February 03

Natural language generation wikipedia

Natural language generation (NLG) is the natural l [...]

Natural language generation (NLG) is the natural language processing task of generating natural language from a machine representation system such as a knowledge base or a logical form. Psycholinguists prefer the term language production when such formal representations are interpreted as models for mental representations.

February 03

Yseop Executive Summary Demonstration

In real time, Yseop Smart BI provides the framewor [...]

In real time, Yseop Smart BI provides the framework to dynamically create and recreate a personalized Executive Summary report. Supported by over 4,000 metrics(metadata), this application allows Yseop's customers to save millions in company costs while increasing corporate capacity. 

In the section below, select a response from the available options. When ready to create the Executive Summary, select "Generate Report" and the customized text appears within the adjacent window. NOTE: The report can be regenerated by reselecting "Generate Report" at any time.

January 11

GOOGLE RANKBRAIN: The Definitive Guide

GOOGLE RANKBRAIN: The Definitive Guide


The Definitive Guide

June 25

Visualization Tools

Visualization Tools

Visualization Tools

June 07

The practical guide to doing your own PR. – Yala AI

I’ll explain PR with a parable: when two people ar [...]

The practical guide to doing your own PR.

Don by The Fox And King

I’ll explain PR with a parable: when two people are introduced, they’ll most often kick off with a casual conversation: Where are you from? What do you like to do? Where did you go to college? Who do you know here?

What they’re really doing, is probing to find a shared interest or a common ground. And, if they’re successful, a little click happens.

That little click is precisely what PR can facilitate by identifying what people already want and then connecting it to what you want them to want. And don’t underestimate that connection. It’s strong. It’s an authentic level of relationship between you and your customer that no other medium can achieve at scale. A paid advertisement can support click moments, but not induce them very easily. It is at this intersection — where common ground is identified and a click happens — that you can actually work to change what someone wants. And here’s how to do it.

May 24

32 Smart Ways To Drive 3x More Traffic To Your Blog

32 Smart Ways To Drive 3x More Traffic To Your Blo [...]

32 Smart Ways To Drive 3x More Traffic To Your Blog

May 24

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Creative Content Into Media-Friendly Stories

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Creative Content Into Med [...]

4 Simple Ways to Upgrade Creative Content Into Media-Friendly Stories

May 10

How I Got 22 Follow Links In Half a Day | Infographic Marketing

Exactly how I gained 22 follow links in half a day [...]
Skip to content

How I Got 22 Follow Links With Infographic Marketing

In 5 Easy Steps

I am guessing you are reading this because you already know how important link building is for any SEO strategy.

You understand that it boosts your page’s authority which in turn helps you rank higher for your chosen keywords.

You also know it can be a great source of traffic.

You have heard all about how to use written content to build these links but are after something extra. This is where infographic marketing comes in.

I will show you exactly how I used ‘infographic submission sites’ to gain easy and quick follow links back to my site within half a day. I have even included a full list of the submission sites I used.

I achieved these results for a client. I cannot disclose their identity so instead I am going to use a fictitious example. So please, close your eyes and imagine you own a website focused on the extremely popular topic; ‘The Cows of Bali’ …

In case you need some help imagining this …

STEP 1: Create an infographic

How to choose the right infographic:  

Choose one of the keywords you have identified in your SEO strategy. Check no-one else has created an infographic on the exact same topic, or if they have, it can easily be beaten on quality or quantity.

How to create the infographic: 

There are many online free builders.Two of my personal favourites are:

1. Canva: Because of it is so easy to use.

2. Easel: Because of their extensive and well-made templates.

I would highly recommend you test out your chosen site before fully committing to creating your complete infographic.

Take 10 mins to create something simple and try to download it. You should be able to tell if you gel with this tool in that time and also you should check if there are charges for downloads.

The guys at Creative Blog have created an extensive list of free infographic creation sites.

How long it takes:

I timed the process and this infographic on cows took me 17 mins. I already had all the pictures I required…

…because yes, I am the sort of person who goes to Bali and takes pictures of cows.

The first time it may take you longer to get used to the tools. Start by creating something simple, like the above.

Spend no more than 45 mins to create your first infographic.

STEP 2: Create a post specifically for the Infographic.

Create a new post in your Word Press site which is dedicated to the infographic.  (If you are using another blogging site then still create a new post. The exact steps of how to do this may differ from below.)

This page will be submitted to the infographic submission sites.

To do this effectively and in a way which gains you ‘follow links’ go through the steps outlined below.



Add some text at the beginning of the post, to introduce your infographic.

Step 3: Optimise this page for SEO  

To do this all of the below must be optimised.

Text at the beginning of the post


The text that comes before the Infographic. It should be written under the ‘paragraph’ setting.

How to optimise this text for SEO:

Must include your keyword or LSI keyword. *

Title of the post


The title tag of your page. This is shown by Google, Yahoo (or other search engines) on the results page.

If you don’t already have it, add the ‘Yoast SEO’ Plugin to your site. At the bottom of your post you will find this plugin. Click ‘Edit snippet’ then add the title here:


How to optimise for SEO:

Must contain the Keyword and the word ‘Infographic’.

Must be no longer than 60 characters.

Must be unique. No other posts on your website should have the same title (this is important).

Should only contain ‘|’ as punctuation. Use it for separation instead of a ‘.’.

Meta description


The description which is shown under the title on the search results page.


You also edit this in the Yoast SEO add on at the bottom of the post. Click ‘Edit snippet’ then add the meta description:


How to optimise the meta description  for SEO:

Should contain the keyword or a synonym of your keyword (otherwise referred to as LSI Keyword) LINK . (Rather than force keywords choose something to entice people to click. 80% of the time you should include the keywords).

