Author: Mike Murray

Mike Murray has shaped online marketing strategies for hundreds of businesses since 1997, including Fortune 500 companies. A former journalist, he has led SEO studies and spoken at regional and national Internet conferences. Founder of Online Marketing Coach, Mike is passionate about helping clients identify their best opportunities for online marketing success based on their strengths, his advice and industry trends. You can find him at his blog, Online Marketing Matters or on Twitter @mikeonlinecoach.

By mike-murray published January 23, 2014

4 Online Content Best Practices for Success

“All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary — it’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.” — Somerset Maugham

happy woman with computerI like Maugham’s understated way of referencing the skill and effort that goes into writing. But as content creators know, it takes more than just good grammar skills and a flair for words to be successful at marketing and web content creation. So, as we collectively kick off our web content creation efforts for 2014, I thought it would be helpful to compile some of the best practices CMI contributors have shared for web content creation — including a few observations based on my own personal experience.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published December 19, 2013

4 Ways to Improve Your Web Content Strategy for Better Results

content-circle-arrowsOnline marketers have many options as they create and refine their web content strategy.

Content Marketing Institute’s many contributors have offered a diverse range of ideas, tools, and guiding principles on how best to handle web content, including tips on how to achieve better conversions.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published October 24, 2013

Content Curation: Key Tips and Ideas for Brands

curator desk-content curationContent curation certainly has its supporters and detractors. Some suggest that it’s no different than aggregation, while advocates contend that it’s another way to share timely information and insights that support a brand and its corporate marketing goals.

Content Marketing Institute has covered the topic extensively from a number of angles. The following (curated!) collection is designed to give brands one-stop access to a diverse range of ideas and information to help them manage their content curation efforts. Continue Reading

By mike-murray published October 2, 2013

12 Ways to Measure Content Effectiveness After Google’s “Not Provided” Decision

locked file-google not providedContent marketers may have hated Google’s “Not Provided” dumping ground before, but a recent announcement from the company is poised to make measuring content effectiveness just a bit more challenging.

Google in 2011 explained that it “will no longer report the query terms that the user searched on to reach your site” and that it “created the token ‘(not provided)’ within Organic Search Traffic Keyword reporting.”

At that time, the world’s most popular search engine acknowledged that the source of approximately 10 percent of organic searches would become virtual unknowns because it was critical for privacy reasons not to reveal data tied to searchers logged into their Google accounts.

But this month, Google said it would extend that privacy protection to its search engine users even when they aren’t logged into their accounts.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published September 27, 2013

Editorial Plan Best Practices: Prime Your Content Marketing for Success

editorial plan processWith content marketing strategies, an editorial plan can go a long way as you consider resources, budgets, types of content, a content calendar, and more. Below, I’ve compiled a set of helpful articles that Content Marketing Institute has created on editorial planning, as well as some insights on the topic from other reputable sources. Take a look at these key resources the experts have identified for improving your efforts to create and manage an editorial plan — including insights on best practices, handy templates, and useful tools.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published September 1, 2013

Optimize Your Website Content with Calls to Action: Tips for Small Businesses

small business-websiteMany small businesses have a long way to go when it comes to providing the calls to action that are essential for driving conversions from their content marketing efforts.

For example, I regularly find websites that lack easy-to-find phone numbers; or they fail to display offers targeted at engaging prospects who may leave after a few seconds without picking up the phone or sharing their names and email addresses.

To document the issues I’ve come across, I randomly selected 200 U.S.-based small businesses from the ReferenceUSA database (including companies with fewer than 100 employees in such industries as construction, manufacturing, and professional services), and compiled my findings into the Small Business B2B Call to Action Study.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published June 30, 2013

7 Ways to Make Brand Journalism Work for Your Business

brand-journalism-business-storytelling-2Lately, I’ve been puzzled by the term “brand journalism.”

In one sense, it seems like an oxymoron. How could a journalist ever be a brand advocate? I always thought journalists were supposed to be objective.

But if a company hires a journalist to tell great stories, is that brand journalism? Or, is there a rule that suggests it’s in poor taste to combine “brand” with “journalism?”Continue Reading

By mike-murray published May 23, 2013

Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy with 8 Keyword Tracking Tips

marketing strategy-keyword trackingReliability is not a word you would normally associate with keyword phrase rankings on search engines. On any given day, they seem to vary from city to city and computer to computer.

It would be easy to shrug our shoulders and dismiss them as annoying gremlins that mysteriously move from one spot to the next. But the reality is that rankings are based on sophisticated — and often proprietary technologies — and will therefore vary among the search engine results pages (SERPs) of different search tools. Geography (influenced by IP addresses) and personalization (including anonymous cookies that track browsing history) will also continue to make an impact.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published January 28, 2013

12 Tips for Keyword Selection to Guide Your Content Marketing SEO

content keyboardSome content marketers play fast and loose with keyword selection for natural search engine rankings. They shirk proper research and analysis, or merely take wild stabs at whether a keyword phrase is worth pursuing in the first place.

If you constantly create internet content without thinking through search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords, you will rank for something (content does resonate with search engine algorithms). Yet, you will consistently run the risk of shortchanging your SEO strategy — and your company’s ability to grab its fair share of relevant search engine traffic — for branding, conversions and more.

Every piece of content on a website or in a blog post isn’t necessarily going to take a company to No. 1 on Google for a keyword phrase that people use 15,000 times a month. But you can get more out of search engine optimization — with just a bit more effort.Continue Reading