the software delivery lifecycle.
- Mapping value streams will help you improve visibility throughout the whole software development cycle.
- You can enable value stream management by defining real-time metrics, creating a value stream map, enabling cross-team collaboration, connecting different processes, and automating the workflows.
With the scope of the competition on the market, the delivery of SEO options is becoming harder than ever. To stay competitive, all processes within the software development cycle must be optimized to their best.
If you’re looking to improve the workflows in your SEO agency, consider implementing value stream management. To help you get started, we’ve created this ultimate guide to value stream management. After reading, you’ll get a better idea of what is a value stream and how you can start managing your value streams by creating maps.
What is value stream management (VSM)?
To define the concept of value stream management, it’s important to understand the fundamentals. Let’s cover the basics and define key terms before moving further to discuss value stream management for SEO businesses.
A value stream refers to every step of the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC), from the product idea to the production and tools required to deliver your software to the customers. To help you visualize the concept, here’s an example of a value stream for product (not software) development.
In other words, a value stream is a series of activities that build up the value of your SEO software. Value is defined by something a customer gets, like high-quality software, in a fair period of time for a fair price.
Source: Maaw info
Value stream management (VSM) refers to the process of optimizing processes from the very point when you conceptualize an idea to the time when this idea is in production and generating revenue. To put it simply, VSM allows you to manage your SEO software development process from idea to cash.
The benefits of value stream management for your SEO agency
Value stream management enables SEO software companies to deliver higher quality products faster and more efficiently than their competitors while significantly reducing risks. Besides, proper implementation of VSM enables the following benefits.
- VSM helps you find and address the limitations of your workflows. By mapping out all stages of the software development process, you can identify potential limitations and blunders.
- VSM enables you to deliver higher quality SEO solutions. By optimizing development processes, you can deliver better quality products.
- VSM allows the continuous development of your agency. By investing in optimization and VSM, you can guarantee the success of your business in the long run.
- VSM helps you to make the overall flow of information across the entire process visible to people who normally manage separate functions, processes, and departments.
How does value stream mapping work?
By now you should understand that value stream management allows optimization of all development processes, from the first time an idea of a product is conceptualized to the moment when the product is produced and launched in the marketplace.
Within value stream management, many capabilities feed that process. Value stream mapping one of these capabilities.
A value stream map refers to the visualization of all critical steps in the SEO software development process. Value stream maps include a description of each stage and information, like the time, the volume of work, and spendings dedicated to each of the stages.
By creating value stream maps, you can analyze the current state of your processes and improve your product based on the series of events that take your SEO solution from the initial concept to the finished product your customers receive. To put it simply, value stream mapping allows you to identify where you’re adding value and where you’re wasting it.
Besides, creating value streams allows you to categorize activities into high priority vs. low priority items. This way, you can prioritize and triage some processes in favor of others.
How can you enable VSM?
In order to optimize your SEO software development practices and tools, you need total visibility throughout the whole development cycle. Likely, you can achieve this by mapping value streams.
Not particularly sure where to start? Follow these five steps to enable value stream management for your SEO agency.
1. Defining real-time metrics and objectives
Defining real-time metrics is the first step toward enabling value stream management. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to define metrics which leads to misleading results and inability to assess the effectiveness of their VSM efforts.
Choosing the right objectives allows you to understand what’s happening in the development and identify where value is “leaking” in the process.
Here’s a list of metrics to help you get started:
- The development cycle time
- The overall volume of change (before and after VSM)
- Lead time (LT)
- Process time (PT)
- Percent complete & accurate (percept of time when the software is received by users in the correct and ready-to-use form)
Collecting these metrics is paramount for the successful evaluation of your VSM efforts.
2. Creating a value stream map
After you’ve defined the key metrics and objectives, you can start studying your workflows. Create a map (either physical or digital) that explains each step of the software development process, from conceptualizing an idea to delivering the final product to customers. This way, you can see the distribution of resources within your software development cycle.
Here’s a great example of a value stream map.
3. Enabling cross-team collaboration
Value stream management requires you to enable cross-team collaboration. Rather than testing business analysts separately from developers and other teams, you want to optimize the workflow across all of these teams.
4. Connecting multiple processes, teams, and tools
Now, as you’ve created opportunities for all teams to work together, you should find a way to answer the following question. How do you make sure that all of the work that your employees are doing, the value streams of their development, map to your priorities?