Must be no longer than 160 characters.

Must be a genuine description of the page. A good rule of thumb I like to follow is: 1 sentence summarising what is on the page. 1 sentence as the call to action, making someone want to click to open the page.



The title which appears on your blog post itself. You can either put this within the text and set it as a H1, or within the ‘title’ box of the blog post.


It is VERY important that you do NOT add a H1 in both of these locations. Two H1s are very bad for SEO.

How to optimise the H1 for SEO:

Must contain keywords or LSI keywords.

Should be no longer than 50 characters,

Must be a genuine title for the page & make sense. It will appear at the top of the page so it must make viewers want to scroll down to see the infographic.

Must only be one in number.


Internal Anchor Text


The text used on a page when it is embedded into a link to another page. Basically, the text you click on and are redirected to another page.

‘Internal’ means within your own site. This is the text you use to link to other pages or posts within your own site.

How to optimise for SEO:

Must contain keyword.

Should be linked from at least one other  post or page within your site.


Image Alt text


The alternative text which shows up if your image does not load. In this case, your image is the infographic itself. You edit this when you upload your picture.


How to optimise for SEO:

Must be a genuine description of the image

Should contain keyword.

External Anchor Text


Similar to internal anchor text. ‘External’ is the text websites other than your own used to embed a link to your post.

External linking is another word for follow/ no-follow links and the focus of this article .

How to optimise external anchor text of your infographic blog post for SEO:

Must contain keywords.

Here is another picture of the cows in case you were getting bored of the screenshots

With written content you can only undertake this one way; by asking whoever owns the site you are requesting the link from to include your chosen anchor text.

However, this runs the risk of the owner refusing.

This is one of the main reasons infographic marketing works better than ‘written in’ and achieves links which boost your SEO ranking for your chosen keywords.

With infographic marketing the best way to get the anchor text you want with your follow link is to use this code embedder.

Embed this code at the bottom of the image.

Hubspot have written a brilliant guide on how to create this code, so I will just take you through the steps to do this:

1. Site name = The name of your site.

2. Post URL = The URL given at the top of your page. It is the URL a user would use to access your infographic blog post.

3. Image URL = This can be found when you insert the infographic onto your post. You can go back into ‘insert media’ click on the image and find the ‘image URL’. Below shows where this is on Word Press.

4. Image alt text = This is what we optimised earlier. It can also be found in the ‘insert media’ popup also.


5. Width of the image = The width of the image as it appears on the post. It can also be seen in the ‘insert media’ popup. Alternatively you can see it when clicking on it and then clicking the little pencil ‘edit’ icon.

6. Image height = As Hubspot explains this should be left blank so not the distort the image.

7.  Embedded box width & height = I like to make this the same as the image width so it looks good on the page. The height can be set as you like aesthetically, I prefer not too big so tend to go for 100px.


Cut and paste the code which the embedder then provides you with. Put this code either under your image or within the coding- which is the ‘text’ box in  word press.

STEP 4: Submit your infographic to the infographic submission sites


This is when you get the follow links.

Submit the page URL  and the embedded code to all of the bellow, free and paid sites.

Many of these allow you to submit your embedded code separately.

When I did this I had no budget so I only submitted to the free sites. This meant the quality of the infographic was even more important as was its uniqueness.

Paid sites will give you more of a guarantee return but if the quality of what you produce is up to scratch it shouldn’t be necessary to use paid sites.

Here is the full list of infographic submission sites I used. I managed to gain 22 follow links by only using the free sites listed below.



STEP 5: Sit back and let the magic happen

After a few days check the number of backlinks you now have with Ahrefs or SEOprofiler. (Both of which offer a free trial).

They both take a while to pick up on new links. The newer your site is the longer they will take so don’t worry if it takes at least a week.

So there you have it, a detailed guide as to how I got 22 follow links in only half a day’s work using infographic marketing.

If you have any more questions feel free to get in touch with me.


LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are  keywords that have a similar meaning to your primary keyword. They are NOT just synonym or keywords as most people cite.

May 07

Hexagon paper

Hexagon paper

Hexagon paper

May 01

How this nonprofit leveraged a 7-minute video to raise over $2M

Storytelling tactics that helped a nonprofit creat [...]

Storytelling tactics that helped a nonprofit create an emotional connection with donors and raised over $2,000,000 for their organization.

May 01

A Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking for Content Marketing

A Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking for Content M [...]

A Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking for Content Marketing

April 27

How to Get Thousands of Leads from Quora in Five Months - Sumo

The exact blueprint for driving traffic from Quora [...]
March 29

7 Traits That REALLY Define High-Quality Content | WordStream

Why is most of your content still failing? Simple: [...]

7 Traits That REALLY Define High-Quality Content

Most of your content is DOA: Dead on Arrival (or maybe Donkey on Arrival).

Individuals, businesses, and brands are producing a ridiculously enormous amount of content every minute. That means your content is getting lost in the noise.

But wait. Every marketing expert ever agrees that the secret to content marketing success is creating quality content. And you're creating quality content, right?

So ... why are most of your content still failing?

Simple: Your definition of "quality content" is completely wrong.

Most marketers have bought into some fantasy that it's about attributes rather than statistics. They evaluate content "quality" based on traits like:

  • Length
  • Visual appeal
  • Spelling and grammar
  • Formatting
  • Readability
  • Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness
  • Overall "value"

No, no, no!

Although these content qualities are important in their own way, they don't actually define quality content!

