INK News 10 min read

Winning SEO: Media Hour With INK Thought Leaders

INK thought leaders Michael Umansky and Alexander de Ridder recently had the pleasure of joining the Earned Media Hour Podcast. In their respective interviews, Michael and Alexander break down key tips for successful SEO in 2021 and beyond. With over 1M downloads, this podcast is hosted by Los Angeles-based digital marketing consultant and award-winning podcaster Eric Schwartzman.

After testing INK for six months, Eric found INK particularly valuable for writers without an SEO background. Free forever and featuring the most sophisticated AI in the industry, INK’s unique ability to make content four times more likely to rank in the top 10 Google results was a story Eric couldn’t wait to tell.

Both Michael and Alexander point out that despite the huge boom in content creation, an overwhelming 91% of all content does not get any search traffic

This is the reason they created the INK content performance application: to give marketers and writers exactly what they need to craft content that audiences easily find, engage with, and convert because of. INK’s mission is to help content creators produce better content, faster and at a fraction of the cost.

INK CEO Michael Umansky on Key Optimization Trends

When Eric asks Michael if content optimization is meant for Google or for readers, Michael reveals an industry-changeling insight that even the most established SEOs haven’t caught on to yet: 

“Optimizing for Google IS optimizing for readers, by producing more readable, engaging copy, which ultimately results in more traffic.”

—Michael Umansky, INK CEO

In his podcast interview with Eric, Michael demos the INK content optimization software and shares insights on:

  • The emerging discipline of content performance optimization, or how to best optimize your content so that it performs. “Content performs when your target audience easily finds your content, engages with it, and converts because of it,” Michael explains.
  • How to INK helps content creators optimize content for myriad ranking factors including SEO and readability scores, faster than ever.
  • Optimizing content for readers by optimizing for Google.
  • New time-saving topic ideas feature in INK PRO, the next evolution of INK coming in 2021.
  • INK’s overwhelmingly positive user response to INK so far. In fact, INK’s user base grew by 1,000% to over 25,000 users in 2020 alone.
  • Michael’s B2B growth marketing strategy for winning on the web with relevant content.

Alexander de Ridder on How You Can Achieve Unbelievable Organic Growth in 2021

“It all depends on how big you want to go,” begins INK creator and CTO Alexander De Ridder. “Some people have been burned by SEO in the past. They don’t believe in SEO…until it works. All of sudden, their SEO traffic doubles or triples and they say ‘oh my gosh, I’m a convert!” 

In Alexander’s full interview, he brings INK’s proven ranking process to life by walking Eric through the outstanding organic growth the INK blog achieved in just one month using our own SEO content writing software.  

Alexander had only finished the intro to his Seven Step Process for SEO Success when Eric confessed he was “riveted.”

💪 7 Steps for SEO Success:

  • Focus
  • Organize
  • Research
  • Qualify
  • Project Plan
  • Execute (F.A.I.)
  • Measure

“Many people jump straight into Execution and skip the first five steps,” Alexander warns.

He explains that skipping steps creates these risks sure to land you among the 91% of content that never connects with its target audience:

  • You’ll write about things that aren’t relevant to you and that don’t make you seem like a topical authority.
  • Your site structure will be disorganized and frustrating to users, causing them to leave. This only hurts your engagement and therefore, rankings.
  • You’ll focus on the wrong keywords, or worse: write articles without keywords in mind.
  • You’ll target keywords that are too difficult for you to rank for.
  • You’ll start writing without the technology to help you please both the Google search algorithm and people searching for the best answers.

In his video demo, Alexander breaks each step down. 

1. Focus

“Too many times, people fail before they even start because they want a little bit of everything.”

—Alexander De Ridder, INK Creator & CTO

What do you want to be known for? What is a word or phrase that someone might search to find you?

Drilling down on the answers to these questions before you start writing is fundamental for SEO success.

Everybody is competing for attention, and Google only wants the best. That means that if you’re a generalist, you’re not going to succeed at SEO.

Instead, you have to be a specialist. The more precise you can be, the more likely you are to succeed. This approach will help you, your content, and your site be seen as an authoritative source on the subject you are covering.

In the same way, Google rewards websites that stick to what they are good at. You won’t be topically authoritative if your content isn’t related to what you do.

In this way, some keywords with high search volumes may seem tempting, but if it isn’t in your wheelhouse, you don’t have a high chance of ranking for it.

