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Try These Tools To Create Content That Works for Search Engines and Audiences



Try These Tools To Create Content That Works for Search Engines and Audiences

Some content creators think writing to satisfy your audience and impress search engines put them between a rock and a hard place.

But successful content marketers recognize writing for your audience isn’t different from writing for search engines. It’s all about creating valuable, consumable content and helping your audience discover it.

To help you achieve both, I’ve compiled a list of 13 tools divided into SEO and writing sections, but all designed to help you create valuable content that will get discovered and consumed by your target audience.

SEO tools to help audiences discover your content

These search engine optimization tools provide helpful analyses on keywords, competitors, search engine result pages, and more.

1. SpyFu

SpyFu does what its name implies – it allows you to spy on your content competitors. By typing your competitor’s website in the search box, you gain insight into relevant data such as traffic volume, inbound links, and profitable keywords in their organic content and paid search campaigns.

SpyFu shows you what’s working in your industry, including:

  • Keywords
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns
  • Backlinks
  • Competitors’ keywords, ranking, and ad test history

 Pricing: Free with limited features; paid plans start at $33/month

2. Semrush

Semrush is an all-in-one SEO content writing tool for every marketer. With Semrush, you can perform detailed keyword research, SEO, competitive analysis, performance tests, campaign tracking, and content analysis.

Semrush also has an extensive suite of features, including:

  • Keyword research for the most profitable search terms
  • On-page and local SEO
  • Competitive analysis
  • Daily rank tracking for target keyword changes
  • Social media management and analytics

Pricing: Free with limited features; paid plans start at $119.95/month

Use @Semrush to perform detailed keyword research, #SEO, competitive analysis, performance tests, campaign tracking, and content analysis, says Sally Ofuonyebi via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

3. Clearscope

Clearscope empowers you to create rankable, traffic-worthy, and relevant posts. It compiles an in-depth list of relevant semantic keywords to include in your content for a target keyword.

Clearscope suggests content ranking requirements, such as word count and readability score, and gives an SEO grade in relation to the competition. It also helps you discover keyword gaps.

Pricing: Plans start at $170/month.

4. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that displays search and keyword metrics on search engine result pages.

This SEO tool analyzes your search term on multiple websites and shows you relevant trending, semantic and long-tail keywords. It also displays the ad cost of your keyword, its trend pattern, and competition data through powerful features like:

  • Search interest chart (from Google and YouTube data)
  • Keyword widgets for long-tail keywords recommendation and search volumes
  • Google’s “people also search for” and “related searches” keyword widget
  • Competitor gap analysis
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) and volume data
  • Website analytics, including Moz domain authority score, monthly organic traffic volume, ranking keywords, spam rating, and referring domains and links.

Pricing: Free with limited features; paid plans start at $10/year.

5. Frase

Frase helps you create valuable, keyword-rich, and search-intent-optimized articles. It speeds up your content creation workflow by generating detailed content briefs in minutes.

Frase gives a core summary of the web’s best information in one place, providing:

  • Well-researched content briefs
  • Custom brief templates to streamline your content workflow
  • Content optimization and comparison to top search results
  • Content gap discovery
  • SEO content analysis

Pricing: Plans start at $44.99/month.

@fraseHQ speeds up your #ContentCreation workflow by generating detailed content briefs in minutes, says Sally Ofuonyebi via @CMIContent. #SEO Click To Tweet

6. LongTailPro

LongTailPro is another tool where the name says what it does. It discovers profitable long-tail key phrases of your target keyword.

You can find low competition and high-paying CPC keywords through its:

  • Keyword profitability ranking
  • Daily keyword tracking
  • Domain name finder
  • Competitive research

 Pricing: Plans start at $37/month

Writing tools to help your content

You can research your keywords, target phrases, etc., so your content will get noticed in search results. But you also need to take special care of the words, phrases, and sentences that come together to create your content. Here are some tools to help:

7. Grammarly Business

Grammarly Business analyzes your content for readability, clarity, plagiarism, spelling, and grammar. This tool helps you effectively communicate your message by delivering error-free, readable, and clear content to your readers through:

  • Sentence rewrite suggestions
  • Tone detection and adjustments
  • Plagiarism detection
  • Advanced suggestions
  • Word choice

 Pricing: Starting at $12.50/month

8. Hemingway Editor

Another writing tool to help make your content readable and clear is Hemingway Editor. With this editing app, you can track and correct grammar errors on a single page.

Through color-coded highlights, it identifies what works and what can be improved. It also includes:

  • Readability grading
  • Word suggestions
  • Formatting features
  • Write and edit modes

 Pricing: Free via an online search; app is $19.99.

9. Cliche Finder

To help your content readability (and originality), avoid overused words and phrases that are a bore to hear or read. Cliche Finder can help you identify those and suggest replacements for those stale words. Just copy and paste your content into the available box and click “Find Cliches.”

 Pricing: Free

#ClicheFinder can help you identify and replace overused words and phrases, and it’s free, says Sally Ofuonyebi via @CMIContent. #ContentCreation #Tools Click To Tweet

10. Jargon Grader

Similar to cliches, jargon should have a limited (or no) presence in your content. Jargon Grader is a simple tool to help you create clear and easy-to-understand content.