So what really defines quality content? These seven things.

1. Quality Content Is Defined by Data

Always base your definition of quality content on data. Any other definition will be based on your biased views of your own work.

Data is the only objective way to tell whether your content is a unicorn or a donkey:

  • Unicorn content: This is your best, most magical content, performing among the top 3 percent of all your content. Unicorns rank well in Google (Position 1-3) and drive the most traffic, engagement, and leads.
  • Donkey content: This is your average and below average content. It makes up the remaining 97 percent of your content. But a donkey is still just a donkey – no magic here! Donkeys will never achieve unicorn status.

What's the difference between high engagement unicorns and low engagement donkeys?

Well, in SEO, it looks like this:

The unicorns (the top 10 percent) have 6x higher click-through rates (CTR) than donkeys (the bottom 10 percent).

On Facebook, it looks like this:

The unicorns are 10x more engaging than the donkeys.

If you look at the most popular pages on your blog or website, you'll see something like this:

For the WordStream blog, 10 percent of our stories generated more than 60 percent of our traffic in 2016.

You'll also see the difference between high engagement unicorns and low engagement donkeys with search conversion rates:

The top 10 percent of offers convert at least 5x better than donkeys – 11.45 percent or higher vs. 2.35 percent or lower (based on WordStream customer data).

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule (AKA the Pareto principle). It's been interpreted in marketing to mean that 80 percent of your profits come from 20 percent of your customers or 20 percent of your efforts lead to 80 percent of your results.

Well, here's a new law you need to know.

The Unicorn Power Law: most of your value comes from a tiny fraction of your content.

Your data will reveal that fraction of your content – the true top quality content.

2. Quality Content Achieves Marketing Objectives

You should define content quality based on how much you get out of it, not how much time and money you put into it.

Imagine you own a baseball team and need to add a hitter to your lineup. Are you going to sign a player based on his height or how handsome he is? Or how well he speaks? Or maybe how many social media followers he has?

NO! You want to score runs!

You would look at things that matter, like statistics – hits, home runs, on-base percentage, etc. You know, how the player actually performed on the field.

Great baseball players come in all shapes and sizes.

The same is true of quality content.

Unicorn content can be long or short, have zero images or 10, and have a couple spelling errors or totally perfect grammarization.

Ultimately, it's about whether your content achieves its marketing goal, whether that's generating traffic, rankings, engagement, or conversions.

3. Quality Content Ranks Well in Google

Google uses machine learning as part of its RankBrain algorithm, which is used on every search. One thing all machine learning systems have in common: they reward high engagement.

How does Google measure engagement? I believe it's through a combination of click-through rate (people are clicking on your content) and dwell time (people are spending time and/or engaging with your content).

CTR is important for SEO because, for every 3 percent increase or decrease in CTR your experience, your position can go up or down by one spot.

Meanwhile, data reveals how Google is slowly eliminating traffic to pages with low dwell time (the amount of time people spend on your website after clicking on your search result listing). We can't measure dwell time, but time on site is proportional to dwell time.

Look at WordStream's top pages before RankBrain:

Eight of our top 32 pages had below average time on site.

Here are our top pages after RankBrain:

Now only two pages are donkeys? Wow!

Google SERP positions used to be mainly determined by who had the most/best links and most relevant content. While those remain important ranking factors, now it's equally important that people engage with your content if you want to rank well.

4. Quality Content Has Remarkable CTR

Before Google used machine learning as an organic search ranking signal, Google used machine learning in AdWords (they also use it for the Google Display Network, Gmail Ads, and YouTube ads).

If your AdWords ad has a higher Quality Score, you pay less and your ad appears more prominently; if your ad has a lower Quality Score, you pay more and your ad impression share is much lower.

What is the most important AdWords Quality Score signal? A remarkable click-through rate.

Facebook and Twitter both copied the AdWords idea. These social advertising platforms also reward high engagement content with much lower costs per engagement and more visibility. Low engagement content is penalized, which makes promoting junk content very expensive.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter incentivize high engagement content. If your content doesn't make lots of people click, then it isn't quality content.

5. Quality Content Has Lots of Social Media Engagement

We just briefly covered social media ads, but what about organic engagement on Facebook? Well, Facebook also uses machine learning to reward engagement. It works like this:

This is why fake news thrived on Facebook. It was all about engagement.

People clicked on, shared, and commented on the fake news because it validated their existing biases, not because it was "quality content." Facebook's algorithms favored content popularity over authority, which helped the stories spread to more peoples' news feeds.

Obviously, fake news = bad. We're totally against it. But you can learn from it.

To capture the attention of social media users you need content that triggers an emotional response. Only content that achieves high engagement on social media can truly be called quality.

6. Quality Content Converts

Quality content has higher conversion rates. If you can get people to click, it's more likely they'll ultimately convert, whether it's signing up for a webinar, filling out a registration form, or buying a product or service.

If you want more people to click, increasing brand affinity is the best way to do it. People who know your brand are more likely to choose you over brands they've never heard of. 

7. Quality Content Does Well on Every Channel

Unicorns are the pinnacle of quality content.

Some content might do well on one channel. But unicorns do well on every channel, whether it's SEO, CRO, PPC, social (paid and organic), or email.

Unicorn content does well on social media and tends to rank and convert well; content that ranks well in organic search tends to have high engagement on social media and convert well, and so on.

Conversely, content that fails in one channel is likely to fail in another. Content that fails to rank well in organic search won't have high engagement on social media and it will have a terrible conversion rate.

At the heart of unicorn, content is a truly remarkable, engaging, and inspiring idea. So if you want your marketing – and your company – to be more successful, you need to come up with better ideas.

