Content Quality and SEO Results
In between hitting the California surfing waves and running the award-winning digital marketing agency 97th Floor, Chris Bennett found time to sit down and chat with us about our mutual excitement for Share15 this September and the changes he has seen in the industry. It was a fantastic conversation.
About changes in the digital marketing industry
BrightEdge (BE): What has been the biggest change you have witnessed in the search landscape over the last year?
Chris Bennett (CB): One of the things I have seen the most is that people are finally starting to accept that quality does matter and that they should not be taking short cuts. Brands are finally starting to focus on the user and are building something of value for them instead of just trying to game the system. I am really seeing that across the board - people willing to invest in the long haul and the user. I think this is a fantastic thing. For a long time, people were saying that they believed that it was important to value the user, but they still looked for the quickest way to get to the top. As an agency, this has also been great. We find that our clients are more willing to listen to us about how to succeed and build content. I think over the next year, this mentality is going to become even more widely accepted.
While I am excited to see what will result from this trend, it is important to note that this growing recognition of the importance of quality means that the digital space will only become more competitive in the coming year. I highly recommend that people get a jump on high quality routes now to get a competitive edge. People also need to start implementing quality measurements. Metrics are the biggest thing that can help keep you from shooting in the dark. The more you know about how/why/where content is working the better you can refine your content strategy. I tell people that they should not only be measuring your own site, but also those of your competitors. You want to see how you compare, if there is anything they are doing that you need to adapt or if there are certain weaknesses in their marketing campaigns that you can leverage to bring in more of the customer base.
The importance of bringing paid, owned, and earned media together
BE: What are your thoughts on the convergence of paid, owned and earned media?
CB: I love when these three specialities come together. I think they all need to be married into one big happy family. They are each different disciplines and you want to have people who are specialized within each area, but they all need to be working together as well. You want to have an organization where they all know what the others are doing. Each discipline can also give you great insights that can impact the others. For example, paid advertising can give you useful competitive research. It is also a great traffic driver. When these three work together, the results can be tremendous.
Exploring metrics at Share15
BE: What will you be speaking about at Share15?
CB: I am going to speak about how to use metrics and competitive analysis. I will explore the marriage between content and SEO - content and search - from a tracking perspective. I will dive into to the planning side and how it works - or doesn’t work - and how to report back to your team and your higher ups. I have numerous case studies I will be sharing that help to show the process from start to finish, including tools used, metrics and competitive analysis and how to use that information to adjust campaigns. Like I said, people are finally getting the message that quality content matters. While this is wonderful for the user, it does mean that the web is going to get increasingly competitive. Properly using metrics can help you avoid being left behind. I really think that my talk will help people feel comfortable with using these metrics and really get why they are so critical.
The value that BrightEdge offers
BE: How do you use the BrightEdge platform in your content campaigns?
B: I have been familiar with BrightEdge from the beginning. Many of our clients have used the platform and we learned it to better serve them. It turned us into big fans of the technology. We use a variety of the different features, including keyword research and competitive analysis. It really helps put more ammo in my corner - I can show how successful my ideas and campaigns are likely to be even before they begin. We are certified on BrightEdge, which helps us when we want to offer the technology to new clients who did not already use the platform. The technology allows us to go in-depth in our analyses to such an incredible level. I love being able to see where competitors are and seeing precisely when we surpass them.
The fun stuff
BE: Can you tell us something interesting about yourself?
CB: Well, I start every day with a large glass of butter. Yes, butter. I put two tablespoons of butter into my tea. It has such a tremendously positive impact on mind and my body. It helps me wake up quickly and dive right into my work. It also helps keep me full so I can work all morning without stopping to eat. I usually have a nice meal after lunchtime. I got started on this idea when I was just beginning my business. My wife had just had twins, and needless to say I was not getting much sleep. I started eating very poorly and gaining weight. I got blood drawn and realized that I was having a variety of health problems. I got very passionate about health and learned about the benefits of these fats. I have not looked back since.
BE: Any fun facts about your company?
CB: I think it is a little funny that even though we are called 97th Floor, our offices are actually located on the 1st floor. We actually got the name from the idea of taking customers to the top, but just did not think 100th Floor had the same ring. It was fantastic to speak with Chris about the industry and the Share conference, which is just weeks away.
If you have not already registered to attend and see him and the other fantastic speakers we have lined up, you still have some time left. Visit our events page to learn more.
Conference details September 21-23 Westin St. Francis San Francisco, CA.