To answer this question, you have to evaluate the workflows and roles of each team regarding your objectives and priorities.
5. Coordinating and automating workflows
VSM tools allow you to embed governance into existing system development cycles. In other words, some platforms allow you to automate the value stream management processes.
Tom Hayes, a VSM advisor at the Guerrilla Agency shares his expertise,
“By coordinating and automating workflows, you can continually improve your SEO solution and ultimately achieve better results.”
The bottom line
Value stream management is different from other approaches because it’s focused on the idea that everything that happens to your customers, from the idea to the delivery, is important and needs to be managed in a holistic manner.
By implementing VSM in your SEO agency, you can better understand your system development cycles and workflows.
Implementing value stream management is easier than it may seem. You can start by mapping value streams and defining your main objectives. Moreover, there are many platforms that will make the VSM process easy and personalized for your SEO agency.
How to Get 4,000 Watch Hours on YouTube (FAST!)
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to get 4,000 watch hours on YouTube.
Since I began my journey on YouTube in 2017, I’ve accumulated 59,000 watch hours:
And if I was able to do it with my cringe-worthy videos, then you can too.
So the first question is:
What Happens When You Get 4,000 Watch Hours on YouTube?
There is one simple reason why every YouTuber wants to reach 4,000 watch hours: to make money online.
Once you reach that threshold, you can apply for the YPP. Then you can start showing ads on your videos if you’re approved.
Now you’ll need lots of subscribers and views to make a full-time income from YouTube ad revenue. However, it’s an excellent supplementary source of revenue.
For example, I’ve made $5,596 from ads since getting monetized.
That equates to about $303 per month or $10 per day. The best part is that it’s a 100% passive form of revenue. You get paid every time someone watches one of your videos.
It’s not a massive amount of money.
It’s dead last as far as revenue sources in my company.
But it’s “passive,” which it’s pretty awesome.
Now the truth is: There is no such thing as passive income. You still need to produce quality videos consistently.
Otherwise, your audience will lose interest, your engagement will drop, your views will drop, and ultimately, your ad revenue will fall.
There’s nothing passive about the work you have to do to maintain and continue to grow on YouTube.
Now I want to let you in on a little secret:
The real reason why you should aim for 4,000 watch hours isn’t just for ad revenue. You should do it because you’re building an engaged audience.
As Grant Cardone often says, “money follows attention.”
So remember when I said YouTube ad revenue is a small part of my company’s revenue? That’s true.
However, YouTube traffic is now my third biggest source of revenue for my training course, Gotch SEO Academy.
So with that out of the way, here is a 7 step process to reach 4,000 watch hours on YouTube:
1. Find PROVEN topics
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead: you can find proven content ideas and then put your twist on it. Here’s how:
Go to YouTube and enter a keyword related to your industry. In this example, I’ll use “fashion.”
Take note of the topics that have produced lots of views. Now open a few of the channels.
If the channel has a lot of subscribers (> 30,000), then click on the “Videos” tab.
Then sort the videos by “Most Popular” to find topics that are proven to work:
Repeat this process for every channel in your industry until you’ve built a nice database of topics.
2. Qualify (and Prioritize) Your Topics
You need to be strategic with what types of videos you create if you have a new channel. If your channel is established, then you can target more competitive topics. There a few ways to qualify topics, but VidIQ will do most of the work:
Step #1: Download VidIQ
Step #2: Go to YouTube and search the topic you’re interested in.
VidIQ will show you a “Score” for the topic.
Ideally, you should only target topics with a high score. A high score is when the topic has substantial search volume but low competition.
I recommend adding the score next to each keyword in your database. Then you prioritize your topics by score.
3. Develop Your Strategy
At this point, you should have selected a keyword target. Now you need to develop a video strategy.
Here are a few questions to ask when developing your strategy:
How long should your video be?
Examine the top 10 videos for your topic and create an average. You should then aim to exceed the average length.
What are some commonalities and differences among the top videos?
I recommend watching the top 5-10 videos and taking notes.
- What do you like?
- What do you dislike?
- What are some unique things they’re doing in their videos that you can incorporate into your videos?
This is the most critical part. Dedicate time to studying their videos because that’s the first step to beating them.
What’s your title?