Promoting a donkey won't turn it into a unicorn. You'll only waste time and money.

Instead, focus all your efforts on promoting your powerful and valuable unicorns. Promote your unicorns on every channel when you find them to amplify their impact by 100x or even 1000x and drive even more traffic, engagement, and leads.

What REALLY Defines Quality Content

Content marketing is an unfair game. If you want to win you need to stop relying on your gut (which is really just your opinion and, by nature, biased) and look at unbiased statistics.

Content marketing is about output, not input!

Stop looking at content attributes. Start looking at data to find your truly high-quality content. Start optimizing for engagement and you'll find huge content wins.

When you find that super rare unicorn content, capitalize on it! Leverage the heck out of it on every channel to maximize your marketing ROI.


Its really amazing blog with very much helpful information, thank you so much for writing this great blog here for us.

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March 29

What we learned about Long Tail; by analyzing 1.4 Billion keywords

What we learned about Long Tail; by analyzing 1.4 [...]
Distribution of keywords by length

It’s generally assumed that the majority of Google searches have 3+ words in them.

But what is the actual distribution of all searches by their length?

Pretty cool, right?

One-word keywords account for only 2.8% of all the keywords people search for (in the United States).

Distribution of keywords by monthly search volume

The next thing we studied was the popularity of all keywords in our database.

The following pie chart shows the distribution of all the keywords in our database by their average monthly search volume:

This is where you see the “long tail” start shaping itself.

As it turns out, 96.54% of all search queries in the US have less than 50 searches per month.

Keyword length vs Search volume

After we studied the length of keywords and their search volume, it was time to study the relation between the two.

I was keen to learn how many one-word keywords had miserable search volume, and how many keywords with 5+ words were insanely popular.

To study that, we distributed all keywords into 8 buckets by their monthly search volume and looked at the percentage of keywords of different lengths in each of these buckets:

Looks pretty nice, right?

Clearly, there’s a very strong correlation between the length of the keyword and its search volume (which was expected).

But, at the same time, our data shows that “length in words” is not necessarily a prerequisite of a “long-tail keyword.”

9.3% of keywords with a search volume over 1M have 3+ words. Here are some examples:

  • star wars the force awakens (1,320,000)
  • martin luther king jr. day (990,000)
  • fantastic beasts and where to find them (721,000)
  • why is there a leap day? (646,000)
  • who invented the mechanical television (596,000)
  • rick and morty season 3 (567,000)
  • what day is mother’s day 2016? (513,000)

12.7% of keywords with a search volume of 0 to 19 have less than 2 words. Here are some examples:

  • am254
  • anii80
  • animacrack
  • schould
  • schpoology
  • rajajooga
  • rajaprasong
  • zipsnipcutter
  • zirkelmagier
  • zs2015

(zipsnipcutter is a fun one, you should check it out)

A lot of people define long-tail keywords as those that have 3+ words in them:

Well, as you can clearly see from the numbers and examples above, longer keywords are not necessarily less popular.

In fact, we also studied the “popularity” of each length group, by summing up the search volumes of all keywords in it.

And got this:

So it looks like there’s no specific length that would drastically outperform all others.

The “Long Tail” of the “Search Demand Curve”

The term “long-tail keywords” comes from the “long tail” of the so-called “search demand curve.”

In raw data from our 1.4 billion database, that search demand curve looks like this:

In the “head” of the curve, we have a few keywords with an extremely high search volume. But they hardly account for even 10% of all searches.

In case you’re wondering, those two 100M+ keywords are “youtube” and “facebook.”

And at the “tail” of the curve, we have a monstrous pile of keywords with miserable search volume. But they account for almost 40% of all searches.

To actually see this long tail on a graph, we need to plot all our keywords on the X-axis in the order of decreasing monthly search volume.

The real graph wouldn’t look very pretty because of its scale, so we’ve created a slightly modified visual representation instead:

How to take advantage of the long tail

So roughly around 40% of all searches are coming from billions of long-tail keywords that have less than 50 searches per month.

There should be a way to use this to your advantage, right?

Well, there is such a way!

Look at this page, which ranks #3 for the keyword “website traffic”:

The search volume of the keyword “website traffic” is almost 10,000 searches per month. So if you rank #3 for it, you can expect about 10% of that traffic at best, which is only 1,000 visitors per month.

But Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer shows that this page is bringing almost 7,000 visitors per month. And this traffic is generated by nearly 600 keywords that it ranks for in organic search results.

That is long-tail traffic in all its glory.

Let’s put the URL of this page in Site Explorer and see all these long-tail keywords that it ranks for:

It looks like people invent hundreds of peculiar ways to ask pretty much the same question. Google understands it and ranks exactly the same page for all these search queries.

So by looking at the search volume of an individual keyword, you can’t make a good prediction of the total search traffic potential of your page. You have to examine the top-ranking pages and see how much search traffic they are generating from long tail.

The same principle applies to researching the keywords your competitors rank for.

If you look at the best keywords that send traffic to IncomeDiary.com, you probably wouldn’t pay attention to the keyword “how do websites make money” because it has only 800 searches per month:

But if you look at which pages send them the most traffic from search, you’ll see this:

This page is bringing them a ton of highly targeted search traffic, all because of the numerous long-tail keywords it ranks for.

Think long tail

I’m pretty sure that most of the takeaways from our research didn’t come as a surprise for you. They’re quite intuitive, after all.

But, at the same time, I see way too many people overlooking the power of long tail and focusing on search volumes of individual keywords (as if it’s 2010).