2. Organize

People like a logical structure. If your website and content are hard to navigate, or if the answer someone is looking for is difficult to find, chances are that the user will feel frustrated. 

What’s more, this is also important for crawl depth. How can Google rank a page that it has trouble finding?

Therefore, mapping out your content and navigation structure before you start crafting will help you create the best user experience for people and search engines.

People spend more time on sites that are easy to navigate (think Wikipedia) and find the information they want faster. For this reason, time on page is an important UX signal, and in turn, ranking factor, for Google.

3. Research

Here are Alexander’s tips for flawless keyword research:

  • Opt for keywords that are relevant to your speciality, have a high search volume, and low difficulty.
  • If you’re just starting out, go after keywords with a difficulty below 30.
  • CPC is not just for SEM. Use it as an indication of how valuable a keyword is to your competitors. 
  • Be disciplined and stick to what you know.
  • LSI keywords are not how Google works anymore. In fact, Google has evolved far beyond this and we recognize that in our application. 

In other words, it’s not about the exact word or phrase you use. Instead, it’s about the underlying concept and how completely you’ve covered it in your content.

4. Qualify

This step is about ensuring you qualify to rank for the opportunities you’ve identified. Size up your competition. Pick battles you know that you can win before you step on the battlefield.

5. Project Plan

Set clear goals for your content. What are you trying to achieve? What does success look like? 

This step is crucial to understand the ROI your content yields. 

Some examples of goals are:

  • Increase organic traffic by 50% by the end of the year
  • Get to 200,000 visitors per month by the end of this quarter
  • Improve DR by 6 points

6. Execute (F.A.I.)

F.A.I. stands for Foundation, Authority, and Intent. These are the three pillars of a winning SEO strategy.

Therefore, your SEO strategy can’t stand without all three working together in tandem.

Three Ways to Win at SEO

1. Foundation 

Presentation is key here. In other words, this pillar is all about creating the best user experience, or UX. For example, never make people wait 20 seconds for a page to load; it won’t matter how good your content is if the user gets frustrated and leaves the page because it took too long to load. 

Think of your expectations when you go to a restaurant. Even if the food is the best in the world, nobody is going to wait two hours for their order to arrive. 

For this reason, the INK application includes image optimization and compression features to make sure your media loads quickly and contributes to a positive UX.

2. Authority

This pillar has to do with your domain authority, or domain rating, and therefore, also relates to backlinking. While building backlinks to your content is important, Alexander advises not to force it. 

“Great content is going to get links,” he explains. If it’s the best resource on the topic, “people are going to naturally link back to it” as a reputable, or authoritative, source. 

“Google has gotten really good at understanding when things happen organically,” Alexander adds. For this reason, it’s best to invest in creating authoritative content that encourages organic links back to it rather than investing in aggressive link building campaigns that might deliver links that aren’t relevant to your speciality. 

Google just doesn’t reward this kind of behavior. Just like with intent research, quality is more important than quantity. 

3. Intent

Last but certainly not least is understanding what your audience is looking for when they type something into Google. This is where INK really makes the difference, and really gives content creators an unbeatable edge.

What information is your audience looking for? 

Beyond what, how does your audience want to receive this information? What does your audience expect?

The best content fully delivers on this expectation, or fully satisfies the user intent. In order to fully satisfy the user intent, you must first fully understand it. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is searching for your product or service. What words, phrases, or questions might they Google to find you? 

This is the first step in not only finding relevant keywords for your content, but also ensuring your content aligns with your audience’s expectations. When you get this right, you’re sure to create winning content that ranks.

7. Measure

We produce content for a reason. That reason might be to increase your brand awareness, to drive quality leads, or to get an interested shopper to convert to a customer.

If you aren’t measuring how your content is performing against your goals, how do you understand your content marketing ROI?

Be sure to establish a baseline and continue to measure any changes in your rankings, traffic, etc. against the goals you set. 

Refresh and reoptimize content regularly to ensure it is always the most relevant topic on the subject. 

In fact, Alexander and Eric demo how the INK import and export WordPress plugin make it super quick and easy to take an live article, pull it into the INK editor, and instantly see how to improve it for further ranking success. 

Michael and Alexander are proud to join an acclaimed group of past guests including legendary Wall Street Journal consumer technology columnist Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher of Recode Decode, and Leo Laporte.

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Krista Grace Morris

Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other.

Comments (2)
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  1. Deonath Rajgorh February 10 at 12:32 pm GMT

    Grammar tense formula

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