It identifies and offers fixes for jargon in your content. It also highlights complex words or terminology that are often confusing and incomprehensible so you can remove them.

 Pricing: Free

11. RhymeZone

RhymeZone is a library of rhymes to create more captivating and memorable content. It delivers:

  • Comprehensive list of rhymes by syllables or letters
  • Rhyme ratings and analysis
  • Re-rank and filter boxes
  • Rhyme suggestions according to lyrics, poems, and novels

 Pricing: Free

12. Readable

You want your audience to consume your content, but they won’t if it’s too difficult. Readable can help. This analysis tool tests and scores your content’s readability, checks for grammar errors, and gives necessary suggestions for content improvement.

Among Readable’s features are:

  • Colored highlights to denote grammar issues
  • Readability testing for texts, files, emails, and website URLs
  • Export and download file functions
  • Text statistics
  • Flesch-Kincaid grade level equivalent score
  • Readability score
  • Reach analysis

 Pricing: Free with limited features; paid plans start at $4/month.

13. Plagiarism Checker

Plagiarism Checker by Small SEO Tools detects potential plagiarism in your content. It searches billions of documents online to ensure your content is original.

Its features include:

  • URL integration
  • Document uploading from your computer, Dropbox, or Google Drive
  • Detailed plagiarism report
  • Sharable and downloadable options

Pricing: Free with limited features; paid plans start at $9.80/month

#PlagiarismChecker by @smallseotools1 detects potential plagiarism in your #content, says Sally Ofuonyebi via @CMIContent. #ContentCreation #Tools Click To Tweet

Create content that works for search and your audience

With these tools, you better position your content to rank well, so it attracts more readers. And when they get to your content, they’ll find it free of errors, jargon, and cliches and ready to be easily consumed.

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling



The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

Storytelling is an art.

Not a process, method, or technique. And — like art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can grasp in one sitting, after one course. It’s a trial-and-error process of mastery.


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How to Blog When You Have No Time



How to Blog When You Have No Time

Finding the time to blog is a frequent challenge for many marketers. Marketers often wear many hats and it can be difficult to focus long enough to churn out quality articles when you’re pressed for time.

How to blog when you have no time? We spoke with author and marketing expert David Meerman Scotton how to avoid common time management mistakes by developing a routine.

No matter what you’ve got on your marketing plate, it won’t get done without proper time management. Learning how to make the most of your time will greatly affect your productivity and overall success as a blogger.

Why is blogging time management important?

When it comes to creating content, maintaining consistency is key. This is why blogging time management is so important. You may not always feel motivated to create on a regular basis, but establishing a schedule will help you to stay consistent with your blog output.

For example, you may find that you’re better at writing in the mornings. So you can set aside 2 to 3 hours each morning to work on writing based on how many articles you’d like to produce each week.

Create a content calendar to help you plan your content in advance and set reasonable deadlines. Make note of holidays or seasonal events that may impact your content schedule.

Getting organized will help you set and achieve goals for your blog. If you’re starting from scratch, check out our guide to starting a blog.

How to Blog When You Have No Time

1. Use blog templates.

An easy way to jump-startyour creative process is to start with a template. Why suffer through writer’s block staring at a blank document if you don’t have to? HubSpot’s free blog post templatescan help you format your article and get started writing faster than starting from scratch.

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Templates function as an easy to follow outline where you can organize your thoughts and start to flesh out your content. HubSpot’s offer includes six templates ranging from how-to posts to pillar pages and infographics.

2. Develop a blogging routine.

In many ways blogging reminds David of exercising. In order to be successful at it, you will need to develop a routine. “It is programmed in,” David says. “It is about building it into your life and making it a second nature, like running in the mornings or doing yoga after work.”

Dedicate time each day to writing or allocate one to two designated writing days per week. Block time off on your calendar and turn off messaging apps to avoid interruptions while you write.

Once you’ve gotten organized and created a routine, you may find you had more time to write than previously thought.

3. Keep a list of ideas.

One way to save time coming up with content is to make sure you always have a running list of fresh ideas to work with. That way you’re not scrambling at the last minute for worthy topics.

Creating topic clusterscan help you flesh out your blog content strategy. A topic clusteris multiplearticles grouped by a shared topic or related topic. For example, you may have one pillar page that gives a broad overview of a topic. From there, you can create more in-depth, specific articles on related subtopics.

This will not only help you plan content but organize your site architecture as well.

4. Perform research prior to writing.

It’s much easier to write when you have all the pertinent information you want to include in one place. Research your chosen topic before sitting down to write and organize the information in a quick outline.

Include any keyword researchin this process so you can ensure your content aligns with what readers are searching for online. This way when you sit down to write, your only job is to write — not look up new facts.

5. Don’t edit while writing.

When writing it’s very tempting to want to stop and make corrections. Don’t do this. It breaks your writing flow.