So let me know if you had an “AHA” moment while reading this post, and if you’re now going to rethink your SEO strategy with long-tail keywords in mind.

', click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('googlePlus'); } }); }); jQuery('.facebook-bottom-14806').each(function(){ var self = this; jQuery(this).sharrre({ share: { facebook: true }, enableHover: false, template: '', click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('facebook'); } }); }); jQuery('.twitter-bottom-14806').each(function(){ var self = this; jQuery(this).sharrre({ share: { twitter: true }, buttons: { twitter: {via: 'ahrefs', related: 'ahrefs'}}, enableHover: false, template: '', enableTracking: true, click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('twitter'); } }); }); jQuery('.linkedin-bottom-14806').each(function(){ var self = this; jQuery(this).sharrre({ share: { linkedin: true }, enableHover: false, template: '', enableTracking: true, click: function(api, options){ api.simulateClick(); api.openPopup('linkedin'); } }); }); });

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  • Absolutely true.

    On one of my sites, I targeted a keyword with 480 searches per month.

    Guess what?

    That article brings in 200–400 visitors PER DAY thanks to all the long tail variations. 

    Thanks for the awesome article ðŸ™‚

  • Nice post!

    Any chance you might be able to give us a list of the most searched for strings, in order of number of words? eg 1: weather, 2: donald trump, 3: youtube to mp3. I’m curious for what 10 or 11 would be. What are the longest phrases that large volumes of people search for?

    (A top 3 or top 10 list for each set would also be great… ha ha.)

  • The evolution of longtails come from the fact that people are now more comfortable in searching for exactly what they want on search engines. Somehow, there is also a trust factor in search engines that is not there before. This gives us business owners plenty of opportunities to meet our customer needs.

    • I agree with this 100%. I know that as I have become a more sophisticated/confident searcher, I’m a lot more comfortable using much longer search queries. I’ve also noticed in the last couple of years the results have gotten much better, whereas in the past they might have had no result.

  • Yes Tim, all i wonder is why you ahrefs blog get so little organic traffic (100k according to Ahrefs, 300k according to similarweb) with such a good content. your contents rock all over the web. great job

  • Tim, hi.

    It’s a great post. He say about importence long tail keyword in digital marketing. I live in Belarus and make blog for russian speaking peoples. 

    We have no similar analyze in our internet erea. 

    Thank for your case study.

    Best regards, Nick.

  • I wonder how many searches “zipsnipcutter” has after this article. Maybe check it now and after 2–3 months and update me/us?

  • Great article! I just wonder how I should do onpage-seo for a few hundret long tail keywords on one page. Do you have any hint?

    • yeah, I guess we need to write another guide about this. But tbh — there’s no “bulletproof formula” that is guaranteed to work 100% of time. I’d go with experience / gut feeling / best judgement / user feedback / and other things along these lines ðŸ™‚

  • Great insights. I’ve started producing longer more in-depth articles for this very reason. But then you have to balance long informative articles that rank for a ton of things, or shorter my concise articles that perfectly answer a search query and is more relevant.

    • amazing question… and the best part is that it’s the question that equally bothers Google too. Do they rank a more general article for that term or do they go for a shorter but more specific piece.

      I’m sure as machine learning advances, everything will depend on what people want. If Google sees that for this particular search query people prefer shorter and very specific answer — so be it. But if they see that searches are far more satisfied if they’re shown a bigger picture — that’s what will rank.

      So my advice — get in the heads of people, searching for that specific thing. What will satisfy them best? A short and detailed answer? Or a bigger picture with extra detail?

  • “The search volume of the keyword “website traffic” is almost 10,000 searches per month. So if you rank #3 for it, you can expect about 10% of that traffic at best, which is only 1,000 visitors per month.” — I as a user of google would say that I will look into the content of the first three pages and see who contains the information I need and the user-friendliness of the website.

  • Great post, as always. The challenge is to convince clients to focus on the (very) long tail. Most business really just come up with their main short tail keywords and that’s all they want to rank for ^^

  • Very interesting. One thing that makes me curious as a non-professional, but tangled into world of SEO:
    So is it better to rank for hundreds of unpredictable long-tail keywords, or to invest more into improving domain rating and on-page SEO? I would go for this second option, but I can see there are multiple offers in the web, that are trying to automatically spam website with crappy links for millions of long tail keywords.
    Anyway, nice research, I’m loking forward into more such materials ðŸ˜‰

    • hey @jakubcharkiewicz:disqus , actually it’s almost impossible “to rank for hundreds of unpredictable long-tail keywords” if you’re not “improving domain rating and on-page SEO” ðŸ™‚

      The trick of taking advantage of the long tail is all about picking the right topics (that have the long tail potential) and creating the kind of content, that Google will love (in terms of detail, relevancy and backlinks).

      Hope that makes sense ðŸ™‚

  • Glad I ran into this article. Live to longtail one more day.
    Lovin these stats. Now I can move forward knowing that there is some truth behind what I felt in my heart for a long time. 

  • Great stuff Tim — thanks!

    Isn’t this Google’s semantic search in all its glory?

    One query I have on all this though… There is no doubt that the long-tail keywords as a whole entity are smashing it. But since there are 49 million of them, what are the chances of picking the right long-tail keywords?

    In fact, what percentage of the 49 million actually do hit the jackpot? By ‘jackpot’ I’m simply referring to examples like David’s below, with 200–400 visitors per day’.

  • Great post but â€¦

    With mobile being already more that 50% of the traffic, and taking into account that when we search on mobile devices we probably try to use less terms, I wonder if results would differ segmenting by device.

