Welcome to the very first edition of 'Content Champion Curated', our weekly look behind the curtain of the content marketing and SEO world to discover the best, most useful content of the last 7 days.
I started this weekly roundup after the success of our content curation efforts on social media - particularly Twitter - where many readers have reached out to thank us for sharing the latest content marketing tips, tools and strategies.
We're all digital marketing and SEO nerds here at Content Champion, and we work our way through a load of great resources every week - so we thought it would be a good idea to share these superb pieces of work with our blog and email audience too.
This time we're looking at link building in 2017, how to find keywords for your website - and a host of other informative and insightful articles...
Image credit: SharpRocket
Despite multiple changes to the Google core algorithm over the last few years, it's hard to deny the fact that links continue to be a vital part of ranking well online.
However, with the advent of Penguin 4.0, webmasters and online business owners are becoming ever more cautious about the whole process of link building and the outreach and relationship building this entails - so much so that the whole process of link building has never been under more scrutiny.
In this excellent post, Venchito Tampon of SharpRocket outlines how we can all improve our link building processes moving forward into 2017.
Image credit: Ahrefs
Building links to pages on your site where you've targeted very competitive keywords, won't necessarily get you the results you're looking for - especially if you're using the Google keyword planner to get the same data as everyone else.
That's why you need to get agile with your keyword research and try to devise new and unique ways to select the keywords that matter. Get this wrong and your site's going nowhere in the SERPS.
Luckily this article on the always insightful Ahrefs blog can assist you with four 'outside the box' keyword research techniques - that will help you find those special keywords with lower competition and greater traffic potential...
Image credit: The Upper Ranks
We all know the scenario - it's certainly happened to me: you spend countless hours crafting an amazing blog post, a couple of days putting together your list of prospects, and then double that on outreach and follow ups.
In the end, you've sent hundreds of emails and for all that graft you only walk away with a handful of links. That sucks. So what's the problem? Usually the fault lies with your content - not necessarily the quality - but that it's simply just a slightly different version of everything else available on the subject.
This superb piece from David Farkas will give a new and unique perspective on your content creation - and help you produce assets that are truly linkable...
Image credit: Content Marketing Institute
Given you can make so many quick wins by properly optimizing your website images - especially on big sites - it seems strange this practice is so often overlooked by content marketers. Especially when the whole process is so quick and easy.
Of course we want our images to appear in Google's image search results - but more than that, effectively optimizing all your on-page SEO elements (of which images are just one), will have a significant benefit to your overall rankings. Add in some backlinks and promotion - and those optimized images will more than pull their SEO-weight.
This 10-point checklist from Mike Murray at the Content Marketing Institute should point you in the right direction...
Image credit: Search Engine Journal
Machine learning and semantic indexing is making Google and the other search engines smarter - much smarter. That's why the future of SEO is becoming increasingly focused on user intent, and to understand what your users want on a psychological level - you need to create personas.
Approaching SEO from the viewpoint of personas will help you rank well, grow your online business and sell more of your products and services - so it definitely pays to get this right.
Chris Giarratana's excellent piece in Search Engine Journal will not only assist you in understanding this process, but gives proven tips for putting this approach into practice...
Image credit: Content Champion
My recent podcast interview with Andrew Holland of Zoogly Media here in the UK, helped give me some great insights into the process of understanding and explaining the ROI of our digital and content marketing campaigns.
Drawing on examples gained from his own experience working with a large and diverse client base - and also referencing sources such as the now legendary Gary Vaynerchuk and Peter Drucker, this show is essential listening if you want to justify the value of your content marketing work to internal managers or clients.
Andrew proved to be a great guest, and was very generous with his time in sharing these quality insights...
Image credit: Backlinko
I've arguably saved the best to last this week - with Brian Dean's definitive guide to mastering video SEO. Every post Brian puts together is an example of the Skyscraper technique in practice - and this fantastic resource is no exception.
Put simply - video SEO can be confusing if you don't know what you're doing, so if you want to know absolutely everything that's required to get up to speed ranking your videos on YouTube and Google - this guide has it all.
In relation to the 'linkable assets' piece mentioned above - if you want to emulate the look, style, tone, usability and content quality of what makes a shareable and linkable piece of content - this is it...
As always, I've learned a lot this week about content marketing, SEO and email marketing - and have consumed a ton of great resources that have helped keep me in the loop of what's working now (and equally what isn't).
I hope you find some value in these articles and guides - and that you come back next week to see what the best-of-the-best in the content marketing world have served up for our entertainment, inspiration and education.
And if you find any high quality resources or websites I should be aware of, please let me know in the comments below and I may include your suggestions in one of these weekly roundups...