Instead, write a rough draft withjust pops into your mind first. Follow your train of thought without stopping to fix typos or edit. The goal is to just get your thoughts on the page. Once your initial draft is written, you can always go back and make changes.

6. Perform article updates.

Another strategy is to build upon existing content by performing an article update. Giving your older content a refresh is not only good for SEO and your readers, but it can be a quick win for adding new content in a time crunch.

With older content, you may need to include additional research and update it for accuracy, but it generally takes less time than writing a new article from scratch. Review your existing content. Are there articles you can do a deeper dive on? Have there been industry advancements you can include? Is there a new angle to explore?

7. Find content ideas wherever you go.

By making blogging a life routine, you will come across creative content ideas much more frequently. Keep an open mind, observe new things that interest you personally and find ways to turn them into fodder for a blog post. By noticing world dynamics that get you excited and relating them to your audience, the process of blogging becomes a lot more natural and fun.

Accumulate content ideas from different situations in life and find ways to apply them to your industry.

8. Hire a freelancer.

Sometimes your workload is just too heavy and your efforts can be better used elsewhere. If you have the resources and budget to do it, hiring outside help may also be a great option.

Sites like Upwork, Contenta, and MediaBistro make it easy to find writing professionals. If looking to generate content on a larger scale, consider working with a content agency.

Blog Like A Pro

Creating content with a consistent cadence is an obstacle busy marketers frequently struggle with. Creating a schedule and mastering blogging time management will allow you to create even when you’re short on time.

This article was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How clean, organized and actionable is your data?



90% of marketers say their CDP doesn't meet current business needs

A customer data platform (CDP) centralizes an organization’s customer data, providing a single 360-view of each consumer that engages with the company. Yet there are still data-related considerations that organizations have to make beyond what the CDP does.

“[CDPs] were designed to fill a need – to enable a marketer to easily get to the data they need to create their segmentation and then go on and mark it from that point,” said George Corugedo, CTO of data management company Redpoint Global, at The MarTech Conference. “But the issue is that CDPs really don’t take care of the quality aspects of the data.”

Maintaining data quality also impacts segmentation, campaigns and privacy compliance challenges for marketing teams that use this data.

Data quality

The data in a CDP depends on the quality of where it came from. Therefore, an organization using a CDP must also consider the quality of the data sources and reference files used to build out the CDP.

“The inevitable question is going to be, how good is this data?” said Corugedo. “How much can I trust it to make a bold decision?”

This is something that has to be on every organization’s radar. For instance, when identity resolution is used, the issue depends on the quality of the third-party reference files. If they are provided by a telecommunications company or credit bureau as the data partner, those files might only be updated quarterly.

“It’s just not an optimal solution, but every single CDP on the market uses some form of reference file,” Corugedo stated.

It’s up to the data scientists and other team members working within the organization to own the accuracy of these data sources.

Read next: What is a CDP?

Segmentation and other actions

The quality of the data using specific reference files and sources will vary and will impact the confidence that marketers have in creating segments and using them when deploying campaigns.

Marketers have to make this decision at a granular level, based on the trustworthiness of data from a particular lineage.

“If they have a campaign that is reliant on suspect data, they can actually delay that campaign and say maybe we wait until that data gets refreshed,” said Corugedo.

Otherwise, marketers are just “spraying and praying.”

Using rules instead of lists

The advantage of having a CDP is unification of all data. But the data is being updated all the time. Instead of deploying campaigns based on a fixed list of customers, the use of rules to define segments allows marketers to update who they engage in the campaign.

“A list, as soon as it’s detached from the database, starts to decay because it doesn’t get any updates anymore,” Corugedo, adding that using lists takes longer to execute a campaign.

Lower quality from data that isn’t updated can have serious implications for healthcare and other industries, where accuracy is essential. 

“Instead, rules are passed through the campaign just like they would be with a list, but those rules reevaluate every time there’s a decision point to make sure that only the qualified people get the particular content at that point,” Corugedo explained.

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Privacy and regulatory compliance

Maintaining data quality through a Redpoint Global dashboard, or a similar combination of tools and data personnel, will also help an organization manage privacy.

The crucial point is that people on the team know where the data came from and how it’s being used in campaigns. The stakes for sending out relevant messaging are high. Privacy and compliance issues raise the bar even higher.

If you’re using a CDP, you can save headaches and extra labor by using a tool that has compliance and privacy baked in, so to speak.

“What we’ve done is embrace some of this complexity and absorb it into the environment, so the marketer never even sees it,” said Corugedo. “What we do is with every implementation, we will implement a PII vault that keeps PII data super secure, and we can anonymize the marketing database.”

This way, personal information of individual customers (PII) is never violated.

“Marketers ultimately don’t necessarily need to have visibility to PII,” Corugedo explained “They like to see it for testing purposes and making sure that it looks right and everything, but the truth is we can do that in other ways without revealing PII.”

Having a handle on data quality adds to the confidence marketing teams have in creating segments and executing campaigns, and it can also help protect the customer’s privacy and guard against regulatory infringements.

Facts not fiction: Beyond the CDP from Third Door Media on Vimeo.

About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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