    Also, Google’s suggest has a great impact on the search terms, I wish google would allow to understand if the query was 100% written by the user or was modified by Google’s suggest.

    An my last point is about voice search and conversational search. 

    Voice search is probably going to change the business 180º, users are going to feel save about using very very long tail keywords searches, how is google going to pass that information back to the advertisers?

    How about conversational searches?, when people search for “restaurants in chicago” and then after results are shown the users complements the search with “italian vegetarian”

    is that 2 searches? is that one very long search? “restaurants in chicago italian vegetarian”

    The world of search is going to change so much so fast! Be prepared!

    • Great point about mobile. But remember ‘long tail’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘long keyword’. I agree it would be interesting to segment by device and perhaps voice vs word

    • love the comment, Enrique. I guess you won’t be surprised that I don’t have the answers for you. All I can promise it that here at Ahrefs we’ll try to keep our hand on the pulse of what’s happening and whenever we see something interesting — we’ll share it with you guys ðŸ™‚

  • Shouldn’t we be using the term ‘keyphrase’ instead of ‘keyword’?

  • awesome post & study as always. the sad truth is that many SEOs out there (even from big agencies) still charge clients by individual keywords with high search volumes :D, which to me is a shame. Think long tail. Long tail gives us fantastic idea about search pattern/topics to optimise too!

  • Great post, Tim. I completely agree with the takeaway, namely that digital marketers need to incorporate long-tail keywords into their content. I have my own success story to share: I was unsatisfied with the traffic that a certain post was getting. The post, which is about French curse words, was better than the other content out there on the same topic (in my completely unbiased and totally objective analysis, of course!). Anyway, I did a rewrite and incorporated a few variants of my keyphrase, and the results have been great. This one page ranks for over 300 keywords, traffic to the page is up 300%, and Google now displays it in featured snippets and image packs for certain keywords. Nice!

  • Nice post! Two things I wonder about:
    1) Only one of those keywords has a search volume > 1M:
    star wars the force awakens (1,320,000)
    martin luther king jr. day (990,000)
    fantastic beasts and where to find them (721,000)
    why is there a leap day? (646,000)
    who invented the mechanical television (596,000)
    rick and morty season 3 (567,000)
    what day is mother’s day 2016? (513,000)

    2) Those keywords are… not helpful for any English site to rank for:

    That brings me to the question: how do you guys put together your keyword database? 


  • WOW! This is a gold mine. Thank you for sharing this data. 

    From my experience long tail is great for SEO but it is even better for results (whether results are sales or some other metric). 

    Also, your article did the job and I’m going to be checking out your Ahrefs product ðŸ˜‰

February 12

Stop Thinking Content, Start Thinking Resources

Adopting a resource paradigm is core to fulfilling [...]

Stop Thinking Content, Start Thinking Resources

It’s time for us to develop content from a resource marketing paradigm. Providing something useful, as the dictionary defines resource, is core to fulfilling content marketing objectives. We need to stop thinking about creating more stuff and start thinking about how to build things of utility that meaningfully help solve our audiences’ problems.

Content vs. resource

Content can be a resource and a resource can be content, so it’s important to distinguish how we can differentiate the two. In brief:

  • Content generally provides information. Resources provide solutions to problems.
  • Content can address any question or topic. Resources specifically address the needs of the target audience.
  • Content may be superficial. Resources, by virtue of their need to solve problems, must be reasonably comprehensive.
  • Content may be organized haphazardly. Resources need a sufficiently coherent organization to effectively solve the audience’s problems.
  • Content tells an audience: “I have these things to say, come listen to me.” Resources appeal to the audience: “We understand you have these problems or needs, let us help you solve them.”

Still not clear? Let me show you some examples.

The Home Depot vs. Lowe’s

One of the simplest ways to build a resource is to take content and organize it into discrete and comprehensive problem-solving units that effectively address higher-order needs. That’s what The Home Depot did with its DIY Projects and Ideas site.

Content is organized into categories, then divided into individual projects. All content for a project is accessible via a single page and sufficient to take it from start to finish. The organization is rational and the navigation is user-friendly, so finding what you’re looking for is easy and straightforward.

It would have been far easier for The Home Depot to create a bunch of small blog posts with generic click-bait titles such as WARNING: 5 Things You Don’t Want to Forget When Installing a Ceiling Fan! It certainly would have provided more fodder for its Facebook page. Instead, The Home Depot decided that if you want to install a ceiling fan, you should be able to go to one place and get all the information you need – step-by-step instructions, checklists, and videos. The value of this resource for the audience is massive.

In contrast, here is content that I wouldn’t qualify as a resource: Lowe’s How-To and Buying Guide Library. Lowe’s offers categories, but does not organize the content to truly allow me to readily find what I need. How-to content is buried between buying guides of questionable value that are thinly veiled excuses to link to its store.

Many areas in the library suffer from content overload – a direct result of the never-ending create-publish-share cycle that makes it impossible to let the best content shine. (Over 1,000 articles on gardens? How on earth is anyone supposed to find a gem in all of that?) Many articles are just a wall of text, with no descriptive images or videos. Sure, each piece of content has some value, but there’s nothing that pulls it all together in a way that makes it a cohesive, problem-solving resource.

The Home Depot intentionally limited the amount of content to ensure that it is findable, easy to navigate, and of a higher quality. Lowe’s did not. That is why The Home Depot offers a resource, while Lowe’s just has content.


