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, including Content Marketing World. 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 on Twitter @mikeonlinecoach.

By mike-murray published April 26, 2015

68 SEO Content Tools, Trends, and Tips for B2B and B2C Brands


Time-strapped, budget-conscious B2B and B2C marketers can’t afford to make unwise choices with SEO and content marketing.

You won’t find a do-everything-for-me software product, but you can make excellent progress by continually asking these questions:Continue Reading

By mike-murray published July 9, 2014

The Great Content Checklist: Tips, Tools, and Examples

fortune cookie-rewarded for effortsIf you want to produce great content, it’s time to leave ordinary in the dust.

By the time you’re ready to promote your latest creation, you may distribute it in a popular medium like a PDF or a deck that makes its way to SlideShare. But the content itself also needs to be so exceptional that it commands attention — even in a crowded and competitive environment.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published May 21, 2014

The Ultimate Blog Marketing Checklist: 57 Tips

figure working-laptop-cmi screenEditor’s note: Because blog marketing continues to evolve and is essential in any successful content marketing plan, we’ve updated this post.

Success at blog marketing depends on myriad content, design, technical, and promotional factors. Though it would be prohibitively exhausting to excel at all of them simultaneously, the good news is that there are many small changes you can make that can significantly improve the success of your blog content over the long term.

Whether you’re just starting to explore the world of blog marketing, looking to spruce up the look and feel of your existing blog, or are ready to take your efforts and expertise to the next level, the 57 tips on this handy checklist will support your journey to blogging success.Continue Reading

By mike-murray published April 23, 2014

How to Prepare Your Brand for Business Storytelling Success

triangle image-brand componentsCreating quality brand stories requires skill, insight, and ongoing effort — it’s definitely not something that can be mastered overnight. But even if you had all of the time in the world, your brand’s business storytelling efforts probably won’t get any easier to develop and manage unless you have the right strategic plan in place.

What is business storytelling anyway? Definitions abound, but basically it boils down to brands sharing their messages in ways that engage audiences and drive them to take a desired action (like making a purchase, calling a sales person, downloading or subscribing to content, etc.).Continue Reading

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 Content Strategy for the Web 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