Did you know that 80% of Internet users don’t read past the headline? That principle applies to YouTube as well.
If your headline (title) doesn’t drive any curiosity, it won’t do well on YouTube.
You need users to click through on your video. And your title is a big piece to that puzzle (along with your thumbnail).
I recommend writing out at least ten different headlines. Then, run each headline through the AMInstitute headline tool.
There are many frameworks for producing curiosity-driven headlines. However, the ones that tend to do the best include numbers.
What will you need to produce the video?
Not all videos are created equal. Some require big budgets, while others will only need your phone.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter what you use to produce your videos. What matters is the quality of the content you’re providing in your video.
Ensure the audio and video are at least at the level of your competitors, and you’ll do just fine.
What’s your deadline?
Deadlines make projects real. Set a deadline and stick to it.
4. Create the Video
I have a simple process for creating videos that you can steal:
Script out the entire video
I know. Some people hate this idea because they’re afraid of being robotic.
However, most people go off the rails if they don’t follow a script.
Scripts keep your videos efficient and easy to consume. The goal isn’t to waste the viewer’s time.
You want to give them the information they need in the fastest time possible. A script is that solution.
I recommend including some of these key elements into your script:
- Mention your target keyword in the first line and last line of the video.
- Use open loops at the beginning of the video. An example of an “open-loop” is when I say, “Make sure you read this entire guide because tip #6 is fundamental to your success on YouTube.”
- Insert pattern interrupts (like I did above).
Did you know that video editing experts recommend changing shots every 3-10 seconds?
Watch any TV commercial. Notice how frequently the shots change. You should do the same.
It’s super hard to keep people’s attention, so you need to use every tool at your disposal.
Watch this video under tip #6 to see pattern interrupts in action.
Record your video
If you’re doing a talking-head video, you’ll need a teleprompter. Now just turn the camera on and record.
If it’s your first time, it’s going to feel like hell. That’s okay. It gets easier.
Just remember that no one is watching you.
That camera is no different than speaking to a wall. It has no emotions and no judgment.
So that means you have permission to be yourself without any consequences. The cool part is that YouTube users like people who are themselves.
So, hit record, be yourself, and add value.
Edit your video
You can do it for free with iMovie or a paid editing software like Premiere Pro. You can also hire a video editor on UpWork.
5. Optimize Your Video
Before you upload your video, you need to optimize it. I recommend including your target keyword in the filename. Now upload your video, and it’s time to optimize it for YouTube’s organic search.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Include the keyword in the title and first sentence of your description.
- Write an in-depth description. Aim for > 100 words for your description. Make sure to include variations of your primary keyword as well.
- Include your keyword in your tags. VidIQ will give you tag recommendations based on the topic.
I also recommend looking through the top videos for your keywords. Copy the tags they’re using.
Add an end screen. You should always try to get users to watch more of your videos.
This will quickly grow your watch time.
6. Promote Your Video
What I just showed you is about 50% of the process. The other 50% of the process is to promote your video.
Here are a few quick tips:
Leverage your email list.
Your email list is the most valuable asset for growing ANY channel—especially YouTube. If you don’t have an email list, I HIGHLY recommend you start building one. It is the most crucial marketing channel online (in my opinion).
Leave thoughtful comments on other channels in your industry.
Take note of when popular channels publish in your industry. Then, be there to drop an intelligent comment on every new video.
This will help you build a relationship with the creator. And it will also help drive users to your channel.
I showed you a simple process for creating an awesome YouTube video.
But here’s the deal: creating one video isn’t enough.
There’s a high probability that your first video won’t do well. That’s why you need to stay the course and keep publishing.
You will get to 4,000 watch hours as long as you keep producing.
The key to reaching 4,000 watch hours on YouTube is to GET STARTED. Then, it’s to keep producing valuable content.
There are no secrets.
Well, maybe some.
That’s why I created a brand new training program called YouTube SEO Academy. I’ll be opening enrollment soon.
In the meantime, download our free YouTube video promotion checklist.
- How Gael Breton Escaped Client SEO & Built a Full-Time Income Through Affiliate Marketing
- 6 Simple Videos Anyone Can Make for Social Media
- Defining value stream management for SEO agencies business owners
- 9 Tactical Video SEO Tips to Improve Your Content Performance
- How to Get 4,000 Watch Hours on YouTube (FAST!)
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