Nike+ is a fantastic example of resources because the personal fitness training site manifests itself in so many ways. It is an app. It is a community. It is a delivery vehicle for high-value content. It is a social platform. With all of its many forms, Nike+ is focused on a clear, consistent, defined goal: “Track your progress, stay motivated, and train better.” Nike looked to solve a problem, and Nike+ is the resource solution.

If Nike had looked at fitness training as a series of questions instead of a singular problem to solve, it would not have provided anywhere near the same amount of value for its audience. It could have created and published the same content as individual pieces, but it would have failed to solve the higher-order problem. It would have been stuck in the content paradigm of create-publish-share-repeat. The audience would have had to go through the effort on its own to piece together the content.

Being comprehensive is not enough. A resource needs to be sufficiently organized to be a coherent solution.

Nike+ is also a great example of how resources can help smooth the transition from engagement to purchase. People who derive value from Nike+ without purchasing any NikeFuel products always have the potential of upgrading their training experience and the value derived from Nike+ with a NikeFuel purchase.

Nike is so wildly successful with this resource that not only did Nike+ become a near-instant household name among fitness enthusiasts, but Nike’s competitors have developed a host of similar solutions, such as Adidas miCoach, hoping to keep from falling further behind.

Boosts from resource development

If you look at almost any content marketing goal, resources will achieve that goal better than simple content.

  • Branding: Much content marketing is undertaken to solidify a position within the minds of the target audience. The more relevant value you deliver to your audiences with respect to your desired brand position, the more solid that position will be in their minds.
  • Social and SEO: By having more value and being more useful, resources naturally encourage more organic sharing. That generates more backlinks. A good resource is more likely to go viral, though it may progress slowly and not look like the boom-or-bust viral campaigns to which we’ve become accustomed.
  • Lead generation: Generating leads requires holding audience members’ attention long enough for them to convert. Resources hold the user’s attention longer, and research has shown that solving a problem is the most likely business-to-customer event to trigger positive emotions.
  • Customer loyalty and retention: Content is often transient. It is shared, consumed, and then buried in an ever-increasing pile of more and more content. Resources provide lasting value, causing the audience to return to them to derive additional value.

In adopting a resource paradigm, we’re essentially trading many little things – all the stuff that’s begging for our audiences’ attention and contributing to the noise – for fewer things that are bigger and more valuable. Once they are created, those bigger, more valuable resources create long-term value for your brand.

It used to be a big thing to talk about engagement. How much of my audience is viewing or interacting with any given piece of content? Resources go beyond that thinking. Resources can become repeated sources of value in people’s lives. It’s what we’ve always dreamed of for our content, and we can achieve it – we just need to shift our thinking.

Solve problems

There are as many ways to create resources as there are problems that your audiences are facing. When people ask me about what a resource might look like, I’m hesitant to give examples because I don’t want to constrain people’s creativity when it comes to developing resources. The Home Depot and Nike each had its own way, but don’t limit yourself to what others are doing.

The key thing to remember is to focus on solving problems. When you change your paradigm from saying things to solving problems, you’ll be evolving as a content marketer and taking the value you create for your audience and for your brand to the next level.

Take your resourceful insights to the next level with CMI’s comprehensive Online Training & Certification Program, which contains over 19 hours of must-know strategies, tactics, and best practices, delivered by leading experts. Try this resource with two free e-courses. Sign up now.

Cover image by Viktor Hanacek, picjumbo, via pixabay.com

Author: Carlton Hoyt

Carlton Hoyt is Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of BioBM Consulting, a life science marketing agency, where he helps highly innovative scientific companies be just as innovative with their marketing. You can find more of his thinking (with a B2B and life science slant) on BioBM’s blog, by following BioBM on Twitter at @BioBM, or by following Carlton on LinkedIn. Fun fact: Once upon a time Carlton was a neuroscientist. He knows a lot about retinas.

Other posts by Carlton Hoyt

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  • I liked this article, thanks. I shared it with content writers on Linked In. As always, anything that makes content more valuable than just another top 10 list, or just another blog, rises to the top. We all aspire to that!

    • Thanks, Diana! I can’t agree more! As more and more people and brands churn out content, it takes more to differentiate oneself above the noise. Furthermore, as the demand for a limited resource (our audiences’ attention) increases, we can easily predict the outcome – the price goes up! What is the price we need to pay? Higher-value content, which we can’t achieve unless we have a new perspective on value creation for our audiences.

  • Great article. How do you think this can be applied to a credit union who’s Marketing resources are low? I would be curious to get your feedback. Thanks so much!

    • I know almost nothing about credit unions, but I think the key is the same for many companies: Start with assessing the higher-order needs of the customers, then see how you can leverage content and other resources to solve them. Think big-picture and genuine solutions, and stay away from merely being somewhat helpful. There’s a lot of tips and advice out there, but those rarely solve problems on a meaningful scale.

      Resources do take more to develop than simple content, and it’s possible that your organization doesn’t yet have the marketing resources to undertake such an endeavor – yet – but that’s okay. If you slowly but surely amass a lot of meaningful, high-value content around a particular focus, you can later redesign the customer experience surrounding that content to behave like a genuine resource.

      Take the home depot example – a mom-and-pop hardware store couldn’t have built that DIY site quickly or easily, but if they worked away at it, slowly and intentionally adding high-value content with the long-term goal of a DIY resource in mind, they could have done it bit by bit. Just know your end game, and chip away at it.

      • Thank you so much for your reply! To be honest, we definitely don’t have the marketing resources at the moment but we just hired a brand new Manager so I hope that he can help turn that all around in due time.

  • After looking at both the Lowes and Home Depot examples, I didn’t think they were all that different. Home Depot may have had a more concise navigator based specifically on How-To topic types, but that did not mean that the equivalent information is not also available by search at Lowes (indeed, “How to install a ceiling fan” comes right up with what is arguably intended to be an equivalent resource).

    Whether an item is a resource depends, I think, on the usefulness of the item itself rather than how you arrived at it. While organized navigation is nice to have, the ceiling fan article on each site would have been equally accessible by search or by someone’s curated link on Facebook or Twitter or blog.

    Interestingly, if I bother to bookmark that page into a particular folder hierarchy in my bookmark file, then I have effectively created my own navigator for it–one that in all likelihood is nothing like what a well-meaning content marketer at either Lowes or Home Depot might ever think to construct for a finder guide.

    So I had a couple of other takeaways on this article (which I admit really did make me work hard to try to see if I agreed with it!):1) Readers may arrive at content by search and by reference as well as by finders, therefore I need to make my good content easy to find and easy to be shared. 2) Since resource-worthiness is in the eye of the seeker who either stays or moves on in their search, I need to make my good content as sufficient and stay-worthy as possible. 3) Resources consist not only of how-to material but also of references (glossaries and specifications, for example), of background or instructional information, of case studies that I might want to cite, and basically of any information type that a I as a reader might bookmark because it has value to me. A resource has a clear role and value.

    • Hi Don,

      While I [obviously] don’t agree that the Home Depot and Lowe’s sites are that similar, I think you’re getting some of the key points. There are a couple areas of disagreement that I think are worth noting, however.

      Being “stay-worthy” requires organization. You have to remember that your audience’s attention is a very limited asset and you can’t make them dig. That Home Depot DIY site has such concise, clear navigation and also doesn’t try to drown you in content respects that fact. The Lowe’s How-To site does not, and therefore less stay-worthy. The moment someone gets frustrated that they can’t find what they need, they’re gone. You’ve just lost them. Are there ways to quickly find any given thing on the Lowe’s site? Sure. But in general, are things as easy to find on the Lowe’s How-To site as Home Depot’s DIY site? Not a chance, and that makes the Lowe’s site behave much less like a resource.

      Resources definitely do not need to contain references / glossaries, but that’s something that can be determined on a case-by-case basis. It depends on the nature of the topic and the role that the resource intends to play in solving that problem.

      In fact, suggesting that all resources should be referenced and referring to those that utilize resources as “readers” puts us in danger of returning to a more traditional content paradigm, where things are dominated by a more definition of media. One of the great parts about a resource is that it doesn’t have to be a piece of written material, or a video, or anything of that nature. With a resource, the problem that you’re solving is far more important than the form of what you’re designing, and sometimes resources that take on a more non-traditional form can be the most impactful.

      For instance, if someone was to start by thinking: “I’m going to write a bunch of white papers about topic X and compile them into a resource” they would undeniably be approaching it incorrectly. The problem has to define the solution. The more assumptions or bounds you explicitly or implicitly place on the resource, the less likely it is to actually be a solution and deliver meaningful value.

      Hope that helps clarify things!

      • More clear, thanks. My phrasing of “resources consist of” probably did sound like a recipe for a mess. My intent was “besides how-tos, you may also consider these other types of content to be resources in their own right” (and I appreciate your reminder to include other media that qualifies as providing value).

        • I echo this appreciation you express, Don. I especially like this line near the end of the article: “change your paradigm from saying things to solving problems.” Yes, saying things can solve problems—but only if the person saying those things has the audience’s problems in mind from the start. Excellent article. Thanks, Carlton.

  • An insightful post and you have definitely set the many small cogs a-whirring. I suspect that all of my efforts to date have been, while not totally wasted, at least ineffective.
    I think I shall have to re-vamp my approach! Many thanks (not!).

    • Don’t despair! There’s plenty of ways to rework content into resources, or at least organize content into something that behaves more like a resource.

  • @Chris: Ha, no kidding.
    I’m new at making these sorts of mistakes, so it’s great to come across sound advice right out of the chute, many thanks.

  • Thanks for writing this article. I have had a growing awareness of the content overload issue and this article has highlighted the precise issue and provided a solution.

  • Great post Carlton. I think it comes down to knowing your company, your brand and who you actually want to talk to. In your examples; Lowe’s are trying to be all things to all men with 1000’s of articles, whereas Home Depot focus on their specific customer needs where they can have the biggest impact. Don’t talk generally to the world, know what you want to say and speak clearly to individuals who need your solutions.

    • Couldn’t agree more. You can’t set out to solve everyone’s problems. That just won’t work, because the audience that is “everyone” is too diverse and have too many problems. If you try to solve them all, you’ll end up with an incoherent mess. Just like you need to define a target customer for products / services, you need to define a target audience (and target problems) for your resources!

  • Well sad Carlton. I learned this the hard way, but now I believe I’m on the right path. People mostly use google when they have a problem. They need a solution. You could be that person to present them the solution .

    • Thanks, Igor. A great resource isn’t just a solution to a one-off problem, but something that will continue to deliver value over time. If you structure a resource properly, you should be able to break users from the habit of going to Google (or otherwise starting a search from scratch) when looking for a solution to a relevant problem, and instead have them go straight to you. It’s a potentially massive driver of brand value and brand engagement.

  • This is great content that actually become a resource. This information solves a problem for many of us that want to get leads but are not willing to put the work into generating real value for our potential customers.

  • Love that post! Very useful for convert clients on Content Marketing believers. Thanks from Spain!

  • What a fabulous post you’ve shared! I’ll definitely start looking at content differently now and how I create it.

  • I totally agree that. But where is the fact such a resource content is engaged with their audience ?